How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We are taught from a young age not to compare ourselves to others. Yet, it’s much easier said than done. There are endless ways in which we tend to compare ourselves including our jobs, income, house, grades, likes on Instagram, and the list goes on. Not only are there an infinite number of areas in which we can compare ourselves to others, nowadays because of social media, it would appear that there is also an infinite list of people we can also compare ourselves to.

First-hand experience has taught us that comparison leads to unhappiness. It allows us to focus on what we don’t have or what we aren’t happy with about ourselves. It’s true that there can be some benefits to comparison. For instance, it could drive you to succeed in fulfilling your own goals. It may even reassure you that if it’s possible for them, it’s possible for you too. Nevertheless, it often leaves us feeling frustrated, “why not me?” It can also make us feel anxious – “am I doing enough?” The energy we spend on these thoughts is predominantly negative. It eats away at our precious time, zaps at our motivation and fills us with self-doubt.

This reaction is not unusual. According to a study concerning envy in adulthood, more than 75% of people reported feeling this way in the past year. Below are five proactive approaches to stop comparing yourself to others, and regain control to focus on your own path.

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Establish the triggers

The first step is to acknowledge when these feelings of envy generally come about. Is it after a session of scrolling through your LinkedIn feed? Perhaps it’s after glancing at your friends’ Instagram stories. These observations teach us a lot about our values. Let off some steam or seek to understand these comparisons by getting it down on paper. Write about how they impact you, is there a goal that you could perhaps establish in order to achieve that in your own life, or is the comparison simply a waste of time. Become aware of the triggers and analyse them accordingly.

Practice Gratitude

Thankfully, practicing gratitude can override these negative emotions. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others, take a look around you – think about who and what you’re grateful for. It may help to write these down or even make this a collective activity. With your family, friends, or partner, create a gratitude jar. Find a mason jar, decorate it to your liking, and fill it with at least one thing each day that you are grateful for. With the current situation, you could consider creating a virtual gratitude jar through a Whatsapp group. When you find yourself slipping into comparison mode or self-doubt, reach for the gratitude jar to uplift you.

Identify your Achievements

When focusing on others, we tend to focus on their strengths and, consequently, we ignore our own. This is a lose-lose situation that can be proactively turned into a win-win situation. Go ahead and identify your own achievements to reflect on your skills and talents. Begin to list all of your recent (or not so) achievements, no matter how big or small. From helping a friend to doing a workout with zero motivation, take pride in your achievements.  

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Embrace the Inspiration

Behind everyone’s success is a story. We tend to focus on the outcome as opposed to the hours they spent working hard and making sacrifices for their achievements. Instead of focusing on envy, embrace it as a form of motivation. Who are the people you aspire to be like? If you know them, reach out to them. If it’s someone in the public eye, do your research and find out about their story. Let them be the inspiration for what you can be, do and achieve.

Friend or Foe?

There are two options when it comes to self-talk – friend or foe. You know that voice inside your head that tells you every insult under the sun? This one’s the foe. If you wouldn’t say it to your friend, don’t say it to yourself. When you succumb to comparison mode, be your own best friend. Be kind to yourself by acknowledging and reminding yourself of your unique values. Give yourself pep talks that build up your confidence, and instill you with positivity.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.” – Zen Shin

There will always be someone more successful, more intelligent, or more beautiful than you are. The key is to appreciate your uniqueness, focus on strengths. Take control of where you put your energy. Use it to believe in yourself and create the life you desire and deserve.

You’ve got this!

Productivity: The Art of Staying Focused

Whether you already have an efficient routine or you are yet to find one, many of us could do with mastering the art of productivity. Planning our working day as efficiently as possible enables us to reap the benefits of hard work, whilst also enjoying some free time too. This guide offers tips on how to foster productivity, minimise distractions, and the art of prioritisation.

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Sleep

Sleep sets you up for the day. Avoid waking up on the wrong side of the bed by getting the recommended 7-8 hours. Create a warm, cosy bedroom environment to make getting enough sleep as achievable as possible. Calm a busy mind before bedtime by utilising the 4-4-4 breathing technique. Breath in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, then exhale to the count of four. According to scientific research, slowing your breath triggers a relaxation response in the brain and body, setting you up for the perfect night’s sleep.

