Monday, December 15, 2008

Failure and moving on

"If you have made mistakes . . . there is always another chance for you. . . . You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down but the staying down." --Mary Pickford.

We all strive for success (or at least, we strive not to fail), but failure is an important part of life. We learn when we fail, and it shapes us as much as success does. As painful as the lessons can be, as difficult as it can be to rise again, it's in our human nature to get back up. 

My coaching instructor put it this way: "We are never overcoming. We are always becoming." I love this sentiment. It makes me think about the failures or bad times in my life. Although I don't necessarily love the bad things, I do realize that they made me who I am, and I like who I am now. I won't necessarily embrace and seek out failure, but I do acknowledge its value.

One of the most difficult things I've ever had to acknowledge in my life was a very bad relationship in my younger days. I thought I knew better, I thought I was smart enough not to get involved with someone who would try to control me or be mean to me. But I fell for it anyway. For more than a decade after, I was angry at myself for being "so stupid" as to not see the signs. One day, I suddenly realized that to truly let this painful episode go, I had to forgive myself. It took some time, but I finally did let it go. I don't relish the memory of this relationship, and I don't want to dwell on it, but I know that it was important to who I am today and my very healthy marriage as well as my self-respect.

What failures have been important in your life? What have you learned from a failure that serves you now?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shedding weight

As autumn leaves fall and the sky turns grayer for winter, my thoughts turn to what I can shed in my own life. Autumn is a great time for taking stock and figuring out what you can let go of so that you are lighter, freer, and ready for new life (spring). Saying "no" to something, when it comes from a place of centeredness and surety, can be a powerfully good thing. When we say "no" with peace and love, we open opportunities for new and amazing things to happen in our lives. Remember: Life balance isn't about saying "yes" to everything and fitting it all in to our schedules, it's about knowing when to say yes and when to say no.

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears." --Glenn Clark

What can you shed now to make room for something new and wonderful?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Emotional Detox, part 3

Continuing to ask yourself questions...

Get centered. Find an internal reason to end the toxic situation or relationship. When you can break off for a reason that is about self-preservation, instead of punishing or otherwise getting back at others, you will find an inner core of strength. When it’s about you, no one can successfully attack you, manipulate you, or guilt-trip you into remaining in the toxic mess. Alternately, if you have to remain in the mess for a while (say, a team project at work that’s in meltdown, but has a deadline and will presumably be over then), getting centered can help you gain some clarity and hold some inner peace during the process.

I decided that the amount of time I spent being angry at Holly was unacceptable to me. I have many things I want to accomplish, and I wanted time and energy to do them—time and energy I was wasting being angry. A few days after this realization, a small event prompted something of a confrontation between me and Holly. Because I had an internal reason to hold firm, I was able to deflect any argument. I came at it from a place of internal strength, which made all the difference. 

Focus on the how, not the why. Instead of pointing fingers, blaming and shaming, having a major showdown, or lashing out in retaliation, focus on your own behavior and what it will take to get clear. If you are dialed in on your own personal reasons, as in the previous step, then the way out will become clear. 

Toughen up. If the situation demands defusing, disentangling yourself, or an unavoidable confrontation, be prepared. Keep that big-picture view, focus on your personal reasons, and stick to what you’ve planned for getting out of the mess, if possible. When communicating with others, keep your comments focused on yourself. Yes, it may hurt the person when you break off, but their happiness is not your responsibility

I like to imagine I’m putting on a Teflon cloak, kind of like Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility. Arguments, anger, and manipulation simply slide right off. The “confrontation” Holly and I had ended with me simply asking her not to contact me for a while. She wasn’t happy about it and tried to convince me otherwise, but I was coming from a place of personal peace in my request, so I was able to remain firm. 

I haven’t spoken with Holly in over 6 months now. It took some time for me to discharge my pent-up anger, and now I’m happier (and healthier) for it. I see her at various social events, and I say hello—I don’t shun her, and I made sure that I never put our mutual friends at a point where they would have to take sides. I wish her well, and when anyone asks me if I will ever be friends with her again, I say I don’t know. For now, it’s best for me to not get emotionally involved with her.

As a New Year approaches, I challenge you to take stock of your life. Where can you reclaim your emotional wellness? What aspects of your life need a little detox? What kind of person will you be when you shed the negative and move forward?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Detox, part 2

How do you break free and detox your emotional life? How do you get back in control? 

