If You Only Gift Yourself One Thing, Let it be This

It's tempting to use your time off around the holidays to rehash the year and dream about the future (resolutions, anyone?) -- but don't.
If you haven't made time to goal set and future plan yet, schedule time to do it after the holidays because...

The greatest gift you can give yourself this season is the gift of presence.

Be present with yourself
Be present with your friends and family
Put your phone away
Notice your breath
Notice the way your loved ones laugh
Listen
Rest
Journal
Resist the urge to pull your phone out
Give yourself permission to #latergram
Read a book
Just be

When you give yourself that gift of stillness, it's almost always a little easier to move forward with clarity, intention, and a remembered sense of what matters most to you.

Happy Holidays, Friend! 

See ya lots more in the New Year. 

Amy

​When the Universe is Telling You to Slow Down, Listen

That subject line should actually read something like: “when the world tells you to slow down, you should absolutely listen but chances are if you’re running at full speed, you’ll miss the message altogether.” But that felt like a bit much for a subject.

After leaving my corporate job 8 months ago, I told myself (and you and anyone that would listen) that I was taking it easy...resting and recovering...decompressing from running at full-speed for 10+ full years, growing my coaching business slowly. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

My identity was so intertwined with my career and this idea that if I wasn’t “working” in the traditional sense, that I wasn’t successful. So, I filled the majority of my “restful break from the corporate world” with more things to do and even more thoughts to think. I completely underestimated how much my thoughts impact my reality. Sure, I took a lot of time off this year but when I wasn’t “working” I was thinking about “working” and what I would do to gain more clients, more readers, start writing my book, develop more content and even the thoughts of what career I would take on if none of this worked out! I was running and thinking at full-speed, I had completely forgotten a lot of my original intentions in starting my company in the first place.

By early September, I wanted to bury myself in a pillow fort, sleep, read, and just think about all sorts of nothing. I had completely run out of steam; I had “thought” myself into the ground.

Most importantly, though, I wasn’t practicing what I write about so often. I wasn’t listening to my body or taking great care of myself; I had fallen off of my regular meditation & mindfulness practice and to put it simply? I felt physically and mentally cluttered.

Luckily, I’ve trained myself to rebound from these ruts and these past couple of months have been a big exercise in s l o w i n g d o w n and remembering my purpose for coaching, writing, and this newsletter.

There’s no non-cheesy way to say this so I’ll just go for it...my goal has always been to bring you guidance and resources so that you can unapologetically create the life that you want to live. This is still my goal. However, I believe more strongly than ever that the path to clarity, confidence, and a life that you love can only be found through stillness.

Whether I’m working with private individuals, start ups, or just a conversation with a friend, the first step is always the same: we must go inward, before we can start solving our outward problems. This re-discovery has given me a new focus and direction. Over the next few months, you'll see quite a few changes to the blog and content but please know this is all in the spirit of bringing you proven techniques and resources to help you “slow down in order to speed up” , move through life more mindfully with yourself and others, and de-clutter your physical and mental space in order to move through life with more clarity, confidence, and happiness.

Thank you all so much for reading and I look forward to continuing this journey with you through stillness.

With love,

Amy K Hall

Raise Your Vibes: What it means and How to do it

I recently wrote about How to Manifest your Best Life by giving you 5 key reminders for manifesting. One of those tips was to focus on raising your vibrations. Today, I’m going to dive deeper into what exactly it means to raise our vibes, why it even matters, and 3 tips for how to do it.

Before I get started, just know that I am going to refer to the Law of Attraction to explain much of what and why and how to raise our vibes. If you’re skeptical or maybe even a downright disbeliever, I get it. The thing is, you don’t have to be a believer in order to benefit from living your life in accordance with it. (Here’s a really great article from one of my newer favorite authors, Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net about how he believes the Law of Attraction isn’t real but how you can benefit from following it anyway.)

Here we go…

What it means to raise your vibes and why it matters.

Have you ever had a morning where you’ve woken up in a mood and then a string of bad events tie your morning together and all you can think is of course this would happen to me? On the flipside, have you ever had a morning where you’ve woken up in the best mood and a string of really lucky events tie your morning together and you think what an awesome morning, nothing could shake this feeling?! If you’re human, you’ve probably experienced both of these mornings a time or two.

According to The Law of Attraction, each of our thoughts and feelings have a vibration and those vibrations attract like vibrations. If you start your day with a low vibration and make no effort to raise your vibration then you’re bound to keep attracting lower vibrations throughout the day. If after starting your day with a low vibration, you can work on changing your mindset and raising your vibration (even if you only raise it a notch) you’re more likely to attract those higher vibrations and turn your day around.

Of course, this is a really easy example to focus on turning a not so great day into a good day. In reality, we raise our vibes to manifest better lives - not just better days, right? If we want to manifest our best life we have to work on not just changing our mood day to day, but changing our overall thought patterns and mindsets  - our vibes (some that we may not even realize our impacting us negatively!) to attract the bigger life goals that we are looking for: a life change,  relationship, a career, better habits, etc.

So...what does it mean to raise our vibes and why does it matter? Well, it simply means working our way to better mindsets and thought patterns and it matters because we want to attract more of what we want vs. more of what we don’t want. Got it?

How to raise your vibes.

A lot of times, changing our mindsets and thought patterns is so much easier said than done but that is exactly what we can’t do: just say it. We have to believe it and feel it and sure, it comes with little blind trust but the alternative is to stay stuck wanting to raise our vibes but unsure how.

