Time management for smarties

Time management for smarties

After a bit of a hiatus while focusing on some projects I have underway, I’m happy to be back and sharing TWO GIFTS to help you champion your goals and dreams – today!

  1. An applied psychology lesson in time management 
  2. A guidebook that walks you through exactly how to take it further

 

⭐ First, the lesson:

If you feel chronically overextended, like there’s never enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, that’s a clue that something deeper is going on. 

What you THINK is the problem, likely ISN’T. 

Here’s how to identify what’s REALLY holding you back:

In the therapy and coaching space, there’s what’s referred to as the “presenting problem.” The presenting problem is what exists on the CONSCIOUS level. It’s the problem that SEEMS to be what needs solving, that if you could just find a remedy for, you’d be free!

Or so you think.

Thing is, the presenting problem is rarely the real problem. What’s really holding you back is likely happening on an UNCONSCIOUS level. 

In other words, your brain and your habits are hiding the real problem from you.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Not having enough time or energy to make progress on my dreams and goals feels like a very real problem to me, Tara!”

I completely understand. 

As a coach and author with 20+ years of bringing the psychology of change to light in empowering and accessible ways, I know how frustrating it can be to feel like there’s never enough time or energy for your dreams.

Let’s demystify this hurdle with one strategy that you can apply right away: 

At the unconscious level, people often don’t actually want and aren’t actually eager for a solution to the “presenting problem” — even when they convincingly tell you that it’s something they very much WANT! And even when they recognize that it’s a chronic problem for them.

A client example comes to mind:

Despite her awareness and seemingly emphatic desire for a solution to being “chronically overextended” (← her words), she kept saying “yes” to things!  

“Yes” to that meeting…

And “Yes” to that friend…

“Yes” to that client…

“Yes” to her kids and driving them everywhere…

The countless time management books and trainings she invested in that claim to have the answer, haven’t solved the problem. And she’s painfully aware that she’s missing out on positive opportunities and experiences simply because she doesn’t have the bandwidth to act on them!

Nonetheless, the problem persisted.

Now let me ask you this: 

If she’s AWARE of the problem and eager for a solution, WHY would she keep saying “yes” and agreeing to too much for her capacity?!? (especially knowing she has other goals she wants to prioritize and work towards, like her health and her business)

On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense.

Here’s what’s really going on:

What’s really going on is … something about it SERVES her.  

This can be hard to accept at first.

To see this more clearly for yourself, when it comes to YOU not having enough time or energy to make any REAL progress on your dreams and goals, answer these 3 questions…

Each one nudges the unconscious to become conscious. 

(1) What do you get to AVOID doing, or having to be responsible for, BECAUSE you’re overextended? 

(2) Who do you get to BE in your overextended state? What self-concept does being overextended affirm for you?  For example: Do you get to be a generous person, a kind person, an important person? Does it provide opportunities to prove – to yourself or others – that you are good? 

(3) Who would you BE if you suddenly said “no” to doing the things that keep you feeling overextended? (This question is asking you to pinpoint what might happen if you change or start doing things differently. Who might you disappoint? And what do you believe this would mean about YOU?)

While answering ALL 3 questions helps you powerfully peel back the onion and go beyond “the presenting problem” to get to the heart of the REAL problem so you can find your way to a lasting solution … answering even just ONE can be immensely helpful. 

⭐ Download the Guidebook!

Ready to take this further with FREE immediate access to my 30-page “Refreshingly Unconventional Goal-Setting Guidebook” modeled after the work I do with my private clients to create real momentum on their dreams and goals? 

Click here for your copy!

Big love, 

Reintroducing the Brule Breakers Club 

Reintroducing the Brule Breakers Club 

Reintroducing the Brule Breakers Club 

You know that feeling when you WISH things were different – in your life, in your career, in your business, your relationships, your finances, your health, your day-to-day life – but you just can’t see or understand how to actually make those desired changes stick? 

Well, if you know that feeling, if you know what I’m talking about, then I know how you feel.

There was a time in my life – before my business, before my book, before my speaking career – when I was in a job that I hated. I was drowning in student loan debt and living in a basement apartment with my cat. Feeling utterly trapped, I absolutely WISHED things were different but I was struggling to see my way out.

While desperately wanting something different, it felt like salt on my wounds when others (smart, caring, well-meaning people) thought my circumstances were NORMAL. 

It’s considered surprisingly normal to have student loan debt that’ll take decades to pay off. It’s considered entirely normal to work at a job you tolerate, to live for weekends and dread Mondays. And it’s considered normal to be tired, frazzled, and feel like there’s never enough hours in the day. 

And, sadly, it’s considered normal for the dreams you have for your life to gather dust.

Sometimes, being “normal” and doing all the “right” things can mean that you are silently (or maybe not so silently) suffering … all while people around you say, “this is just the way it is.” 

