Today, I’m sharing a note and photo from a former client since I think it’s very inspiring.
When we started coaching, I asked Carolyn to describe her ideal day. At the time, she was a VERY busy professional with a stressful schedule.
Her IDEAL day included daily yoga, time with her kids after school, and inspiring work projects.
“What I really want is to wake up without an alarm!”
With that vision in mind, we started crafting the career and life Carolyn truly wanted.
We began with one-on-one phone coaching and then transitioned into email-based coaching. This is a smart way to stretch your coaching budget!
Enjoy Carolyn’s story.
Hope you are doing well this December. I was thinking about you after the following series of events happened….
I woke up without an alarm clock.
I kissed my boys (in their pajamas) goodbye, and went to an early yoga class.
Felt blissful and grateful and peaceful during the last pose of the class…my breath slowing, my heart beating out of my chest…taking 5 min to meditate.
Stopped at the smoothie shop on the way home, and noticed all of the ‘suits’ hurriedly walking into Starbucks next door…most on their cell phones, all with wrinkled brow.
Noticed the freeway was jammed bumper to bumper on the way home, and asked my husband if there was an event in town, when he laughed and said No, honey, that’s rush hour traffic - it’s there every morning at this time! (note: when I started coaching Carolyn, she was part of the morning rush hour traffic!)
Put on my softest cozy pants and sweater
Opened my laptop, sitting on my desk in my sunny loft
And I realized that I have the life I dreamed about many years ago.
Once during an exercise with you, I visualized myself working in a sunny loft, writing…waking without an alarm, no longer in a sales job, doing yoga when I can.
My closet is no longer full of stuffy suits. No one asks me what I’m going to sell this month. My managers have asked me time and time again what they can do to make sure I stay with the company. I’m the highest paid consultant in my company.
I just received a Facebook message from the CEO of my old company, asking me to come work for his new start up. More money & stock options (with a VP title!), but I think I’ll turn it down. I like my quality of life now, and don’t want to give that up. I want to be able to see my boys every day at 3pm after school and play on the swings.
I am just overwhelmed with gratitude, and much of it I owe to you.
I did the work. It took a couple of years to get here, but it’s sure worth it.
2012 is about to wrap up and a new year will be here SOON!
January is the most popular time of the year to begin coaching with me.
There are two ways to begin - and special pricing for subscribers on my newsletter list:
Coaching One-On-One Via Phone:
I’m opening up 3 spaces in 2013 for one-on-one coaching (via phone) at a favorable rate.
If you commit to a year of coaching - payable monthly - you’ll get my best pricing!
I am also opening 2 spaces in 2013 for 6 months of coaching.
Inner Circle - my most popular email based program!
Begin the year with a clear and inspring list of goals in the essential 8 areas of your life.
Inner Circle - starts January 7th!
Remember this code: LOVE50
If you enter it when you register, you’ll get 50 smackaroos off for every month you remain in the program.
Feel free to share this code with friends or family.
Happy Holidays and I’ll see you in 2013!
I have a knack for creating online, email based coaching programs…as you all know. My new one starts on Monday, the 24th.
Wondering if it’s right for you? Check out my Top Ten List!
Top Ten Reasons to join me in Career Catalyst - starting September 24th.
1. You want to LOVE Mondays again!
If you get a sick feeling in your stomach every Sunday night (since you’re anticipating the work week ahead) and dread Mondays, you REALLY need to tweak your career since SOMETHING’S not right!
I can help you uncover what’s dragging you down AND show you how to fix it.
2. You want to find some motivation to step up your game at work!
Does anyone challenge you to do more, be more, make more $$, find more balance, start new projects or change your career in EXCITING WAYS?
It’s tough to self-motivate, at times. Outsource your motivation to ME!!! I’ve got plenty to go around. One of the main reasons people hire a coach is to get motivation! I will push you to stretch yourself harder than you would on your own or slow you down when you are losing focus.
3. You want a LIFE!
If your career sucks the life out of you and takes up every spare moment of time - since you’re either working or worrying about work - you REALLY could use some coaching!
The WHOLE POINT of having a career you love is to have A LIFE YOU LOVE. Think about it! If your career doesn’t financially fuel your goals/dreams and energize you on a personal level…something’s gotta change!
4. You’re sick of worrying about your career and want to DO something about it without wasting time!!!
My goal is to help you get maximum results in minimum time - but you WILL have to take action. When you hire a coach, you’re empowering them to kick your caboose into gear. I’m ready for ya!
5. You know there’s something ‘more’ for you, but you can’t figure out what it is!
I have articles, exercises and questions I’ll ask you EVERY week to break through the mental clutter and get some clarity around your career - FINALLY!!
