What keeps you motivated?

Its early in the year and even so, I find it is never too early to think about motivation. I have been reflecting on the tools I use to stay motivated and thought I would share one of my favourites today. One thing that I am guessing is not unique to me is that a song can completely change how I am feeling at any given time, can pump me up and change my perspective. So, I thought I'd share my “playlist” that never fails to give me energy to keep going and I would love to hear what song(s) you go to when you want some motivation.

I came up with five songs. Why five songs? For no other reason than when I thought about what my “go to” songs were for motivation or inspiration, these songs came instantly!

  1. “Closing Time” by Semisonic - why this song? I love the line in the song “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” - because - sometimes, in order to move on in life, something has to end - a relationship, a job, an attitude - in order to allow for something new to begin. Rather than looking at this as a “sad” thing, it is always a place for reflection and gratitude. What did I learn? Where can I take this experience I have gained?

  2. “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers - there are a couple of sentiments expressed in this song that speak to me - “choose not a life of imitation”; “go write your message on the pavement” - being you. I’m wondering if any one else received the opposite message? I’m guessing that if you went to a traditional school, the first thing you learned was that “fitting in” matters. If you decided to write “your message on the pavement” - what would it say?

  3. “Relentless” by The Arkells - sticking to something long enough to reap the rewards. In this “instant gratification” world we live in, it is good to be reminded that an “overnight” success often takes a number of years. Being relentless, for me, means seeing the possibilities and remembering the reasons you started out as fuel to keep going. What could be possible if you became “relentless” about something you want?

  4. “Work Shoes” by USS- Time to move on. I for one, have learned that staying too long anywhere is not a good idea. Staying “long enough” is always better. Knowing which is which….well, that is more of an art than a science! Where are you lingering too long?

  5. “Medicine Bow” by The Water Boys - Acknowledging the voice in your head that no longer represents who you are anymore. Being brave and cutting the ties that have been keeping you stuck. What is the voice in your head telling you? Is it still true?

Why this? Why now? January is a time of refreshment for many of us. There really is a rule of beginnings that most definitely kicks in at the beginning of the year. And, it also kicks in Mondays, the first day of the month/quarter etc. (for more on this read Dan Pink’s book “When”). Also, for some people, with non-traditional careers, January is a continuation in the journey and sometimes, a little motivation is useful.

I would love to hear from you…what song keeps you going?

Need some motivation? Contact me for a no obligation chat! .


5 Questions to ask (and answer!) ...everyday!

I am a wanna be journal writer - if that’s even a thing. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy writing, obviously! However the practice of daily writing and reflection that is supposed to be so very useful has eluded me. I have tried, occasionally, until it started to feel like “work” - usually by day two!

So what have I discovered that has changed this for me? These five simple questions that take minutes to answer, because often they can be answered in one word. I can’t take credit for them, although I also do not know who came up with them.

So - here they are - actually in order because it does make a difference. I recommend doing this first thing in the morning before you start your day.

  1. I am (feeling)? Just notice without judgement. It is information. Is it determined, sad, joyful, tired, happy etc.? Check in.

  2. I want…? Whatever this means for you. I’ve learned to let whatever “pops” into my head be the “thing” that I will focus on for that day. I figure that it must have come up for a reason.

  3. I choose to…? This is an action step - you can’t get what you want without deciding that you will do something. Again, something usually bubbles up for me that seems to be what I need to do.

  4. I ask for…? For some, this could be a request to their God, guide, source or it could be an actual person that you want to ask something of.

  5. I am grateful for….? There seems to be a lot of evidence that suggests gratitude is a way to live a happier life. Pick one thing. If you are having a difficult time, it could be the bed and pillow you have or the good cup of coffee you had yesterday. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. Oh yeah, and if more than one thing comes up feel free to write that down too!

So why do I like this, and actually stick to it? It takes maybe 5 minutes maximum and usually much less, and, it really has made a difference in how I approach my day - with some focus and clarity.

Give it a try! I’d love to get your feedback. Interested in taking the 7 day challenge? Subscribe below to receive a free worksheet.

Want more guidance on getting clear? Contact me for a no obligation chat.


Bye bye 2018....

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end". Semisonic

I love quoting this line from a song from my past because it never gets old for me. Simple, yet such a powerful way to sum up how life goes. Sometimes in order to move on , we must leave something behind.

As this is the last day of 2018 I thought I would share an exercise on setting intentions that I did this morning. Simple yet thought provoking and insightful. Feel free to grab a piece of paper and something to write with if you wish.

The key here is to NOT think too much - the first thing that pops into your mind is there for a reason. Get curious about it and don't judge it or try to make sense of it. Just notice it.

First - think of something you would like to leave behind from 2018 - it could be a relationship, a habit, a feeling etc.

Then, think of something you would like to keep from this past year -again could be a feeling, relationship, perhaps a new and useful habit.

