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How To Build Confidence In A Business Environment

Personal confidence in a business environment is at an all time low. A lot of people entering the workforce right now feel like they don’t belong, and struggle to find their voice within the workplace. Afraid of making a mistake and looking ‘silly’, it’s easier to just get on with your job and ignore the chance to innovate. 

But from a career standpoint, this is no way to work! You deserve to chase after your ambitions and make the workplace work for you. So, here are some great ways to build confidence in a business environment. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pexels Image – CC0 Licence

Do Your Research

If you want to walk into a meeting and impress everyone in there, you’re not going to be able to do so without a hardy bit of research! You need to know what you’re talking about, what issues are going to be on the table, and how best to approach someone else’s idea with a supplementary one of your own.

Talk to your colleagues to see what they think, then develop your own ideas by going through the meeting’s purpose systematically. What’s going on? Is it causing a problem? And what’s likely to fix that? 

Pay it Forward

Compliments might seem like they have no place in a working environment, but that couldn’t be more false. Compliments let people know that you’re a good person to work with. You see and appreciate another’s hard work, and you’re willing to let someone else have the spotlight when they deserve it. So, if you’re sick of things like office politics and jealousy ruling the career sign, be happy for someone! Pay it forward and it’ll soon be coming back to you in droves. You might even make some friends at work, which is never a bad thing. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Smile

Smiling in the workplace makes you approachable. It helps you to socialize with your coworkers and can create a sense of goodwill when you’re in an uncertain situation. But if you feel insecure about your smile, think about investing in a retainer to protect your teeth, or use teeth whitening at home. But a truly meant and freely given smile will always come across as lovely and genuine, and people will respect you for it. Start smiling away! 

Dress the Part

This might be something you always feel self conscious about. When you’re not dressed the part, you don’t feel like you belong. However, when you do try to dress the part, you might feel like a child in an adult’s clothing! So you’ve got to try and strike a balance between these two fine lines. You need to look like yourself, but you also need to look professional, and like you’re the best representative for the company you’re working for. 

If you want to build your confidence at work, use tips like these to start. The more you feel like you belong, and like a mistake won’t end your career, the easier the job will be! 

Simple Health Hacks You Can Use Everyday

Health is an ever-evolving landscape, and it can be hard to stay on top of all the new diets, trends, and advice out there. Thankfully, there are simple hacks you can use every day to make sure your health stays in check.  From getting better quality sleep to adding a few extra vegetables to your meals – these small changes will have big impacts that benefit all aspects of life! This blog post will dive deep into workflow background information so you know exactly what type of ‘simple health hacks’ we’re talking about and how to start making them part of your daily routine. So read on, get informed, and start living a healthier life today!

Start your day off with a glass of warm lemon water to give your body an energy boost.

Via Unsplash

Start your day off in the best way possible with a healthy dose of energy! The age-old remedy of drinking a mug of warm lemon water is an ideal way to kickstart your day and supercharge your body. This simple health hack helps boost digestion, cleanse the liver, balance pH levels, improve hydration, and more! The warmth and acidity of the lemon kickstart digestion and encourage your system to detoxify from the night before. Plus, it’s simply delicious! Make this simple health hack part of your daily routine for sustained energy all day long.

Add more vegetables to your meals for added nutrition and fiber.

Adding more vegetables to your meals can be a surprisingly easy and tasty way to get more nutrition and fiber in your diet. Vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals that keep us healthy, as well as antioxidants that can help prevent chronic diseases. One of the great things about adding veggies is you have so many delicious options! Salad, stir fry, roasted veggie bowls – with all these choices, it’s simple and enjoyable to start incorporating more veggies into your meals.

Get some exercise each day – even if it’s just a short walk.

Exercise is a great way to stay healthy and fit – and it can still be feasible even if your day is jam-packed! If you struggle to make time for regular gym visits, consider taking a few minutes out of your day for a brief walk around the block. Short bouts of physical activity like this can help to reduce stress, boost your energy levels, and help you sleep better.

Avoid smoking – explore alternatives.

Smoking can have serious and long-term health consequences, such as an increased risk of cancer and other major illnesses. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid smoking without going through nicotine withdrawal. One option is to explore alternatives such as gum, lozenges, or patches that deliver finite amounts of nicotine until cravings decrease. There are alternatives to smoking, be sure to know the side effects as well as the correlations between nicotine pouches and gum disease.

After taking all these tips into consideration, you should feel more empowered to make healthier and more mindful choices when it comes to your body. Taking small steps can lead to big changes over time and ultimately help you reach your wellness goals. Making healthy lifestyle shifts should always be a priority as it is essential for your overall well-being.

 

Marriage is a Journey

Marriage is a Journey

Some say nothing is forever anymore, and maybe that is true, but then again, maybe someone said that who would have rather given up then figured out a solution.

Fourteen years is a long time…I guess.

Fourteen years seems short when you see others married 30, 40, even 60 years. I love the dance at weddings where couples get up and dance and as their year of marriage gets called they have to sit down. I always try to guess how long the last couple will be married. And at the last few weddings (well the last few pre-COVID-19 weddings), I have been blown away at the years together: one was 56 years, another 63, another 60! How amazing, and the best is when they dance, they look so happy! But truth be told, I’m absolutely sure not every day of their married lives were a walk in the park, was as blissful as that one moment I got to see.

This year marks FOURTEEN years of marriage for my husband and me. I guess considering we are only 36 that is a long time, but then again I’m still 45+ years away from those happy dancing couples I saw dancing last year.

Marring Brian was easy, I knew I was going to marry him when I was twelve years old. How? I’m not really sure, just a part of me knew that. And just when I thought I’d lost my chance, I went all in, and yep, as the story goes, at 17 we became high school sweethearts.

We’ve only been married for 5,110+ days, but I assure you, we know commitment. Life is not easy and when you combine your life with another, well let’s just say it gets more complicated. Day after day, after day, you have to continually consider the other person’s needs, wants, dreams, hopes, even shortcomings, and character defects (because hey, we all have them) and that is in addition to still trying to live your life and do your thing and follow your path.

That commitment pushes your buttons, that commitment warms you up, and in a moment’s notice pours cold water on you. That commitment is confusing, frustrating, and unfair (at times), I bet no one wrote that into their vows.

But commitment is also reassuring, loving, comforting, and supportive, and for me, it feels secure, it feels safe, it’s the biggest promise I will ever make.

I’ve grown a lot in the past fourteen years and I’m sure Brian will say the same, but that growth is kinda part of the ride, like a road trip so to speak, you can plan all you want but the trip usually doesn’t go as planned, and if you get too attached to the plan you will probably always end up disappointed.

So in 14+ years both Brian and I have moved through recovery from an eating disorder, lost our first child, grieved the loss of our first child, opened up a business, took on several other business endeavors, had four kids, bought a house, and are still busy working towards a future together hopefully for many more years to come.

Here’s the thing, I struggled to discover who I was early on in our marriage, I hadn’t really known me for a long time and as I became more myself each day it slowly changed my perception of marriage. I used to think that when you married someone you both then were to be walking one path together. But I would think about that concept often and it just wouldn’t make sense to me and I would be left with confusion as to how this would all work. But then I had a wave of relief one day and for the last thirteen years, I have worked to live my life this way in our marriage.

Married or not, you walk your path, each day you discover more of who you are and what you believe in, how you will help the world. But when you marry, your path aligns with another’s, you don’t walk each other’s path, you don’t block, hurt, or hinder the path of the other. You walk parallel, and when your partner happens to fall behind, you lead, you reach out your hand and help. And then when you find yourself to have fallen, your chosen partner will be there to reach out a hand, to stand strong while you are weak, and lead. Neither person is better than the other because your paths aren’t the same. The roles you share are just that shared. It may be years you carry certain responsibilities and at a moment’s notice that role shifts and the other takes hold.

Marriage is a balance of give and take, there is no room to be selfish, and no matter what there will always be temptation to try to steer you off your path, but one thing Brian and I have talked about is “choice”, everything in life is a choice, and fourteen years ago we made a choice to walk side by side one another through thick and thin, for richer or poor, in sickness and in health, and yes till death do us part. In marriage you learn to ride the wave, if you fight it you’ll end up unhappy, but if you learn to ride it, it becomes just that – a ride!

I don’t know what the next 40 years will bring, heck what the next year will bring, but that is kind of the point. You will never know it all, but as we grow side by side it’s like a new relationship each day, and each of those days is an opportunity to be the best version of ourselves both for our own sake and each other. And that “newness” is a push to learn new things about ourselves, an encouragement to move forward rather than be left behind. Marriage is a balance of all of that and more…

To many more years.. xx

Brian and Hope

 

Don’t Sit Still and Listen: Backyard Parenting

Don’t Sit Still and Listen: Backyard Parenting

Each day I realize my kids are only getting older and soon they will have their own opinions and ideas they already have their own opinions and ideas!

What was once scheduling naps and changing diapers has now become everything school-aged children.

So now that I have 3 grade schoolers, days are longer (even if some are still doing virtual school), sitting still is a requirement, and the joys of studying for tests and homework loom our household. I have found that being a parent is a combination of doing the things my parents did that I loved, doing the things I wish they would have done, and doing the things that are necessary for each of my kids individually, depending on what they need.

Just last night I was helping Harper study for a religion test and what is he doing: trying to sit still at first, then making silly faces, rocking on the stool, standing on the stool sideways, running and leaping over the stool to see how far his long jump can stretch, pretty much just not paying attention. As I attempt to wrangle him back in and realize this is getting nowhere, he proceeds to tell me he just can’t seem to remember the names of the people and the answers to some of the other questions. I can see he’s distracted and somewhat uninterested. Because heck, are you wanting to talk about work after a full day at work?

I was initially frustrated with him like it was his fault he didn’t know the answers, but as his parent it is my job to help him, guide him and find his strengths and show him how to use them. A big parenting lesson for me continues to be don’t take my frustrations out on my kids-they are just kids.

Discovering and understanding your child’s unique abilities and challenges isn’t easy. It can be a pivotal moment for parents to nurture a child through a learning difficulty. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with a tough subject but rather an attention deficit problem. In that case, getting a private assessment for ADHD will benefit your child. That can help you approach the situation differently. My son didn’t have ADHD, but it’s a good thing to consider to rule that out.

So I took a breath and stepped back.

Because if Harper was me when I was young, I probably would have been told to knock it off, sit down and focus. But how can a very active boy focus by sitting still at 6 O’Clock at night when his sit-still-juice has already been used up at school?

It occurred to me a while ago that as a parent I can either do what has always been done and what most others are doing: make a flip chart, or a red, yellow, green light reward sheet for my kids so that they “behave” when I want them to, so that they can learn to suppress their inner energy and need for movement to appease me. Or I can show them how to use their strengths, understand their emotions, and learn right from wrong with always explaining why.

At our house it’s not just studying for a test, homework, daily reading is approached with a get it done attitude but one that asks my kids to be themselves and move. Doing sight words Harper struggled for a while and so while doing them every time he got one right he’d jump up, and soon he was jumping up the entire deck of 50+ cards. When doing a worksheet, I break it up and give him a 30 second to one-minute break to go be silly. The emphasis on doing that gets him jazzed up and so when he comes back he wants to focus so he can do it again.

So where am I going with all of this?

OK back to Harper’s homework and studying for a  religion test. Harper is a highly active boy, he loves movement, he’d climb onto the roof if we’d let him; that being said, when I stopped trying to do what my parents did, and stopped asking something of him that he is not capable of (Well, he is short term, but all day? Come on) and started making the times that he needs to focus be active, the homework and study time at the Krebs household changed.

I allow Harper to sit down and focus when he needs to think, and when he needs to walk around he does that too when he gets an answer wrong last night I had him doing jumping jacks as he repeated the question and answer three times. Then when I asked it again and if he got it wrong- back to the jumping jacks. Once we got through the entire sheet without jumping jacks he was done. There was no yelling, no arguing, no complaining, he got his needs met, he thought it was fun and when he moves, especially in a repetitious way he focuses way better.

I could have very well flipped the card on his chart at home (that doesn’t exist) and tell him he’s not making a good choice and ask him to sit down and listen (which I’ve done before with limited success). But flipping a card doesn’t teach him how to manage his energy, channel his emotions and create new skills to one day manage his own life.

Now I know when he is an adult I’m pretty sure he’s not going to do jumping jacks when his boss asks him to remember something. But what I hope will happen is he will remember the actual skills he was taught to deal with stress, deadlines, and time management. That it’s OK to move, to be yourself, and do what you need to do for you because it’s right and it gets the job done.

So this morning at breakfast I asked him randomly the questions he struggled with last night and without hesitation, he got them right. I praised him for an amazing job! And then asked him how he remembered them, he said the jumping jacks.

Remember it’s OK to parent outside the box. Heck parent nowhere near the box!

Namaste y’all!

 

Family Fitness: 4 Ways to Stay Fit with the Family

Family Fitness: 4 Ways to Stay Fit with the Family

From even before I had kids I knew several key points that would become the cornerstones of my parental approach. I feel very passionate about my kids seeing themselves as unique (like most parents) but in that uniqueness I wanted them to understand what it was like to develop individual skills and interests before engaging in the big wide world of pee-wee sports. We chose to skip the pee-wee games and guide our kids towards self-confidence using self-discovery and independent activity development. That meant family fitness activities. I know this is not for everyone, but for us-our kids getting down and dirty means playing in the mud, dancing in the rain, and walking in our woods searching for deer tracks and turkey feathers. I believe whole heartily that this is the foundation of childhood and developing into an independent-thinking adult. Yes, that’s right, family fitness is a foundation for our kids.

And within those independent activities, I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as possible because there will come a day that they don’t think I’m top dog and will want to join the other team. But from the start, the team we wanted them to know they are on first is team “Krebs”.

Fitness is essential to me, and family fitness is even more important. The idea of keeping my kids active might not be what you are thinking because my suggestions won’t reference tee-ball, soccer, or dance. My suggestions are practical. They are beneficial, hopefully, to celebrate the little things because the little things are the foundation for your child’s future and who they will become as an adult and maybe one day as a parent.

Every movement matters.

In our house movement is super important. Now that my kids are school-aged, I recognize the extended periods of sitting and studying mean we need to prioritize movement once school activities are complete! I try to have them soak up every hour of daylight outside possible: jumping on the trampoline, climbing on the playset, chasing chickens, riding bikes, and making up games. And as easy as it is to send the kids outside, when you make an effort to go out with them they are not only more likely to explore, but it will make an impression that parents play too. I want to encourage you that if you tend to be a “go play outside parent” to set a timer for 20 minutes and go play with them, and then see what happens. I bet you that 20 minutes will quickly turn into an hour, because in the grand scheme of things- dinner can wait.

Family fitness walks.

Those in town who know me will vouch to say that they have seen me with my red stroller, two dogs, and two kids on bikes all over town. I need my movement, and because I work from home means I’m with my kids almost 24/7, so where I go, they go. And this has its perks. I used to fight for my personal time (I still get it but in other ways), but then I realized that the message I would be sending to my kids was exercise and fitness for adults is always separate. And after ten years of following this philosophy, I can honestly say it has paid off. I have gotten so much out of our walks together and I know I am planting the seed for years to come; plus, my kids love coming, they love my presence and I theirs. I use this time to talk to them about health, staying active as well as singing and playing eye spy. This is one of my most cherished non-winter experiences.

Family chores can be fun.

We have a very large backyard and woods and with all the tree cover a light breeze will drop tree limbs and black walnuts in an instant. My husband and I are not able to pick up this all ourselves and if we did we’d have no time for anything else. Staying active is super important to me and my family, but learning life skills is too. I know that when my kids become adults the impressions I set on them as kids will heavily impact the choices and decisions they make in their adult years. Picking up sticks is always a family affair, and I have to be honest they don’t always love it, but the older they get they realize: it’s not going to change anytime soon. Being outside in the warm sun and fresh air we race to fill our buckets first, who can pull the most roots, who gets the most walnuts and we often celebrate with lemonade and lunch outside afterward! We can easily spend two to three hours together (and don’t get me wrong there can be a fair share of complaining, but that is also part of the process) and after my husband always thanks them and asks them to look out and see what a great job they did. Seeing my kids notice their hard work and efforts and see them as they receive positive praise for helping in the household is a huge bonus too.

Encourage your kids to get dirty.

As parents we often let the end result cloud our willingness to let our kids run free. Stains on their pants, the time needed to then bathe, the worry of if they will get hurt, and the age-old excuse of not enough time. But I have to be honest, there is nothing more liberating than getting dirty with your kids. Sliding down the dirt mound outback with them. running barefoot in the rain, building sandcastles and mud pies at their side. When my husband and I get down and dirty with them, I get to see their eyes light up, not because of the dirt (although that is a big factor) but because we are dirty with them. I can feel the connection between us and our kids grow stronger and for me, it’s liberating as an adult to give myself permission to be a kid again and not try to be perfect all the time. When we get dirty we are reminded that life is messy. The mess is part of the experience.

Now these might not be wild and crazy ways to have fun, but they are free, fun and family orientated. When we instill in our kids that fitness, health, and fun cost money and require fancy equipment or continuous social engagements, we are limiting them in their own self-discovery process and creative development. Plus the time we get with our kids when they are young and we are the greatest thing since sliced bread is limited and I refuse to limit that even more.

Now go out and enjoy some family fitness!

6 Tips To Organize and Declutter Your Life

declutter

No matter how neat and tidy of a person you are, it’s pretty easy for “stuff” or clutter to pile up around your house.

Clutter is a constant battle at our house. From mail, bills, and school papers to toys for the kids and dog and clothes–there are so many things that just never seem to get put away or find their place. When my house starts to get overrun by clutter, I begin to feel stressed, which then begins to affect the other areas of my life.

So, it’s not surprising that having clutter around means less stress in your life. However, decluttering is sometimes easier said than done. Fortunately, there are simple tricks to stop clutter from taking over your life.

6 Tips To Organize and Declutter Your Life

1. Plan Ahead.

Did you know that planning ahead is proven to reduce stress? Well, it’s true. Planning is one of the most effective stress management techniques you can do without spending a penny. Plus, planning gives you more time to do the things that you enjoy in your life!

2. Have a Home for All of Your Stuff.

I can’t tell you the number of times l look at the stuff lying around and do nothing, Or, I take something out of a drawer, use it, and lay it on the counter instead of putting it back where I got it in the first place. Everything should have a “home.” If it doesn’t, you don’t need it. For example, always put your car keys in a basket and hang up your coat in the same place when you come home. When you put things in the same place instead of somewhere random, you will know where they are and save time and stress looking for them. This simple change has helped me keep my house, office, and car much cleaner, and my family and I much happier.

3. Stop Multitasking.

The glorification of being an excellent multitasker is overrated. In reality, humans are not the best at multitasking. Focusing on multiple tasks all at once seems like an efficient way to get the most out of your day; however, you end up getting very little done and done well. Instead, make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish and then list them in order of importance. To me, there is something so gratifying about making a list and then crossing your accomplishments off as the day goes on.

4. Say Goodbye.

If you have not used that really-thoughtful kitchen gadget that your dear aunt gave you three birthday’s ago, it is time to say goodbye. Everything from old papers and clothes to cooking utensils and the food in your pantry–it is all fair game. My rule of thumb is that if I haven’t used it or worn it in the last year, it’s moving on to its next home. You can give gently loved items to a charity or to someone else that can make use of what you do not need any longer.

5. Stay Committed.

If you want your space to be less cluttered, you have to commit to making it and keeping it that way. Set aside just 15 minutes at the end of each day to declutter and organize your space. Yep, those 15 minutes can and will make all of the difference. Discipline yourself to do this before you sit down to watch your favorite show or read a good book. I love to set the timer on my phone and go gun-ho until it beeps. And, if you are like me and have a family that helps contribute to all of the clutter, I’d suggest getting them involved in the 15-minute cleanup,, too! It’s amazing what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes.

6. Clear Your Mental Clutter.

Clearing your mental clutter is just as important as physically decluttering your space. Taking time each day to reflect on your blessings and to meditate will help you to manage your stress levels effectively. A gratitude journal is an easy way to keep track of the positive things in your life. You would be surprised how simple reflection can improve your overall mental health. Also, meditation has been proven to temporarily alleviate stress, strengthen the mind to cultivate inner peace, and improve your overall mental well-being.  Clear your mental clutter, relax, and refocus your mind with this 30-minute guided meditation audio. If 30-minutes seems a bit too long, check out of my shorter meditations. 

Breath Awareness Meditation Hope Zvara

Breath Awareness Meditation Hope Zvara

Clutter may be a constant lurking threat, but when you choose to tackle the problem head-on, your efforts will pay off. I don’t know about you, but when my house is happy, I’m happy, and when I’m happy, I am more willing to take on any task life throws at me with a grateful heart and ready arms.

So, are you ready to join me in decluttering your life? 

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