Tuesday, November 17, 2020

One Simple Habit to Improve Mood and Productivity

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting TheCompelledEducator.com

Are you finding it hard to be positive these days? 

With COVID cases being reported and impending shutdowns on the horizon again, it can be difficult to sustain positive thoughts and actions. 

With Thanksgiving approaching and it being our season of intentional gratitude, today I'm sharing a simple habit I learned about from Jon Gordon. Jon is a continual light in the world, spreading messages of inspiration and encouragement. He is a terrific writer, too, and has written many excellent books.

I first wrote about this habit back in 2018, when I shared a 15-week series on characteristics of compelled educators. 

Jon Gordon wrote about this habit in his book, The Positive Dog. 

The-Positive-Dog-by-Jon-Gordon
Click HERE or the image above to 
order your copy or to give as a gift


I find myself needing to be very intentional about guarding my thoughts and self-talk while the stress of the pandemic looms about and fills every crevice of daily living. An intentional action can produce powerful results, especially when the action is consistent and purposeful. 


Jon Gordon recommends taking a Daily Thank You Walk.

He says, "Take a simple 10-30 minute walk each day and say out loud what you are thankful for. This will set you up for a positive day."

I want to challenge all of you to take a Daily Thank You Walk for at least 10 minutes for 10 days straight! 

It doesn't have to be anywhere perfect, and the weather doesn't have to be perfect. It can be indoors or outdoors, it can be around your yard, it can be down the street and back, it can be in your building where you work... before work, during your lunch break, during work, or after work. No place is off limits!

You can be alone or with a friend. Maybe there's someone else who would take the challenge with you and you can each share out loud what your grateful for. You can hold each other accountable, so when the negative self-talk creeps in and tries to talk you out of your daily thank you walk, you will be armed and ready to defeat it!

We can't be grateful and stressed at the same time, and when we combine gratitude and physical movement, you flood your body and your brain with positive energy. Let's get moving!


Related Gratitude Posts


Do you want more of Jon's books, or do you know of someone that this would be the perfect gift for? See the incredible limited edition box set below!

-The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy
-Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else
-The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways to Deal with Negativity at Work
-The Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change
-Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture
-The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work
-The Positive Dog: A Story About the Power of Positivity
-The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

How a Facebook timeline can help you reach your goals


For the past few days, I've been holding individual meetings with our new teachers at our school. We've hired some phenomenal teachers this year, and while I've visited their classrooms and had a few conversations here and there with them, I still was left wanting and needing to know them better personally and professionally.

Due to COVID, our New Teacher Orientation over the summer was much different than in the past, and our physical meetings and get-togethers have been limited this school year. We've been having virtual "chats" and learning in the Google Classroom for New Teachers, but as you can guess, it's just not the same as getting to look in each other's eyes, read body language, and feel the energy from each other when you're learning together.

I emailed all of the new teachers to let them know that I wanted to meet with them and I shared a link to my appointment calendar (I just learned how to create apointment slots in my Google calendar to share with others. Very neat trick!)

Here's what I included in my email:

I would like to schedule short, individual meetings with all of you beginning this Friday. These are 15-minute meetings, and I'd like to talk about

     - What motivates YOU

     - How can I support you in what you're doing

     - What do we (HHS) need to do better 

     - What's 1 thing you're grateful for right now

It was a conversation with one of our new teachers that led to writing and sharing this blog post. When I asked him, "What drives your engine? What motivates you?" He said that he loves learning and always wants to keep getting better and growing. I followed up by asking him if he had always been that way, even from a young age. 

What he said next was very cool. 

He said that a few years ago he was looking through his Facebook timeline, and he noticed that he seemed to be in the same place in life, doing the "same old thing," and he realized that he needed to make some changes and be intentional about what he was learning and doing to ensure that he was continuing to grow and evolve. 

...he was looking through his Facebook timeline, and he noticed that he seemed to be in the same place in life, doing the "same old thing,"

I thought that what he shared was so inspiring! If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that I'm a planner and goal-setter, and the idea of using my social media timeline as a tool for goal setting really resonates with me. 

We're in the last quarter of 2020, and this is the time for us to be personally preparing for a new year of personal and professional growth. This weekend, I plan to review my timelines and take some notes on where I've been and where I would like to go. 

Here are the nitty-gritty questions that are a part of my goal-setting framework:

     -Where have I been?

     -Where am I now?

     -Where do I want to go?

