arrow1It’s probably no secret why your hormones exert the influences they do each week of your cycle–it’s all about making a baby:

In Week 1 and Week 2, rising estrogen wants you to go out into the world so that by the time ovulation rolls around, you find a partner to fertilize your egg.

Then in Week 3, rising progesterone wants you to slow up and hunker down in case you managed to get pregnant.

By Week 4, if your body gets the memo that there’s no baby on board, estrogen and progesterone levels dip in a bid to reboot the whole system again.

Hormones seem pretty single-minded, don’t they?

Here’s the thing: You don’t need to want a baby or a partner to harness the power of your hormones.

That’s because you can use the same week-by-week hormonal influences that push you toward pregnancy to accomplish all your biggest goals instead, like starting a business, launching a project, planning a dream vacation or virtually anything else. Here’s how:

Week 1
Day 1 (onset of menstruation) to Day 7
Rising estrogen is lifting your pep, making you more extroverted and sharpening your brain skills and verbal abilities so you search around for the perfect partner to fertilize your egg and win him over with your wit and charm. You can use these same hormonal influences to start a new project, recruit team members to help you, attend networking functions, make initial calls, create a budget or plot out a business plan.

Week 2
Day 8 to Day 14 (or day of ovulation in your cycle)
High estrogen and testosterone are making you talkative, outgoing and daring and are ratcheting up your mental and physical energy all as part of their ploy to push you toward a partner in time for ovulation at the end of this week. You can use these same hormonal influences to sweet-talk investors, come up with brilliant plans for overcoming your project’s obstacles, dream up bigger ideas for your goal than you originally thought of and do all the physically or mentally exhausting errands required to reach your goal.

Week 3
Begins day after ovulation and lasts 8 days (Day 15 to Day 22 in a 28-day cycle)
By now, your body thinks you may have gotten pregnant during ovulation at the end of Week 2, so your hormones want you to slow down, play it safe and relax, which is why they’re sapping your pep and urging you to be more cautious. You can use these same hormonal influences to hunker down and focus on the hum-drum details that were too boring to go over in your more excitable Week 1 and Week 2, like double-checking your budget, fact-checking a document or carefully taping a room you plan to paint. With a more cautious mindset, this is also a great “reality check” phase, where you can make sure you’re not underestimating costs, overlooking challenges or missing other key details you need to get right on your way to success.

Week 4
Final 6 days of your cycle
If you didn’t get pregnant during ovulation, now is when your body finds out and hits the reset button, triggering a plunge in estrogen that will eventually lead to menstruation in Week 1 so it can start the whole baby-making mechanism all over again. This estrogen plunge can, at best, make you a bit of a homebody and mellow, preferring the company of those closest to you over anyone new, and at worst, make you a bit emotional, moody, irritable and critical. So how can use these influences? Since plunging estrogen has you most comfortable in the company of those you know well, call up friends and family members and ask them to give you their feedback and support on your project. This will give you valuable insight while staving off self-doubt triggered by descending estrogen. And, since you’re more in touch with your emotional side, use it to work on any artsy aspects of your project since it may spark an unbelievable out-of-the-box idea that makes the whole project better.

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