It’s Quick Tip Friday!
Try this out:
- Take a piece of paper. Split it into two columns
- At the top of the first column, write ‘energised’
- At the top of the second column, write ‘drained’
- Now write everything down that makes you feel energised. It could be spending time with your partner, spending time with your children, going for a run.
- Next write everything down that makes you feel drained. This could be spending time with a particular person, doing work, checking emails, sitting around all day.
Be specific. If there’s a certain person who is emotionally draining to be around, stick them on your list! We know it’s not always possible to eliminate everything from your drained list. But this weekend, try to do as many of the things on your energised list as possible, and keep things on your drained list to an absolute minimum.
Come back Monday and let us know how great you feel after the weekend! Have a good one!
No matter how fantastic your relationship is, it’s most likely that there are times when you feel your partner doesn’t understand you, or they take something you’ve said the wrong way and you just can’t understand why!
We all have different personalities, and with these come different wants and needs. In a relationship, these needs are even more complex because we are relying on somebody else to fulfill them for us. The first step to understanding your partner is to find out what their needs are. You could do this by asking them, but it is better initially to try to work it out for yourself. You can do this by thinking back to a time when it was really great, when it felt like the two of you against the world, and you couldn’t imagine anything better than being with your partner. What were you doing differently then that you aren’t doing now?
Here is a list of the basic needs. Every single person needs all of these needs, but different needs will be more important to some people than others.
- Stability- This means that they feel stable in the relationship. They are confident that you love them, and genuinely want to be with them. They are able to count on you and feel that you are trustworthy.
- Variety- This means that there is some variety in your relationship, it is not the same day in and day out. You may do small surprises for each other like leave notes around the house, bring home flowers, go out for the evening instead of staying in.
- Closeness- This means that you have a close bond with your partner, both physically and mentally. You can chat to each other comfortably and you have a physical connection. You are in love.
- Importance- This means that your partner feels important to you. They are confident that you respect them, that you care about them and that you will listen when you tell them something. For some people it is necessary to feel like the most important thing in your life.
- Contribution- This means that your partner feels that you are contributing to the relationship. They are confident that you are both putting an equal amount of effort in to the relationship. They are confident that you are bringing all of your skills to the relationship
- Development- This can refer to personal development, or development as a couple. Your partner feels that you are helping them to grow as a person, whether that means supporting them in a career change, in finding a new hobby, in making new friends etc. They are confident that they have your full support and encouragement.
Sit down and decide on a scale of 1-10 what you are getting from your partner in terms of each of these needs, e.g. your closeness is a 5. Now put yourself in your partner’s shoes. What are you giving them for each need on a scale of 1-10? This part can be quite tricky and we will often over-score for our partner, but truly think about what they would answer. You can find clues from things they have said and done, such as ‘you’re not listening to me, turn the TV off!’ or feeling insecure when you have a night out with friends.
Which two needs do you think are most important to your partner? What score would they give you for those needs? Now is it starting to make sense why things aren’t as good as they should be?
Make an effort over the next month to try to get your score up to 10 for each need, paying particular attention to your partner’s two most important needs. Do not concentrate on your own needs yet. After the first month, if your partner hasn’t followed suit and started doing more for you, you can speak to them, or show them this post so they can work through it themselves.
If you’d like help on how to get your score up to 10 for each need, please feel free to email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write what you believe your top two needs are in the comments below, and your partner’s if you know them. Let’s see what the most popular one is!
Part 2 will be posted next week, and we’ll be looking at how your partner perceives your actions. Again, everyone is different so your intention may be different to how your partner sees it!
‘If you want to be happy, be’ Leo Tolstoy
As easy as that? Well, maybe…
The world is exactly what you make of it. The colour of the page that you see here, will be slightly different to the colour your friend would see. This is a difference in perspective that is out of our control. But what about the differences in perspective that are in our control?
Think of a hobby your partner or friend has that you do not share (or at least not to the same extent). For me, it is computers. Sure, I appreciate the sheer brilliance of them, and love the fact that I can pick up my laptop and find the answer to a question, type a document instead of writing it etc, but I do not share the passion that my partner has for them. As part of his job, he builds and repairs computers. I picked up a motherboard from the floor of the living room and inspected it. To me, it was hundreds of small parts glued to a board that all connected in some way, but I had no idea how. So I asked my partner about it. His face lit up, and he proceeded to explain the different parts and what each one did. Think of how you see their hobby. Do you lack understanding or just find it dull whilst they can’t get enough of it?
It’s the same in life. Some of us simply see things differently to others. Many of us crumble under pressure, while others thrive on it! Some of us enjoy speaking to a group of people, while others prefer to sit back and watch. There’s nothing wrong with either way, and for some of us it will be a personality trait so deeply ingrained in our core that it’s nigh on impossible to extract. But, if it holds you back or makes you unhappy, you can begin to change your behaviour by changing your perspective.
Look at this picture, and pick out all the things that are pink:
Now look at your lap and try to remember the things from the picture that are green.
