Sunday, September 13, 2020

I will be patient.



My name is Julie and I am an impatient person.


Anyone that knows me understands that although I can sometimes be patient — I am usually pretty patient with animals — I am generally extremely impatient.  It is something that I understand about myself and have worked on improving over the years.  My natural personality wants things to happen fast, or at least happen on time.   I want people to get to the point when they are telling me a story.  I prefer to operate with end results in mind.


I was reminded of my natural impatience yesterday as I listened (seemingly forever) to a client. She told me three long, drawn-out stories about the other pets in her household.  Three long stories before she got to the point as to why she needed advice about her cat. Stories that I really did not need to hear and that had no bearing on the situation.  Did I have to practice my patience?  You bet I did.  


This long story short scenario happens all too frequently for me.


Patience is such an important skill for veterinarians and for all of us.  It is even considered an essential building block for improving mental health.This is why I find it so important for myself and all of us to continue to work towards increased patience.  


Improving our patience requires that we learn about how we are wired — how we think about ourselves and others.  Our thoughts create our feelings, so we must learn about the irrational thoughts that can overcome us when we are caught in the emotions of impatience.  If we can understand that our impatient thoughts are optional, we will be better able to communicate calmly and adjust our responses in order to keep client encounters positive and remain patient.  


Improving patience requires us to act like an adult.  Children throw tantrums to get what they want but adults learn to control their emotions.  Emotions are powerful things. If we can learn why we have these emotions, we can become better at actually feeling the emotion of impatience without allowing it to control our actions.  Sitting with impatience is a skill that can be learned and practiced.


Patience will help us to succeed by allowing us to better listen to others.  We all know that getting the entire story from a client can take time.  I enjoy the detective work that goes into getting a good history to help me to diagnose a case.  The detective work often takes patience as the client fills me in on seemingly unimportant facts so I can weed out the things that I need to help with a correct diagnosis.  


Learn how you respond to waiting.  Once you learn about your response, you will be better able to understand and feel your impatience.   Understanding that impatience is not often a useful emotion will allow you to let it go and improve your ability to develop your patience.


Keep practicing.  You know that I will.


Dr. Julie Cappel



“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in your mind.”  - David G. Allen

 

 

 


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Big Change for Brownie




The past six months have really made me think about, how to think about change.  So many things in our lives have changed in dramatic ways.  Health and economic challenges brought on by a pandemic. political and social unrest, and family and friends unable to get together for fear of an invisible enemy. We have been locked down, masked up, and flooded with upsetting, conflicting information.  Even the way we practice medicine has changed drastically as we work to keep clients out of our buildings and they clamor to get in.  


Change often causes us to feel anxiety and brings up fear of the unknown, but if we work on thinking differently we can train our brain to see change as good.  


Good change such as the change that happened for my daughter’s little dog Brownie.  Brownie is a small three year old French Bulldog that was owned by a woman that was using her for breeding.  She was one of a number of dogs that were kept in a home to produce expensive French Bulldog puppies.  Brownie’s latest litter caused her to experience an emergency C-section and spay, which left her with two puppies to raise and ended her career as a breeder.  That is where her life and my daughter’s life came together. 


My daughter and her husband had been wanting a French Bulldog for awhile and had been debating whether to adopt another dog or try save the massive amount of money that it would require to get a French Bulldog puppy. So when my daughter and son-in-law learned that Brownie’s breeder wanted to re-home her, they immediately saw the situation as the answer to their financial dilemma.  


Brownie’s life was about to change forever.  She went from raising puppies to being adopted by my daughter and son-in-law and becoming their puppy - the apple of their eye.  She went from being called “Brownie”, to her new name, “Carmela Soprano”.  She is the queen of her Dallas Texas household and new little sister to their eight year old cat Stallone.  She has a small flight of stairs to help her to her faux fur blanket on the couch, a basket full of amazing toys, a pretty in pink collar and matching glow in the dark leash, and a “pooch pouch” carrier so she can be carried when she gets tired on her walks.  Carmela won the doggy lottery.  


For Brownie the change and transformation into Carmela was amazing to see, but because she is a dog, she really does not realize that she experienced great change.  She is happy to be cared for and loved no matter how much change she has seen.   We all experience changes that are not always positive, but we can choose to find some positive lessons in each life change.


Learn a little something from Carmela.  Look for a positive lesson from each change you experience.  Change is often your path to progress. Be true to yourself in all that you face and challenge your mind to enjoy change.


