Brand Strategy Framework: A 5-Step Process to Help You Stand Out

Steps in the brand strategy process

How to develop a brand strategy

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Brand Strategy Framework: A 5-Step Process to Help You Stand Out

Each of them has placed their companies in the minds of particular consumers – like you and me – through their unique positioning, messaging, personality, and feeling.

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What is brand strategy?

What’s a brand strategy for?

Brand strategy delivers specific goals and tactics to guide business decisions till creating that special emotional connection. It is the foundational piece for building a successful brand since it draws out:

This way, you create a coherent and consistent brand image in the customers’ hearts and minds. To make a brand strategy competitive, having yourself a strong knowledge base of branding is necessary.

As such, branding delivers a huge opportunity for a far more prosperous relationship with the target audiences. That depth and breadth of relationship, in turn, create significant economic value for the business in the long run.

Look at the success of strong brands like Coca-Cola, Apple, Adidas, or Samsung, who achieve a substantial premium in mergers and acquisitions. The power of those names is the proof of branding towards success.

Outline of a complete brand strategy

Step 1: Develop branding prerequisites

Identify the target audience: Who are you for?

Competitor analysis: Who are you against?

Digging deeper into your target audience group is just the first step of a long-term inter-departmental plan for a brand. Knowing your customers is not enough; you need to pay serious attention to your competitors.

One of the easiest ways to make a brand strategy is to learn from competitors, find out what makes them fail or succeed and modify your approach to compete. Most importantly, to become the best, you need to know who you’re competing with.

Step 2: Define your brand

You already gather enough information about your market, including the target market and the extent of competition. You’re ready for the 2nd step on how to make a brand strategy – Defining your brand.

By defining these things, you can open up possibilities to position your brand as a better version of competitors and give the audience a persuasive reason to pick you instead of other brands.

“To create and operate a national brand of value-oriented, business-travel hotels that deliver exceptional value to customers and superior profits to franchisees and investors.” (Candlewood Suites)

We can see a massive difference in how both brands deliver their value as well as define the development route. Of course, these statements are closely related to each brand’s objective.

Step 3: Establish the core brand attributes

Once you complete defining your internal brand, now is the time to devise a strategy of conveying your value and mission to the target audience through specific brand attributes.

Brand personality

Brand personality is a framework allowing an organization to shape how the target audience feels about its mission statement, products or services. It will entice positive actions of a specific consumer segment that benefit the firm.

By associating themselves with every moment you think of “Happiness,” Coca-Cola successfully builds a bubbly, friendly, and fun-loving persona in global consumers’ minds. Most importantly, this personality reflects exactly the spirit mentioned in Coca Cola’s mission statement:

Brand voice

Brand visual identity

The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of branding is regularly its logo, colors, typography, and other design elements. Thus, the brand’s visual identity is regularly known as the “face” of a brand.

As mentioned several times, a brand’s strength is determined by its consistency. This goes the same way with brand visual elements. In other words, a prominent visual identity should be purposeful, intuitive, and able to convey a brand’s personality.

Most professional bands will have a brand guideline that governs all the design and general look-and-feel of a brand. Its function is to guide and shape all brand content for logo, website, advertisement, and other marketing collateral in a consistent style.

Brand Storytelling

Basically, Apple is a hardware and software manufacturer. Many companies can do exactly things like Apple in the world. But why does Apple still keep its role as a game-changer in the marketplace?

Though Apple doesn’t have an official mission statement on its website at the present, all its press releases, posts, brand voices & messages highlight a consistent brand personality.

Use your brand voice to share your brand’s history, challenges, successes, and value proposition – Things that differentiate your brand from competitors. Significantly, no other brand can copy yours.

Step 4: Analysis and Optimization

Still, depending on your customers’ reaction and the strategy’s effectiveness, you may need to change and modify your brand strategy that precisely fits customers’ insights. Understanding what’s working and what’s not to pivot, optimize and improve.

Elements of a Brand Strategy

Sub-strategy Goals and approach
Brand objective Your vision, mission, and purpose. Why does your company exist and what impact will you have on your audience, community, or even the world?
Target audience Speaking of your audience, who are they? What are their interests, needs, passions, and habits? Understanding them intimately is critical for your success – so don’t skimp on this.
Brand positioning Carving out your slice of the market. What does it take for you to be a big deal in your audience’s life, and what strategies will you implement to get there?
Brand identity What people see when they interact with your brand – your visual identity like logos and images, as well as your tone and voice, customer support, and reputation. Bonus points for storytelling that incorporates your brand objective in a meaningful way.
Marketing strategy Playing the long-game, how will you communicate what you’re all about, in a way that your audience is actually receptive to? How will you build and nurture your customer relationships? This can include everything from social media to paid ads to email marketing .
  1. Plan: This is the intel phase. Before you start your brand-building strategies, do your research to make sure you have a solid handle on the market, your specific niche, your competitors, and the roots for your marketing strategy.
  2. Build: Once you have a basic plan in place, dive into those brand-building steps. Create your brand identity, including your logo, color palette, and other visuals. Create your website, social channels, and other media through which you’ll execute your brand strategy plan.
  3. Execute: Marketing is the fuel for your brand engine. Launch your brand and fully utilize all the messaging strategies you planned and marketing channels you built. Don’t stop until … ever. Just don’t stop.