A lot of people think that the Law of Attraction is magic and that we can literally speak things into existence. Maybe it is and maybe we can! I don’t know for sure but until it’s proven, when I talk about raising our vibrations, I mean that we have to do this naturally and authentically while honoring our true feelings that we are experiencing in each moment. What I mean is that, we can’t pretend to be positive if we’re just not feeling positive. We can’t be in a horrible mood or in the midst of a bad day, put on a fake smiling face and then try to turn it around by going from zero-to-positive in a few seconds. We don’t fool anyone when trying this - not ourselves, and not the universe and remember that our thoughts and feelings are vibrations - so we need to feel what we want to attract and not just think it or say it.

Try these 3 Steps to work on raising your vibes:

1. Honor what we’re truly feeling in the moment.

I say honor because there is nothing “wrong” with being angry about something, sad about something, frustrated, etc. We are human and we are absolutely designed to experience negative emotions. We can’t ignore them, we can’t brush over them in life - not successfully, at least. So what I am saying is… just start by acknowledging where you are and then recognize that it won’t serve you to stay there. It starts with awareness. That’s all.

 2. Try on a different feeling.

Now that we’ve recognized where we are emotionally and we’ve acknowledged that it won’t help or serve us to stay there, we can work on climbing to a higher emotion. One of my favorite takeaways from Gabby Bernstein’s manifesting workshop last month was when she introduced us to the “Abraham-Hicks Emotional Guidance Scale.” According to the scale, there are a number of emotions that we feel - 1 being the highest energetic feeling possible and 22 being the lowest energetic feeling possible. Here’s the whole list of example emotions for reference:

  1. Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love

  2. Passion

  3. Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness

  4. Positive Expectation/Belief

  5. Optimism

  6.  Hopefulness

  7. Contentment

  8. Boredom

  9.  Pessimism

  10.  Frustration/Irritation/Impatience

  11. Overwhelm

  12.  Disappointment

  13. Doubt

  14. Worry

  15. Blame

  16. Discouragement

  17. Anger

  18. Revenge

  19. Hatred/Rage

  20. Jealousy

  21.  Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness

  22. Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness

The goal is to ultimately get to the feeling of joy because if you remember from my last article, the ultimate reason for us manifesting anything at all is to experience joy. With that being said, we can’t fake it so we must in someway shape or form allow ourselves to climb the emotional ladder. You can see on the scale that anger is a higher feeling than jealously so if we’re feeling envious or jealous, maybe we can get angry about it instead? In the Abraham-Hicks book, Ask and It Is Given, Abraham explains that the goal is to try experiencing a different emotion and see if it gives you relief from the previous one. If so, go with it. If not, try on another emotion until you experience some relief.

3. Meditate.

When people ask me why I meditate or what benefit I’ve seen the most I usually lead with a Viktor Frankl quote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I meditate because it flexes my muscle between stimulus and response and helps me choose my reactions - not always and not perfectly but I’ve seen a huge improvement since I started meditating. So meditate or try doing whatever thing helps you in your ability to see your choice of response in any given situation. 

I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts, comments, questions, and additional tips for raising your vibes in the comments, below! 

Manifest Your Best Life: 5 Key Reminders

A few weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of attending Gabby Bernstein’s workshop, The Art of Manifesting: 5 Secrets to Attracting What You Want. Prior to attending the workshop, I was a believer in Manifesting - always have been! I could just really only ever describe it as “asking the universe what you want and then letting go and being unattached to the outcome.” While that explanation is certainly a part of manifesting, it often left me skeptical and unable to explain this deep rooted belief that I have. In the workshop, Gabby revealed her 5 secrets of manifesting and so beautifully articulated what I’ve longed to understand and explain but the most valuable nugget of wisdom I walked away with was a powerful reminder of why we even actively manifest in the first place.

Today, I'm sharing that powerful reminder along with 5 key points to keep in mind as you manifest your life. 

Why do we wish, hope, dream, visualize, and/ or ask the universe for anything?

I can answer that question in one word.

Joy.

When we dream of better, more, different, improved we are doing so to experience more joy, more happiness, more love, [insert your desired feeling of choice]

That is all.

As humans, we also assume that we know what will make us feel that sense of more.

  • When I get X I will feel Y.
  • When I make more money, I will be happy.
  • When I get that promotion, I will be successful.

For anyone walking a spiritual path, this truth probably won’t surprise you but we’re usually wrong about what we think will make us happy in the end and that inability to surrender and trust is where manifesting usually goes wrong. 

Below, I’m sharing 5 manifesting reminders that I took away from Gabby’s workshop. I hope you’ll find them as useful as I do.

  1. Remember why you’re manifesting in the first place - joy.

  2. Be open to experiencing joy in ways that you didn’t think of or plan for yourself.

  3. Be willing to let go of what you think you need and trust in the timing of the universe.

  4. Focus on surrendering to the present, not controlling the outcome.

  5. Set a clear vision of where you see yourself and focus your energy on raising your vibes and experiencing joy in the present moment. That high vibe of joy that you feel when you surrender will attract other high vibes of joy.

Manifesting is one of my favorite things to think about, write about, talk about. Let's keep the conversation going in the comments. What are your thoughts, beliefs, hesitations, miracles with manifesting? Let me know in the comments!

As always, thanks for reading! 

