Monthly Archives: June 2019

Behavior-Based Goals and Rewards

Even when you are focusing on behavior-based goals, you want to start by creating a goal that is more of a “big picture” – the end-of-the-rainbow scenario. One creative way to do this is to visualize what it is you want, or you need to come up with a picture that represents to you the outcome. Practice bringing up this picture in your mind and get all of your senses involved. What types of sensory effects does this picture create for you? The more you can engage your entire brain in the process; the more realistic the big-picture goal will be. In this article, we will explore the rewards and behavior-based goals.

When you’ve solidified your end goal, turn your attention to what types of actions you’ll need to take to secure that goal in your future. What kinds of skills and habits will you need to form, or build, and of these, which seem inherently more difficult for you, being the unique person that you are?

Reward Yourself

One of the proven ways to increase your success in achieving your goals is by giving yourself small rewards along the way. Behavior-based goals are measurable. At set intervals, you review Behavior Based Goalswhat you have accomplished, then celebrate. Celebrating can be simple as listening to your favorite Merle Haggard album or having an ice cream cone. It needs to be meaningful and bring enjoyment to you.

This process is much more realistic than merely setting a goal and expecting to motivate yourself through the time, energy, and work that it will take to achieve that goal. Your chances are much more apt to keep your momentum if you know that, periodically, you’ll reward yourself for a job well done.

Regular rewards will work to your benefit by keeping your motivation and drive to reach your goal, as well as developing new positive habits while you’re getting there.

Pick Your Reward

The fun of goal-setting is not only visualizing the end goal but taking time along the journey to creatively giving yourself rewards along the way. Some people enjoy monetary rewards, and others might be more motivated by taking some time just for themselves in a favorite quiet place. You may want a night out on the town, or you might reward themselves with learning a new skill. To each their own, but utilizing a reward system while continuing to develop behavior-based goals will work in all areas of one’s life, whether it is business, relationships, health, or personal development!

Become an Effective Problem Solver

Learning to solve life’s big and little problems can help you achieve your goals, live with less stress, and enjoy more success both personally and professionally. Learning to solve problems is a skill, and it is one you can hone and practice over time if you know the right strategies. Here are six ways you can learn to become an effective problem solver in your life.Effective Problem Solver

Remain Objective

One of the reasons you may sometimes have difficulty solving a problem is because you are too busy thinking about the emotions that the problem evoked rather than real solutions to your situation. Sometimes, you may have become married to a particular idea, and when it didn’t work out, you get disappointed. Other times, you are just upset that things didn’t work out. Regardless, you need to focus less on how you FEEL about the problem and more on solutions to it. Become more objective, and your answers will be more effective.

Practice Being a Risk Taker

When it comes to solving problems, sometimes, you must take a chance to get to the best possible solution. The best answers often materialize when you try something new or think outside the box. Learning to be a smart risk-taker can help you become a better problem solver. Look for situations in your life where you can practice. Weigh all the possibilities and try something you have never done before. Take calculated risks to see that it isn’t so scary, after all.

Prepare for the Obstacles

When you start thinking about how to solve a problem, it is essential to remember that some solutions can trigger additional reactions, which could result in further complications. When making a choice, which is the best path, it is essential to look at all your solutions from a higher level to determine the obstacles that are likely to get in the way of each option. The more options you have can help improve your chances of success and be better prepared for the consequences of your choice.

Ask Open-Minded People for Advice

When trying to solve a problem, you may think that any help would be beneficial. But, if the people who are helping you are not creative problem solvers themselves, or have very narrow ideas about your situation, then they are not likely to be much help. They can even make your problem worse. If you want to brainstorm with others, make sure you seek idea’s from people with open minds, people with the confidence to see all possibilities and accept new ideas. Working with people like this can strengthen your skills, and you will get a better solution to your problem.

Practice Persistence

Effective problem solvers are those who don’t easily give up in tough situations. They are persistent in how they think and act. If you believe that there is a way to solve a problem, then you should persist until that solution is found and implemented. Learning to be more self-disciplined can help you stick with it when issues get tough, making you a better problem solver overall.

Start at the End

Sometimes, you can’t find a solution by starting at the beginning. Instead, it is sometimes necessary, to begin with, your desired outcome and work backward from there to determine how to begin solving the problem. Working backward is known as reverse engineering, and it is an effective strategy for addressing all types of issues. Practicing this skill often can help you use it more readily in crises and when problems have more at stake.

Final Thoughts

Becoming an effective problem solver is as much about developing the right habits of mind as it is about skill. Being open, enthusiastic, and meticulous are all good mental habits of effective problem solvers. Learning to think proactively can help you avoid many problems before they even start. And being curious about the world is always helpful in finding possible solutions, too.

