By Jennifer Weland, Owner, Evolve Fitness & Coaching
Did you know...
The typical restaurant meal averaged across breakfast, lunch and dinner has 1,128 calories? That’s over half of the recommended daily intake for women.
The average restaurant meal has 58g of fat? That’s 89 percent of what you should be eating the entire day.
The average American eats 22 tsp of sugar a day, much of it from processed foods and canned/bottled beverages? The recommended daily allowance is just 6 tsp.
Relying on packaged, processed, store- and restaurant-prepared foods makes it really difficult for us to know exactly how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar we’re eating every day. No wonder so many people are struggling with extra pounds and a variety of health problems that come from too much fat, salt and sugar.
Food (quality and quantity) is the biggest factor in the number on the scale and in our overall health. In the spirit of the Less is More blog, I want to encourage you to eat out less, and cook at home more. By preparing your own food, you have so much more control over the quality of the ingredients, the size of the portion and the elements used to flavor your food (salt/sugar/fat versus spices and herbs).
One Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
Cooking for yourself offers some other benefits we may not typically think of, but that are important as well:
It’s usually cheaper. Restaurants typically mark up their offerings to 3 or 4 times what the raw ingredients cost.
You safely handle and prepare your food (and you know there aren’t bugs or rats in your kitchen). It’s not rare anymore to hear stories about lack of food safety or contamination. In your own home, you control the handling of food.
You get to spend more quality time with family and friends. Preparing meals and eating them with family and friends gives you more time to connect over something positive and healthy.
You can be more self-reliant. If you have no idea how to cook, it leaves you pretty helpless, doesn’t it? Learning basic things and then branching out as you grow in skill and confidence will leave you less dependent on others—family, friends, the food industry, grocery store or restaurant industry to feed you.
So why don’t more people make their own food? My clients tell me they don’t cook at home because: they don’t know what to make, they can’t seem to find good-tasting options that are also healthy, they believe they don’t have the time, or they don’t think they have the skills to make their own food. Do any of these resonate with you?
And while I can’t really teach my clients (or you) how to be more skilled in the kitchen, I can help with sharing good-tasting, healthy options that don’t take a ton of time and aren’t overly complicated.
That’s why I created the Flat & Happy Recipe Guide: Delicious Meals for a Flat Belly & Happy Body. With more than 100 healthy recipes for every meal—including dessert—you’ll have plenty of options to choose from that are good for you and that you’ll actually want to eat. Healthy options for condiments, seasonings and salad dressings are also included. All you need to do is choose what looks good to you.
Get the Flat & Happy Recipe Guide now in PDF, for Amazon Kindle and in iTunes.
About the Author
As the owner of Evolve Fitness & Coaching in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer Weland works with clients locally and across the nation through her fitness and nutrition programs. She is certified as a Personal Trainer from the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Fitness Nutrition Specialist from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and is a Certified TRX Instructor. Jennifer comes from the corporate world, so she knows just how tough it can be sometimes to get in the activity and exercise we all know we need to, and she also knows why it's so important to our overall health and well-being.
Jennifer facilitates the Move More to Accomplish More webinar and workshop for People-OnTheGo.
Additional Resources & Webinars
by Lorraine Segal
Many of us shudder with fear or dread when we hear the word “conflict.” We would do anything to avoid it, sidestep it, ignore it, or somehow fix disagreements without actually dealing with them.
Unfortunately, conflict is an inevitable part of human interactions, at home or at work and it won’t go away just because we, understandably, would prefer not to deal with it.
The good news
When we accept the reality of conflict, it is absolutely possible to learn techniques and ways of thinking that help us manage and even resolve conflict with co-workers, bosses, or employees. It can take practice, support, repetition and willingness to integrate and use these approaches well, but my clients, and I vouch for their effectiveness.
Here are a few effective strategies and mindsets to get you started:
1. Accept that conflict happens.
Conflicts will arise. You don’t need to blame yourself or another for a disagreement. This helps you keep an open mind to focus on solutions.