Efficient Planning Tool

Have you ever come across Eisenhower’s urgent/important matrix tool? If you have, I’m positive that you can testify its effectiveness. If you haven’t, you can check out a visual here. This time management tool is a powerful way to prioritise time, tasks and goals. The planner displays four quadrants which enable you to divide tasks by their level of urgency and importance. This matrix allows you to visualise and determine what tasks you need to do and which tasks should be prioritised. Often we are productive, but none of it has real value in the long run. This method will empower you to plan and prioritise long-term goals each week.

Start with the Most Important Tasks

According to Laborit’s law, we should start with the most mentally draining task at the beginning of the day. The following scenario may sound familiar to you. You have a dreaded task to do, instead of doing it right away you procrastinate, carrying out simpler tasks that bring immediate satisfaction. Also known as “The Law of the Least Effort”, we’re essentially perpetuating the sensation of that unpleasant task hovering over us. To master productivity, start the day with the most difficult task and reward yourself as soon as it’s finished.

Adios Distractions

Are you susceptible to distractions such as Whatsapp messages, aimlessly scrolling on social media or googling random thought processes? Guilty as charged! If, like many, you tend to get distracted by your phone, leave it another room. Keep it on silent and out of reach in order to let your focus flow. Also, try not to constantly check emails and carry out several tasks at once. Focus on the task in hand; monotasking, not multitasking, is the secret to getting things done efficiently.

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Get Inspired

The subconscious mind is one of the most powerful tools and, in turn, ultimately the key to our success. Every day our mind is shaped by the environment in which we live. Our memories, beliefs, fears, subjective maps of reality are all examples of our subconscious mind that govern the course of our life. It’s essential to override subconscious negativity with inspiration. Listen to podcasts, read books, and spend time with people that inspire you. Fill your environment with inspirational quotes, vision boards, get out in nature.

Productivity is the result of commitment, efficient planning and focused effort. I highly recommend Stephen R. Covey’s best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to learn more on efficiency and expertise in purposeful productivity.

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen R. Covey

5 Ways to Beat the Monday Blues

Do you feel a sense of sadness, stress, or anxiety? Are you in pursuit of motivation? Are you finding it hard to get things done?

If any of the above apply to you, you may have a case of the Monday Blues...

What are the Monday Blues?

A Blue Monday is defined as a Monday that is “depressing or trying especially because of the return to work and routine after the weekend.” It’s knowing that a weekend of fun and relaxation is over with the work week looming ahead.

So, what are some quick fixes to get over a case of the Monday Blues?

Make a List of Things to Look Forward To

Instead of focusing on the mundane or difficult tasks that lay ahead of you, think about all the good to come. Make a list by writing out some things that you are currently looking forward to. A good place to start is to think of one thing you are excited about for each category: at work, after work, and at the weekend. If it’s hard to come up with three things to look forward to, get planning ASAP! We’re not talking about anything extravagant, just simple things that uplift you like meeting a friend for coffee.

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Prioritise Sleep

Sleep has a tremendous effect on our mood. According to Harvard Medical School, “poor or inadequate sleep can cause irritability and stress, while healthy sleep can enhance well-being.” So, if you find yourself a little more short-tempered than normal, sleep may be the answer. Take a nap to reenergise or get to bed earlier tonight to make up for lost sleep. It’s worth taking this into account on Sunday to avoid a lack of energy on a Monday morning.

Do a Good Deed

Doing something good to make someone else happy is actually a win-win situation. Chances are you will end up feeling better for it too. According to Psychology Today, there’s a “direct correlation with overall well-being and giving out time, money or other resources to a cause.” This doesn’t have to mean investing lots of time and money. Why not help someone close to home? If someone could do with a helping hand, be that person. Want to go above and beyond beating the Monday Blues? Engrain a sense of fulfillment and happiness in your schedule by volunteering. It’s a great way to help others, especially if you choose wisely. Do something your passionate about, or a cause close to home to make it all the more beneficial.

Dress to Impress

Though this may seem trivial, don’t underestimate the power of an outfit. We have all experienced those feel-good vibes a killer outfit can bring. It makes you feel good, right? Well, it can also help brighten up your day. In fact, “psychologists conclude that the strong link between clothing and mood suggests we should put on clothes that we associate with happiness, even when feeling low.” In short, what better day than a blue Monday to wear what makes you feel great!

