Tag Archives: self-improvement

Seizing the Opportunity: Career Advice from the Boss

Have you ever noticed the phenomenon of the overnight sensation? Suddenly an actor has a starring role in a blockbuster film and becomes famous. A writer signs a huge contract for a debut novel, and people queue up to buy or borrow it. Or an obscure musician releases a chart-topping album and suddenly you can’t escape their songs on the radio. One thing I’ve noticed more and more is that from the perspective of the artist, these sudden successes aren’t sudden at all. Often they come after years of working and making the right connections that lead to the one big shot. The truth is: Overnight success is a myth. Continue reading Seizing the Opportunity: Career Advice from the Boss

Imagining Your Future Self Can Help You Be Healthier Now

imagining-your-future-self-can-help-you-be-healthier-nowDid you know that visualizing yourself differently can help you make health changes now? Depending on what you’re trying to change, either imagining a better future you or a worse one could provide the psychological and physiological fuel for transformation. For people looking to lose weight and improve lifestyle behaviors, picturing a worst place scenario future self might help. If you’re struggling instead with chronic pain, your solution may be to envision a better future you. Continue reading Imagining Your Future Self Can Help You Be Healthier Now

Motivation and Authenticity: Old Bedfellows

Motivation & Authenticity-For all of my interest in both motivation and authenticity, I was stunned to realize in reading a book about con artists (of all things) that the two have lived side-by-side in psychology for decades. It’s something I should have realized–I was familiar with the work in question–but hadn’t pulled back my perspective in so long that I missed the link. It turns out that Abraham Maslow, best known for the hierarchy of needs that continues to inform work on motivation and engagement, saw an important place for authenticity at the top of the hierarchy, self-actualization. Continue reading Motivation and Authenticity: Old Bedfellows

The Forever Fat Kid: Identity and Growth, Part 2

The Forever Fat KidSo you’ve grown up overweight, awkward, unpopular, healthy or not, but now you’ve reached a point where you’re different. And you’re probably struggling to change your self-image and maybe even your behavior. From a health coaching perspective, I think it’s important to consider a person’s history and self-image in planning for future behavior change.

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The Forever Fat Kid: Identity and Growth, Part 1

The Forever Fat KidPeople change all the time. You can think of life as a process of becoming. But one of the funny things about identity, as a psychological state, is that you retain traces of the person you used to be in the person you are. After thinking of yourself a certain way during the formative times of your life, you internalize that identity, even when  your reality changes. Continue reading The Forever Fat Kid: Identity and Growth, Part 1

Writing As Metamorphosis

Writing as MetamorphosisHow do ideas come into being? How are stories developed? Some people like to talk through their thoughts. Others, myself included, find their way to a conclusion through the written word. Writing, for many people, is not just laying words to paper but sifting through the story to arrive at a “true” telling of events. If the story is a personal one, then there’s also the task of arriving at a true telling of your own character. It can be a painful, difficult process, and relies quite a bit on the ability to rewrite, edit, cut, and change. Continue reading Writing As Metamorphosis

Running Through The Finish Line: Goals for Ongoing Motivation

Running Through The Finish LineHaving goals is a key component of motivation. My default setting is to think of goals as something new and harder than anything I’ve done before. I should always be trying get better, right? But is that really true? Do goals always have to be about improvement? What happens when goals are about maintenance instead? How can you create goals for yourself that keep you involved in an activity? Continue reading Running Through The Finish Line: Goals for Ongoing Motivation

(Don’t) Repeat After Me: The Not-So-Quotable You

(Don't) Repeat After Me- (2)A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go through media training. Much of the training was common sense: Prepare for your interviews, hone the points you’d like to make, and stay on message. But one counter-intuitive tip had to do with the ways we automatically insert pauses into conversations to buy ourselves time to formulate answers. Continue reading (Don’t) Repeat After Me: The Not-So-Quotable You

Designing a Motivating Volunteer Experience

Designing aVolunteer ExperienceThe same principles of motivation that help designers create motivating digital experiences can be applied to real-life leadership challenges, including leading a volunteer team. As a member of the Junior League of Boston, I’ve seen firsthand how leaders who connect volunteers to purpose and to each other can help their teams achieve more (and have fun along the way). Self-determination theory suggests that motivational leaders help their volunteers answer yes to three basic questions:

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The Upside of Difficult Conversations

The UpsideofLike many people, I dislike what can be nicely called “difficult conversations.” Whether it’s saying no to someone,  confronting someone about a task left undone or done poorly, or raising a painful subject, difficult conversations are, well, difficult. A very natural reaction to them, and one I have far too often, is to simply avoid them altogether, or at least postpone them as long as possible. Continue reading The Upside of Difficult Conversations