2. Manage your own emotions and responses.
Are they saying or doing something that sends you through the roof? Chances are the intensity of your reaction has to do with past experiences, not just the current problem. Becoming aware of what is getting triggered, and then separating the past from the present situation, will help you stay calm and present.
3. Make the first move.
Be willing to make the first move toward resolution, even if you think it is their fault and they should be the first to act. Do it anyway, and you will get the benefit.
4. Be willing to listen.
Each of us has our own way of framing and describing our experience. When we recognize that they have a different story about what happened, and become willing to listen to and understand their perspective, we can see more clearly how we got embroiled and how we might resolve the conflict.
5. Take responsibility for your part.
Did you make a mistake that affected someone else, lose your temper, or hurt someone’s feelings? This is human and inevitable, as well. If you can acknowledge your part, instead of reacting defensively, it can defuse conflict. This does not mean taking all the responsibility, but sincerely recognizing what you did wrong.
The rewards of mastering conflict skills
It takes a lot of practice and willingness to become aware of your assumptions about the other person, and to change your behaviors and ways of thinking about conflict. But making these changes will reap rich rewards—including peace of mind, more energy for your work and your life, and better interactions with those around you.
Get good enough at it, and you may be seen as the “go-to” person for helping others with their disagreements, which is an excellent leadership ability. Individual communication/conflict management coaching or classes can offer support, rehearsal, and guidance for strengthening these crucial skills.
Lorraine Segal (M.A. TESOL) was a tenured community college professor for many years before she found her true passion for helping people communicate better, resolve conflicts, let go of resentments, and forgive themselves and others.
Now, she is a communication and forgiveness specialist, a certified conflict management coach, a mediator, and a teacher. She has her own Sonoma County-based business, Conflict Remedy, offering individual and group coaching. She also teaches communication and forgiveness skills at Sonoma State University and St. Joseph’s Health Life Learning Center. For more information about Lorraine and her work, visit her website: www.ConflictRemedy.com.
by Valencia Ray, M.D.
Women do have an advantage in leadership style in today’s workplace, not simply because we are women, but more so because “heart” behavior, such as showing another person empathy or exercising better listening skill is becoming more socially acceptable as exemplary leadership behavior. Yet, do not men have a “heart” as well? Judy B. Rosener in the Harvard Business Review article “Ways Women Lead” postulates that characteristics generally considered to be “feminine” accounts for why women are succeeding in the 21st century workplace. “Macho male” leadership styles tend to lead to disengagement in today's world.
Let me be explicit here for a moment. While I know that our language implicates “feminine” as being only of the female or woman, I find it striking that the functional qualities of our right-brain parallel qualities that our language defines as feminine or female. Yet, human beings – men included – have a right-brain hemisphere. Perhaps we need to rethink the etymology of “feminine” and realize that with the clearer understanding of the roles of the brain hemispheres, our tendency to define behavior along gender lines may be antiquated. Our brain capabilities give us the ability to act as we need to in order to evolve and adapt to our environment. Could it be that we have artificially segmented and categorized behaviors unwittingly according to gender, when really it is culture that has determined what is “feminine” versus “masculine” behavior? That true biology as related to the physiology of our brain has much greater flexibility than this?
For the sake of males who are leaders in today’s world where empathy is valued, I would think that looking at behavior based upon our brain’s ability to respond should supersede outdated definitions that connect behaviors along gender lines. Empathy is a human quality that can be cultivated, not a limited-to-gender quality. Perhaps we can start to recognize that our left-brain and right-brain contain functional qualities that can help us on an individual basis as needed, instead of pegging behavior into gender role-playing. Enough said; something to think about.