Identifying Emotional Triggers

Our emotions form the basis for all of our externally expressed behaviors. How do we identify emotional triggers? When faced with a given event or situation which then triggers an emotional response, some of those triggered emotional responses are desirable as in the case of a sports fan reacting to a close call.

Some emotions have to be regulated because our reactions become irrational or unreasonable in a given situation — understanding how stimuli affect us is key to identifying those emotional triggers.

Your BaselineIdentify Emotional Triggers

Since these triggers are our emotional triggers, the first place to start is with mindful meditation. You want to start with a baseline of your emotional equilibrium. How do you feel day to day when stimuli don’t trigger your emotions?

Each day take a few moments to reflect on your body’s physiological reaction to your daily routine and life events. Your response is the baseline. Here is the point from which you will feel a change when your emotions are triggered.

Your Story

Our emotional responses have been patterned from our experiences over a long period. How you tell your self-story, and pattern your self-talk is going to play a significant role in your emotional triggers.

  • Go back through your story.
  • Look at your life.
  • Which parts of it have had the most impact on you and how.

Some of these emotional responses will be buried in the grief you felt over the loss of a loved one, fear from your parents being evicted from your home when you were a child or anger and resentment from witnessing some form of hatred or bigotry in action as it pertained to your life.


Emotional triggers can be good and bad, but either way, they serve a purpose in helping us navigate our way through life. When you were a child, if your family was evicted from the safety of your home, your emotional triggers may drive you to make choices centered on that not happening again, or they can lead you to become violently angry if this happens to you as an adult. Understanding your emotional triggers is essential to working through rational and irrational behavior.

Childhood events play a more significant role in developing emotional triggers because these events happened during the years of our lives when we are the most impressionable when we are still developing and growing in mental capacity and clarity. So, take a look at your personal story.

Working from your baseline,

  • Which parts of your story have an effect?
  • What events in your past cause your heart rate to increase or decrease from your baseline?

Bear in mind that emotions have a variety of effects on us. They can cause our hearts to race, or to calm. From one extreme to the other- calmness to panic- emotions are our reactions to our environment, so don’t just look for triggers that upset you. Look for triggers that bring you joy, happiness, or calmness.

Starting with the triggers that bring you some happiness, you can then make your way to the triggers that bring you panic or anger. Do this so that you can calm yourself in case you trigger a state of panic by addressing a particularly painful moment from your past.

Once you’ve identified which triggers make you happy, ask yourself this: “How would I feel if this were taken away?”

Take note of how answering that question makes you feel, and where it takes your mind.

Your emotional triggers can be any number of things:


  • Happiness in general
  • Leaving the relative safety of your home
  • A dog peeing on your Iris’s
  • Your neighbor purposely walking his dog through your yard rather than on the sidewalk
  • Your child spilling her juice all over the table
  • Seeing a car similar to your first car
  • A knock at the door
  • The neighborhood kids hitting a ball into your yard
  • A friend getting married
  • Your mother-in-law being late
  • Your spouse leaving their socks in the living room
  • The dog insisting it’s time for a walk when all you need is three more minutes with a large project

You identify your emotional triggers by understanding your baseline equilibrium. Then you focus on what causes an unbalance either positively or negatively. You ask yourself why a specific event triggered an imbalance, and you have your emotional trigger.

5 Ways To Control How You React Towards Difficult People

We all have to deal with difficult people from time to time, but it’s how you deal with them that matters. Dealing with difficult people is all about control. If you maintain control of how you react towards these people, you keep control of the situation, not allowing those problematic people to win. In this article, we’re going to cover the five steps you can take to control how you react towards difficult people.Responding to Difficult People

1) Slow down and take a deep breath

It may sound cheesy, but this advice is given so often for a reason. If you slow down and take the time to take a deep breath, you’re allowing yourself not only time to calm down, but also time to consider your actions. When you react quickly without thinking, you tend to overreact and cause more harm than good.

When forced to deal with difficult people, take this time to slow down and consider how you will react to the situation. Don’t just respond quickly; control it.

2) Weigh out your reaction

The best way to control how you will react to difficult people is to weigh out the potential consequences of each response you could have. Weighing your options allows you to thoroughly think through and control how you react to these difficult people. Make sure you give yourself the time to do this; otherwise, you might regret what you say or how you handle the situation.

It is to your benefit to keep in mind that every action has consequences, be it their initial action or your reaction. You have to weigh these consequences as best you can and decide on how you’ll react to these difficult people.

3) Keep Calm

The only way you’ll be able to control your reaction to difficult people is by keeping calm. Give your emotions control, and you will overreact to these situations, you lose complete control. You have to remain calm in these situations to keep control.