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Keep your Schedule Light

After a weekend of fun and taking it easy, it might be best to keep Monday’s schedule a little lighter than other days. This doesn’t mean sitting around and drowning in your Monday Blues. It means that instead of facing the most complicated stuff on a Monday, put some time into the easier tasks. Diminish Monday Blues and any anxiety or stress by allowing yourself to do Monday with more ease.

Wishing you all a happy Monday. Of course, constant Monday Blues may be a sign of something serious like maybe your work doesn’t bring you joy. If that’s the case, it’s best to be proactive and think up a plan of action. Though if you are feeling a little lost, talking to an expert is a great way to gain insight. These quick fixes are intended to beat the Monday blues, boost your mood and set you up for success. Let me know in the comments below what your Monday Blues prescriptions are.

How to be More Positive

If you’re reading this, you’re probably struggling with negative thoughts. Don’t worry, you are not alone. It can be so easy to fall into a negative mindset. The good news is that there are some simple steps we can take to feel more positive. Positive psychology is the science behind what makes us feel good on the inside. Thanks to in-depth psychological studies on human thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, we know now that there are many steps we can put into practice to enhance positivity.

Focus on the Good

In order to feel happy, it’s of pivotal importance that we focus on strengths rather than weaknesses. And, though at times this is easier said than done, it’s essential to focus on the good things no matter how insignificant they may seem. For example, imagine you can no longer attend an event you’ve been excited about, focus on the free time you’ll have to relax or watch your favourite TV show.

Embrace and Enhance Your Strengths

Identify your strengths. OK, so hopefully you can name your top three as we’ve all prepared for that interview question, right? But, believe me, you definitely have more than three strengths. Think about it carefully and write them down. The interesting thing is that your strengths may seem so ordinary to you that you are actually unaware of them. If you struggle to think of your strengths ask the people closest to you, try returning the favour too.

Once you have identified your strengths, make it your goal to strengthen them (yes, really, you can strengthen your strengths). It may seem ridiculous if you are already good at something, yet we must enhance instead of alienate our strengths. The use of our strengths is linked to higher well-being and will lead to you being your best.

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How Not to Fall Off Track

It seems so simple, right? So why is it that we somehow manage to fall back into the trap of pessimism? It often has something to do with a feeling of helplessness. This phenomenon takes place when we feel as if we have lost control over what happens to us, thus resulting in feeling helpless. Such thoughts commonly lead to a depressive state which, in turn, ends up feeling like a step back in our journey towards optimism. Recognise when this happens, and take control of your thoughts. Some simple breathwork can assist you in calming the mind. As you breathe in think of calm thoughts, and as you breathe out visualise any unsettling or negative emotions disappearing.

No Journey is a Straight Journey

What’s important to remember is that what we learn, we can then unlearn. Although you may have focused on the negatives earlier, that does not mean you cannot focus on the positives now. In order to shift our perspective, we must acknowledge the importance of balance. We must override negative thoughts with positive ones.

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Values: The Plan of Action

Discover what your values are and make it your goal to ensure that your life is aligned with them. Think about your values according to the following categories: work/education, relationships, leisure, personal growth, and health. Once you have identified your values, analyse how close you are actually living according to these values. Next, identify the main obstacles that come in the way of these values and how you can overcome them.

Take note of the discrepancies and take pride in using them to build a bridge towards the kind of life you want to live. Create an action plan to be more aligned with your values. Think of this as mood board, in fact, why not get your creative juices flowing and create one to motivate you each day. After all, meaning and purpose are essentially a reflection of the presence of our values in our day-to-day lives.

self care isn t selfish signage
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Self-Compassion: Kindness Over Judgement

Just like we would be caring and comprehensive when a friend is stressed, anxious, or hurting, we must do the same for ourselves. Self-criticism defies love. Think about the classic moral that we all learned growing up: “treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Well, just reverse that and you’ve got the idea. Treat yourself how you would treat a loved one if they were experiencing any difficulties and self-compassion is born.

Flawlessness does not exist. We all fail, make mistakes, face challenges, struggle and that is an inherent part of being human. Instead of feeding the harsh critic, provide yourself with warmth and understanding as you recognise the issue. Recognise it, be understanding towards yourself, and think of a solution. Balance is key here.

Practice Gratitude

Yes, that old chestnut – be grateful. Cultivate gratitude to grow happiness. Write it, think it, or even say it out loud. Anytime you feel negativity washing over you, try to cancel it out with positivity. Balance is key. By making gratitude journaling part of your daily routine, you are guaranteed more optimism.

