3 Little Known Truths to Help You Through Tough Times

When times are tough, it’s difficult to stay focused on your goals and aspirations. You may find yourself wondering when the hardships in your life will go away. The truth is, life’s hardships never truly fade away. You can use this to your advantage, though, by viewing these challenges as opportunities.

The more you’re able to view life’s tests as catalysts for growth, the better prepared you’ll be to sail through them.

Take these points to heart, and you’ll soon be on your way to navigating life’s most tumultuous seas:

  1. Pain can drive you onward. Pain – whether physical or mental – is an indication that something, somewhere, isn’t right. People are taught from birth that pain is a negative force meant to torment or beguile us, but this isn’t the case. Pain can serve as a beacon in the darkness, a torch that illuminates the path.

* Oftentimes, psychological pain is the result of unresolved issues that are smoldering beneath the surface. Only by confronting these issues, by bringing them to the surface, can you move beyond them.

* Everything has an opposite, and pain is the opposite of joy. If not for pain, we would have no understanding of joy as a state of being. Don’t run from pain. Instead, face it head on and ask yourself, “What is the cause of my pain?”

* The answer can lead you to joy if you’re willing to address the source of your pain.

  1. Your mindset determines your outcomes. How you react to hardship often determines how much of it you will experience.

* Your reactions have immediate and lasting effects on both your body and mind, and choosing to act instead of react can free you from habitual behavior that might be causing challenges in the first place.

* Optimism and realism aren’t mutually exclusive. Life’s ups and downs are part of the relativistic nature of the universe. It’s important that you face both with equal vigor.

* When you swim in a lake or ocean, you know perfectly well that the crash of one wave leads to the cresting of another. Life operates in the same way, so expect each swell to bring with it its own challenge. Avoid letting negativity color your perceptions.

* If you expect pain, you will react in pain. And if you react in pain – whether the threat is real or not – you will miss out on any opportunities hidden within the challenge itself.

  1. Most fears are not representative of reality. It’s important that you differentiate between fears that stem from physical threats and fears that arise in the mind.

* The latter are often created by the brain as it runs various scenarios deep within your subconscious. When you dream, you become aware of this process. These mental fears are meant to keep you from taking unnecessary risks.

* To succeed in today’s high-tech and interconnected world, you have to be able to face these fears head on. This is the only way to convince your subconscious that the threats it perceives are not real.

* Only with repeated exposure to discomfort can you convince your subconscious mind that it has nothing to fear from these non-physical threats.

* You can absolutely overcome fear every single time if you’re willing to force yourself through the discomfort it generates. Typically, this discomfort will melt away the moment you dive into the task or situation you’re dreading.

Taking action with these concepts in mind will help you find solutions for many of your challenges. When you can manage the present, the future will take care of itself.

Remember: opportunity only exists in the present moment. And in order to build toward your ideal tomorrow, you have to deal effectively with the life you have today.

The three mirrors, physical, emotional and mental, which one are you avoiding?

So, as my life transitioned and I began to “reflect” on my experiences it seemed an appropriate time to really find out what the “magic formula” was that really helped me to turn my life around.

I knew that being physically fit and working out on regular basis was a huge part of my journey, challenging not only my mind but also my body to push even further than I ever thought possible but I was also beginning to realise that as big a part as it played in my life it was no greater than the sum of all its parts, namely the way I felt “mentally” and how organising my life to suit my purpose and following my own ideals and not dancing to the tune of others was incredibly empowering. Setting goals for myself, setting time aside to plan and think, organising my day to suit my purpose and nobody else’s.

Then I thought about the part that my “emotions” had played in my life, how at times during those significant highs nothing seemed insurmountable, nothing was impossible and I proved it to myself over and over again as every task and goal I set myself I exceeded using the endorphin high from my exercise sessions as the catalyst I need to further fuel my ambitions.

Yet I also realised that when I plummeted to those almighty lows, the endorphin high and the physical challenges were just not strong enough to help me heal, I need something else, I needed to go deeper.

