Tick Tock...The Countdown is On!

I hate to be the one to tell you this and yet, I think you may already know...we are more than half way through November! What does this matter? In business (or at least in a proactive one), November is when plans for the next year are being finalized and the current year is wrapping up. There is a sense of urgency to meet the objectives that have been set for the current year, money to be spent and deadlines to be met. Even typing this raises my blood pressure just a bit! 

The thing is, when you are in business, you have someone - typically a boss - whose job it is, is to ensure, that you get s*#t done! That is part of their job and so it is inevitable that the business goals that have been set for the year get done.

What about your personal goals and objectives that you set for 2017? How did you do with them? That can get a little fuzzy. When we don't make a conscious effort to plan and get things done and we don't necessarily have a "boss" waiting for us to demonstrate our results, well, they can slide. This is life.

...and it doesn't have to be. I want to share a couple of things I have noticed about people who seem to set and meet their goals to make the change that they want happen in their life. Maybe some of this will resonate for you.

They are very clear on what they want and it is very specific - it is so specific that they are able to visualize it.

  • They don't go after every single thing in their life at once. 
  • They have an awareness and willingness to make the changes they need to meet their goal.
  • They have a positive mindset and a belief in themselves that what they want is possible.
  • The intention for the goal is a positive one versus one motivated by pain.
  • They take the time to check in with themselves to see where they're at on a regular basis and they ask themselves "how am I doing?" and "what's different now?".
  • They are grateful for progress and patient and flexible - they don't let one little set back discourage them.
  • They are patient and compassionate with themselves and the change they are looking for.
  • They get support for the change - for example, they work with a coach; friend or some other sort of accountability partner or community.
  • They know that small consistent changes lead to big results.
  • They go back to the visualization of their goal whenever they need to and that provides motivation and reminds them of their intention.

If  a goal for change is on your plan for 2018 I would love to have a conversation with you - 15 minutes with absolutely no obligation Contact me.  Just a chat about why working with me will provide you with a really good chance of meeting your goals for 2018.

 

 

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Going the Distance

What exactly does that mean? I heard a song on my walk/run this morning that inspired me enough to make me want to explore just what "going the distance" means to me. As a former half-marathoner, I literally know what it means to go "a" distance however did I actually go "the" distance? As an entrepreneur I know that I have my goals for my business yet, I can't exactly tell you what the "distance" may be for each one. Which made me ask myself, just how do I know when I've gone the distance and when I am running that lap and not sure what's next around the corner, how do I keep going?

I am in what I am told is the "messy middle" of an entrepreneur's business. At two years old, I often refer to my business as a toddler. Any parent, aunt, uncle etc. can relate to what a two year old toddler is like - fiercely independent one moment and crumpled in a puddle in the middle of the grocery store the next. Wildly curious in one situation and clinging to mom or dad's leg in the next. That kind of sums up what it is like when you're here. Few steps forward, couple steps back. Full of courage and oomph one minute and questioning everything the next. I think that the biggest learning for me has been to understand that this is not unique to me. This happens to everyone who has taken the leap to be their own boss. The difference between who thrives and who doesn't - that is the mystery. Or is it? Staying the course, having a plan and surrounding yourself with people who challenge you and support you, that seems to be the secret sauce to keeping on going. Acknowledgement of needing help and being vulnerable (gulp) is hugely powerful as well. When you are no longer a part of a big corporation, you don't have the desk of a colleague to pop by and get an opinion, and, getting the opinion of others is so useful and necessary. Two heads or more are always better than one.

So, here's some useful stuff that I've learned that has helped me to stay focused on my outcomes especially when I sink into one of those ruts:

  • Acknowledgement - yes, as simple as it seems, acknowledging where you are puts a name to it and something to work from. This is a tough one for me however, to acknowledge what's stopping me is useful because it helps me to get clear - I would rather avoid this step yet, until I go through this step I remain stuck.
  • Get input from others -the first thing I do is reach out to others who will challenge me and my thinking and support me to find my next strategy, usually my coach, a mentor or someone that is a few years ahead of me and has been down this road already.
  • TAKE ACTION - capitalized for a reason! Doing something, anything, will get you back in the race again. Make that phone call, send that email, post that article...anything that gets you going again!
  • Repeat above as necessary.

 

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What's Stopping You?

What is it?

It is September. New beginnings abound in September, school starts again, people return from their cottages and there is a freshness in the air.  People are ready to focus again.  Is there something you have been thinking about for a while and have put on the back burner?Maybe now is the time to take a deeper look at that one thing and see what you can do with it.