You noticed the things in the picture based on what you were thinking as you approached it (in this case, only pink items). Now apply this to an event that has happened to you recently. How many meetings have you been to thinking ‘this will be boring’, how many parties thinking ‘these people will be dull’? Invariably, you won’t enjoy yourself if you approach things thinking this way. You need to change your perspective. Thing about the positive things you can take from each event in your life. The meeting may well be boring, or will it give you a chance to express your ideas effectively? Will you be able to interact with your boss on a more even playing field? Will it be fun to connect with your colleagues again? The people at the party may well be dull, or will you make new friends? Will you enjoy getting to know the host better? Will you be pleased to be invited to future events?
Try this: for the next 7 days, refrain from any negative thoughts or complaining. Now, you can’t stop negative thoughts entering your mind, but you can control them. If you don’t manage to control your negative thought, begin again tomorrow. From day one. See how long it takes you to reach a full 7 days! And please remember ‘event’ does not necessarily mean a function. It could be that the bus is late and you have to walk to work. This may well be frustrating, or is it a blessing because you will have done your exercise for the day before you even get to work? You decide.
Please let me know how you get on!
It’s a sad fact of life that many of us just can’t seem to stick to our diets. Sure, we’ll start off with good intentions, having dumped all the junk food, bought half the supermarket’s vegetable section and spent a fortune on a pair of trainers and some workout gear. But somehow, something happens and we fall off the wagon. Eventually it happens so many times, we just give up!
Yet there’s always someone we know who’s managed it. That success story that’s always mentioned at our slimming club, the whispers at the gym about ‘that girl over there who used to be 200lbs’, or even our closest friend or a family member. It’s natural to feel some kind of envy towards them. What do they have that you don’t? Why was it so easy for them to do it? Well the simple truth is that it wasn’t! But what they did have, that you didn’t, was the right frame of mind!
Countless people have come to me over the years wanting help with their diet. In the beginning I attempted to help them all. We looked at the psychology of their eating, came up with nutrition plans and exercise programmes to suit their lifestyle and needs, and worked through it all together. Most of them succeeded, but some of them didn’t. At this point I hadn’t yet recognised that the right frame of mind was crucial in order to lose the weight and keep it off. Now, I have to check that the client is in the right frame of mind before taking them on. If not, I give them a few resources and ask them to come back to me when they are ready. When I first refuse them they are gobsmacked! But once they reach that state of readiness they understand why I sent them away to begin with.
Here’s what I think are the key elements to having the right frame of mind:
- Why? You need to know why you want to lose weight, and it needs to be a strong reason to get you through the tough times ahead. ‘Because I want to look good’, ‘Because I hate being fat’ is not enough. You’ve thought these things for years, and how many diets have you been on in that time? Exactly. You need an ‘I want to be proud when I look at my wedding photo, not wish I’d lost more weight’ or an ‘I want to be able to run around after my children while they are still children!’. These kinds of why’s are powerful. The thought of what will happen if you don’t lose the weight now becomes more real, and it is this that pushes you through the storm and brings you out the other side.
- Dedication. This is a crucial lacking point for most people who embark on a healthier regime. You may believe that you are dedicated at the beginning, but how long is it before you think, ‘oh, one biscuit won’t hurt’ and then you’ve scoffed the whole pack! Or ‘I’m tired today, I’ll workout tomorrow’ and before you know it the week has flown by without a single iota of exercise. It’s all too easy to think these things won’t make a difference to your plan, but they will. The small things count in this instance! It’s important to be mindful of your new regime 100% of the time. If you feel yourself slipping, think of your ‘why’. And did you know that eating 1 biscuit a week will lead to a 5lb gain over the year?!
- Consistency. It can take 2-3 weeks for your body to get used to a new way of eating, and even longer for it to adjust to a new workout plan (4-6 weeks). During this entire time, your body will be screaming at you to stop! You may experience headaches (drink more water!), hunger pangs, aching muscles and constipation. It is important to listen to your body, and you will know if it is just your body adjusting or if you need to change what you’re doing. As long as it is your body adjusting, stick with it. The sugar cravings will disappear, your stomach will get used to the smaller portions, your muscles used to the exercise, and your mind will calm as your body does.
- Remember, there is no finish line. I received this email from a client who was just about to embark on a healthy eating regime. We had discussed her goals, and I had mentioned choosing incentives for each mini goal, e.g. buy a new pair of jeans when she went down a size. ‘I can’t wait to drop the first 10lbs! I thought about what you said and I’ve decided my incentive for that mini goal will be a cheese pizza. It’s one of my favourite foods and I can’t see how I will live without it. I think the incentive for the next 10lbs should be a bit bigger because I’ll have been working hard. I was thinking either a Burger King or KFC. Probably KFC though ’cause I love the popcorn chicken!’ This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. Right here, I had to stop the client and we had to go through a few steps to get her into the right frame of mind. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favourite foods every so often. However, using them as an incentive is not the way to go about it. Your incentives should not be food related, or you risk seeing food as a reward which will impact on your life in the future. It also means that you’re always thinking about that cheese pizza, which makes it even harder to enjoy the salad sitting in front of you. Your healthy eating is a new way of life. Treat it as such, with the occasional treat once you are down to your goal weight, and you will maintain that success.