The opportunity for leadership development is to allow each individual human being social access to their whole brain as needed, and as uniquely expressed by their unique personality. I believe it is fear and the need to conform that is at the root of so many people’s behaviors, with the pressure to conform to gender stereotypes being one of the most pervasive in our workplaces. One’s behavior may not even feel like authentic expression to him or her. I know; I’ve been there, and I am still growing in self-knowledge. Learning never ends. When I was a “command-control” leader, I felt like a fake, though I would not have admitted it. I was hiding my fear behind aggression, which is a common phenomenon. In light of this, I am drawn to the words of Shawn Anchor, a Harvard researcher, taken from his book, The Happiness Advantage:
Happiness is not the belief that we don’t need to change; it is the realization that we can.
Men who reject empathy and other “right-brain” related traits and continue to push women into gender conformity boxes are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Think of the word right-brain and the word “heart” as interchangeable. Men have access to “right-brained” styles, but they tend to under-develop them. Recall the concept of neuroplasticity. We need to reframe the connotation of the word “heart” because the right-brain is critical to innovation and creativity. Currently we stereotypically attribute the word “heart” only to females in its connotation. Again, do men also have a right-brain? The brain can adapt and, quite frankly, some men’s authentic personality is more prone toward these “heart-centered” traits, if the truth were told.
More often than not, the brain is performing as programmed. This prompts us as leaders to change the conversation from one that constantly compares women with men as if their biological sex is responsible. Continuing this old conversation only helps to sustain the “battle of the sexes,” which does not serve organizations or society and is now, in fact, limiting our progress as a whole. This kind of conversation also avoids a critical reality: when made self-aware, both women and men can change. This is good news to those who are willing to embrace change and evolve. This is not about “fixing” our self; it is about learning and growing to reach more of our true potential.
In fact, our inclination to cling to stereotypical role-playing models based on gender is at the heart of many of our leadership woes. For example, men limit their leadership ability by clinging to the belief that they must be stoic and repress their sense of empathy and connection to others. This type of behavior limits heart engagement and the ability to inspire others. There is new research demonstrating that men indeed show signs in early childhood development and into adulthood that they have equal ability to access empathy. Women who believe the “woman’s place” is to remain in the background are not very likely to assert themselves when needed, or to voice their authentic opinion without fear of rejection. Needless to say, the ability to navigate change in organizational culture is limited by this type of behavior on the part of the leader. Both of these socially perpetuated behaviors tend to be unconsciously conditioned in us as children and in social contexts, and there is now new, compelling research to support this claim. If we are all going to start performing at our best and living more passionate and fulfilling lives, we will need to move leadership beyond gender. What are your thoughts or experiences?
VALENCIA RAY, M.D. coaches and consults for organizations that want to help their leaders and teams perform at their very best. She also helps to restore vision by shining a light on the core issues that keep people from reaching their true potential. She is the author of, Leadership BEYOND Gender: Transcend Limiting Mindsets to Become a More Engaging Leader. To contact Valencia, visit her website at www.ValenciaRay.com.
by Lynda McDaniel, Your Inspired Writing Coach, and People-OnTheGo Faculty Member
The art of headline writing is more useful than you may think. Sure, you’re accustomed to headlines atop your reports and proposals, blogs and articles. But what is a tweet if not a 140-character headline? E-mail subject lines? Headlines in a box. And titles, subtitles, and subheads are simply headlines with a different name.
Engaging headlines are the antidote to TMI—too much information—which has turned us all into skimmers. Captivating headlines and subtitles grab our attention, and engaging subheads make us stop skimming and really read.
Let’s explore four ways to help you write headlines that hook readers—and results.
1. Learn from the publishers
The publishing industry has spent millions of dollars to discover what makes people buy their magazines. You can benefit from their research by studying the “cover lines,” those teasing headlines that flash like neon at passersby. Below are six of the most popular cover line categories and why they're so effective:
How to - (How to Writer Faster, Stronger, Better) People are eager to learn.
Why - (Why Dogs Love Humans) “Why” is a magnet for curious minds.
Questions - (Why Do Customers Buy?) Questions draw in readers and offer the promise of solutions.
Statements - (Living in Harmony: A Guide to Creating Community Organizations) Offers, ideas, and information people connect with.