Or maybe you are in a state of "What should I do?" "What is my next step?" Are you too cozy in the muck?  Sometimes being stuck is useful and cozy. We can make excuses for not moving ahead because....(fill in the blank) :I'm too old; this is the way it is; its really not that bad; I only have xx years to retire etc. etc.

What if you took two hours of your life to actually focus on what is possible for you? As in, what is my next best step?  Yes, sometimes knowing the next best step to take is like applying WD40© to the screw that won't seem to budge, it will loosen things up just enough to get things moving again and when you're stuck, just moving somewhere else, even if it is only as far as your headlights can see may be just enough to clear the fog that has been keeping you locked in where you are.

If you are ready to focus again and really look at what is next for you I am offering a one time coaching session that will get you moving even if it is just to see as far as your headlights go. This is not the typical coaching engagement, it is designed for people who are motivated and looking for some momentum to get them to their next best step. They are looking for options, ideas and direction.

Here's what you get: a questionnaire to focus you on where you are (pre-session); a 2 - 2.5 hour session where you will participate in some creative activities to get you clear on which direction you want to go and in some cases, clarity on where you definitely don't want to go. Regardless, you will walk away thinking about possibilities that you couldn't see before. That is for sure.

Sound like something you would like to do? Click here to contact me.

 

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Happy New Year!

Yep! You read that correctly, “Happy New Year”! I don’t know about you, but for me, September always brings a sense of renewal and fresh energy. This probably stems from when it was back to school time and as summer was drawing to a close, a new chapter was beginning. Although I haven’t been “back to school” in quite some time, I still look at September as a time to reflect on what has happened so far in the year and a chance to course correct if that is what needs to occur.

This has an even more special meaning for me now as September 1st marks my second anniversary in my own business and reflecting back on another year that has passed was very useful in deciding how I want to spend my energy for the next four months. It also helped me account for and realize just how much I have accomplished since January of this year. Taking a conscious pause to check in with yourself is something most of us do not routinely do however, it can be really useful. I realized that I have been doing a lot!! September for me this year actually means renewing by slowing down and pausing to reflect and let some of the work I have been doing get integrated. This can’t happen while chasing what’s next all the time. So for September 2017 I will be putting things in “slow motion”, savouring the last few weeks of summer and truly taking time to decide how I want my last few months of 2017 to be.

So what about you? If slowing down isn’t in your plans, just get curious about what is in your plans. Are you satisfied with how things are shaping up or are you ready to shift gears? If a “course correction” is required, what action are you going to take? You still have plenty of time to finish 2017 in a way that is meaningful for you.

So here is my challenge for you, will you take 15 minutes to reflect on how far you have come this year? No kidding, will you? Once you have done that, continue to write the ending that you want to have for 2017. Visualize it and make it vivid. Imagine this New Year's Eve and what you want to look proudly back on.  What did you let go of this year?  What new things did you discover about yourself? If you keep doing what you’re doing, is the ending likely to happen? If not, take some time to think about what you need to do to finish up how you’d like. You may need to alter your plans to get there but know that you have a choice. Take things off autopilot and step into the driver’s seat – it’s your life!

 

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What's Your Tipping Point?

So? What is it?

 

I can still remember when I hit my tipping point. It was the fall of 2013 and I was wrapping up a one on one meeting with my boss. I mentioned to her that I was "bored again". How she responded ended up being a catalyst that changed my entire world. She said- if it's any consolation, I've known you for 13 years and you always come out of this. 

 

As I left her office I thought - I always come out of this. And then it hit me like a slap in the face - I've been doing this for 13 years! Okay, maybe not the entire 13 years, however, I definitely had found that more often than not I would finish some project or challenge and then sink back into boredom.

 

Christmas came and went and I was back in my boss's office and nothing had changed for me, I felt bored and stuck - this is when I decided - it is time for me to own this. I left her office and made a life changing call. I hired a coach. Fast forward to now and here I sit, typing this blog, looking out into my sunny backyard and absolutely loving my life. 

 

Is it all puppies and flowers? Heck no! However, I am living my fulfilled life, on my terms. Did it happen overnight? Absolutely not. I worked with a coach for close to eight months and it wasn't until the fall of 2014 when I had a moment at work that again, changed my life. I contacted my coach about it and that's when the seed to become a coach myself was firmly planted. I began my official journey in January 2015.

 

What is my point? Sometimes, in order to get clarity, you need an outsider's perspective. Someone who has absolutely no emotional investment in your outcome yet someone who believes in and supports you 100%.

 

My tipping point took almost 13 years! I get that it takes time to decide that enough is enough. I want you to know, that when you decide that you've had enough and you're ready...I'm here.

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The Gift of the "Blunder"!

