Tag Archives: Coaching

Procrastination: Tips to Stop Waiting and Start Doing!

Infinity time spiral 15267876“I”ll do it later.” – the anthem of the procrastinator. Too often later never comes around or we wait so long that we have to scramble to get things done. Procrastination can be the monkey on your back that you feel you just can’t shake off. The best thing to do is to understand why you are procrastinating and work from there.

There can be numerous reasons for procrastination. One may feel as though they do not have the skills or tools needed to complete the task, so it is put off. The task could also seem unimportant, thus lacking the motivational qualities for you to start working on it. Another common reason for procrastination is a fear of the outcome. You may have been in the same situation before and things turned out poorly, so, you are avoiding the outcome by avoiding the task. On the other hand, it may be that you have no clue what the end result will be, thus you are steering away from the potentially perilous unknown. What is important here is to note that the act of procrastination varies between tasks and people. We don’t procrastinate on everything and we don’t always procrastinate on the same thing in the same way. So how can you decrease the possibility of procrastination? Know yourself.

One of the best things to do is to NOT label yourself a procrastinator. We tend to act in self-confirming ways. So if you think you’re a procrastinator, you will procrastinate. The second thing to do is to recognize why you are procrastinating and correct the issue. If you think the task is too boring, find meaning in it. Yes, the 12 page essay on cyberbullying may be tedious, but consider all of the information you will gain that will help you keep your future children protected from it. If you feel like you are lacking a skill, see this as an alarm to spring into action and find the proper resources to solve that issue.

By changing your perspective of procrastination so that it is an alert rather that a barrier, you can change your slacker ways into proactive ones.

Achieve Your Goals! Tips for Goal Setting

ladder 1When there is a big enough discrepancy between what a person is and what a person wants to be, we tend to set goals in order to get to that ideal state. Unfortunately, we often don’t know where to start or how to go about setting up a plan that will lead us to attaining those goals.  Here are a few things to think about when goal setting.

We need to consider the level of difficulty and the specificity of our goals.  The difficulty of a goal is what energizes our behaviour. We need to make sure that our goals are difficult enough that we know it will make us exert effort, otherwise, let the procrastination begin.  Nothing worth doing is easy. We also need to be specific in terms of what we have to do and how we will do it. This directs our behaviour and decreases ambiguity. If we know exactly what we have to do, we are more likely to do it because it removes any guessing; like following a recipe.

And like a recipe, we need to follow small steps in order to get to the desired result. Set small goals that will help you get to your final goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

We need to remember that this is a dynamic process. Too often we sit down, create a plan, and when things don’t go as we expected, we see it as a failure. This is not the case! Things happen and we have to adjust our plans accordingly, rather than giving up.

Feedback! It is essential to document your actions in order to make goal setting effective.  You can use the record to make sure you are keeping on track. Also, by having something to look at to see your progress, you create emotional importance for yourself in relation to your goals.  If your performance is greater or at par with what you expected, it creates a sense of satisfaction which can lead to you creating new, more difficult goals. If your performance is less than expected, it can motivate you to increase your effort in order for you to reach your goal.

Setting goals is something we all do, but we don’t all do well. By creating small, specific and difficult goals, we can create a ladder that will raise us up to where we want to be. And by taking note of out progress we can properly adjust our plan to make sure we achieve our goal.

How to Make a GREAT First Impression

Handshake“First impressions are everything!”

We’ve all heard this, and although it may be a bit of an exaggeration, it does hit the point that first impressions have a lasting effect on relationships, regardless of their type. We tend to make up our mind about someone within the first 15 seconds of meeting them, meaning how we initially present ourselves can be crucial. Here are a few tips to keep in mind, whether you’re going on a first date or a job interview.

Be aware of yourself.

In first meetings our anxiety can to take over and we can lose ourselves, sometimes not even remembering what we said. Stop and take a breath. Be aware of your body and speech. Make sure you’re sitting up straight and avoid jittering. Also, be sure you’re not talking too fast. Be calm and make eye contact, both of which will radiate confidence.

Don’t forget to ask questions. People love talking about themselves, but remember that this is an opportunity to not only to present yourself, but also to get to know someone else. If at a job interview, make sure you have read up on the company, and have a couple questions ready. Being inquisitive will show initiative.

Be your best self.

