Category: Lifestyle

4 rules you must follow if you want to succeed

4 steps for success

Life is becoming too complex. There is too much going on, too much information overloading our lives. Our minds are wandering aimlessly in the digital clouds, following every aspect of the lives of others and keeping up with what’s trending daily.

And if we continue this way our heads will explode. Well probably not literally, but certainly we cannot possibly filter the constant and never-ending stream of information, and somehow hope to maintain productivity in our own lives.

You may disagree, but I observe that people are doing more and more, yet seemingly achieving less and less. I hear people constantly saying how busy they are, that they don’t have time to exercise, don’t have time to spend with their families, don’t have time to sleep, don’t have time to do the things they’d really love to do.

Why are we so busy? Technology was meant to make life easier, not more complicated.

I myself am guilty of this! So what can be done to make sure that we achieve the things in life that are important to us?

Well I have a challenge for you. Try to follow these 4 rules for the next few months. Don’t forget to use the hashtag when sharing your ideas, photos and experiences on social media. If you have a great tip to share with others then make sure to include the hashtag. If you mention @mrdavidtiong in your tweets then I can retweet as well.

Rule 1: Be Now – use the hashtag #BeNow

Be Now

Life is getting more complex. Apparently we must do this, and we must do that. With no time to stop, breathe and reflect, how do we know where we have been, where we are now, or where we are going?

“Be Now” is about stopping right now and looking at where you are. It’s about being aware of what is happening around you. Aware of what is happening in your own life. Aware of your momentum.

Are you moving forwards, are you moving backwards, or do you think you are moving but really you are staying in the same spot, like running on a treadmill?

Decide where you want to be this time next year, and think backwards from that goal to see the path that joins where you are now, with that place you want to be. Do you really want to be in the same spot you are now, or perhaps you would like to be closer to reaching your dreams and aspirations?

Life is short, so don’t just show up. Be present, be where you want to be. Don’t waste your time or the precious time of others. Do you really need to read each article, do you really need to understand every concept, do you really need to learn that latest trick?

If you think you do then you will never have enough time in the day or night to get to where you want to be.

#BeNow is all about continuously being aware of exactly where you are at each moment in time. Being aware of how you feel. Being aware of the people around you and your relationships with them. Being aware of what is filling your day. This is the only way to keep on track with your purpose and your why.

Rule 2: Be Short – use the hashtag #BeShort

Be Short

This is not an excuse to be rude to others by being short with them, nor the permission to take shortcuts when you shouldn’t.

No, this is all about not over-complicating things. Think simplicity and minimalism. What 3 steps do you need to reach that dream or goal?

Keep procedures simple!

Obviously some projects and activities require many little tasks, however keep on track by trying to break each task into 3 steps. If you think in 3 steps then it’s easier to keep from running on the spot or chasing your tail in circles. Layout the 3 steps. Write them down. Tick them off when you are done.

Start today with your first step. Whenever you are faced with a new task, stop and decide if it’s really important. Is it really necessary? Is it really going to get you where you want to be?

Note that I’m not saying to be selfish and neglect others if they don’t fit into your goals. What I am saying is that we often decide to take on tasks that we think are important to our businesses and to our lives, however if we consider how they actually fit into the bigger picture, then we might see that often they are not actually important at all.

#BeShort is all about seeing the bigger picture and thinking what can I eliminate to simplify. Eg. If you type an email, before you hit the send button, stop and think about the purpose of that email. Will this purpose be clear and obvious to the receiver? Can this email be read and responded to in 3 minutes? Remember that people have limited time and limited concentration so #BeShort

#BeShort is about seeing the shortest path between 2 places – where you are and where you want to be, the start of a project and the end of a project, the pain of a problem and the joy of a solution.

Rule 3: Be Bold – use the hashtag #BeBold

Be Bold

A boy and his dad were walking along a path one afternoon. Ahead they could see that there was water across the path. The boy turned to his dad and asked “What chance do you think I have of jumping all the way across that big puddle?”

The dad paused for a moment and then replied “It’s a big jump, do you think you would make it?” The boy then decided that he wouldn’t try because he might land in the water. So the pair walked around the puddle and continued on their way.

Suddenly the dad burst out “You had no chance of making that jump”. To this the boy glared at his dad in disgust, then turned around, took a run up and leapt over the puddle with ease. “See you were wrong dad”.