How do I deal with the anger, the sadness, the fear, the guilt, the depression and anxiety?

So, I began to work on my emotions using the very same strategies I share with you in this book and self-same strategies I’ve shared with hundreds of individuals.

The three mirrors concept has been shaped, formulated, tried and tested not only in my own life but with other people as well. The more I worked with individuals and groups I realised their “inner reflections” the mirror they were the most reluctant to look into was always the place to begin working with them.

By looking into that mirror no matter how difficult or painful, be it physical, mental or emotional was the first brave step in beginning to achieve the lifestyles they’d always dreamed about.

I then then devised the three mirrors test which will pinpoint the exact mirror or mirrors you’re avoiding, address the issues, basically shining a light on your inner fears and giving you the tools, techniques and strategies you’ve always wanted to move your life forward.

So, my friend, it’s time to be brave, step up to the mirror and tell me which mirror are avoiding and why?

The three mirrors and a full description of how they work and affect our everyday life can be found in my book

20s Plenty Plan“The 20’s Plenty Plan – How to get the life you’ve always desired and feel 20 years younger in only 20 minutes a day: release date FRIDAY the 30th JUNE!

Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/20s-Plenty-Plan-Younger-Minutes-ebook/dp/B072MJ53NH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498757488&sr=8-1&keywords=twenty%27s+plenty

 

How to Evaluate Your Self-Esteem

The way we view ourselves and feel about ourselves affects every area of our life. Good self-esteem will bring you better physical, mental, and emotional health. It will also contribute to better relationships. When your self-esteem suffers, all of these things do too.

Knowing how you function in this area is highly important, and something everyone should be in touch with. How can a person assess where they are at in regards to self-esteem?

Questionnaires

A great way to start, which can also be fun, is to take a self-esteem questionnaire. There are many which can be found online. Preferably you would look for a reputable source, of which there are several. These can be a great tool to make oneself aware of potential issues in self-esteem.

General Emotional Health

Healthy self-esteem will neither inflate your ego, nor cause you to feel less than worthy. When you have good self-esteem, you will find that your emotional health is generally in good shape. You will have an overall sense of confidence and self-love, which will spread to every area of your life.

Inner Thoughts

What thoughts go through your mind on a daily or hourly basis? Do you feel positive things about where you are at in life, and who you are on the inside and outside? If, after making a mistake, you find yourself berating yourself and putting yourself down, your self-esteem may be low.

Being able to forgive yourself and try again after making a mistake is a good indication that this area of your life is likely in balance. Try to treat yourself with the fairness and patience that you treat others with. You deserve to feel worthy and to forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Feedback from Friends

Ask those in your inner circle where they would rate your self-esteem. Choose the closest friends who you can expect honesty from. The people who know you best, and have your best interest at heart, will be most likely to give you an honest evaluation. Ask them if they feel you have high or low self-esteem, and request that they add some thoughts on the subject.

Educate Yourself

Find a class by a motivational speaker, and go with an open mind. Go to the library or bookstore and choose a few books from the self-help section on the subject. Educate yourself about self-esteem and all the issues surrounding it. Make a point of reading the books and doing the self-evaluations and completing the suggested activities. You are worth the time it takes to get to know yourself and to make changes that will raise your self-esteem to a healthy level.

Self-esteem is crucial to one’s health in every area. It is wise to assess where yours is at, and to do so at regular intervals. Keeping check on one’s self-esteem allows a person to see what is going on inside, and to make necessary changes in order to stay on the road to emotional health, and a happy life.

4 Strategies for Overcoming Perfectionism

Perfectionists strive to be the best at everything they do, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many perfectionists excel in their fields. But that doesn’t mean that this personality trait isn’t without its downsides. When a minor setback feels like a major personal failure, that’s when perfectionism becomes a burden.

Perfectionists may hold themselves or others to standards they know are unrealistic. If your perfectionism interferes with your ability to form or maintain relationships, there are steps you can take to break free.

