EnerGcoaching Q&A – September

ellen-goldmanEllen Goldman EnerGcoaching

Question: I recently got promoted to a new position at work.  I’m thrilled and everyone is giving me the feedback that I am doing a good job.  My problem is I am finding myself procrastinating with a very important project that must get done.  It’s not my nature to put things off, and doing so is causing me stress.  I’m beginning to loose sleep over this, worrying about it.  Every night I promise myself I will get started the next day, but instead I waste hours doing other tasks, leaving myself no time for this one.  How can I stop procrastinating and just get the job done?  I am so afraid that I will lose this great new promotion!

Answer:  Before you can figure out how to stop procrastination, you need to ask yourself why you are doing so. The reason will tell you what your first step towards completion should be. Perhaps the magnitude of the project is so huge, you feel overwhelmed.  If that’s the case, commit to making a prioritized list of every step or task that must be done to get the whole job complete.  Breaking it into small, manageable parts, and assigning a time to work on one piece at a time will give you the roadmap to completion. Or maybe you really don’t understand what’s expected of you, so you need more information.  Go to your boss, a colleague or anyone you can think of that will know, and ask for some clarification. If self-doubt is plaguing you, and you are really afraid you won’t do the job well, think how much worse it will be if you don’t do it at all. Commit to a “first draft” done without concern for being perfect, and go back to polish and fine tune later. If all else fails, commit to 20 minutes first thing every morning before doing anything else.  Set a timer on your computer, if need be, and just buckle down.  Knowing you only have to work at it for a brief period of time will help, and you might even find yourself getting absorbed once you get started.  Don’t forget to build in a reward for after – a brief break with a great cup of latte, or follow it up with work you find fun and inspiring.  Once you get started your stress levels will immediately reduce, and sleep should return. 

Question:  What methods/hypnosis-meditation etc can you learn to change your inner-critic to inner cheerleader/motivator…basically re-frame your thinking?

Answer:  Changing your inner voice from critic to cheerleader has more to do with your awareness of what you are doing and the desire to change, than any particular process. If you recognize the voice in your head is being overly critical or sabotaging, the great news is you get to talk back.  Because that voice is yours!  Just as you wouldn’t allow anyone else to verbally abuse you, or you wouldn’t use that talk on someone you love, make the decision that you won’t accept that kind of talk on yourself. Tell yourself, STOP!  Then state what you would tell someone you care deeply for if they were talking about themselves that way. “So, I made a mistake, everyone does.  Learn from it and move on.” “OK, so I didn’t do so great with my food plan today, but I’ve been doing a super job all week. This situation was challenging.  I’ll do better tomorrow.”  “No, you are not stupid, fat, ugly; ……you’re just not feeling great right now.  I’ll go work out, because that always makes me feel better.”  See what I mean?  You might even want to practice in the mirror, talking back to yourself out loud.  Just make sure you have some privacy. LOL!  If you notice that a particular situation keeps bringing up that gremlin, such as your body image, relationships, or your ability to balance your career and home life, working with a wellness coach could prove helpful.  Quieting your inner critic has a lot to do with building self-esteem and self-efficacy. If this is a problem that plagues you all the time, consider working with a therapist. 

Question: Is it possible to be loved unconditionally by someone other than God? By unconditionally, I mean that another human being fully accepts us and has no expectations for us to be any different than who we are; strengths, weaknesses, quirks and all.

Answer:  I believe it takes a very special kind of person to love another unconditionally, but yes, it is very possible.  And I think it starts with “self-love”.  When you are able to appreciate your strengths, understand your own weaknesses, and accept your “quirks and all”, than it becomes easy for someone else to do so as well.  If you fall madly in love with the person you are, it is contagious, and others will want to love you that way too. That being said, if you feel great about yourself and confident in your own value and worth, you won’t waste time with anyone who won’t accept you unconditionally.  Just keep in mind that that does not mean another will agree or support all your personal habits, quirks and beliefs, but they will respect those differences and love you despite them.

Question:  This past year I lost quite a bit of weight through healthy eating and daily walking. I’m feeling great about myself, my blood pressure has decreased, and my cholesterol levels have changed favorably. My problem is I am having a hard time maintaining the loss. I haven’t changed my eating habits since losing the weight, but it seems so hard to keep the pounds off.  When they begin to creep up, I cut back on my calories, which leaves me feeling hungry, tired and irritable.  Help! I like my new body and want to keep it.

Answer:  The sad truth is that maintaining weight loss is often much more difficult than losing weight. Once you have taken off a significant amount of weight, your body no longer needs the same number of calories to function as it did when you were heavier. However, you don’t want to decrease too low, and I would encourage you to aim for approximately the same number of calories you were taking in while still losing weight. If you go below that, aside from feeling hungry and irritable, you’ll slow your metabolism and potentially lose more muscle mass, which is exactly what you don’t want to do.  Muscle is metabolically more active than fat tissue, so it requires more calories to exist than fat cells.  So, if you could increase your muscle mass, you’ll be able to maintain the same calorie count and your new body weight. That means it is time to add a strength-training component to your exercise regime. Whether with free weights, machines, bands, calisthenics or strength classes, if you build muscle, maintaining your weight loss will be easier, and you’ll be thrilled with the definition and toning of your new slimmer body. Just be sure to get the help of a good exercise specialist who can teach you proper form and technique to avoid injury.

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