Motivation

7 Ways to Have Self-Control, Even in the Hardest Situations | California Benefits Advisors

What would change if you had more self-control? Would you meet your fitness goals? De-escalate tense situations? Finally stop procrastinating on work projects? Although it can seem impossible to gain any more discipline than you already have, willpower can be exercised regularly just like your muscles. There are a few ways you can gain control when you really need it. When it comes to eating, exercise, anger and more, here are some common "tempting" scenarious followed by tips on how to strengthen your resolve.

1. Resisting Junk Food

From the grocery store to fast-food ads, one thing is for sure: Junk food is everywhere. Overcome the temptations of unhealthy foods by changing your self-talk. First, stop thinking, “I can’t eat this” (something unhealthy), and replace it with, “I can eat that” (something healthy), says Kelly Milligan, naturopath and chef. It removes the restrictive feeling and allows for a more stress-free, positive mindset.

Second, think past the immediate craving and ask yourself, “How will I feel after eating this? Will this help me get closer to my goals?” This way you are changing your approach from arbitrarily labeling foods as “good” or “bad” to focusing on the value certain foods have for your body.

2. Motivating Yourself to Hit the Gym

One way to stay on the path of exercising regularly is simply putting on your workout clothes! A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that this can give you the motivation you need to get moving. Still not feeling it? Tell yourself you’ll just work out for five to 10 minutes. You’ll be surprised what you’ll feel like doing once you get started.

And remind yourself why you started. Whether your goal is to gain strength, lose weight, recover from an injury or get healthier, each goal is tied to a specific emotion. Dig deep and envision what it would be like if your goal was met today. Bonus: Exercise can strengthen your willpower in other areas of your life!

3. Stopping the Late-Night Munchies

When straight-up willpower isn’t enough to stop yourself from eating an entire bag of chips before bed (or overeating in general), creating new habits is the way. First things first: Keep yourself fueled throughout the day so you’re not “starving” in the evening.

Then find a distraction from your thoughts of food: talk with a friend, stretch or read. Or try brushing your teeth. You won’t want to eat if your mouth is minty fresh. If you're truly hungry, try a pice of fruit. The American Psychological Association states that glucose (like that found in fruit) is fuel for the brain and that acts of self-control reduce blood glucose levels.

4. Controlling Angry Outbursts

Anger is natural. But it’s what you do with that emotion that matters. It all begins with thinking before you speak or act. Ask yourself if what you're about to say is going to make the situation better or worse. Or take a timeout. You can use the age-old trick of counting to 10 before you speak. It allows your mind to get some emotional distance and lets your brain focus on something else.

If you still feel amped up, try exercising. According to stress physiologist Nathaniel Thom in an article for Psychology Today, exercise can help diffuse the buildup of anger. Exercise gets the feel-good hormones elevated in your brain and presents a calming feeling over your body. After you’ve calmed down, you can find solutions and present your feelings in an unagitated state.

5. Refraining From Hitting Snooze

The snooze button is no friend of self-control. Mel Robbins, author of “The 5 Second Rule,” says in her book that how you wake up and spend the first 30 minutes of the morning determines the productivity of your day. It starts with getting up, waking up and being present in everything you do, Mel says. (In other words, put down your phone!)

According to Robbins, if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within five seconds or your brain will kill the idea. So within five seconds of your alarm sounding, spring up and out of bed! Immediately after, begin to think of the positive things this extra morning time will add to your day. Before you know it, you’ll have set the tone for the entire day!

6. Curtailing Frivolous Spending

If you feel you need more control in the spending department, writing down each and every thing you purchase is a great way to see exactly how much is going out and where. At the end of each month, go through your list and see what spending was a “need” and what spending was a “want,” says Paula Pant, money-management expert and creator of AffordAnything.com. Add up the total amount of the “wants” and imagine that money saved up for an emergency fund or a memorable family vacation. This will also allow you to see other not-so-good habits you may have, such as buying junk food or always ordering lunch at work.

7. Actually Accomplishing Your Goals

Set your goals on a vision board where you’ll see them every day. This can be hanging on the wall next to your television or placed by the door of your home so you’ll always have a visual reminder of what your goals are. Read them out loud, and tell yourself you can do this — because you can.