I hope you flourish with gratitude, purpose, and positive experiences that fill you with happiness and love. Focus on your strengths, your blessings and embrace the glass-half-full approach as life is to be lived to the full. Optimism is as infectious as a smile so be sure to comment below on your top tips to positivity.

“Your only limit is your mind.”

Silencing Your Inner Critic – 5 Simple Steps Towards Self-Love

We have all been held back at some point by our inner critic as its innate negativity eats away at our self-confidence and self-love. The question is: how can we silence that critical voice and achieve inner peace?

Ackowledgement

Recognise that it is just a thought. A thought is fleeting and, as they come and go, negative ones are bound to arrive at some stage. The first step is to recognise that it is a self-constructed thought and that only we are in control of our thoughts.

Name your Inner Critic

Give your inner critic a name. So, we’ve all heard of negative Nancy, right? Not only is it super catchy, but it also acts as a reminder to stop us moaning eventually because nobody likes a complainer. So why is it OK to be negative in our mind, to feed our inner critic? Let’s not give way to such a voice. Giving your inner critic a name will make it easier to recognise, thus becoming easier to silence. This technique further solidifies the fact that the inner critic is not you.

Negative Nancy who?!

Do not give the thought/your inner critic importance. The more you fret about it, the more you succumb to instilling the negativity in your mind. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I am so useless. I always mess up” listen as it comes to your consciousness, and let it go. That thought, “negativity Nancy” only grows if you let it.

Replace Negativity with Positivity

Override the negativity with positivity. The garden analogy works perfectly here: we remove weeds to stop them from stealing the sun, nutrients, and water from the plants and flowers we wish to grow. Watering the weeds would just be counterproductive. Instead of watering the weeds, we must remove them in order to let the flowers grow. The same situation exists in our minds.  Upon recognising your inner critic, that unwelcomed weed, be sure to replace it with a positive thought.

Highlight your Strengths

Invest in a self-love journal. Every time someone gives you a compliment, write it down. Every time you recognise a personal strength, jot that down too. Give examples, elaborate, big yourself up. This will act as a strong DIY weed killer in those times of need. If one day you are facing a fierce battle against negative Nancy, the self-love journal is there to lend you a helping hand with your struggles. Take a glimpse, or read through as much as it takes to silence that dreaded (but completely normal!) negativity.

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity – it’s sanity.” – Katrina Mayer

A Powerful Mind-set For Success – Earl Nightingale’s Wisdom Shared

According to Earl Nightingale, “success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal.” Earl believed that the biggest societal failure was conformity. He argued that this mind-set is formed through the belief that life happens to us. Instead, he defined the successful as those who are progressively realising a worthy ideal. Quite simply, success is if we work in a certain profession because that’s what we truly want, that we form a family because that’s what we truly want, and that we buy things because they’re what we truly want. Let’s dive into Earl’s nuggets of wisdom to find out how to strive for the right kind of success, not the success that we think we want.

Don’t Compete – Create

We are not here to compete, we are here to create. To avoid conformity, think about what you truly want in life, your own priorities. Each individual has different pleasures, passions and perceptions. Do not choose a career based on another person’s definition of success. Choose a career that aligns with your passions and interests.

Set Goals

The key to success is setting goals. Goals ensure that we have something to work towards, thus enabling us to constantly make progress. Goals provide us with guidance in order to create the life we truly desire. Think about what you truly want in life, and make that your goal starting from today. It’s important to set attainable goals and work towards them each day.

We Are the Seeds We Sow

The difference between success and failure is mind-set. Life is what you make of it. So, if we are what we think about this means we can alter our lives. We become what we think about. What we plant, we reap; if we think it, it will materialise. Planting your goal in your mind is of vital importance to your success. Visualise the moment of reaching the goal; imagination is key. Focus to determine the future because our mind is our guidance. By controlling our thoughts, we control our mind. Ensure that positive thoughts override any negative ones, self-disciplining the mind is key.

The Test

Earl encourages a 30-day experiment to work towards success. The experiment entails doing your best, forcing yourself to think positively, and believing that it is impossible to fail. Firstly, write down what you want more than anything else on a card, a single goal. Carry this with you and look at it each day. It gives you something to get out of bed for and strive for.

