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Efficiency

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Why saying No is the most important thing you can do

We live in a time of unprecedented access to information, news, and opportunities.  This is awesome, yet leaves us overwhelmed and exhausted. What do we do?

Everything you do is a choice. It’s your choice. Let’s take a closer look.

Jessica was constantly fatigued and always on the go. All she wanted was time to relax and recuperate. Sound familiar?

She reviewed her time allocation over the past three months and was astonished to realize that she spent over 30 hours a month on volunteer leadership boards.  30 hours! That was in addition to her regular job as Project Lead. She loved what these non-profit boards were all about, but it was taking a toll on her health.

Jessica took a deep breath and asked herself, Where can I make the most impact? She chose to resign from two leadership boards, so she could still be part of an organization that she truly believed in and go deeper into that one role. By doing this, she gave herself almost 20 hours back in a month. That’s almost one hour a day.

We can become anything we want to (within the law, of course!) yet, most squander this gift by saying yes to activities that don’t truly fulfill our deepest desires.

What does saying “No” give you?

Space.

Space to breathe and identify what’s truly important.

Space to recuperate and recover from your other meaningful and impactful work.

Space and a sense of openness that allows you the opportunity to say “yes” to something that comes along. that’s truly exciting for you.

 

Start saying “No” more so you can say “Yes” to what lights up your heart.

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Choice, Freedom, and You: Set Yourself Up for Success

Robert, still foggy from his poor sleep, rubbed his eyes and reached for his phone on the nightstand. Before even getting out of bed, he checked the news, social media, and email. His thumb hurt from scrolling up and down on his phone. Looking at the clock, he quickly rushed to take a shower and get to work. In the process he forgot to eat breakfast, but sneaked into a local bakery with no line and picked up a sugary muffin. He figured that would be quick and fast. While replying to the onslaught of work emails and staring aimlessly into the computer screen, he ate his muffin in whole chunks not realizing he barely chewed his food.
Sound familiar?

At some point, most of us have done this at least once. Yet, we fail to acknowledge what we are doing, or the long term effects.

Being intentional with time and energy starts the moment your brain erupts out of sleep.

You choose when you get out of bed.
You choose how to start your day.
You choose what to eat.
You choose how to eat.
You choose what to spend time on.
You choose how to utilize your energy.

What you choose and how you choose to do it – is how you exhibit your freedom in your daily life.

“Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela

Freedom gives you the opportunity to choose. Will you choose what is in alignment with your deepest desires? How will you be more intentional with every moment?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

P.S. Join me August 11-14th for an outdoor retreat where we will dive deep into the choices you make and how to maximize these choices to live to your highest potential. This retreat is a unique experience to tap into your deepest desires and make them flourish. Email me to see if you’re a good fit.

Do You Want More Time In Your Day? 5 Tips to Be More Effective

How effective are you with your time? This is where it truly begins. Effective means doing the right things. It’s not a measure of how much you get done or how busy you are during the day. Let’s take a closer look.

Donald wakes up every morning, immediately checks his phone, answers emails while on the toilet, opens the front door to grab the newspaper, skims the major headlines, then rushes to take a shower, throws a bagel in the toaster, and dashes out the door to work with a bagel in his mouth. Donald’s heart is racing, his mind is scattered, and all he can think about is what else will land in his email inbox when he arrives at work. Donald scampers through his email, then rushes off to a series of meetings. He comes home at the end of the day depleted and exhausted.

Donald took a quick pause. My chest is really tight. I hope something isn’t wrong. My kids, wife, and team depend on me. I can’t keep living like this. How do I change?

As he walks through his front door, he realized he didn’t even get the one email out to his best client that he really needed to send that day. He sat in frustration, ready for a beer and to tune out the day with tv. He fell asleep on the couch.

He didn’t acknowledge his wife in the morning or even wish his kids a good day at school. Donald barely noticed his team working diligently to please him.

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to be more effective. 

  1. How do you identify your priorities every morning?
  2. How do you schedule your priorities into your calendar?
  3. What habits make you more effective with your time and energy?
  4. Do you know what you are honoring in each decision you make?
  5. How do you celebrate your successes?

 

Donald went through the motions without ever giving thought to what he was actually doing. He went to meetings without ever scheduling time to get his own priorities done.

Robin Sharma says, “Don’t confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy.”

I want you to be effective with your time and your energy. Those around you want to be with a person who is energized, engaged, and enthused not depleted and exhausted.

 

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

What Are You Really in Control Of?

After 10 years with the same company, Jill’s last day as a corporate director arrived. She had a knot in her stomach. The layoff package was on her desk for final signature. What could have I done differently, she thought. The house is paid off. The kids are in a good school. Yet, her mind was on edge. Her marriage was a wreck and her kids barely talked to her. Jill’s friends barely remember to invite her to gatherings as she was usually too busy working. All she really wanted was to feel something again and get off the rat race.

As Jill left the brick building, she went for a walk in a nearby park and asked herself, what could I have controlled differently?

