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Self-Leadership: Make Work Easier with Natural Rewards

It’s not challenging to complete enjoyable tasks. For instance, many
of us can browse a clothing store online to buy a new blouse or read the stats from our favorite team’s last game without having to work up any willpower. On the other hand, some tasks, particularly at work, have enjoyable and unpleasant aspects, making them more challenging to get through. That’s where self-leadership, particularly the strategies known as natural rewards, comes in.

Self-leadership is the process of influencing and motivating oneself, and decades of research shows that it enhances productivity, performance, and achievement. Researchers group self-leadership strategies into behavioral-focused, natural reward strategies, and constructive thought pattern strategies. For a complete overview of self-leadership, check out XcelMil’s previous post on self-leadership. In this post, we’re diving into natural reward strategies.

Natural Reward Strategies

Natural reward strategies aim to help the self-leaders motivate themselves by focusing on an inherently enjoyable task.

 

Natural rewards fall into two sub-categories:

  1. The first involves finding ways to make an unpleasant task more
    enjoyable.
  2. The second is about intentionally directing one’s thoughts toward the parts of the job that are enjoyable and away from the unpleasant features.

Natural rewards tie to intrinsic motivation by way of increased competence and self-determination. Task-specific inherent reason directly impacts the task and, in turn, the individual’s overall work performance.

Natural rewards increase our attention and efforts, which can make a
specific job more relevant and exciting. When we can complete the tasks that we’ve set out to complete efficiently and effectively, it also helps us feel a greater sense of control over our work.

How to Use Natural Rewards

So, how does one put self-reward strategies into practice? Here’s your
two-part plan.

Step 1: Choose a task you have to complete for work that you’re having
difficulty getting motivated to do. Next, make a mental or physical list of the parts of the work you enjoy. For instance, perhaps you have been dreading putting together your team’s annual sales report. Maybe you identify that you like seeing the growth that your team has achieved over the year or the number of clients that you’ve been able to serve with your product or service successfully. By simply identifying what you enjoy about the work, you should already feel the dread associated with the task start to lift.

Step 2: While working on your task, keep bringing the enjoyable aspects of the work that you identified to the forefront of your mind. When you start to think negatively about the work, redirect your attention to your mental or physical list of pleasant aspects. It may be difficult at first, but it’s like flexing a mental muscle. Whenever you choose to draw your attention back, you’re getting stronger at it, and it will soon get easier.

When employed consistently, natural reward strategies can help you get
more done with less resistance, which will lead to overall better work. At XcelMil, we believe that self-leadership is a powerful tool to achieve more at a higher quality and improve your team’s performance. Contact us today to book a consultation to learn more about what we have to offer around self-leadership.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com. Click here to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training

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The Great Resignation

Belonging is one of the deepest human needs. Everyone in the world desires to find a place where they can experience at least a sense of belonging. They will search for that place or that feeling until they do.

Which brings us to one of the biggest shifts in the workforce we’ve ever seen. If you’re in any kind of executive or management position, you’ve probably heard the phrase “The Great Resignation” by now.

If you haven’t, you can read more about it here.

The fact that four million people quit their jobs in April might have you worried about the future of your team. What will it look like in six months? Are your most talented team members going to bolster the statistics of this great resignation? How can you keep your top talent on your team?

The articles covering The Great Resignation reference things like higher pay, more time with family, and freedom. Workers are leaving their jobs because they are discovering that their work doesn’t align with their real values.

The COVID-19 lockdowns and shifts to remote work gave America’s, and the world’s, workforce the opportunity to do some soul searching. They realized that the way we’ve approached work and life in the modern era has grown stale. They’ve discovered that 50-60 hour weeks and missing family gatherings doesn’t have to be the norm.

They’ve seen a new reality and want to move forward into it. And they aren’t wrong for wanting to do so.

However, where does that leave you? How can you move into the new reality with the workforce? How do you convince your team to continue being your team?

Can you pay higher wages? Maybe you can, and maybe you can’t.