Take the big-picture view. Find a moment to be alone in a safe, supportive location, and take some deep breaths to relax a bit. Close your eyes and visualize floating above yourself, zooming up until you’re all the way in the atmosphere of the planet, leaving your emotions down on the ground. In your mind’s eye, look down at yourself from orbit. You’re stepping out of the whole mess and looking back at it. What do you notice about yourself? How are you behaving? Do you like what you see? What would someone else notice about the situation? Step outside yourself and take an objective view.

In the case of me and Holly, I was shocked when I realized I was going behind her back and complaining to others (something I am still not proud of). I did not like this picture of myself, and it was truly eye-opening to see it. 

Do the math. How much of your time and energy are you spending dealing with or responding to the person or situation? 

When I was most angry and frustrated with Holly, I was stunned to find that I was spending up to 2 hours a day (at least 10 hours a week) either dealing with her, complaining about her, or just being angry. 

Ask yourself the important questions.

  • Is it worth it to stay in this situation/relationship? (The answer might be “yes,” especially if it is time-limited.)
  • What is best for me?
  • What are my goals or purpose for this relationship/situation, and are they being met?
  • What else could I do with that time and energy?
  • If I was just dropped into this situation or relationship today, without having known all the history that precedes it, would I still be in it?
  • If I met this person today, would I like him or her?
  • What am I tolerating here that isn’t serving me?

A friend of mine broke off a toxic friendship when she sat down to dinner with the person and thought, “If I met you today, I wouldn’t like you enough to get to know you better.” Another colleague asked herself, “How many times are you going to let this happen to you before you stop being in this situation?”

During a session with Meg, I asked her what her purpose was for being involved with her son’s soccer team parents group. Her reply was that it was so her son could have fun. When I asked if the current situation was helping her achieve that goal, she said, “No, it’s not,” with a noticeable sound of wonder in her voice as this realization came to her. Getting back to her primary goals helped her see clearly how the situation was draining her energy, getting her off track, and not supporting her son’s enjoyment of the sport. She was able to gracefully extract herself without hurting anyone else’s feelings, and she retained a sense of clarity and peace throughout the process.

Tomorrow: More important questions, and a strategy for getting clear.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Detox your Life, part 1

Hello lovely readers! I recently completed an article that had been in progress for some time, and I'm going to print it here, in parts. It's about detoxing your emotional life by shedding negativity in relationships and situations.


Many of us have experienced toxic relationships (perhaps with a “frenemy”) at some point in our lives. Toxic relationships leave you feeling angry, frustrated, irritated, confused, miserable, and drained, and yet you can’t seem to say “no” the person. You can find toxic relationships at work, among friends, and in families.

Some time ago, I woke up to the fact that a friend of mine (I’ll call her Holly) was starting to profoundly irritate me. The cause of our friction was a fundamental personality difference: I am usually very positive and optimistic; at the time, Holly was unrelentingly negative and constantly complained about everything bad in her life. As time went on, I became ever more sensitive to her whining, and I started complaining about her to other friends. I spent more and more time being irritated, then frustrated, and then downright angry at Holly, and it drained my energy.

A coaching client of mine, Meg, was involved with the parents’ group for her son’s soccer team. There was a clash between the parents and the team coach, and the situation quickly devolved into name-calling, backstabbing, and a lot of anger and fighting all around. She was absolutely exhausted by it, and she used several of our coaching appointments (during which we had intended to work on building her business) to talk about this situation and how she could deal with it.

We’ve probably all felt trapped in a toxic relationship or situation from time to time. If we’re lucky, the situation is short-lived or resolves itself, and we can move on with no hurt feelings. Sometimes, though, the toxicity really takes hold and just drags on and on, draining our energy and happiness. It can be damaging to stay in a negative frame of mind for too long—we spend energy and time dealing with the bad stuff, which steals away what we need for the good things in our lives. 

How do you break free and detox your emotional life? How do you get back in control? 

(More tomorrow!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! October 31 is the holiday of Samhain, traditionally the Celtic new year, after the harvest season. 

I like to celebrate the start of a new year whenever I can. Why wait until January 1? I celebrate new years on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year), and in late February (Asian new years), not to mention Samhain and, yes, January 1. Birthdays are a great time for a new year, too. In fact, ANY day is the start of a new year--it's exactly 1 year later than it was this time last year.

