Weigh Your Options

Yes No EmilyMarko.com

Have you ever said “yes” to a request and then afterwards thought “Why did I say I would do this?!” Sometimes we agree before we have truly thought through what the commitment means to us. Often, the actual word “yes” isn’t even spoken, but our actions say it anyway. For example, have you ever seen a number pop up on your phone and just know it is something or someone you do NOT want to deal with at the moment? Against your better judgment, you answer the call and sigh – you just said “yes” whether you know it or not!

Or are you inclined to say “no” to a request before the question is ever finished? Maybe you are so busy and would prefer to not even take the time to listen.

There seem to be plenty of opinions on how you should answer these requests. This article gives you some reasons for why your answer should be “yes”. This one points out reasons why you should say “no” more often.

A quick Google search will pull up many more articles on the Yes/No debate. They all have valid points, but the most important factor is what you are giving up when you answer. Possibly it is time with family or an opportunity to grow your business. It is about finding a balance, but you must take the time to really

Recently, I have been practicing an exercise to weigh my options. I keep a visual template of What Fuels Me at my desk and refer to it when I need to make a choice between doing or not doing something. I determine the pros vs cons of how the decision will effect each “category” of my life – Financials, Whole Health, Work, Family, Community, and Social. Then I ask myself some specific questions on how the decision will impact me.

For bigger decisions, especially ones that will impact my time and energy levels this practice is very helpful. I take the time to determine how the decision aligns with my personal core values and also my strategy for my business. This practice has even worked when deciding whether to take on certain projects.

Download this free template and try it out next time you need to make a decision in your personal or professional life.

Do you lean more towards saying “yes” or “no”?

What kind of process do you go through when making decisions?

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Say Thank You

Grateful - EmilyMarko.com

Have you ever felt completely stuck? Have you ever made a bad decision? It happens to all of us, but what we do next is what really matters. You could replay the situation over and over and over again OR you could say “Thank You” for the experience.

Two years ago I participated in a Project Miracles program that focused on truly being grateful for where you are right now. The idea of genuinely saying thank you for the good and bad of life gives you the ability to move past a particular moment or situation and free yourself from getting hung up on it later. This process was pivotal in my personal life as well as moving my business forward.

This acceptance process is part of my Visual Review Strategy Sessions. Each time a client experiences the session, I immediately see how freeing the process is for them. Even for myself, I feel so at ease and in control of my future after I complete my 6-month visual reviews. By simply acknowledging and accepting what happened in the past, opportunities seem to open up for the future.

Even if you are feeling low about a situation, try looking it in the face and truly accept the situation for what it is. Then genuinely say Thank You and see how easy it is to move on!

As a new practice for myself, I created a template to fill out every day (or as needed) to document my gratitude. I take a few moments to write down three things I am grateful for and the reason. Documenting the actual reason behind my gratitude has helped me move past the not-so-good things a little easier.

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Is there something you need to say thank you for?

What is hanging over your head right now?

Is there someone that you are so grateful to have in your life?

What type of gratitude practice do you use?

Download this Free Gratitude Template and try it out.

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Inhale the Good Stuff

Inhale - EmilyMarko.com

My family has been a little addicted to a new game show Race to Escape, which challenges teams to solve puzzles and find hidden clues before the other team so they can win a huge amount of money. The most interesting part to me is when the host explains the psychological process a contestant is going through when making decisions and working to find the solution. The brain is so fascinating to me!

As I started my research on decision-making, I came across this video and article that discussed the same psychological processes the game show explains. If we are able to understand our cognitive bias it may help in making better decisions.

Another resource I found was Jonathan Fields’ book, Uncertainty, where he writes about “refueling your brain between bursts”. Apparently, the prefrontal cortex of our brain becomes fatigued very easily and we lose creativity, cognitive function, productivity and willpower. Interestingly, if we take the time to do something that helps refuel, we can keep our brain in tip-top shape and make better (more mindful) decisions.

The idea of refueling the brain is something I have tried to practice with meditation. Unfortunately, a regular schedule for meditation just hasn’t stuck yet. I do believe in the benefits though and recognize when I need to infuse it into my day. When I feel the stress head ache coming on or just a bunch of negative thoughts swirling through my mind or feel really stuck – I know it is time to take a break. Sometimes a 20-minute meditation seems way too long to pull myself a way. Instead of ignoring the need to reset, I just shorten the practice.

For a super quick way to regain focus, I pause and breathe. Close your eyes, focus all your attention on your breath, imagine inhaling good energy and exhaling bad energy. I visually assign a color (blue like an ocean) and descriptors (happy, healthy, safe) to the good energy and imagine my whole body being filled with the good. As I exhale, I imagine the bad (super toxic) energy being pushed out with my breath.

This has worked so well for me, that I have taught my 6-year old son to practice this exercise when he is having trouble keeping calm. All I need to say is “breath in the good stuff, buddy”.

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How do you refuel your brain?

Try out even more exercises that may help you refuel and make better decisions.

Leave a comment below on which exercises work for you.

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Make Mindful Choices

Mindful Choices - EmilyMarko.com
Little did I know that when I chose Decision Making as a theme for this month, I would be struggling to make decisions. But here I sit, in a sea of overwhelming indecision and frustration. It blind-sided me a bit since I felt relatively successful for July’s focus of Be Productive. As I even struggled to decide on content for August, I did run across some helpful thoughts from others that I hope will curb the indecisiveness.

When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.

– William James

This was a huge light bulb for me. I become irritated quickly when others avoid dealing with important situations or discussions – it won’t go away if you ignore it in most cases. I suppose that is a lesson for me – the traits that irritate me the most in others are probably the same challenges I have myself. By choosing to remain in the land of indecision, I am doing the same thing. I just never looked at choosing to not choose as an actual choice.

With that thought in mind, I then came across this gem from Gretchen Rubin (as I was aimlessly scrolling through social media on my phone because I was avoiding writing this post last night).

 If you are too tired to do anything except watch TV or cruise the internet, go to sleep.

– Gretchen Rubin

I did go to sleep and felt much better about mindfully choosing to get my 8 hours in so I could enjoy the next day and start making some decisions. I am still trying to determine the reasons for my indecisions. Often when a person resists doing something it boils down to fear. Fear of rejection, failure, imperfection, the wrong path or possibly success? I have definitely found myself dragging my feet on decisions lately because the outcome would be success! Which brings me to one of my favorites by Marianne Williamson.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

– Marianne Williamson

I hope to find some more resources this month to get past the indecisiveness and I will share what I find. I feel better knowing that I am making a mindful choice towards action.

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Where do you struggle with indecision in your life?

Can you identify the reason for your indecision?

How do you overcome indecision and move toward making mindful choices?

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Interested in receiving updates about how you can become a Passionate Do-Gooder – Sign up for the e-newsletter here.