Networking Hacks for Introverts on Brit + Co

I partnered with the incredible Brit + Co to bring you"6 Brilliant Networking Hacks Every Introvert Should Know" - did you catch it? You can read the full article over on Brit.Co & then head back over here and let me know what you think in the comments. Are there any tips of your own you'd add to the list? 

As always, thanks for reading! 

Introducing... Pay-What-You-Can Coaching

Typically, I work with one-on-one clients over the course of 2-3 months and we delve deep into self-discovery, mindset & behavior shifts, creative visioning, and detailed action plans but sometimes… all you need is a good swift power sesh to give you the clarity you need to take action on your own – and that is why I am so excited to announce that I am now offering 45-minute single sessions on a pay-what-you-can basis.

What is it and how does it work?

Pay-what-you-can coaching sessions are single 45 minute sessions offered once a week and done via phone or skype – plain and simple.

How it works:

  • Sign up for a time slot on my calendar here: Calendly.com/amykhallnyc/paywhatyoucan
  • Included in the sign up form is a short intake survey to give me as much info and background as possible to prep for our 45-minutes together.
  • At the time of your session, I’ll coach you through hot topics outlined in your intake survey and we’ll wrap with next steps for you to take.
  • Post session, I’ll send you a re-cap with supporting resources and link to pay-what-you-can (100% up to you – no rules, no minimums here) for your session.

The process is simple and these power sessions can be invaluable.

Why am I doing this?

I thought about working with a coach for 3 years before I actually made the investment of my time, money, and resources. When I did make the commitment, It was SO worth it but in the meantime, I would have loved the opportunity to soundboard my ideas, get out of the box objective solutions, and build decision making strategies in single one off sessions that aligned with what my schedule and budget allowed.

I truly believe that everyone should have a right to affordable coaching and the opportunity to live lives more aligned with what makes us happy and keeps us feeling fulfilled. To me, this is the secret to making the world a better place and this is my opportunity to contribute by offering these sessions.

Is pay-what-you-can coaching for you?

PWYC Coaching might be for you if:

  • You’re new to a coaching relationship...Maybe you’ve considered working with a coach before but you’re really just not sure if it’s for you. It’s a great affordable introduction to a 1:1 coaching relationship.
  • You’re no stranger to coaching...Maybe you’ve worked with a coach before OR you’re a huge personal development junkie and you’re just looking for a quick re-boot or some fresh new tools and resources.
  • You’ve got a “situation”... Maybe you have a hot topic or situation coming up and need an objective sounding board to prepare. Whether it’s a difficult conversation you need to have with a colleague or supervisor or you’re looking for resources to help you through a major life decision, we can cover it.

I'll be offering these sessions every Friday so please take advantage and SPREAD THE WORD!! Feel free to share with your friends, family, colleagues, partners, etc. - anyone you feel would be interested in some 1:1 coaching.

As always, thanks for reading and thanks in advance for sharing. 

Amy K Hall

History made. Let's Break Some More Barriers, Shall We?

Regardless of which political party you align yourself with, last night was a huge milestone for America, women’s rights, and human rights. For the first time in history, a woman was declared the official Democratic Presidential Nominee of the United States.

We have to pause and celebrate moments like this.

It’s historic.

It’s progress.

It’s downright inspiring.

Hillary Clinton broke an enormous barrier.

And when we see other people break barriers?

We feel inspired to break our own barriers.

I’ll say it again because it’s historic: last night, Hillary Clinton, a woman, became the Democratic Presidential Nominee.

Ride this historic moment.

Ride this wave of inspiration.

Use this momentum to break your own barrier.

  • Start your own business.
  • Take a leap of faith in that career change you’ve been dreaming about.
  • Pour your heart, soul, and time into something that matters deeply to you.
  • Ask for that promotion.
  • Propose that special project you’ve been dying to start.
  • Get out of your comfort zone.
  • Align your actions and life with what lights you up inside.
  • And If you don’t yet know what that is, find it.
  • Choose love over fear,

“When there is no ceiling, the sky’s the limit” Hillary Clinton, 2016

Go ahead…make a commitment to take one action toward breaking a barrier of your own before the weekend is over. Let me know in the comments what this historic moment has inspired in you and share the post with your friends & family if you feel called.

I can’t wait to see what you do.

As always, thank you for reading!

Amy K Hall

It's OK to take time and process: a thought on the state of our world.

As someone who has a voice in the digital world of spreading love and light, I felt like I had an obligation to respond publicly via social media or my blog to the recent horrendous events that have taken place around the world but I couldn’t find the words. For the most part, aside from a few inspirational quotes shared on facebook, I said nothing. Then, I read post after post that those of us who choose to say nothing are actually contributing to the problem.

Like many of you, I felt angry, hurt, confused, and helpless. I felt guilt.

Once I forgave myself for doing nothing, I slowly started to realize that it wasn’t that I was doing nothing. I was likely doing the most valuable thing of all. 

I was reading.

I was educating myself on the local and global issues.

I was listening.

I was processing.

And most importantly?

I was taking the time to decide what my best individual contribution could be.

We all have something really unique to contribute to these global issues.

Some of us, as teachers and parents, impact the daily lives of children and you have a choice to change the world by instituting love and kindness as laws in your homes and classroom.

Some of us are wildly connected in the world and in the media and you have a choice to take a stand for the groups you represent and the messages you share.

Some of us create beautiful art and you have a choice to choose to use your art to share a message that will ignite conversation and likely change the world.