Numbers - (Six Steps to Effective Headlines) The human brain is wired for numbers.
Controversy - (The Myth of Teambuilding) Stir things up to draw in readers.
2. Focus on benefits
Think of your headline from the readers’ perspective. How will your content benefit them? Write to them (not only in the headline but throughout your content). For example, 10 Ways to Work Less and Still Get a Promotion.
3. Use the List of 20
The brainstorming technique List of 20 makes you dig deeper, beyond the obvious. If you were writing a guide on how to become a consultant, for instance, you might start with a headline “How to Become a Consultant.” In one respect, that’s not a bad headline—people often start their searches with “how to”—but it registers zero in personality. By number 10 you’ve graduated to “Working Alone to Help Others Work,” but by number 20 you’ve hit your stride with “A 10-Step Survival Guide for New Consultants.”
4. Include keywords for SEO
Keywords boost the effectiveness of headlines. Consider the bestselling book title How Not to Look Old. It needs (and has) a subtitle packed with keywords: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better. If you need help coming up with keywords, pay attention to the words Google or Amazon suggest in their search boxes. These are popular, powerful words that can boost your SEO.
Take the extra time to craft headlines worthy of your article, blog, email or book. Otherwise, you may lose your readers—and those results you’ve wanted to your results.
Jenny Blake has a refreshing take on public speaking—it’s OK to feel nervous! It’s normal!
“It was simply my body doing its job—engaging my flight or fight response as a survival instinct during what it perceives as a very dangerous situation,” reflects the Life After College author and now international speaker on the inevitable nerves that came with one of her first, big speeches.
Even though, it’s perfectly normal to get the pre-speaking engagement jitters, Jenny is quick to remind, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
According to Jenny, speaking like a pro is all about preparation of mind AND body, and knowing how to give yourself a break while engaging with your audience with full authenticity.
Here are seven public speaking tips below adapted from Jenny’s writing on the topic:
1. Know where you want to take the audience.
A great speech involves taking your audience on a journey and inspiring them to action. Go-to quote from Jenny: “How do you want to impact the audience, and what would you like them to DO as a result of your speech?”
2. Make change happen.
The desired outcome of your speech should improve the lives of the audience members in some way. If you’re not making change happen, then there’s no point.
3. Get prepared.
Commit your speech to memory over and over again, so it actually moves out of the front of your mind it's become so natural. (Jenny will discuss the brain science behind public speaking more at our upcoming webinar.)
4. Get prepared some more.
Jenny recommends practicing your speech in the morning and at night for one week before your presentation. Practice “sticky” sections until you have them down. Record yourself and listen, or seek feedback from a trial audience, co-worker, or friend.
5. Make the mind, body connection.
Proper sleep, deep breathing exercises, and even pacing will help to quell and channel that adrenaline before the big speech.
6. Have fun!
“The audience wants you to succeed and they want you to be human, not a speech robot!,” says Jenny. During the presentation, it’s important to be yourself. Give yourself a break, smile, and enjoy the moment.
7. Keep strong and carry on.
The most important thing to remember is that you CAN do it! Even if nerves take over or technical problems occur, it’s still your time to shine by taking your speech to the finish. As Jenny shares, “People will love you more for keeping strong and (awkwardly) carrying on.”
You can learn more about Jenny Blake in the video below, or by visiting www.jennyblake.me.
Additional Resources & Webinars
by Lynda McDaniel, Your Inspired Writing Coach, and People-OnTheGo Faculty Member
We love to use e-mail because it's fast and easy. We also complain about e-mail because it’s fast and easy. The speed of e-mail too often means irritating, typo-filled messages that don’t get to the point quickly (the number one pet peeve in surveys of e-mail recipients.)
Some problems with e-mail stem from the challenge of all written words: no gestures, no facial expressions, no eye contact or tone of voice to support the message. Without the twinkle in the eye or the pat on the back, the reader may misinterpret the meaning of the words.