The dad smiled, “No I wasn’t wrong son. As long as you thought that you couldn’t make it, you had no chance whatsoever. But when you changed your mind and decided that you could do it, then you took a chance and made it happen.”

This is what #BeBold is all about. Taking risks, making mistakes, realising that sitting safely on the sidelines watching the game go by doesn’t get you anywhere.

So be bold, be brave. Remember that if you are failing, then you are actually getting somewhere. “It is better to fail at doing something, than succeed at doing nothing”.

The following comment, from possibly the greatest basketball player of all time, sums up #BeBold

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan

Rule 4: Be True – use the hashtag #BeTrue

Be True

What does it mean to Be True? In simple terms it means to be a real and genuine person- authentic, not a faker, not a hypocrite.

Often in our quest to reach our destination, we start to lose our originality and our individuality. So remember who you are. Don’t strive to be someone else, someone you’re not.

I stay true to myself and my style, and I am always pushing myself to be aware of that and be original ~ Aaliyah

Remember who you are and why you have chosen your path, make time to reflect, to breathe and to share with others. Being true is about being you and being thankful for what you have – both your talents and your imperfections.

People will tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. It’s easy to get caught up in what is trivial or superficial. Be sure to stay true to your core values. Follow your instincts and let your values determine your choices in life and business. Don’t be afraid to be honest.

Being true is also essential in your relationships. True friends can be relied on whether you’re happy or sad, whether times are good or times are tough. Be a true friend.

Be True is also about doing what is right – Give more than you take. Be Generous. You can apply this philosophy in so may areas of life, in relationships and in work.

Getting Started

Start today. #BeNow #BeShort #BeBold #BeTrue. Try the challenge and take back control of where you are and where you are going. Share the images above by hovering over them and share to your Social streams.

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4 Top Tips for Time Management in Work

time management tips
“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives”

~J. Michael Straczynski

There seems to be countless quotes about TIME, endless ideas about how to find time and save time, delegating and prioritising, what we should do and what we shouldn’t do.

This is one area of our lives that if we could find a way to gain control of, then we would have an incredible power that few ever find.

I am searching for that power, and so far it would seem that the pursuit of finding more time, ironically leads to less time. However, these are some tips that I came across this week that I wanted to share.

TIP 1: Know your limits

Maybe it’s time to think about whether you are biting off more than you can chew. Consider finishing off some of your current priorities, rather than taking on more tasks. If you cannot finish them, then can they be delegated to someone else?

TIP 2: Review your progress once a week

When we are in the middle of piles of work, when we are being bombarded with new work coming in, when we are constantly trying to meet the targets and keep up, we CANNOT see the bigger picture. So take ONE day out of each week to look over your calendar, your journal, your planners and look to see that what you are spending your time on. Make sure that you are spending your time to actually help you reach your goals. Look for where you are wasting time, look for ways to improve your processes to become more efficient. Look at the bigger picture.

TIP 3: Avoid perfection

This one is my personal weakness. I am not content to let mediocre work pass for perfection. My motto is “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right”.
However time and time again, this ends up causing me to fall behind in my work, as too much attention to detail means that I underestimate timeframes. Then the dilemma arises of what doesn’t get done?
So consider (I know I will be) what tasks don’t need perfection to still pass for quality work. If you can spend a little less time here and there, it will quickly free up valuable time.

TIP 4: Rotational Training

Often we need to learn new skills, or maintain certain skills. Problem is that we are limited in spare time to dedicate towards this. The concept of Rotational Training is that you want to use different sized time allocations for your learning in a rotational way to enhance learning and maintain motivation and enthusiasm. This technique can be applied to areas of development that are not necessarily urgent, but still important.

Let’s say that you need to work on 3 important skills/tasks over the next 3-4 months, namely A, B and C. Instead of trying to set aside 30 mins per day for each area, you choose 1 area to focus on for the first month (A), and you give that area 1.5 hours. Then you allocate 15 mins for each of the other 2 areas (B and C), for that month.

The following month you rotate and give area B focus for 1.5 hours, and then 15 mins for A and C. Then in the 3rd month, area C has the 1.5 hours and A and B are 15 mins each.

By switching around the time allocations in this way, you can actually learn new skills up to an intermediate level, much quicker as your interest levels are maintained better.

Have you tried these tips before? How did they go?

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The Bridge Builder

An old man, going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast, and deep, and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned, when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim, near,
“You are wasting strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide-
Why build you this bridge at the evening tide?”