Dr. Julie Cappel


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ― Rumi


Sunday, August 30, 2020

The power of self-awareness.



This week I had the distinct privilege to work with a group of young Michigan veterinarians and veterinary students as a mentor for the Power of Ten Leadership Academy.  I have been a supporter of this program for years and for the past two classes have been one of their two veterinary mentors.  The program is filled with fresh veterinary faces eager to improve their skills as leaders in the veterinary profession. Speakers are brought in each quarter to challenge us in new ways to develop ourselves into better leaders and better humans.  I love the program because each session I learn something new from the speakers and from the students that I mentor. 

The program that we attended on Friday and Saturday revolved around leadership development through self-awareness. Self-awareness is defined as, “conscious knowledge of one's own character, feelings, motives, and desires.”  Working to become a better leader starts with looking inward.

Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, describes self-awareness as the core component of emotional intelligence.  He defines emotional intelligence as the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and the ability to manage those emotions. 

How do you create more self-awareness and learn to manage your emotions?

The first step that we took was to work through a personality assessment.  I love personality profiling systems as tools to get to know myself better and to learn more about others.  We used the DISC profiling system, taught to us brilliantly by John, our MVMA CEO.  The DISC system helps identify our preferred behavioral styles by looking at a combination of the four DISC styles.  Whether you use DISC, Meyer’s Briggs, Enneagram or The Big Five Personality tests, getting to know yourself on a deeper level will help you understand how you react to situations, and help you to understand the people that you lead. 

Self-awareness requires that you to understand your emotions.  Learning that your emotions are created by your thinking and learning not to fear your emotions, is a key step in developing leadership maturity.  Staying on your toes with regards to self examination in your response to all circumstances will allow you to change and grow in the areas of your greatest emotional strengths.

Self-awareness requires you to stay curious.  One of the primary attributes of a good leader is a healthy curiosity and thirst for life long learning. Looking to other strong leaders to learn from their experiences will open up your mind to ideas that will help you develop your leadership skills.  The Power of Ten Leadership Academy is a group filled with healthy curiosity. 

If you work to understand yourself, learn to feel your emotions, and remain curious you will embody the power of leadership self-awareness. Knowing yourself well is the most important step in becoming an authentic powerful leader.


Dr. Julie Cappel

“Strong people have a strong sense of self-worth and self-awareness; they don’t need the approval of others.” ― Roy T. Bennett 



Sunday, August 23, 2020

Practice Daily Optimism - Choosing happiness in New York



What does it mean to practice optimism?  Some people seem to have it naturally while others choose it.  I think of myself as a naturally optimistic person but in the current world situation it can be difficult to keep my head on straight.

Last weekend I took my first plane trip since the beginning of Covid-19.  I traveled directly from Detroit to New York City where the virus cases seem to be declining.  The decision to make this trip really messed with my brain.  It was such a difficult decision to make, weighing the pros and cons of traveling during a pandemic.  Never before have I had so much anxiety about traveling.  Well, maybe in 2001, after 9/11 - I was very anxious after that.  

Why did I travel?  I really wanted to visit my son who I have not seen since February.  I wanted to see his new apartment, his place of work, and visit with him and his girlfriend.  I wanted to do all these things and still be as safe as possible and that was a real exercise in optimistic thinking.

Here is how I practiced daily optimism while traveling in a pandemic.

First, I chose to think optimistically.  When my brain told me that the plane would be full of germs and coughing people, I told my brain that the airline would be keeping things clean, distancing passengers, and filtering air. I decided on purpose that I would wear my best mask and keep myself as far away from everyone as possible.  I decided that I am a healthy person that has a great immune system and nothing to worry about.  I chose not to worry.

Second, I actively looked for all things positive.  The weather was beautiful, the airport was virtually empty, the people were polite, and New York was amazing.  I spent time with my son visiting, walking, and eating - too much eating  - we had a beautiful time.  The fact that all of our site-seeing time was spent walking around town and riding the ferry, allowed us to see all the beautiful sites of the city without the crowds.  I looked for all things positive and that is what I saw.

Third, I filled my life with supportive and optimistic people both before and after the trip.  Having people in your circle to listen to your concerns and help you to see things more optimistically is one way to stay in touch with your positive thoughts.  When you choose to keep a team of supportive people around you things will look better to you. Optimism will feel easier to accomplish. 

When you are feeling a bit pessimistic, remember that you have the power and ability to change the way that you think to become more optimistic.  Starting with small positive thoughts and then building on them will result in a positivity habit.  Our lives can never be safe and secure 100% of the time, and if we wait for total security and lack of risk, we will never reach our goals and truly live.  

Think things through and choose how you want to live, then practice daily optimism to help you take action. You may even decide to travel to New York.

Dr. Julie Cappel


“It’s not that optimism solves all of life’s problems; it is just that it can sometimes make the difference between coping and collapsing.” 


– Lucy MacDonald

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Taking time to grow.


Did you know that many people never read for the purpose of learning after they graduate from high school or college?  They study to obtain their diploma, but never continue to study to personally grow.  That concept may sound foreign to the veterinary community because we continue study to keep up with medical changes;  however, it is just as important for us to continue our studies to foster personal growth.  Whether you want to develop your leadership skills, communication skills, or learn to sing and dance, working towards growth in those areas will keep you energized and avoid stagnation. 

How can you embrace growth and self improvement?


Just get started.  Any self-improvement journey starts with a beginning. There is no right way or wrong way to start but you need to work at something — take one baby step    to get going.  Because our brains are naturally programed to fear change, the first step is always the most difficult.  If you want to make a million dollars, you have to start with one.  If you want to create a podcast, you have to start recording.  Anything worth doing and learning will feel scary to you at first, but understand that you have the capacity to overcome your fear.  If you just get started you will be on a path to personal growth and each successive step will become easier.

Create a list of goals.  If you don’t do some self assessment and decide where you want to end,  you will never begin.  Take some time to explore your deepest desires and goals.  Start by writing a list of all the things that you have always wanted to do, then pick your top priority and plan the steps needed to accomplish that goal.  If you don’t know how to do something, do not despair.  There are plenty of people that can teach you to do anything and plenty of places to research.  Get over your fear and commit to a goal.

Create a new growth habit.  Stop spending time on social media unless you are using it to work towards your new goal.  Examine where you spend your time and resolve to carve out time for your new personal growth journey.  We waste so many hours in our day focused on what others are doing and allowing ourselves to coast through life.  Choose some time in your day for your mental and physical development so you can grow.


A commitment to personal growth will lead you to many successes if you choose to embrace it as part of your lifelong journey.


Dr. Julie Cappel

Benjamin Franklin said, “By improving yourself the world is made better.  Be not afraid of growing too slowly. Be afraid only of standing still. Forget your mistakes but remember what they taught you.”


 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Taking the High Road



Someone I know disappointed me today.  I expected a certain behavior in response to something I said and got a different, quite negative, response in return.  Why do we expect people to act in a certain way?  Why do we expect kindness, acceptance, and love from others?  We are human, so we know that we are all imperfect.  Maybe we should just start to expect people to disappoint us so we are not surprised when they do.


It happens so often, especially in this texting - tweeting - social media - saturated world.  People don’t have real conversations. There is no nuance or inflection to written conversation. People assume intent and take offense to anything based on their interpretation or past history.   They are often afraid to speak face-to-face to resolve conflict.  So we are stuck in a “sound bite” “cancel culture” environment.


How can we create kindness, be more open to differences of opinion, and take the higher road?


Remember that “hurting people hurt people”, says leadership guru John Maxwell.  Most often when a person strikes out at you, they are transferring their internal pain over to you.  They are angry at their life or negative circumstance, and you are just a convenient target for them to release their frustration.  It is not a personal attack, even though it can feel very personal.  If you can remember that the better approach is feeling empathy for their pain, it will be easier to let go and move on.


Try to remember that you can not be hurt unless you allow it.  Our feelings are entirely under our control.  Our thoughts and actions create how we feel.  If someone trashes us on social media, we have the ability to think about them in a different way.  By remembering that human beings are highly flawed and prone to reaction, you can allow yourself to take a moment to think before jumping into the negativity pool.  


Vow not to respond for 24 hours and see if you feel differently in the morning.  My husband calls this the “24-hour rule”.  He always encourages me to take some time to think through any situation or decision before reacting.  This includes taking time before reacting on social media.  Most of the time when I allow myself to think awhile and really consider all the angles, it results in a kinder, more accepting response. 


Let’s try to remember that we are all on this earth for a very short time, and disappointment and hurt are a waste of energy.  Creating kindness, acceptance, and love are what life is all about so do not waste one minute worrying about trivial things. 


Take the high road.


Dr. Julie Cappel


"How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.” - Wayne Dyer


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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Pandemic Fatigue


This week I was on vacation from the veterinary hospital.  Vacation from my day job in today’s world does not mean joyous trips to Disney or Florida beaches.  It means the same things that I have been doing for months — minus the driving to the veterinary hospital.  I ride my bike, write blogs, visit family over zoom, coach my clients, record my podcast, and pass time cleaning out closets. I have been doing the same thing for months and I am feeling a bit fatigued by it all.  My brain wants to make plans for travel, attend gatherings, and socialize, but there is no clear path to normalcy during a pandemic. 


Compassion fatigue is familiar to veterinarians — feeling tired and overwhelmed by the constant emotion of empathy that we provide to our clients.  Changes created by Covid-19 have made it even more difficult to create a positive narrative for our work and home life.  We feel feelings of loss for our previous lifestyle. Practicing medicine “curbside” has created new challenges and added to our work fatigue.

So as the days, weeks, and months go by how do we keep from losing ourselves to pandemic fatigue?  

Don’t make any big life changing decisions.  Just because you are feeling fatigued and overwhelmed now, does not mean that you will not love your job again.  Most of us started in veterinary medicine because we love to help people and animals. Now we are missing half of that equation. Remember that the people are still out there in the parking lot.  They need you just as much as they did before and you can be there for them. 

Set some boundaries. At most hospitals now the case loads are skyrocketing.  More people staying home, adopting pets, and being more observant.  That causes them to visit us more often.  Without more bodies in our clinics we are unable to see every case.  Setting a boundary around your time is something you need to do to keep yourself healthy and whole.  Try to remember that it is not your responsibility to see every pet.  Create a boundary for yourself and only see what you can reasonably do in a day.  Take care of yourself first and you will be better equipped to help again tomorrow. 

Cut yourself some slack.  We all have a tendency to think negatively and beat ourselves up for every little thing.  You have the ability to have a bad day, feel a bit sorry for yourself then, move on to better thoughts. Perfectionism hurts you by keeping you in the mindset that someone else can do better or is inherently better.   That kind of thinking is detrimental to your success.  The truth is that there is no perfect answer or outcome.   Allow yourself to see you as perfectly suited for each situation in your life. You are always worthy. 

Going through this pandemic is emotionally and physically exhausting, but if we stay focused on the positive and accept the negative we will fight off the temptation give in to pandemic fatigue.  

Dr. Julie Cappel



Join Me on the Podcast!
The Veterinary Life Coach Podcast

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-veterinary-life-coach-podcast-with-dr-julie-cappel/id1451549730



Sunday, July 26, 2020

Missing Pieces


Today I finished a jigsaw puzzle, a beautiful 1000 piece puzzle of Santorini Island, Greece. It took me several weeks to put it together to completion.  It always feels great to complete a puzzle, but today it did not feel great at all.  I actually completed only 999 pieces — I was missing one piece.  My husband jokingly told me to look for it out in the dog yard, because my dog Parker probably ate it.  I imagine that is exactly what happened. (don’t worry, I did not look for it there)

Since the beginning of Covid-19 I have taken to keeping a puzzle on the table in my living room to work on in the evenings.  I like puzzles because they are relaxing and distracting when I need to quiet my busy mind before bed.  We also have a puzzle going at work frequently to help people unwind during lunch or on their break.  There is something calming about working a puzzle, except when you get to the end and do not have all the pieces.  

That missing piece can be so frustrating — a bit of a metaphor for life.  Some small irritation or “missing piece” can throw a beautiful day right into the crapper — or dog yard.  

Why is it that we allow a small annoyance in our day to throw us into a tail spin?  One nasty client interaction and we think that our whole day has gone awry.  One small mistake can tell our perfectionist brain that we are stupid or inadequate.  No matter how well you do the rest of the day, you feel terrible and your day is ruined. One missing piece.

Our brain has a negativity bias.  Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist writes, “We tend to associate negative experiences with situations in which we lose something, are rejected, are threatened, or have our vulnerabilities exposed.  From an evolutionary standpoint, many of us are hard-wired to seek out negativity so we can learn to protect ourselves from it.”  The more time we spend looking for negativity the more we find it.  Instead of me seeing the 999 beautiful pieces that I successfully completed, I am totally focused on the one piece that my dog may have eaten.  Instead of enjoying the victory of the puzzle completion, I beat myself up over dropping a piece on the floor.

How can we change this “missing piece” mindset?

Concentrate on the facts.  See the negative event for what it really is, just a small irritation in an otherwise beautiful day.  One nasty client is just someone having a bad day and I can choose to enjoy the fact that all the other clients were delightful.  One small mistake makes me human and I can forgive myself.  One missing puzzle piece can not spoil the beauty of my entire puzzle.

Acknowledge your emotions.  Go ahead and have a little pity party when you can’t find the puzzle piece.  Be a little disappointed and look under that furniture, but when you don’t find it, admire the rest of the puzzle that you created.  Go ahead and feel a little sad for your mistake, but then let the sadness go so you can concentrate on the great things you did today.  Keeping focus on all the good, will help you let go of the small amount of bad. 

Everyone deals with negative emotion, but sometimes we let it consume us. The negativity bias that our brain presents is something that we can learn to understand and in turn control. If you find yourself stuck focusing on your “missing pieces”, reach out to someone for help.  Do not suffer alone because we all have similar experiences and there are people willing to help.

Focus on your 999 beautiful pieces and let go of your one missing piece.

Dr. Julie Cappel


Join me on the Podcast!  
The Veterinary Life Coach Podcast with Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Practicing Patience


It is said that patience is a virtue but for me, it is seldom easy. Entering the fifth month of Covid-19 along with our crazy political climate, coupled with the fact that I have done nothing other than go to work and then home with my husband and two dogs for months has begun to test me.  Don’t get me wrong my husband and dogs are lovely, but I am not one to enjoy staying home.  I love to travel, go to shows, eat out, gather with people, and have fun. This stay at home stuff is not my style. 

 

There are so many opportunities in today’s world to practice patience.  When someone that I admire randomly retweets something that they think is accurate but is actually all kinds of stupid, I must practice my patience.  When a client berates me for their 10-minute wait to get through on our jammed phone lines, I have to take a deep breath and practice my ability to remain patient.

 

The definition of patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”  To me, that means keeping myself from getting worked up over small things and allowing myself to accept that everything will not always go my way. 

 

How do we become better people by improving our patience?  

 

Try to practice self-control. If we fly off the handle every time something does not go our way, we will ultimately spoil relationships and alienate the people that we love.  Taking a deep breath and thinking about our response to a stressful situation will ultimately result in a better long-term outcome. Realize that self-controlled responses cannot come from negative feelings.  Changing your negative thoughts to more patient ones will allow you to think and react more clearly.

 

Patience helps us make better decisions.  We think we want immediate gratification, but it is not always the best for our overall growth. Yelling and reacting may feel good in the moment but, creating more calm feelings by changing our reactions will lead us to a more peaceful response and reduce our regrets later. 

 

If you are impatient when a pet or client challenges you, you will not choose wisely.  Slowing down, taking a deep breath, and really thinking about the response that we want to offer will allow us to make better decisions and create better outcomes.  Sometimes that means, walking away or taking a break from the immediate stressful situation and thinking it all the way through till the end.  What do I want to happen here?  Then plan my reaction with the end goal in mind. 

 

Patience will lead you to more success.  Most of the precious things that we want to create in life take time.  Want to have a nice car, buy a house, or pay off your student loans?  It will take patience to do it right.  Practicing any life or career skill will increase the experience needed to create more success. 

 

It is challenging to remain patient in unusual circumstances, but it is so worthwhile.  Practicing patience will improve your mental and physical health while creating more peace and success for your life.  You will be better able to think through difficult scenarios and focus on your future goals.  

 

Join me in practicing your patience this week and let me know how it benefits your life. 

 

Dr. Julie Cappel

 

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” ― Benjamin Franklin


“Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.” ― Roy T. Bennett 



Join me on the Podcast!  
The Veterinary Life Coach Podcast with Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Is there anything good about pain?


A friend of mine came to me yesterday and asked me about her pain.  She asked what I thought that she should do about the pain that she was having in her hip that was so excruciating it was keeping her from sleeping at night.  What would I do if it were my hip pain?  Go to urgent care, visit an emergency room, schedule an orthopedic appointment possibly weeks in the future, or tough it out and just take some Motrin?

This conversation got me to thinking about pain in general and the amount of pain that the people of this country and even the world are experiencing right now.  The Covid-19 pandemic, political upheaval in many of our cities, and overall fear of the future.  Our beautiful world is falling into so much unrest and pain right now, I wonder if we will ever recover.

Is there anything good about pain?


“Pain is a guarantee that you will be changed.”, says John Maxwell.  

There is no one that is untouched by pain in life.  Our response to painful experiences is what determines how that pain will change and mold us.  Will you cave to the pressure to respond in weakness, or will you rise up and fight for something better?  Will you develop into a better person, or will you slide into bitterness and hate?

Tony Robbins says, “we do things for one of two reasons, to seek pleasure or avoid pain.”  Our pain does not have to be physical, in fact most change in our life is created by emotional pain.  When we experience negative emotion, we are motivated to look inward.  We will be motivated to change more by pain than by any success.  Pain changes our overall perspective.  

We need pain in order to protect ourselves.  It is a warning that something physically or emotionally has gone wrong and we are motivated to change it. Pain changes us for the better or worse.  We can change our attitude, perspective, habits, and principles in order to work for good.

Rather than looking at pain as a punishment, we can choose to see it as a signal that we need to change course ever so slightly to reduce the pain, thus keeping us on a path to betterment and strength.

Pain is just life experience that you may use to become a better human.  Let’s choose better.

Dr. Julie Cappel

 “ Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” – Mary Tyler Moore

” Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, lose in order to gain, because life’s greatest lessons are learnt through pain.” –Nagato


Join me on the Podcast!  
The Veterinary Life Coach Podcast with Dr. Julie Cappel

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Where your attention goes, your power and energy flows.


In recent months it has become increasingly obvious that the world offers many challenges.  Physical, emotional, financial challenges that we are facing daily.  Keeping our minds focused on our personal goals and dreams seems impossible. Each news story, each social media post, each derogatory online review, causes us to question our path and even sometimes our existence.  How can we become a positive light in this negative world? 

Two words, focused attention!

Have you heard it said that where your attention goes, the energy flows -- where your energy goes that focus grows? 

Your life becomes what you focus your attention on.  If I read my negative online reviews and focus on them, I will feel badly about my career.  If I read the negative, learn from them, and let them go focusing on only the positive reviews, I am more likely to feel better about my work and career.  That is why you need to focus your attention on where you want to go. 

Do you focus on your mistakes, your weight, your past, and your failures?  No wonder you are struggling to feel better.  Those things will grow in your mind and keep you from moving past them and forward.  If you are focused on those things, they will become larger and sap your energy. Don’t focus on what you fear or want to avoid. 

You have the ability to change your life by simply changing your attention and focus.  How?

Start with a big picture.  You have to have a target to move towards in order to have focus.  Starting with your why, choose something that you want to do and create a mental picture of yourself when you get there.  Do you want to lose 10 pounds, run a marathon, start a business, or create a boundary?  Visualize yourself with that goal completed.  Once you have focused attention on the end, you can start to create the steps needed to get you there.  Make yourself a vision board, write an outline, or anything that helps you see the goal.   Practice thinking of yourself as the person that has already created that result for yourself.

Once you have your goal in mind, plan out the steps that you think it will take to get there.  This is where some of us get hung up, because we indulge in confusion and self-doubt.  We are uncertain of the exact steps.  It is OK if you don’t know all the steps, but you need to get a list of things to get you started in the direction of the goal.  Make sure to rank them starting with those that are most important and most difficult, so you can tackle those first.  Your brain will want to avoid the difficult steps. (remember your brain wants everything easy).  Once you have the steps listed out and prioritized, you can begin the process of focused work.  Remind yourself that even when things feel difficult, keeping yourself focused will ultimately fuel your fire.

Create a daily routine.  When attempting to focus your mind, you really have to look at your daily routine.  Habits are difficult to make and just as difficult to break.  If you are focusing on social media and negative news stories, your brain will stay negative.  If you want to reach a goal you need to change your negative habits.  Focused meditation exercises, reading empowering material, and following thought leaders’ blogs and podcasts will help you replace your negative daily routine with a more positive focus on your goal.
Remember that it will take some time to change your attention to thinking about the future. Anything worth having is worth the work to get there.
Stay focused, stay positive, and change one day at a time.
Dr. Julie Cappel
“Where focus goes, energy flows. And where energy flows, whatever you're focusing on grows. Shift your focus toward where you want to go, and your actions will take you in that direction.”  – Tony Robbins


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I will be patient.

My name is Julie and I am an impatient person. Anyone that knows me understands that although I can sometimes be patient — I am usually pre...