Perfectionism vs. Aspiring to Greatness

There is no work of art in any museum that’s perfect. Every famous painting has plenty of blemishes that only a trained eye can spot.

The Mona Lisa is a great work of art, but if you look at it with X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, you’ll find that the painting is made up of over 40 layers of paint. Had Da Vinci gone much further beyond the 40th coat, he could have lost the subtlety of human expression his paintings are known for.

Perfectionists tend to hyper-focus on even the tiniest flaws. If you focus on the things you’re unable to do perfectly, you may end up doing nothing at all. You’ll procrastinate so much that the final product will be sub-par.

Do you see how perfectionism can become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Acknowledge that perfection is unattainable. Instead, aspire to greatness.

Implement these strategies and overcome your obsession with being perfect:

  1. Break it down. Instead of envisioning your project as a perfect whole, try viewing it as a series of well-designed, interlocking pieces.

* If you put your focus into completing each step, you’ll find that the entire process goes smoother. Stop worrying about the outcome. Instead, focus on one task after another.

* You climb a flight of stairs by putting one foot in front of the other. Avoid expecting an immediate victory. By keeping your mind focused on the task at hand, you can create forward momentum. You’ll have less time to scrutinize the overall project because you’ll be immersed in the present moment.

* If you find yourself stressing over individual steps, break your task down into smaller chunks. Complete the next action without rushing. If you take it step-by-step, you’ll chip away at a large project without agonizing over whether it’s perfect.

  1. Give others a break. If you find yourself imposing your perfectionism on others, stop and ask why. It’s helpful to realize that others aren’t required to live by your standards.

* The more slack you give others, the easier you can be on yourself. Everyone has unique skills and talents. Keep in mind that your friends, family, and loved ones can do many things better than you. However, it’s also likely that you excel in areas your peers struggle with.

* When you ask your friends to perform at your level in a skill where they lack confidence, they may feel controlled. Remember that our imperfections are what make us human.

  1. Think in gradations. One powerful technique that you can use to claim the life you deserve is to learn to think in gradients.

* Grey is not black, and one point below 100% is not zero. At the end of the day, only you know how much work you put into a project. Be your own authority, and congratulate yourself on your effort.

* All-or-nothing thinking is unproductive because it only allows for two possibilities. But reality isn’t binary. Computers rely on binary reasoning, but that’s because computers lack the ability to feel.

* You learn and grow the most as a result of your missteps. Reality isn’t an all-or nothing proposition.

  1. Embrace your sense of humour. Nothing defuses perfectionism like a healthy sense of humour.

* Cultivate the ability to laugh at yourself, and start to see beyond a single viewpoint.

* If you can find the humour in your failure, you can analyse it objectively and learn from it.

Life isn’t perfect and neither are you. Give yourself permission to let go of your perfectionist ways. Take action today by using these tips to create measurable changes in your life. You’ll be happy you did.

5 Foods That Can Halt Diabetes

It’s no secret that diabetes is becoming more commonplace in our society. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering about the efficacy and side effects of insulin, and if there are any natural foods that can help you control blood sugar.

Type 2 diabetes affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Every cell in your body depends on a constant supply of a sugar called glucose. Your body is very efficient in converting certain foods into glucose. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, your cells may have a hard time absorbing this sugar.

That’s where insulin comes in. Insulin shuttles the simple sugars in your blood stream throughout the body, ensuring that each cell is nourished. However, ingesting foods that help your body do this naturally can minimize the number of pinpricks and injections you’ll need.

Keeping your blood sugar on an even keel can prevent the more serious effects of diabetes, such as kidney damage, slow-healing, and loss of vision.

These foods can help you control your blood sugar:

  1. Cinnamon. Cinnamon is an aromatic spice that’s derived from the bark of trees in the Cinnamomum family. Instantly recognizable for its rich, almost sweet flavor, cinnamon is a popular holiday spice.

* In people with diabetes, cinnamon has been found to be a powerful blood sugar regulator.