Do Your Research

Create an Awesome Brand Identity

During your research phase, it’s basically impossible to not get inspired with ideas for your own brand identity. That’s why we recommend dipping your toes into the market before making any final decisions over your identity and aesthetic.

Color palette: Pick three to five colors, and stick to them for all of your branding and marketing materials. This will help to solidify brand recognition. Oh, and don’t forget about color psychology to set the mood.

Photos and art: In the world of online shopping, killer visuals are key. If you’re dropshipping, take awesome gorgeous product photos . Set the stage with lighting, imagery, models, and accessories, and then carry those themes throughout.

Storytelling: Emotion goes a long way. Create a bond with your customers by giving them your backstory. How did the brand start? What are your values and mission? Your dreams and promises? Get personal.

A beautiful website: Please don’t send people to a glitchy, slow, or sketchy website. This is exponentially more important for an ecommerce business, where your site is your backbone. One study showed that 94 percent of respondents have rejected or mistrusted a site based on the web design alone … don’t be that site.

Develop an Actionable Marketing Plan

Social media marketing: The world – and all its online shoppers – are at your fingertips with platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and more. In addition to organic posting, try paid tactics like influencer marketing and social media ads .

Content marketing: This is a big deal. Technically, every product video you create, social media post you make, email you send, or blog post you publish is content marketing. When you use content marketing best practices to pull customers through your sales funnel, it can be massively impactful.

Email marketing: Email marketing is yet another effective tool for your sales funnel. One study found that email is 40 times more effective at helping companies acquire new customers than Twitter or Facebook. It’s powerful stuff.

Be Reliable and Trustworthy

Consistency is key. Don’t start out with haute couture branding and then veer left field into soccer mom chic territory. Likewise, don’t use deeply emotional messaging and switch to sarcasm and jokes.

Before making any merchandising, branding, or marketing decisions, ask yourself – Is this in line with my branding strategy? Does it “fit” with everything else and enhance the narrative I started?

In addition to keeping your branding and messaging consistent, it’s also critical that you keep all the promises you make. If you offer shipping in one week, those packages better darn well get there in one week.

Creating a Brand Strategy: Examples to Inspire You

Target audience focus: Mollyjogger

mollyjogger brand strategy

You can see this profound understanding of the brand’s audience in virtually every aspect of its brand identity – from the deep forest greens and river blues in their color palette, to the fun and adventurous brand fonts, to the lifestyle photography that showcases their products in action.

You can’t beat the personal touch of that red station wagon packed to the brim with camping equipment. The type of vehicle alone is a clear example that their audience lives a more humble lifestyle that leans away from luxury and more toward rugged.

Brand storytelling: Tropical Sun

brand storytelling Tropical Sun website

It connects “the UK’s thriving ethnic communities” back to their culture and brings them together. Humanizing the brand is so much more powerful than any generic list of health benefits or product quality.

Cohesive marketing: Harper Wilde

Harper Wide's brand strategy

Right off the bat, you can see that Harper Wilde donates a portion of profits to The Girl Project , an initiative that puts girls through primary school. The owners also work with a manufacturer that strives to empower Sri Lankan women.

Sources:

https://freshsparks.com/brand-strategy-framework/
https://www.mageplaza.com/blog/how-to-make-a-brand-strategy.html
https://www.oberlo.com/blog/brand-strategy

41 Smart Tips to Improve Communication in the Workplace

improve communication in the workplace - intranet software articles newsletter

14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Steve Jobs inspired his employees to strive for perfect hardware products. Jack Welch mentored the senior leadership team of GE to new heights. Jeff Bezos is known for articulating the Amazon ethos clearly to employees and the world. All of these leaders possess outstanding leadership skills.

One study found that nonverbal communication accounted for 55 percent of how an audience perceived a presenter. That means that the majority of what you say is communicated not through words, but through physical cues.

To communicate clearly and confidently, adopt proper posture. Avoid slouching, folding your arms or making yourself appear smaller than you are. Instead, fill up the space you are given, maintain eye contact and (if appropriate) move around the space.

Have an “open door” policy.

Having honest dialogue with managers and CEOs is a delicate—and challeninging—situation for many employees. Some feel uncomfortable being forthright with their boss, and as a result, sugarcoat opinions or do not speak up. An “open door” policy where your employees are encouraged to bring anything to your attention is an incredibly beneficial way to motivate employees and improve communication. It builds connections and encourages meaningful conversations so you can make positive changes to your workplace. If staff are not approaching you, always remember our #1 tip: reach out to your employees periodically.