A first encounter is an opportunity to put your best self forward and show off what you are, rather than lying or covering up what you’re not. It is all about putting your best foot forward. This is where dressing well plays a role. Dress for the job you want. If you think you shouldn’t wear it, you probably shouldn’t. Also, keep in mind that mood is temporary. So if you are in a bad one, it would be best to set it aside and allow for your best self to shine through!

Remember to relax.

Who knows you better than you? A positive first impression is perfectly attainable if you remember that there is no need to be nervous! At the end of the day you are presenting yourself and you are an expert on you. And if you can’t quiet the butterflies, use them! They just mean that you care about the result, which shows you that you’re in the right place. Just prepare the main points you would like to talk about, and stay cool, calm and collected. If you do feel like you may have been less of yourself, don’t be afraid to acknowledge it! We all have off days, so don’t be too hard on yourself if your first impression seems to be a bit out of your norm.

First impressions are important, but they are not everything.

Using Stress As Fuel

1508603_562271617241727_784370639884440769_nOver the last 15 years, I have suffered from anxiety, depression and restlessness. 150 mg of Effexor
was part of my daily regime and for 12 of those 15 years I didn’t question the medication. I’d seen five therapists and accepted that I would always be “this” way.

So why change? In all honesty, I went away for a week to an all inclusive and knew I’d be drinking. It says on the bottle do not mix with alcohol, so I decided to listen (for the first time). I didn’t take my meds for the entire week and thought the anxiety was offset by the sun and booze. Acuna-Ma-ta-ta right? When I returned, I forgot to re-start taking the Effexor. I couldn’t even tell you how long I had gone without it before having a little anxiety “episode”. Only then did I realize my symptoms had not changed and I was med free! I had been pumping my body full of synthetics altering my hormones for this long and now what? My anxiety was still there and I chalked it up to a pity party of there’s something wrong with me.

Over the last 3 years I’ve been on this journey of discovery, and will be for the rest of my life. So far I’ve learned association is everything! What we associate certain emotions to, shapes how we react. We are typically taught that when we are “stressed”, feelings of anxiety and/or depression increase. We typically associate anxiety with negative, destructive thoughts. Sound familiar? Let me ask you this: How do you know you are stressed or anxious when you are? What are the emotions you experience? How does stress manifest itself with you? Some of us get chest pain, the shakes, excess sweat, the desire to isolate ourselves and the list goes on. These are emotions that we can all experience at any time and there is nothing wrong with them or us! How we handle those emotions is what truly defines who we are.

I think we have all heard of the body’s response known as “Flight or Fight”. When we are in a stressful situation our adrenal glands kick in, signaling the body to prepare itself. Usually, the go-to reaction is flight and we succumb to the notion of anxiety/stress being bad. But what if when we start to feel the chest compression and clammy hands we change our association to oh this my body telling me to prepare itself, to gear up and use this as fuel to push on? It’s our choice how to perceive that reaction. What happens when you’re on a roller coaster or meeting a crush for the second time? Similar emotions? I bet your perception of that experience is different though. How you associate the time of the emotions to the action changes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always in the fight mode. Sometimes I simply sit in front of my essential
oil diffuser and breathe deep. My bed can also be very persuasive. BUT, every time I choose to
use the anxiety and stress as fuel, I am one step ahead. I choose to think I’m fortunate to experience
anxiety. It prevents me from being a procrastinator. It enables my drive and fuels my desire to constantly be better!

I hope the next time you start to feel your throat close, you lose your breath or your hands start to shake you remind yourself these feelings are good! My body is preparing itself to fight and I will use this as fuel!

In Health,

Jenna Brooks

50 per

Are You A Self-Critic?

ed446e42bdd3a9a2c904c7b8c0239b09Self-criticism is a nasty habit many of us have. When something in our work, school, or personal life goes wrong, many of us jump to self-criticism as a coping strategy. You might not even be aware that you’re doing it! To keep our self-critical voice going strong, we tend to have “positive beliefs” about self-criticism and why we need it. For example, you might believe that being hard on yourself is motivating. The truth is that self-criticism is not motivating or beneficial. It is however, good at lowering our self-esteem, and bringing up other negative emotions. If you identify as a self-critic and want to start changing your self-critical voice, here are some steps you can take:

 1. Learn What Your Critic Sounds Like

Pay attention to what your internal voice says next time you make a mistake, or something upsetting happens. Some people’s internal self-critic says “I’m so stupid, I can never get things right”. Other people have a case of the “shoulds”: “I should have known better, I should have picked up on that.” Identifying and becoming aware of your self-critical narrative is the first step to changing it.