All this talk of new years makes me think of resolutions. Resolutions should be made for self-improvement... and we should not have to wait until Jan 1 to improve ourselves. No more procrastination! Declare it a new year and get ON with your life!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Creative Impulse

Lately, I've been working full-tilt on a number of quilts. I have a lot of friends expecting babies soon, so I have four baby quilt tops made, and a fifth to be done as well. I've also been working piecemeal on a few other full-size quilts. 

I've noticed something interesting when I'm quilting. I can be tired, cranky, and even have a headache... and when I start being creative, all of that goes away. I am actually energized by doing it! I get in a sort of Zen state, especially when I'm hand-quilting. It opens up my mind to new possibilities, and I get a deep satisfaction from having created something beautiful.

I'm not much of an artist. I played violin for 10 years, but no longer play (though I do miss playing in a group, it's an amazing experience). I took fine-art photographs for a while (and would like to get back into it). When I decided to try quilting, I found something I could do well and thoroughly enjoyed--an outlet for my creative voice. 

Many people feel a deep-seated urge to create. How do you express this? How do you feel when you are creating? What do you like to create?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Buying local

One of my interests in living life is how I make an impact with my choices. One way I try to do that is through buying local products and supporting local businesses. They say that this country is built on the backs of small businesses, yet most of what we hear about in the news (especially lately, with major companies flailing and failing) is about Big Business. 

Lately I've been thinking about just how big an impact buying local can have. For one thing, you support some of the small businesses that abound everywhere. I've been a small business myself, for many years, so I enjoy supporting other such ventures. Buying local cuts down considerably on transportation costs (one of the reasons food costs have risen so steeply--gas costs rose, and it costs money to haul this stuff around the country!), which not only saves money but is helpful for environmental issues. By purchasing produce at local farmers markets, you're probably also getting healthier options (fewer preservatives, more options for organic food, greater varieties available).

How can you buy local? Well, I just mentioned farmers markets, which are terrific in NC. Many grocery stores now indicate when product has come from NC, making it easier to buy. I try to shop more regional chains (Harris Teeter, for instance), instead of national chains, or shop those larger chains that are heavily involved in the community (such as Target giving to local schools). I also look for locally owned restaurants for dining. As a quilter, I support ALL the local fabric shops, which are individually owned.

How do you support local business? How do you make an impact with your purchasing decisions? I'd love to hear more ways to keep more of my money in the community!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A powerful question

One of my favorite all-time thought-provoking questions, designed to help you dream big, is the following.

What would you do if you KNEW you could not fail? 

Ask yourself this question when you're floundering for a vision. If you've forgotten your dreams, or need to reach for something new. It will open new vistas, and broaden your horizons. You can drill it down, too: What would you do in your career? In your relationships? In your spiritual life? With your money?

I'm eager to hear thoughts and even responses to this question!

As for my thoughts, if I knew I could not fail, I would climb Mt. Rainier (hence the photo of it in this posting), among other things.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Deep thoughts

"When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder."  --W.J. Slim

I firmly believe in what this quote proposes. It goes along with my other favorite truism: Fortune favors the bold. This reminds me of a time in my life that turned out to be a crucial turning point: when I applied to go the NC School of Science and Mathematics for my last 2 years of high school. I was not a big risk taker at that time--in fact, I was a bit of a coward. I was faced with two options: comfort, routine, and the near-guarantee that I would graduate top of my class at home versus a chance to really be among my peers and have closer friends but be in a completely foreign environment and be middle of the pack. I chose the bolder: Going to NCSSM. And it made ALL the difference in who I am today.

When you have faced such a decision? Did you choose the bolder path? Would you choose a bolder path in your future? 

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Timed goals

At the end of the SMART acronym for goal setting is timed for completion. Timely goals have dates in mind for achievement. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, put it best: “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” If you don’t have a timeline for achieving your goals, you may not get to work right away. It will always seem to be “sometime in the future,” and of course we all know that tomorrow never comes. This is also a reason to have a variety of short- and long-term goals. You can track how you’re doing frequently instead of making a set of goals and then just forgetting about them.

If you set goals for the week, month, quarter, and year, then you have a timeline to completion. It becomes trickier to set longer-term goals and put deadlines on them. For instance:

  • I want to pay off my mortgage.
  • I want to spend a month in Hawaii.
  • I want to retire early.