Some of us have a passion that is stirring in our soul and when we live our lives in alignment with that passion, we are naturally more inclined to see the good, do good, share good, be good – you…you have a choice to go after your passion and as a result leave the world better than how you found it.

And that is all that I want to remind you of, today.

To be 100% clear, I’m not promoting silence, passiveness, or inaction around the many injustices happening in our world right now. I am simply suggesting that we all take the time to understand and get behind what our best individual contribution to the problem can be – and then go do that. 

My 2016 Summer Reading List! Join Me?

Summer… ahh travel, sunshine, picnics, beach, margaritas, mojitos, iced coffee and if you're anything like me...good books.

I'm a total personal growth junkie when it comes to reading and I get a lot of requests to share my favorite books - (which I totally plan to do in the future so stick around) but this week, I want to share what books are on my “to read & re-read” list this summer so that you can read along with me.

Check them out and let me know in the comments below the post if you plan to read along - also, find me and follow me on periscope @amykhall to catch live broadcasted book discussions all summer (!!!!) <- that's me being very excited about Periscope. 

Summer Reading List 2016


1. Sacred Economics

by Charles Eisenstein; this book is absolutely first on my list and I plan to savor it. I mean s-a-v-o-r it.

If you're like me and you find yourself constantly questioning the evolution of our economy and you've found yourself calling money evil only to realize it's the meaning that people attach to it that makes it evil and then you wonder how we got here in the first place?!?! This may be a book for you.

I haven't had the joy of finishing this book just yet so I'll leave you with the description from Goodreads.com: “Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.”

2. The Four Agreements

by Don Miguel Ruiz; this is an oldie but a goodie. I have a rule that when I hear the name of a book three times, I have to read it and this is the first time I've applied this concept to a re-read but the mention of this book has popped up on social media, in a podcast, and in another book I just finished so I am going back in. Spoiler alert:

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word

2. Don't Take Anything Personally

3. Don't Make Assumptions

4. Always Do Your Best

are the four agreements that you'll read about and the emphasis is on identifying and eliminating limiting beliefs. How perfect for anyone who's in the midst of a transition and let's just be honest, here. Who isn't?!

3. The Mindful Brain

by Dan Siegel; I'm really eager to dive even further into my mindfulness studies with this book. It's written by a psychiatrist and backed by tons of neuroscience research which I'm always uber fascinated with. Stay tuned to the blog for many more mindfulness posts following this read ;)

4. Rising Strong

by Brene Brown; she's a genius. Her research is genius and she's such a kind, vulnerable, compassionate human. I love when you can feel someone's personality in their writing. If you haven't yet been introduced to her, check out one of her uber inspiring TED TALKs, here -- and then read this book with me, no?

5. The Universe has your Back

by Gabrielle Bernstein - you can pre-order Gabby's newest book here. This has been a big universe year for me. I've been really focusing on letting go of my urge to control so many outcomes and just trusting in the universe so this book is coming at the perfect time. If you pre-order the book, you’ll get a free workshop (live in person or live streamed - your choice depending on location) and I'll be there. Let me know if you're coming. I'd love to see you there! 

Let me know in the comments if any of these reads strike your interest and you plan to read along and don't forget to follow me on periscope - live book scopes and so much more are coming soon. 

and as always, thank you so much for reading the blog. 

Enjoy your summer reads!  

How to Live a Life Congruent with your Message

­­If you’re on my mailing list, you know that on Monday I left your inbox with what I call my most cherished life lesson which is:

If you want to live a happy and successful life, you must learn to be congruent with your message.

Some of you may be thinking…what does that even mean? Or maybe you totally get it but you aren’t sure of how to implement the practice of being congruent with your message. I’m going to answer both of these concerns in this post today so keep reading if this speaks to you.

What does it even mean to live a life congruent with your message?

Most people get hung up on the word “message.” Some people think: what exactly do you mean by message? Or some people don’t even believe they have a message to share. When I say message, I mean your purpose, your calling, your truth, what excites you, what lights you up, in the zone of where you feel you are using your skills to most contribute to a better world. I am also referring to that inner compass that we all have – your values, your beliefs, your perspective.

I believe that we all have our own unique set of gifts, tools, and perspective that we bring to the world. When we are living a life where we get to use our unique set of gifts, skills, tools, or perspectives for the majority of our time then we are living in alignment (or congruent) with our message.

To keep it simple.. it's when what you’re thinking, feeling, believing, and care about on the inside matches how you’re living your life on the outside – your career, your relationships, your spare time, all of it. 

On the flip-side, when you’re spending your time doing things that do not excite you, challenge you positively, or light you up inside then you are not living a life congruent with your message.

This can be tricky for some people to wrap their head around because society has taught us that “we are only as strong as our weakest link” therefore we must spend our time developing the skills that we are not naturally good at. I believe (and lots of research has proven) that not only do we tend to be more successful when we are capitalizing on our strengths and living congruent with or message but we are also happier.

Who doesn’t want that?

How to live a life that’s congruent with your message.

1. Get to know yourself – really well!

I talk about the concept of becoming a self-expert or building self-awareness a lot because it’s so true. In order to implement any kind of change in your life, it’s important that you spend real time not just thinking about yourself but really getting to know who you are, what you value, and what your unique contribution to the world can be.

2. Write it down

  • Put pen to paper and try to answer the following questions about yourself:
  • What are you best in the world at?
  • What gets you the most compliments?
  • How can you use that to make a positive impact on the world or even brighten just one person’s day?
  • When do you feel most proud of yourself?
  • What qualities could you absolutely not live without in yourself?
  • What qualities do you admire most in other people?