6. You know you want to make a career leap but you’re too scared you’ll fall flat on your face.
Some of you actually know what you want to transition into, career-wise, yet you’re still not doing it! Nothing takes the place of a qualified MENTOR nudging you along. Trying to do everything on your own is a losing battle. Start putting a support team together with a career coach in the mix.
7. You’re feeling HO-HUM about your career and crave some excitement.
You are established in your career and everything has been going well for several years, but you feel stuck in a rut. It’s time to reassess your goals and push yourself to the next level. I can help!
8. You think personal growth is fun and you want more of it!
I will challenge you to look at your career and life differently. It’s time to re-evaluate your assumptions, expectations, reactions, and beliefs about yourself and success. This process will enable you to pursue the career and life that will be most rewarding for you.
You only know what you know. And you don’t know what you don’t know. Stop spinning the same, tired ideas around your mind and introduce FRESH, NEW ideas. That’s what this program is all about.
I’ve coached many people to negotiate a 4 day work week, for example. At first, the idea NEVER occurred to them since they assumed it was impossible.
I’m an IDEA FACTORY and I want to share my ideas with you.
9. You’ve always wanted a career coach but thought it was too expensive.
Career Catalyst is $49/month. Enough said. You’ll also be able to add in phone sessions at a reduced rate, if you want even more support.
10. You want to become your BEST SELF.
Deep down, you know you could be happier…more pleasant…more ‘present’ with your kids….more creative….more fulfilled…more radiant…
YET, there’s a big burden weighing you down. Know what it is? It’s that dreary, stressful, time-consuming JOB of yours!
Tackle the elephant in the room and tame your career ONCE AND FOR ALL.
Final words: Whatever you FOCUS on expands in your life. If you focus on COMPLAINING about your job yet do NOTHING to fix it, you’re in victim-mode.
CREATE the career (and life) you want and deserve! Begin by focusing on the thoughts, exercises, and questions I’ve designed for you based on over 20 years of experience as a career coach and recruiter.
I’m here for you but you have to sign up to see the magic
Read more about Career Catalyst here!
Lynnette R. was one of my favorite clients last year! I remember how burdened she felt by her corporate job and her strong desire to make a change, even if she wasn’t quite sure what that looked like!
To prep for a change, we focused on ‘life clean-up’ and simplified/organized her life, cut back expenses, and set some serious time boundaries to free up space to focus on her personal life.
Like so many clients I see, Lynnette’s job took a tremendous amount of energy and time. Piles of work kept landing on her desk and she found it really difficult to keep up - which resulted in long hours and working weekends.
When we talked about her interests, I remember how excited she was about other cultures and helping people in a meaningful way.
Several weeks ago, she packed up her life in the US and moved to Spain!
Here’s Lynnette’s Story….
1. Tell us why you reached out for coaching. What were your goals at the time? What was your life like at the time?
I decided to search for a coach because I felt as if I needed to take my life to the next level. But, I wasn’t clear about what to do.
My goals were to figure out what direction I needed to take in order to go after what was really important to me. At the time, I felt stuck. On one hand, I was afraid to do what I believed was right (which involved leaving my job). On the other hand, I was afraid of not doing what I believed was right and continuing the reluctant climb up the corporate ladder.
2. Why did you decide to quit your job and move to Spain?
I’ve wanted to move to Spain since I was a teenager. After more than 20 years, I got tired of making excuses and felt like it was time to pursue my dream of helping others to improve their lives and live overseas. (She’s training to become a coach now!)
3. Were there any fears or hesitation you had to deal with before moving? Tell us about it.
There were some fears. I was afraid of making 2 BIG mistakes (1-leaving my job and 2-leaving the US). Then, I was afraid that if I kept doing what I was doing, I would never make the move. I realized that the consequences of NOT doing what I believed was right would be much worse than continuing along the path I was going.
4. Tell us about your life in Spain. What do you love about it? What do you find interesting?
It would be an understatement to say that I love it here. Life here is great! Everything is so different than what I’m used to. And, I love it! The people are very friendly and open. The food is excellent! And, the landscape is gorgeous! I feel extremely comfortable and at peace here.
What I find interesting is how open the locals are to people of all backgrounds. The locals talk quite often about how good it is to be surrounded by people who are different because that is how you learn. They also say that being open to others’ points of view can help you to make decisions that are balanced.
They have a saying which is “Todos estamos hechos de la misma cosa”. In English it means “We are all made out of the same thing.” They respect differences to the point that they believe that no matter how different we are, we all of something valuable to add.
(Note From Kristin: I LOVED reading this part from Lynnette. One of the smartest strategies for quickly improving your life is to improve your ‘people environment’. Find ways to be around energizing people since they will quickly lift you up. If you spend most of your day at work - with uninspired or angry co-workers- it’s tough to remain inspired. So, seek out communities of people with similar goals or views on life.)
