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FINE tune your focus: Four Steps To Leveling Up Your Concentration

 

Distracted much?

Ya, you're not alone!

In fact, I don't think you have to look too far to find an individual that admits struggling with relevant or sustained attention from time to time. And though certainly there can be biological/neurological/genetic reasons for this difficulty in focus that could warrant a psychological diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. For the majority of us, we are likely in a different camp. And that camp being a difficulty in concentrating that is a by-product of our environmental circumstances.

What do I mean by environmental circumstances?

Well a couple of things. First off, we have our social environment. And in today's society, there is no shortage of distracting shiny things. Whether it's social media, increased email, a 24/7 news cycle, push notifications, an endless rabbit hole of website/youtube/Netflix glory, and the plethroa of other distractions that a technologically advanced society throws at us, it is incredibly evident that our...

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Closing the Gap - Managing distress by aligning Real Self and Ideal Self

 Depression sucks.

Mild depression can distress. Moderate depression can derail. And severe depression can destruct.

And though depression can come from a variety of sources that are both biological and environmental in nature, in my experience as a psychologist many of the bouts of that funky black dog that land in my virtual office result from a gap between one's real self and one's ideal self. And the larger the gap..the greater the funk...to a certain point.

Let me tell you what I mean.

First off, let me illustrate this concept between real self and ideal self.

Every single day of our lives we carry with us two forms of our selves. The self that we currently are that day and the self that we would like to be.

For instance, someone's real self might be 260lbs, but their ideal self is 240lbs. Their real self earns $60k a year but their ideal self would like to earn $100k. Their real self is on the bench for their sport team, but their ideal self is starting. Their real self...

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Love Language - Not Just For Lovers. How This Famous Model Can Help Us All Show Our Appreciation!

 

Ahh, love is in the air.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. That day dedicated to bringing lovers together for a day (or night) of chemistry and connection. Or for those singles out there, a bunch of bourbon with the boys, rose' with the ladies, or an afternoon of swiping on Tinder.

Regardless, Valentine's Day is about is about coming together and taking deliberate time to reinforce and strengthen the relationship between one another.

And though I don't consider myself a couples counselor...at all...I do peek around at psychological theories pertinent to human relationships. One such model that I have always been fond of for its simplicity and application is the "The Five Love Languages" identified and authored by Gary Chapman.

Though we will get into what each love language is, the basic premise is that there are five general ways that romantic partners express and experience love.

Sometimes partners speak the same language and sometimes they don't. When they do, it often leads...

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Super Bowl - not just for the pros. Four Tips For Winning Your Big Game

Last night was Super Bowl 55 played between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Every year we gather to witness to two well-deserved teams fighting it out on the gridiron. It's typically the highest viewed television event of the year, one with the highest paid advertising dollars, and one where we consume the most food and drink (behind Thanksgiving). In other words, the Super Bowl is a big deal.

Regardless of whether you're a part of the team, a fan of the team, a fan of sport, or a casual observer, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest events of the year. With it can come feelings of anticipation, curiosity, anxiety, joy, and yes, even sadness. And though many of us watch as external observers of the Super Bowl playing out in front of us, we too have our own individual Super Bowls that we have the opportunity to encounter throughout our lives. Whether that's a big job interview, an audition, a proposal, childbirth, a keynote, or a championship event, we all have...

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More than a business tool - how the SWOT analysis can help strength test your goals

 

I imagine many of us have heard of a SWOT analysis (don't worry if you haven't, we will get into it today) and its application to thinking through business strategy. However, I believe it can also apply to one's own personal strategy when it comes to goal identification, pursuit, and completion.

The problem is that we usually don't apply such a rigorous framework to our personal goals as we do to the goals set forth in a company, team, or organization.

Why?

Well, maybe it feels like our ass is less on the line. There's a lesser feeling of accountability. Or frankly, we just don't think our personal goals require such an emphasized analysis.

Maybe that's the problem?

Let me start off by saying that we do NOT need to take ourselves or this process super seriously. At the end of the day, we are living life and as long as we're focusing on the important things (as discussed in the previous blog here) then everything else is icing on the cake.

However, getting better and...

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Finding the Sail Boat - Three Options for seeing goals, even when they're invisible.