Another way to ensure success is to keep it simple in all areas. If it’s too overwhelming, then you’ll be overwhelmed. Have the mindset of working in baby steps, and celebrate each day that you succeed. With self-control comes the feeling of accomplishment. With accomplishment comes self-confidence. And this cycle helps you keep meeting your goals.

**BONUS** Build Self-Control With Sleep

Another easy way to gain more self-control in any area of your life is to get adequate sleep. A 2011 study published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes found that a sleep-deprived individual is at increased risk for succumbing to impulsive desires, inattentiveness and questionable decision-making. Basically, it’s much easier to make the right choices when our brains are rested and recharged. (Which you probably know from experience!)

by SJ McShane
Originally posted on LiveStrong.com

Workplace Wellness | CA Insurance Agency

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Picture this: You are sitting at your desk at 3pm and you realize you haven’t gotten up from your chair all day. You look around and see that you’ve been snacking instead of eating a lunch. You have read the same sentence 4 times and still can’t figure out what it means. Your back hurts, your eyes feel dry, and you feel kind of blah. You, my friend, are a victim of the sedentary lifestyle in America. How can we combat this lack of energy and inattentiveness in our workplace? By adopting healthy workplace initiatives, you will reap the benefits of a more engaged workforce and a healthier environment.

 

What’s the problem?

·      The average worker sits 7.5 hours at a desk every day

·      Add in couch time, sitting to eat meals, commute, and sleeping, and it could mean that the average adult is only active for 3 hours in a 24-hour period

·      Prolonged sitting is directly related to higher risk of heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes

·      Poor posture can lead to chronic health issues such as arthritis and bursitis

·      Staring at computer screens for long amounts of time lead to higher instances of headaches and migraines

 

What’s the solution?

·      Healthy snack options in vending machines—SnackNation and Nature Box have healthy snack delivery services for offices of all kinds and sizes.

·      Fitness challenges—Encourage different office-wide challenges to promote a more active lifestyle.

o   Incentives for most consecutive gym check-ins

o   Step contests using fitness trackers such as FitBit, Pebble, and AppleWatch

o   Bike or Walk to Work Days

·      Standing desks—Companies such as Varidesk make standing desks or sit/stand desks that lower and raise so that you vary your position during the day

o   Reduces back pain

o   Burns more calories during the day

o   Increases energy

o   Some insurance companies will cover all or portion of the cost if they deem it “medically necessary.”

·      Practice gratitude—keep a daily log of things to be thankful for that day

o   Shown to ease depression, curb appetite, and enhance sleep

o   Spirit of gratefulness leads to more sustainable happiness because it’s not based on immediate gratification, it’s more of a state of mind

·      Get moving during the day—if your office doesn’t have sit/stand desks, schedule time to move each day

o   Stretch time/desk yoga

o   Computer programs to remind you to move such as “Move” for iOS and “Big Stretch Reminder” for Windows

·      Extra happiness in the office—

o   Add a plant

o   Aromatherapy

o   Host a cooking class to encourage healthy meal plans

o   Pet-friendly office days

By showing your employees that you care about their physical and mental health you are showing that you care about them as people and not just employees. This results in higher motivated staff who are healthier. The Harvard Business Review even says that “employers who invested in health and wellness initiatives saw $6 in healthcare savings for every $1 invested.” You cannot always measure ROI on personnel investment but it looks like for workplace wellness, you can! Now get moving and get your office moving!

Moments of Clarity: Being Transparent | California Employee Benefits

Aristotle was right when he said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Companies and politicians like to say that they’re transparent, when in fact, they’re often the opposite. And, as in nature, in the absence of facts, people will often fill their minds with what is perceived.

If you’re working at a company, rather than being one of its customers, and you’ve been told by senior management that they’re transparent about what goes on, then make sure you take a close look at what they’re willing to share.

In the article titled “The Price of Secrecy” in Human Resource Executive Online, employers are quick to cite company policy, yet are reticent to share if and how those policies are being enforced. This has a huge impact on employee trust and can quickly have the opposite effect on employees following said policy.