5. Looking back (right before you started coaching with me), how would you describe yourself or your life using only 3-5 words? (bored, stressed, etc…)
Sad, chaotic, stressful, disappointing and frustrating
(Note From Kristin: I always ask new clients to describe their current life in 3 words and how they HOPE to be in 3 additional words. It helps crystalize our focus. My goal is to help them become those ideal words.)
6. Now that you’re living in Spain, how would you describe yourself or your life in 3-5 words?
Exciting, liberating, peaceful, fun and rewarding!
7. Does everyone ‘get’ what you are doing or approve of your major life change?
I have to share a funny story!
During dinner several days ago, I explained to some friends that I have decided to become a coach. Since coaching is not widely popular, they asked several questions to make sure they understood what this profession is about. At the end of a very intense conversation, it turned out that my friends thought that I was going to be like the “adivinos” that are popular here. Loosely translated, adivinos are fortune tellers—many of whom claim to have spiritual powers. Adivinos are on TV every day for several hours on quite a few channels.
So at first, I didn’t think it was funny that they assumed that this was the profession I was going into. But, with the understanding that the concept of personal coaching is unfamiliar to many people in Spain, I can now see the humor in this. After patiently explaining to them once again about what I plan to do as a coach, they have a clear understanding of what coaching entails. So, they no longer expect to see me on TV with a toll free number claiming to have the ability to tell people their future.
Fortunately, I can coach clients all over the world.
(Note from Kristin: This story made me laugh since the SAME thing happened to me when I started my coaching business in 1999. A group of people, at a party, asked me if I was in the Psychic Friends Network or something along those lines. I remember how upset I was that they didn’t ‘get’ what I was doing and how valuable coaching was for people. I made a decision right then and there to not need approval from every person I encountered. Some people will ‘get’ what you’re doing and some won’t. Focus on the ones that get it. That was my motto. The truth is this: No matter what your business is about, only those resonating with what you offer will show up. Don’t waste your time trying to convince anyone of anything. There are plenty of ideal clients for you to serve. Focus on THOSE people and you’ll be golden.)
8. What advice would you give my readers about making a major change or a big dream a reality, especially if they are scared?
My advice to those of you who are scared about making a major change or pursuing your dream is to follow Nike’s lead and just do it already. The hardest part isn’t fear, it’s doing anything other than what you believe is right. The obstacles that you will overcome in order to make those major changes or to realize your dreams are well worth the challenge.
9. What was most beneficial for you, regarding the coaching relationship?
What has helped me the most regarding my coaching relationship with Kristin has been understanding that the quality of my life is truly up to me. I can’t blame my circumstances.
I used to think that only certain people get to have what they want—which is NOT true. Now, I know that I can actually have what I want. Imagine that!
(Note From Kristin: That’s my # 1 message to clients! The quality of your life is up to you.)
10. If you want to share anything extra, please do! The purpose of the article is to inspire people….(a favorite quote perhaps?)
Don’t do what I did and take the easy (yet stressful) road of living based on excuses. It’s a very difficult and dissatisfying way to live. Here is one of many quotes that I love by Napoleon Hill. “... no one ever is defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.”
Final Words from Kristin - Lynnette was able to take this leap after saving money for over a year. She dramatically simplified her living expenses in preparation for a change - even though she wasn’t sure what it was at the time! If you know you want/need a change, start preparing for it now. Preparation is VERY important. Set the stage now.
Plus, she was open to creative ways to make her dream a reality. To offset living expenses in Spain and help with the cultural change, she’s living with a host family and loves it. Plus, she’s teaching English. What a great way to quickly integrate into a new country!
I hope her story inspires you!
What is coaching and is it like therapy? I get this question A LOT from prospective clients. Here’s your answer in a hilarious video. Enjoy!
(ps.) if you read my blog via email or RSS, click the title to link to the video page.
A theme for the year is an umbrella and it will set the tone for 2012.
One of MY themes this year is “stay in my lane”. I’m pretty darn focused already but I want to be even more so this year.
One of the challenges of being a creative person is the sheer volume of ideas that float around in my mind. There are so many projects I’d like to do and many directions I’ve considered going with my business. And, since I open myself up to receiving input from the outside world (smart to do, since it does add fuel to creativity), I get a daily dose of emails about various programs, trainings and ‘ways to go’ with my biz. Staying plugged in, to a degree, helps me know what’s hot and the trends within my industry and the world.
Last year was a year of gathering ideas. This year, it’s about executing more of my ideas.
For example, last year I learned about publishing for e-readers such as Kindle and Nook. This year, I’m publishing some tomes! No, not really. I have a short series in mind.
Hey, if MY theme fits YOU, borrow it!
If not, here are some additional ideas for you to consider!