The builder lifted his old gray head:
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today,
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

This chasm, that has been naught to me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.

~Will Allen Dromgoole”

If we are open to receiving wise comments and advice from others then we can learn something new, we can see things from a different perspective, we can find solutions to our problems, we can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.  Older people who have experienced valuable life lessons, younger people who have already uncovered great wisdom- we can learn from everyone whose paths we cross.

In life we have much to learn, and so learning should be a focus in our lives. We all have experiences in our lives that teach us valuable lessons.  If we have skills lets share them, if we have knowledge lets pass it on.

What do you think?  Do you think that you should let people learn for themselves? Or do you offer advice whenever you can?

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How to manage stress

Did you know that stress can reduce your life expectancy?

Actually the constant strain of being under stress can also increase the likelihood of developing chronic illness in your life.

Reducing stress and learning how to control it, can make a huge difference to the quality of your life. Keeping a positive attitude as you get older reduces the harmful effects of stress.

 

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another ~William James

There is opportunity for stress to impact us each day. For example, what happens when you are running late and something goes wrong? Do you lose your patience in a frustrating situation and become angry?

What causes that anger?

I used to think it was the fault of the other person, or things just not going my way.  But what if time was really the only factor that tipped the balance between controlling your temper and losing it.

As an example, consider my morning drive to work.

Now 10 years ago, it used to take 7-8 minutes on average. Fast forward to 2012 and now it can take anywhere between 15-25 minutes depending on how many red traffic lights I get stuck  at.  Then if you throw in some roadworks, a car accident and the annoying train crossings, then it can be quite a pain in the …

Take a deep breath David.

Now some mornings the drive to work, despite bumper to bumper traffic, can be quite pleasant- the radio plays a couple of songs that I like so I sing along.  Some days I might just ponder and reflect as I make my way.

At other times I really struggle not to get frustrated and infuriated.

Why?  Why does this happen?

The factor that tipped the balance is time.

Generally I am quite an easy going individual and it takes quite a bit to make me mad.  Maybe I was running late and so now I feel that time is working against me. Everything seems to be taking longer than normal.

Actually time hasn’t changed- it’s how I have managed my time that has changed.

Maybe I slept in, maybe I had too late a night or maybe I tried to do too much before heading off to work.

So what I have discovered is that the less time I feel I have, the closer that deadline is, and the more I feel like I am running out of time, then my stress levels start to skyrocket.

 

In other words less time means more stress … and more stress means more frustration and anger

 

So how can we manage our time better so as not to increase our stress.

Well let’s learn a little bit about stress.

 

Stress is defined by how you interpret the events that occur- how you react and adapt. Stress in short doses can be good for forcing us to work harder and faster and sometimes it helps get a better job done.  But stress in our bodies over the long term weakens our immune system and can lead to health problems such as mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and skin problems.

 

To reduce stress we need to react less negatively and with less hostility. We should accept that changes are an inevitable part of life.

Try to develop some stress resistant traits: sense of humour, be creative, be happy, relax more, be content and satisfied, calm, easy going, cheerful, self-confident, and be active.

Time is the factor that can tip the balance so how can we manage our time better?

There are lots of great ideas out there for making the most of your time:

Here are some of my favourites:

1.      Keep a log for a week – if you don’t know where your time goes, try keeping a log for a week. At the end of each day, evaluate the tasks that you spent your time on, and ask yourself- did I really need to do this, could someone else have done this, am I doing the things that are important to me?

2.      Get an early start. If you go into work 20-30 minutes earlier that normal you’ll find that it can be quite productive to make a start before every one else.

3.      Do priority work during your “peak performance” time – so if you’re most effective in the morning then set aside time in the morning to tackle what is most important to you.

4.      Set time limits on projects and work- some tasks are not worth spending hours on.

5.      Be decisive and act immediately to implement your decisions.

6.      Expect interruptions but try to allocate a time to deal with them.  If you can batch distractions together then the rest of your time will be more effective.

7.      Focus on one thing at a time- how often do we start something, and then start something else, and then start something else…. try to focus on starting and finishing one thing at a time. Give all your attention to that one thing.

8.      Automate what you can- for example if you find yourself typing out a similar email response all the time, then set up a template.   If you find yourself answering the same questions over and over then set up a FAQs page on your website and refer people to that page.  Set up an auto responder on your emails to give best contact times or methods of communication and other details that people might ask.