 2. Notice What Triggers Your Critic

Some people will have a self-critical response for many situations, while other people are triggered particularly by one aspect of life. Which situations awaken your self-critical voice?

 3. Identify Your Positive Beliefs

Do you believe self-criticism is motivating? Maybe you believe a self-critical voice keeps you modest. Perhaps your belief is that your self-critic keeps you in control. Whatever your positive belief is, identifying your belief is crucial before challenging and changing it. A therapist is a good tool for this step!

 4. Develop a Compassionate Voice

The antidote to a self-critical voice is a self-compassionate voice. Try to think of something you could say to yourself other than “I should have …” or “that was so stupid.” To help you brainstorm, imagine what you would say to a child, or to someone you really love. Your voice would probably change to one of comfort and warmth; it might become lower and more soothing. You might say things like “it’s okay, everyone makes a mistake sometimes” or “you couldn’t have predicted that, you did the best you could”.

 5. Practice & Patience

Have patience with yourself while you tackle self-criticism. There is an irony to changing self-criticism: you can become self-critical of your progress against your self-critic! Remember that you won’t be able to silence your self-critical voice overnight, and that’s okay! It takes a long time to notice and change patterns like self-criticism, but the journey and work is worth it for your self-worth and happiness. If you struggle with self-criticism, a therapist is a great resource for working through these steps and helping you to develop a compassionate voice.

 

By: Beth Moore, M.Ed, CCC.

Beth Moore Counselling & Psychotherapy

The Psychology of Music

musicnotesback1024Music: The art of sound and silence and the combinations of rhythms, pitches, harmonies, and dynamics. Music is a major part of human culture and history and an art that’s close to my heart: I was a professional musician from the time I was 17 and have a special connection with playing and singing.

So why is music so important to us? After all, isn’t it just noise? (Well, nice sounding noise:-) It turns out music goes much deeper then that and actually has a profound effect on us psychologically and even physically. Music heals mentally and physically, enhances intelligence, improves physical performance, and helps use be more productive. Playing music is also one of the only activities that uses the entire brain.

The Effect of Music on Pain:

Music can help to reduce both chronic pain and postoperative pain and is used in a wide variety of practices. For chronic pain it is used for painful conditions such osteoarthritis, disc problems, and rheumatoid arthritis. For postoperative pain music is used to reduce pain during childbirth and other surgeries. Some theories on why music has this effect of pain relieving are that music serves as a distraction, it releases endorphin’s that counteract pain, and it relaxes you. Reducing pain isn’t the only healing effect music has. Studies have shown it can lower blood pressure, it can increase and decrease your heart pumping and breathing rates depending on the speed of the music, it is used for recovery after a stroke, it is used for migraines/headaches, and it even boosts your immunity by secreting immune-boosting hormones.

Music’s Effect on Productivity and Development:

Of course studying music makes you smarter just as studying anything makes you smarter. Music is on of the few activities that actually utilizes your entire brain. Music benefits reading and literacy skills, spatial-temporal reasoning, mathematical abilities, and emotional intelligence. Music’s effect on memory is so powerful that it not only helps people with functioning brains but it also helps people with injured brains to bring the memory back up to speed. On top of improving memory music also helps us to focus for longer periods of time leading to more productivity. Music can boost energy and minimize fatigue caused by long periods of work and it also sharpens your focus while working. Although it is still unsure what types of music maximize this benefit the studies are overwhelming.

How does Music affect Mood?

We’ve all heard people say they love to listen to music while working out or going for a run. This is because we feel like it either distracts us from the task at hand or gives us that little extra push of motivation that we need. The main theories around why music has such a positive effect on our physical abilities is that it reduces the feeling of fatigue, increases the level of psychological arousal, and improves motor coordination. Music has a really powerful effect of putting you in the right mindset to work out. It is an important mindset to be in because it gives you the motivation you need to get things done and that is a great reason for everyone to listen to music during a workout. Music also encourages us to move and dance and we all know that motion is emotion.

Tips on Using Music to your Advantage:

Listen to your Favourite Song at the Same Time each Morning: Your brain will remember the song as your ‘wake up’ song and you’ll actually have an easier time waking up.

Start Your Children in Music Education at an Early Age: Since music education is proven to boost scholarly performance in other areas, starting your children early in music will give them a head start (and keep you free from headaches!)