4) Step away

You have to step away from the situation and allow yourself time to adjust and respond. Stepping away from the issue and giving yourself the space to calm down and analyze how you’ll respond will allow you to keep control of it. Taking time will help you to maintain control of the situation and how you handle the difficult person before you.

5) Know when to walk away

The last step in controlling how you react to difficult people is knowing when to walk away from the situation. If you aren’t getting anywhere with the difficult person and the situation seems to worsen, it’s time to walk away.

There’s no use wasting your time and breath on a difficult person that won’t budge. It will only cause yourself more stress and harm than it’s worth. You do not lose when you walk away. If you aren’t getting anywhere, there’s no use trying at that moment. If it is crucial, the break will give you time to come up with a solution.

Dealing with difficult people is, unfortunately, a necessary part of life. However, how you deal with it is entirely up to you. You are in complete control of how you respond towards difficult people; you have to realize it. This article will help you to strengthen your ability to control your reactions.

Keep in mind that you need to stay calm and maintain control. You have control how you react towards difficult people, and when you walk away; you exercise and strengthen that power.

Do You Control Your Emotions

Most people perceive emotional outbursts to be wholly involuntary and assume that they have no power over what they feel and their resultant responses. Living at the mercy of your emotions is quite draining and often puts you in an erratic mood that is unpredictable. Are you in control of your emotions?

Emotional outbursts are quite undesirable as having no handle on your emotional responses gives you a lot to be guilty about in the long run and also affects your social ties. Controlling your emotions means learning to channel emotions in more constructive ways. You also get to enjoy more control.Control Your Emotions

The important thing is to asses if you are in control of your emotions by analyzing the events of your typical day. If you cannot explain the sudden change of your mood or lack consistency in exhibiting a given mood, then your emotions control you.

Getting Control of Your Emotions

There are multiple benefits that a person who is in full control of their emotions enjoys in their life. Such include better mental and emotional health, ability to solve problems effectively, increased happiness in their lifestyle with fewer triggers of stress, and so much more.

Here are three practices that will aid in developing emotional intelligence that works in your favor every time.


Emotions offset your internal balance hence affecting the way you think and your physical responses. This chain of reaction may happen so fast overwhelming you in an instant leading to poor decisions and self-destructive patterns.

Meditation works to achieve a balance in your internal environment in a bid to get you in focus to deal with your external environment with a clear mind. Meditation makes you in tune with your authentic essence, and with a complete understanding of self, you can internalize different situations rationally.

With meditation, even the most intoxicating emotions can be brought into focus by concentrating on your inner balance. The art of meditation gets better with practice and complements your life with positive attributes that put you in control over situations in life.

Knowing when to respond

Your emotions get the better of you if you plunge into a hysterical outburst immediately after being triggered. People with a short fuse are usually easy prey for individuals with malicious intentions. Getting easily triggered impacts your relationships, efficiency at work, and also how you feel about yourself in general.

Immediately upon your emotions being triggered, take a couple of minutes before you respond. Let the wave of emotions sweep through your entire body and within a minute and a half the level of agitation will lower significantly. According to scientists, it only takes 90 seconds for emotions to be generated and dissipate throughout your entire body.

Pausing and taking a time out can help you regain control and better manage difficult emotions. Take long, and deep breaths then respond when you have composed all your senses to the situation at hand.

Practicing Self-compassion

Self-care lets you deal with your most complex needs, thus enabling you to work on yourself. Self-development is strategic as it gives you more control over what you feel, what you think and, in the end, how you respond to different issues.

Self-care lets you deal with feelings of inadequacy and eliminates your most prevalent insecurities. Understanding your self-worth is essential in figuring out what to respond to and what is not worth your time.

Being enslaved to your emotions can be disastrous and even life-altering as it means you are not in complete control of your actions. Being in control of your emotions lets you make decisions that lead to the life of your dreams.

Image by ashish choudhary from Pixabay

When You Lose You learn More

Everyone likes to win and succeed. When you lose, you have more drive to learn and grow, because you are born with the drive to succeed inside you. When you win, you have more of a tendency to enjoy the fruits of winning. We will explore why you learn more when you lose rather than winning.

Losing helps you better handle surprises and disappointments, helps you to keep your ego in check, and serves as a good reality check. It can help you pinpoint an error your making or inspire more practice and improvements.

Learn When You Lose

Learning When You Lose

Losing confronts you with the fact that there’s a problem

Whether it be a silly one-time mistake, a flaw in how you learned something, or another type of error, the fact that you lost means there’s an area that could use improvement in your process or your efforts. The will to win forces you to confront this error and allows you to work to improve and correct it.

When you win, not only do you think you’ve got it right, making you feel like you have everything down right. It causes you to run the risk of stagnating, rather than continuing to improve in life.

