The Secret to Change

“The secret to change is one step at a time.” —Mark Twain

One small change can be the result of massive change in your life.

The Secret to change for me is the way I manage my time.
One thing I recently changed is the way I approach my day in order to be more productive. I stopped doing a to-do list after watching the video below.

After having my 2nd child, my to-do list got massive. I found myself drowning in things left undone. My youngest son, Austin, is only a year and a half and I still have a lot to do, but the difference is that I’m only focused on outcomes and results, rather than tasks.

It’s somewhat challenging to articulate the difference in the processes. One major thing that I have noticed is that my mind is focused on achieving results verses checking off to-do tasks. It has been a complete mind shift on how I approach my day. With having a family with 2 small kids, a house to maintain, a blog, writing a 2nd book, a full-time job, ect. I use to struggle with the balance and trying to accomplish all that I was doing.

Let me know you what idea or concept is think is amazing from the video.

written by Tamaria Allen

Dreams Transformed into Goals

Don’t you wish you could just snap your fingers and have what you want or achieve great things? Unfortunately that’s not the case.
In order to realize our dreams, we must transform them in to goals-well, realistic goals.

Here are six things that can help turn dreams into reality:

1. Close your eyes and see your dream

This is about seeing yourself do or being what you want. When I was studying for my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, I saw myself celebrating after it was over. I rehearse my victory dance in my mind over and over again in between studying for the exam. As a result, I passed it on my first try with flying colors! I danced and danced just like I envisioned.

Now I’m visualizing what I will look like at my ideal weight.

2. Prioritize your dreams.
Decide what order you’d like to accomplish your dreams. Sometimes dreams happen when they happen, but it’s always good to put a time on when you want to accomplish certain things.

3. Set key milestones.
When your dreams are big, the best thing to do is to chunk them down into smaller milestones.
Maybe if your dream is a higher degree. A major milestone might be to get accepted into a program. The next milestone might be to complete the 1st semester, and so on. A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change.

4. Check your progress.
This is simply seeing where you are in terms of realizing your dream. Monitoring your progress is a great exercise to do regularly. It’s really motivating to look back and see progress. On the other hand, it’s a little frustrating or down right depressing when you are not moving toward your goal. It’s like going to the doctor and stepping on the scale for the first time in months and realizing you are 10lbs heavier!
If you are checking your progress regularly, you can see what’s working and what’s not working, and make adjustments to the way you’re going about realizing your dream.

5. Find some help.

You might need someone to coach or mentor you. Enlisting help is smart. Some people see asking for help as a weakness, but it’s what successful people do. Maybe you get your help from a book or a blog. I’m consistently on YouTube trying to learn how to do things.

Keep dreaming!

Written by Tamaria Allen

Game Changer: 5 Second Rule

I’m sharing this video below with you because this 5 second rule has absolutely worked for me.

I’ve been using this to do things I have a challenging time doing. Like writing, believe it or not. Exercising is another challenge. Laundry is the ultimate thing I don’t like to do and will ALWAYS find other things to do to avoid it.

This is a productivity Game Changer: 5 Second Rule

I hope you enjoyed the video.

When I have to do something I don’t like doing or don’t feel like doing. I just start counting 5…4…3…2…1.

I never get to 1. I generally start moving by the time I get to 3.

Try it and let me know how it works for you.

Written by Tamaria Allen

The Way to Develop Self-Confidence

Self-Confidence is key in your personal life and at work.

Having confidence starts in your mind and the way you see yourself.







 “The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” –William Jennings Bryan

Once I joined Toastmasters and started speaking in public, my confidence rose. When I started, I was really nervous especially since I spent most of my life stuttering. My biggest fear was that I would be in a situation trying to communicate an idea and get stuck and not be able to get the words out.

After I joined Toastmasters and started giving speeches and participating in the meetings, and the fear began to lift. For many years, I felt like the fear had me in a bear hug that I could not escape. As I conquered my fear, I grew, and the bear could no longer constrain me. Bye-bye Bear!






What can you do to change the way you see yourself? What fear can you face to build your self-confidence?