Communication isn’t just the verbal exchange of information between people. It’s also information. No matter the job, document management and knowledge sharing are vital to everyday tasks and your employees need to find files, spreadsheets, and answers, easily. Centralize all of this information in your company knowledge base. To improve workplace communication, you need to prioritize how staff finds what they need to do their jobs.

Take advantage of social media.

Social media is a powerful aid for businesses communicating with customers and prospects. It also enhances internal collaboration. Encourage employees to “like”, comment, and share interesting posts about your organization. This sparks conversations, educates employees about something they didn’t know about, and boosts morale. You can also embed your social media channels into your intranet, so employees always know what your company is sharing with the public.

effective employee communication at work - social media videos

Allow employees to share their interests with each other to create meaningful, work-related conversations. This is a great way to combine relationship-building with your business’s goals and philosophies.

Resource:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300466
https://axerosolutions.com/blog/41-smart-tips-to-improve-communication-in-the-workplace

14 Steps How to Build Confidence and Self-Esteem

Understanding and Developing Emotional Intelligence

What is Self-Confidence?

Confidence is, in part, a result of how we have been brought up and how we’ve been taught. We learn from others how to think about ourselves and how to behave – these lessons affect what we believe about ourselves and other people. Confidence is also a result of our experiences and how we’ve learned to react to different situations.

Self-confidence is not a static measure. Our confidence to perform roles and tasks and deal with situations can increase and decrease, and some days we may feel more confident than others.

Low-confidence can be a result of many factors including: fear of the unknown, criticism, being unhappy with personal appearance (self-esteem), feeling unprepared, poor time-management, lack of knowledge and previous failures. Often when we lack confidence in ourselves it is because of what we believe others will think of us. Perhaps others will laugh at us or complain or make fun if we make a mistake. Thinking like this can prevent us from doing things we want or need to do because we believe that the consequences are too painful or embarrassing.

Over-confidence can be a problem if it makes you believe that you can do anything – even if you don’t have the necessary skills, abilities and knowledge to do it well. In such situations over-confidence can lead to failure. Being overly confident also means you are more likely to come across to other people as arrogant or egotistical. People are much more likely to take pleasure in your failure if you are perceived as arrogant.

Related Areas

Confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing, although they are often linked. Confidence is the term we use to describe how we feel about our ability to perform roles, functions and tasks. Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves, the way we look, the way we think – whether or not we feel worthy or valued. People with low self-esteem often also suffer from generally low confidence, but people with good self-esteem can also have low confidence. It is also perfectly possible for people with low self-esteem to be very confident in some areas.

Performing a role or completing a task confidently is not about not making mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable, especially when doing something new. Confidence includes knowing what to do when mistakes come to light and therefore is also about problem solving and decision making.

How to Build Confidence and Self Esteem?

How to Improve Self-Confidence? Do you have a lot of feelings of insecurity? Do you feel that you are weak? Feel less worthwhile than others? Enough of that, because today we have the solution to your confidence. This is the most important text you will find on the internet on how to raise self-confidence and self-esteem at work and in life. Follow these steps to improve self-confidence.

Here are some ways to build your confidence. First, identify what you want out of life and set goals for yourself. Second, be kind to yourself. Care about yourself and your body the way you would care about a person that you have a close relationship. Third, do not compare yourself to others – this will only make you feel worse about yourself and also put unnecessary pressure on yourself to be better than others.

The most important text is in front of you. It’s up to you to decide if you will read it and apply it. Do you want to increase self-confidence and become a superman of self-confidence, or not? The key to success and satisfaction lies in ourselves. Self-confidence is exactly what opens all the doors and makes us elevated heads, we proudly walk through life.

We often wonder how to increase self-awareness, because self-confidence affects all aspects of life, and it is necessary to constantly and continuously work on its growth. Self-confidence is faith in ourselves and the evaluation of our own personality! In our life, we constantly face situations that can make us feel sad, but also with those nice situations that can brighten our day and make us happy.

Of course, all this is life and it is normal to react to any external factors, but none of these situations should not affect you and your self-confidence. These are just reactions of your inner being to certain events.

Feelings of happiness can make you feel strong to think that you are able to do everything, feel very, fulfilled, happy and tell yourself that you are full of confidence at the time. It is a beautiful and desirable condition, but every feeling in us caused by another factor is transient. These are actually only our emotions.

14 Steps How to Increase Self-Esteem And Confidence

Confidence is something that you can learn. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female, whether you’re young or old, whether you’re thin or obese, or whether you have straight hair or curly hair, confidence is a learnable skill. So how do you gain confidence and self-esteem?

It really does come down to self-talk. The funny thing about it is, regardless of how many positive affirmations you tell yourself, how much you visualize the best-case scenario, and how much you meditate, what you believe is often determined by that inner voice in your head that always has something to say.