These are all great goals, but with no timeline to keep you on track, your chances of succeeding are low. In the case of the mortgage, you can succeed anyway by making payments on time every month until the 30-year term is up. If you want to spend that month in Hawaii, put it in your life plan. Defining what you mean by “early” will help you reach retirement that much faster. Here are some reframed goals with timelines:

  • I will pay off my mortgage 10 years early (and then outline the subgoals that will make this happen)
  • I will spend a month in Hawaii for my 20th wedding anniversary.
  • I will retire at age 55. (Specify here what you mean by “retire”—just work part-time? Volunteer? Do nothing whatsoever?)

Review your list of goals and put a timeline for each of them!

If you’ve followed the last several posts from this blog, you’ve learned how to dream up the future you want, remind yourself of your goals with visuals, and shape your dreams by setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed) goals. Your success is now only a matter of your effort!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Realistic/Relevant goals

We’ve covered SMA of the SMART acronym of goal setting. After specific, measurable, and achievable goals, frame your desires with realistic or relevant objectives. Goals should be within the realm of possibility. Setting a goal outside the realm of possibility means you might waste a lot of time and energy struggling to reach it when you can’t, and then enter a shame spiral if you feel like a failure for not achieving it. You are bound by the laws of physics and time. You cannot change the past, as much as you might want to. Look to the future! Some goals that would not be achievable are:

  • I want to be Batman. (Batman is a fictional and tragic character. One can dress up like Batman, but not really be Batman.)
  • I want to fly to Mars in my own spaceship. (Unless you are a trained astronaut, billionaire, and aeronautical engineer, it’s extremely unlikely this will happen in your lifetime.)
  • I want to be king/queen. (Unless you are born to royalty, this won’t happen. Even if you are born as a royal, this may not happen!)
  • I want to buy Disney World. (It’s within the realm of possibility to earn enough to buy it, but Disney World as a property will probably never be for sale in the first place!) 

In addition, realistic objectives should keep in mind any limitations (or, positively, special talents) you might have. For instance, if you are only five feet tall and not very coordinated, you won’t be playing for the Olympics basketball team. However, if you a high IQ, then joining Mensa might easily be in your grasp! 

Check your goals with an eye for making them realistic and relevant to your life!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Achievable goals

So far in the goal-setting SMART acronym, I’ve covered how to make goals specific and measurable. Today I discuss goals that are achievable. Achievable means that you are reaching for desires within your grasp! 

Achievable goals are within your control. This is a very important step that can really trip people up sometimes. You can only control yourself. You can’t control events bigger than yourself or the actions of others. Some goals not within your control are:

  • I want to win the lottery
  • I want my children to behave better
  • I want my husband to treat me nicely
  • I want my boss to give me a raise

Winning the lottery is not within your control--you can only control whether you buy a ticket and which numbers you pick. You simply cannot control any other person’s behavior, so wanting your children or husband to do something or your boss to give you a raise are not achievable goals for yourself. You can control your own actions, and that is all! 

So how could you reframe these nonrealistic goals to be in your control? Try the following:

  • I will buy two lottery tickets a month. (Still playing astronomical odds, but the number of tickets you buy is in your control.)
  • I will come up with a punishment/reward system to encourage good behavior in my kids. (Setting up the system is in your control)
  • When my husband frustrates me, I will take a deep breath and calm down before responding. (Controlling your own response)
  • I will ask my boss for a raise and give four good reasons for him or her to grant it!

Take a look at the goals you’ve been developing--make sure they are all about YOU!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Measurable goals

In the last blog entry, I talked about making your goals specific on the way to having SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely). Today I talk about making goals measurable. If you’ve made a list of specific goals, you’ve probably already incorporated ways to measure them. If you can’t measure your outcome, you won’t know if you’ve achieved what you want. Specific goals are measurable. To make a substantial change, you need to track your efforts with measurable goals.

For instance, the nonspecific goal of “I want more money” is not easily measurable. How would you know when you have “more” money? Technically, $1 counts as “more.” If you have a goal of “I want $5,000 more in my savings account,” then you have a specific and measurable achievement. When your account balance is $5,000 higher than it is now, you’ve achieved that goal!

Measurable goals are the key to noticing your achievement. These are particularly helpful in planning and strategizing your career, your finances, and anything else you set your attention to. Specific and measurable goals allow you to to clearly track how you’re doing.

Review any goals you’ve made so far, and check to see how they are measurable! Even better--put them in a checklist so you can check them off as you achieve them!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Specific goals

Now that you know why and how to start making goals, I will cover the concept of SMART goals--specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. SMART goals support your efforts to achieve them!