* According to the American Diabetes Association, cinnamon lowers overall blood sugar after 40 days of consecutive consumption. An easy way to incorporate cinnamon into your diet is to add it to coffee. As a bonus, you may find that you rely less on artificial sugars.

* Another way to add this spice to your diet is to sprinkle it over oatmeal. If you chew sugar-free gum, reach for the cinnamon variety. Additionally, a study from Wheeling Jesuit University found that cinnamon also strengthens memory.

  1. Ginseng. According to the eCAM study, “Ginseng on Hyperglycemia: Effects and Mechanisms,” ginseng lowers fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels.

* Researchers aren’t entirely sure how this works, but many experts believe that ginseng protects pancreatic beta-cells.

* You can add ginseng to tea, and it’s available in chewing gum and nutritional supplements. Ginseng is also a blood thinner, so be careful if you’re on blood-thinning medications.

  1. Broccoli. Often touted as a “super food,” broccoli contains more chromium than any other easily obtainable vegetable.

* Several studies have demonstrated that chromium stabilizes blood sugar. A single serving of broccoli contains 53% of the Dietary Reference Intake for the mineral.

  1. Oatmeal. Fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar, and oatmeal is full of fiber.

* A cup of whole oats will provide you with 16 grams of life-sustaining fiber. Additionally, fiber is high in magnesium, which is important for sleep quality and nervous system function.

  1. Peanuts. The Harvard School of Public Health has demonstrated that a few peanuts or a spoonful of peanut butter in the morning can help control blood sugar.

* Peanuts have a glycemic index score of 14. Peanuts release their sugar content into the body slowly, which keeps you full and may prevent cravings for sugary foods.

Incorporating these foods into your diet today could mean relying less on insulin tomorrow. But remember to consult your doctor before making any major changes in diet. Also, be aware of the potential for allergies to foods you haven’t tried before. If you plan to add many new foods to your diet, it’s a good idea to do so one at a time.

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There is no such thing as work life balance

When you say to yourself “I want work, life, balance what you are really doing is programming your subconscious mind as to what you want out of life. The only problem is the subconscious will take what you mean quite literally and it what it really hears is “I want” and if the I want is attached to the words “work” guess what, it will give you exactly that…W O R K!

The law of attraction (LOA) is very specific, if you remember the DVD The Secret or if you read the book what it told you was that whatever you focussed on you could create and manifest into your life, so if you are literally focussing on “I want work, life balance” your subconscious doesn’t hear the last half of the sentence just the first bit, so you really have to start getting really focussed and clever here.

What you are really after is balance in your life and that the entire package, family, leisure time, time for yourself, work, health, happiness, joy, fulfilment are all in alignment and congruent with each other.

You also have to start from the desired “end goal” which is balance in your life to start making the changes you want in your life.

So how do we do this?

Firstly, and this is very important, you simply must start making time to incorporate into your life the things that truly do make you happy, whatever they might be. Time with your family, quality time with yourself, going for long walks, knitting, driving cars, whatever it is that makes you happy just go out there and start doing it!

For some reason, we can always make the time to find time for more work, which isn’t our priority, but strangely enough when asked to make time to do the things that we enjoy in life we are seemingly incapable of making that time and yet the principles are the same but we always prioritise work!

The company you are employed by and as much as you want or don’t want will ALWAYS be there that’s almost a given, but precious time making yourself happy is almost finite and before you know it life has passed you by and you wonder where you could have made a positive difference not only to your own life but to the lives of your nearest and dearest.

I know this from bitter experience, although I was lucky enough to “see the light” and from an absolute disaster was able to make significant and lasting changes in my life although from the beginning I was able to have enough power over my own life to be able to make time for my family so that when my son and daughter were growing up, even though I was running an incredibly busy company I still found the time to make sure I didn’t miss my kids growing up or spending time with my family and loved ones.

I inserted “codicils” into my contract that I was going to the gym every single day at 12.30 as I found that was the perfect panacea for everything in my life at that time, that was “me time” time to unwind, and when I came back I was always energised and recharged ready to get on with whatever the day threw at me and no matter what time I had to stay till as I also insisted that I start later in the day so that I could take my kids to school in the mornings.