If you have trouble answering these questions, try asking a family member or close friend to answer for you to get you started.

These questions can give you invaluable insight into what you value, what is a priority for you, and what qualities must be present in your life in order for you to feel that sense of calm, peace, and proud.

3. Re-align your life

There are a lot of misconceptions about life… like it has to be tough, it has to be full of challenges, you can’t make money doing the things that you love but don’t underestimate the power of re-aligning your life to give you more of what you value, prioritize, and love.  

When you’re living life on the outside according to what your message is on the inside, so much more is possible. For some of you, this could mean a gigantic leap in the direction of an entirely different career. For some of you, it could be as simple as discovering a hobby you never knew existed or maybe spending a little less time on social media and a little more time volunteering and helping people in need – this will obviously be different for everyone.

4. Read: The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna

Lastly, if you’re struggling with this concept at all, I highly recommend this book. It’s a really quick read, beautifully illustrated, and there are so many great tips that will help you discover your own unique calling and message without all of the pressure usually involved in something like finding your purpose.

Alright folks, none of this insight means anything without some action. Right now, take out a pen and paper and start answering some of the questions listed above. Try thinking of just one small change you can implement in your life today that will inch you towards living congruent with your message. For me, I'm not going to skip any meditations. I believe in it way too much to not do it. That's just silly. 

Let me know what you come up with or any thoughts about this week’s article in the comments below – this is a juicy topic and I’m eager to hear what you have to say!

As always, thank you for reading! 

How to Use Gratitude as a Tool for Productivity and Happiness

If you spend 8 hours at a job that you hate, thinking about how much you hate it, counting down the hours until it’s over, and daydreaming about what you’d rather be doing instead, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to go home after work and happily research new career options, update your resume, and write an amazing cover letter.

Why?

Because those things take positivity and energy and you just spent 8 hours of your day pouring all of your energy into negative thoughts.

Whatever tone of thoughts we think will breed more thoughts of the same tone. Positivity breeds more positivity. Negativity breeds more negativity. Energy is contagious just as lack of energy is contagious. So, what I’m saying is if we focus on what’s not working in our life, more things will continue to not work in our life.

This is where gratitude comes in. Gratitude plays such an important role in our success and happiness. Being grateful for all that we have is of course important but it’s almost too easy. Being grateful or rather finding the positive in our current situation (even if it’s unpleasant, even if we are not where we want to be, even if we are not getting to where we want to go as fast as we think we should be going) is what will breed the momentum for us to actually implement the changes that we want in our life.

Here are 5 tips to help you introduce gratitude into your life and use it as a way to boost productivity & happiness:

1. AWARNESS

Be grateful that you even have the awareness that you should be searching for the good, positivity, or lesson in your situation. Before you had the awareness, you were destined to stay on the same path and well, now? You’re destined for change.

2. BENEFITS

Make a list of all of the benefits you get from your current situation. Here is an easy example: If you’re looking to change your career maybe your current gig provides you with benefits, paid time off, flexible scheduling, hilarious co-workers, a pay check, the ability to end your day at 5pm, the ability to start your day at 10am, the freedom to work from home, the opportunity to save for your retirement, a great manager that you can learn from, a terrible manager that teaches you what not to do. You get the idea, right? There has to be something. Write it down.

3. LEARNINGS

Every negative situation that we are in provides us an opportunity to learn something new. It’s up to us to either feel sorry for ourselves, stay stuck and frustrated, or choose to look for the learning. Make a list of all the things you are learning from your present situation. Again, maybe you’re learning what not to do. Maybe you’re learning about a business that you otherwise wouldn’t have. Maybe you’re learning about how to give and receive feedback or manage a team - even if it’s not a long term goal of yours. Think about this and write it down.

4. ELIMINATE NEGATIVE TALK

Eliminate negative talk around your current situation. Don’t allow yourself to say or think negative thoughts about your current situation. Don’t allow yourself to participate in anyone else’s negative talk - not even as a listener! This will be hard but resist the urge. If you feel negative thoughts creeping in (and they totally will because you’re human, right?) pull out your list of benefits and stay focused on the good. If you feel like you’re getting pulled into someone else’s negative talk try saying something like “Wow, that sucks. What are you going to do to change that?” -- in other words, keep your conversations focused on a solution.

5. Make good use of your time

Now that you’ve acknowledged all of your benefits and learnings and you’ve eliminated the negative talk, you’re going to find a few bursts of energy coming your way. It’s time to make really good use of your time off and put some plans in action. If you already know the changes you want to make in your life, schedule chunks of your time off to start chipping away at change. If you’re completely unaware of what changes you want to make, schedule chunks of time to simply think, research, dream big, and explore what’s out there. Yes, actually schedule this stuff in your calendar.  

Ok, party people. These articles and information are nothing if we don’t take some action. Make your lists, and schedule your new found energy into your calendars, right now. Or at the very least, schedule time to do these exercises into your calendar & let me know in the comments below how it goes.

Can’t wait to hear from you and as always, thank you so much for reading and sharing!

Amy K Hall

3 Truths to Help you with Decision Overwhelm

Try to transport yourself to the last time you were either ordering take out or deciding what to watch on Netflix. Just go with me on this one... and no judgement if that’s a regular occurrence for you and you’re transporting yourself to last night.

