Archive for the 'Friendship' Category

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10 Tips to Help Women Reduce Their Stress

Stress can hold you back. This time of year can be difficult. Many women start stressing out because they find themselves slacking on their New Year’s resolutions. Valentines Day can also be a let down even if we have a partner because expectations may not be realistic. Jobs pressures may be setting in since the holiday season has ended and companies are focusing in on achieving their goals for the year.

What do you do about these stressors and other things creating anxiety?

Manage it. Why?

Stress can:

  • make you fat
  • cause illness
  • trigger depression
  • make you have a negative view of things around you

and more.

That’s why I’m writing10 tips to help you manage your stress.

  1. Meditate – Just sitting quietly for 5- 15 minutes focusing on your breathing could be like a mini vacation every day
  2. Get Active – Take a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, just 15 – 20 minutes a day will release endorphins that will make you fee better and improve your mood.
  3. Talk to your friends – Identify your table of six and communicate with them. You need their support. If you don’t have them, make them.
  4. Journal – Just writing your thoughts, frustrations or accomplishments will make you feel better. But, writing a “to-do list,” wish list or goal check-in list can also validate your inner voice.
  5. Take time for yourself – Many women get so caught up in other people agendas including love ones they forget to take time for themselves as they did when they were younger. Relax, go to a movie, get your nails done, and keep that hair appointment. It makes a difference.
  6. Help someone. It’s a fact volunteering improves you mood and the quality of your life.
  7. Just say “No.” Having boundaries, both personally and professionally are important.
  8. Compromise. It’s not always about you being right. Take a beat, the Win-Win is better.
  9. Get a hobby. Hobbies are a way to escape, have fun, and feel a since of accomplishment.
  10. Get professional help. Remember, there is nothing wrong for taking aspirin for a headache or putting a bandage on a cut. Therapy both alternative and traditional along with medication if necessary can really improve the quality of your life and your outlook on it.

It seems like a long list; but, just try implementing one of these tips a day; a week or a month and you will see your stress level decrease. You will also see your personal and professional outlook can change and you start realizing the success you are looking for.

Don’t let stress hold you back from living your best life.

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It’s starting to get to that time of year where I recommend to all of my clients to get reconnect. This is especially important, when we are working on goals. I recommend reaching out to individuals who can support you in your journey and also it is important for your mental health. But before you do this via email, review your email and where it comes from.

Often I notice that many of my clients use their current work email as their contact email. Why is this a problem? When connecting with personal friends, topics may come up that you may not want your employer to know about. Remember that all email correspondence is technically property of your employer. The other issue I’ve noticed, cutesy emails. What’s cutesy: sexybabydoll, momat21, hotlover, etc. Why is this a problem? Would you want a prospective employer to see you as a hotlover? Would you feel comfortable having an email being referred to a decision maker from hotlover?So, take the time out, to get an email that is professional. Use your initials, birthday, etc. It’s not only about connecting; but it’s also about, being taken seriously.

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Put Down the Technology!!!

Often, I have clients how are addicted to their Blackberries, phones, Bluetooth’s, Sidekicks, etc.  However, they wonder why they are not making the genuine connections with clients, friends, families and potential partners that they’d like.  Well the reason…technology. PUT IT DOWN!!! How can you be intimate with anyone, when the only thing you’re really focused on, is the person you are texting or talking to on your Bluetooth.  Tell them you will call or text them back later, be present and enjoy the person you are with. 

Because of this, I had to duplicate the email I received yesterday, “Ten Blackberry Commandments ” by Joey Reiman of The Brighthouse Consultancy, from Pink Magazine, for you to think about.
 

Ten Blackberry Commandments
By Joey Reiman
 

  1. Thou shalt not take the BlackBerry to any table with food on it or family around it. A BlackBerry is not a fruit, nor does it come from a tree.
  2. Thou shalt not use the BlackBerry as reading material in the event of insomnia. It will only worsen your situation.
  3. Thou shalt not BlackBerry in lieu of responding to a child’s request (e.g., “Wait a second, I’m reading something.”).
  4. Thou shalt not place the BlackBerry within distance of hearing its incessant beeps while at home. It is not a bird.
  5. Thou shalt not check BlackBerry as if it were your baby. It will not cry or stop breathing.
  6. Thou shalt not confuse number of e-mails with self-worth.
  7. Thou shalt do everything possible to misplace your BlackBerry on weekends. “There’s No Place Like Home” will never be the tagline for the BlackBerry company.
  8. Thou shalt remember that a BlackBerry is not a body appendage. It is a device that belongs in your briefcase, on your desk and not in social settings.
  9. Thou shalt refrain from bringing the BlackBerry to events involving family interaction. Extraneous dialogue with this contraption in lieu of real conversation suggests addiction.
  10. Thou shalt never, ever, ever bring the BlackBerry to bed. Do this and you are BlackBuried!

