How to #GOGOGO and get in the FLOW in 10 steps

Would you like to feel a little more in flow in your daily activities? How do you ensure that flow? You know, when you’re doing somehting and completely lose track of time?

To maintain balance it is nice to be able to be fully absorbed in (necessary) activities. If you are very focused you get so much more done and you usually get it right in one go. You’re working efficiently and effectively when in flow.
So, how can you ensure that moments of flow do not just “happen” to you, but that you’re able to consciously plan them?

Monday flow day

Monday is often a flow day for me. A day when I get a lot done. Even though my mini, aged 2, is home, I have to do both household tasks and work things and the house looks like something exploded here … Monday is usually my most creative day. It flies by. Leaving me full of energy that lasts in the evening, how nice is that! I benefit a whole week from all the stuff I do mondays. My house is in order at the end of Monday, my social media schedule ready, my appointments prepared, my administration updated, the groceries done and the laundry and ironing updated. Really? Yes, really! And a flowy Monday sets the tone for the rest of the week. A good start is half the battle, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
That’s why, I mean it when I say: #ilovemondays;) What is your favorite day of the week?

Below you will find the 10 steps that help me to (re-) find my flow, even on the non-Mondays of the week. Ready? Set? Flow!

Step 1: Research

Before you start your ‘task’, it is important to investigate when you do what best. So at which hour of the day do you work best, feel most focused? And do you need absolute silence to be able to concentrate? Or is a certain amount of background noise exactly what you need? Not everyone is at their best in the morning, certainly not me;), so that is certainly useful to know about yourself. Although that is not true for me on Mondays … it might be a mindset thing… I will get back to that in a next blog! What is true, is that productivity peaks vary per person. And if you know when you are the most productive, you can (partially) adjust your schedule accordingly.
Here you will find some here the time management tips if you like that.

Being more specific:
-> Are you an evening person or morning person?
-> When do you generally have the best ideas?
-> What do you need for a good concentration: silence or background noise?
-> Write down 3 moments that you now remember that you were doing something in which time flew by.
What were you doing? How was this moment special? What made it unexpected that time went fast?

Step 2: The right place

Find a place where you feel comfortable and where you can do your work. You must be able to stay focused and be completely absorbed in your task. Although it is nice to work somewhere where, for example, your colleagues are, it could be too big a distraction if you really want to get into the flow. I work best at my kitchen bar. Close to my child, at the center of the house, sitting on a comfortable bar chair. ๐Ÿ™‚

Being more specific:
-> If you need silence: where do you experience it the most? What do you need for that?
-> If you need sound around you: where do you experience it most favorably? How can you ensure this yourself?
-> If you are creative: where can you best do that? What do you need for that?

Step 3: Pen & paper

Another one in the preparation category. I always make sure I have pen and paper. Whether it’s a piece of paper or a notebook doesn’t matter. The point here is that you can write things down. So, imagine you’re working ‘in flow’ and suddenly you realize that you need to call your mom, or you have to arrange that one thing, or a brilliant idea comes to mind. But … these things have nothing to do with what you are doing at the moment. What to do? Write your thoughts on your (draft) paper. Now you don’t have to keep thinking about it and you can continue with your task. Writing helps to remember things.
I am quite a fan of leuchtturm1917 notebooks quite a neat-freak when it comes to my notebooks. That eventually became a little too time-consuming, so I got myself a draft-notebook. I allow myself to write in sloppy handwriting, cross things out and draw random stuff. Using one notebook instead of millions of paper scraps helps me keep random notes together and not loose them, which used to happen sometimes …: \

Being more specific:
-> Get out a draft paper / booklet and paper before you go into the flow.