Last week I wrote a blog about the importance of completing an Annual Review and how this Annual Review can serve as the fertilizer for selecting pertinent goals. If you missed it or need a quick revisit, you can check it out here.

For some of you, a goal might have instantly emerged as a result of reflecting on your Annual Review notes. However, for others, it’s not as obvious.

Kind of like those “Magic Eye” books that no matter how long you stared at the fancy art and relaxed your eyes, you could not, for the life of you, see that 3D sail boat.

For you out there that may be unable to “see the sailboat” right now, this blog is for you. For those of you that saw the sail boat instantly, I still think you will get something from this blog as it may spur some inspiration for future goals.

So you ready? Relax your eyes, let’s find that sail boat.

We Have Options

When it comes to goal selection, we have a few options.

These options can help...

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The Annual Review - A quick look back to help move forward

Last week I got so excited about the Browns and Buckeyes that I shifted my blog schedule to make room for that discussion on Regular Season, Playoff, and Championship modes of living. If you missed it, check it out here.

But let's get back to the brass tax. It's still January of the New Year and I imagine folks are still grappling with their resolutions for the year. I wrote about the likelihood of derailment a couple blogs ago, and for those of you out there (myself included) that are still struggling a bit, maybe it's time to take that pause with purpose and to complete a more comprehensive assessment.

What is this comprehensive assessment you ask?

Well it's the annual review!

And though we would have preferred to do the annual review at the end of the year, life gets in the way, holidays sneak up on us, and the next thing you know the ball has dropped and we haven't spent any time reflecting on where we've been and where we want to go.

Today, that changes.

So break out your...

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Are you living for the Regular Season? Playoffs? Or Championship?

 

It's a special time of year in the world of American football. The NFL playoffs are underway and the collegiate football national championship is this evening.

As a Brown's fan, obviously I am thrilled about their strong regular season, playoff birth, and unbelievable playoff win last night. And as a former football player and sport psychologist at Ohio State (and 2002 member of the national championship team), I am pumped, though not completely surprised, by their opportunity to compete for a national championship.

Which got me thinking...

A couple years ago I would have just been happy if the Browns had a record above .500. The goal at that time was to have, and survive, a decent regular season. That was enough to bring satisfaction.

Fast forward a couple years, and now, based on some strong regular seasons, there is an expectation and desire for the Browns to do more. Rather than simply having a good season, the focus now is to make it to the playoffs.

The Buckeyes on the...

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New Year off to a "POOR" start? Four Tips For Getting Back On Track (Even if it’s Earlier Than Expected)

Well it's only January 4th and already our desired New Year progress got derailed!

I'm right there with you!

Consistent social media posting, a weekly blog, daily exercise, and a cleaner, healthier diet all got F'd up while bringing in the New Year.

Now don't get me wrong, I had a great time overindulging a bit with my buddies down in South Florida. However, sometimes overindulging leads to underproducing. And underproducing leads to, you guessed it, F-ing up your goals.

So what is one to do?

Call it a year?

"Welp, I guess 2021 isn't going to be a good one either?"

Hell, no! You gotta right the ship! You gotta get the train back on the tracks!

Listen, 2021 has 365 days to get better and maybe you're off to a slow start. But that doesn't mean the next 360 have to be a wash.

Below are four tips to right a ship, that you feel is already sinking.

1. Pause

When things are off to a rough start it's very easy to get back into old habits and negative mindsets. We can actually spiral...

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2020 is over...NOW WHAT?

 

Well it's the moment that many of us have been waiting for...the final week of 2020. For all of us that has been reciting phrases such as "This has been the worst year ever" or "2021 has to be better than what 2020 was" now is the chance to right the ship.

But how?

First, we need a little reality check:

Covid Is Still Here.

By now we would have thought that Covid was long gone, but instead it's still here. Now of course we are hopeful about the arriving vaccines and such, but the reality is that there is still a virus floating around that is impacting people. Regardless of whether you think it's a big deal or it's a hoax, “something” is still around and it's impacting your life.

Mitigation Will Linger.

Even as we get the virus under control, the mitigation strategies we've grown annoyingly accustomed to will also likely stick around. Proof of negative covid tests, mask wearing, socially distant gatherings, plastic barriers, and yes, ZOOM, will likely be the norm...

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