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5 Ingredients to be Happy

We all want to be happy.  The good news is you don’t need to buy it. Your daily actions can create it.

Here are five tips to help you love your life!

  1. Know your purpose

Create everyday with meaning whether it is learning a new health habit like lifting weights, a new hobby, or an action aligned with your values like teaching your kids how to cook. Studies show that happiness lies at the intersection of pleasure and meaning. Engage in significant activities that you really enjoy.

 

  1. Appreciate what you have

Gratitude sparks happiness! Make a list once a day of three things you are grateful for. Say thank you to people.  Look around you and notice how lucky and blessed you are.

 

  1. Use your strengths and get in the flow

Maximize your positive qualities like being creative or intuitive – those things that are innately great about you. Use your strengths for a hobby, activity or sport that absorbs you. That feeling where the clock stands still and you are so into what you are doing has been defined as “flow.” 

 

  1. Focus on doing not owning

Money buys stuff but it does not buy happiness. Invest in experiences not stuff. Volunteering, or helping a neighbor will give you a “helper high.” More happiness is created spending time with others than spending money on yourself.

 

  1. Develop caring relationships

Happiest people have strong supportive relationships, good friends and strong families. It is not enough to collect friends but rather develop caring, compassionate relationships.  To make a friend you have to first be a friend. Don’t forget to treasure your family.

 

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12 Hacks to Grab an Extra Hour and Time in Your Day

We just returned from a two week Caribbean vacation. We attended Blair and Kevin’s destination wedding on the beautiful island of Saba (paradise) and spent several days  on St. Maarten. We lived on the beach, wearing bathing suits and flip flops, drinking tons of bottled water and had all the time in the world. The clock almost seemed to stop. I enjoyed not knowing what day of the week it was or what time of day it was. My body has been in shock with my re-entry to wearing warmer clothes and shoes, using water from the tap and being on a schedule. This transition has been hard so I decided I needed more time in my life and came up with this list of how to grab some more time in each day.

Get up an hour earlier. (This one is obvious)

I have been getting up an hour earlier and feel refreshed and ready to go. This also means I am getting myself to bed earlier. I would like to say an hour earlier but I can tell you I am getting to bed 30 minutes earlier to Gary’s delight. Mr. Swim Man likes to be in bed at 10:30 so he can pop out of bed at 5:00 am to get to swimming.  The thought of getting cold and wet at 6 am does not sound in any way appealing.

Start a news fast

Quit reading the daily newspaper. Try it for a week and see how you feel. What we focus on gets bigger and bolder and lately the world is not exactly a happy place.

Simply meal prep

On Sunday I have my menu planned for the week and have foods in the house for the meals all ready to go. Use freezer meals to save you time. Check out Jen Haugen’s Freezer Meal Menu and Meal Workshop Guide to save you kitchen time and  give you more family time.

Organize lunches ahead of time

At 8 o clock at night I used to dislike making lunches for Danielle and Brett unless I was organized and prepared ahead of time.  Again, on Sunday have your lunch box menu ready with foods in the house for the week. Holley Grainger’s 125 Lunch Box Ideas will dump your “Lunchbox Lethargy” and empower your kids to try new foods and make your lunch box task fun and more creative.

Be efficient at the grocery store

Be organized. Keep an ongoing list of what you need. Create a list of your evening meals for the week.

Create your grocery list to coordinate with the grocery store layout. Shop when others are not shopping. My favorite time to shop used to be at 7 am. The grocery store is humming with the produce guys putting out the fresh produce and the bakery deliveries. It feels happy!  Who doesn’t want more happy!

Keep Saturday morning sacred. (ok this is more than one hour)

I don’t schedule any social outings on Saturday. I reserve the day for “me” unless something pretty delightful comes my way. I savor the morning with a swim. I enjoy a breakfast of bacon and eggs (eggs are fried in the bacon grease just like Grandma Lily did) while I watch my favorite TV show the Kare 11 Saturday.

Quit work an hour earlier or start work an hour later

One of my most favorite clients who has a really stressful job as a scientist starts her day at 5:30 am. She marvels at how much she gets done in the quiet of the morning. And don’t forget the easier commute. What is the price of uninterrupted time? You guessed it. Priceless

Unplug the TV

I know this one is hard but is TV watching aligned with your values? A study released by Nielsen discovered that the average American is watching 5 hours and 4 minutes of TV a day. Four and a half hours is live television, which is television watched when originally broadcast. Thirty minutes more comes via DVR.

