Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Turn Your Personal March Madness into March Happiness

March 4th, 2014, Comments Off on Turn Your Personal March Madness into March Happiness.

There’s a lot of hype about March MADness, and if you’re an NCAA fan, or married to one, you know it well. But I’d rather think in terms of March Happiness, training mind and body, just as those basketball players train to remain positive, even when faced with stress, sadness and the cyclicality of life. You can create a habit of happiness.

During March Madness, 68 teams in the College Basketball Association compete in the national championship. They are all vying for that one feel-good moment they’ve worked so hard to achieve. They’ve dedicated a large portion of their lives to training body and mind, and when the final two teams compete, one team, each team member, and thousands of fans experience fulfillment and happiness.

This month, compete against yourself. Train your mind and body to be healthier and happier than ever. At this point in the game, you may feel the odds are against you. For example, about 40 percent of people who set New Year’s Resolutions have already quit trying. But this month, you are powering up, not gearing down.

Finding happiness

You can do it. Here are my Top 3 Tips for being happy in March—and all year long:

*Smile and wave goodbye to toxic people. Waving goodbye has never made you smile so big. In a world where everyone faces uncontrollable stressors and negativity every day, no matter how happy they are, you must get rid of the things and people who are only going to bring you down even further. Rid yourself of the toxic people in your life, the haters and the hurters. Take control of your happiness by not allowing others to steer your emotions up and down or steal them altogether. If you can’t rid yourself of negative people, set boundaries to minimize your interactions with them. Saying goodbye means saying hello to happiness.

*Take time to decide. The best way to be unhappy is to go around making promises or commitments you can’t live up to or if you do live up to them, you despise every moment of it. You get one life; so make it a happy one. Don’t overcommit to someone else and then under commit to yourself. Your happiness is just as important as everyone else’s, and don’t think otherwise.

When you make an impulsive decision, it is typically based on intense emotions and  with little thought. In most cases, quick decisions are not only poor decisions; they also reduce your control and even ruin your credibility.

To create happiness, make a habit of taking time when making both large and small decisions. Retreat, Rethink, React are your new decision-making steps, in that order.

*Forgive. When you hold grudges, become angry or find yourself always looking backward, it is hard to move forward. The great thing about forgiveness is that you don’t have to feel it, you just do it. And you are doing it for you, not the other person. If you are angry with someone, your attention and energy are given to them, not you. You can’t control your past, and that can be upsetting sometimes. But you can control your future, and you can drive right up to happiness.

As you compete against yourself in March, you must dedicate a portion of your life to training your body and mind. This takes time and commitment. Remember that you are competing for one thing– that feel-good moment when you notice more days seem brighter; when you notice the win. It not only lies within you, but within your family (team) and all those who you interact with (fans) as well.

This March, turn your Madness into Happiness.

By Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D., LMHC

Jaime Kulaga, Ph.D, LMHC, is the author of “Type ‘S’uperWoman – Finding the Work-Life Balance: A Self-Searching Book for Women,” ( Motivated by watching those she coaches become successful and with a true passion for helping others, Dr. Kulaga earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her master’s and doctorate degrees in counseling.



How to Maximize Your ROI on Life

February 27th, 2014, Comments Off on How to Maximize Your ROI on Life.

Have you ever felt like you need an upgrade on your life? Most of us have, and there’s a way to get it. First, I tell people, “Don’t be afraid of making your life clearer.” Many argue that life is not simple; therefore, there are no easy answers, but to paraphrase from Chinese philosopher Laozi, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

Lives are built from many small components, which when viewed as an assembled whole, can appear overwhelmingly complex. But when we break them down and consider the pieces as we make decisions in our lives, it’s much easier to see how small adjustments can result in a better return on all of the investments we make–not only in health, but in relationships, finances, and all the other essential aspects of our lives.

Here are four points to keep in mind as you start the journey.

• Life is short, so live it to its fullest potential. Live it optimally. This is your life, so don’t waste its most precious resource–time. No matter one’s spiritual leanings, economic and education status, health, intelligence level, etc., one thing is true for all: Our time on earth is finite. There will be a time for most of us when, perhaps after a frightening diagnosis from a doctor, we reflect deeply upon our time and consider the most important moments and all the time that may have been squandered.

• Balance is key. Too much or too little of something, no matter how good, is actually not good. Balance is one of the easiest tenets to understand, but arguably the most difficult to maintain. Obviously, too much alcohol is bad; then again, there are some health benefits to moderately imbibing red wine. What about too much of a good thing? Can a mother love her children too much? Yes, if she is an overprotective “helicopter parent.” The best antidote to overkill of anything is awareness; try to be aware of all measures in your life.

• Learn to tap your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses. Engaging your strengths at work and in your personal life is important. When we do what we’re good at and what comes easily, we feel self-confident and satisfied. Some people, however, are not in jobs that utilize their strengths, or they don’t put their talents to work at home because they’re mired in the prosaic work of living. It’s important to identify your strengths and find ways to engage them. It’s equally important to recognize our weaknesses and work on improving them (because we can!). This is essential for achieving balance.

• Life is about making the right choices. Integrative decision-making makes this easier. There are many different types of decision-making, including systematic, hierarchal, impulsive, decisive and flexible. Integrative decision-making can be used for problems large and small, and includes the following process: 1. Define the problem. 2. Frame the problem. 3. Develop all your options. 4. Analyze your options. 5. Make the decision. 6. Execute your decision. 7. Debrief yourself. While experts may be the best consultants for compartmentalized areas of your life, only you know the other aspects that affect your well-being and can determine how a decision in one area will affect another area.


By Sanjay Jain, MD, MBA

Dr. Sanjay Jain,  MBA, has certifications in Diagnostic Radiology, Integrative Medicine, and Healthcare Quality and Management, and more than 15 years of clinical experience. He graduated from Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and The Ohio State University, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration. This unique blend and perspective has made him a sought-after domestic and international speaker. He is the author of Optimal Living 360, which is available in February 2014 (