As we move into the autumn season, I thought I’d devote some blog real estate to a topic that seems to keep coming up when I speak to clients, friends, and fellow coaches.

That feeling of “meh”. That state of being okay, but not great. It comes with the change of season from warm, sultry days of late summer to the crisp air of fall and our natural biorhythms set to hibernate. It’s also enhanced by a daily barrage of bad news and the disruption most everyone is experiencing. It seems we are so cosmically misaligned that it is no wonder so many people are expressing a feeling of general lassitude or existential ennui…even BEFORE the pandemic arrived.

All of that inspired me to think about ways to feel great and get your mindset in a positive place. Before the list, I have to state that I am a huge believer that happiness is a choice and that, while we cannot control many of the things around us, we can certainly control how we react to it. Here are some little actions you can take to help right your world and feel better in general, even in the face of a chaotic world. Trust me – if you are feeling stuck, or overwhelmed, or just “over it”, try at least three of these and see if your mood and outlook hasn’t improved, even just a little bit.

  • Take a shower. It is amazing how the simple act of being clean makes everything better. If you feel stuck or frustrated, something as simple as the literal washing away of the day can work wonders to restore your positive outlook.
  • Give yourself a tune-up. I loathe the expression of self-care; I think it feels indulgent, but I do agree with the sentiment behind it. Like a shower, taking care of your health (mental and physical) goes a long way in righting your attitude. Be sure to eat healthy foods. Try to get some exercise, even if it is just low impact indoor exercise via YouTube. Set aside time to give yourself a simple manicure. No matter what it is, energy invested in personal care matters to your mindset and well-being.
  • Accomplish little tasks. When you are feeling off-kilter or scattered, checking things off a to-do list can give us a sense of satisfaction and can act as an impetus for us to accomplish more. Consider setting EASY little goals like making the bed, tidying the desk, unloading the dishwasher, or picking up the dry cleaning. Even little accomplishments make us feel better about ourselves. Even on the worst day, checking off something can be a massive victory!
  • Focus on helping another. Volunteerism is wonderful but right now, it is not really that possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact. When we help others, we get ourselves out of the often-dangerous spiral of negative self-thought. Focusing attention on helping someone else gives us purpose, social connection, and a reason to persevere. Doing things for others goes a long way to keeping up a positive mindset. Write a Thank You note to an unsung hero in your life. Use Zoom or other video conference tool to call a friend and let them vent. Consider finding a charity for which you can devote any free time. Check out VolunteerMatch.org for face-to-face and virtual volunteerism opportunities.
  • Put on real clothes. With so many of us working at home, this is particularly relevant. When you stay in PJs or lounge wear too long, you begin to get sloppy in self and that can be a slippery slope. Putting on real clothes helps you get into a mental state of productivity and help with well-being. You don’t have to put on shoes, unless you want to, but a smart blouse or sweater and slacks or jeans make a world of difference. Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable if you opened your front door and your bosses’ boss was standing there. That is a good litmus test for what you are wearing at home. Keep in mind, this doesn’t apply to Sunday. I am a firm believer in staying in PJs one weekend day, if at all possible.
  • Accentuate (and write down) the positives. If you are feeling really stuck, get out your journal and write down all the positives in your life. This list should be long. Include things like your job, your safe home, your working car, your pets, your children, your health, your wardrobe, your ability to see/hear/walk/taste/feel, your friends, your family, the leaves on the tree, the birdsong, the warmth of the sun on a cold day, the first spring bloom, the freshness of a wind gust, and so on. See? There is a lot there. If you can’t come up with a single positive, write down your ability to think, to reason, to breath. Life may not be perfect, but it sure beats the alternative.
  • Write it down. – then let it go. While you have your pen out, write down all the things that are upsetting you. Bad news, annoying people, failure of an idea, a breakup with a friend, or something else that is causing you to feel out of sorts. Write it down and then (HERE IS THE CHALLENGE) let it go. You have to focus on what you can change and not waste emotional energy on what you can’t. Writing it down is cathartic but after you’ve gotten it out, leave it there and move on. Acknowledge it, make a plan to remedy it (if it needs a solution), and move on.
  • Take a walk. Anytime you get your blood pumping with a brisk walk, you give yourself a good dose of happy endorphins which make everything a bit brighter. On your walk, engage with the world around you, look at the sky, take note of what foliage you see, and smile at the people you see. If something prevents you from taking a walk, be sure to just spend time looking out the window at the world going by. Try to get some sunshine and fresh air into your life, even 10 minutes a day.
  • Get stoic. The philosophy of the Stoics (Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus, and others) is aligned to the good, the bad, and the indifferent and how we react to the world around us. Stoics knew that life is not guaranteed so it was important to live right, do good, and not to worry about the future. This focus on the now is a critical element of feeling good about yourself. You have a plan, you have contingencies, now get busy living in the NOW.  Celebrate even the little things, host a video chat with a group of friends, really focus on how great the first sip of coffee tastes as you look out the window on a beautiful day…and then, you can let the reality of our new way of living sink in armed with the mental fortitude of the right mindset.