Step 4: Eliminate distraction

Put your mobile on “Do Not Disturb”. Better yet, ensure more productivity while doing something good for planet earth. ๐Ÿ™‚ Plant real trees while enjoying the flow. The app forest does this automatically and is my personal favorite productivity app. All you have to do is stay away from your phone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Being more specific:
-> Switch off your mobile, close the door. Make sure you can’t be distracted.

flow

Step 5: Goal

Write down which task you want to complete or which goal you want to achieve “in the flow”.
This gives you a direction and helps you resist the temptation to give in to distracting activities.
Important: writing down is what matters. It provides extra motivation. If you want, you can make your task / goal SMART. (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic, time-bound) So: Before when do you want what to have done / achieved?

Being more specific:
-> Write which goal / task you want to complete / achieve before when and how. Eg: Today, before the end of the morning / 12:00, I will have finished my blog of at least 500 words, put it online and shared the link on 2 social media channels.

Step 6: Brain dump

Keep your pen and paper handy, because for this step you’ll “dump” your brain. Before you start, write down everything that comes to mind. You don’t want to have an excuse to scroll on the internet / social media and see the hours slipping away. In this step you’ll clear your head by getting your to-do list, still-to-google list, still-to-be-shopping list, still-to-be things out of your system. A clear head thinks sharper.

Being more specific:
-> Empty your head. Create space for flow.

Step 7: Food and drink

I ensure that I always start prepared for my flow moment. By that, I mean I arrange something to eat and drink before starting. I don’t want to get thirsty or hungry in the middle of my flow and then first have to think about what I want, go get that, get talking to someone I meet on my way … Find out what gives you energy, what you feel like eating& drinking. On Monday mornings cappuccino and a glass of water work fine for me.

Being more specific:
-> What do you like to get energy from?
-> What do you like to drink besides water?
-> Get that ready before you start.

Step 8: Music

Just before actually getting started, I turn up the volume of a happy song. I choose something that gets me moving. Listening to the right music gives me an energy boost. I made an energy-boosting playlist for myself, which makes me feel happy and active. I often catch myself dancing. Now I’ve got my mind ready for flow and after my happy-dance my body is ready for flow. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course you don’t have to dance, any form of activity is fine.

Being more specific :
-> Make sure you feel flow in your body, feel it flowing through your body. It really helps me to dance.

Step 9: Breathing

Now I breathe in consciously and deeply a few times to let everything go. Tension, if it is still there. Unrest, if I still feel it. I feel the air filling my lungs. I breathe all the way to my belly. Lower my shoulders, feel the weight of my arms and how relaxed my neck and shoulders are.

Being more specific:
-> Release deep tension and unrest in your body. Do this a few times until you feel that your arms, neck and shoulders are relaxed.

Step 10: Put a smile on your face and GO!

Small tip! Just to be sure: turn on a timer in case you need to be somewhere, sometime. You never know how long you’ll stay in flow;)
I have created a flow worksheet that you can download and print. I’m happy to support your flow! ๐Ÿ™‚

In summary: you should now have a #GOGOGO mood | a relaxed body | a relaxed mind |focus | motivation.

I’d say: enjoy:)

Everything is a choice.

10 tips to boost your confidence

Time to boost that confidence. Whether you’re starting something new or have to do something you feel you’re just not good at.
Here are 10 practical tips to help you build your confidence. It’s really all about realizing EVERYONE was a beginner at something, sometime. So it’s not fair to expect yourself to be an expert right away. Sure, some people have certain talents, that have served as a stepping stone. But without hard work, dedication and practice, they wouldn’t have become the expert they are today. That means you can also become an expert at anything. If you just put your mind to it. Focus. Practice. And don’t give up. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, you can.

I’ve gathered some tips that can help you get that confident mindset fast:

1: Everyone is insecure sometimes

Everyone feels self-conscious in one department or another. Remember that. No one is confident all the time. Let that thought help you be mild to yourself.

2: Practice confidence

Confidence takes practice. So, go practice. Pick the area you want to be confident in. If it’s on a certain subject: read about it, study it. When you want to feel confident in your body, learn to love it, work out, eat healthy. If you want to be a confident public speaker: practice speaking in public, gather tips and read books on speaking in public. Make a choice to become the expert by reading about it, and putting it into practice. As much as you can. Do it. Show up, commit and practice.