Confidence is very important for our personal development and life success. Confidence can be described as self-belief, the quality of being confident. It means that you believe in yourself, that you have the ability to achieve your goals and self-respect. If you do not feel confident, you may find it hard to believe in yourself and achieve success. In addition, confident people are often seen as more attractive by others.

If you lack confidence and self-esteem, it can be challenging to find the motivation to practice daily. But we can build confidence and self-esteem through positive daily habits. Here are 14 steps that can help you:

1. Pay attention to yourself

How to increase self-esteem? If you feel you lack confidence, to doubt yourself and your possibilities – stop and pay attention to yourself. Negative thoughts should stay aside because they are the reason for a lack of self-confidence. Think of your qualities and let yourself see yourself exactly as your friends see you.

The problem of people with a lack of self-confidence is the fact that they do not pay enough attention to themselves, and too many thoughts about others, as someone sees you, what he thinks about you. Of course, it is good that the environment has a positive attitude about you, but first and foremost, you think about yourself positively. Appreciate yourself for all the virtues that you have and constantly invest in yourself.

We are not talking about firm clothes now, but about the fact that every person needs to be in the house, especially when going out to be dressed up. Do not analyze your current negative thoughts first, but turn to the past and think about all those situations in which you reacted in an adequate way, pay attention to your successes, think about what you love and what makes you happy.

2. Believe In Yourself

One more easy way to how to build self-esteem and confidence is: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Do not forget that faith in your own possibilities is halfway to reaching your goal. Do not think about failure in advance. It is necessary to direct all your strength and energy in the direction of “yes, I can do it”.

Try to remember some challenges that you have in the past successfully overcome in the past. Remember that you are then, just as now, first met with something new, is successfully overcome and achieve the desired result.

Remember the feelings that you had at that moment and let them guide you through new situations. That feeling gives you the security that almost every situation is manageable, and that the only sense of fear and insecurity brakes to your success.

Raise your head, do not think of failure, remember the earlier situations that you successfully mastered. There are people who, when faced with a challenge or task, say briefly and explicitly: YES CAN DO IT! You can do just like them! Do not let you feel the feeling of insecurity and fear of something new or unknown. Remember the feeling of satisfaction that you have when you have met a goal in the past, and believe you will solve every challenge.

3. Have Realistic Goals

How to improve self-confidence more? People with low self-confidence can make the situation difficult for themselves. Setting too high goals can be unfeasible and even for people with complete self-confidence. But then, they will not slip by the spirit, they will say that there is only one situation, a new challenge, and move on.

To others, it would even be more confusing, so we advise you to set fewer and realistic goals in the beginning. Do not suddenly want everything now and right away. Set fewer goals, believe in their accomplishment and every time you fulfill one of these minor goals, you will be given a sense of satisfaction. This feeling gives you extra strength and security for the next task. Over time, when you fill up smaller goals, you’ll have enough faith in yourself, in your own success and it will help you to successfully get to achieve a greater goal.

4. You Need To Have Your Attitude

Think of a person who is strong and confident in herself as she reacts in similar situations. Certainly always, in every place and in every society shows clearly its position and opinion regardless of the opinions of the environment. That’s what you need.

How to increase your self confidence at work

1. Attend professional development training

Developing your skills you rely on for your job can impact your overall confidence. When you increase your skill level or develop a specific skill further, like learning a new coding language if you work in IT, you can improve the way you perform in your role, and this can have a positive influence on increasing your confidence.

Consider attending professional development training or skills training. For instance, you might take a class or attend a training seminar to learn new project management strategies, or you may read journals or books that can offer the information you need to add to your qualifications.

2. Learn new skills

Similar to developing your current skills, learning entirely new skills or continuing your education can have a lasting impact on your overall confidence. Choosing to exercise your development can help boost your confidence by allowing you to assess your capabilities and motivation to develop your knowledge. When you learn a new skill, you can apply it to your job, and this can help increase your productivity, ability to stay organized and enable you to take on new tasks more confidently.

3. Dress for success

Consider your professional wardrobe and improve your work appearance to match what is required in the office. For instance, you might have a “business casual” dress code, but instead of wearing denim jeans, try a pair of casual slacks.

Dressing to appear more professional and coming into work with a business appearance may help influence the confidence you feel when performing your job and interacting with your peers and superiors. Similarly, avoid dressing casually for important events like conferences, board meetings or other presentations, where formal business attire is usually an expectation.

4. Leave your comfort zone

This confidence-boosting strategy can be tough to apply, but leaving your comfort zone can be one of the most effective ways to gain more confidence in your career. For instance, maybe you have always dreaded giving presentations to the entire sales and marketing team. You could step outside of your comfort zone by volunteering to give the next presentation or co-host with a teammate. If this is the case, you would then prepare your presentation.