Remember, you are capable of anything and worthy of everything.

Thanks for stopping by!


What a year this has shaped up to be – disruption and challenge at every turn! It’s hard enough to maintain status quo, let alone keep on on positive habits. But there are little things you can do, even in a socially distanced world and mad world, so keep reading.

As a kid, you can’t wait to grow up and be able to do what you want, when you want. Stay up late, get into an R-rated movie, walk to the corner store alone, eat dessert for dinner, and all the other ‘cool’ things that adults get to do.

As an adult, you can certainly do all these things but you also have to pay taxes, go grocery shopping, walk the dog, feed the family, tend to the house, the yard, and more. If that weren’t enough, there are other things we know we should to do to live a healthy well-rounded life. Things like eating right, getting 8 hours of sleep, drinking lots of water, saving for retirement (and emergencies), exercising, tending to our spiritual side, and helping others. Let’s be honest, being an adult is tough.

Finding motivation to stick to those healthy habits is a huge challenge for most of us but there are some things you can do to get motivated and stay on track with your healthy habits. I use several of these tips and tricks when I find my motivation flagging.

  • Make a list of the habits that you want to embed into your life – Spend sometime with yourself to determine the following: What do you want from life? What can you cultivate that will bring you more joy and more fulfillment? This is a key step to the process. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? Here are some habits to consider:
    • Wake up earlier – This is a secret of success touted by many famous self-help gurus as a way to get critical to-dos done before the world wakes up. And, you know, I am going to advise you to avoid your phone for the first hour. Use this extra time to read, write in your journal, take a walk, or something else that INVESTS IN YOU.
    • Eat healthier – From cutting calories to eliminating processed foods we know the importance of eating right. Having a clean diet is a great way to increase energy, sleep better, and a key component in reaching physical goals. Plan your meals, cook from scratch using whole ingredients and consider what you are putting in your mouth. Stress eating can happen to anyone, but with a plan you can avoid mindlessly eating junk or over-consuming.
    • Increase your fitness – These days it is less about being a certain size and more about being fit with a low body mass index. There is so much scientific evidence as to the benefits on heart health and low LDL cholesterol that this habit should be at the top of your list. A moderate walk is accessible to almost anyone and if you can’t do that, check out online resources for chair workouts, stretches, or something else. Even if you are just doing laps in your living room, movement is key.
    • Save more money – From setting up an emergency fund to creating a long-term strategy, saving money is a habit that escapes most of us. The peace of mind that comes from having your financial act together is worth more than a bag full of gold bars. Start saving what you can, even if it’s pennies from the floor of your car or under the couch cushions.
    • Learn something new – When we ask our brains to learn something new, we can actually increase our brain mass. To those over a certain age, developing neuroplasticity may be a way to stave off dementia. Additional benefits are the new social connections we make at a class, the freshness of our capability repertoire as they relate to our jobs, and the fun at mastering a new skill.
    • Meditate/Pray/Reflect – Having a sense of something greater than ourselves is key to a fulfilled life. Whether you belive in god, the Universe, the Great Spaghetti Monster, or nothing at all, examining your place in the world through meditation/reflection is beneficial to development of empathy, which benefits everyone.
    • Write something daily – Journaling is great for self-reflection, goal planning, honing creativity, and working through any big emotions. The act of writing something on paper helps make it real. Whether you keep a typical diary or use Sketchnoting, a practice of journaling is an easy entry point to improving your life.

2. BUT, do you really want this? It is critical to remember, if it’s not important enough to you, you are not ready. A great example of this is trying to lose weight. If you have tried to lose weight in the past and didn’t reach your goal or couldn’t maintain it, ask yourself why. If you struggle to control something in your power, it may be that it is not important enough to you. Think about that. When it becomes important to you, you will find a way, no matter how hard.

3. Visualize your future – The experts state that visualizing the future you want is a powerful way to reset your frequency, to change your mindset, and to help you realize your goals. Visualizing is as easy as taking a moment to close your eyes and imagine how your future will look when you (insert daily habit or long-term goal here). When you have your morning coffee, take a moment to close your eyes and visualize the future you: You with more energy from a clean diet; You with more leisure time because you cut out the non-value add activities; You with more peace of mind because you’ve been able to reduce your credit card debt. Try visualizing short-, near-, and long-term goals and then, to really blow the doors off this exercise WRITE THEM DOWN!

