Recommendation of the Month

February Recommendation: Happify App

Happy Today!

Stress is a contributor to multiple issues including burnout, high blood pressure, job dissatisfaction, marital troubles, and poor diets to name a few. It is so pervasive it has its own description on webMD.com and a host of products have been created with the intent to help users decrease and manage their stress levels.

Worry, anxiety, and depression are commonly impacted by this emotion. What makes stress more than a health concern is while there isn’t a definitive cause, it’s ability to make an appearance in someone’s life is as predictable as breathing. Its effects can range from mild discomfort to debilitating.

2015 was the beginning of my search for a way to deal with the stress associated with trying to live up to the idea of Wonder Woman. I quickly realized that she was not the character I wanted to emulate and as a result, I went in search of resources which would increase my resilience while assisting me in maintaining a positive mindset.

One of the tools I discovered was a smartphone app designed to help users “overcome stress and negative thoughts. Build resilience.”  This was exactly what I wanted.  The website describes it as:

“Happify is the single destination for effective, evidence-based solutions for better emotional health and wellbeing in the 21st century.”

As it would the app is appropriately named Happify.  I used it consistently for about one year and then dropped off for a while.  This year I selected the word DISCIPLINE as my word of the year and having a positive mindset is critical to my success with discipline.  When I came across webinar announcements in my email which were sponsored by the people at Happify, I decided to reset my password and get back into the use of the app.  Since then I have utilized Happify each day and I have found myself remaining focused on positivity.

In writing this post, I discovered Cigna recommends the app as part of its Emotional Mental Health promotions.  Here’s the thing to remember about Happify, positive emotional health is something everyone can benefit from.  If you have goals you want to achieve this year, having mechanisms to deal with stress and frustration can be beneficial.

Happify allows you to complete a happiness assessment and then personalizes your learning tracks based on your results.  There is a Happify daily section which provides the user with access to articles on a variety of personal growth and happiness topics such as kindness, gratitude, mindfulness, love and relationships, stress reduction and more.  A few offerings for webinars include topics like:

  1.  How to Overcome Self-Sabotage and Stick to Your Goals
  2. Shift from Frazzled to Flow at Work
  3. Growth & Transformation After Negative Experiences
  4. Mindfulness in the Workplace: Build Clarity & Focus in Just One Minute
  5. Get Gritty and Achieve Your Goals

Finally, you can also access the Happify Social Community through the app.  The website offers access to science-backed articles.  The app and website are free – there is no harm in trying it but the benefits are worth it.

I am not receiving any compensation for this recommendation and as I have indicated, this is a tool I utilize and feel confident recommending.  If you are using the Happify app or plan to try it out, leave me a comment and let me know what you enjoy or don’t like about it.

Til next time,

“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead twenty years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there then.” — Diana Ross

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Recommendation of the Month · Uncategorized

The App Which Increased My Productivity

Happy Today!

Today I would like to introduce my favorite and top utilized application on my iPad pro.  This app has revolutionized the way I conduct my business and everyday tasks.  My work routine has become easier and my arms less fatigued thanks to the utilization of this $7.99 app.

About three years ago my family gifted me with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for Mother’s Day.  Apparently, in their minds, I carried around “way too many binders that you always drop or we have to help you bring them into the house (car).” Direct quote from my daughter.  If it was a decision between dropping my binders or dropping the squirming kid, the binders always lost the battle.  This meant there were many days where everyone had to help me catch the flying loose sheets that were twirling in the wind.

At the time, my Win was still in the stage where he wanted to be carried everywhere and my job required the consistent review and implementation of various rules and regulations. It was my role to ensure we not only remained in compliance but also operationalize the expectations. Thus, I always had a variety of manuals and standards I carried from home to the office and then back again. On the days which found me away and traveling to other agencies, I would check in to the hotel, drop my bags in the room and then return downstairs to retrieve a box of binders with materials which needed to be reviewed before the next day.

tech quote

Binders in front of me, binders in back of me, binders at home, binders at work, binders everywhere and anywhere I could sneak in a little reading time.  The sad thing is – I loved my binders.  In my mind, there was no other system that was better.

Then after being gifted with new technology, I was forced to watch numerous YouTube videos about my new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the various options for note taking apps.  I downloaded Microsoft OneNote, played with Notability, drew pictures on Pages and finally wrote myself reminders.  Nothing worked the way my binders did.  They were my one thing that made my life easier.

Then I found reviews and demonstrations of the app – GoodNotes.  Can I tell you my mind was blown and my life was simple?  GoodNotes is like a kiss – they keep it simple stupid.  That was me, stupid for waiting so long before I divided in.  With this app, I am able to import and export any documents I choose as well as I have been able to stick my toe into digital planning and note-taking.  Now I believe in the power of paper and pen so I will NOT give up any of by disc-bound notebooks, but I only need to carry around one.

