Are you getting what you want?

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand and maybe it is because you are getting something out of not getting what you want. Come again? 

It comes down to strategy.  Not only for getting what you want but, and hear me out here, for NOT getting what you want.

Nothing we do does not provide some sort of benefit.  If it didn't, we wouldn't do it.  People get all prickly when I say this and that's ok.  My job is to help people get what they want.  This often means helping them recognize that sometimes, the reason they are not getting what they want is because, deep down, there is a payoff or benefit for doing the things they do that get in their way.  Simply put, our brains do not do random.  It just isn't a thing.  Even smokers are taking deep breaths, getting a break from work, socializing or being alone.  

Thing is, until you recognize the strategy you are using to get what you don't want, it will be hard to interrupt it and look for other ways to get what you want.

I work with people to identify the strategies they are using that are standing in the way of getting what they want.  Those very same people also have great strategies for getting what they want however, they are not always able to recognize the pattern of behaviour associated with getting it.  Either way, once the strategy is revealed, it becomes much easier to see where change can happen.  And the good news?  Often it is a small tweak that changes the whole strategy. That's correct, it doesn't have to be a huge change. In fact, smaller, more sustainable tweaks will build upon each other and ultimately result in bigger changes.  The key here is small steps, sustainability and consistency because change is a process.

Getting what you want is recognizing what the benefit of that behaviour is that is getting in your way and finding another more productive way of getting the same result..  There are a few steps involved in getting you there that involve trying things out to see if they work and then trying something else until you figure it out. Its a process.  It is possible. Wanting is the first step. If you are clear that you do not want to stay where you are and you don't know what your next step to take may be, then contact me for a ZERO obligation chat.  Let's stop you from running away from what you don't want and instead, running towards something you do want.

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Beginnings Aren't Just for January

"It's always just beginning. Everything is always just beginning." - Jakuso Kwong.  What a great sentiment, even if we are more than half way through 2018.  It is important to remember that every day you can clean the slate and start again. Truth.  Somewhere along the line someone made up that you can only decide to create something new in January and then after that, well, not so much.  If you blew your diet, well it is now blown so may as well give up.  If you missed a few days of the gym, may as well skip the rest of the week.  If you haven't meditated today you may as well give up....and the list goes on.

This year in particular, I am kicking that idea to the curb.  I am taking Jakuso Kwong's quote and applying it to every single day.  It doesn't mean that I erase everything I have done, it means I approach each and every day with fresh energy, excitement and commitment for continuing towards my goals. It means letting go of the not so productive ideas and not attaching special meaning to them and opening up space to create different ideas.  Its a process.

Anyone in business knows that constantly adjusting the sails is how you get to your destination.  If you don't assess and check in with yourself and your goals and adjust accordingly you may be a bit rigid and rigid sounds well, rigid.  When you look at each day as an opportunity to notice what is working and what is not and act accordingly, you stand a much better chance of achieving your goals and, it feels good.  You're in charge of you.

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How are you going to be when it gets messy?

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You have no idea how much I wish I knew the answer to this question in my 20+ years in the corporate world.  In particular when I was managing a team and had to have some difficult conversations. Yikes, I kind of shake my head when I look back.  Although, overall, I think I did alright, whoa, with the skills I have now, I could have shown up so much better.  When I had to have a tough conversation, all focus was on the other person (obviously) however, no consideration was ever given to "how" I could show up and be my best as well.  

When you walk into a difficult situation unprepared, then the way you are feeling and being is going to spread like a bad virus, before you even open your mouth. This was my experience for sure, my state when I walked into the room was immediately picked up by the person across the table from me.

Why am I writing about this now?  Well, yesterday was a little ironic for me.  There was a rainy, windy storm in the afternoon that left power out, trees down and chairs all over the backyard and I was running an evening event about how to show up as your best self when you need to solve a difficult problem, achieve a complicated task, head into a difficult meeting or maybe even have a difficult conversation with someone you love. You know, things that can get a little messy and it just tweaked something in my brain to say, this would be so useful for others, from the boardroom to the kitchen table.

The point being, that when things get messy, how you show up is integral to achieving what you want. Because, lets face it, what you want matters and, you do not do things in isolation, other people are often involved.  To get what you want, you need to be clear on exactly what it is that you want and to connect with those around you, all while ensuring that you are in the best possible headspace to do this. 

What do I mean about "showing up"?  I practice, teach and coach a state based model for performance.  So, what does that mean?  Think of it this way, how you are in your thoughts, feelings and physiology at any given time.  The combination of these three things will determine your behaviour and in turn, determine the results you are getting in a particular situation.  It doesn't have to be something earth shattering either, a conversation with a parent, spouse, child or perhaps with a boss, colleague or subordinate.  Anytime you are headed for a situation where you want to be your best, managing how you show up makes a difference in your outcomes.

Practice it long enough and when a storm blows in like it did last night, you will be able to be relaxed and ready to handle it automatically as you have practiced how you want to be.

Sound like something you could use?  I run a 90 minute workshop for small groups (12 people max) who are ready to be in charge of how they show up, in a "relaxed and ready" state to handle what life throws at them. Contact me for more information.  www.steppingstonecoaching.ca

What if today was "someday"?