Mind Over Matter

Think about it and soon it will be yours. Stop thinking about what you fear. Each time fear strikes or you feel like giving up, take control of your mind and remind yourself of your goal and why you want it so much. Know where you are going and ensure that you don’t get distracted. Do your best to focus on this purpose and progress towards it. Give more of yourself every day, do more than is expected.

According to Earl, “you get back what you put out in life” and remember, you are what you believe yourself to be.

Check out Earl’s audio here to learn more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbBHR_CD56M

Five Simple Ways to Help Save the Bees

Bees are at the heart of our food chain, providing us with fruits, vegetables, nuts and even the food that our cattle relies upon to eat, essentially saving us from global hunger. With the global decline in bees, it’s more important than ever that we help keep these magical creatures alive. Through looking at where bees flourish compared to where bees perish, we now know how to keep this sacred species healthy. Any outdoor space is an opportunity to help the bees, so get ready to work on your gardening skills in the backyard, terrace or, for those of you with neither – don’t worry, even window sills can be adapted to most of these solutions.

Firstly, What Kills Bees?

Before working out how to save them, let’s take a look at the reason behind the huge disappearance of bees. The top three killers are: agricultural chemicals, habitat destruction and pests and pathogens. Disease and death in bees, after lengthy research, was discovered to be a direct result of these human actions. Bee keepers and researchers have been working hard against this catastrophe for years. So the real question is, how can we prevent this from happening in our day-to-day lives?

beautiful beauty bee bloom
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Five Simple Solutions to Save the Bees

  • Build a Bee Bath. It seems common to leave out a birdbath, but what happened to thinking about the bees? By leaving out a shallow container of water and filling it with natural resources like stones, pebbles or sticks the bees won’t drown as they can safely land on these surfaces to stay hydrated. This will not only enable them access to clean, fresh water, it will also encourage their return to the same spot in your outside area.
  • Grow Native Flowers For the Bees. Growing native plants and wildflowers is the best way to attract bees to your outdoor area because these pollinators have evolved with these native plants meaning they are adapted to the climate, local seasons and soils. Do your research or keep your eyes peeled for where the bees tend to congregate in your local area. If in doubt, here are some beautiful well-known flowers that do wonders for the bees: snowdrops, peonies, lavender, marigolds, and pansies.
  • Build a Herb Garden. Not only will the herbs enhance your culinary skills adding some vibrant flavours to your meals, they will also help the local bees thrive. Some common herbs include: chives, mint, rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. These easy-to-grow herbs help you save money on your shopping bill whilst providing the bees with nutritious nectar and pollen throughout the year.
  • Keep a Wild Flower Meadow in Your Garden. Many bees are attracted to untended, weedy patches with access to water and mud. Did you know that bees can actually live underground? By providing them with this wild space, it enables the native bees to burrow or nest, plus it saves you some time when gardening!
  • Support Bee Businesses or Donate to a Hive. For skincare related products, invest in Burt’s Bees who create natural, sustainable products with profits aimed at expanding bee habitats – unbeelieveable! Got a sweet tooth? Treat yourself to some Haagen Dazs. Not only do they whip up some delicious ice cream, they also donate lots of money to pollinator research and education – bee guilt free when you get your next sweet treat. Bee Raw specialises in honey, tea and, beeautiful beeswax candles alongside aiding organisations like bee conservancies and local work and research as 1% of profits are donated to this cause. Aside from investing in amazing products, you may also choose to adopt a beehive in your local area by doing some online research, perks often include honey gifts as well as helping the bee experts do their best to save these beautiful creatures.

Best of luck on your bee saving journey. Here’s to a brighter future for the bees full of nectar, pollen and safe, pesticide-free habitats.

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” – Albert Einstein.

Home Workouts Done Right: Fun YouTube Channels

Thinking of how to get into shape without breaking the bank? Since moving into my new apartment, I gave up going to the gym and opted for home workouts and the truth is I have never looked back. If picking up heavy weights or calorie counting on the treadmill isn’t your thing, experiment with home workouts that you can do wherever and whenever you like.

The Benefits of Home workouts

Doing a home workout is not only extremely efficient for those of us running on a busy schedule, it can also burn a lot of calories. Home workouts, when done right, help improve your endurance and fitness levels. They can also build muscle through bodyweight exercises. All of us that have done a push-up or a squat jump can confirm this. The fact that a sweat sesh can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as an hour makes it so much more appealing. It all depends on the time you have on your hands, and the time you are willing to invest into your fitness. Plus, the endorphins released during and after the workout make it all worthwhile.