I have created categories for each of my projects and save all notes and manuals associated with each project in that category folder.  In addition, I have uploaded my custom project planning sheets as well as travel itineraries and continuing education handouts.  With the pencil, it is easy to color code my notes, highlight reminders and email this information to anyone I desire.  The app works with external cloud platforms like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box.  Each of my grant application packets has a category along with notes taken during informational webinars and any subsequent documents associated.  GoodNotes, where have you been all my life?

tech and book

Access to these materials allows me to remain prepared for questions from my team and ensures I can review information during unexpected blocks of extra time in my schedule.  What a wonderful feeling it is to have peace of mind and less luggage when I travel.  I consider this app to be one of the best investments I made towards personal productivity.  Now if I can just remember to keep my online and paper files as organized as the documents on GoodNotes, I would remove one of the causes of procrastination in my life.

Do you have an app which you have found to be vital to your productivity?  Have you tried GoodNotes? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

Til next time,

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book.  There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” – Patti Smith

Recommendation of the Month · Uncategorized

November Book Recommendation: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Happy Today!

Each month I identify at least two personal development books I would like to read and I add them to my reading bucket list.

This month the book I am most excited about is The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Remarkable Story if Living Your Dreams by Robin Sharma. At thirteen chapters, it’s a short read and the introduction was full of notable quotable information.

Photo robinsharma.com Robin Sharma

 

“Life is no brief candle for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw

The quote by George Bernard Shaw is the quote which opens the book. Immediately following this quote is a personal introduction from the author.

The introduction of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a story of motivation, rejection, and success after perseverance. Snippets include:

Motivation

“Every great dream starts with a simple beginning.”

“I’d work on my manuscript through the night and at my legal job through the day.”

“I self-published The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and started selling it, one copy at a time, at public service clubs and country fairs. I started speaking about the book’s message of hope, happiness and inspiration”

“There were times when I felt like giving up and returning to the comfortable life I’d created as a lawyer. But I didn’t. I guess my faith was larger than my fears.”

Rejection

“people laughed at me when I started out.”

“The book you are now holding was criticized, discounted and given a next-to-zero chance of succeeding.”

Perseverance

“So I chased my mission with a deep sense of purpose, doing my best to block out the chattering voices of the critics and naysayers. And as I did, something life-changing happened: ordinary people (just like me), from every imaginable walk of life, started responding to The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And in ways I never imagined. I chased my mission with a deep sense of purpose, doing my best to block out the chattering voices of the critics and naysayers. And as I did, something life-changing happened: ordinary people (just like me), from every imaginable walk of life, started responding to The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. And in ways I never imagined.”

Robin Sharma’s introduction and the accompanying prologue made me grateful for the money I spent on the book and excited about the lessons I would learn.  This book is available in your local library, but if you are like me and want to highlight or make notes – your money will be well spent on purchasing your own copy.

Do you have a book you think I should add to my reading list?  Leave its name in the comments below.  Well, back to reading.

Til next time,

“Every great dream starts with a simple beginning.” – Robin Sharma

Recommendation of the Month · Uncategorized

The Ken Coleman Show: Recommended Listening

Happy! Happy! Today!

Whatever the day is for you, I hope you have the opportunity to do something that edifies you. This morning has included a bit of cool air as we walked out the door. The breeze made me appreciate the comfort of my car and the ability to listen to podcasts while I traveled.

Today I chose to start my day listening to The Ken Coleman Show. If you have never heard of this podcast, you definitely want to start. Ken Coleman is well known to listeners of Dave Ramsey’s Podcast Entreleadership. He is the host of this show as well as his own daily podcast which is actually a replay of his Sirius radio show.

While I like the Entreleadership show, I can relate to the Ken Coleman Show on a personal level. Ken, hope he won’t mind me being so informal, indicates in his show that “life is too short for a boring 9-to-5 job.”

The Ken Coleman Show website explains his show this way – “The Ken Coleman Show is a daily radio show that will help you make your dream job a reality.” During each show he helps callers find their sweet spot by listing their top 3 talents and skills.

Participants who are looking for their dream job are also encouraged to download and use his resume builder template.

Today I listened to the episode – “What To Do When You Encounter Negative Feedback” but I also recommend listening to episodes:

“Ask These Questions to Figure Out Your Skills and Passions”

“3 Enemies to Purpose”

“I’m 61 And Have Never Had A Dream Job, Is It Too Late?”

I must say I do not listen every day but I do listen a few times a week at least 2 episodes at a time. My hubby introduced me to this show and it is one of the better recommendations I have had in a long time.

If you are looking for a dream job or interested in changing careers or maybe enhancing your life, this is a show for you. Try it out and let me know which episode you listened to.

Til next time,

“Life is too short for a boring 9-to-5 job” – Ken Coleman

Recommendation of the Month · Weekly Wisdom

What Is My Purpose in Life?

Happy Reading!

Purpose is the point at which your talents, skills, abilities and gifts intersect with a void or a need in the world around you. What is yours?
— Read on www.success.com/what-is-my-purpose-in-life/

Great resources should be shared and not hoarded. Simon T. Bailey is one of those resources. Hope you find his article inspiring and useful to your life.