You wake up and roll over.  You pick up your phone to check out what time it is and roll over again.  Wait a minute!  You grab your phone again and look, this time you rub your eyes...this can't be right!  Holy s**t!!  How did that happen?  You realize that today is "someday".  You know,  the day you find out the rich uncle died and you are inheriting millions; the kids have finished school; the house is paid off; you have lost the weight; you've stayed "just one more year" at the job you hate; you're retired etc. etc. 

Now what?  What happens now? What do you mean you don't know!  You have been waiting for someday to come for so long and now it is here you don't have a clue what to do. Fact is, someday is any day and it is up to you to decide that now is the time, now is the place.  Everything will never be perfectly lined up, there is no magic time.  I've heard it said that the days are long but the years are short.  Anyone with young children can attest to this one.  Scary thing is, it is true. You wake up and all of a sudden - boom - there you are, same place you were 10 years ago and still miserable.  Still waiting for the perfect conditions to do that thing you want to do or stop doing that thing you don't want to do.

So what if you imagine for a moment that someday actually is today. Close your eyes and see the picture clearly and notice who is in it, where you are and what is around you.  What would be different about this day?  What would you do first?  Do that.

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What's your word for 2018?

Yep, one word.

This is not my original idea.  Apparently it is a "thing".  Picking a word that you will use all year to focus on every day, a word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live etc.   Rather than having a "New Year's resolution", which I have heard, by the way, has usually gone by the wayside by this time in January....yikes!  Because I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions,  I thought it was a great idea but I didn't have a single word in particular that resonated for me.  Not until today.  Things have a way of popping when we put them in the back of our mind to simmer and percolate and I know exactly why this word ended up popping for me.

So what was the word that popped for me?  Intention. And then that morphed into "intentional".

"Intentional"  - there are several definitions if you look through various dictionaries and for the purpose of this I am choosing - behaviour that is thoughtful and deliberate - because I like what that says to me.  It means slowing down, contemplating and deciding how I want to be.

I like the idea of putting more intention behind everything I do rather than just going through the motions.  Whether it is a workout, a meal, a business meeting, a workshop or a conversation.  I have decided that I am going to be intentional about everything I do.  I can already feel a change.  Even as I type this.  I am picking what I want to say differently.

My question for you is this, where could being more intentional be useful for you?  Perhaps pausing for a couple of minutes before you head into a meeting?   Deciding on how you want a  phone call to be before making the call or that pause before saying something that perhaps might not be what you really meant to say.  There are so many ways to apply it.

But that's my word. You get to choose yours. I'm going to own "intentional"  for 2018.  What's one word you would like to own for 2018?  I would love to hear it!

 

 

 

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What do you want and what's getting in the way?

As we approach the end of 2017 and are on the cusp of another year, I find that I am asking myself this question.

What do you want?

One thing I know for sure is that if you do as you always have, you will get what you have always had and, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, unless you think there is.

How many times do we express frustration in our lives about “something” (you fill in the blank here) that will not change?  It could be something physical that we are not satisfied with, a relationship that is not working, a job we hate or a parenting challenge etc. etc.  We complain up and down to anyone who will listen and continue to get more and more frustrated. Doesn’t sound like fun to me.  Nor does it sound productive.  When you truly want to have different, guess what?  You are going to have to “do” different.  This is work, which is why most of us would rather complain then get our butts in gear and do something about it.

What if I told you that you may be doing things on "autopilot" and your results are reflecting this? Ouch.  What habit(s) do you have that are getting in the way of changing what you have, to what you want?  Keep in mind that not all habits are necessarily “bad” and even if they are deemed “bad” – think smoking, there is still something you are getting out of it – think deep breathing.

Habits, by nature, seem to lock us into a behaviour.  It is so much easier to keep doing what our brain has “programmed” then to try and shift it.  Our brains think in patterns based on previous experience:  “if A happens then I do B” – when something similar happens, our brain looks for something similar in our past and attaches a pattern that has worked before to it.  In other words, our brain can be a little lazy or you could say, it likes to be efficient, why exert extra energy when something has worked in the past?  Habits tend to get results without getting the brain involved.

Useful in lots of situations however, habits can totally keep you trapped in a behaviour that does not get you what you want.

What’s my point?

Habits are powerful. Identifying what’s getting in your way is a start and, hard truth here, nothing is going to change unless you change something.

So – want 2018 to be different?  I am running a FREE workshop in January to help you identify the habits that may be getting in your way and to explore some fun ways to shift your behaviour to start getting what you want.  Until you identify the rate limiting habit, it is almost impossible to get that goal you want.  Check out my website for more information.

 

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There's still time!

If you're thinking that its too late, the year is almost over, I failed etc. etc.  I want you to know that it is NEVER too late to take a step in the direction you want to go in.  You want change, maybe it is a new job,  to finally start making the "dream" a reality, spend more time with your family or to find an option when you're feeling like you have none.  

When the count down to 2018 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 2018. To be setting yourself up for the best year ever.  There are so many possibilities for you!  

Want to make 2018 the year that changed your life or do you want to continue to put things on hold until whatever the bull s*^t story is about waiting "until"  happens? Which, by the way, if it hasn't happened yet, no one is going to hand it to you on a platter...it is time to claim the life you deserve!  Lets discover your next best step together.  

Lets connect.  Lets chat.  You have nothing to lose and oh so much to gain!

 

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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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