By default, in this “it’s just the way it is”-paradigm, what’s abnormal is joy. (So much so that it’s treated with suspicion!) Deep satisfaction, too, is abnormal, an anomaly. In this paradigm, prioritizing self-actualization is met with confusion. 

And pursuing a story-worthy life without regrets is not only generally considered odd, but ridiculous and irresponsible.

While I didn’t know what to call it at the time, I eventually grew to understand that all of this is the result of a society steeped in “brules.”

I discovered how bullshit rules (a.k.a. “BRULES”) were fueling unhelpful narratives, narratives that often keep people from believing in and pursuing their dreams and goals. 

“Working in a strong career track is responsible and I should stay no matter how much I hate it.”

“Given the amount of student loan debt, I better embrace basement dwelling because it’s affordable.”

“It’s better to be safe than risk it all and be sorry.”

I discovered how these “facts of life” and “this is the way it is” beliefs were bullshit limits. And I discovered how brules – social constructs and commonly held beliefs that are so baked-in to our cultural understanding and worldview that they generally go unnoticed and unquestioned – were ruling not only my life, but the lives of ALL of us. 

I was doing the “responsible thing.”

But feeling trapped and miserable. 

And keeping myself away from my dreams. 

So, I set out to learn how to break them.

And it changed everything.

From there, I redesigned my whole life, blazed the trail of my own business, and even wrote books on the topic. And now, I’ve created The Brule Breakers Club so that YOU can break brules and live differently too.

Reintroducing the Brule Breakers Club 

The Brule Breakers Club is a space that supports and encourages you to realize that change is possible, that what you WANT is possible.

That ALL that you want is possible. 

Your dream life, dream career, dream finances, dream relationships and living situations. Your dream travels…

Whatever your dreams are, they are POSSIBLE, if you break the brules that tell you you can’t. 

This is why I’m reintroducing The Brule Breakers Club. In the Brule Breakers Club we help make it easier and safer for you to feel empowered to make the changes you want. All based on all the intrinsic reasons and motivations that express and align with the biggest most self-actualized version of YOU.

It’s a supportive, immersive, welcoming community of dreamers and doers.

It is where, together, we demystify the applied psychology of change so that you can create from a new level of consciousness and empowerment.

The Brule Breakers Club is where we do the work of deconstructing brules, identifying default patterns, and challenging psychological and behavioral blind spots so that you can live your life without false limitations.

It’s where complex behavioral and psychological concepts get turned into super accessible, user-friendly, easy-to-apply strategies that help you experience more joy and wellbeing in your life.

It is where – through monthly modules, weekly discussions, coaching, community, classes and more – you learn to spot the brules that KEEP you from being, doing, and having ALL that you truly desire.

The Brule Breakers Club is a place to practice creating conscious pattern interruptions that’ll open you up to expansive new realms of possibility so that you are in action on designing and creating life on your own terms.

It’s where we break unhelpful habits, rethink false logic, untwine conflated ideas, and celebrate breakthroughs. Said another way, we shine a light on things that seem true or seem like part of your personality or “just the way it is,” but that are actually optional, malleable, negotiable, and sometimes blatantly false.

So… if you long for a space to challenge and reinvent parts of yourself, to see your blind spots, deconstruct your limits, and create a vision for your life that is all your own…

If you want to break brules, not for the sake of rebellion, but in the spirit of self-expression and self-actualization…

If you want to step into being the next-level you, following your dreams and enjoying the process of growth and expansion…

And if you understand that change takes time, commitment, devotion, patience, love, curiosity, a willingness to do things differently, and that there’s no magic pill…

… consider this your personal invitation. ❤

Your invitation to break the brules that have kept your dreams at arm’s length, until now.

Your invitation to make your relationship with yourself your number one priority.

It’s your invitation to join the most supportive space online, to have a community of friends and an expert coach cheering you on as you empower and elevate yourself and your life.

It is absolutely amazing what happens and how your dream life takes shape when you make this kind of commitment and show up for it consistently over time. By staying engaged and diligently holding up your end of the bargain – identifying, challenging, and removing any and all brules from your sphere – shifts happen, the kind that stop holding you back and stop keeping you from your dreams.

I want you to not only have that “oh, there I am!” feeling, I want you to confidently CREATE from it.

Come. Be a brule breaker with me, and with so many others. 

I want you to have your dreams, on your terms, and feel amazing in the process. 

>> Click here to join!

Big love, 

Applied Psychology Coach & Author of The Brules of Life

How to quit on never quitting

How to quit on never quitting

How to quit on never quitting 

This is as much a love letter to myself as it is to you.

“Never quit” was instilled in me pretty hard. 

And, to its credit, it’s probably why my business survived the 2008 recession and the 2020 pandemic and why, despite the ups and downs, my relationship with my significant other is still intact. 🙂

I am no quitter!

