Life coach and TV personality Justin Cohen has you covered
Straight-up advice from a stand-up guy every month
I’m overweight, but I can never summon the will-power to hit the gym. Any advice to change my thinking?
When I ask my audiences who exercises, a few hands usually always go up. When I ask those same people if exercise is the best or close to the best part of the day, their hands stay up. See, those who don’t exercise probably think these people are a bunch of masochists. They’ve tried exercising but never got the same joy. The solution is simple: you need to give it time. Exercise is painful for anyone who isn’t used to physical activity. The reality is that once you’ve stuck it out regularly for a month, that pain will slowly transform into pleasure.
No matter how many times I’ve tried, I just can’t get out of bed without hitting snooze until my phone gives up on me. How can I transform into an earlier bird?
Let me level with you: you’ve developed an unhelpful habit. Breaking it requires two things: motivation and a change in behaviour. Motive means having a compelling reason to crawl from under the duvet. So your inability to get out of bed could be a sign you hate your job and should be looking for something else. Alternatively, you might need to find more purpose in your day. Try asking yourself this one question immediately after opening your eyes: “How are people’s lives going to be better off because of me today?”
I get so stressed out before a big meeting, and it tanks my confidence. How can I power up my self-esteem for my next pitch?
Try this: imagine you had to give a five-minute impromptu speech on your weaknesses to a panel of experts who roll their eyes every time you stutter. That’s what Harvard researchers asked a group of people to do, to see how it effected their stress levels – see, sadism is a useful character trait in stress researchers. The result? It’s obvious: the stress response kicked in, and the participants suffered. However, when researchers convinced participants to see their stress as a good thing, they were able to harness that response to their advantage and improve their confidence and performance. Next time you feel stressed, remind yourself that your body is just preparing you to perform at your peak.
My kid is struggling to make friends at his new school. Any advice I can give him that will help the little tyke out?
The key to being effective socially is to forget about being interesting, and be more interested. The most important person in anybody’s life is themselves. Help your kid ask his classmates questions about themselves: what they find interesting, how they see the world. Chances are, they’ll want to be around him, and to get to know him.
My colleagues are feeling low on morale and energy. I’m not in management, but I want to fire them up. Any advice?
The best leadership tool is your own example. Exemplify the morale and energy you want to see in your colleagues. Never sulk; look for positive solutions. You’ll feel better, and they’ll be infected by your energy.