* Home as a Haven
* Confident Communicator
* Health and Radiance
* Money Machine
* Superhot at 50
* Being Fully Supported (recruiting people to help you in all areas of life)
* Doubling My Network of Friends
* FUN and laughter
* Working less, making more
* Personal Growth
* Stretching Myself (beyond a comfort zone)
* Feeling Grateful
You can get as creative with your wording as you’d like. A solid theme feels empowering and exciting. What will yours be this year?
A few notes about themes:
1. All of your goals will *not* align with your theme, most likely. That’s OK. Many of them will, though.
2. One way to determine your theme is to look at the top goals you want to accomplish this year and see if there’s a common ‘theme’ such as restoring your health or updating your home.
3. Yes, you may choose more than one theme. Select up to three, if you’d like. Consider having one for work and another for your personal life.
4. LOOK at your theme every single day as a constant reminder of the direction you want to go this year. I can’t stress this enough. An easy way to do this is by framing your theme as a single word or phrase and displaying it in a prominent place. Where will you look at it each day? By the kitchen sink while doing dishes? Your bathroom? Nightstand? No one else needs to know what ‘abundance’ framed by your sink means. It’s your theme so choose a location that serves you.
5. Once you have a theme identified, you’ll find it’s much easier to select goals. Let’s say your theme is ‘Abundance’. Ask yourself: What would ABUNDANCE (or any theme word) do this year? Then, write out whatever comes to mind as your goals.
Questions To Help You Pick Your Theme
* What would bring you peace if you could find a solution for it? (ex: If debt is a problem, choose a money related theme.)
* What’s something you’ve been ignoring that needs some attention? (ex: Relationship in trouble due to work schedule? Love or Balance might be good themes.)
* What’s a life lesson that keeps popping up? (ex: Always feel like you’re in survival mode? Getting Ahead is a good theme.)
* What do you value most? (ex: Does simplicity always nurture you? Choose Simplicity as a theme for the year and apply it to every area of life.)
* What brings you joy? (ex: Do you love your one hour in the garden each month? Ramp it up as a theme this year and call it Green Thumb year or Hobby-Time.)
* What was your theme last year, even if it was unintentional? (ex: Were you in fear mode? If you could do it over, which theme would’ve produced a more fulfilling year? Choose that for 2012.)
ANYTHING goes with a theme. Play with your words and come up with something that FEELS really good and exciting on some level.
Enrollment is OPEN for the following programs launching in the New Year:
Inner Circle - January is the PERFECT time to set goals for 2012. We’ll begin with a discovery process to clearly identify what you want to achieve this year. Then, each week, you’ll tackle a few key goals and share your results or ask for help via a focus form you’ll send me every Sunday/Monday. In addition, you’ll receive bonus items each week to keep you inspired all year-long! This program mirrors the elements of my phone coaching practice at a more affordable price. Delivered via email and online with an option for single phone sessions as needed. Access the material on your timetable each week, in your jammies if you want! Starts January 9th.
The Blitz- Drill down on ONE main project/goal each month, quickly creating momentum and progress. We’ll begin the year brainstorming projects or goals you want to tackle in 2012. Then, you’ll choose one each month and do something to move the goal forward each day. I’ll provide the encouragement, accountability and fun group of participants! It’s nearly impossible to not make progress since you’ll be on my radar each day. Delivered via email and online with brief coaching calls, as needed. Starts January 9th
Phone Coaching- Let’s clarify what you want to accomplish in all areas of your life or with a specific project. Each week, we’ll talk by phone and strategize your next steps forward. You may choose 2, 3 or 4 sessions a month. Begin January or February
What’s on your wish list for next year?
Hope your holiday season is full of hope, peace and FUN.
I want you to imagine something: Picture in your mind a powerful magnet. Now imagine that you place hundreds of metal shavings near it. The magnet attracts the shavings, but with each one that sticks to it, its power decreases just a bit. Eventually, the magnet can no longer attract anything because it’s loaded with the shavings.
The magnet is you. Now, I know you’re not made of metal and shaped like a horseshoe, but you do have the pull of a magnet. The metal shavings represent your bad habits. Each one lessens your power to attract “good” things into your life. Let’s identify and get rid of habits that are muting your natural ability to attract what you want.
Here are some bad habits that I see dragging down my clients, and ways you can get rid on them.
The Technology Trap
The Internet is a huge time-waster. Many of us spend hours on there every day, clicking from site to site instead of, say, actually working or creating a healthy habit like going for walks or making nutritious meals. Here’s how to keep surfing in check.
Change your password. One of my clients had her husband change the password to the forum she spent the most time on, which was accessible to members only. For a few days she’d find her fingers twitching towards the browser tab where she usually kept this forum open, but soon the feeling passed and she felt a great sense of freedom—and free time.
Are you addicted to a website that makes you log in to read it? Give a friend or family member your password, then ask them to log in, change your password, and keep the new password from you unless you really, really need it.