Basically, employees want to know that if they follow the rules, others will also follow them, or there will be consequences for not doing so. Companies can hide behind the mantra of “it’s being handled,” or “it’s an employee issue,” but what the employer may forget is that gossip will sometimes fill in the unknown. Compounding matters is that employees want to know that if a colleague violates company policy, the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

Employers seldom reveal any disciplinary process or policy enforcement simply because it may violate privacy, or it might embarrass either the employee or employer. For example, an employee has been stealing company property for months. Eventually, the employee is caught, but it may reflect poorly on the employer that it took a long time to realize this was happening, or that safeguards were not in place to prevent the theft in the first place. So, while the employer wants to inform its employees about this violation and how it was handled, they also don’t want to expose vulnerabilities that could undermine the employee’s trust in the company.

Another benefit of policy transparency is that it keeps the enforcers honest. That is, if a company employee is responsible for doling out punishment, then that person is more likely to do it fairly and impartially if they know everyone is watching.

by Bill Olson
Originally posted on ubabenefits.com

Wearable Technology in the Workplace | California Benefit Advisors

Don’t lie--we ALL love gadgets. From the obscure (but hilariously reviewed on Amazon) Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer to the latest iteration of the Apple empire. Gadgets and technology can make our lives easier, make processes faster, and even help us get healthier. Businesses are now using the popularity of wearable technology to encourage employee wellness and increase productivity and morale.

Wealthy vs Financial Fit. Here’s the Difference and Why It Matters | California Benefit Consultants

 

People can be wealthy without being financially fit, meaning they can have a lot of assets or money tied up in assets, but those assets aren’t “liquid.” Let me explain. Say you have a house that has escalated in value in the real estate market. You may have this large asset, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re financially comfortable from an income standpoint. You aren’t able to tap into that “wealth” to pay for your day-to-day expenses.

Considering Risk
The overall goal when I sit down with someone, or perhaps a couple, is to determine their wants and needs, and then give them a plan that helps them grow their assets, while achieving their income goals.

But one thing many people fail to look at is the risk during this growth period. Let’s say you’re married, and again your major asset is your home, perhaps even with a large mortgage. What if something were to happen to either one of you? Would you still be able to pay the mortgage and retain the house? Or would you need to sell your largest asset just to pay day-to-day living expenses?

That’s where life insurance comes in as a foundational piece to financial fitness. It addresses the issue of someone dying too soon—that’s a risk factor you don’t want to leave chance. And the truth is, it’s an affordable solution for almost everyone. A healthy 30-year-old can get a 20-year $250,000 level term life insurance policy for about $13 a month. Most of us can afford to find that kind of money in our budget.

What Do Romantic Partners Want?
Life Happens did the survey, “What Do Romantic Partners Want?” and we discovered some great news for most of us—people prefer a partner who is financially fit (64%) over someone who is wealthy (16%). And we explored a whole host of factors, from looks to money to relationships. And I think it’s only natural that when people are dating, all the factors that we explored in the survey come into play.

It’s when things become serious and you’re looking to settle down that you have to start asking some of the tougher questions, questions that may make you feel uncomfortable. For example, does the other person have a lot of debt or other financial obligations?

Remember, if you marry and sign on the dotted line, you become responsible for each other’s debt. I’ve seen divorces happen where one partner was racking up a huge amount of credit card debt without the other one knowing, and then in the divorce proceedings the other partner finds out that they are responsible for half that debt.

In the end, it comes down to being financially aware, asking the appropriate questions, even if they are uncomfortable ones. You need to go into a long-term relationship with your eyes and ears wide open.

 

by Marvin H. Feldman

Originally posted on lifehappens.org

Solving Problems - While Increasing Employee Satisfaction | Cupertino Benefits Consultants

“Design thinking” is a fairly common term. Even if the phrase is new to you, it’s reasonably easy to intuit how it works: design thinking is a process for creative problem solving, utilizing creative tools like empathy and experimentation, often with a strong visual component. The term dates from 1968 and was first used in The Sciences of The Artificial, a text written by Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon.

For Simon, design thinking involved seven components, but today it’s usually distilled to five: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test. In this way, creative tools are employed to serve individuals in a group, with a solution-driven focus. It’s important to note that these components are not necessarily sequential. Rather, they are specific modes, each with specific tools that contribute equally to solving an issue.