Finally, think of something you would like to add or have more of in 2019.

I am intrigued by what came up for me and still mulling it over. That is the point - to get you thinking.

So, will you take just 5 minutes??

I wish you a Happy New Year and Happy New Beginnings!

If you are looking for someone to help you get clarity on your “new beginning” contact me via my website:



At the end of the day, the “achievement” is not the prize..

2019 is on the heels of 2018…and approaching quickly.

As you head to the “finish line”…whatever that may mean for you this year, I wanted to share some reflections on “achievement” and offer some tips for staying the course, especially for those who are working on long term personal or professional goals where the end of the year may not signify “completion” for you. You know, the “trophy” moment.

The "prize", the trophy, the medal, the certificate, is the celebration. The symbol of the last piece in the puzzle, the final milestone being met. I'm guessing if you asked anyone to tell you about one of their achievements, they would not run over to their drawer and pull out their medal and show it to you.  Rather, they would tell you a story.  Why?  Because, it is in the road they took to get there that was full of potholes, hills and unexpected gravelly spots that made it an achievement. That’s what makes it a story.

Think about the word “achievement”. By definition, it is something that is challenging and worthwhile…in other words, an accomplishment.

Celebrating the road that lead to the achievement is what really matters. Learning to recognize when you are making progress, noticing what may have gotten in the way and how you were able to get moving again. The obstacles met and overcome. I’m guessing that no one is going to tell you a story about something that went off without a hitch…where’s the story in that?

Achievements give us a chance to notice the patterns that may emerge when we are working hard towards something we want. Perhaps noticing that taking even the smallest of steps towards our goal, rather than doing nothing at all makes a difference, or noticing the things that get you "stuck", and what skills or resources you draw on to get you going again.

I’m guessing that at some point, you started with a "direction", something you wanted. A setting of your compass.  You didn’t have to know every step, it started with the first one. It might have been a phone call, an email or to register for that first course. It was all about setting the wheels in motion and, as you continued to take steps, the compass may have started to shift and lead you somewhere else. 

Ask yourself: am I where I thought I would be when I set out in January of this year? If not, are you further along, behind, or did you course correct and decide that the “goal” you had actually wasn’t important anymore? Just notice. This is life. We don’t have a crystal ball to let us know what will happen so we make a plan and start from there. Some might call this a strategy. The thing about strategies is, if they are too rigid, we risk missing the opportunities that are right under our noses. A plan or strategy that has backbone and direction and also flexibility leaves room for course correction. Options. Because a plan without options well….sounds….kind of like a straightjacket.

As you continue on your quest for that achievement, remember to stop and look around every now and then and to savour all of the experiences that present themselves because, at the end of the day, it is the experiences along the way that make it worthwhile. That is why it is an achievement!

Are you looking for someone to help you with your strategy when you get stuck? Contact me for a chat about how I can help get you moving again.


Is it time for a wake up call?


Well?? Is it?

I’m not referring to the “olden days” when a wake up call was a call you arranged for when you were staying in a hotel and wanted to make sure that you got up in time for something you were planning on doing. That is probably the only time that a wake up call is invited and expected. I’m talking about those moments in life when things change, often in a heartbeat and nothing is ever the same again.

A “wake up call” is a call to action. It could be a result of an “aha” moment, you know, that moment when someone says something that lands with you in a way that changes your previous thinking about a situation and you have your own mini-epiphany. Or, it could be a result of an “oh sh*t” moment, a moment that blindsides you and leaves you wondering “what am I going to do now”? And, it could be that moment when you decide that enough is enough. I’m done….with whatever it is…the job, the relationship, your physical state, way of thinking etc.

A “wake up” call doesn’t sneak up on you, it is a whoosh…and all of a sudden, things will never be the same. It is that kind of experience, a moment that can knock the wind out of you and leave you breathless. It can also be the moment that propels you to the next amazing chapter in your life. Regardless it is a “call to action” where taking action might be the last thing on your mind. In fact, that is typically why it is a wake up call. Now what?

It is nearly the end of November. I know…sorry about that. Has another year gone by where you are wondering where the time went? You really meant to do this or to stop that, but then….

I felt compelled to write this article as I know a few people who recently received an unplanned wake up call and are looking for what’s next. However, I also know far too many people who have gotten to this time of year again by doing the same old thing, getting the same old thing and wanting something else. Putting in time.

Sometimes a wake up call gives you no other option than to make a decision, start something new, re-visit something you used to do or ….or what? That can be what happens too. Now what? Rather than been caught like a deer in the headlights, what if you actually had a plan?

What if you consider this message an invitation for a “wake up” call…your call to action. How would New Year’s Eve be different this year as you reflect on that thing you ended up taking action on because you decided it was time?