Blunder.  Just the sound of the word conjures up some interesting pictures in my mind.  It sounds awkward and yet a little humorous to me. It suggests failing but sounds a little kinder. When I looked it up I wasn't a fan of the actual definition that mentions being stupid and clumsy.  Clumsy maybe, stupid..yikes.  I am smiling as I write this - for the third time!  I inadvertently deleted my first draft - how ironic is that - note to self- do not discard your changes - blunder one for the day! Then I quickly wrote my second draft and headed out to the gym.  While I was at the gym, I mentioned to a couple of my classmates that I had made a major blunder and was writing a blog post about it.  I was actually surprised by their response. You made a blunder?  They were genuinely surprised that I actually F@#*d up! Right then I knew I had to edit this again and most definitely post it. 

I am feeling much more light-hearted about this post now.  Funny how a perspective can change, and in such a short time. When I first typed my post,  I had a whole different reason for doing it - I was reflecting on a recent, painful blunder I made and wanted to share my learning.  Now I realize, it is not even about the specific blunder but the fact that we all make blunders and no one is exempt. For me, yet again, the huge lesson when it comes to making blunders is the common theme of "haste".  Hastily made decisions in situations where I react vs take the time to respond.  I know that reacting definitely has a place - like in life and death situations however, let's face it, how often are we "reacting" to situations that are not "life threatening" rather than taking a moment to pause, take a breath and maybe, literally, a step back?

After the initial sting of the blunder wore off, I took some time to reflect on just what was it that had me react the way I did.   I noticed that there is a definite theme for me when I blunder. I immediately make it about me - apparently a human thing to do - and then I  lose my bigger picture perspective. Then, there is an element of haste, which inevitably results in some sort of humiliation or embarrassment - again that element of making it about me.  I absolutely know that all of the situations would have gone differently had I taken a moment to regroup before responding.  That's the gift of 20/20 hindsight.  The other gift of hindsight is to actually learn from it and move on.  The trick, I am learning, is to bounce back as quickly as I can and take the learning with me.  

My recent blunder caused me to miss a unique opportunity however, at the time, I didn't see it. Next time I make a blunder, yes, I said next time because if I am going to keep moving forward, blunders are inevitable, I will take a moment to broaden the frame I am giving the situation and look for the opportunities that may be there when I do that.  How about you?  What could you learn from your blunders?

 

Stuck in a Rut?

Stuck in a rut? How's that working out for you? Whether we want to admit it or not, sometimes staying "stuck" is exactly what we want to do. No judgement here! Been there, done that and yes, sometimes still visit the old "ruts". What's different for me now? I can recognize when I am travelling down that path again and ask myself some tough questions including - what are you choosing to do, or not to do right now? Ouch! I have a choice and quite frankly, sometimes I am happy to stay cozy and stuck.

I know that I am not alone and neither are you by the way! It is the way we humans are. Sometimes it is just easier and more "comfortable" to stay stuck in something we don't like - a career, a relationship, a body - you get the drift - than it is to do something about it. There is something familiar and safe about staying where we are. We know it and what to expect, even if it is not good.

I have noticed a pattern emerge with "almost" clients and sometimes with clients, friends, gym buddies, family etc. They think they want different, they ask for different and then when the potential for "different" shows up, they run and hide. I get it! Different takes work! When we are on the cusp of deciding to change something, all of our alarm bells are triggered and we feel safer if we just stay where we are. Even if where we are is uncomfortable and we know we deserve better. But oh... when you have the courage to decide that YES, I want different and I am afraid (probably the number one reason why we stay stuck) and I'm going to do it anyway, then that is where the real magic can happen.

The good news is, you do not have to do it alone. That's where having a coach on your side can make all of the difference for you. Having someone to believe in you and support you as you take on what may seem like an insurmountable challenge can be the difference between making the change or running and hiding. So what's it going to be? Stuck and existing or not settling and living!

 

Get Clear. Get Confident. Get Going!

"This life is more than just a read through" - red hot chili peppers

 I love music and I love quotes and I definitely love music that has meaningful quotes like the one above. "This life is more than just a read through" RHCP.  What comes to mind when you read this?  For me it is loud and clear, this is not a practice run we are on, this is the real deal here.  One kick at the can, take your best shot...you get the picture.  Yet...so many people live their life exactly like that, that it is a rehearsal for the "big event".  They will do this or that, when, this or that...they will take that vacation when the kids are bigger, they will follow their passion for art when they are retired, they will, they will, they will....

And life continues to happen like it always does.  The clock keeps tracking time and the days/weeks/months/years continue to pass.  Is it time to give your head a shake?  What exactly are you waiting for? 