Let’s just say you had a long day at work and maybe you even skipped lunch. You decide to treat yourself to take-out… but here comes the hard part... hanger is setting in, and you have to decide what kind of food you want, what restaurant you want, what you’ll order, and how much. And if you’re anything like me, this is when the drama comes on, you hand the decision to your husband, and say: “just decide for me!” and then you have to decide what to watch?! None of your regular shows have new episodes and you’re hangry. So, you’re not sure what to watch or if you want to laugh, get serious, or cry and choosing a comedy at the wrong hour can really just set you over the edge.

Anyway, you scroll through series and movie options until your take-out arrives and at that point you’re frustrated with the time wasted, you’re frustrated that you’re wasting even more time being annoyed with the time wasted, you’re too grumpy to even enjoy your dinner and you still haven’t made a decision about what to watch.

Just me? I don’t believe you.

This is a really easy example of analysis paralysis or decision overwhelm and this is just one small area of our life that it shows up in.

We do this in relationships and we do this in our careers.

I love the invention of the internet (do I sound ancient when I say that? Lol) I really do. I love having access to so much information, so many different people, so many different parts of the world, and mostly? I love feeling like absolutely anything is possible and truly believing that it is.

However, I do think that access to so many options and so much information can do the exact opposite and completely paralyze us from making a decision at all.

We overstay our welcome in jobs that are not the right fit because we simply can’t decide which next step to take. We overstay our time in romantic relationships because there are just as many articles telling us to work through it as there are telling us to just break it off – we can’t decide. We waste half of our night deciding what to watch and what to eat because options feel limited and time feels too precious to waste (No... still just me? Ok.)

As a result, we end up not making any decisions at all and staying stuck or stalled with this heavily weighted burden of wasting precious time.

Today, I’m sharing 3 simple and enlightening truths about decision making that have helped me work through my decision overwhelm. They’re so simple. Keep these nearby as a reminder anytime you’re feeling any case of the analysis paralysis or decision overwhelm.

  1. In life, you’re going to make a lot of right decisions – fact.

  2. In life, you’re going to make a lot of wrong decisions – fact.

  3. You won’t know if you’re decisions are right or wrong until you make them – fact.

So simple, right? Well, that’s the easy breezy cold hard truth, people. You’ll be faced with decisions from now until forever. You will make good ones and bad ones, right ones and wrong ones, but if you don’t make any? Well, you won’t know. You won’t learn. You won’t grow. You’ll waste precious time – our most valuable commodity.

Well, as I always say: you get to decide, people! Whatever decision overwhelm you are dealing with, give yourself a deadline, and make a decision. If you’re struggling with a decision, (ahem…) coaches are really great at helping you decide your criteria and make really excited moves and I just so happen to be available.

Contact me, here for a free consult!

As always, thank you for reading!

Amy K Hall

A 3-Step Goal Check & The Only Comparison we Need to Make

Have you ever found yourself about 50 weeks deep into a friend of a friend’s cousin’s Instagram thinking to yourself: I want that vacation, to look like that in a bikini, to look that great in candid photos?!

(Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me – unless you accidentally double tap. I can’t unlike that photo for you. Scroll carefully.)

Only to be left feeling a little bummed?

I think this quote summarizes it perfectly:

“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

It can be healthy and motivating to look at where others are in their journey and set a new bar for ourselves. The problem seems to arise when we look at where someone else is on their journey and feel envious that we aren’t there, yet. That can really just take the wind out of our sails, ya?

The only thing we should really be comparing ourselves to… is ourselves.

Lucky for us, it’s the last day of May and the last day of each month is the perfect time to do some self-comparison, check in on your goals, and set some direction and intention for the month ahead. Despite my love of living in the present moment, I am a huge fan of mapping out the future, setting goals, and making a habit of checking in on those goals obsessively throughout the year.

Keep reading to learn my simple 3-STEP GOAL CHECK for wrapping up your month, heading into the next month with intention, and re-directing your focus from everyone else’s journey back to your own.

WHAT’S A GOAL CHECK?

A Goal Check is the simple step of actually setting aside the time each month (or as often as you’d like) to assess progress and re-evaluate the goals you’ve set for yourself for the year – or life! If you’re not a goal setter, no worries. This is actually the easiest way to start!

Go ahead: Open your calendar right now and add a re-occurring reminder for the last day of every month to Goal Check & then come right back to read the 3 easy steps. 

STEP 1: LIST YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Make a list of your accomplishments from the month. I keep my definition of accomplishments very expansive and I make sure it includes any and every small win that’s a part of my bigger-longer-term-goals. For example: In addition to some pretty lofty business goals I have for myself, I have a personal goal of visiting my family in Indiana at least 4 times per year. Since I visited in May, I’ll add that trip to my May accomplishments.

Quick tips: Look through your calendar to jog your memory. Keep a running google doc throughout the month and jot down anything you’re proud. Be sure to include every single thing that happened that filled you with joy or took up a significant amount of your time – even if it doesn’t necessarily pertain to your longer term goals. It will be helpful to be able to look back and assess what took up the majority of your time (good or bad) to decide if you want to do more or less of anything in the month ahead. For example: I started 4 books in May & I’ve yet to finish any of them! For June, I’ll probably aim for finishing one at a time or I might decide I don’t even want to finish some of them. Who knows!?

STEP 2: CATEGORIZE

After you’ve completed your list of accomplishments, categorize your list.