3: Dare to fail

Practicing brings me to the next point: don’t be afraid to fail! This is a very important one. One I myself forget at times…failure is part of the deal. In life we fail. We learn from failing. We need to fail sometimes, because it helps us move forward. When you fail, it means you are taking action. That is a good thing. Taking action is the best thing to do. Sitting still won’t get you anywhere. Besides, failing can give you the best stories for later. And who doesn’t like a good laugh?

4: Laugh

Right, laughter. How incredibly important is laughter? Please don’t forget to have fun and laugh. Please. When you laugh your state of mind is good. A good state of mind helps you build confidence and feel confident. Laughing rules. ๐Ÿ™‚

5: Music is in the air

And while you’re at it, listen to music. Music is a very powerful tool to create emotion. Which means you can use it to set a powerful&positive emotion. Music can help you feel strong. And when you hold on to that feeling, you’ll realize you’re actually halfway into feeling more confident.

6: Make use of body language

Let your body tell your brain you’re feeling confident NOW. How? By striking a ‘high power pose’. There is an inspiring TED talk by Amy Cuddy on the subject of body language and how powerful it is. A so called high power pose is a pose in which your body takes in a lot of space. For example: stand up, shoulders back, arms open wide, legs far apart. Feel the space you’re taking in. Hold that pose for 120 seconds. That is the time your brain needs to signal that you are confident, powerful. You can claim that pose right before going into a situation in which you lack confidence, in a bathroom stall for example. Or anywhere you want. Let your pose do the work for you. Watch the TED talk here. (Note: there has been some discussion going on about the reproducibility of the high power poses, but I for one say: it doesn’t hurt to try. ๐Ÿ™‚

wonder woman

7: Breathe in confidence

When you are anxious and not feeling very confident, chances are you’re also breathing from your chest. It’s time to lower your breathing. Here’s a qucik test: put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Now relax your torso and breathe normally. Don’t force it. Let your breathing just come and go.

Notice which hand moves first. Is it your chest-hand? Or is it your belly-hand?
If it’s your chest hand, youโ€™re taking short breaths, high in your chest, that won’t give you enough oxygen. This will result in shortness of breath. That is not helpful for feeling confident.
Whenever you start feeling anxious or nervous because you lack confidence, pay attention to your breath. Put your hand on your belly, below your navel and breathe towards your hand. Feel your hand move with each breath you take. Automatically your breaths will be longer and deeper, giving you more oxygen and calming you down. Give yourself time to feel more relaxed. You can do this.

8: Fear setting

When you feel so overwhelmed and lacking confidence that all you can do is let the fear rule, maybe you could try “fear setting”. This is fully described in the book “The 4hour work week” by Timothy Ferris.

The process is this: look your fears in the eye. Define VERY SPECIFICALLY what you are afraid of. Write down all the details. When you shine a light on your fears, you take away their power. Once you have defined the fear in great detail, think of ways to be able to prevent the thing you’re afraid of from happening. Make a plan, take control. Next, think of a scenario in which your fears come true. How could you repair the situation, should your fears become reality? Again, make a plan. Now, you’ve armed yourself against your fears and no longer need to let them control you. You control you. Don’t let fear rule. You are in control. Know you can do this. You’ve got this. Yes, you can.

9: Scare yourself a little

Now, let’s give you a little more control. Try to do something that scares you on a regular basis. Practice doing the things that scare you. Prove yourself wrong about the scary part. Show yourself there’s no need to be scared. Get into action! ๐Ÿ™‚ One scary thing a week sounds do-able, doesn’t it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fake it ’till you make it

Confidence is a way of presenting yourself, confidence is an appearance. People around you don’t know how you feel inside. Make use of that. Fake it, until you make it. If you do it right, people will believe it. Take in space with your body: stand upright, stand tall. Speak slower and in a slightly lower tone of voice. Breathe from your abdominal area. Put your hand on your belly to become aware of it, and adjust if necessary. Relax. You are confident. Already, you’re practicing being confident. You can do this. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m here to help, if you find you could do with a bit of extra support. Send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!