Get blocked. You can download an extension for Firefox called BlockSite (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3145) and use it to block your favorite time wasters. Not on Firefox? Block Websites Buddy (http://block-websites-buddy.smartcode.com/info.html) works for all popular browsers and costs $29.95. A small price to pay to gain back hours of your time!
Be free. If you’re on a Mac, download the free software Freedom (http://www.macfreedom.com). This software will disable your networking for any amount of time from 10 minutes to eight hours. This means you can’t surf the web at all. The only way to get back online before the time is up is to reboot your computer, which really helps you resist the urge to try to pop online. If you’re on a PC, I’m afraid that there doesn’t seem to be any similar software. One alternative may be as simple as quitting your browser. If you have to relaunch your browser, that will give you time to think twice about surfing when you don’t really need to.
Time yourself. Try setting an egg timer for 15 minutes and surfing only until the alarm goes off. Then, get up and do something else. Try replacing Internet surfing with a healthy habit like long baths, exercise, or reading.
You Are What You Eat (Really!)
Eating a poor diet of fast food, convenience foods, sugar, and dairy will dull your “attractiveness” and decrease your energy and motivation. Consider which foods make you feel your best and add them to your diet this week—and subtract foods that make you feel de-energized. It’s as simple as that.
I know some people who finish work and then plop down in front of the TV until bedtime. Then they complain not only of not having enough time to reach their goals, but of being too exhausted to be motivated! TV can suck both your time and your energy, and it dulls your Glow by numbing you. I understand that after a hard day at work you deserve to relax, but TV is not relaxing so much as draining. Here’s how you can ditch this bad habit.
Replace it. Yes, you deserve to relax and have a good time. But instead of watching TV, can you find a healthier option for relaxing? For example, could you sip a cup of tea, take a half-hour bath, read a book, go for a walk? These things not only take less time than a typical TV program, but they’ll leave you feeling refreshed instead of tired. And even if they did take as much time as a TV program, at least you will feel energized and not drained.
Cut the cable. Would you watch less TV if you didn’t have 200 channels to choose from? Then gain time and save money by getting rid of your cable subscription.
Unplug it. Doing something as simple as unplugging your TV can help cut down on your tube-viewing hours. If you have to plug it in before watching, you’ll think twice about whether you’d rather zone out in front of the TV or do something more energizing.
Set a timer. Can’t go cold turkey? Set a kitchen timer for a little less time than you usually spend watching TV in the evening, and every day shave off 15 more minutes. When the timer goes off, turn off the TV and find something else to do. This technique is even more effective if, instead of having a kitchen timer, you have a live timer — that is, a partner or kid who will pull you away from the TV at the appointed time.
Go all the way. Feeling brave? Put your TV in a closet. Eventually, if you find you don’t have the urge to watch it at all anymore, you can sell it. This may sound extreme, but I know plenty of people who live TV free. You can find lots of other, more motivating, things to occupy your time.
Take an honest look at how much you drink. Do you have to plop down on the couch every evening after work and have a glass of wine to relax? Like with TV and the Internet, try replacing this habit with one that makes you feel more awake and alive. How about a glass of sparkling water with lime instead of a glass of wine? Or try revving up with a yoga class or video.
The Procrastination Problem
Procrastination—having things you want to do but not doing them—is a bad habit for many of my clients (before coaching!)
I encourage my clients to have big, audacious goals, but if you don’t know how to break down big goals—or even small ones—into digestible, easily doable bits, the result can be stalling. You may procrastinate on getting started simply because you’re not clear on what the next step is. Try chunking your goal down into small steps, preferably ones that take under an hour to complete. For example, if your goal is to write a book, your first step might be to read up on how to write a book proposal. Then you can focus on one section at a time until the proposal is done. The next step after that might be to spend an hour researching agents online and going over their guidelines. And so on.
Another procrastination producer is lack of energy. Ditching some of your bad habits will make your energy skyrocket, but in the meantime, try this trick: When you want to do something but don’t feel energized enough to make headway towards the task, get up and stretch. You need to get out of your head and into your body. In addition, just a little bit of movement will give you a quick shot of energy so you have the momentum to get through your task.
We need a full night’s sleep to be our brightest selves. But many of us crumple into bed exhausted at the end of the day, sleep poorly, and wake up early to a blaring alarm, still feeling like we need more sleep.
In my opinion, LOTS of people have very unhealthy sleeping habits. The good news is that you can totally change any bad habit, including how you sleep.
Stress is a major factor. Between putting in eight hours at work, keeping house, and shuttling the kids to their after-school activities, who’s got time for sleep? And when you finally do get to hit the hay, you’re so worried about Johnny’s poor report card or your presentation at work that sleep seems miles away. Instead of stressing out—and making the situation worse—try these tips to get your forty winks.