These were conscious decisions I took at the time to make the changes in my life that I knew and wanted at that time in my life to bring me fulfilment and although it wasn’t perfect it worked!

It wasn’t until many years later when my life crashed and burned that I started to make my own personal life balance an utmost priority and the techniques and strategies I’ve used over the years are the same ones I’m sharing here with you NOW!

These strategies work, I know because I’ve used them, I still use them to this day and I’ve taught hundreds of others how to use them to find happiness in their lives.

The time to start making those changes is quite literally NOW!

This is the moment there is NEVER a better time, tomorrow has gone, tomorrow hasn’t been created yet, but remember, the life you live TODAY was created by the thoughts, feelings and actions you had yesterday, last week, last month, last year. So, doesn’t it make sense that the thoughts, feelings and actions you start to have today, tomorrow, next week, next year will shape and form your life.

How to Change Your Mind

When it comes to changing your mind, do you view that as a negative? In other words, do you have the perception of someone changing his or her mind as being indecisive or weak? Well, there are several reasons why changing your mind can, in fact, be a positive event.

From childhood, there are many stories we tell ourselves as we absorb the environment around us. For some of us, we might believe that our siblings are older, wiser, and smarter, and that we simply cannot match up with their intelligence. For others, there may be a mindset of living small because every time we did not succeed we were praised and accepted anyhow instead of encouraged and motivated to do better. Doing better may have somehow been viewed and interpreted as wrong and unaccepting.

We all want our children to succeed and, as such, we may or may not set the bar too low and not encourage a growth mindset. We may instill in them that they are set in their ways and there is no chance for growth, and by the way, we do this inadvertently.

Labels

Sometimes we are given labels and, all too often, we have no clue that we do not have to accept or even identify with those labels. We may be taught that Johnny is the math genius while Suzy is the musician in the family – a limiting mindset that is more or less fixed. Did you know that you could change those labels by working harder to be whatever it is you wish to be in the world of academics? How is this possible?

* Start with recognizing that you are capable and have the ability to change your mindset. This is the first step in changing your mind.
* Recognize that you can change your label at any time. All you have to do is choose to do so.
* Next, it’s time to get to work. No change comes without work involved.

Practices to Take on

If you are a parent, there are certain steps you can take in order to facilitate a growth mindset. Start by giving your child a way and a means to reach higher goals rather than labeling them as “not good in math,” or “better in art.”

* Don’t set the bar too high, as unrealistic expectations and goals are not beneficial.

* Don’t set the bar too low so that no challenge or growth is initiated.

* Offer constructive criticism in order to have your child reach and grow, which sends the message that they are most certainly capable of doing great things as long as they choose to. A growth mindset is for everyone.

If you are a teacher or coach, it is better to facilitate growth by motivating rather than labeling or viewing your student or athlete as someone who is, “not as good as” someone else or “not as talented in a certain area or skill.”

* Consider each member of the team as an individual. Seek to discover their weaknesses. In this manner, you can then concentrate on how to challenge them.
* Challenge them to reach greater heights by motivating rather than considering them to be “as is” in any arena.
* Give them the belief that they can and will work hard to achieve greater results; that they can be stretched to grow.

When it comes to changing your mind, you have a choice. Face the areas of your life that are your weakest; avoidance doesn’t work, work hard in that area to excel, and never stop learning.

Help Your Child Excel

School is important in many ways. Children not only develop academically and intellectually, but they also develop socially as they learn to deal with challenging situations. Kids that do well in all aspects of school tend to be more successful. Children that struggle often lack the same skills and opportunities later in life.

As a parent, there is a tremendous responsibility to ensure that your child is successful.

Help your child academically with these strategies:

  1. Stress the importance of school and schoolwork. Require that homework be completed before other activities are permitted. Set expectations and help your child to meet them. Teach them how to study for tests. Consider giving rewards for high performance.
  2. Create a good environment for studying. Today, even kindergarteners have homework. Help them complete their work by eliminating clutter and chaos.