Today, we focus on making goals specific. This is critical for effective goal setting. The more specific the goal, the better. If you have a clear picture of what your goal looks like, then you’ll know definitively when you’ve achieved it! You may have started this process by naming what you want and creating your dream board.

In their powerful book The Aladdin Factor, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen discuss how to get everything you want. The primary exercise of the book is to make a list of 101 things you want. (Try it! It’s surprisingly difficult to come up with a list that long.) The key is to get super-specific. Instead of writing “I want a sports car,” you write something like “I want a midnight blue ragtop Mazda RX-8 with a manual 6-speed transmission, fog lamps, cruise control, leather interior, kicking stereo, and GPS.” The more specific you are, the more focused you will be in achieving your goals.

For instance, when making career goals, the more specific you can get, the better off you’ll be! Following are some very nonspecific goals.

  • I want to make more money
  • I want to get promoted
  • I want to lead a team
  • I want to be a better leader

To make these goals much more specific, you can reframe them as follows.

  • I want to make at least $1500/week, $6000/month, $75,000/year
  • I want to get promoted to Assistant Division Manager
  • I want to lead a 12-person development team
  • I want to spend 10 hours per month coaching and training my employees

When you focus on a specific thing you want, your brain is able to focus attention and intention on it, attracting positive energy around your desires. This is essentially the Law of Attraction at work!

You may have a large, overarching goal that you can’t make specific, for instance, “being a better spouse” or “being the best parent I can be.” Often, you can break down a larger desire into more specific goals, such as the following.

“Being a better spouse” might break down into “I will have at least two specifically set-aside ‘date nights’ with my spouse each month.” “I will take two long vacation weekends with just my spouse (no kids) each year.” “I will spend at least 10 minutes just listening to my spouse each day.” “I will do something loving and kind for spouse at least once each week.”

“Being the best parent I can be” may break down into the following subgoals: “I will spend a half hour reading to my kids every day”; “I will help my child review his or her homework every night.” “I will plan three fun activities a week to spend time with my children.”

Look at your list of goals, and make sure they are specific enough that you know when you’ve achieved them!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Keeping your goals in mind

Hopefully, you’re starting to see the value of making some goals for your career or revisiting previous goals. Today I’ll discuss how to keep yourself on track. By keeping your desired outcomes in the forefront of your mind, your energy will be directed to achieving them!

 It’s not enough to just think to ourselves (or even say aloud) what our goals are. They have to be set out in a very real way. The first tip is writing your goals down! Start thinking on paper! When you write it down, a goal becomes real, something no longer rattling around in your mind but existing in reality. This is the first step to achieving your goal in reality. Write down your goals, and keep the list in a place where you can find it and check in on it.

You may choose to engage in affirmations, which are positive statements about what you want. Some folks say them aloud or write them down a certain number of times each day. Affirmations can be quite powerful for making changes, especially in your own mindset. To do affirmations, you should be specific (check tomorrow’s blog posting for more about getting specific), word it in the positive, use the present tense (not past or future), begin with “I choose to . . .”, and be sure your affirmation has a powerful emotional impact. In T. Harv Eker’s wonderful book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he has readers place their hands over their hearts and state aloud (and firmly) their intention for change.

An extremely powerful method for keeping you focused on your goals is to make a dream board. This serves well for reminding you of your big goals in life. A dream board (or scrapbook) is a visual reminder of what you want. For instance, if you want the following things in your life:

  • A Hawaiian vacation
  • A BMW Z3 roadster
  • A paid-off mortgage
  • A beach house
  • A special piece of jewelry

Then your dream board might have on it

  • Photos of Hawaiian beaches or plane tickets that say “Honolulu” on them
  • A photo of the BMW zooming along a road
  • A photocopy of your mortgage statement with “$0” written in for the balance
  • Photos or drawings of your dream beach house
  • Photos or drawings of the jewelry you want

The point with the dream board is to remind you of the large, overall goals. Look at it frequently--Put it where you can see it. If you put your dreams in a scrapbook, with, say, one major goal per page, you can write in the date you achieved it. A great idea: Put a photo of yourself that you like right in the middle of the board!

You may have noticed that you have to use images to identify what you want out of life--you can’t make a dream board filled with images of things you don’t want. This is an important part of goal-setting: Your goals must be worded in the positive. Identifying what you don’t want in life actually brings more attention to that mental image, because the brain doesn’t recognize the negative. For instance, I can say to you, “Don’t imagine a bouncing red rubber ball,” and you will immediately see a bouncing red rubber ball. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and state clearly and positively what you do want!