Jasmijn

New in town

Welcome to Maastricht! So glad you’re new in this town! How are you feeling today? Up for an adventure or slightly nervous at how you’re going to make the best of your time here?
Being new in town can be fun and nerve-racking at the same time. So much to do, explore, learn in so little time. And yet: scary to get yourself out there…
I’ve been new in town quite a few times, and it never tires. What makes it fun, though, to be new in a place? Here’s 5 reasons:

1. Hello, clean slate

No one knows your name, where you’re from and what you’ve been through. This gives you the opportunity to start off with a clean slate. No expectations, no pressure, just a big sense of freedom and new beginnings. It’s hard enough as it is to follow through when it comes to building new habits. A change of environment helps to master your mindset. The clean slate gives you the opportunity to present the new you.

2. Hello, new you

You can now update yourself and be the “you 2.0”. Be the person who accomplishes goals, who is full of confidence, who is social and open or a little bit less so, who is fit, active or whatever it is you have always wanted to be. You’re not really going to change overnight, but the way you present yourself now is how people will see you, which in turn can help you to really own this new you.

There’s always something worth improving and now you have the opportunity to enforce some of these things and make them a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Should you need any help on the matter…I’m here ๐Ÿ˜‰

3. Hello, new perspective

Being in a new city gives you a new perspective on life in general. Maybe it’s the Dutch way of life that inspires you or friends you make that show you different angles on a subject. Living in a new place gives you a different point of view, literally. As does riding a bike:) Living in a new city could change the way you think about what you study, how you pass your time, what quality-time means to you and ultimately change your life. Who knows, you might end up staying here?

4. Hello, new confidence

Traveling in general and living in a new city is the best way to really get to know yourself. What you value, what your standards are. Who you are as a person and what you stand for. You will learn to rely on yourself when times are difficult, which will give your confidence a boost and will ultimately give you the feeling that you are in control of your life. You are the one that makes things happen for you and you are the one who will make your dreams come true.

newby

5. Ready for more

By the time you’re leaving, you’ll be more comfortable in your own skin, you’ll like yourself more and have a sense of accomplishment to be proud of. You’ll have made tons of new memories and maybe some friends along the way. And most of all: you’ll be ready for a new adventure. At home or abroad. Travelling or settled. Whatever comes next, you’ll be a richer person than you were before. And I’d be happy to be of any guidance while you’re here. ๐Ÿ™‚

What makes you YOU?

Are you who you really want to be? Authentic?
Have you ever thought about that?

Expectations

I recently completed the awesome training Creative Consciousness-Master 1. (Absolutely recommend it!) in which the word ‘authenticity’ plays an important role. How authentic are we really?

I know that in the past I myself have let many of my choices depend on others. Because of what I thought others would think. Or because of the expectations that people had of me. Just to mention a few examples:

I went to university to study because that would be a big deal. Most of the people in my family had gone to college. Which was fine, of course, but uni was seen as ‘special’. The fact that I would have achieved something special, compared to the rest, was reason enough for me to take that path.

Without much in-depth research, I then decided to study in a particular city, solely for the reason that that one friend really loved it there. I wanted to have a vibrant student life like hers, a career perspective like hers. But I never really took the time to find out if it really was what I wanted. I have never truly been able to separate my decisions from the opinions of those around me. I haven’t given myself the chance to form a judgment separate from others.
Of course studying at uni didn’t go as planned…

Did I have a great time? Hell yes. Was this the right choice for me? Nope.

Recognising patterns

But there was a clear pattern, into which I would just as easily fall back when I had to make my next choice: doing what others expect. So after a huge crisis, since I had’nt achieved the high and almighty goal “uni”, I went to college to become a teacher. That was something that, according to my family, suited me so well. As a child I always used to play teacher. So yes, totally logical decision, right? Again, I did not give myself the time and space to explore what I, Jasmijn, really wanted. So I finished college, went to work and after a couple of years teaching kids, once again, things didn’t go as planned. Enter burn-out.