You would step outside your comfort zone fully, but focusing on your skills, how you would deliver the presentation and the presentation itself rather than the mistakes you might make or worrying over embarrassment will help you confront that fear and overall boost your work confidence.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can also present opportunities that you might otherwise have missed. For example, moving forward with your presentation might present a new advancement or client acquisition opportunity that you otherwise may have missed if you did not leave your comfort zone to give the presentation.

5. Emulate confident peers

Consider the successful people you know, or find someone who appears confident and self-assured in their job and observe their mannerisms and how they interact with other people. You can incorporate some strategies you observe confident peers applying in their own careers to help you develop your own confidence.

For instance, observe the way your colleagues sit or stand, and emulate this by adopting a similar posture that can help you project assertiveness. Often, developing your workplace body language can influence overall confidence, and by following your colleague’s lead with outgoing gestures and posture, you may start taking more pride in your work.

6. Set goals for yourself

Setting short-term and long-term career goals can impact the way you perceive your strengths and success. Consider setting a goal for yourself to develop an overall capability or new skill. Further measure your success by targeting small objectives to help you reach your result. Evaluating every small success in achieving a larger goal can help boost your confidence because you can see where you are applying effective strategies to further your development.

For example, you might set a goal to increase your overall work productivity. You can then set smaller target objectives to help you reach that goal like improving your time management skills or focusing on single tasks rather than multitasking. As you find each success toward your goal of increasing your productivity, you can become more confident in your competence to perform effectively in your job.

7. Focus on your strengths

Focusing on your strengths can help you boost your confidence, as it requires you to measure your success and abilities. Often, professionals who focus on perfecting their work can focus too much on small missteps or errors rather than the overall success despite these minor details. If this is the case, one way to reduce this tendency could be to make a list of your strengths and abilities and a second list of your achievements. You can make a daily habit of reading through them every morning and anytime during the day you need a confidence boost.

Tips for implementing confidence-building strategies

Take your time

Take your time and be patient with your progress and professional development plans. Set your schedule with realistic time frames for meeting your objectives, and you may also consider using a spreadsheet or checklist to track your progress.

Be persistent

Change can take time to make, and you may find you need to adjust your goals to reflect any changes in circumstances. However, remaining consistent in your actions and improvement plans can assure that you keep progressing toward building your confidence.

Keep developing your mindset

Having a growth mindset can be effective in self-reflection and assessment, as it sets a foundation for how you perceive yourself. Accepting challenges, overcoming obstacles and praising your successes can positively influence your confidence in the workplace.

Resource:

https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/confidence.html
https://positiveaffirmationscenter.com/how-to-build-confidence/
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/ways-to-boost-your-confidence

10 Ways to Bring Positive Energy Into Your Life

Happy people working

Keep on Moving!

1 According to the laws of physics, all objects in nature are in constant motion. This also applies to the human body. Genes, the environment, and lifestyle lead to changes in cells. Your muscles grow old and lose their mass and strength, and the joints become less flexible. These cellular changes also limit the activity of the heart muscle. As a result, any work becomes more tiring.
So, how can one have more energy after 60? To counteract age changes, doctors recommend 150 minutes per week (that is two and a half hours) of aerobic activity:

Regularly perform stretching exercises to maintain muscle mass. Yoga classes will be suitable. However, always remember – this is not a competition. Do not harm yourself by trying to beat the record.
If you haven’t done any sports for a long time, first visit your doctor or a physiotherapist to recommend something that suits you. Determine the load of the classes you should take.

Wondering How You Can Get Positive Energy?

1. Be aware of your negative thoughts and emotions

Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, in her landmark paper, provides surprising insights into what negative thoughts and emotions do to your brain.
Negative emotions and thoughts narrow your brain and focus your thoughts.

But the truth is, your mind is programmed to respond to negative emotions in the same way. So every time you feel fearful, you automatically shut yourself off from the outside world and limit your options.

2. Avoid speaking of your problems, diseases, illnesses, or worries

3. Meditate

In this research, Fredrickson and her colleagues revealed that people who meditate daily experience display more positive emotions than those who do not. On top of that, people who meditated also built valuable long-term skills. For example, three months after the experiment was over, the people who meditated daily continued to display increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and decreased illness symptoms.

how to meditate relax

They are impermanent. They occur and they dissipate out of your control. So as you practice meditation, what you are practicing is dissociating yourself with your thoughts and emotions, with any construct that you perceive as self. It’s called a transpersonal consciousness that allows you to dwell on the positive energy of love, compassion, joy, peace, and unity.

Meditation practice helps you cultivate presence at the moment. When you withdraw yourself from the outside world, you tap into the essence of the present moment. And being fully in the present moment, you tap into higher consciousness devoid of fear and anxiety.

4. Avoid gossip

At the core of it, gossip is about criticizing and judging others. Remember that everything is energy, so when you place your focus on judging others, you project negative energy, that will get back to you.