* By providing a good place to work, you’re showing that homework and school are important.

  1. Be encouraging. Children love to impress their parents. Be encouraging and show your pride. When children are obviously underperforming, get to the root cause.
  2. Be involved. Know your child’s teachers. Be aware of their grades and progress in school. Ensure that your kids know that you know. Just making the effort to stay informed will make a difference.

* If your children think you don’t care, they are less likely to care themselves.

  1. Get special services if you think your child requires them. School systems have professionals available to test your child if you have any concerns. Your child may be entitled to extra assistance. You’re paying taxes for a reason. Take full advantage of the available resources in your school district.

Help your child socially in these ways:

  1. Help them with their social skills. The ability to relate and successfully deal with others is perhaps the most important of all life skills. Give them advice and support along the way.

* Many smaller children don’t have the slightest idea how to approach someone new and start a conversation. Teach your child how to make friends.

  1. Be understanding. Teenagers are stressed and very concerned with their reputation amongst their peers. Of course, it seems silly to you now. But was it silly to you back in the day? Keep that in mind.
  2. Allow them to pick out their clothes. Children of all ages can be concerned with their appearance. Take them shopping. Then, let them choose what they want to wear each day (within reason).

* You might be unaware of how a cool 14-year old dresses these days. If they’re not dressed appropriately, you can bet they’ll hear about it at school.

Use these techniques to help your child with extracurricular activities:

  1. Encourage participation. Clubs, sports, plays, and music are all great ways to pad the transcript while getting involved in safe, supervised activities. We all are unaware of our hidden strengths and talents without a little exploration. Encourage your children to discover themselves.
  2. Volunteer. Depending on your child’s age, they’ll either love or hate the idea of you volunteering at their school. There are many opportunities to volunteer for classroom activities, field trips, dances, and other activities.

* Ask the school about volunteer opportunities for parents.

Helping your child excel in all aspects of an academic setting is an important part of being a parent. Success in school is helpful later in life. Good academic performance provides a great range of options in the future. Social success ensures that your child is able to make friends and work with others successfully.

Success tends to breed success. Make the effort to support your child’s schooling. Let them know that it’s important and you care. This is one way to have a huge impact on the quality of their lives now and forever.

5 Strategies To Help You Become More Assertive

As you seek success in your business, love life, or any other venture, it helps to take stock of your level of self-assertiveness. Assertiveness is the ability to honestly express yourself without undue self-doubt or anxiety.

If others think they can walk all over you, they tend to view you in a negative light. While some are born assertive, for others self-assertiveness is a cultivated skill.

Learn how to become more self-assertive by following these steps:

  1. Identify your boundaries. The very first step to mastering self-assertiveness is figuring out where to draw the line. How much abuse are you willing to take?

* Be honest with yourself and avoid letting self-doubt stop you from defining new boundaries.

* Start by writing down where you draw the line in various situations, and pay attention to your internal reactions. Recall past situations in which you let someone go too far. How did you feel? At what point could you have put your foot down?

* Research has shown that when you externalize your thought process by writing things down, you’ll have a better chance of making a lasting impact on your future behavior.

  1. Forgive wisely. Although the ability to forgive is important for your well-being, it’s possible to go too far.

* If you continually forgive someone for their bad behavior, they’re more likely to offend again. Parasitic personalities, when they realize they can hurt you with impunity, will do so.

* One way you can empower yourself is to cut ties with the toxic individuals in your life. While the split may be painful initially, you’ll likely blossom once you’re free of their influence.

* With your newfound self-esteem and confidence, you’ll attract individuals who will treat you with the respect you deserve.

  1. Think strategically. As you build up your self-assertiveness, you’ll need a strategy to deal with individuals who overstep your boundaries.

* Assertiveness requires a clear and calm discourse, rather than a verbal shouting match. Generally, the calmer you are when you engage the offender, the more effective your conversation will be.