Can you offer more PTO? Possibly.

What can you do if neither of these (or any of other things post-COVID employees want) are viable options?

I believe that The Great Resignation is a sign of the deeper human need of belonging. Workers want more time with the people who make them feel as if they belong: their family and their friends. They want the freedom to pursue their own passions. They want to fulfill their own visions.

What do four million resignations signify?

That workers don’t feel as if they belong at their jobs. If the need for belonging was being met at work, they would not feel the desire to leave as strongly. If they felt they believed in the vision of the organization, they wouldn’t be as quick to leave to pursue their own.

It goes back to the famous management quote “People don’t quit jobs.

They quit bosses.”

So, as a leader, you need to be asking yourself the questions, “What can I do to create belonging on my team?” “How can I help my team align with the vision of the company?”

I think a simple strategy to achieve both is to invest in your team.

Belonging and alignment are created where growth is achievable.

We stay in the relationships that allow us to grow and change without losing the approval of the other person.

We go to the gym and get in better shape because the environment has been cultivated to encourage growth and change.

Leaders need to realize that they set the culture for their organizations and the teams inside them. That means you have the opportunity to build a culture where you encourage the growth and advancement of everyone on your team.

This is no longer just an opportunity. In the face of The Great Resignation, it has become a necessity.

So, I ask you, what are you doing to encourage the growth of your team members? How are you cultivating an environment of belonging?

Both of these questions are answered by how much you are willing to invest in your team.

What resources have you made available to them?

At XcelMil, we understand that employees are human, and we seek to meet the human needs of growth and belonging through an extensive library of continuing education courses.

You can view our selection of courses here.

Sincerely,

The XcelMil Team

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/ to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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Self-Leadership: Bring out the Best in You: Behavior Strategies for Self-Leadership

Self-leadership (SL) is the process of directing and motivating oneself to succeed, which is a critical part of overall leadership. Obviously, if you can’t get things done and do them well, how can you motivate anyone else?

Decades of research tie self-leadership to performance and achievement by means of specific behavioral and cognitive strategies. Experts typically group these strategies into three categories: behavioral-focused, natural reward, and constructive thought patterns.

For a more in-depth overview of self-leadership, check out our previous post. The purpose of this post and the two that will follow is to deep-dive into each group of strategies that support self-leadership and provide practical tips. First off: behavioral-focused techniques.

Behavioral-focused strategies encourage a sense of responsibility and control that lead to better outcomes. Generally, they support positive, desired behaviors that facilitate positive outcomes and cut down behaviors that give us unwanted results. Behavioral-focused strategies are especially critical for tasks and projects that the self-leader considers less than pleasant. They include self-observation, self-goal setting, self-cueing, self-punishment & self-rewarding.

Self-Cueing

We are visual beings (yes, you and me). In fact, 90% of our perceptions of the world come from what we see, and that’s why self-cues work so well to motivate us. Self-cues are physical reminders that can keep us focused on our goals and performance. These contextual prompts include inspirational posters, vision boards, reminder notes, posted affirmations, and a pleasing work environment. If you haven’t spruced up your office in a while or experimented with written affirmations, it’s time to give it a try.

The second component of the behavioral strategies for self-leadership is self-goal-setting. Goal-setting experts assert that we are biologically designed to set goals for ourselves. To live is a process that depends on action; if we did nothing, we would die. The self-leader sets and attains goals not just to survive but to thrive. Do you have a specific goal toward which you’re actively working?

Self-Reward & Punishment

The next group of behavioral strategies for self-leadership is self-reward and punishment. Let’s first clarify that the self-punishment aspect is meant to entail learning from one’s experiences, achieving greater understanding, and incorporating self-feedback. There is no place for harsh self-criticism in SL. Self-rewards for goal attainment or a job well done can be intrinsic or extrinsic. If a mental pat on the back is all you need to celebrate an achievement, great. If a massage sounds better, by all means, indulge.