Losing provides an ego check

When you lose, you face the fact that you’re not perfect. So long as you handle the loss appropriately, you’ll learn that you, like everyone else, have room for improvement.

It also helps you to realize that no matter how good you are, there’s always someone better to come along that can beat you and that’s okay. You do your best, and it’s all anyone can ask of you.

Losing helps to teach you how to cope

We all know that some things in life are simply out of our control. You can’t do anything to prevent them; they happen, and you have to deal with it. Losing can be a great teaching tool in those exact moments. If you lose graciously, chances are when these moments occur; you’ll be able to handle them and withstand the storm.

When you’ve experienced nothing but winning, losing hits you so much harder, you don’t understand what you did wrong, blame yourself, and take the hit so much harder than others. You have a harder time getting back up on your feet after the disappointment. Losing can be a great learning opportunity for these exact moments.

Everyone loves to win, but, unfortunately, we can’t win all the time. Everyone has to experience loss at some point or another, but it’s how you handle that loss that genuinely defines your character. Losing can be a great learning opportunity to help you better yourself and excel beyond your wildest dreams, so long as you are open to it.

Why you learn more when you lose rather than winning. Use your losing experiences to serve as motivation and inspiration to work harder, practice more, learn something, and better yourself. Don’t waste it by being bitter towards the winner. The only way to be a real loser is to learn nothing from the loss itself.

How Mindfulness Meditation Improves Cognitive Function

“Mindfulness” has become a buzzword across health and wellness professional community. Early on, that was because of mindfulness promises the world. Since then, a lot of serious research has gone into it. Let’s explore how mindfulness meditation improves cognitive function.

While some claims made by mindfulness promoters and practitioners still merit investigation, scientists are coming to a consensus that many of the claimed benefits are real.

Among the benefits promised by Mindfulness promoters and practitioners is cognition – the ability to learn, think, and solve problems. Research shows how mindfulness meditation improves cognitive cognition, with only some of those studies discussed here.Mindful Meditation

Changing Outlook

One of the ways that mindfulness meditation improves cognitive function is easiest to understand has to do with how we approach decisions. A 2009 study that found that just four brief sessions of mindfulness meditation could increase cognition was predicated on this idea.

Having some stress can be a good thing, as it helps us to make decisions more quickly. It doesn’t necessarily help us to make better decisions, however. Mindfulness meditation is based on the idea of monitoring your thoughts, breath, and other functions in a non-judgmental way.

Mindfulness meditation develops a habit to look at things as they are rather than as we feel they should be, which in turn can help us to work with facts rather than react to emotion.

Improving Memory

Stress doesn’t just make our minds race; it can prevent them from holding onto information. The result is a decline in what scientists call “working memory.”

A 2010 study found that stressed people who meditate have better working memories than those who don’t. The authors of the study suggested that mindfulness meditation had this effect because it helps practitioners to mitigate the stress response. In other words, meditation helped them to be less stressed, which helped them hold onto information efficiently.

Improving Attention Span

A similar approach has to do with our abilities not to look at information objectively but also to absorb sufficient details. A 2015 study found that seasoned meditators have longer attention spans than those who haven’t been practicing meditation for very long. Meditation involves both focusing when there is nothing to focus on and learning to understand and discipline your mind.

You may think that your attention span is not long enough. From where you stand, you may be right, but it is an incomplete view of how attention works.

Many of us think that we are either going about our business attentively or chasing butterflies or something. The truth is that you can be sort of “going through the motions” long after your brain has started to check out. Sitting at your desk or standing at your post for long periods might not mean that you have an attention span that is as long or as strong as it could be.

Making the Brain More Efficient

If you do have problems with your attention span, don’t blame yourself. In some ways, the attention span is related to discipline. In other ways, however, attention span is a biological function that can be difficult to develop it.

While mindfulness meditation can help to develop the habit of attention – as discussed above – it can also help to establish the biological factors that influence attention.

According to one study conducted in 2012, people who meditate regularly have brains that don’t need to work as hard to get things done.

Your brain isn’t a muscle but, in some ways, it works like one. Our minds require resources to function, and they have to put in an effort – sort of like muscles.

When we tone our muscles, we develop endurance – a measure of how our bodies can perform a task. Meditation, according to this study, helps to tone our brains – if you will – so that they can do their jobs for more extended periods without exhausting their resources.

Some of the ways how mindfulness meditation improves cognitive function has to do with helping us to understand and train our brains. Mindfulness allows us to do things like pay attention longer, retain information longer, and approach obstacles more productively. Mediation also helps to develop new neural pathways; our brains function on a neurological level giving us better abilities to focus and recall.