Joey Reiman is CEO and founder of The BrightHouse Consultancy. thinkbrighthouse.com

Have a great Weekend!!!

It’s Valentine’s Day and you are not in the relationship you want?  Well, its time to be honest and ask yourself these questions?

Do you know what you want?  Not just in a relationship; but, out of your life?  If you don’t know who you are, what you want, and have a clear vision of your life; you may attract fixer friends and partners.  That maybe great at first; but, you might end up frustrated.  Why?  Fixer partners are not you and they don’t know your values, life experiences, etc.  Also, Fixers may be trying to create their perfect mate, not be your perfect partner, so they can’t create a fulfilling and inspirational life that you value and need.

What do you want from a friend or partner?  If you don’t clarify what you want, need and the deal breakers, you keep attracting relationships that don’t work for you.  They may work at first because you are not alone; but, in the long term it may be frustrating, depressing and even unsafe.

Are you a happy single person?  A relationship shouldn’t make you happy; your life, career, family, friends, etc. make your life fulfill.  Relationships are not a happiness pill, they only add to you. 

Are you financial stable?  Though I’m not saying you have to be rich; but, be fiscally responsible.  Depending on a partner to rescue you financially can create co-dependence, resentment, and other challenges.   Learn about money and how to manage it. 

Do you have time?  If you can’t make time to have a relationship, look at your life.  You have to make time for your partner, otherwise your relationship, may become something you don’t want.  …and your connection may be over before it starts. 

Does it look like that having a relationship is all about you being together and happy?  Well it is. It’s hard to hear a relationship doesn’t fix you; but, adds to your life.  Also, you only need one valentine.  So when you’re dating it’s OK to date more than one person; but, when you cross the line and become more than friends, be honest with yourself.  It’s not nice being played, nor is it good to be the player.  Remember you have to respect yourself first.

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Get Unstuck; Take a Risk and Move Forward

Have you reached out, connected or reconnected?  If not, don’t make excuses, take a risk and just it do. 

Many women get caught up in why they can’t do something and want to explain it.  Women do this, not for validation by only others; but for self justification, too.  Do you ever do this?  Well, if you do, consider after self acknowledgement, doing something about it.  What does this mean?  Get unstuck, take action, and move forward.  So you didn’t send out Christmas or Holiday greetings.  Send out New Year’s greetings, via snail mail, email or just pick up the phone and call someone you want to connect or reconnect with.  Why?  You might get a surprise.  Make a new friend or renew an old relationship.  Get a supporter or an ally.  It will be worth it.

 

Happy Holidays!!!

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Do You Have a Goal Like “Dreamgirls?”

Did you know screenwriter’s Bill Condon’s fantasy goal was to write the script for the “Dreamgirls” movie?  However, it was a film that no one was really allowed to write or get off the ground because the producer of the Broadway show, David Geffen,  retained the film rights and didn’t feel anyone could do justice to the film version.  Also he was concerned the Broadway version’s of “Dreamgirls reputation and his friend’s Michael Bennet the choreographer’s memory could be damaged? 

Wait, isn’t “Dreamgirls” the film that’s opening to all of the Oscar Buzz?  Yes!!!

Why am I writing about the movie “Dreamgirls” in today’s Blog? Well when I was reading the December 4, issue, of my New York Observer; I read the article “Dreamgirls Wakes Up.”  It stated the facts that  I mentioned in the first paragraph.  But, the most important fact, was Bill Condon, told his dream goal to a friend, Laurence Mark.  Condon was very specific about his dream and his friend Mark, a producer, was also a friend of David Geffen.  Mark, realized his friend, Condon, really wanted to do this film and Mark arranged a lunch with David Geffen.  Condon gave a 6 minute pitch, about a film, people have been trying to make for 25 years; but unable to and won Geffen over.  Condon will probably win himself an Oscar for it.  Have you heard this before?

Dream Goal -> Pitch -> Support Network -> Connection with a Decision Maker -> Realization of your Dream

What’s your Dream?  Make it happen.  Write your pitch and reconnect; it’s as simple as that.

It is suggested that you have at least 200-300 people in your support network.  Why?  They can help you find out information, meet a mate, get a new job, find a new home, etc.  Remember, you are probably part of someone’s list of 200-300 contacts already.  Is your list there yet?  If not, here are 4 easy steps to building a network that is effective and connects you with people who can support you in “Living Your Best Life.” Here are the 4 steps:

  1. List all of the people you know.  Start with your inner circle.  These are people who know you.  They include: close friends, colleagues, people you would invite out for an evening or to a party.  Don’t forget to include family.  Sometimes, individuals in our family are people we communicate with the least.  Because of this, family is often accused of not being supportive of individuals in achieving their dreams.  Yes, this is possible; but, how can you support a loved one, when you don’t know what someone wants, needs, or they haven’t asked you for help yet?  Family relationships are often the most difficult in your network to manage; however, they could offer the best resources.
  2. Now add everyone you know professionally or socially that you may communicate with; but, not on a daily or even weekly basis.  This list includes services professionals, physicians, dentist, politicians you’ve met, stylist, insurance agents, realtors, etc.  Remember these are people who have provided you with a service and you may have supported them too, already.  These individuals know what is going on with you, or in your environment and are connected with people you don’t know.
  3. Don’t forget to include to the list, everyone you’ve been referred to or met through networking.  These contacts occasionally get dropped from networking or contact list.  Sometimes we make judgments for them and about them.  We don’t want to intrude or don’t feel they are interested as they were in us when we first met them.  Ask first.  Yes, you may be right; but, give these individuals a chance.  You might be surprised.  These contacts could be the great connectors to decision makers or experts, in a life change, crisis or career decisions.
  4. Finally, write down all of the decision makers and experts you know. These are the people who can help you get a job, loan, give you advice in a crisis.  They can also move you to the top of the list, to the front of the line, or make things happen. 

How big is your list, now?  I think you’re ready to start connecting.

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Create and Maintain an Effective List

When I’m helping clients to reconnect, initially I assumed that making the pitch is the challenge and measuring expectations is difficult. But, for many, making and maintaining a list of people to connect and reconnect with is the test.

Many of us go through our rolodexes, phones and address books to find that we haven’t communicated with someone in so long none of the information is incorrect or we forgot how we knew them. So the first step I suggest is to make a spread sheet. It’s an easy place to capture basic information: 

  • Name
  • Title
  • Company
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Cell phone number, etc.

Also, a spreadsheet is a great place to capture comments or notes. It’s easy to upload the information from a simple spreadsheet to various email and communication management platforms. However, if you prefer the tried and true paper methods, don’t forget to make notes on the back of business cards, in address books, etc., and take the time to write details.

Do you have 200-300 people in you contact database? If not, don’t forget to check my next blog. I’ll give you tips on building your list.

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Connect in 225 Words

It takes 225 words to connect, make friends and the get the support you desire.  These words are the 60 to 90 seconds that will communicate the highlights of your life, along with your aspirations.  It’s your elevator speech to success.  How do you structure it?  Write approximately:

  1. 8 to 10 sentences or 50 to 60 seconds of what you’ve been doing
  2. 2 sentences or 10 seconds of what you’re doing now and
  3. 3 to 5 sentences or 20 to 30 seconds of what you want, hope to do, or dream. 

The sentence suggestions are a guide; since, the average length of a conversational sentence is 15 words. 

Now, own it.  These words represent the most important highlights of your life along with the goals you desire.  This sound bite is valuable; impressions are made quickly. 

When sending emails, remember warm yet cryptic statements are better than journal entries; you’re trying to make an impression.  This also holds true when you’re meeting someone for the first time, socially or professionally.  Don’t bore them to death; you might not get a second chance.  Finally, pay attention.  It’s easy to miss read or hear what someone is saying; if you’re fixated on a certain outcome.  Respond appropriately to their thoughts.

Now get started; you can say a lot in 225 words. 

(This blog’s word count is 228 words.)

Links about Elevator Speeches

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Is Friendship Harder After 35?

Friendship may or may not be harder after 35; however, the world we live in doesn’t make it happen as organically as it did when we were younger or even twenty years ago.  So it may take some work to make and maintain friendships.  I recommend you try to have 5 friends.  Why five?  If you have 5 friends you will have a table of 6 including yourself, the perfect number for a gathering.  So here are 4 tips to get you started filling your table of six:

  1. Know what you want from a friend.  That is the role you expect them to fill.  Consider this, you may be the mentor or nurturer friend for others; but, you may need a friend who reciprocates this role for you.  Some examples of friends are the:
    1. mentor 
    2. nurturer
    3. activity buddy
    4. confidant
    5. work buddy
    6. old friendetc.  There are many types of friends so don’t let yourself be locked into these examples.  However, try to find 5 different types of friends for your inner circle.  They really help make your life more complete.
       

  2. Develop an approach – Take making and managing friendships as seriously as you would your romantic relationship.  Get out; meet people at book readings, activity groups like the ones on meetups.com, and social events like, coffee chats, parties and fundraisers.

  3. Get Moving – I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.  Don’t wait for an invitation.  Make them.  And, don’t settle on friendships that aren’t functioning well.  You don’t have to break up; but, manage them and build friendships that are working.

  4. Manage your friendships – Friendships change.  Manage them effectively and they will be wonderful for your health, support and wellbeing.  People may move in an out of your inner circle because of many different reasons.  However, if you deal with them in an effective way the relationship will become win – win. 

Don’t forget; give friendships a chance to bloom.  Sometimes it takes more than one contact for a relationship to develop.  Also, communication is very import; most women have exceptional verbal skills; but, listening skills are the hardest to master.  Let me know how it’s going.  Remember, it’s an ongoing process.

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