Posts Tagged ‘testosterone’

Why Incentives Help You Achieve Your Goals

Friday, July 6th, 2012

When it comes to making goals, we often forget an important aspect: the reward. You can argue that achieving the goal in and of itself is the reward, and in most cases, I’d agree. However, there are some goals where having an additional incentive may encourage you to stick it out longer, than if you were doing it just for the goal achievement itself.

If the goal is going to take time and focused effort to achieve, then setting incremental benchmarks can be useful. The concept is similar to how you create your 90 Day Plan, and in fact compliments your endeavors. Identify your long-term goal, and then figure out what you can do in smaller, bite-sized chunks. Then choose things from your bucket list (i.e. fun things you desire to do/see, but you never seem to have the time to do) that would match the effort it is going to take for you to reach each of the milestones.

For example, getting a promotion at work that you know you should go for soon, but that you are not that motivated to try right now. True the benefit is a pay raise, but if you are holding yourself back, because you are listening to negative tapes in your head telling you that you are not good at test taking, studying, or paperwork, then an outside incentive linked to something you very much want to do or have may help you achieve this goal. And, achieve it sooner, rather than later.

So, in this promotion example, as you identify if you have the pre-requisites and find out what training you will need to take, link a reward to passing the tests or the actual promotion itself. If you’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, spend a day at a spa, or ride a dirt bike, then promise yourself that you will do it once you’ve achieved your goal.

The key is to plan out how long it will take you to achieve your goal. If it is going to take longer than a week or even 3 months, then it is a good idea to celebrate your small victories along the way as well. So, for example, if it is a big step for you to approach your boss and let her or him know you’re interested in more responsibility, then celebrate on a smaller scale after you’ve sat down with your boss—buy a snorkel, get the helmet, or pick out what treatments you want to get done at the spa. Just remember, if the step that you need to take needs external motivation to get you started, then attach a reward to that step.

Pasting visual pictures of what your goal will look, feel, smell, taste, and sound like once you’ve achieved it—right next to the picture of you on the dirt bike or at the spa can help you on the rough days when you don’t feel like going after your goal. When you’re tired of being just outside of your comfort zone, and are happy to slide back into what you had been doing—look and visualize what you have to gain.

And, by all means, when you’ve hit the milestones, don’t forget to cash in on your reward. Celebrate. If you keep plodding on to the finish line without picking up energy boosts, then it may seem a lot further to go than the actual distance you have left to achieve success.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations

Mars Venus Coaching – The Oxytocin High on Mother’s Day

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

At Mars Venus Coaching we talk a lot about oxytocin and its many benefits. There’s nothing like the rush of oxytocin to fuel your day. As a mom, as a daughter, as a friend, as a business woman—it doesn’t matter what title is attached to your name as a female, what matters is knowing how to produce oxytocin for yourself. Recently, during one of the monthly stress seminar’s I present to both men and women in my community to help them understand how their physiology affects how they cope with stress, and how it actually increases stress for the opposite sex if you aren’t respecting and working with the differences…I had an aha moment. True, I had my mother-in-law in the audience, and one of her comments re-sparked what my purpose is as a Mars Venus Coach. Being that we’re just around the corner for Mother’s Day, as I was interacting with the crowd, I realized the greatest gift I could give to all mom’s in my world is: the gift of how to make your own oxytocin.

Are you familiar with oxytocin? Have you heard it called the love and nurturing hormone? Until recently, oxytocin was only thought to be produced when mothers were breastfeeding their babies. Recent studies now show women are capable of producing oxytocin on a daily basis. We just didn’t know that some of the activities we were engaging in do this, and some don’t. We know now what activities stimulate oxytocin production, and which ones don’t. Oxytocin is now known as a stress-reducing hormone for women. Why this fact is important, and how we can produce more oxytocin is a gift to spread to as many women as possible is the sad fact—we aren’t doing enough of these activities, and consequently our health, our relationships, our abilities to reproduce, our jobs, our children—they’re all suffering.

Men produce a different stress-reducing hormone—and it’s something we’re more familiar with hearing about: testosterone. However, there’s a couple of catches. Women produce testosterone too, however, it does little to reduce our stress. It actually impedes the production of oxytocin for us. And, guess where we make a lot of testosterone on a daily basis? At work—basically, whenever we’re competing, and being rushed from one thing to the next. In addition to testosterone production, we also have excess cortisol (the stress producing hormone, also known as the squirt of energy that helps us fight or flee a situation), that prevents us from properly producing enough oxytocin to keep stress levels low.

My mother-in-law during the stress seminar commented that she wished she knew this information early-on in her marriage and career. Knowing how to stimulate the levels of oxytocin in your blood CHANGES everything! Your waistline for starters—it will shrink. Your relationships as well—you’ll focus on the ones that help you produce more oxytocin, and less testosterone. Your happiness too—90% of the oxytocin you are responsible and capable of producing, you don’t need anyone else to do it for you. You can do it with minimal cost, or you could go all out cialis price online. The knowledge is what is imperative.

In our society we are now doing everything contrary to keeping the hormones in our bodies balanced. So, we need this information to help us re-focus on nurturing ourselves first. Nurture and love yourself first by doing activities that produce the love and nurturing hormone, oxytocin. Then, and only then, can you begin to take care of others, both in your family, with neighbors and friends, and also in your professional line of work too.

An easy way to identify if you are in a primed state to produce oxytocin is if you are feeling any of these feelings, then you are UNABLE to produce oxytocin. Identify one of these feelings, and then switch to an oxytocin producing activity to get the nasty cortisol and testosterone out of your system. Oxytocin decreases when you feel:

• Alone
• Ignored
• Rushed
• Overwhelmed
• Unsupported
• Unimportant

Another important thing to remember is if other people are demanding, requiring, or expecting you to do x, y, z for their benefit, then it is very difficult for oxytocin to be released…, because you are being rushed and unsupported. If you find that your kids, husband, friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, or customers are making you feel this way. What you have to do is then figure out a way to release yourself from being guilted into performing tasks for others. Sometimes all it takes is re-framing the situation for yourself. Other times you will have to be assertive and use your conflict resolution skills to take things off of your to-do list, or to negotiate and ask for their help in return for what you’re doing for them.

Activities that you can do to produce oxytocin for yourself are:

• Plan a special occasion
• Schedule a walk & talk
• Grow/make something
• Create a “Have Done” list
• Reach out to friends
Hire a coach

Activities you can do for the mom’s in your life to help them produce oxytocin are:

• Hug them 4x a day
• Leave them a note
• Take them out on a special just because occasion
• Give them a flower
• Notice, listen, & compliment them
• Give them a spa day
• Help them without being asked

Just remember—nurturing yourself and the mom’s in your life is not being selfish or frivolous. It is taking an active stance on the most important ladies in your life so they have lasting health and happiness.

Lyndsay Katauskas, MEd
Mars Venus Coaching
Corporate Media Relations