Jill realized she lashed out at her team when the project didn’t go right. She ate uncontrollably when project deadlines weren’t met. She had no energy when she came home, and ignored her husband and kids, throwing pizza in the oven for dinner.

It’s time to take back control of what I can control.

I will eat healthy and begin a daily walking program.

I will plan two family days a month to stop the rushing around and spend quality time together.

I will learn how to manage my emotions and learn stress management techniques.

I will say “yes” to fun activities that make me come alive inside.

I will take ownership for the choices that led me down this path. It’s up to me to change my choices.

Three months later, Jill started a new job with a sense of calm and ease. She had sustained energy throughout the day. Her marriage began to blossom and her kids invited her to play cards with them. It was a new day, a new time, a new approach to life.

Jill took the initiative to get still and identify what really wasn’t working. Will you?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Are You Ready For That Big Opportunity?

As I’m watching the Super Bowl, I can’t stop asking myself – Are you ready for the big game? All eyes are on you. Your actions will make one city cheer and another cry. Your actions are being watched by over 110 million people across the United States and world. The impact you make will be talked about for days and years to come.

When you receive that amazing opportunity (perhaps your dream job), how will you respond? What would you say? I’m too tired and exhausted. I can’t add anything more to my plate. I don’t get enough sleep now. I want to but I can’t right now.

Or, would you jump for joy? Would you say, I know what to do to clear my schedule to make it happen. I believe in my capabilities. I’m glad I do what it takes to have energy and stamina in my life.

Opportunities are mere challenges to stretch yourself and go beyond what you think you’re capable of. Yes, there will be butterflies in your stomach. There will be self-doubt that you can do it. But, the impact is real. In the past, how have you risen to the challenge? What worked and what didn’t? What can you improve for next time?

I want you to have the energy, stamina, and endurance for the big game or opportunity when it comes. Its takes daily preparation and practice. It takes stillness to figure out what’s important and courageous steps to move forward in the right direction.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Purge, Nourish, and Growth

As winter approaches, our lush, bountiful garden begins to wither and dry up. It’s time to plant the spring bulbs and wait for their beauty to arrive in the spring. The same holds true for our own lives.

As we crave more in our life – more friends, more money, more time for fun, we must also purge. The funny thing is that we get overwhelmed by everything we have to do yet we fail to identify what no longer serves us.

This year, I’ve had to carefully evaluate where I invest my time and energy. I’ve said “no,” removed myself off leadership boards, and not attended certain events to create the space I needed. What can you say “no” to?  This creates the space you want for something new to arrive in your life.

Now is the time to purge – physical and mental space. Now is the time to clear out the clothes you haven’t worn for years, the piles of paper accumulating around the house, or the junk in your garage. Now is the time to let go of what we no longer need – a belief, a bad attitude, a bad argument with your spouse, distractions.

Then, take a minute and plant that seed of opportunity. What more do you want in your life? How do you want 2018 to go?

To allow for more to come into your life, it’s like trimming back the bushes and plants so they can flourish come spring. When we create this open space, we allow for more greatness to come into our lives. As we clear the old out, we utilize our own focus and discipline to create more of what we desire.

Wishing you an abundant, joyful and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

 

How to Stop Making Life Complicated

Are you prepared for what’s about to happen? Let’s make it easy instead of complicated. Let’s take a closer look.

While on a hike, a fellow hiker was coming up the fully covered snow packed trail. He forewarned me, “Its treacherous! Be careful with your footsteps. I almost slid down the hill.” I replied with “Thank you.” In my head, I was saying something very different. Here’s how it went:

The prior day, I went for a short hike to test my breathing at altitude. I was planning on going for a very long hike the following day and wanted to see if that was a good idea. I’ve been at sea level for most of the past month so hiking at 10,000 ft elevation might be challenging. I noticed there was considerable snowfall around the 11,000 ft mark. I realized I would need microspikes to keep my footing. I rented a pair that night at a local mountain shop.

When I encountered the fellow hiker who warned me, I thought to myself,  you’re unprepared for these conditions. I took the time to assess what I needed for the day-  microspikes and hiking poles to keep my footing and an extra couple layers for windy conditions as a storm would be coming at the end of the day. Spraining an ankle or breaking a bone due to a fall on snow and ice is not ideal when you’re not in a cell phone zone and on a trail with few people. I prepared myself for the day. This can be applied everyday at work and personally.

How do you prepare for the day? Ask yourself these questions:  

  1. What obstacle might I encounter today?
  2. How can I prepare to handle the obstacle?
  3. What attitude do I need to handle the obstacle and not let it ruffle my feathers?

Wishing you an abundant, joyful, and prosperous day!

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

Stop the Busyness

Be Intentional

Whenever I talk to people these days, I get a common answer. I’m busy.

I’m busy working.

I’m busy on nineteen hundred projects.

I’m busy taking care of the kids.

I’m busy volunteering.