Finally, self-observation means to reflect and identify unhelpful thoughts and behaviors. We’ll dig further into self-observation in the next blog post, which will focus on developing constructive thought patterns for self-leadership. Behavioral-focused self-leadership strategies bring out the best in us to achieve our desired result while downplaying the negative behaviors that have sabotaged us in the past. Try out the strategies above and let us know if they’ve worked for you. We’d love to hear it.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/ to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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Self-Leadership: Why does it matter, and how do I do it?

Self-leadership, in essence, is what it sounds like—the ability to lead oneself. Self-leadership is the process of influencing one’s self, which is a critical part of overall leadership. Before a leader can get other people on board with a big project or initiative, they must direct and motivate themselves to get started.

The topic of self-leadership, while currently popular, is not new. The concept emerged in the mid-1980s and has since earned the respect of academics and business executives alike, serving as the topic of countless research studies, articles, books, and workplace training programs. Self-leadership is a mainstay in the leadership conversation for good reasons, as it provides numerous benefits to individuals and organizations.

Why is self-leadership important?

First, and most obvious, we can each become better leaders by understanding and practicing self-leadership. We can also help develop self-leadership in others so that our teams are more effective. Finally, we can help cultivate self-leadership in individuals who may potentially hold leadership roles in our organization, increasing the likelihood of their success.

The importance of cultivating self-leadership in others becomes apparent when considering the following point. According to research, the best predictors of who will get leadership roles are personal characteristics. Extraversion, dominance, agreeableness, and narcissism are attributes that often predict who will emerge as leaders. If we can start to develop self-leadership in individuals who aren’t dominant or narcissistic but demonstrate real leadership potential, we can cultivate more robust leadership pipelines for our organizations.

How can we become better self-leaders?

Leading academics on self-leadership outline three specific behavioral and cognitive strategies that enhance personal effectiveness:

behavioral-focused strategies, natural reward strategies, and constructive thought pattern strategies.

1.  Behavioral-focused strategies

Behavioral-focused strategies facilitate positive, desired behaviors that support positive outcomes while cutting down on negative behaviors that can lead to unwanted results. These strategies involve self-observation, self-goal setting, self-cueing, self-punishment (to an extent), and self-rewarding.

2.  Natural reward strategies

Natural reward strategies aim to create circumstances where the self-leader is motivated or rewarded by the parts of an inherently enjoyable task. There are two primary sub-strategies associated with natural rewards strategies. The first involves building in more pleasant aspects of a job so that the task itself becomes more enjoyable and rewarding. The second consists of maintaining one’s focus on the more rewarding aspects of the task rather than focusing on unpleasant elements. Both of these sub-strategies enhance competence and self-determination, which tie to intrinsic motivation.

3.  Constructive Thought Pattern Strategies

Finally, constructive thought pattern strategies involve confronting and replacing old, detrimental ways of thinking with better ones. Constructive thought pattern strategies also include mental imagery and positive self-talk.

Ongoing leadership success largely depends on one’s ability to self-lead. By implementing the behavioral and cognitive strategies discussed here, we can become more effective leaders for our teams and teach our employees strategies to do their jobs more effectively. We can also develop a leadership pipeline that sees our organizations through to even greater future success.

 

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/ to learn more about our services.

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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The 3 W’s of Reaching Any Goal

You have a goal in mind, but that’s all you have. Creating, working towards, and reaching goals is not easy. The journey is often different for everyone. However, there are three parts to achieving every goal that is always the same. Defining the 3 W’s of your goal will allow you to work toward it without losing sight of the big picture.

  1. What

What do you want? What is your goal? You need to be specific: I want to run a half marathon. I want to write a novel. Explicitly, naming your goal and writing it out will give power to it and will allow you to mentally focus on what you are trying to achieve. Clearly defined goals are easier to work towards. Writing out your target has the added benefit of making the goal “real,” as opposed to a foggy idea floating in your mind.