Most significantly, as Steve Boese of HR Executive noted in a recent column, design thinking is a rising trend in HR leadership. “Those using this strategy,” he says, “challenge existing assumptions and approaches to solving a problem, and ask questions to identify alternative solutions that might not be readily apparent.”Design thinking helps teams make decisions that include employees in meaningful ways, personalize target metrics, work outside the box, and produce concrete solutions. Even teams with established, productive structures use design thinking in the review process, or to test out expanded options.

Boese says that the key shift design thinking offers any team is the opportunity to troubleshoot solutions before they’re put into real-time practice. The main goal of design thinking is not process completion, low error rates, or output reports, as with other forms of HR technology, but employee satisfaction and engagement. More often than not, this leads to increased morale and even more opportunities for success.

 

by Bill Olson
Originally posted on ubabenefits.com

 

Staffing for Scalability | California Benefits Firm

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Vince Murdica, chief revenue officer at ThinkHR, discusses what it takes to become scalable and sustainably staff companies through bursts of rapid growth.

I’ve seen it in my own career: When companies go through rapid growth — quickly moving from 50 to 100+ employees — things start to get shaky. This period of acceleration can be compared to when a jet breaks through the sound barrier. The flight is smooth until that moment, then the plane rattles violently and feels like it’s going to break apart. But when it gets through to the other side, it’s smooth skies again and you’re now flying even faster and higher.

There is a loss of control as a company gets bigger, and not all leaders can handle it. Some career entrepreneurs prefer to start companies, grow them to around 50 people, then sell them because they are uncomfortable with the growing pains that inevitably happen beyond this point. They will do it again and again.

Other leaders are better at growth and mastering scalability. They have what it takes to grow their companies over the 100-person mark. I believe these leaders consistently do three key things when growing their staff:

#1 Hire People You Trust

When you scale up, the ability of senior management to be involved in every detail — to be in all the meetings, involved with every decision, leading all the major initiatives — breaks down. There is a human limit to how many one-on-one relationships you can manage, so your ability to manage as you gain more direct reports goes down. When growing from 50 to 100 employees, new layers of management must get formed.

At this point, delegation becomes critical, or productivity will come to a screeching halt. That’s why it’s crucial to hire managers and other people you can trust. This takes time and effort, but I believe the key to establishing this environment of trust is “hiring slow and firing fast.”

#2 Delegate Responsibility and Authority

Once you’ve hired great, trustworthy people, don’t ever delegate responsibility without also delegating authority. Your staff needs to keep everything moving while you are doing other things for the organization. They can’t wait around for you to make decisions. Hand them the power to innovate, solve problems, and reach the goals you’ve set out for them.

A mantra I borrowed from a mentor is, “I don’t mind giving speeding tickets, but if I need to give too many parking tickets, we have a problem.”

I would rather an employee charge ahead and make an informed, strategic decision that turns out to be a mistake instead of hold back and move too cautiously. Everyone on my team feels empowered. We get it done and we don’t wait. (Wait is a four-letter word.) The burden on leadership is to be sure that goals and strategy are clear, so people can move quickly, with confidence and creativity.

#3 Learn from Mistakes

To me, business is like a sport. It’s a competition. There is a winner and a loser and it’s a real-world game. Approaching it that way enforces a specific mindset around it. To use football as an example: On Monday you review the film from Sunday’s game and see how you can improve. You practice all week to make tweaks, try new plays, and fix what’s broken. Then your next game is a fresh opportunity to be a new team with a new opponent.

In business, like in any sport, we are going to make mistakes. That’s how we learn, but what’s important is that we don’t make those same mistakes again. We get into the mindset of always improving. Failing isn’t necessarily bad — it means your people aren’t afraid to innovate and achieve.

Smooth Skies Ahead

Do these three things — trust, delegate, and learn — which are so core to building a scalable team, and soon your company will be breaking through the sound barrier and once again flying smooth skies.

In the end, growth can be fun, and winning is really fun. Your team will be fulfilled and feel like they are making an impact. So to mix metaphors: Go let your team get some speeding tickets!

 

by Vince Murdica
Originally posted on thinkhr.com