Contain your social media time

The average internet user studies show we are on social media and messaging services 2 hours a day.  The average person has twice as many social accounts as 2012. In fact the average user has 7 social media accounts. In 2016 the data showed that the internet is capturing more of our time each day with total hours spent online via PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets growing from 5 ½ hours in 2012 to 6 ½ in 2016.  I used to tap into Facebook when my day was “done” around 10 pm. When I started to dream about Ben Castle a friend’s son and other people I read about on Facebook I realized I needed to focus on something else. I love Ben’s mom Jill Castle  (America’s Childhood Feeding Expert) but there are only 24 hours in the day and I can use the last hour before I go to bed doing something more meaningful.

Remember your free time is not always available time

Just because you don’t have something scheduled on Wednesday night does not mean you cannot turn down invitations for that night. Remind yourself it is ok to say “no” to others and “yes” to you.

Refrain from scheduling any after work gatherings

No drinks. No coffees. No dinners.

Dump perfection

Like Mark LaBlanc says “Done is better than perfect.” Think of the hours you spend trying to get things done just right when 90% is probably good enough. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists I am speaking to you!  Have you ever given thought to how much time perfection takes?

If you are feeling stuck maybe it is time to measure your time. I am known to say, “We manage what measure.” Life is shorter than we think. We really do not know our “expiration date” so we must create days with meaning, purpose and laughter. Live your life with no regrets. Your someday is now!  

You have one life to live, just imagine it was one you loved! Better get busy!  I am so excited for you!

What did I miss? How do you grab an extra hour in your day?

@cherebork #dietitianlifecoach

More Tips for the Back to School Balancing Act

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The Back to School Balancing Act

Our summer’s lazy days are slowly fading to memory and soon to be replaced with jam-packed school and sports schedules, meetings, homework and busy activities. Here are some quick tips to balance the demands of school, work, family and create time for you!

  1. Identify your top 5 values. What are your activities and behaviors that give you vibrant meaning to your life and help you with your decisions? Some examples could include: family, faith, beauty, creativity, financial security, recognition, or travel. Post them on the fridge. Live. Them.
  2. Define your standards of balance. Standards are the things you say yes to. Examples could include: Family night one evening each week, no TV or emails after 7 pm, or bed by 10 pm. The more specific your standard the easier to create your boundary.
  3. Analyze your to do list. Does your list align with your values? Does your list align with your standards?
  4. Dump perfection. Completion is always better than perfect!
  5. Grocery shop on the weekend. Have the ingredients in the house on Sunday for three evening meals for your week.

@cherebork #dietitianlifecoach

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  3 Tips to Get You from Stuck in Stress to Happy Success

I am never doing enough!

Am I working hard enough or procrastinating?

Am I not accomplishing my goals because of time constraints or because I am not focused?

Am I setting realistic expectations for myself?  

Ann is a coaching client whose focus centered on what felt hard and frustrating in her life and what was not working in her life.  So I began…

Whatever we focus on gets bigger and bolder.  I decided to use the coaching tool of appreciative inquiry and asked Ann, “What is working in your life?” I could feel her spirits soar a bit higher when she mentioned she feels accomplished running faster and farther as she gets ready for a 10K run. And, after she runs she notices she feels more positive about her life.

Almost every day, many of us feel stuck or that we need to work harder.

Here are 3 tips when you feel like your day is a disappointment and you are not accomplishing anything that really matters.

 

Ask yourself: What is working in my life today?
You are what you think about.

You cannot change anything if you can’t change your thinking. Notice your self-defeating thoughts. They will rob you of your peace, joy, and productivity. If you are not at peace with yourself you cannot be productive. You can think yourself into endless disappointment, frustration, and heartache or you can think yourself into productivity, happiness, and contentment. You. Can. Choose. Every day ask yourself, “What is working in my life today?” You will be amazed at the beauty of life around you and how it can jumpstart you into action.

Ask yourself: How am I measuring my progress?
You manage what you measure

Are the goals you create SMART goals meaning are they specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and attainable? If you don’t create SMART goals you will not feel accomplished. Always remember we manage what we measure. Ask yourself how are you measuring your progress? 

Ask yourself: Am I working on my task in an achievable amount of time?
Create achievable tasks.

Use the 5-minute rule. Set your timer for 5 minutes and work on your task. 5 minutes is a small amount of time and is easy to start with because IT IS ONLY FIVE MINUTES.  You will be less likely to procrastinate 5 minutes because you avoid thinking you need to work on your project for an hour or until completion.

Your expectations, beliefs, and thoughts create your day. If you feel stuck and do not like what is happening in your life, change how you think about it, measure your actions and break tasks down into doable baby steps. I promise you…you will go from stuck in stress to happy success.

How did you get unstuck? We can’t wait to hear!

@cherebork #dietitianlifecoach

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5 Ways to Savor August

1. Live in your day!

Drop “yestermorrow”  Create an August of no regrets

2.  Get to a farmers market.  

Buy something you never tasted before.