  1. When

When do you want to achieve your goal? What is your timeframe? Once you have an overall time frame, you can dive into the milestones that you will need to hit along the way and put time limits on those. Doing this will give you benchmarks on which you can measure your progress. Measuring your progress in increments will also keep your spirits up when you are in the muck of the middle. You will be able to look back and say, “I’m halfway there.”

  1. Why

Why is this your goal? Why do you want to do it? Your why is your everything. Your reasoning should be personal and not something you will be easily swayed from. If you’re going to run a half marathon merely for the glory, you may want to dig a little deeper. Running a half isn’t easy, and in the middle of every training session, it will just be you and your legs. Having a strong why will also come in handy when you lack external support. Having a reliable support system of family and friends makes achieving any goal easier, but sometimes you won’t have that backing.

You have your what  your when, and your why. Write down each of these and revisit the W’s when times get tough. You should especially revisit your why daily. It will remind you why you started, why you are continuing, and what awaits you at the end of your long journey. Setting and achieving goals is not for the weak of heart, but if your heart is in it, the process will be much less daunting.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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9 Ways Micromanaging can Negatively Impact Employees

An ideal workplace should be a relaxed and productive atmosphere filled with creativity, support, compassion, excellent communication, and positive values. However, many fall short of this because of Micromanaging. Micromanaging can create a toxic environment.

What is Micromanaging?

Micromanaging is over-management and an inability to delegate.

According to Oxford Languages, “micromanaging control every part, however small, of (an enterprise or activity).”

What does Micromanaging Look Like?

  • Be picky about minor details of little importance. 
  • Frequently walk around the office to check what staff is doing at their desks. 
  • Take away responsibilities without justification.  
  • Redo an employees’ work, even when the original was correct. 
  • End up taking over a project after assigning it to someone else.
  • Criticize a successful project.

The negative impacts of micromanaging are so intense that it is labeled one of the top reasons employees resign.

Here are the 9 Ways Micromanaging can Negatively Impact Employees:

  1. Heightened Stress
    Too much stress can cause anxiety. People with anxiety can experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms. They may feel nervous, tense, fearful, or restless, and, in severe cases, panic attacks can occur. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) defines job stress as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.
  2. Burnout
    When employees continuously feel as if everything they do is scrutinized, they become frustrated, tired, and upset, leading to burnout. This can impact their work performance and prevent them from excelling in their position. 
  3. Poor health and mental well-being
    The most significant adverse effect of Micromanaging is the long-term effect of stress and its impact on people’s health.According to webmd.com: Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.Also, chronic stress can contribute to long-term problems for the heart and blood vessels. It can increase the heart rate and the elevated levels of cortisol (stress hormone). Cortisol is essential for your health, but too much of it can wreak havoc on your body and cause several unwanted symptoms. One of the most common symptoms is excessive weight gain.
  4. Decreased growth potential 
    Employees will become less motivated. They may feel that they are not given enough space for growth, creativity, and expression. Also, it will prevent team members from taking the sort of necessary risks for a startup to grow.
  5. Low productivity 
    Micromanaging decreases the drive for success. Employees might meet deadlines, but their work will only be satisfactory.
  6. Reduced creativity
    How can anyone be creative in an environment that hinders creativity, expression, and communication? Creativity will be the first thing that suffers from micromanaging. To be creative, workers need to feel free to experiment, collaborate and have an “out of the box” thinking.
  7. Low employee morale 
    When there is low employee morale, workers may feel down and disengaged and their work will be subpar, uninspired, and lacking innovation. 
  8. High staff turnover
    Who wants to work in an unhealthy environment that everything they do is being scrutinized? Some people will stay for a while under harsh and stressful conditions when they have bills to pay and family to take care of. However, everyone has their breaking point, and it’s just so much a person can take until they decide to quit and walk away.
  9. Engage in Unhealthy Behaviors
    Workplace stress has adverse effects on workers’ mental health, with an increased risk of anxiety, burnout, depression, overeating, and substance use disorders. Workers who are stressed at work are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and poor dietary patterns.