The speed of e-mail also contributes to its problems. Because we can send it fast, we think we should write it fast, dashing off messages without editing or proofing. Otherwise, it's not fast, is it? As a result, huge blocks of sloppy, rambling copy clog our inboxes.
Only to be deleted.
I was amazed when I learned that at least half my students and clients freely admit to deleting e-mails they don’t like the looks of. When I asked what they said if asked about the message, they shrugged and answered, "We just say we didn't receive it." Ouch! All that work, but no one reads it.
Let’s look at how you can overcome these challenges to write effective e-mail that get the results you need.
1. Subject line
You have only 10 seconds to grab your potential readers’ attention, so be sure to craft subject lines from their perspective. Include benefits they can relate to. For example, which of these would you open?
Carpet repair today or Early closing today
The writer wanted her staff to leave at 2:00 p.m. because the office would close early for carpet repairs. She sent the subject line on the left and was surprised to see everyone still working at 2:10 p.m. Her subject line didn’t pass the “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM?) test. No one read it. If she’d sent the second version, everyone would have left at 1:59 p.m.
2. Get to the point quickly
Make sure your first paragraph informs your readers about the reason for your e-mail. Summarize your topic and then go into detail. Remember: everyone is asking WIIFM?
3. Write to your readers, not at them
Don’t just data dump. Tell stories, benefits, and results through your readers' eyes. Use the word "you" often to engage them. "You" is a proven magnet that keeps people reading.
4. End with impact
Leave a lasting impression and make your expectations known. E-mail offers fast calls to action—just tell your readers to hit reply, click a link, download a document. Finally, let them know what the next steps are—you’ll call, they need to call or RSVP. And include your contact information. No contact information is another high-ranking pet peeve.
We'll go into detail on all these points—plus many more in my upcoming Business E-mail Writing webinar on April 10, 2014.
Additional Resources & Webinars
Employee engagement worldwide is at a low, as so reported a widely publicized Gallup study last fall indicating that only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work.
Part of the dilemma in understanding the complex, human capital issue of employee engagement is really starting with a definition. What does it mean for employees to be engaged?
Christine Mellon, VP of Human Capital Management Transformation at Oracle will present on this topic at People-OnTheGo’s free webinar, March 6, 2014: “The Employee Engagement Trap: How HR should approach the ‘Employee Experience.’”
In this 40-minute presentation, Mellon will discuss the difference between employee engagement and the “employee experience,” and will offer valuable insight into strengthening the employee-employer relationship.
Indeed, finding out what matters most to employees means going beyond the standard understanding of employee engagement. Here are six authors below who are also challenging what it means for employees to be engaged, and their thoughts on the issue:
Going beyond satisfaction.
“Engaged doesn’t mean satisfied… You can be satisfied at work, but that might mean you are satisfied only enough to do the bare minimum to get by. You might be satisfied but still taking calls from recruiters offering a 5% bump in pay. Satisfied isn’t enough.”
- Kevin Kruse, Employee Engagement for Everyone: 4 Keys to Happiness and Fulfillment at Work
Contributing to something bigger.
“All employees have an innate desire to contribute to something bigger than themselves.”
- Jag Randhawa, The Bright Idea Box: A Proven System to Drive Employee Engagement and Innovation
Respect and engagement go hand in hand.
“I realized that the concept of respect perfectly explained how in the span of two months I had gone from an enthusiastic new hire to handing in my resignation… It was clear to me that respect was the lynchpin of employee engagement.”
- Paul L. Marciano, Carrots and Sticks Don't Work: Build a Culture of Employee Engagement with the Principles of RESPECT
More than just perks.
“The organization may lavish you with perks, but those perks don’t hold the key to engagement. Feeding the pleasure center of the brain through extrinsic rewards doesn’t engage a person and build real, lasting fulfillment.”
- Timothy R. Clark, The Employee Engagement Mindset: The Six Drivers for Tapping into the Hidden Potential of Everyone in Your Company
A feeling of commitment.