- Stay positive. Nobody has the perfect transition into a healthy lifestyle. Your body has been in a contented place for however long you have been feeding it junk food and limiting it’s movement. Now, it has no comfort food, it has to move more in a day than it used to in a week, and that’s a lot of change! It will not thank you, and will do everything possible to get you to revert to your old ways. Back to it’s contented place. You’ll experience cravings, most likely for sugar, starchy foods (like pasta and bread) and salty snacks. At this stage, you can be confident that your body is running low on carbohydrate stores and will soon start burning your fat stores for energy. This thought helps some people steer clear of their old habits, but for others, that pull is just too strong. If this happens to you, don’t let it get you down. Start again at your next meal and learn from your mistake. Nobody is perfect and we all make mistakes. But the successful among us learn from their mistakes. So be a success.
What do you think of these five points? Are there any you would add?
In my mind, there are two types of day. An ‘existing’ day and a ‘living’ day.
During an existing day you go about your usual routine, just as you’ve always done. You go to work and make unexciting conversation with your colleagues because you have to. You stay at home cleaning the house and looking after your children because you have to. You make dinner, sit in front of the TV and exchange a few sentences with your partner because you have to. You go to bed, wondering what on earth the point of today was and sleep fitfully because you have to.
During a living day, you wake up prepared, aware of the things you need to get done today. You go to work and notice your colleague has had a new haircut, which you complement her on. This leads to a longer conversation about what you’ve been doing recently and you find that you quite enjoy her company, arranging to go out for a drink after work. You stay at home and make your mark as Domestic God(dess), cleaning the house and spending quality time with your children, playing games and educating them. Your children are happily doing activities and you’ve got a sparkling house to boot! You make dinner whilst listening to music or with your favourite TV show on in the background, or even better yet, with your partner at least chatting to you about both of your days (if not helping!) You go to bed and feel proud of all you achieved today, no matter how small it seems and sleep soundly, preparing yourself for tomorrow.
We all know that every day can’t be that exact ‘living’ day, but you can certainly try to make it so.
The first step is to be prepared for the day. Try keeping a small notebook with you- in your bag during the day and on your bedside table at night- so that you can write a to-do list for each day. Try this over the next few days and revel in the amount you get done!
The second step is to be observant of the things going on around you. Most of us will travel to work or go to the shops without a second thought, just going on autopilot because we know the journey so well. Look around you next time, what do you notice? It can be anything, no matter how big or small.
The third step is to be mindful of the people around you. How many days have you had where you can honestly say you had a fairly substantial conversation with someone which made you feel good afterwards? So many of us work with the same people every day but couldn’t tell you more than 3 things about this person. Some people prefer to keep business and personal separate, which is fine but there are lots of common knowledge topics you could talk about instead. Make a goal to speak to two people you see today who you would not normally say more than ‘hi, how are you?’ to.
The fourth step is to understand that every day can not be perfect, but every day can be a ‘living’ day. Whilst making your day a ‘living’ day, you may well come across obstacles you don’t have the resources to overcome yet. That’s not to say today wasn’t a ‘living’ day. Think about how you handle situations like this. If you sit back and accept the obstacle as it is and decide there’s nothing more you can do, you’ve turned your day into an ‘existing’ day. If you ask the right people for help, and try to come to a solution (whether it’s successful or not) you have kept your day a ‘living’ day.
Living days should make you feel proud. You should be able to look back at your day and think ‘today was a worthwhile day.’
So think about the steps mentioned in this post. Give them a go over the next few days. Especially today.
Make today a LIVING day!
We have finally joined the ranks and created a blog. This is our first post, just to let you know a bit more about us and what we do. Here’s to many more posts to come!
Our basic instincts, as humans, encourage us to continually better ourselves, to be the best that we can be. And, as we reach one level, there’s another one to climb to. Our progress is, ultimately, what determines how happy we are in ourselves and in our lives.
Here is our Goal Ladder (based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs):
For us to be the happiest we can be, we need to reach the top level, self-actualisation. In order for us to get there we need to have climbed every single other rung on the ladder.
How do we do this?
By ensuring that all of our needs are met at each level. If some of these needs have not yet been fulfilled, we must work on them before we can climb to the next rung.
What are the needs at each level?
Physiological: These are our basic survival needs- food, water, warmth and shelter.
Security: This refers to personal security, financial security, health and well-being, and general safety and protection.
Importance: This is the need to feel loved and a sense of belonging, including friendship, family and intimacy.
Esteem: This refers to our need to have self-esteem and sef-respect, but also includes having the respect of others and a good reputation/status.
Self-Actualisation: This refers to personal growth and fulfilment, and differs for every person, but centres on the desire to reach your full potential in life.
Which level are you at now?
Which level would you like to be at?
Our job is to help you climb your own ladder and become the person you’ve always wanted to be. But we only work with people who are committed to helping themselves. No half-hearted attempts please!
To find out how we operate, please feel free to have a quick nose at our website: http://www.lux-coaching.co.uk