Besides the fact that home workouts will leave you feeling amazing, they also require next to nothing in terms of equipment. There is also endless amazing content out there all for free! I personally find my workouts on YouTube and I have never had to repeat one. The option to sign up for paid programmes is also available for those of you that require a bit more motivation.

Recommended Equipment

A mat is practically the only thing that is a must-have in order to do home workouts. The moment you start with ab exercises, your back will be grateful for the softer cushioned surface. Apart from that, the equipment you’ll most likely find in videos are: dumbbells, a kettle bell and resistance bands. These are things you can look into buying, but first and foremost, find a personal trainer that motivates you, makes you sweat and makes working out enjoyable – exercise can be fun!

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Amazing Home Workout Channel

Heather Robertson

A certified trainer that will whip you into shape with a range of videos. Her infamous no repeat HIITS are perfect for days when you lack motivation. Getting a sweat on with Heather is inevitable as she has an abundance of content. Her videos range from: cardio, strength, specific muscle groups, and incorporating different equipment. There really is something for everyone on her channel. But, if you’re looking for high intensity or strenuous stuff then Heather is your girl!

Sydney Cummings

Sydney is an extremely endearing certified personal trainer. She talks and guides you through all the exercises, constantly motivating you to go all out. With an extensive range of fun themed videos to spice things up a bit, she really has thought of everything. Lots of helpful advice on form is given and videos are uploaded regularly – she really is superwoman.

Joe Wicks/The Body Coach

Joe has some amazing videos and the good news is that they tend to be short and sweet. OK, maybe sweaty is a better word to describe his workouts… He makes you work hard and get a sweat on whilst motivating you in the process. His bubbly personality shines through and he is bound to make you laugh with his commentary. What’s so loveable about Joe is the fact that he doesn’t hide that he is struggling. He actually makes you feel OK for having to take a break. He even has some fun child-friendly workouts that are suitable for all the family.

Body Project

The Body Project has some fun videos that you’ll love so much that they’ll leave you wanting more. This channel is great for beginners or for the days when you don’t want to push yourself too hard, or even those of you wanting a lighter workout. They have an excellent selection of strenuous videos too. So, if you are prepared to break a sweat, check out some of their high intensity or Tabata style workouts.

So there you have it, four amazing free YouTube channels for workouts. I hope you fall in love with these channels as much as I did and see great results whilst benefiting from amazing free content and endorphins in the process. Home workouts are all about self-discipline but with these channels, you will find motivational mentors at the click of your mouse.

Get ready to get in shape!

6 Simple Ways To Effectively Enhance Productivity

If you are lacking motivation or looking for ways to enhance your efficiency, look no further. Productivity is all about diligence and establishing good habits. This guide is full of practical tips to effectively enhance productivity, and can be tailored to each individual’s preferences.

Start The Day As You Mean To Go On

Firstly, aim to start your day feeling refreshed. Make yourself a nutritional breakfast, a warm drink or just a glass of water to stay hydrated if you don’t have much of an appetite. Healthy habits are best achieved with a healthy diet, providing us with optimum nutritional value and energy for the day. In order to start the day well, try doing something you find uplifting. That might be spending time with your pet, going on walk or journaling. Focus on feeling replenished and ready for the day ahead.

Motivational Mentors

Secondly, find a mentor. This does not necessarily have to be the conventional mentor, it could be something like a podcast, a book or even a YouTuber that motivates you. Look for something uplifting that leaves you feeling energised to enhance your productivity. Remember, even on the days in which you struggle to find motivation – mind over matter. Find a mentor that leaves you feeling inspired, empowered and motivated. Take a task like cooking or having breakfast and listen simultaneously. Another tip for increasing your motivation is to decorate your most-used spaces, e.g. your office or bathroom, with some beautiful quotes or affirmations to keep the positivity flowing.

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Achievable To-Do Lists

Thirdly, create a to-do list and ensure it is realistic. Sometimes our optimistic selves write out unrealistic to-do lists. This ends up creating pressure and stress as we try to squeeze everything in. Write your list the day before and ensure that it’s reasonable. Finding out what is too much and what is not quite enough is all about trial and error. There will be days when you run about like a headless chicken but get everything done. Then there are days where you might aimlessly stare at the screen and wander around filling your day with distractions. Experiment with how much you are capable of doing in a day. Do not beat yourself up about the not so productive days – learn from them. Maybe you need a more in-depth to-do list or maybe you just need a break, this happens to the best of us.