“Employee engagement is characterized as a feeling of commitment, passion, and energy that translates into high levels of persistence with even the most difficult tasks, exceeding expectations and taking the initiative.”
- Linda Holbeche & Geoffrey Matthews, Engaged: Unleashing Your Organization's Potential Through Employee Engagement Hardcover
A company culture based on authentic values.
“There was a time when every employee from the top to the bottom of an organization needed to be able to deliver the company’s “elevator blurb”… Today, your employees should also be able to enthusiastically describe your company’s values and culture during that same elevator ride.”
- Bob Kelleher, Louder Than Words: Ten Practical Employee Engagement Steps That Drive Results Hardcover
Additional Resources & Webinars
Silicon Valley's abundant landscape of innovation is difficult to duplicate. Many outside companies have tried to "clone that magic mix of what makes Silicon Valley," says Reinhold Steinbeck in his 2011 TEDxTalk, and he thinks they haven't been able to accomplish it.
Why is this?
One of the reasons, he says, is the learning taking place in local institutions, like Stanford, and how this connects with the many corporations and startups that call Silicon Valley home. It's this "innovative approach to teaching and learning," Steinbeck says, that gives the Valley its leading edge.
Steinbeck is no stranger to the fertile ground of innovation in Silicon Valley, having worked in the area for over 20 years, including at Apple in their Advanced Technology Group and at the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning. He'll be presenting with his colleage and innovation specialist, Edgard Stuber, at People-OnTheGo's free webinar, Thursday, February 6 at noon PT: How to Use Design Thinking to Create an Innovation Company Culture.
Watch Reinhold Steinbeck's TEDxTalk below (note: presentation is in English.)
Additional Resources & Webinars
We're grateful to have a lot to look back on and feel good about this year at People-OnTheGo: from the launch of our new leadership program and Social Media Academy webinars with Out&About Marketing guru, Milena Regos, to the publishing of Time for Leadership: The Accomplishing More in Less Time, Less Effort, and Less Stress Leadership Journey.
It's been a productive year, and we've learned as much from our efforts as we have from our participants and interactions with you.
So as 2013 winds down to a close, we invite you to take this time to reflect on your own professional and personal accomplishments, and please share them in the comments section below. We believe it's in knowing where we came from, and what we've learned, that we can best form our next steps in achieving our goals.
In this time of looking back, we'd like to share with you our top ten productivity blog posts of the year. We hope you gain new insight from these articles, and we look forward to hearing your own insights, plans, and goals for 2014.
Thank you for wanting to accomplish more. Have a happy holiday season, and New Year!
~ from all at People-OnTheGo
Enjoy this handy, visual graphic to help keep you focused on your social media marketing goals for your business, brand, or organization.
Bestselling author, graphic facilitator, and The Grove Consultants International Founder and President, David Sibbet, talks with us about his unique, leadership philosophy.
People-OnTheGo Faculty Member Eve Porcello gives the run down on Microsoft Office 365/2013.
Change yourself from having a "fixed" mindset to one of "growth."
Learn about the tenets of building stronger employee engagement at your organization.
Wondering how to make changes happen, personally, professionally, or at your business? People-OnTheGo's Online Community Manager, Melissa Sweat, summarizes how you can get there.
This is your brain on interruptions, and it's not pretty. Learn how to get focused.
A great overview of project management's past and present.
Pierre Brickey, Director of IT Quality at UCSF Medical Center, presented at one of our free Lunch & Learn Webinars this year, and kindly shared his recommended books about Lean.
Find the best project management platforms for any size project.
Please share your comments below. Connect with our Accomplishing More With Less groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.
In an era where content is king, publishing a book or ebook is a powerful way to not only distinguish yourself as a professional in your field, but to attract many more customers and clients to your business.
Want to learn how?
Then you won't want to miss award-winning author Dalya Massachi as she presents, "Publishing Your eBook for Greater Business Impact," at our complimentary Lunch & Learn Webinar on 12/5/13 at noon PT.
Click now to register for the free webinar!