Did I have a good time as a teacher? Certainly. Was this the right choice for me? Nope.

Only when I was in the midst of the burn-out and could do nothing else than focus on myself, did the mind-blowing realisation sink in. Life is up to me. I have to do what makes ME happy. And although that’s not easy, it is very necessary. Because after the burn-out, when I dared to choose something for myself, because I wanted to do it everything went a lot smoother. I found the love of my life and had children, both of which were what I used to think of as wishful thinking. I decided that once and for all, I’d do what would make me happy and started a coaching course. Because coaching, that’s what I do best. That’s what I love putting into practice and love learning more about.

what makes you you authentic

Flow

Now I am happily in flow and am looking forward to the next step in my career, which is to become a Creative Consciousness Coach. Because I want to achieve more results and because I want to let you feel that you really can do what YOU want. It is YOUR life. Be authentic. Be yourself. So beautiful and so special, you don’t need anything else than to be you…
Should yo want any guidance doing that, let me know, I’m be there for you. Book your free intake here, and let’s polish you up. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s spread hugs!

Can I get a hug?

I am a champion at begging for hugs. Preferably by standing in the room with my arms wide open, hoping my darling husband will pick up the hugs-signal and not walk around me. Sometimes I get a long and warm big-bear-hug, that brings a huge smile to my face. Other times I get a quick I’m-super-busy-but-sure-I-love-you-hug and there are rare times, usually in the middle of an argument, I get nothing, which is fine in that moment.
I’ve always had that need, to give and recieve hugs. BIG hugs. Because I care, because I want to comfort someone or because I have no words and a hug seems to say it all.
I’ve been made fun of wanting a hug. And that bothered me. But that was before I knew that they are a very, VERY necessary part of life.

Research

Research shows there are many benefits of hugs. Doing a quick Ecosia search, I find a vast amount of articles about hugs, lots of lists of all the benefits and all the research behind it.
And right away I recognised many of the benefits: they reaffirm love, fulfill my “skin-hunger”, make me feel relaxed and comforted, help me feel emotionally stable and make me feel good.

But when I learned that there is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, that says: โ€œWe needย fourย hugs a day for survival. We needย eightย hugs a day for maintenance. We needย twelve hugs a day for growthโ€ I was in a slight shock. Do I give my beautiful kids enough hugs to grow? Do I hug my beloved friends and family enough? Additionally it got me wondering about my own score? Is 8 a day a realistic number? That already seems like a lot and ideally I should be hugging TWELVE times a day. So I made a commitment: I plan to give MORE hugs. Not just to my kids, but to anyone who might need it. I’ll ask permission first, of course, but I won’t let my sense of “is it appropriate” stand in the way anymore. Hugs are wonderful and made for giving.

What’s your score?

How about you? Do you hug at least four times a day? What makes you want to give someone a hug? Do you hug easily or not? And how does a hug make you feel, have you ever given that some conscious thought? How about next time you see your friend you give them a big bear hug, because you want to help them feel relaxed, less stressed, increase their self-esteem, boost their immune system, slow their heart rate, lower their blood pressure or just make the both of you feel good and put a smile on your faces.
Should you want to read more, check out this article, or this one and maybe even this one: And then, GO HUG SOMEONE:)

Sending you a virtual hug now,
Jasmijn

Daydreaming your dishes away

When was the last time you got lost in daydreaming?
Do you even allow yourself to do some daydreaming?

We’re all so focused on living in the now, being mindful and paying full attention to what you’re doing instead of letting your mind wander….
I for one, love being mindful. I know the benefits and believe in the importance of being in the present. Practicing mindfulness will make your life calmer and more focused.

But, does that mean we always have to be mindful?

No! of course not. Contrary to the belief that daydreaming is a waste of time, daydreaming is good for your soul.

It
✓ increases empathy,
✓ improves your memory
✓ enhances creativity.