Create An Enjoyable Work Space

Ensure that where you work, study or get things done is a pleasant, inspiring environment. Have all the necessary things at hand like some water, your laptop, your books and whatever else you deem crucial. Then, think about what you can do to make it a space that inspires productivity; design an aesthetically pleasing space for yourself. Of course, this is subject to the individual’s taste. It could be anything from buying a nice plant, adding in a family photo or even a motivational quote. Keep it tidy by dedicating five minutes at the end of each day to organising your space and, voila, keep up the flow of productivity!

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Avoid Social Media

Avoid social media, and yes, that includes WhatsApp. It’s considered a bad habit due to its addictive nature, while it also serves as a distraction to productivity. If discipline is something you are working on, it might be a good idea to put your phone in another room, put it on flight mode or even just keep it in another place entirely. Save yourself from losing time and only check your phone after the working day or during your breaks. You could even consider a digital detox. We all know how easy it is to get caught up in viewing people’s Instagram stories, but distractions lead to lower levels of productivity.

Have Something To Look Forward To

Always have something to look forward to. Healthy habits must be rewarded! After all, self-love is taking care of your happiness. It is so important to reward yourself for all your hard work by doing something fun after work, or making some exciting weekend plans. When times get hard and all you want to do is turn off your laptop, instead of focusing on your momentary lack of willpower, focus on how much fun you can have when you finish.

woman turning around on green fields
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Wishing everyone a healthy, happy, productive day. Remember, as Sean Covey says, “depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”

Paying Attention to Detail: Brighten up Your Day with Gratitude

Gratitude has the ability to transform your mindset from negativity to positivity. According to scientific studies, not only does it improve your psychological health, but it also improves your physical health. It can help rid us of toxic emotions like anger or envy, and fight off any fleeting negativity. For some, gratitude may be engrained in your daily routine, or for others, it may be a spontaneous activity. Either way, here are some sources of inspiration to brighten up your day with gratitude.

Think Outside the Box

For those of you that keep a gratitude journal, I’m sure you’ve spotted some common themes, things that constantly appear on your list. These might be family, friends, health, financial security, pets etc. and understandably so! They are the essential pillars of happiness for many. It’s always interesting to spice it up a bit and think of a range of things unique to the present day or week that you feel grateful for. For example, instead of writing friends in general, name someone that you feel particularly grateful for now.

house in the middle of crop field
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Pay Attention

From a young age, my nan has been a source of inspiration. She pays attention to all the good around her and always has something positive to say. She finds joy in all the little things that most of us hardly notice. The amazing things she sees on her walks, about the wonderful cooking she’s been doing, how beautiful the flowers that are blooming in her garden are… She pays attention to the little things we tend to forget about and it’s definitely the secret behind her happiness. She is grateful for and mindful of everything that encompasses her. Let’s take a leaf out of her book and pay attention to our surroundings and day-to-day activities in a mindful way.

The Honey Bee Analogy

A while back I came across an incredibly inspiring video by a guru called Radhanath Swami. It’s about the honey bee and the fly mentality. The analogy talks about where each of these creatures gives its attention. A honey bee goes from flower to flower in search of nectar. It doesn’t worry about the size of the flower or how far away it might be, it searches for the flower’s essence. It does this in the most unexpected of places, despite the fact it might be next to rubbish or filth. Whereas the fly is, quite literally, always looking for shit. It focuses on the rubbish despite all the beauty that might be nearby.

The Gratitude Mindset

The fly represents the mind that fails to notice all the good things we’re surrounded by. In contrast, the honey bee makes a concerted effort to look for positivity, no matter how hard that may be. This analogy emphasises the fact that fault-finding is a habit, a mindset. It is so easy to focus on all the negativity around us, just like the fly. What is more challenging is the honey bee approach, paying attention to all the good around us. If you look hard enough, it will be there even on those bad days. Don’t fall into the trap of being the fly, pay attention to everything good that there is to be grateful for around you.

Positivity is Perspective

Strive to pay attention to all the good around you. If you find yourself falling into the fly mindset, remind yourself to look just a little further just like the honey bee. Go on a walk in nature, listen to your favourite playlist, cook a recipe you love. It’s about being mindful of the little things that so often go by unnoticed. The secret to gratitude is in paying attention to detail.

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