Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Look to Learn

What does looking elsewhere have to do with transition? Sometimes we focus too much on inner selves that we neglect to take a good look at the environment and people around us.

Here is a reminder: 

Look at People

Who are the people who make your day special? They can be your family members, friends, neighbors and of course your pets. People can also be the providers of service we routinely count on. By focusing on them instead of our "self" we can change our attitude, learn new things and move forward.   

Look at Places

Take some time to observe where you are. Look at the buildings, trees and sky. Our visual senses can bring us great relief from every day sameness. Look with new "eyes" and really see where you are.

Look at Things

Spend some time looking at your surroundings with deeper vision. Really look at the mug on your desk. Observe the stapler. Contemplate your phone. When we look with intent we often see things in a brand new light.

Looking elsewhere is one of the ways to make a transition in your thoughts, attitude and  mindset. Another method is by listening. You may find this previous post about sound helpful. Stillness and Silence.

Let me know how some of these exercises go in transitioning your mind.

This is a best of post.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Know Your Daily Patterns

We all have patterns and routines within our day. These patterns can be effective and productive or they can squander our time.

Many people have beginning of the day routines, after meal routines and end of day routines. Within our work life we also have beginnings and endings.We can also have before we turn on the computer, while it shuts down and right after using the computer.Knowing these available transition times, can be helpful in developing good patterns.

First take some time to look at the patterns that are working. Let's call these the Your Effective Transition Times. These are often well entrenched and serve us well. For instance every night before I go to bed, I set up my coffee maker to run. My current model does not have a timer, but when I press the button, this gives me time to unload the dishwasher which I run in the evening. I have been following this pattern for over 20 years and it works well for me. Recently I have also added in taking my vitamins and drinking 6 ounces of water before I drink my coffee.  These are tiny habit* patterns I am currently working on. They are not firmly entrenched into my life, but I have begun. It will take a while for it to become routine, but when linked with other routines I have found better success.  

Next look at potential transition times you are not using. These we will call Your Potential Transition Times. For instance I don't have any habits placed in my after computer or while my computer shuts down. These are two times I can add in some productive habits. To get a habit established, find the "natural breaks" to make it more effective.

Think about these available times when you want to make a productive change in your life. Can you use these Potential Transition Times or add to your most Effective Transition Times (the ones already in use). As a cautionary measure do not overload your effective transition times. I suggest having no more that 6 items in your "habit string".

Another factor to consider is your usual daily energy level to perform tasks. If you are a morning person (lark), load up in your AM routines, but lighten up in the evening. If you are a night own, by all means make your evening routines larger.

By knowing and understanding your daily patterns you will be well on your way to make transitions in your life. 

* BJ Fogg, a professor at Stamford University is working on the Tiny Habit project. Read more about it here. I would like to thank my colleague Margaret Lukens for her insight into this program.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Get Creative

This is a great video: 29 Ways to Stay Creative.

What do you do to stay creative?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is it all about? Time to Review!

If you are a new viewer here at Transition Your Life, you may be wondering what this blog is all about.

This blog is about change and making transition. It is here to serve as a mental prompt or idea generator for you, when you are experiencing a life transition.  This means you could also be starting on a change, in the middle of a change,  or even just pondering change. 

Change is what we all do. The only thing constant is change. Change is seldom easy.

When I started my blog in August of 2007, I wrote:

This Site is for testing ideas and thoughts before setting out on your next journey, whether it be a career change, new family, or even post retirement.

The goal of my site is to keep it simple, keep it short -- occasional postings under 300 words. 

So I think I have been keeping up with the concept. Keep reading.