Should you be Authentic at Work?


My quick and simply answer is NO.

Why? Because just about everyone, if not everyone, has flaws in their personality where work is concerned. Sometimes at work, people have bad days or simply don’t feel like being bothered. Should you at that time choose to allow everyone in on what’s going on? No, absolutely not.

Yes, be FAKE. Especially if your authentic self is miserable. Sometimes you have to fake it until your make it.

You should be authentic when someone asks you if you know how to do something work wise. Don’t say that you can do everything and you know nothing about the subject matter. Admit you don’t know what you’re doing, but try to learn and have a good attitude in the process. You might have to fake the good attitude part.

I wouldn’t lie just to fit in. Nor would I drink at the company functions if I don’t drink. In those situations, order a soft drink or whatever, and don’t make a big deal about it. Please don’t go overboard and call people alcoholics or lushes. I had a coworker that did that. She was very religious. One day a couple of people were gathered by her desk talking about going to happy hour. She immediately called them lushes. Don’t do that.

Should you be Authentic at Work?

In summary, try to fake your enthusiasm for a project you could care less about, but be true to your values and beliefs.

Are you authentic, fake, or both at work? How has that worked for you?

What do you do when someone goes off on you at work?

Let’s face it. Sometimes people at work flip out and act crazy, but what do you do when someone goes off on you at work?

It happens. I’m sure it has happened to a lot of people.  

This can come from a peer, a staff member, team member, or a boss. What do you do? Are you prepared if this happens to you? Below are 4 things you can equip yourself with in the event this happens to you.

  1. Try not to Respond Quickly

This is challenging for people. I know. Sometimes you are caught off guard and you do what comes to mind instinctively. Especially, if this person is saying or doing things that are pushing your buttons. However, if you can stop, take a deep breath and think, you might be able to defuse the situation. Think about responses that will preserve the relationship. Maybe that person needs some time. Or maybe you should take some time to cool off. Do what you need to do so that you don’t get pulled into the madness.

  1. Employ some Compassion

Once the craziness is over. Try to show empathy and compassion for that person. I know this is very challenging depending on what the other person has done. Maybe that person was totally stressed out, or maybe they are having problems at home. There is no excuses for people treating you badly. The reality is it happens. If you offer up compassion in the situation, it might just help you overcome the offense and help you to move forward.

  1. Have a Game Plan

Think about what you will do to move past the offense. You know, sometimes you need to be put on a different assignment or team. I certainly don’t recommend that you continue to take abuse at work. Nobody has time for that! Maybe your plan includes going to HR and filing out a complaint. Whatever you decide, think about it calmly and soberly. Think about the consequences to your actions. I’d also talk to someone that you respect and get their advice.

  1. Be Resilient

Work can be crazy. Life can be crazy. As a result, this type of behavior is inevitable- it’s not right, but it happens. We can’t control that. BUT what you can control is your response and your ability to be resilient. You have to find a way to move forward. I’m not suggesting that you put yourself in harm’s way. What I’m talking about is forgiveness and the ability to not get stuck in situations because you won’t let it go.

It is a process to build your ability to be resilient. The great thing is that everyone has TONS of practice at work and at home. HAHAHAHA!


How did you response to someone going off on you?

Are you REALLY adding Value?

How do you really know if you are adding value to your organization? We can look at our peers and measure ourselves against their performance. Or we can think about our contributions that we’ve made. But how do you know if your contributions are really adding value?

I’ve struggled with this particularly early in my career. I thought that doing what I was asked to do was enough. Actually, I thought it was more than enough. It wasn’t until I had a reality check that doing only what is asked is not really adding value. Sure, the work getting done is valuable, but can you consider that as adding value?

Let’s have a reality check and see how well you can answer the following questions.

 Are you doing so well that you can’t be ignored?

Have you received any awards for your performance lately? Maybe your organization doesn’t have the funds. What about praise for a job well done? What kind of feedback are you receiving?

Are you focused on solving problems?

Complaining really does get to be very irritating. Instead of always complaining about things, go come up with some viable solutions. If this doesn’t work, keep trying. Make sure you humble yourself and be pleasant.