4. Make a plan – How will you make time for your habits? The biggest trick is to put time on your calendar. If you schedule the habit, you increase your chances of getting it done. Here are some more thoughts that may help you make your plan.

    • If your habit it working out, can you find 20 minutes in the morning before the household wakes up? Maybe you only have time to walk at lunch, that’s great! It puts you one step closer to your goal (pun intended).
    • If your goal is to save money, block out 15 minutes a couple times a week to check your account balances, track your spending, and pay a little on a credit card (even $20 makes a dent).
    • If your goal is to eat clean, can you find time for meal prep during the weekend?
    • If your goal is to cultivate spirituality, can you spend 10 minutes a day on inner reflection and expressions of gratitude? For the severely timebound or those struggling with journaling, check out the 5-Minute Journal app.

5. Reframe your thoughts – My grandmother had a saying for her worry-wort little granddaughter (that would be me), “Don’t borrow trouble”. Worrying about what could go wrong, anticipating the ‘what-if’s can derail you. Rather than dwell on the negative, fix your thoughts on the positive. Reframe those negative thoughts. This isn’t to say you should avoid reality in favor of fantasy – there is a difference between realism and nihilism. It all goes back to visualizing what you want. It takes practice if you are already wired to pessimism, but you can do it, I believe in you!

    • Instead of “I’ll never be able to make it 2 weeks with a clean eating plan.” Tell yourself, “I am excited to see my 2-week progress of clean eating”.
    • Instead of “How do I save money when I don’t have any to save?” think to yourself “How can I reduce my spending?”

6. Commit to yourself – I love the advice given during an airplane safety briefing where they tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others. This is a perfect illustration of YOUR importance. Or as I say “You aren’t any good to others if you aren’t good to yourself” (trademark pending 😀 ). When it comes to habits, you have to commit to yourself! If you struggle to do that, see item number 1 and don’t beat yourself up about it, but take a hard look at your motivation. Do you want to set healthy habits for yourself or because you think it is what someone else wants of you? When you find the fire behind your personal motivation, you will find the commitment.

Find an inspiration ‘tribe’ – Experts agree that surrounding yourself with positive personal influences and removing the negative people from your life go a long way in helping you stick with healthy habits. Find a walking group, an online yoga class, an accountability partner (I know a really good coach 😉) – anyone who can give you encouragement, challenge you, and check in to be sure you are on track.

Take a break – If you fail or fall off the wagon of a habit, give yourself a break. Maybe your work schedule got in the way in an unavoidable way, maybe you got sick and needed rest more than you needed to write in your journal, maybe you just need a break. Take your break but be sure identify the reason for the gap and examine what you can do to avoid this happening again. Also, be sure to build in ‘cheat days‘, another proven way to stick to your plan. The day where you don’t work out, enjoy some junk food (in moderation), and just lounge around can be great to reset, rejuvenate, and renew for the week ahead.

Just do it – Finally, remember that consistent actions and small steps, taken each day, lead to embedded habits and those habits can deliver a myriad of benefits to every aspect of your life.

Let me know what I missed or if you’ve tried any of these and be sure to share your tips on how to stay motivated. Thanks for stopping by!


Well, here we are, mid-May, and the world seems to be settling into two camps. Those who are taking precautions seriously by maintaining social distance and wearing a mask (for the protection of others) and those who are flouting all that is logical just to grab a beer (or something equally inane).

I sincerely hope you all are healthy and happy. I know there is an end to all this but I feel it will be sometime before we can move about safely and I caution you all to heed the advice of public health officials. Until such time as we can resume a somewhat normal routine, I challenge you to make the most of this time – which leads me to my post.

Since early April, I’ve been making the most of my locked down time.

  1. I celebrated my birthday. It wasn’t much but it was a nice day made special by a dear friend who sent me an adorable little cake from NothingBundtCake! Sweet, tasty, and adorable!
  2. I did my annual exercise of taking stock of my life. Each year, I ask myself if I am better off now that 12 months past. So far, the answer has always been yes. This year, part of that is due to some educational opportunities to which I have availed myself. While my wallet is a bit chafed, my brain and CV are totally digging it!
  3. I just wrapped up a course from MIT Sloan School of Management on Organizational Design for Digital Transformation and can highly recommend it. It is directly aligned to the type of corporate work I do and was a great chance to learn, reinforce existing knowledge, and network with a global cohort.
  4. I’ve been paying special attention to how my friends, family, and myself are feeling each day. While some of us have experienced little to no change in lifestyle during this pandemic, others have been really shaken up. A simple question of “how are you?” can be invaluable. The better follow-up question is “how can I help you?” can give others the space to express their feelings which can be healthy.

What about you? How are you making the most of this time we have at home? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you are doing to stay sane, care for yourself and others, and cope with quarantine.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and thanks for stopping by!