When the count down to 2019 is on how do you want to be feeling?  Do you want to feel like you are starting off on the right foot, that you are taking your situation under your control?  That you DO have options? Fast forward one year...what do you want to see? How do you want to feel?  

It is possible to start planning to be where you want to be in 2019. To be setting yourself up for the best year ever.  There are so many possibilities for you!  

Want to make 2018 the year that you decided to take a step towards what you want? Or do you want to continue to put things on hold until …..It is time to claim the life you deserve!  Lets discover your next step together.  

Are you too committed to your S**T?

Whoa! Not what you were expecting? Cool.  Feel free to stop reading now. 

If, however,  you are just a little bit intrigued or curious then read on...

As you know, I am a coach and I am also a human being who has had many interactions with many people over many years. So...although I haven't heard it all, I have heard a lot! And...what I've learned (that maybe some of you smart people already know) is that people can be really committed...to their kids who won’t empty the dishwasher,  partners who don’t pick up their socks, jobs that they don't necessarily like etc.. and whatever else they put on their "list" of important things. 

What isn't on their” list”? THEM.

Ask them about their commitment to themselves, their health,  happiness whether at home or at work, or with their physical being,  relaxation or gasp...something that they do just for themselves and then you hear it.....they are too busy “doing" that they don't have enough time or they are only staying at their job “until”, maybe they are good at starting stuff but something always comes up to get in the way of finishing it; they procrastinate and find excuses and never, quite make it to their own “list” of important stuff.

Why? Various reasons for sure and there are also common themes. I refer to it as “being committed to their S**T”!  

Sometimes It is much more comfy doing stuff for someone else than facing your own s**t and you come off as looking noble or perhaps a martyr. 

Sometimes,  you are getting something out of that s**t. Yep. Not a judgement...just a fact… we do not do things that don't give us a benefit even if the benefit is complaining rights at the lunchroom table!

Sometimes, the thought of doing something about your commitment to your s**t means trying something new and different and yikes..that is downright scary! 

No matter what your reason may be….you deserve better.

Why am I bringing this up now? I don’t know. Maybe I've just heard one too many of these stories….

Those who know me well know that I am pretty passionate when it comes to making choices and living your best life. I love how the Red Hot Chili Peppers put it: “this life is more than just read through” - so much truth here.

So, if you are ready to commit to YOU…reach out. I am always available for a ZERO obligation call to see if we’re a fit.

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I've got some good news...and some bad news...

Willpower is a skill.

That’s it. The good news and the bad news.

Whoa! Slow down..before you start making assumptions (like this is an article about weight loss) take a moment. Bear with me here. Willpower is a skill! For those who think I’m making this up, check out Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk..there’s actually scientific proof. Ahh, now I hear the exhales from my former scientific colleagues, yes, this is backed by research.

Here’s the good news….willpower is a skill that you can practice and grow like a muscle and it is backed by science.

So why am I choosing to write about this now? Truthfully? I just gave a talk about willpower this past weekend so it is fresh in my mind. Also, I looked at the calendar and noticed that it is October! What happened to the rest of the year?

In business, this marks the home stretch, the final quarter. The time when the gas pedal may need an extra tap and there are mounting priorities…both in and outside work. That just, aren’t, getting, done. Period.

That’s where willpower comes in. Willpower provides the “pull” to keep you going when you are working on a goal. But let’s get clear first. Until you know what you want to achieve, then all the willpower in the world will not help you.

Step one is to get clear on what you want to achieve. Have a goal. Believe in it. This belief will give you purpose and help you persevere.

Step two is to expect there to be roadblocks. Any goal that is worthwhile will have difficulties. When the roadblocks hit, you fall off the wagon or you mess up. aka “fail”. Forgive yourself. Don’t take my word for it…take McGonigal’s! This is key to persevering.

Step three is to build a strategy to manage those roadblocks, so when they come (not if they come) you can adjust your sails, course correct, get some help and then take another step. Oh yeah.. and learn.

Repeat. What I love about this is that as you continually repeat the cycle, you may notice that “fail” starts to get replaced with “succeed”!

Practice. Fail (and forgive!). Learn. Repeat.

I love this. For anything from business goals to parenting to knitting and yes, even losing weight.

What else can you do? Set mini goals. Improve your willpower - meditate, exercise, breathe, get more sleep, No kidding (that’s actually backed by science).

Oh and you might be wondering why I said this was good and bad news. The good news, willpower is a skill and, a skill is something you can acquire and develop. Everyone. The bad news, there is no longer the “I just don’t have any willpower” excuse!

Need help tapping into your willpower? Contact me for a zero obligation chat.


Are you a starter, or are you a finisher?

Why the picture of Michelangelo's David? Michelangelo was a finisher. David didn't happen overnight. Willpower, perseverance.

It is October 1st. For those of you in business, this marks the beginning of the final quarter of the year. The time when the gas pedal might need an extra tap and there are mounting priorities…both in and outside of work, that just, aren’t, getting done. Period.