* Even extremely intelligent people can be totally ignorant about how their behavior affects others. This isn’t meant to give these individuals an excuse. However, it’s possible that if you haven’t asserted yourself previously, the person overstepping their bounds may be unaware of how their behavior comes across.

* The acronym ASSA represents an effective strategy to keep the conversation on topic and to the point:

o Alert the person that you would like to speak with them.
o State your grievance clearly and calmly.
o Sell the benefits of them altering their behavior.
o Agree that they’ll do things differently in the future.

* If you find yourself slipping at any point, bring yourself back to the last main point of the conversation before it veered.

  1. Remain calm. You may find that when you confront someone about their behavior, they become defensive. Do your best to remain calm.

* The individual may feel as if they’re under attack, especially if you haven’t taken them to task before. In this situation, your opponent will likely try to derail you by changing the subject. Avoid allowing this to happen.

  1. Use honesty as a tool. Honesty is essential to healthy relationships, and you can use it as a tool to reinforce your boundaries.

Set clear boundaries and let others know that you’re not a pushover. You’ll likely find that becoming assertive will change your life. Once you’ve reclaimed your power, avoid letting anyone encroach on your domain ever again.

8 Ways to Energize And Unleash Your Creativity

If you have a career that requires creativity or you’ve ever needed a creative solution to a problem, you’re aware of how challenging it can be to be creative on command. Creativity seems to come and go with little rhyme or reason. Have you ever wished you could proactively boost your creativity? You can!

Like any other skill, the ability to increase your creativity gets better with practice and experience. Get started today and you’ll find yourself being more creative in the future.

These strategies will encourage your creativity to blossom:

  1. Work in a new environment. It’s amazing how much a change of scenery can help! Try working in the library or a coffee shop. Rearrange your office and change the view. When you do the same things in the same place, you’ll tend to think the same thoughts.

* Turn off your autopilot and expose your senses to new stimuli.

  1. Pretend you’re helping someone else find solutions. Many people find that they have more creative ideas when helping others solve their challenges.

* Pretend you’re helping a friend and let the ideas flow. Depersonalizing the issue seems to free up a part of the mind that’s otherwise stifled.

  1. Brainstorm in pairs. Have you ever noticed that you and a friend or coworker find more creative ideas between the two of you rather than when brainstorming in a group? Break away from the group and pair up with just one other person.

* When a large group brainstorms, most of the group members lack a sense of accountability. It’s too easy to be passive.

  1. Try being creative at a different time of the day. If you normally write in the morning, try the evening. Try staying up extra late or getting up extra early for a change. If you’ve been feeling stuck at 9 AM for a while, it’s time try a different hour of the day. Set your alarm clock for 3 AM and force yourself to work for 20 minutes.
  2. Try some music. Few things can change your mood and get those creative juices flowing faster than a great song. Try different types of music and see what works. Avoid sticking to only your favorites. Branch out and listen to something new.
  3. Meditate. Meditation is useful tool for giving your mind a well-needed break. You’ll find your thoughts start to become reenergized. Simple and elegant solutions frequently reveal themselves after a short period of meditation.

* Meditation requires a little practice, but it’s easier to learn than you may think. Meditate on your challenges and be open to the thoughts that arise.

  1. Stay hydrated. Get a drink of water! Your body is mostly water. Even a small degree of dehydration causes all sorts of biological processes to go haywire. If you’re feeling stuck, take a minute to drink a large glass of water.

* Remember to drink throughout the day and the evening.

  1. Go outside. Try getting outside for a little exercise. The late John Denver frequently commented that all of his best songs were written immediately after an exhilarating, outdoor activity. He frequently skied, drove racecars, and flew experimental airplanes.

* You may lack a plan, but you can still get outside and do something stimulating!

Creativity doesn’t automatically happen on command. There are times when creativity is needed, but it’s nowhere to be found. Add these tips to your creativity pool the next time you’re feeling uninspired. If one strategy fails to yield the results you desire, try another. With practice, you can learn to unleash your creativity on demand.