Unwind with Melodic and Slow Tunes: Music with a slower tempo is proven to reduce heart rate, which also can reduce stress and anxiety. Before going to bed, try listening to pleasant slow songs to begin the falling-asleep process.

Always use an iPod when Running or Working Out: Listening to a fast tempo song (especially one that you love!) will keep your workout energetic and rhythmic – exactly the type of consisten movements your personal trainer will love.

Most of all, Enjoy the Experience Live: Live music stimulates the senses and feels good. Going to a concert or live show is invigorating and is fun too!

By: Kimberly Moffit

Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Mental Health Professional

 

Stuck in a Rut? Personal Coaching Can Get You Back on Track

Career Coaching in Toronto

Career Coaching in Toronto

Have you been feeling like everyone’s moving forward but you? Do you want to have guidance to create the career you’ve always wanted and dreamed of for yourself? Do you know that you deserve to live your dream life, but the logistics of getting of there stump you every time?

Many people who walk into the KMA offices for the first time are feeling stuck. They may be considered successful by other people, but simply aren’t making the progress they want and need to keep themselves happy.

Personal Coaching at KMA Therapy may be able to help push you out of that rut. Personal coaching can help you create a successful and better life, and ultimately, the best version of yourself. At KMA, we focus on career, relationship, and goal coaching in order to bring out the best qualities in you, and help you achieve accomplishments that set you apart from other people.

Personal coaching is where you stop and look where you are at. Together, we do a detailed analysis of:
1. What is your ideal life?
2. What are your future goals?
3. What is currently preventing you from this life/from these goals?
4. How do logistics get in the way?
5. How can I persevere through upcoming challenges?

Personal Coaching is based on positive psychology. Our aim is ultimately to provide learning to you, the client. We make you aware of the unhealthy thought patterns that you possess and the strengths you have. We focus on having a positive, healthy, headspace that will will motivate you to move forward without feeling fear or anxiety.

This type of coaching gives the power to you, the client. Ultimately you are the creator in your own life! Personal coaching is a decision that many clients at KMA have chosen – usually when they finish sessions for personal coaching they are satisfied, content and happy with themselves.

If you’d like to inquire about personal, motivational, or life coaching in Toronto at KMA Therapy, don’t hesitate to call us at 416-487-6288.

What is a Life Coach and Who Can Use One?

Everything you Need to Know about Life Coaching in Toronto

Everything you Need to Know about Life Coaching in Toronto

What is a Life Coach?

Are they someone who can teach you how to live?
Are they someone who can live for you and show you?

The answer to both of these questions is NO.

A Life Coach is someone who is there to guide you in the right direction in your life. A Life Coach can guide you to:

1. Create a Successful Life for yourself
2. Create the Career you’ve Always Wanted and Dreamed for yourself
3. Define or Re-define What you Want From your Life
4. Define or Re-define What your’e Prospects are
5. If you are on a Transitioning Stage; Straighten Out Where you Want to go Next

The most common reasons why a Life Coach is needed is when you need someone to help you to:

1. Balance your Work Life with your Family Life
2. Challenges of Entrepreneurship or Self-Employment
3. Changing Careers
4. Going Back to Work After Being on Maternity Leave
5. Feeling ‘stuck’ in Life

At KMA Therapy the life coaching system works like:

1. A 30 Minute Intake Session – Consultation: The Consultation is with the director of KMA Therapy, Kimberly Moffit, or one of the intake counsellors. This session will help to determine the problem and how the treatment should be approached for the problem. The 30 Minute Intake Session will help to figure out which coach is the right fit for you. We believe that this session is one of the best times to address any questions or concerns you may have.

2. 50 Minute Weekly Sessions: After the 30 Minute Intake Session, The Consultation, clients will attend weekly sessions on the recommended treatment duration period. During these weekly sessions, the objective is to work through the treatment plan, goals, and objectives that has already been set up in during the 30 Minute Intake Session.

3. Finish and Evaluate: After completing the treatment sessions, we check in for one last consultation. This consultation is to see what your experience what like. If you’re struggling after the completed treatment sessions, we may ask for you to continue your sessions until you feel you’re back on track with your life. If you feel like you have made astonishing improvements, you’re sessions will end. We will most likely give you reading materials to help you along the way and if you ever feel you’re back off track, you’re welcome back to have a check-in session.

If you feel that Life Coaching may be for you, give in a call or sign up online!