One thing I have learned, is there is no "right" time to do anything.  You make plans and the universe will have a different plan for you.  I remember when I decided to pursue my coaching certification.  I knew that I would eventually leave the comfort of my corporate job and my husband and I started planning financially for this to become a reality.  I was about to begin my certification when I was told that my corporate position was being eliminated.  Suddenly, it was no longer up for debate.  This dream of mine was going to become a reality.  I always describe it like this - I was on the airplane with my parachute on waiting to jump and then, I was given a push - and here I am!  Thankful and grateful because truth be told, I might still be on that airplane waiting to jump had I not been given that serendipitous push.  Then again, knowing me, probably not!

What are you hesitating to do?  What is your dream?  Believe it or not, we are limited mostly by our attitude and how we look at things.  What is one thing you could do right now to move you one step closer to that "thing" you've been putting off "until..."?  Do that.  If you don't know the first step to take, hire a coach!  We're pretty good at helping our clients see the opportunities that are lurking just outside of their consciousness...its kind of what we do. 

Get Clear. Get Confident. Get Going! 

Yes! You really did just say that!

When I am asked what value a coach gives to a client the first thing that comes to mind for me is this - no one listens to you like a good coach does.  Yes, there are a multitude of things that a coach offers their client however, the number one thing (in my opinion) is the level of listening they offer the client.  By level, I mean, not the typical listening level we usually experience in a conversation - the kind where the "listener" is just waiting for the "speaker" to stop talking so they can chime in and tell them their story, that is, if they haven't already interrupted to get it in!  I'm sure you know what I am talking about - you've got a migraine, they know someone who had a brain tumor; you want to go to Tahiti and they've been to Bali.  Yes, you may say, it is a way to connect and it certainly is however, it is not what a coach is paid to do.

A coach hears what the client is saying and NOT saying.  A coach hears the repeated messages that a client sends through the course of a single and often, over multiple conversations and this is something that a client simply cannot do for themselves.  A coach is able to bring information to the client's awareness - it is the client's information, just information that they were not consciously aware of.  This information often leads to surprising discoveries for the client.  That is where the value lies.  A coach listens without emotion or any investment in the outcome of the coaching for the client.  When I say emotion, I am referring to the fact that when a spouse, sibling, best friend, parent etc. listens to you, they cannot do so without some sort of emotional investment or agenda, it is human nature.  A coach is listening to you, for you. and without an emotional agenda or investment.  That's why we don't coach our family and close friends!

When was the last time you felt heard in this way?  What would the value be for you? Get curious.  Sometimes just one coaching session (depending on the client's particular requirements) is enough to bring clarity and awareness to a client.  Just imagine how great that would feel!  How would getting clear on a particular situation or perhaps a problem where you feel there is only one choice feel?  Consider it a gift to yourself to find out.  You have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain.

Do you "deserve" to get what you want?

When you don't know what you want, it is like being in a fog or trying to shoot an arrow in the dark - there is no target and even if there was you would not be able to see it to hit it.

What could be worse than that?  How about knowing what you want and then doing nothing about it? Or, knowing what you want and putting it on hold until "the time is right"?  Or maybe the most crippling - knowing what you want and not feeling like you deserve to have it?

One thing I continue to learn as I move through my journey as a coach is this - clients often come knowing what they want or at least knowing what they don't want.  Through the coaching process, the client will usually land on something that resonates for them.  Great news you may think...that's half the battle and yes, in many ways it is.  Yet what often gets in the way is the belief that for some reason they do not deserve to - be fit and healthy; have the partner of their dreams; live in the home they want; have the fulfilling career they dream of...the list goes on.

And sadly, until this fundamental mind block is removed, the client will remain stuck - stuck with knowing what they want and not standing in their power to believe that what they want is both possible for them and something they deserve.   

This personally resonated for me when I took the plunge and left my corporate job and pursued my dream of being a coach.  I had the courage to leave my job, knew what I wanted and went full force to get it.  Fast forward several months and still new in my business and I questioned myself, what's holding me back?  The resounding answer was believing that I deserve to be successful.  As I reflected on the question I thought "Of course I deserve to be successful! Who leaves their job, pursues a dream and then settles for being unsuccessful?  That is just (excuse my language) plain dumb!"  Until I had that realization, I was allowing myself to settle for what was and not pursuing the huge possibilities that exist for me.  Changing my self limiting belief changed my attitude and my approach to my business - I do deserve the success I have!

I share this as I know that so many of us hold ourselves back by believing that we don't deserve what we desire.  So here is my request for you - ask yourself - what is stopping me from pursing what I want?  Get curious. Be compassionate. Then make a decision. Believe you deserve it and then notice what changes for you!