3.  Create happiness.

Use my happiness formula and let go of expectations and focus on hopeHappiness = Reality – Expectations + Hope

4.  Move your body.  

Your body and mind are intimately connected.  Remember your brain is the master control system for your body’s movement, the way you move can also affect the way you think and feel.

Dr. Srini Pillay states that “Working out, going on a meditative walk by yourself, or going for a synchronized walk with someone, you may gain access to a “back door” to the mental changes that you desire without having to “psych yourself” into feeling better.

5.  Walk outside barefoot for 10 minutes each day

Walking outside is also known as “earthing” which means walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand. Sidewalks don’t count.

Studies are showing the health benefits of “earthing” by  reducing inflammation, improving sleep , decreasing blood viscosity which is a risk factor in heart disease and regulating your endocrine and nervous systems.

Savor the last days of summer and when the snow is flying like here in Minneapolis you will have no regrets!

What is on your wish list for August? We can’t wait to hear!

@cherebork #dietitianlifecoach

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Fabulous Setbacks That Changed My Career

February 3, 2003, at 3 pm I was fired! It was life changing. I repeatedly would ask myself “Who fires Chere Bork?” I always over-deliver and over-accomplish every task I set out to do…often to my detriment.

Today I work with many Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who think there is a golden path to success. I am an example of how my failures which I now call “fabulous” have led to my success and Gary’s early retirement.

My first job at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee Wisconsin. This was my office on the surgical floor. The VA was hopping with cute med students and the window sill behind me was where I would often find a med student sitting waiting for me. I never knew my first job would be so fun filled!

When I look back on my job history I realize I had a “problem” being supervised since my very first job.  The first day of my first job at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin I was asked by a cute med student if I wanted to see an autopsy. My new mentor Jean Wroblewski RD went with me.  Twenty years later I learned she had decided if I was going to see an autopsy on my first day of work she was going to see it too, despite worrying about being written up.  I never even thought to ask if I could do this I just told Jean I was going. The VA job had lots of rules. I guess that is why I was written up 3 times in 3 years. In hindsight, I realized a federal government job was not for me as I had a problem following rules that did not make sense to me.

Do your students call you Mrs. Bork?

I moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin and began teaching at University of Wisconsin – Stout. Being a Registered Dietitian for five years, I was not accustomed to so many people telling me what to do. And certainly did not appreciate the old overweight Ph.D. nutrition professors interviewing me every semester and inquiring about my teaching methods. I was raised to tell the truth but I lied to them every semester when they asked me, “Do your students call you Mrs. Bork?” I smiled and said, “Yes.” But I was Chere to my students. I never felt good about myself after those interviews, like I was missing the mark. Yet my students loved me and I loved them back. How many college teachers received earrings and other presents from their students?

My happiness lasted a mere 12 weeks

I moved to Minneapolis and was employed in the health promotion department of Hennepin County. Ninety-nine people applied and luckily I landed the job. After 12 weeks I gave my notice. In those short 12 weeks, I interviewed Tony Bouza the police chief (I got in trouble) and I also interviewed a Hennepin County Commissioner (I got in trouble for that too.) I later learned I was supposed to ask permission to interview these people. I also discovered a respiratory therapist on staff with an associate degree was making more money than I was with my 9 years of experience and a Master’s degree. I created a proposal and got a raise. Needless to say, this job caused me many sleepless nights as I felt like I never measured up, yet the evaluations from my presentations were always excellent.

I was always exceeding expectations

Every job Gary would say, “The person who hired you liked you but the person who supervised you was threatened by you. You won’t be happy! He was right! I felt like I was always exceeding expectations, yet I felt like I was a failure and not successful. There was always a black cloud hanging over my head. In every job, I showed up with the passion for helping others but it was never enough. 

Real success

All of these setbacks led to real success for me and my family. A week ago I overheard Gary telling a client that if I had not been fired and started my business he would not have been able to retire so early. I made enough money that I paid for the kid’s college and did not have to take money out of our savings. The pay of a clinical Registered Dietitian would never have afforded that.

There is no right way

Clients always think there is one “right way”. Scratch that idea! Every job was a key stepping stone in my journey. You can learn from me. You and I take thousands and thousands of steps. Some steps are big risks and other steps are safe and secure. Some steps are a coincidence. Some of these steps become setbacks. Treat setbacks like a scientist would. Examine them and learn from them. You are not your successes. You are not your setbacks. If you are experiencing a setback right now, I want you to hear my voice. “Get up. Keep going.”

Setbacks are just data points from one experiment to the next experiment. #dietitianlifecoach Click To Tweet

Decide today life is one big fat juicy experiment

There is no right way. The right way is your way. Let go of the past and revel in today. Every day is a new beginning! Your friends and family are waiting! Better get busy!

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