If you are someone who tends to quit easily and you want to increase your resourcefulness and determination, here’s a quote you might want to write on a sticky-note and tape to your bathroom mirror:

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” (attributed to Thomas Edison) 

BUT.

If you’re anything like me, we sometimes need reminders that IT IS OK TO QUIT. In a culture of go-go-go, do-do-do, this may be the most subversive act there is.

But I digress.

My point is: “I am not a quitter” is an ingrained part of my self-concept.

Which is particularly NOT helpful when it comes to bad habits.

I bite my nails. 

It’s something I’ve done since I was 10-years-old. 

I’m 48. And though I’ve had stretches where I stop, a month or so later, this habit (at least so far) has consistently sneaked its way back in. I have yet to eliminate it for good.

And I’ve done allllll the things – from peppery polish that’s designed to deter the habit, to having fancy fake nails glued on. These are temporary fixes. My engrained default pattern is to return to this unconscious childhood behavior.

And that’s typically how it goes. 

While nail biting may seem like an innocuous example, the behavioral psychology expert in me knows that ALL seemingly dysfunctional behaviors (be it nail biting, alcohol abuse, over-committing, over-giving, overeating…) are all an adaptive strategy to create safety and comfort (a.k.a. coping mechanisms).

It can be incredibly powerful to explore one of your own “dysfunctional behaviors” and get real about your answers to, “how does this SERVE me?” 

Bottom line is: Something about it is working for you. Usually it’s that something about it is self-protective. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t be doing it. 

Even blatant self-sabotage provides some degree of survival mode protection – protecting you now, even if it hurts Future You later. 

When you come to realize that “dysfunctional behavior” isn’t an enemy working against you but rather an adaptive strategy that – at least on some level – SERVES you, you can then begin to appreciate such protective instincts and lessen any shame you may have about the behavior. 

Shifting the perception of the behavior, from an enemy that sabotages you to a savvy survivor-in-action, diminishes shame.

From there, you can then begin to step OUT from the shame shadows and INTO an empowered new perspective where you get to choose behaviors that serve not only survival, but what I like to refer to as “thrival.”  

If, for example, overeating, or drinking, or people pleasing – or nail biting – is the best and only available source of soothing and comfort for you, then good for you for doing it! BUT, when these cease to be the best and only available way for you to get the comfort you need, you now have options. A new choice can be made.  

I know what it’s going to take for me to stop biting my nails. 

The solution is actually pretty simple: 

Behave in alignment with the fully-actualized version of me, who I lovingly refer to as… “Tara.” lol.  Stay with me here for a moment. 

When I refer to “Tara,” I am talking about my Future Self.  

“Tara doesn’t bite her nails.” – me

“But I do.” – also me

Got it?

Try it! It’s a self-talk trick that helps me make a clear distinction between who I am and who I’m becoming, and this helps me see clearly which decisions best align with who I aspire to be. 

Ultimately, the act of building supportive habits that stick requires not just a shift in behavior, but a shift in your sense of identity. Who you ARE in your relationship to your habits is what establishes them, and what transforms them.  

One way or another, you’ve got to build and strengthen the connection between You Now, and Future You. 

And, sometimes, quitting is course-correcting. 

Sometimes, quitting is self-liberation from decades of thought patterns and behavior patterns that don’t serve the biggest, most self-actualized version of you.

Sometimes, quitting is getting on board with the deep and timeless wisdom of your inner compass, no longer playing games you no longer want to play. 

From nail care, to relationships, to how you create your own success… the same principles apply.

It’s about bridging the divide between what [Your name] does and what you do. 😊 

It’ is normal to wonder if you have what it takes. It is normal to feel discomfort, even embarrassment, about aspects of you that are a work in progress. 

We are in this being-human thing, together. 

Doing new things, or old things in new ways, takes courage. But when we show up together and normalize being human while ALSO growing into the best versions of ourselves … This is where the magic happens. 

I have come to adore being actively in the process of creating that which I know is an even more aligned expression of who I am. And I love doing this alongside others who enjoy – or at least want to enjoy – the process too. 

It’s why I created The Brule Breakers Club.

Because, while it’s scary to do the work that makes all the difference…

And it’s challenging to learn new skills and let go of old habits… 

And it can be hard to take responsibility for mistakes, and even harder to course-correct… 

The right support makes it so much easier, so much more rewarding, and so worth the effort. It’s the one clear way to ensure your results – your joy, your happiness, your dreams, your needs, your desires, your THRIVAL.

I want to hear from you! Tell me, what’s something that Future You does or doesn’t do, that you do now?

With so much love, 

Tara Sage

Applied Psychology Coach & Author of The Brules of Life

P.S. #BruleBreakerSpotlight Contest winner to be announced on December 18. There’s still time to post your nomination! Go HERE for contest details!