How to Avoid Micromanaging

  1. Encourage Individualism
    Micromanaging create a lack of trust employees have in their leaders. By exhibiting trust, you make workers feel comfortable doing what they think is best—even if it’s not exactly how you’d handle the situation. 
  2. Constructive Criticism
    When providing feedback, try doing so in ways that highlight their value.It’s also good to make the feedback a dialogue by asking for their perspective on things as well. Not only will this make them feel valued, but it will also go a long way in building rapport.
  3. Be Compassionate
    Get to know your employees and show them you care. You don’t have to become their best friends. Every so often, have a heart-to-heart chat with each one. If they confide in you about a problem, fear, or concern and you are not able to solve it, offer resources. Try to be as helpful as you can be. When you show that you care about them, they will most likely trust you. 
    When they know they are working for someone who cares about them, they are more likely to be less stressed and have more confidence in their work.

Managing people is one of the hardest things a leader can do. When employees are given clear direction and the necessary room to run, you’ll be amazed by what can be achieved. 

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services. 

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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How Assertive are You?

An important part of life skills is the development of assertiveness. Without it, you could feel disrespected or disregarded in relationships and career paths. Assertiveness is all about feeling confident in your ideas, thoughts, and beliefs that you can ask or demand what you want in a calm and effective manner.

Assertiveness is also about refusing to accept what you don’t want. For example, if someone cuts in front of you at the supermarket, do you call them on it or just keep quiet? If you don’t speak up, you probably leave the store feeling angry and frustrated.

If you’re an aggressive personality, you may react to the same situation by becoming overly angry and shouting at the person who cut in line. That type of behavior is unacceptable and can cause serious conflict.

You may have problems being assertive with those in authority – for example, parents, bosses or others who you feel are “above” you. You may not have the confidence to speak up around these people for fear that you’ll lose your job or be looked at as confrontational.

Ask Yourself These 8 Questions to Gauge How Assertive You Are:

  • Do you speak up when you disagree with someone?
  • Do you do what’s right even though it goes against what others are doing?
  • Would you remind a person about the money they borrowed and need to pay back?
  • Can you ask for help if needed?
  • Can you tell people when you’re disappointed in them?
  • Do you tell someone if they’ve hurt your feelings?
  • If someone is consistently late, do you tell him how it makes you feel?
  • Can you refuse if someone asks you to do something wrong?

Think about people whom you really admire? Chances are they display the honorable quality of being assertive when needed. There’s a fine line between aggressiveness and assertiveness, but the consequences may be far-reaching.

Common sense can lead you away from being too aggressive so that feelings are hurt and relationships are lost. As you practice assertiveness in your daily life, you’ll become more adept at knowing when and where the line is crossed and being able to avoid it.

Learn all you can about assertiveness and apply the lessons where needed in your life. The self-esteem that comes from standing up for yourself and demanding that your rights be respected can transform your life and lead you to success.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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6 Tips on Sharing a Home Office with Your Spouse

Does your house seem smaller since the pandemic started? Many families feel more cramped with 2 adults working at home, especially if you need to share your workspace with your spouse.

This may be the first time you’ve seen their work habits up close or counted how many dirty coffee cups they leave behind in their wake. Even if you’re used to having an office mate, it’s a different experience when you don’t say goodbye and go your separate ways at quitting time.

Protect your relationship and your productivity by mastering the modern rules for couples who share a home office. Try these tips for setting up your workspace and interacting with each other.

Setting Up a Home Office for Two:

  1. Divide your space. Each of you will probably need your own desk or workstation. It will help you to stay out of each other’s way and reduce distractions. There will be less risk of accidentally carrying off each other’s files or losing items too.
  2. Separate your stuff. Figure out which supplies and equipment you can share and which you’ll need for yourself alone. You can probably save money by having one printer and shredder. On the other hand, you may need your own phone line and storage space.
  3. Enable privacy. How will you handle tasks that require quiet and concentration? Maybe you can write or attend Webex/Zoom meetings in your sunroom or kitchen. Maybe you’ll be more comfortable with your desks facing away from each other.
  4. Create ambience. Design your office for maximum comfort and cheer. Give it a fresh coat of paint and display some artwork and photos.
  5. Minimize clutter. At the same time, open space and tidy surfaces are more relaxing, so be selective about your furnishings. Cleaning up after yourself helps too.
  6. Stagger your schedules. If possible, you might work different hours. That way you can count on a private office for at least part of the day.