5. Avoid falling asleep with the TV on

When you are asleep, your mind goes into delta brainwave frequency. Delta waves are the slowest of all. It’s the direct access to your subconscious. And it’s the ideal choice for deep and powerful reprogramming.

6. Start journaling the moments of gratitude every day

This study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, examined a group of 90 undergraduate students who were split into two groups. The first group wrote about an intensely positive experience each day for three consecutive days. The second group wrote about a control topic.

Three months later, the students who wrote about positive experiences had better mood levels, fewer visits to the health center, and experienced fewer illnesses.
Gratitude is one of the highest vibrational emotions that you can experience.

Journal moments of gratitude

And when you journal your moment of gratitude every day, you instantly raise your vibration by simply thinking about those positive experiences. Remember, that your subconscious mind doesn’t make a difference between actual reality and imaginary. What you imagine is as real as what you perceive with your 5 senses. So thinking about positive moments has the same effect as actual experience.

7. Visualize the best scenarios

8. Let go of the past

Learn from your mistakes, learn from others’ mistakes, remember that no unkind or thoughtless action ever comes from love but from a place of deep inner pain (you can be compassionate to that pain without condoning the acting out of it) and release the energetic burden you carry: grudges, resentments, pain, hurt, disappointments, sadness, anger, guilt.

9. Laugh! Smile!

Laugh and smile

10. Sweat it off

And in the middle of a long bike ride, walk or swim… or in the middle of the climbing wall, you may suddenly have an epiphany. Or, at least for a while, you will be fully present and not worried about the future.

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40 Genius Ways to Have More Energy After 40

women doing yoga, long marriage tips

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Most people living in the modern world are after more energy. We work too hard, make more commitments than we can handle, and—at least for most people—getting enough sleep is a laughably unrealistic dream. Add aging to the mix, and we’re done for.

But even post-40, there are plenty of strategies you can use up your drive for both work and play. From mental tricks to key nutrients to add to your diet to scheduling smarter, here’s how to boost your energy so you can make your 40s your best decade yet. And if you find yourself in need of an energy boost right this second, try one of these 50 Ways To Be a Higher-Energy Person Immediately.

Man Relaxing More Energy After 40

The urge to do everything and take advantage of all opportunities may be strong, but the reality is that when you’re in your 40s, you can’t constantly bounce from one thing to the next without taking a break. Schedule in rest time in between social and family obligations, and you’ll find yourself feeling more excited about everything on your plate rather than overwhelmed and run down.

Man Texting Significant Other Energy After 40

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File this under: Weird energy tricks that actually work. According to a study in Psychophysiology, thinking about a romantic partner can boost blood glucose and “eustress” (aka the good kind of stress) levels, which provides a boost of energy over time. Whether you’ve been with your partner for ages or are seeing someone new, it looks like thinking about them often could work wonders for your perkiness. And if you don’t have a partner yet, be sure you know The Secret to Making a Great First Impression.

To feel your best, you need fuel in the tank, which means not leaving long gaps between meals and snacks. Instead of of having just three square meals a day, make sure you’re not going longer than four hours without food.

Yes, really. As we age, it becomes more and more tempting to spend time in bed without actually sleeping. This can make it harder for you to get good quality sleep, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Here’s the solution they suggest: Don’t nap during the day, and start out with just four hours of sleep per night.

For as long as you feel you’re getting good quality sleep during the time you’re in bed, keep adding 15 to 30 minutes of sleep per night. This method encourages more restful sleep in the long-term, even though it might seem counterintuitive at first. These 70 Tips For Your Best Sleep Ever should lead you in the right direction.

Avocado Toast Energy After 40

Potassium is a nutrient you don’t hear about as often as others, but it’s important to your energy levels and overall health, especially as you get older. One of the biggest benefits of the nutrient is improved heart health and lower blood pressure, and being deficient in it can seriously zap your desire to do anything or go anywhere. Adults need around 4,700 milligrams of the stuff per day, which is actually quite a lot. Incorporate foods like avocado, spinach, dried apricots, and sweet potato to ensure you’re getting enough of the stuff. These are all some of the 30 Best Foods for Maximizing Your Energy Levels.

Woman Getting a Physical Energy After 40

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Resource:

https://myallamericancare.com/blog/2020/02/24/energy-boost-for-elderly-people-7-ways-to-maintain-energy/
https://blog.mindvalley.com/positive-energy/
https://bestlifeonline.com/ways-to-have-more-energy-after-forty/

Studying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder

a photo of a young asian man studying his notes while lying in bed

Studying 101: Study Smarter Not Harder

Do you ever feel like your study habits simply aren’t cutting it? Do you wonder what you could be doing to perform better in class and on exams? Many students realize that their high school study habits aren’t very effective in college. This is understandable, as college is quite different from high school. The professors are less personally involved, classes are bigger, exams are worth more, reading is more intense, and classes are much more rigorous. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you; it just means you need to learn some more effective study skills. Fortunately, there are many active, effective study strategies that are shown to be effective in college classes.