Plus, it makes you feel nice.
I read something interesting the other day: as our wonderful brains are capable of fantasy, using our imagination and dreaming, how about we also give ourselves some room for daydreaming?

daydreaming

Perfect timing for daydreaming

Like, for example, when you’re doing what you need to do: the dishes. And whilst you could dive into this moment, feel the bubbly soap and warm water on your hands, hear the splashing sounds you are making and focus on doing the dishes really well. Wouldn’t it be nice to let your mind take you back, daydreaming about that one trip where everything was perfect, the people you met were so nice, you looked great and the weather was just right? Or maybe you prefer imagining yourself on a perfect date, with the person of your dreams. That could make you feel so much happier than being totally present in the here and now of doing chores, don’t you agree?

There are times when it is necessary and good to be focused, on-task and you absolutely need to keep your mind from wandering. But doing dishes or cleaning your bathroom can be made a little more fun if you step into your imagination for a while through daydreaming. It’s all about the balance. A little mindfulness, a little dreaming and a little common sense will go a long way together. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t overdo it

BUT, if you notice you’re daydreaming all the time and prefer your imaginary world to the present, it might be a signal that your mood is low and it’s not going to get any better. Depression is not where you want to be headed. As long as the daydreams are short and fun and don’t interrupt your daily life too much, indulge! Otherwise it might be a good idea to seek some advice or coaching to lift yourself back up. Feel free to contact me.

Today seems a good a day as any to spend some time on memory lane, in fantasyland or in the dreambig universe.

Think of all you could become, see yourself doing all those amazing things. And while you’re at it, you could just come up with a brilliant solution, a great idea or a goal to pursue. The possibilities are endless. Your creativity is endless if you give yourself the chance. Just remember to come back to the here and now, look around and smell the flowers while you’re here. And with this renewed energy, clear away those dishes and get to work:)

Happy new intentions!

New intentions… So…January 2018 is really here, whether we like it or not.

Resolutions vs. Intentions

Resolutions automatically a topic, whether you have them or not. Intentions may be the better word. I donโ€™t know about you, but Iโ€™m not too strict with myself when it comes to resolutions. BUT I always give it a thought, I try to set an intention of how I would like the year to be. Usually it comes down to love. Love for and from my family and friends. Looking back I actually kept a few of my intentions for 2017, go me ๐Ÿ˜‰ . One of them being: launching kopjeCoaching. SO exciting. And also a little bit frightening. Getting myself out there, starting my business with two wonderful clients, whom it is such a pleasure to work with! Thanks for the confidence!

2018

It’s time to rock 2018 with many more clients, collaborations, fame and glory!

How are YOU going to rock this year? ๐Ÿ™‚

My personal intentions

And on a more personal note I’m going to:
1. buy good/but local/buy less – starting January I’ve set myself the very hard challenge to not buy any clothes or stuff I don’t need this month. Hard? No, actually, I mean super hard: hello, shopping addict speaking! Living in the beautiful city center of Maastricht is definitely not going to make that easier…
2. go greener – on that same note I’m going to try to reduce waste, eat vegetarian more frequently than I have so far, and stop using plastic straws and one way coffee cups. Also I’m joining the Think Big Act Now resolutions on facebook, care to join?
3. meditation, breathing and mindfulness – I intend to make meditation and conscious breathing my new routine. Hard, because I suck at routine. But I really like to meditate and breathe ๐Ÿ˜‰ so making time for it will happen this year. I’ve been managing quite well in December, so far, so good. As for mindfulness: it should be everyone’s way of life!

As for kopjeCoaching you can expect to find inspirational questions & ponderings on insta, interesting articles, relevant information and fun quotes on Facebook and always an open door and a time slot to suit you, here on the contact page.

Hope to meet you soon!
Jasmijn

* newyearsresolutions * intentions * kopjecoaching * coaching * rock2018 * buyless * buylocal * gogreen * gogreener * meditation * thinkbigactnow * savetheplanet * mindfulness * routine * bureauboot *