Etiquette for Sharing Your Home Office:

  1. Establish boundaries. Planning ahead will avoid many conflicts, but you’ll still need ground rules. Share the vacuuming and agree on where to set the thermostat.
  2. Talk things over. Resolve minor annoyances promptly to keep them from escalating. Be open to compromises and keep your sense of humor.
  3. Wear headphones. Volume levels are one of the most common challenges in any shared space. Noise-canceling headphones may help you keep the peace if you prefer different styles of music. You may also need headsets if you make a lot of phone calls.
    Eliminate odors. Unpleasant smells can be as intrusive as noise. You may need to step outside if you’re snacking on pizza with extra garlic. Use neutral cleaning products or check to see that you both like pomegranate scented air freshener.
  4. Stay focused. Maintain balance by using your home office for work and dealing with personal matters elsewhere. Save personal conversations for after hours.
  5. Take breaks together. While sharing an office with your spouse takes some effort, it can also be a lot of fun. Drink your morning coffee on your patio. Take your dog to the park at lunchtime for a long walk or outdoor concert.
    Be considerate. Overall, treat your spouse with respect and courtesy. It’s easy to drift into taking each other for granted, so remember what you like about them. Show your appreciation and look for ways to make their life easier.

There are many advantages to working from home, and the trend will continue long after the lockdowns and quarantines end. Learning to share office space will help you and your spouse enjoy your relationship and your remote work experience.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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7 Ways to Cope With Loneliness and Social Isolation

Today, it’s challenging to have a great social life. This was true even before Covid-19 became an issue.

In the not-so-distant past, it used to be so boring to stay at home during the evenings and the weekends that people always looked for an excuse to get out of the house. But now, between streaming services, the internet, smartphones, and video games, it’s much easier to find an excuse to stay home.

Covid-19 has only made the situation even more challenging. Now, there is a legitimate reason to avoid others.

While a few select people seem to thrive with very little human contact, most people need to spend time with others to stay emotionally healthy and happy.

Luckily, there are still things you can do to help maintain your emotional health, even when your time with others is reduced.

Learn how to ease the discomfort of social isolation with these tips:

  1. Be productive. Just because you might be spending a lot of time alone doesn’t mean you just have to sit there and be miserable. Everyone feels better when they’re being productive. Some productive activities include:
  • Paint the living room.
  • Volunteer to help others.
  • Take a class online.
  • Rearrange the pantry.
  • Take the car in to have the tires rotated.
  • Take the dog for a walk.
  • And many more
  1. Connect with others in a safe manner. Use your imagination and find a way to connect with people while making your health a priority.
  • Use skype, zoom, and other options for talking “face-to-face.”
  • Chat online via forums.
  • Sit outside by a fire in the fresh air and have a conversation with a friend.
  1. View beautiful things. What makes something beautiful? It makes you feel a certain way when you look at it. With your smartphone or computer, you can view just about anything in the world. Spend some time looking at beautiful things each day and you’ll feel great.
  • Look at old photographs.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Find the most perfect tree in the park and really look at it.
  1. Take up a solo hobby. There are plenty of hobbies you can do by yourself. Paint, play chess online, hike, knit, write, or train your dog. A hobby is something you choose to do because it brings you pleasure.
  2. Get a pet. If you don’t have a pet, consider getting one. You can have a more meaningful relationship with the right pet than you can have with 99% of the people in the world. What type of animal interests you?
  3. Maintain a high level of self-care. Loneliness and social isolation often lead to poor self-care. It’s important to continue taking good care of yourself even if you’re spending a lot of time alone. For example, a shower isn’t something that you do just for others. It’s also something that you do for yourself.
  • Paint your nails
  • Get a new hairstyle
  1. Be creative. Most people find they are more creative when they have time to themselves. Now is an ideal time to take advantage of your solitude. Let your creative juices flow!
  • What ideas do you have?
  • What do you want to create?
  • What do you want to experiment with?