This handout offers several tips on effective studying. Implementing these tips into your regular study routine will help you to efficiently and effectively learn course material. Experiment with them and find some that work for you.

Reading is not studying

Simply reading and re-reading texts or notes is not actively engaging in the material. It is simply re-reading your notes. Only ‘doing’ the readings for class is not studying. It is simply doing the reading for class. Re-reading leads to quick forgetting.

Think of reading as an important part of pre-studying, but learning information requires actively engaging in the material (Edwards, 2014). Active engagement is the process of constructing meaning from text that involves making connections to lectures, forming examples, and regulating your own learning (Davis, 2007). Active studying does not mean highlighting or underlining text, re-reading, or rote memorization. Though these activities may help to keep you engaged in the task, they are not considered active studying techniques and are weakly related to improved learning (Mackenzie, 1994).

  • Create a study guide by topic. Formulate questions and problems and write complete answers. Create your own quiz.
  • Become a teacher. Say the information aloud in your own words as if you are the instructor and teaching the concepts to a class.
  • Derive examples that relate to your own experiences.
  • Create concept maps or diagrams that explain the material.
  • Develop symbols that represent concepts.
  • For non-technical classes (e.g., English, History, Psychology), figure out the big ideas so you can explain, contrast, and re-evaluate them.
  • For technical classes, work the problems and explain the steps and why they work.
  • Study in terms of question, evidence, and conclusion: What is the question posed by the instructor/author? What is the evidence that they present? What is the conclusion?

Organization and planning will help you to actively study for your courses. When studying for a test, organize your materials first and then begin your active reviewing by topic (Newport, 2007). Often professors provide subtopics on the syllabi. Use them as a guide to help organize your materials. For example, gather all of the materials for one topic (e.g., PowerPoint notes, text book notes, articles, homework, etc.) and put them together in a pile. Label each pile with the topic and study by topics.

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These conditions can distract from your lessons. Plus, students are likely to have to do more without a teacher or parent looking over their shoulders. They will have to manage their time and study more on their own. Yet many students never learned those skills. To them, Sana says, it may be like telling students to learn to swim by “just swimming.”

For more than 100 years, psychologists have done research on which study habits work best. Some tips help for almost every subject. For example, don’t just cram! And test yourself, instead of just rereading the material. Other tactics work best for certain types of classes. This includes things like using graphs or mixing up what you study. Here are 10 tips to tweak your study habits.

1. Space out your studying

Nate Kornell “definitely did cram” before big tests when he was a student. He’s a psychologist at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. He still thinks it’s a good idea to study the day before a big test. But research shows it’s a bad idea to cram all your studying into that day. Instead, space out those study sessions.

a kid sitting at a table studying and looking really stressed out

Cramming before a big test can leave you exhausted. But you’ll learn and remember material better if you space your study sessions over the course of several days. South_agency/E+/Getty Images Plus

In one 2009 experiment, college students studied vocabulary words with flash cards. Some students studied all the words in spaced-apart sessions throughout four days. Others studied smaller batches of the words in crammed, or massed, sessions, each over a single day. Both groups spent the same amount of time overall. But testing showed that the first group learned the words better.

Kornell compares our memory to water in a bucket that has a small leak. Try to refill the bucket while it’s still full, and you can’t add much more water. Allow time between study sessions, and some of the material may drip out of your memory. But then you’ll be able to relearn it and learn more in your next study session. And you’ll remember it better, next time, he notes.

2. Practice, practice, practice!

“If you want to be able to remember information, the best thing you can do is practice,” says Katherine Rawson. She’s a psychologist at Kent State University in Ohio. In one 2013 study, students took practice tests over several weeks. On the final test, they scored more than a full letter grade better, on average, than did students who studied the way they normally had.

In a study done a few years earlier, college students read material and then took recall tests. Some took just one test. Others took several tests with short breaks of several minutes in between. The second group recalled the material better a week later.

3. Don’t just reread books and notes

As a teen, Cynthia Nebel studied by reading her textbooks, worksheets and notebooks. “Over and over and over again,” recalls this psychologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Now, she adds, “we know that’s one of the most common bad study skills that students have.”

In one 2009 study, some college students read a text twice. Others read a text just once. Both groups took a test right after the reading. Test results differed little between these groups, Aimee Callender and Mark McDaniel found. She is now at Wheaton College in Illinois. He works at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Too often, when students reread material, it’s superficial, says McDaniel, who also co-wrote the 2014 book, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Rereading is like looking at the answer to a puzzle, rather than doing it yourself, he says. It looks like it makes sense. But until you try it yourself, you don’t really know if you understand it.

One of McDaniel’s coauthors of Make it Stick is Henry Roediger. He, too, works at Washington University. In one 2010 study, Roediger and two other colleagues compared test results of students who reread material to two other groups. One group wrote questions about the material. The other group answered questions from someone else. Those who answered the questions did best. Those who just reread the material did worst.