Are you volunteering for assignments?

A great way to add value is to volunteer for additional work. But you need to be pleasant to work with too. Keep that in mind.

Some benefits to volunteering for new work include having an opportunity to learn more skills, meet and connect with others in or outside your organization, and do something different. Variety is the spice of life, right? There are many other benefits to volunteering for projects or work assignments, but I think you get the idea.

Are you learning different functions?

I think the greatest way for a person to add value is to be able to step in when others are out or they leave the job. To have the ability to do this, you might need to volunteer for other assignments. But simply asking “what can I do to help get the work done?” is a huge value add!

Are you humble enough to do whatever it takes?
I have so much respect for leaders that will jump in and do the work. All the people I’ve worked for that have gotten their hands “dirty” too, always earn my respect. The opposite for me is true as well. When I see people that are too educated to make copies.  It makes me think twice about having them on my team. I don’t want to work with someone like that. The best teams are those that come with a great attitude and willing to do whatever it takes.

How did you do on the questions? Are you really adding value?

Dealing with Gossip at Work

What do you do if people at work are gossiping about you? Coming to work and doing a good job is challenging enough. We shouldn’t have to deal with gossip, but it most certainly happens.

This article has some suggestions on dealing with gossip at work.
People might be gossiping about you for several reasons. Maybe it’s a political power move, it could be a form of bullying, or it could be harmless chit chat.

Tips for Dealing with Gossip at work

  • Political Power Move

If it happens to be a political power move, the person spreading rumors or gossiping could be trying to make you look bad to gain favor from a boss or other colleagues. Maybe your strategy might be to ignore it. Maybe it might blow over. Make sure you do your job well and document everything, just in case things get ugly.

Talk to Human Resources if you feel it’s making it too challenging to work in the environment.

  • Bullying

Think carefully before approaching the bully. Confronting this person may not work especially if the bully is of high rank or a senior leader. This person could maliciously start sabotaging you. You have to be strategic and think things through.

Another reason why confronting the bully might not be a good idea is because doing so might add fuel to the fire. These situations are challenging. Especially if you don’t have hard evidence that this person is spreading rumors.

Talk to your supervisor if you have a great relationship with him/her. If you don’t, your boss might side with the bully. If your boss doesn’t like you, it might not be helpful at all to talk to them.

  • Gossip

Sometimes people just gossip! It may be that they like drama or they are bored and don’t have anything better to do. If this is the case, then you might want to ignore it. But if you think it’s affecting your reputation, or your ability to do your job, talk to Human Resources. Try to avoid the issue escalating out of control.

Ask to be reassigned to another area or team. However, if you are new, some of these things happen to new people. If this is the case, focus on doing what you were hired to do. Be a great employee. Learn your job and try to get along with your supervisor and coworkers.

Using Reverse Psychology

Another tip that might work is to act like the rumors don’t bother you. If it’s true and it’s a non-damaging rumor, admit it and talk about it as if it’s no big deal. For example, if people are saying that you really don’t know what you are doing, then admit it. Say something like, “You know, I don’t really know what I’m doing, I’m learning and I’ll get it.” “I made a mistake, I won’t do that again.”

However, don’t admit to things that are not true. With these more harmful lies, it can be difficult to deny them without looking defensive. Instead, simply focus on doing your job as best as you can. For example, if someone is spreading a rumor that you are on drugs, it’s unlikely anyone would believe them if you’re performing so well. Certainly, don’t come to work acting crazy and looking a mess.

Act strong and confident, even if you have to fake it.

Acting strong and confident can help your advance your career and to avoid being bullied. Bullies are insecure and they generally pick on people that look weak. You might have been handpicked because you’re a nice sweet person. BTW, you can be strong and confident as well as nice and sweet. If you act strong and confident, then you might be able to ward off some of this behavior. In this instance, you may need to stand up for yourself and confront the person spreading rumors. This might send a signal that you are not going to put up with the nonsense. For example, if they criticize you publicly, don’t shy away and shrink down. Instead maybe a good suggestion is to turn to them and quietly tell them a better approach would be to talk to you privately.