Having a lot of free time alone doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There is a lot you can do to ease the discomfort of loneliness and social isolation. Technology makes it relatively easy to connect with others even if physical proximity is impossible. Feeling productive can also ease the pain of being alone.

Instead of focusing on this great challenge, try to take advantage of its unique possibilities. You can learn more about yourself and try out a few hobbies. You’re free to explore your interests without interference from others.

Just think – by developing other interests, when the time comes when you can reconnect socially, you’ll have a variety of new things to talk about.

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.

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What is Self-Care and Why is it Important?

Defining self-care is easy because it’s the opposite of self-sabotage or self-control. To successfully achieve self-care, you must have a self-care plan. It’s through that structured plan that you’re going to be able to properly care for your very being.

Self-care isn’t just about brushing your teeth or combing your hair. Self-care is for the needs within you

Self-care is caring for your soul, your inner self, and your very being.

Building a Solid Self-Care Plan

A good self-care plan reminds you of what you want to accomplish. After all, you have values, goals, and a life purpose. This plan reminds you about what you need to do to take care of yourself. Using a day planner or making notes to yourself can remind you of your goals and the things you need to do to take care of your body, mind, and soul.

  • Your self-care plan gives you a solid foundation for what you want to do and how you can accomplish it.

You should also provide yourself with inspirational quotes and affirmations. This is the spiritual food that keeps you focused on your own personal well-being. Not only will you have a constant reminder of what to do, but you also have little pieces of inspiration around you to remind you of why you’re doing it!

In addition to inspirational quotes, you can hang motivational pictures throughout your home and office. These pictures may be of exotic places you’d like to visit someday or tranquil images of nature.

Your photos may be something that you want to attract into your life or may remind you of a positive memory from your past. You can also have a photo of your family to remind you of what’s important to you.

  • Your self-care plan should inspire you and remind you of why you want to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.

Another aspect of your self-care plan includes tracking and measuring your progress. Let’s say you have a hard time getting motivated to exercise. By keeping a log of your exercise time, you can keep yourself focused on becoming a healthier you.

A food journal is also a good way to track your food choices so you can remind yourself that you need to eat nutritious foods. In addition, you can use a journal to record your mental and emotional health. Write down what’s going on inside of you so you can evaluate your feelings and proactively take care of your mental health.

  • Your self-care plan tracks your progress to help you stay on track toward your goals.

You can apply these useful tips for anything you want to accomplish. It begins and culminates with a solid foundation and that is, a need to take of care of yourself. To put succinctly, take care of the inside as well as the outside.

Creating a Personalized Self-Care Plan (PSP)

You may need to motivate yourself to initiate your self-care plan. For some, beginning a new task may be daunting. In addition, you’ll want to be sure you can find motivation along the way to help keep you on track.

Ask yourself this question: “ What has motivated you in the past?” Use this as a basis for your motivation to write out a realistic personalized self-care plan.

A good motivator to keep you on track is to have a family member, friend or spouse hold you accountable. If you slip up or slack off in your efforts to proactively take care of yourself, they will let you know so you can renew your focus and get back on course.

It’s important to add discipline and structure for successful self-care. As the saying goes, “You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.” A good self-care plan will provide you with the vigor, attitude, and energy to enjoy life to its fullest!

Book a consultation with us now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We would love to hear from you. Email at info@xcelmil.com.

Click here https://xcelmil.com/xcelmil-coaching-and-consulting-services/  to learn more about our services.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraticMelody

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melodygraticconsulting/

XcelMil, LLC is a certified Minority-Woman and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business specializing in Executive Management Consulting and Leadership Development Training.