I break my goals into 3-4 categories depending on what my focus will be for the year. Typically, I will segment my focus into Career, Personal, Health & Fitness

Career – includes a focus on all revenue streams I am building and any continuing education opportunities I want to pursue.

Personal – includes a focus on all things that I personally want to accomplish including quality time spent with my friends and family near and far and travel goals.  

Health & Fitness – includes anything I am focusing on for my physical and mental well-being. Exercise habits, eating habits, meditation, mindfulness, etc.

For example: last year, I was working a full-time corporate job, launching my own coaching business, and planning a wedding. (Yes, I’m still tired from all of the above!) Because those are 3 really major projects and I knew my self-care would naturally fall to the back burner, I gave self-care it’s very own category. This year, I’m looping it into my health and fitness and even consider time with family and friends to be self-care.

The reason for categorizing is to give you a holistic view of how you’re spending your time. Maybe this is a big career year for you but once you categorize, you can see that you spent the majority of your time this month with friends and family, at social events, etc. which is totally fine, of course! Your focus will naturally fluctuate but awareness is key and categorizing can give you the insight to make a conscious decision to reprioritize your upcoming month.

STEP 3: PLAN AHEAD

After you’ve listed your accomplishments and categorized them, take a second to make a set of mini goals for June. This is a great time to look ahead and get really intentional with your time. Try asking yourself: When I’m completing this exercise at the end of June, what do I want to be able to write?

Then, take a good look at your calendar and try asking yourself: What can I re-arrange? What can I get out of? Where can I schedule some R&R time for me? Should I skip that dinner and finally update my resume this month? Should I schedule a beach weekend? How can I make the most of June?

And that’s it, folks. Easy peasy.

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Was this exercise helpful? What are some ways you close out your months and gear up for the months ahead? Are you a goal setter? What else do you want to read about goal setting?

Thanks for reading! 

How to Make Time for Mindfulness

“I’d love to meditate, practice mindfulness, journal, make a vision board, etc. but I have no time.”

That has to be one of the most common statements I hear with my clients and in consultations.

As much as I can relate, it just simply isn’t true for myself or for you.

We each have the same number of hours in the day (same as Beyonce ;-) and we each have a choice of how we spend those hours. We catch ourselves saying things like: I don’t have time to meditate -- but the more truthful version of that sentence is: I choose not to meditate. It works the same for a lot of things in your life. We say things like…

I want to exercise and eat healthy but truthfully, I choose not to exercise and eat healthy.

I want to save 10% of every paycheck but truthfully, I choose not to save 10% of every pay check.

I want to reduce stress and anxiety and improve my concentration and focus but truthfully, I choose not to invest my time in that.

Replacing “I want to” with “I choose to” is a really powerful way to quickly remind ourselves of the power of choice that we have in our lives and make some serious steps toward creating good habits.

I really want to challenge us all this week to take a good hard look at the positive changes that we want to make in our lives and start actively choosing to invest our time in things that will better us, lift us, and lighten us. Get really real with yourself.

How are you choosing to spend (or not spend) your time?

With all of that being said, I know that although we have the same number of hours in the day, we still only have 24 hours in a day. If we estimate that we sleep approximately 8hrs and work approximately 8hrs, that leaves us with 8 other hours for things like: getting ready, commuting, running errands, attempting a social life, dating, relaxing, TV, hobbies, and insert your daily activities here. That is a lot to do in a very small amount of time.

That’s why I wanted to close out our Mindful May series by bringing you some tips for implementing a mindfulness practice without adding one more thing to your “to do” list. I hope these tips will inspire you to start your practice today – it’s so easy.

1. Leave your cell phone behind.

Ahh… our cell phones. I love them but they have to be the biggest time suck and mindfulness block of all. It’s so easy to pick that thing up, unlock it, and mindlessly scroll through e-mail, apps, games, etc. and the worst is when you unlock it and you have no idea why you picked it up.

Pick a few of your already scheduled daily activities and leave your cell phone behind. For example: if you normally use your phone on your commute to work, try just sitting peacefully and focusing in on your breath. If you normally go for walks to get coffee with your co-workers mid-day, leave your phone behind and try being fully present to the conversation.

2. Download the app, Moment.

For most of you, this will be a frightening experience. It sure was for me but awareness is the key to every great change, my friends and when a friend told me to put this app on my phone, I was shocked to learn that in one day, I spent 7 total hours on my cell phone – and I was sure that was a light day.

Moment constantly runs in the background of your phone and it tracks how much time you spend on your phone, how many times you unlock your phone throughout the day, and you can even set a daily limit to how much time you want to spend on your phone and the app will alert you when you’re getting close.

So, download the app and enlighten yourself to just how much time you are spending on your cell-phone and then try to convince yourself that you don’t have time for a new habit.

3. Awareness & Breathing

In an earlier post, I noted that Dictionary.com defines mindfulness as a technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.

In your standard daily activities, bring awareness to your thoughts and use your breath to bring your back to the present moment when it escapes you.

Whether you’re reading, brushing your teeth, walking, watching tv, seeing a movie, catching up with an old friend, completing a task at work, sitting in on a meeting, leading a meeting, etc. notice when your mind has drifted or wandered and focus in on your breath – slow it down and bring yourself back into the present moment.

Also, realize that when you can notice that voice in your head drifting off and thinking about the past or the present, that you are not that voice. If you can identify it, then you are an observer. Once you become and observer of your thoughts, it becomes much much much easier to change them.