4. Test yourself

That 2010 study backs up one of Nebel’s preferred study habits. Before big tests, her mom quizzed her on the material. “Now I know that was retrieval practice,” she says. “It’s one of the best ways you can study.” As Nebel got older, she quizzed herself. For example, she might cover up the definitions in her notebook. Then she tried to recall what each term meant.

a girl explaining something to her mom

Study Methods

Scientists have been investigating information retention and the studying process for decades. The best way to find the most effective study method for you is to test various tips, such as the ones listed below.

7. Thwart the “Curve of Forgetting”

Scientists started exploring the “curve of forgetting” in 1885, but the concept remains useful to today’s study habits. The gist of the “curve of forgetting” is this: The first time you hear a lecture or study something new, you retain up to 80% of what you’ve just learned — if you review the material within 24 hours. Fortunately, this effect is cumulative; so after a week, you may retain 100% of the same information after only five minutes of review. Generally, psychologists agree this type of interval studying — as opposed to “cramming” — is best, and that students should study closer to the day they learned the material than the day of the test.

8. Use Active Recall

This controversial method of studying was a hot topic in 2009, when a psychology professor published an article advising students against reading and rereading textbooks — which, he argued, merely lead students to thinking they know the material better than they do since it is right in front of them. Conversely, he suggested students use active recall: closing the book and reciting everything they can remember up to that point to practice long-term memorization.

9. Use the Leitner System

Named for its originator, German scientist Sebastian Leitner, the study method forces students to learn, through repetition, the material they know least well. The system involves moving cards with correctly answered questions further down a line of boxes and moving incorrectly answered cards back to the first box. Thus, the cards in the first box are studied most frequently and the interval becomes greater as the student proceeds down the line, forcing her to review again and again the information she doesn’t know.

10. Take the Practice Tests

As you would with the ACT, SAT, or GMAT, take advantage of professors and instructors who make old exams available as practice tests. You can get a sense of the instructor’s testing style and a become familiar with how the information might be presented on the real test day. A 2011 study finds students who tested themselves with a practice test after learning the material retained 50% more of the information a week later than their peers who did not take a practice test.

11. Make Connections

Experts argue that the difference between “slow learners” and “quick studiers” is the way they study; for example, instead of memorizing, “quick learners” make connections between ideas. Known as contextual learning, this process requires students to customize their own methods of learning, thus making connections that inspire all of the information to fall into place and make sense for them individually. Some students find that recording all information visually in one place (such as on a sheet of paper or chalkboard) can help to paint a fuller picture and aid their connections within the learning process.

12. Try the Feynman Notebook Method

Physicist Robert Feynman created this organization-based learning method by writing on the title page of an empty notebook, notebook of things I don’t know about. From there, he developed a technique of deconstruction and reconstruction of ideas, in an effort to understand even the most complicated of concepts. To use this method and learn how to study effectively, first identify what you want to learn. Then, try explaining it as you would to a five-year-old. The Feynman method is ideal for using analogies to further illustrate your concept (e.g., a bonsai tree is just like a big tree, but smaller).

13. Take on the Role of Teacher

What Not to Do When Studying

15. Don’t Overlearn

Once you’ve been able to cycle through your flashcards without making a single mistake, you may feel a sense of satisfaction and call it a day, or you may feel a charge of adrenaline and be tempted to continue studying. When you come to this fork in the road, keep in mind that a sharp onset of diminishing returns during “overlearning.” With a limited amount of time to study each topic, you’re better served moving on to something else.

16. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is a myth. You may think you’re killing two birds with one stone by texting while studying, for example, but you’re actually forming poor study habits. According to researchers, so-called “multitasking” extends your study time and ultimately may damage your grades.

17. Forget About “Learning Styles”

Researchers and learning experts debate the concept of learning styles, some even go so far as to say they don’t exist. Our conclusion is this: Despite the amount of work on the subject, scientists have found “virtually no evidence” to support the concept of learning styles, though they left the possibility open to further investigation in years to come. We recommend you don’t go out of your way to try to make your material fit a specific style because it may not be worth the time or effort.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Focus on One Subject for Too Long

If you’ve never felt “burned out” from repeatedly studying pages of history notes, scrutinizing chemistry formulas, or practicing music scales, consider yourself lucky. But know that the threat is real. It’s best to vary your material rather than zeroing in persistently on one area. (It is acceptable to join related or similar subject areas together; for example, instead of only memorizing vocabulary, mix in reading as well. If doing math, tackle several concepts together instead of just one.)

Source:

https://learningcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/studying-101-study-smarter-not-harder/
https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/top-10-tips-study-smarter-not-longer-study-skills
https://www.thebestcolleges.org/17-scientifically-proven-ways-to-study-better-this-year/