9.      Say “no”- you can’t do everything- refer to someone else or sometimes you just have to say no.

10.  Try the pomodoro technique to make yourself work in shorter more effective blocks of time with regular breaks.  Essentially you need a kitchen timer and you work in blocks of 25 minutes with 5 minute breaks in between.  The maximum you work on one task is 4 pomodoros before taking a longer break.  This technique can be good for improving efficiency.

So what should I do tomorrow to gain some time and lose some stress.  Probably number 2 will help me there.

So tip the balance back in your favour and gain in time, lose the stress.

What do you think?  Do you find you stress more when you have less time? Do the ideas help or have you got some great ones to offer?

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A simple key for finding success

Think for a moment about this question: Do you feel that you are having success, or do you feel like you are getting no where?

Do you wish you were successful? Do you envy others and say that they are “just lucky”, or “they must’ve been in the right place at the right time”. Perhaps you sit around wishing life was better, or you wish you had done things differently.

Perhaps you hear yourself saying “If only I’d done … “.

Well STOP thinking that way. It’s not going to help you one little bit.

I will tell you a little secret. Well technically it’s not really a secret, in fact you’ve probably heard this said before. But this time I want you to sit up and take notice. THIS IS THE KEY…

“Successful people take action”

They see an opportunity. They make a decision. They act immediately.

See an opportunity - take action immediately

By approaching life this way, they don’t allow the opportunity for doubt to set in. They believe in themselves. They know that they can make a difference in their own lives as well as the lives of others.

Instead of considering their options, wieighing up all the pros and cons, then thinking more about it, googling or researching, doing a course, then reading a book about the subject, then entertaining thoughts of inadequacy, then wondering some more….

By now the opportunity has come and gone. And perhaps other opportunities along with it.

Sure enough, they get it wrong, they make the wrong choices, they fall down. But then straight away they are back on their feet, taking action again. As a result they are always moving forward, even when they end up going back a few steps, they just keep on advancing.

Fall down then get back up again

So this is the key to finding success.

See an opportunity. Make a decision. Act immediately.

Stop thinking about it over and over, stop learning about it and just start doing it.

It’s like learning to drive a car. You could play game simulations, read books about driving, watch videos, even sit behind the wheel. But until you turn on the ignition, release the hand brake, put the gear stick into drive, place your hands on the steering wheel, and press down with your foot onto the accelerator you are not driving, and you are not going anywhere.

Do you know what the best time of the day is to take action?

RIGHT NOW !!!

Best time of day is now

Try this exercise today and break free from the chains that hold you back. This is my “5 steps toward success” technique.

Step 1. Stop and Picture

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath and reflect. Picture where do you want to be in the future, what do you want to be doing ? Think about how it looks, how it feels and how it sounds.

Step 2. What do I need to do today?

Right now, write down the exact tasks that you want to achieve today. Try to write down just the ones that you feel are most important to you. When you have written these down, make a commitment to yourself to do those tasks.

Step 3. Take action immediately.

Remember that the difference between the successful and the not so successful is ACTION- no excuses, no flinching. Sometimes we need to step out of our “safe” zone where we continue doing the same things day in, day out. So pick the first task on your list and do it.

Step 4. Believe in yourself.

It’s time to lose those limiting beliefs, the ones that hold you back.

You are smart enough, you are strong enough, you are fast enough. Focus on taking action.

If you need help then take a moment to picture what your future will be like achieving that success that you want. It’s time to do some spring cleaning. Clear away the clutter of self limiting beliefs and open up space for something new.

It’s a bit like opening up your wardrobe and clearing away the clutter of old clothes that you have been hanging onto, then you find that you actually had some great clothes that were hidden away that you couldn’t see.

In the same way- you will find space as you clear away the cluttering beliefs, and in that space is inspiration, creativity and courage.

Be persistent and be positive.

Step 5. Cross that task off your list and move on to the next one.

Well done, you’ve finished a task. You should be smiling. Now it’s time to continue on to the next task. Apply this technique regularly and remember:

See an opportunity. Make a decision. Act immediately.

So here’s the challenge. Try this 5 step technique every day for the next fortnight and share back here in the comments how you went, and inspire others to do the same.

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How do you keep up your enthusiasm?

Trying to stay warm and keeping up the enthusiasm

So what are your thoughts about this time of year? Here in Melbourne, Australia, it has been cold and wet.