 Focusing on an image (rather than only words describing what you want) engages the visual cortex of your brain. This is a powerful part of your mind--it’s the part that projects into the future. If you can put an image of what you want into the future-pacing part of your mind, your immensely powerful brain will work to make it happen! This is another good reason to word your goals in terms of what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

A colleague of mine who has an incredibly successful direct sales business made dream boards years ago. She had forgotten about them, until she pulled them out to train some new team members. She suddenly realized that she had achieved every single thing on her dream board! Including purchasing a motor home for traveling. Dream boards really work! 

I challenge you all to make a dream board this week--and dream big!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I've thinking lately about setting goals--how to do so effectively, what they can mean, and how to go about achieving them. Goals are the key to making your dreams come true. In fact, it's been rightly said that a goal is just a dream with a deadline. It’s never too late to make goals in any aspect of your life. I'll kick off this discussion withsome reasons why you should make goals, how to make them and track your success, and the importance of making SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely).

In his phenomenal best-seller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey outlines a powerful principle: Start with the end in mind (Habit 2). Starting with the end goal in mind focuses your efforts. Realizing a goal is a two-part process: You must create it mentally, and then create it in reality. If you don’t have the blueprint, your efforts will founder and take you on many detours. You can’t go to the bus station and ask for a ticket to “anywhere.” You have to know where you’re going!

 When setting goals for your life and business, be sure to set a variety of short- and long-term goals. In terms of your career, you can set goals that apply for the next day, the next week, the next month, the next quarter, and even the year and beyond. A variety of timelines will help you track toward success. For instance, you might have a goals list that looks like the following:

  • Tomorrow: Finish TPS report, follow-up with boss, schedule annual review.
  • This month: Finish documentation, set up development team, take leadership training, complete annual review.
  • This quarter: Propose new product/service to management, register for continuing education, finish 2 more projects.
  • This year: Get promotion & pay raise, get certification on XYZ, create and manage Customer Review team, join two professional groups outside of work.
  • Career: Buy motor home, pay off house, retire at 45.

Once you have a set of goals, you can start to see how to achieve them. For example:

  • To complete the TPS report tomorrow, I need to collect data from HR and get revenue numbers from Accounting
  • To finish the documentation, I need to block off a certain amount of time this week and next to finish 2 more sections.
  • To register for continuing education, I need to get a course catalog, investigate options, and confirm tuition reimbursement procedures.

Check in with your goals regularly to see how you're doing and where you need to adjust your actions. An overall goal lights up the path of the action steps to take!

Next: Remind yourself of your goals!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


One of the tenets of life coaching, as I learned it, is about living life with intentionality and mindfulness, rather than just reacting to things as they happen around you. Living with mindfulness and intentionality means that you create the life you want, which is a powerful way to take ownership of yourself!

We are so used to working hard and checking things off our to-do list, that we sometimes forget to be intentional. It's easy to drift along, reacting and coping with a full life. So how can we remind ourselves to be deliberate in our actions and choices?

One tiny way I recently found to be mindful and intentional came about in my quest to get more exercise. I love to walk, and I thought I'd add more walking to my routine. Just writing it in the calendar didn't work . . . I could rationalize any number of reasons to postpone or excuse myself from it. So I tried a new tactic: I bought a pedometer, a little gizmo that measures the number of steps you take in a day. It sits on my waistband or in my pocket; it can also tell me how many aerobic steps I've taken, how many calories I've burned, and the total distance I've walked in a day. I'm utterly fascinated by it, and it's made me much more aware of my movement and my body. So now my goals are to get in 2000 steps by lunchtime each day, and at least 6000 by the end of the day.

How do you stay mindful? What are some other things that have worked for you to be intentional in your actions?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Blog launch!

Greetings! Coach Laura here, officially launching the Archer Coaching Blog. I'll be posting on a semi-regular basis my thoughts on coaching, tips and tricks for a fulfilled life, inspirational quotes, and of course, shameless self-promotion for speaking engagements, coaching opportunities, and whatnot. Comments and questions welcomed!

Inspirational quote for the day: "To discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." (Andre Gide)

To me, this quote sums up coaching. Coaches support clients in charting a new path, and it often means leaving the familiar far behind--to great reward. It takes faith, courage, and a willingness to work!