     -What do I need to do to get there?

     -What do I need to learn to get there?

     -What speedbumps or roadblocks will I need to overcome?

     -Who will I need to help me get there?

     -Who can I help along the way?

Do you have a method to your goal-setting? I would love to hear from you in the comments below, or you can reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook.



Sunday, October 11, 2020

Why it's Important to Look for the Gifts [ blog post + podcast link]

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting TheCompelledEducator.com

Gratitude is more than a word. It's an action. And the research shows that it's beneficial for us to show it, express it, and live it. 

With 2020 nearing a close, there are many people who are looking forward to closing this chapter and opening a new one. I've expressed on many an occasion that I'm ready to drop-kick 2020 and bring in 2021! 

Throughout the year, we've experienced stories of loss, struggle, grief, and negativity. However, I would be remiss not to mention the gifts that have come about during the COVID crisis. 

Admittedly, there have been times during the COVID crisis that I've not been grateful. I've been angry, bored, selfish, and frustrated, and everything in between. I've done a lot of work during my teen and adult years on ignoring negative feelings that want to play over and over in my head. While I did experience those thoughts over these past months, I knew from the work I've done (and are still doing!) on myself that gratitude wins out. Every time.


Researchers have determined that gratitude does four things:

1. Gratitude disconnects us from toxic, negative emotions and the ruminating that often accompanies them. 

2. Expressing gratitude helps us even if we don’t explicitly share it with someone. 

3. The positive effects of gratitude writing compound like interest. You might not notice the benefit of a daily or weekly practice, but after several weeks and months, you will.

4. A gratitude practice trains the brain to be more in tune with experiencing gratitude — a positive plus a positive, equal more positives.

Source

In the podcast episode "Looking for the Gifts" (linked below), my friend Allyson Apsey and I share with listeners some of the benefits we discovered during the pandemic. 

Allyson and I had connected with each other multiple times over the summer and into the start of the new school year, but none of the times were right for either of us to continue and/or record the next episode. As we geared up to get back to our podcast series, we intentionally chose to share positivity and joy we discovered during the chaos.

ENJOY!



I would love to hear from you! What gifts did you discover during the COVID chaos? How do you practice gratitude? Leave me a comment below or connect with me on twitter


You can order Allyson's books by clicking on each picture below:

        


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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

5 times you need to press the Pause button



Slowing down can be hard. If you work in a job that is fast-paced, demanding, or highly task-oriented, you can start to feel like a hamster on a wheel. If you're a "Type A" person with a healthy dose of perfectionism (Type 1 on the Enneagram), you may put pressure on yourself to constantly achieve and keep the wheel moving (and usually faster than the day before).

In today's connected world, with so much coming at us, we can sometimes feel a fight or flight response in reaction to the stress, "noise," and demands. If you're facing a fight or flight response, pressing the pause button is an option that shouldn't be overlooked.

Pressing the pause button is important because if we don't, life will come at us in the form of burnout, overwhelm, exhaustion, breakdown and/or illness. Maybe you've experienced a time when you got caught up in all the things and didn't take time to pause. Maybe you're there now, needing this message and needing to hit press pause. 

When should you hit the pause button?


1. When you're under the weather. Illness is a strong signal that perhaps you're overdoing it. It's your body's way of signaling to you to take a rest.

2. When you need to make an important decision. Whether it's to "sleep on it" or to give yourself time to make an intentional choice, hit the pause button during this time.

3. When you're not giving your best. When you know your standard of excellence you've set for yourself and realize that you're not living up to your own expectations, you probably need to hit the pause button. Re-evaluate and re-energize before taking on another task.

4. When the busy-ness leads to boredom. Spending time on menial tasks that don't lead to end results can be a sure sign of needing to hit the pause button and take time to re-visit priorities.

5. When you need a break. Consistently pushing yourself without time for rest and recovery can lead to burnout. 


hit-the-pause-button


What does hitting the pause button look like?


- It may be taking time for deep breathing

- It could be taking the stairs instead of the elevator

- It could mean taking a break from social media

- It may mean spending time doing something you love

- It could mean leaving the email in draft form instead of sending immediately

- It may be closing your office door and turning off the lights for a few minutes

- It might be a walk around the block, building, or parking lot


While you may not be able to slow the pace of your life, you may be able to put some calm in it by pressing the pause button at important and regular times. 


I would love to hear how you "Press Pause" in your own life. You can leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook


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