I’m busy seeing friends.

I’m soooo busy I can’t think.

All this busyness shows a general lack of enthusiasm in what you’re doing. There’s no emotion. None.

There’s no excitement. There’s no joy. It’s coasting from one thing to the next without thinking.

Saying, I’m busy, indicates that you’d rather be somewhere else doing something else than whatever it is you’re busy on.

Stop for a second. Think about it. Are you really busy? Are you actually distracted from doing what’s important? Stop. Get still. Get intentional. What is your intention for the day?

Instead of I’m busy on a project, change your mindset to: As a result of this project, my client will understand how to improve their business capabilities.

Instead of I’m busy taking care of the kids, change your mindset to: I’m spending quality time to nourish my kids’ growth and development.

How you approach your day says a lot about how you think during the day. If it’s a drag or if it’s something enriching and inviting.

If you catch yourself saying, I’m busy, think to yourself: Why am I really doing what I’m doing right now? If it’s not important, do something that brings you joy.

 

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path

Can You Be Last and First at the Same Time?

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

In this day and age, we’re running from one thing to the next. We hardly have time to know what we’re actually doing or even why. We go here and we go there. We then get resentful that we don’t have time for our favorite, joyful activities. Suddenly, it all becomes monotonous.

Ever wonder where that spark went? Remember that joy when you did something for the first time and got all giddy like a kid? Yet, there was an anticipation that scared the heck out of you, too? When was the last time you did that?

That’s what happened this past weekend!

I performed the Tryolean Traverse. It’s crossing a river using a harness and ropes tied between trees on either side of a river. Think of a hire wire act with rope and gear.  And, it met all the stages of change.

It went like this.

Wait, what am I doing? Why do I have to do this to get to the other side? Uh, what was I thinking? The first stage is doubt.

Then, it was – How do I do this? How do I rig my harness and gear to not fall into the river. The second stage is Adapt your knowledge. When I drew upon my prior climbing knowledge I could easily figure out how to rig the system even though I hadn’t done it exactly this way before.

Next, How do I sit in the harness and move my bag and me across? This feels weird. The third stage is awkward.

How do I do this by myself? Fourth stage. Ask for help. Too often, we are afraid to seek other’s assistance. We need support in our new endeavors. Luckily, another person offered to hand me my bag once I was rigged and safe. This made it much easier to be safe and go into the next move.

Fifth stage. Go for it. I walked one arm in front of the other, swung my feet on the rope, and pushed my bag along with me to the other side of the creek. In the face of uncertainty. Go for it!

That was hard work. I wondered if my arms still had stamina to climb!

Sixth Stage. Acknowledge and Celebrate. Wow! I can’t believe I did that! How fun was that! Now it’s time to explore a new climbing crag and go climbing.  

I share this so you can identify where you can take on new endeavors. What’s something big that you want to go after? What stage are you with that endeavor?

These are all stages of moving outside your comfort zone and ending the monotonous in your life.

What will courageous leap will you take today?

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC

On Track to Hit Those New Year’s Resolutions? If Not, Read This.

Does it seem daunting to think about those New Year’s Resolutions? Did you forget what your resolutions even were because after you missed that one day you threw it all up in the air and gave up? Perhaps you feel embarrassed. We’ve all been there at some point.

Let’s take a step back, reassess, and be honest. What do you really want to accomplish or change in 2017 and why?  

It’s not enough to say I want to lose 20lbs. The question is why do you want to lose 20 lbs? If you’re answer is something like I want my clothes to feel loose and not feel like my clothes are choking me at the gut. Or, this will give me more energy to play with my kids or spend with my spouse – You’re on the right track. If we don’t know why we want something it’s hard to keep us on track to get it done.

Next, identify what steps you’re willing to commit to in order to get to where you want to be? Maybe its workout 5 times a week. Perhaps, its walk 5 miles twice a week with a friend. Or, maybe its cook healthy meals in instead of eating out. If you don’t have a game plan you won’t know what to do each day.

Then, identify what resources you need to get there. If you’re looking to cook more at home perhaps you need to identify websites with health recipes or borrow a cookbook from a friend.

Lastly, have an accountability partner. It’s easy to slip when no one knows what we want. An accountability partner serves us in three ways. First, it shows that we check in with someone on a regular basis to see if we’re on track or not. Second, let them support and uplift you to get back on track if you feel off the wagon. Third, let them identify potential ways to deal with an issue that arises that throws you off kilter. Brainstorm with them. Verbalizing your goal to someone makes it real.

Let’s re-cap.

First: Know why your goal is important to you.

Second: Create a game plan with committed steps.

Third: Identify resources you need to get to your goal.

Fourth: Grab an accountability partner.

Every day is an opportunity to hit the refresh button. Take a minute to assess where you are and where you want to go. Each day is an opportunity to get back on track.

Join me for a complimentary session to get your goals back on track for 2017.

Lora Polowczuk
Chief Energy Officer
© Courageous Path LLC