If they continue, repeat that you would like to talk in private. This way, you have immediately responded to the conflict and it will make you appear like someone that will not to stand for that treatment.
From my experience, if you go quiet and allow yourself to be embarrassed in public, you’ll likely become the victim of further targets.

Have you had experiences with gossip or rumors?







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7 Tips For Better Work-Life Balance

Everywhere I turn people are taking about work-life balance. From my experience, I feel that work-life balance can seem like an overwhelming concept and almost impossible. While technology is suppose to help us to do more faster, it seems like we are still too busy and getting things done slower. The biggest problem with technology is that it allows us to be plugged into our jobs around the clock. If we are not working, then we are allowing other time traps that are accessed through our phones to suck up our time.

What is work-life balance?

It depends on what you value. Some people value their families more than their job. Some people value their health. Whatever you value, you need to learn to prioritize your needs with the needs of work. Here are 7 tips for better work-life balance:

1. Strive for excellence not perfection
Perfection is a losing battle. Do a good or even a great job and remember that perfection is usually not achievable; and if you do manage to do something perfectly, it is totally unsustainable.

2. Turn it off
You have to learn to detach from your phone, computer, and any other devices. Be 100% present. For example, leave your devices in your car when dining out with family or friends. At night, put your phone in the kitchen to charge or some other location away from you. Practice silencing your phone.

3. Get moving
Exercise is an excellent way to regain balance. This is a win because you can also rejuvenate your body and reduce stress. Take a fitness class, go for a walk/run, go to the gym. This will help to bring balance back to your life.

4. Be strategic with how you use your time
If you turn off your phone and close Facebook (including any other forms of social media) and you focus on tasks, you will be able to complete more so that you have more time to do other things that bring balance to your life.

5. Use leverage
Do you have to do everything yourself? Chances are you don’t. Think about ways you can get other people or things to help you accomplish tasks. For example, maybe your decide to delegate walking the dog to someone else in your house. Or maybe you have a grocery store service that will deliver your groceries so that it’s one thing you don’t have to do.

6. Use baby steps
Rome wasn’t built in a night. Start small and build upon that.

7. Do what you can
This is not to say- Let things go. However, do what you can. If it doesn’t get done, then it’s okay. Try again tomorrow. The worst thing to do is to stress and worry about your to-do list. Stressing and worrying will not accomplish any of your tasks. Besides you can use that energy to either enjoy life or get things done so that you have balance. But worrying is absolutely fruitless.

Here is another great article on balance.

How to you get work-life balance?

Dress Better, Feel Better, Work Better?

The way a person dresses in the workplace not only impacts the perceptions others have about the individual, but it could also increase the way they feel and help to make them be more productive.

Personally, when I don’t feel well emotionally or health wise, I use the tactic of dressing nicer. I notice that people talk to me more and they seem to be overall friendlier. I have to admit, when I have favorable experiences I tend to be naturally motivated to be more productive. Being able to get things done makes me feel like I’m moving forward and being successful.

Work Better, Feel Better, Work Better??
A professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management, wrote a study for the Journal of Experimental Psychology in 2014 showing that clothes with high social status can increase dominance and job performance in “high-stakes” competitive tasks. Hmmm… maybe I need more social status work clothes. 
Other research suggests that the effects of wearing nicer clothes can be as much internal as external.

In a study published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, results show that people engage in higher levels of abstract thinking when they are dressed up, compared with when they dress casually.

When some 361 participants were asked to complete complex tasks, the ones dressed in professional business attire engaged in similar types of abstract thinking that someone in a position of power, like a senior executive, would use. The casual dressers tended to sweat the small details verses thinking quickly and completing the tasks.

Do you feel more powerful when you are dressed professionally?

People who wear formal or professional attire generally feel more powerful, research suggests. I tend to agree from my experience. When I dress professionally and I look good, I feel confident. The higher my confidence is, the more powerful I feel.

Does dressing better make you feel better? Have you found that people respond favorably when you look really professional?