How to move forward after the election

My heart is slowly healing and my fear for our country’s future is slowly dissipating…because there is no other option except to heal and move forward, sooner rather than later.

However you feel about this election–devastated/stunned/neutral/hopeful/pissed/happy/scared–I invite you to feel inspired.

If this election has taught us anything, it’s that we have control over so few things and it’s a humbling and sobering experience any time we realize that.

What can we actually control? Ourselves. Our choices. Our reactions. Our thoughts. Let’s focus on that. That gives us a lot to work with. Remembering what we can control has given me a lot of hope this week.

Now more than ever, we need to live from that perspective, from what we can control. It’s time to take a hard look about what we’re doing in our lives now, and how we can show up more powerfully–so that these next four years are wonderful and productive, regardless of what happens in White House.

It’s time to take action on those goals–academic, personal, professional–we want to accomplish, but we keep putting off.

It’s time to drop the negative beliefs we have about ourselves (“I’m too much” or “I’m not enough”) and get to work on what we want to accomplish and experience in this life. Those beliefs keep us small, hold us back, and prevent us from doing the stuff we want to do.

It’s time to get out of our comfort zones in small and big ways.

It’s time to just do things a little differently, to just act and create instead of thinking and talking.

What does all of this look like in regular life? Maybe it means committing to going to yoga at 6am 3 times per week, and actually getting out of bed and going. Maybe it means telling people how you really feel instead of trying to make everyone happy. Maybe it means replacing the time you spend Youtubing reruns of Girls Next Door (ummm me) with an uplifting podcast. Maybe it means looking for a job that really fills you up and is more in line with your passions. Maybe it means going out on dates now, not putting your love life on hold until you lose weight/fix something about yourself.

There are so many ways we can play bigger in our lives. There are so many ways we can be active and powerful. And when we do that, we give others permission to go after their goals and dreams too. And then we awaken the whole world.

Let this election–regardless of how you feel about it–inspire you.

Two awesome and low-effort time management techniques

Sometimes (a lot of times), it’s hard for me to focus while I’m working. I tend to start a task, then shift a few moments later to something else that I remember I have to do, change the song I’m listening to, text someone, grab another glass of water, etc. You know the drill.

In our world of constant stimuli that offer immediate gratification, staying on one task for a set period of time can be pretty difficult. I recently discovered two time-management tools that really work for me. I invite you to try them for yourselves.

1. When you’re faced with a challenge (however big), take a few deep breaths. When we’re working on a task, challenges come up. We may not know how to respond to an email, proceed on an assignment, or we may have to Google around for an answer to a question. When these challenges come up, we get slightly uncomfortable/annoyed/frustrated, so our minds wander to distract ourselves from that discomfort. But that just makes us lose concentration, prolonging the time it takes for us to finish something. The next time you notice yourself switching gears right away when a challenge comes up, remove your hands from your laptop or phone and take two deep breaths.Put your focus on your breath.Then return to the task. You’ll often find that when you go back to your task, the challenge at hand is less of a pain than you thought. With just a little more concentration, you can figure it out and get your task done.

2. Set a timer for 10 mins and crank out that email. Sending emails seems like such a mind-numbing task, but it actually takes a lot of concentration. We may have to include a lot of detail and direction to our recipient or write a thoughtful response to someone’s idea. And how annoying is it when you finally send an email and realize you made a mistake!? It can take a long time to write a useful and error-free email, and it’s so easy for our minds to wander while we write. Try this technique. Set your timer for 10 mins. Get hyperfocused and try your absolute hardest to get that email written within that 10 mins. But don’t send yet. This helps you get out everything you need to say—quickly. THEN, after the 10 mins, read the email aloud to yourself and send.

Try these techniques at work or school this week. They’ll help you stay focused during your work time so that you get your work done quickly—and you avoid having to take work home or squeezing in work in other parts of your day.