Be in the dark. You need pitch black in order to sleep well. I recommend removing all light-emitting technology like digital clocks and computers from the bedroom, but if you can’t, invest in an inexpensive sleep mask. (Brookstone has a good, soft one.) That’s my new favorite travel item! Sleep masks are awesome.
Don’t force it. If you’ve been snoozeless for more than 15 minutes, get out of bed and do something relaxing like reading a light book or meditating. Return to bed only when you begin to feel sleepy. If you remain tossing and turning in bed, you’ll begin to subconsciously associate the bed with not sleeping.
Sleep only. Don’t do anything that could be construed as rewarding, like studying, doing housework, or balancing the checkbook, in bed. If you get a benefit from your activity, you’re subconsciously rewarding yourself for not sleeping.
Stay steady. Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, even on weekends and vacations.
Don’t drink up. Avoid caffeine and alcohol within four to six hours of bedtime, as these substances can disrupt sleep. (Yes, even so-called relaxing alcohol!)
Keep cool. The optimal temperature for getting a good rest is 68° F. Don’t blast the heat in the winter, and in the summer try an air conditioner or a window fan in the cooler evenings.
Eat well. What you eat during the day can affect your sleep. If you nosh on heavy foods, your body will be working on digesting them when you want to sleep. Try not to eat after dinner, and dine on light foods like fish and steamed vegetables.
Re-think your nightly pre-bed ritual. RELAX at night. Stay off of the computer (allow your mind to relax) and prepare yourself for sleep.
Of course, I can’t list every bad habit here, but these are the biggies. Do you have other habits you need to banish, such as playing video games, gossip, oversleeping (another common sleep problem), or drinking too much coffee? Think up ways to get rid of them. Be creative! You may need to do something extreme, like selling the video game machine, avoiding gossipy friends, clearing your home of coffee, or setting your alarm even when you don’t technically have to be up.
Ready to DO SOMETHING with all of this info?
Identify the number one habit that’s dragging you down. It may be something I listed above, or it may be something completely different.
Think up a plan for getting rid of the habit, or if you can’t, at least cutting it in half. Again, be creative! Finally…..think about a healthy habit you can use to replace your bad habit. Go with your groove by thinking up healthy habits that will satisfy the same need the bad habit met.
For example, if you watch TV to relax, try a soothing yoga video. If you need coffee to wake up, try a brisk walk or a cold glass of sparkling water. If you collapse into bed after a busy day because you’re exhausted, try easing your way into a restful sleep by taking a warm bath instead.
We all have things we worry about from time to time. Today, I’d like to teach you a fun and simple way to release yourself from worrying too much…which is totally exhausting (worrying, not this exercise), by the way! It’s called a ‘God Jar’ in some circles. But, you’re welcome to call it anything you’d like. The basic idea is that there’s a force in the world (God, The Universe, a Higher Power) ready to help you at a moment’s notice. The KEY is learning how to ask for help and ALLOWING the help to come forth.
Before we get started, I’d like you to think about the last time you ate at a restaurant.
You looked at the menu and ordered your food, right?
Did you badger the waitress every minute thereafter? “Is it ready yet? Is it ready yet?” Nope, you probably didn’t.
Instead, you ordered the food fully expecting it to be cooked and delivered to your table at some point.
So, after ordering, you relaxed and focused on other things…such as a conversation with friends at the table.
Now, are you approaching your GOALS in the same way?
Or, are you impatiently waiting for them to be “delivered” to you?
Some of you have some anxiety about your goals and wonder when/if they will ever happen. You’re GRIPPING your goals too tightly, in other words. This causes you to WORRY which isn’t helpful at all.
I am a big fan of “law of attraction” which states that we attract or repel things all day long. Yes, it happens moment to moment each and every day.
After years of styuding this law, what I’ve learned is that how you FEEL about something is truly the power behind attraction.
If you feel excited and hopeful about losing weight, you will find yourself losing weight.
However, if you really feel hopeless or frustrated about that goal, you’ll find yourself struggling with it.
So, the KEY is to do whatever it takes to FEEL great about the goal you want to manifest. That’s why a vision board and visual anchors matter so much.
What do you do when you just CAN’T get into a good feeling state about a goal, though? What if you’re truly worried about your debt, or finding a new job or mate?
That’s where the GOD JAR comes in. In the jar, you will release your worries and remove them from your thoughts. Here’s how to make one:
1. Pick a container. A simple jar with a lid works well. Decorate it if you want by writing “God Jar” on it or “Worries Live Here”.
2. Pick a few worries. Are you losing sleep over something or stressed out about it? Those are all worries. Write each worry down on a small piece of scrap paper and fold it up. Use simple language such as “worried about debt” or “worried I’ll be in a dead end job forever” or “worried about making a mistake with our move”.