For me this is a particularly trying time of year, as I’m not a fan of the cold at all. In fact, I’d much rather be somewhere warm. I have to make a conscious effort to NOT let the climate dictate my feelings.

Then last week the heater broke down too, which certainly made it challenging to keep working on the website stuff each night. Lets just say that if you could’ve seen me all rugged up with beanie, scarf and jacket, typing away at the laptop you would thought me quite a crazy nut (actually if you look at the photo below then you get a bit of an idea).

Trying to stay warm and keeping up the enthusiasm

And this is what I enjoy doing, this the part of my working life that I love to do, creating websites, but I found my enthusiasm just wasn’t there.

So this is the approach that I came up with to “keep up my enthusiasm”

 

  1. Don’t forget to breathe:
     

    Once every hour, stop for a minute and take a breath. Think about what you have been doing. Have you done the things that are important to you? Or have you just been mindlessly working away at the job?
     

    Take some deep breaths, close your eyes for a moment, drop and relax your shoulders. Remember what is important to you. Make sure that you are doing what you love, or what you need to be doing to be able to do the things that you love.

  2.  

  3. Drink plenty of water:
     
    Listen to your body- is there pain anywhere? are you tired, or stressed?Make sure that you have been drinking plenty of water? Approximately 2/3 of our body is made up of water, so if we don’t get enough we start to suffer. According to nutritionists we are supposed to drink about 8 glasses a day.
     

    The brain consists of about 80% water- so if you start to feel fatigue, headaches or dizziness, or your concentration or short term memory is struggling then you may be dehydrated. Water is crucial for your energy levels. If your brain and body isn’t able to function properly, then how in the world are you going to keep the enthusiam level up where it needs to be?

  4.  

  5. Be positive:
     

    Think about how you feel. Are you losing energy and motivation towards your aim or your dreams? Start to be aware of your feelings.Sometimes you need to consciously alter your feelings by changing your internal dialogue. Do you hear yourself saying things like: “i’m too stupid to do this” , or “things never seem to go my way”?
     

    We need to stop the negative and replace it with positive talk. Start saying the opposite to those negative thoughts that hold us back. A positive attitude goes hand in hand with enthusiasm. Both need each other.
     

    Start saying this: “I can do this”, “I am clever”, “I will sort this out by taking one step at a time”. Be aware of your feelings and change them into being positive.

  6.  

  7. Visualise:
     

    If you can picture what your goal, aim or dream looks like- then you can use this to keep your focus on achieving it.This is a great motivator over the long term. You can have a picture in your mind or even an actual picture or photo that you stick up somewhere as a reminder.
     

    When you look at this picture, remember what you are doing, why you are doing it, and what you are dreaming for. This helps keep your enthusiasm when times are tough.

  8.  

  9. Expect set backs:
     

    I like this one. Sometimes people have this mentality that life should be smooth sailing. In fact some people start to give in at the first sign of trouble. I like this point because it’s at this point that a person’s character builds. It’s at this point that a person’s will becomes stronger. It’s at this point that a person’s confidence grows.All they have to do, is KEEP GOING. Don’t turn back. Don’t give in. Success could be just around the corner.
     

    The people who are successful are not the people who had everything go their way. They are the people who fell down 9 times but got up every time until they finally made it. If you realise that life isn’t always going to be easy, then you won’t be caught out when at times it doesn’t go your way.
     

    I like this quote about life’s setbacks: “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” ~Frank Howard Clark.

     

  10. Smile:
     

    Don’t forget the power of a simple smile. It changes how you feel, and it changes how others feel. Some favourite quotes are: “Peace begins with a smile” and “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do” ~Mother Teresa.

So what do you think, how do you keep up your enthusiasm?

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Focus with a To-Don’t List

In an age of instant information about anything and everything, how many of us find our To-do lists getting longer and longer.

It’s like we are just being constantly bombarded with ideas and opportunities. Try this new product, test out this free service, checkout this superior system.

Problem is that this only encourages us to start new projects well before we finish our existing ones.

“Sometimes success can only be found when we actually narrow down our focus to a point where all we can see is the task ahead.”

We need to literally block the distractions that mask themselves as opportunity.

So how do you do this?

Perhaps this article I read just today may hold some mysterious magical trick to help, or not?

Have a read and share your top tips in the comments below. The Next Web: The To-Don’t List: Things you will NOT Do

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Zarraffas Coffee on the Gold Coast

On a recent trip up north to the beautiful Sunshine state, I discovered a cafe chain which I wish we had down here in Victoria. I know we’ve already got a few, probably we don’t need another, but I really enjoyed this coffee.

If you’ve been to the Gold Coast then you’ve probably seen “Zarraffa’s Coffee“. Maybe it’s the exotic name, or maybe it’s the delicious smell and sound of the coffee brewing, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

According to their website:

“Zarraffa’s comes from the Arabic word ‘Zarafa’ which means ‘Giraffe’. The Masai Giraffe typically inhabits the Savannah’s of Kenya and Ethiopia, being the origin of coffee. It’s the great Masai Giraffe that stands ‘Head and Shoulders above the Rest’ in the Savannah from which we draw our motto – to be Head and Shoulders above the Rest!”

A quick history lesson for those who like to hear about Australian success stories:

Quickly becoming a well known outlet for great coffee, Zarraffa’s Coffee started back in 1996 as a roastery in the back streets of Southport on the Gold Coast.  They opened their first store opened in 1997 at Australia Fair Shopping Centre and now have 50 stores across South East Queensland.

So what’s on the menu?

Well there’s the usual Americano, Caffe Latte, Caffe Mocha, Macchiato and Cappuccino. If you’ve the got the sweet tooth then try the Caramelised Mocha- made with espresso, chocolate fudge and caramel syrup with hot texturised milk topped with caramel fudge. Or maybe a White Chocolate Mocha.

And then the non-coffee options are fantastic too (according to the kids) who made quick work of the Creme Fusions-  a creme based fusion with creamy caramel fudge and vanilla syrup, or chocolate fudge, perfectly blended with peppermint syrup, or
lashings of rich chocolate and white chocolate fudge, or rich white chocolate fudge and strawberry syrup.

Thirsty yet?

Then maybe you should go for the Grande or the Masai size drinks. If so, and you’re lucky enough to be in the Gold Coast, then why not try them out today and let me know what you think.

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8 Tips to Deal with Daily Stress

“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response TO what happens. And RESPONSE is something we can choose”

~Maureen Killoran”

Stress is a bi-product of our hectic and demanding lives in this day and age. But stress is not something new. It’s always been hanging around. I think that the impact of our lives being lived more online, where our bodies are inactive while our minds are active, is preventing our bodies, which need to be active, to eliminate the harmful and toxic effects of stress.

A build up of stress within the human body is a known trigger for many chronic illnesses. It occurs when this stress is sustained over an extended period of time.

Try these 8 tips to help combat the stress that is building up in your body.

1. Try to relieve some tension with a relaxation massage, some yoga or tai chi.

2. Spend some time visualising. Spend a few minutes each morning quietly sitting, visualising a scene that you find relaxing and peaceful. If you find yourself flustered during the day, allow the tension to ease by imagining the calm scene. If necessary remove yourself from the situation, take a few deep breaths and be alone with your thoughts for a few minutes. Focus on positive things and then return to the situation when you are ready.

3. Learn how to breathe deeply. Yoga and tai chi focus on breathing so teach yourself how to breathe and “let go” of stresses and worries while breathing deeply.

4. Meditation: spend a few minutes each day just sitting with an empty mind. This will take some practise but it is worth it. Don’t do anything, just sit there and try to empty your mind. Try to be present in the moment by focussing on the sounds you hear.

5. Rational thinking can help to keep you positive. Start by identifying issues in your life that are causing you stress. Now think about the negative thoughts that accompany those issues. Each time your mind starts to drift over to these negative thoughts, respond with a positive affirmation that builds up your self confidence.

6. Deal with the problem. If you cannot solve the problem, then why not bring in some help. For example a financial advisor can help solve money worries, a counsellor may help with dealing with problems at home.

7. Focus only on real and current problems, and only focus on finding solutions to those real problems. Some people live their daily lives with the “what if?” scenarios. These sorts of worries in small doses are actually good because they enable you anticapate problems before they occur. However excessive worry is unhealthy. Let go of some of these worries and enjoy the present.

8. Smile. The simple action of smiling, helps to reduce stress. Sometimes it can be hard to smile, but think of someone or something you love, or remember something that made you laugh or smile.

What are your tips for dealing with stress. Let me know in the comments below and lets find out how we can help each other.

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