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Let me know how your mindfulness practice has started or grown over the last month and of course, anything else you’d like to add.

Thank you all for reading along with this month’s mindful series!

5 Actions to Build on Your Mindfulness Practice

If you’re following along, you already know that all of May’s blog posts are dedicated to creating a mindfulness practice. So far, we’ve talked about 4 simple tools you can use to create a habit of being present (specifically related to scaring away your Sunday Scaries) and The First Step in Creating a Mindfulness Practice. (Spoiler alert: like the first step in creating any good habit, the answer is awareness!)

Last week, the assignment was pretty easy: Enter your week bringing awareness around when you find yourself in the present moment and when you find yourself not in the present moment. (As always, feel free to share your findings in the comments below)

I shared that I often find myself caught up in the what ifs in life – what if this happens, what if that happens, what if that would have been different. Keep reading and I’ll share the kind of embarrassing way that I get myself out of my what ifs. I also shared that I essentially use my TV for noise. I’ll turn it on and “watch” something while I scroll through my social media feeds, or while I’m cooking dinner – you get the idea!

Well, awareness is really truly just the first step. There’s a really great quote I love:

“Common sense is not always common action”

That just means knowing and awareness isn’t enough on it’s own. If we want to make change or create awesome new habits, we have to take real intentional action. So… this week, I’m giving you 5 actions that you can take (ASAP) to build on your mindfulness practice.

Five Actions to Build on Your Mindfulness Practice:

1. Eliminate a distraction

Have you ever noticed how many of the little things we do are just distractions from real life or even distractions from the things that we really want to be doing? For example: I love reading. Love it! I’d probably read so much more, if I eliminated just one distraction.

So this week, pick one thing that you’ve noticed is a pure distraction in your life and eliminate it for just a week. Try measuring how much of your time you’re about to get back and see if it’s a distraction you want to give up permanently or at least limit.

Remember how I discovered that I essentially use my TV as background noise?! Well, this week, I’m giving up watching TV for the entire week (I know I know… first world problems but I bet you can relate in some way shape or form, even if your distraction isn’t TV.) As embarrassing as this is to admit…I did the math and by giving up TV for the week, I’m getting back approximately 7 hours this week. 7!!!! I have a stack of books by my bed and I really cannot wait.

2. Give up multi-tasking

Ok, I get that sometimes “multi-tasking” is inevitable. I'm just asking you to try giving it up when and where you can for just a week – we can do anything for a week, right? And the only exception to the rule is human interaction. This means, if you’re having dinner, you’re not also watching TV but you can have a conversation with a human because that is human interaction. Ya see?

Also, want to hear a fun fact about multi-tasking? Studies have shown that only 2% of people can actually multi-task effectively and the other 98% are probably doing more harm than good even attempting to multi-task! (See this Mashable infographic here.)

3. Meditate

I talk and write about meditation a lot. It was such a crucial step in my mindfulness practice and I attribute better listening, clearer thinking, less stress, better relationships, and more thoughtful responses to my meditation habit. Since I talk about it so much, I’m going to leave you with a really easy way to get started – in case meditation is new for you.

  • To start, sit in an easy comfortable seat (Can be on the floor, on a meditation pillow, in a chair – just don’t lay down.)
  • Set a timer on your phone. I recommend 20 minutes per day but you don’t have to start there. You can start with 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and as little as 1 minute will benefit you so start with what feels right for you.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Don’t alter your breath, just notice it for the duration of your timer.
  • Your mind will start to wonder. When you become aware that your mind has wondered and you are no longer focusing on your breath, just bring your awareness back to your breath.

*A lot of newbie meditators think that they are meditating wrong or they’re bad at it because of how much their mind wonders but I’m here to tell ya, bringing your mind back to the breath, that is the meditation. Overtime, your mind will wonder less (maybe!) but the exercise for your brain happens when you become aware that you’ve wondered and you return to the breathe.

4. Start a journal

A journal will help you to create another really valuable habit: Introspection. Introspection is the most direct path you can take to self-awareness and as we know, self-awareness is the first step to building a mindfulness habit. Take the action of starting a journal to maintain a constant flow of introspection – learning to look within before we take actions outwardly.

You can journal in the mornings by reflecting on your day before and setting intentions for your day ahead, at night ending with a recap, or even try it on your lunch break! I use a combination of all of the above. Mostly, I journal in the mornings and I also keep a running note on my phone and when I’m feeling stuck, or down on myself, I’ll list somethings I’m grateful for – it’s such a great way to throw things into perspective really quickly and turn things around.

5. Narrate your mundane activities

Ok, this is that kind of embarrassing habit that I mentioned earlier. I’ve noticed that I tend to zone out of the present moment the most when I am doing the typical daily mundane activities like: brushing my teeth, showering, walking to the train, waiting in line somewhere, etc. So, when I realize that I’ve zoned out, in order to bring myself back, I’ll (quietly, in my head, to myself) narrate what I’m doing to keep my focus locked into the present. Similar to meditation, it gives your brain the exercise of becoming aware that you’ve zoned out, and bringing our attention back to the present moment. I realize this may make me sound like a crazy person but I can guarantee you it works.

Ok, people! It’s time to take action: Those are your 5 actions you can take this week to build on your mindfulness practice. Let me know in the comments which actions you’re taking on this week & wish me luck breaking my obsessive TV habit & bonus points go out to anyone who takes on all 5 actions. 

As always, thanks for reading!!