3. Place each folded scrap of paper in the jar. Be deliberate about it and take your time. Imagine yourself literally handing the worry over to a Higher Power or someone able to hold and manage the worry for you. You might want to close your eyes and say something like “I’m handing this over to you so I don’t have to worry about it anymore. You can handle it. Thank you very much.”
4. Let it go. This is tough for many people. REALLY let go of the worry. It now LIVES in the jar. If you find yourself worrying about it with the hour, day or days…write it down again on a scrap of paper and release it into the jar (step 3). Do this as many times as needed.
5. Empty the jar at some point or whenever it’s full. Don’t open or read the scraps of paper. Put them in a pile and burn them in a fire pit or line the birdcage! Do whatever you wish. Just get rid of those scraps of paper with your worries. It’s a symbolic gesture so have fun with it!
Sidenote about bonfires: I’ll never foget having a bonfire with all of the resumes I accumulated during my years as a recruiter. FELT GREAT to get rid of all of that ‘baggage’ before beginning my work as a coach.
That’s it! Even if you only have one scrap of paper in the jar, it’s worth it.
If you’re in a playful mood, go through this exericse and let me know how it goes for you!
Around this time each year, there’s a strong desire to shop, spend money and buy ‘stuff’ for your friends and family. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lose total control of your Christmas budget and overspend? Ever wondered WHY that is?
As we get closer to the big day, the drive to buy ‘one more gift’ becomes even stronger. Can you feel it right about now? And, have you ever found yourself buying totally random gifts just because they were on sale or you didn’t want to go to a party empty-handed?
How about those holiday parties? Do you find it’s a lot harder to stick with a healthy eating routine or do your best intentions fly out the window?
What you are experiencing right now is the magnetic pull of a carefully crafted ENVIRONMENT. Next year, I’m writing a series of articles on this topic (weekly, in Inner Circle) since I find it so totally fascinating and critical for those of you wishing to feel more centered and accomplished.
When you’re over-spending or over-shopping, do you feel centered? NOPE. In fact, it’s almost as though you’re hypnotized or mindlessly ignoring a budget, debt removal goals or the best of intentions to *not* succumb to the consumerism of Christmas.
We all know how tough it is to walk away from sugary goodies or what I call ‘low energy foods’. For me, it’s sugar…for you, it could be alcohol, bread or anything that drags you down.
It takes a tremendous amount of discipline, focus and awareness to *not* get sucked into the vortex of over-shopping or eating poorly right about now. I challenge you to walk through the mall in the next day or so and notice how you FEEL. Do the same thing at a holiday party. It’s tough to say ‘no’ to foods you know are bad for you, right?
Why is that?
You see, merchants have a very clear agenda. They want your money. They want you to shop with them. They need to reach their Christmas-sales goals. So, they pull out all of the stops….lull you into a hypnotic state with cheery holiday tunes…...display merchandise in an attractive way…..and display ‘holiday sale signs’ to create a sense of urgency in your mind about making the purchase TODAY.
And, holiday hostesses want you to feel cared for and comforted by all of the goodies they’re providing. Nothing’s worse than a party without food, right? However, if you’re on a diet, those parties are like being an alcoholic walking into a bar. It’s a temptation that’s too strong to deny for many people.
Hey, none of this is evil. It’s their right to do everything they can to push their agenda (getting you to buy or attempting to throw a successful party with lots of treats to enjoy). YOUR job is to be clear about YOUR agenda, however.
So, here’s my beef and what I’m doing about it next year….
What I see in the world right now is a lot of AGENDAS surrounding you. More so than ever! Companies want to sell you things. Your boss wants you to work harder or longer hours. Even friends and family want something from you….your time, attention and energy.
Your friends and family have an agenda? Did I REALLY say that?
Well, yes. Let’s face it, we’re in the greatest self-expression explosion of all time. There are hundreds of virtual taps on your shoulder each day. There’s twittering, facebooking, texting, emailing, you-tube-ing, you name it. Everyone wants an audience and it is fun and inspiring to peruse vacation photos, read updates or hear juicy news. It’s also time consuming.
Again, none of this is evil or mean-spirited. It just IS. It’s a reality of the world we live in right now. The demand for your time, energy and attention is HUGE right now. Everyone wants a piece of you.
What is YOUR agenda, though.
What do YOU want your life to be about?
While you’re checking out your friends’ latest excursion photos, are you making time to go on YOUR adventure?
We’re living in overwhelming AND exciting times. There are countless options, choices, and directions you could take. If you float through your day unaware of YOUR agenda or unclear about YOUR goals, it’s WAY too easy to succumb to someone else’s agenda.
That’s how and why people overspend, eat the wrong foods for their body, waste time during the day, work way too many hours, procrastinate or can’t seem to finish (or begin) important projects or goals.