Til next time,

“You weren’t born to fit in, you were born to be brilliant” – Simon T. Bailey

Recommendation of the Month

Five Inspiring Podcasts for Your Holiday Preparations

Black Friday is over and somewhere you are planning for Cyber Monday or travel back home.  Maybe you have decided to finish your Holiday preparations early.

No matter the situation – Traffic is, well traffic.  Frustrations are high.  Whether you are on the way to the office, shopping or traveling later; chances are you are getting there by car.  At least for part of your travels.

A few of my favorite travel tools is my iPod, Kindle and iPhone.  If I have at least one of those devices, I know I can be transported away from a mental vacation or education session.  It is so tempting to use one device for everything but it has been my experience that holiday traveling, even if you are staying home, always comes with the need for a headphones required break.

If I have less than two hours to spare (even incremental), I find it beneficial and comforting to listen to podcasts.  Of course each time I open my podcast app, I hear Zig Ziglar’s voice in my head explaining automobile university.  If you have never heard Zig Ziglar speak, look him up on YouTube.  He has the greatest drawl and simplistic manner of explaining the importance of personal growth.  

Here are five podcasts which lift my spirits while enriching my mind:

1.  Robin Roberts: Everybody’s Got Something – This podcast reminds me that everyone has a story to tell, no matter how beautiful or how famous.  The podcast is a conversation between friends and 

2. Read to Lead – The title hooked me from the beginning.  Anything that begins with read makes me interested.  The tag line eludes to the interviews to come with personal development being a core mission.  Check out  Episode 118 and Episode 136.  Both contain information that could be helpful while you plan to take action for your “it.”

3.  The Love What Matters Podcast – I can only speak for myself, but I am tired of negative news stories of crime, corruption and overall bad behavior.  This podcast is my antidote, it focuses on the good that occurs in the world.  I like the episode Stranger and the Sunflower as well as Helpers and Heroes.

4.  Operation Self Reset – I love to do the scream at the beginning of each episode: “I’m freaking awesome!” Jake is that crazy cool friend that helps you get out of your comfort zone and remind you of how great you are with the awesome sauce!   Check out episodes Getting Things Done, Author David Allen and How to Make Great Decisions.

5.  1 year Daily Audio Bible – My daily listen.  I enjoy being a part of the daily audio bible family and appreciate the way each week is a different version of the Bible.  At the end of the readings are updates on prayer requests as well as new ones.

Til next time,

“Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recommendation of the Month · Uncategorized

5 Shows for the School of TV on Demand

There comes a time when I want to rest my brain and  in those times one of the activities I turn to is my television set.  My habit is to spend an episode or two watching something frivolous but fun, which for me that could be a mystery or some type of reality show involving animals, swamps or survival skills.
Even though I am giving my mind a rest, I like to know that I can figure out the ending from the brief clues they provide along the way.  Then there are other times in which I want to watch TV but also want to make it an inspirational and motivational productive use of my time.
I know, I know, tv is not the thing you think of in the same sentence as productive use of time.  But stay with me for a little longer.
There are a few shows which when viewed correctly, can result in increased knowledge regarding specific focus areas.  For me, I am interested in business pursuits which includes information associated with start ups, passive income, and business growth.  I watch tv that gives me keywords or strategies to research and implement at a later time.
Currently there are 5 shows that have become my go to television for quick and entertaining lessons.  Not only do I watch what is occurring on the screen but I also take notes on my phone because my phone is always near me.
Each of these shows are ideal for someone who has dreams of owning or operating a busines which connects perfectly with my needs.  Here are my top five recommendations for productive viewing pleasure.
Airs on ABC and if you haven’t heard of it, you must have been living under a rock or in a cave for the last few years.  The premise of the show is for entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses for an opportunity for financial investments and mentors in exchange for a portion of the company and/or profits.
Airs on Freeform (previously ABC Family).  This show is the newest to my list of productive viewing.  It is one of those shows I require my daughter to view with me.  The premise is budding entrepreneurs spend time at Draper University learning from venture capitalist Tim Draper.
Airs on CNBC Prime.  The name association of Bloomberg is a hint that it is business and wealth minded.  Investor Marcus Lemonis works with struggling businesses to help them overcome hurdles toward profitability.  He provides snippets of information that those interested in starting a business can research and address within their structure.
Airs on CBS and is currently on season 7.  The longevity of the show is reason enough to give it at least a cursory viewing.  One of the things this show does so well is to help the boss of the company to empathize with the employees while identifying issues which need to be addressed in order to help the business improve or maintain its employee/customer base.
Airs on the Food Network.  This show can be viewed as a resource for those interested in the food business.  While there are challenges each week as well as someone who will be kicked off, the show highlights problems every business will face such as marketing, office location, recruiting and maintaining customers.
Application:  The most important aspect of television with a purpose is to implement what you see.  For example, when I view the Great Food Truck Race I try to write out what my strategy would be for each challenge and situation.  This helps get my creativity started and often helps me in other areas of planning.
Til next time,
“Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I remember.  Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin