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Sleep Series #1

8 May

I cannot count how many times I have spoken with clients about the importance of sleep.  If you are not sleeping well, everything else in life becomes more difficult to navigate.  Because this is so important, I feel like I need to say this again – when you are not well rested, everything else is suffers. It is my hope that this new sleep series will be helpful to those of you who are struggling with this part of your life.

There are two different types of sleep; and the illustration below explains them well.  A full sleep cyle lasts from 90 to 120 minutes.  In order to feel rested a person typically needs between 4 and 5 full sleep cycles per night.

MNZ_sleep_cycles_1

What most people don’t know is that waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle can make your mornings that much more difficult.  If you can time your alarm to wake you at the end of a sleep cycle, you are likely to awake feeling rested and ready to go.  Think about a time where you naturally awoke before your alarm was set to go off.  Did you feel surprisingly revitalized?  Now, did you go back to sleep knowing that you had another 30 minutes or so before morning – only to wake to your alarm feeling exhausted?  If you have expereinced this, it is likely that on the first rising you were at the end of a sleep cycle and when your alarm did wake you it was smack in the middle of your REM sleep.

This handy calculator can help you to time your sleep in a way that greatly improves your mornings. Let me know how this works for you.

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Perfect is a Myth

30 Apr

 workplace

workplace

workplace

The above photos come from this Buzzfeed post about the workplaces of historically creative people.  As I looked through each photo, I was surprised to see such drastic differences between each space.  I was inspired when I realized how imperfect each space seems. 

There are so many times in which my idea of how things SHOULD be has kept me from moving forward with a goal or decision.  I, for example, would have sat in each one of those creative spaces and told myself, “I will write/ paint/ or create once I get my room organized/ clean/ or conducive to my process.”  This means I would have likely created NOTHING. Think about how this may be true for you.  How many times have you procrastinated a task because the conditions weren’t perfect?  In what ways have you stalled your growth because you didn’t have the perfect amount of free time to devote to that class/project/relationship/struggle?

It is important that we realize “perfect” is a myth.  The conditions to grow and change will never be perfect. The conditions will be messy and often inconvenient.  Are you going to let that stop you?

P.S. I found the Buzzfeed post via this wonderful blog.

Fear of Failure

26 Apr

Did you know that the first book written by Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 different publishers?  I was unaware of this until I came across this wonderful slide show of 26 successful people who failed at first.  I wonder how many kids would have missed out if Theodor Seuss Geisel had let rejection or fear of failure stop him?

Fear of failure can often cause significant anxiety. And this anxiety can greatly limit your achievements and experiences – IF you let it.  If you were to interview some of the most successful people in your life, they would all have two things in common. They would all tell you that they have stumbled, made mistakes, embarrassed themselves, and experienced rejection. They would tell you that they have FAILED.  They would also tell you that they did not let those failures (or the fear of future failures) keep them from moving forward.

Start each day knowing that you will both succeed and fail at something within that 24 hour period. And end each day reminding yourself of the many ways in which you met your goals for that day.

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P.S. For more about goals, see here.