So here’s the question…are you a starter or are you a finisher? Or…do you repeatedly start the same thing again and again and again…and never seem to get it done?

I’m guessing that the answer might be “it depends”. Right? I get it. Take a couple of seconds right now to quickly think about a response to the following prompts below, in your head, trusting your first response or memory that comes up.

Think of something you want to start but just haven’t quite gotten around to it.

Now think of something you have started, maybe more than one time, but just can’t seem to see it through.

Now think of something you did finish.

Notice what comes up for you as you think about each of the scenarios above. Maybe the different feelings or thoughts that each gives you.

We are all creatures of habit and that can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good when we are getting what we want and not so good when we aren’t. This is human. 

Now imagine how would it feel to be able to set and achieve a “mini” goal before 2018 is done? To actually start and complete something. Doesn’t matter if it is personal or business (because that’s personal too…). Just think of the “boost” you will get when you are able to achieve something before, the end of the year comes! You can end 2018 primed for success.

So often we think that we need a huge win in order to get our juices flowing again and really, that isn’t necessarily true. Often times, it is the little wins that provide us with the willpower to go after the big wins.

I recently gave a talk on willpower and the take home message was that having “mini-goals” was key to achieving bigger goals down the road. Small “wins” add up and help build the willpower necessary to persevere when things go sideways. Notice that I said “when” and not “if”? It is kind of a given that when we are working on something meaningful, we will hit a few roadblocks. How are you going to keep going when this happens? Willpower is part of that and so is having a plan.

Ask yourself the following questions;

  • Are you clear on what you want? In this case, something small. 

  • What is the roadblock to getting what you want?

  • What plan do you have in place to manage the roadblock?

I’m guessing that if you had this all figured out, you would already be doing it and you would be a “finisher” all the time! If this isn’t you then you are in luck! I will be running a series of workshops in November focused on getting you clear on what you want; identifying at least one roadblock and then doing some work to manage the roadblocks. Three evenings. 90 minutes each. Interested? Message me. Go to my website. Call.

Let me help you finish the year off with a bang!


The Power of Presence - Gift from Italy

I am on a train, travelling from Sorrento to Napoli. I am on a train and not the fancy kind. Rather, the kind I was warned about prior to my trip to Italy. The kind where I was told to bring wipes and sanitizer for my hands.  Where the AC is opening the windows and the “advertising” on the walls is graffiti. That kind of train.

I settle into my seat and proceed to start reading a book.

Several stops in, a couple of local musicians get on the train.  A saxophonist and an accordion player. They begin to play and I continue with my face in my book. Ironically,  a book about being present in the moment...

I see the irony of the situation and put my book down.  I close  my eyes and proceed to "experience " the moment.  I can hear the music more clearly now. I feel the breeze from the window and I am swaying in my seat as the train speeds along. I become totally immersed in what is going on. And then it happens.  I am completely overwhelmed with the absolute beauty of the experience. All my senses are fully engaged in the moment. True presence.  It brings me to tears. I let the tears stream down my face and savour that as well.

Then it is over.

Being in the moment is a learning process for me. I am intellectually aware that "now" is truly all we've got and at times, I sneak ahead of where I am or creep back to where I was. I'm not suggesting that you can't do that, just try and spend more time where you are. The power was immense and now I have a beautiful memory to tap into to remind me of the gift of presence.

So, how am I going to incorporate this practice more deeply as I am settling back into work? Being conscious about doing it first of all. Remembering that the whole experience was maybe 3 to 5 minutes tops and how often do I find myself with a couple of minutes in my day? How many of you have 3 to 5 minutes between a meeting or a phone call where you could sit and just “be”. Wherever that may be? Go back to visit an experience that brought you a gift that you could use in that moment. Maybe a gift of patience, certainty or a little escape to a trip you once took. Try it next time you have a few minutes and see what opens up for you.

Grazie Italia.


It is New Year's Eve!

Yep! You read that correctly! I don’t know about you, but for me, September always brings a sense of renewal and fresh energy. Like a new beginning for the last part of the year. 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.

September 1st has a special meaning for me as it marks my third anniversary in my own business and reflecting back on the year so far is so useful in deciding how I want to spend my energy for the next four months. It helps me account for and realize just how much I have accomplished since January and shows me the gaps that I need to consider for the rest of the 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. This year, September means renewing by taking a trip to Italy and slowing down to pause and reflect and let some of the work I have been doing get integrated. So for September 2018 I will be savouring the last few weeks of summer, all while taking in some breath taking views with some good company, good food and, of course, good wine!

So what about you? If slowing down isn’t in your plans, what is in your plans? Are you satisfied with how things are shaping up for 2018 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 2018 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 2018. 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!

Oh and Happy New Year!

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