When you live this way, you are easy prey for someone else and their agenda.
The only way through this maze with grace and ease is to make sure you’re CLEAR, FOCUSED and GROUNDED first. Then, it becomes much easier to say ‘no, thank you’ to over-spending, eating low-energy foods, working un-godly hours for your boss instead of enjoying a personal life, wasting time with meaningless tasks or anything else that gets in the way of you living your best life.
It’s time to say ENOUGH. Seriously, don’t you want your life back?
This next part may amuse you….if you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve said thus far.
OK, here’s MY agenda. Yes, I do have one.
I want to teach you how to reclaim your life by being much more mindful of the ‘environments’ you live in. More importantly, I want you to take charge of those environments and re-design them so it’s much easier to remain centered and faithful to your goals.
For example, even though everyone and their dog is promoting their businesses on facebook or twitter, I am NOT. I may change my mind about it at some point, but for now I’m NOT. You see, I choose not to since I find it a big time drain. Yes, I have a personal facebook page but that’s enough for me. If I had a business page, I’d feel compelled to interact a lot with people (I don’t like ignoring others when they reach out to me.) It would bug me to have a half a&* site that’s unattended. And, I don’t feel it’s right to secretly delegate this task to my assistant since people would expect to interact with me personally. So, I don’t do it at all. And, I know how important it is to manage my time effectively. That’s how I remain happy and fulfilled. BALANCED.
I do know others are much better at ‘facebooking’ than I am and it’s not a time drain for them. For ME, it is, so I don’t do it. Fortunately, I’ve been able to attract people through good old word of mouth referrals from happy clients. Sure, it might be nice to have MORE business from facebook, but how much is ‘enough’ and do I want to spend the time over-working anyway?
Instead, I choose to focus on my vision of a simple, balanced and successful life….rather than being swayed by our culture’s hunger for abundance (another ‘environment’) or mind set of ‘more is better’. For me, ‘enough’ is just right. For me, ‘enough’ allows for the highest quality of service I can provide without turning into the Wal-Mart of coaching. It also affords me the balanced life I truly enjoy.
Facebook and Twitter are ‘environments’. They’re little worlds you live in while you’re ‘there’ online. Is it a place you enjoy? If so, go for it! Or, is it a time drain for you or does it feel like an obligation? Just something to think about so you can be mindful of your decision to be involved or not. Does it serve your highest goals or not? Again, I’m all for it if you love it. And, yes, I know my personal opinion is very unpopular on this subject. That’s EXACTLY what it takes to be in command of your life, however. You’ll have to make some unpopular decisions that are right for YOU, even if other people don’t agree or understand. Again, it’s YOUR agenda or someone else’s. Which do you want?
Here’s another example: Where you eat lunch is another ‘environment’. Do you go to the company cafeteria since it’s easy access or all of your buddies enjoy going? Does their food align with your fitness goals? Is there another lunch spot that would make it much easier for you to reach your health and fitness goals? Personally, I go to Whole Foods many days for lunch. It’s very cafeteria-esque with the food bar but the food choices are MUCH healthier than your typical company cafe. See how one small tweak in environment could make a world of difference with an important goal?
What if you made several KEY tweaks to the environments you choose to live in? What would happen to your life?
Isn’t this stuff FASCINATING? Can you see how living a quality life in these times has everything to do with what’s around you and where you place yourself?
You live in at least 20 key environments each day! Did you know that? Can you name them?
Do those environments have a hold on YOU or are they designed to lift you up and support you?
That’s what we’ll explore next year in Inner Circle.
In addition to discovering how to carefully design your key environments as ‘thrive zones’ for you, I also want you to learn how to be totally centered and on-point in any environment….even your favorite store (with a major sale) days before Christmas! Or, a holiday party with all of your vices displayed on doilies and silver trays.
So, why do I care enough to write about this?
You see, years ago, I became a coach after having an epiphany during rush-hour traffic. As I looked around, I noticed how most people looked really unhappy during their drive home. That struck me as sad and wrong. After a day’s work, wouldn’t you want to feel jazzed and happy? In my mind, that’s how things ought to be, so I spent the first 10 years coaching people to redesign their careers and lives.
Now, I’m in the midst of another epiphany. What I see NOW are people at the mercy of their environments. So, they eat junk/fast food (because it’s everywhere), get into debt (since shopping is a national past-time), work too much (due to lean times and companies requiring more from workers), fritter away countless hours each week (over-consuming as an audience member in online gossip/tabloids or the self-expression/social media explosion) and lose balance along the way.
You CAN have the experience you want to have in this lifetime. It all begins with awareness and the courage to actively create the life (and environments) you want and need to thrive.
That’s my speech for the day! Now, go enjoy your holidays and I’ll ‘see’ you in 2011.