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My WORD of Year – 2018

Several years ago I read Debbie Macomber’s book “One Perfect Word”  and, following her example, started to declared a ‘word of the year’ for myself. I failed to do so in 2016, and felt incomplete. 

Last year the word was ‘committed’. I committed to stepping out, to moving forward, to following the path God laid before me, to believe I am not walking along.

I accepted that I may fail, but that I may also succeed. Not moving at all was definitely failing. (reminds me of a quote from Yoda – Do or Do Not. There is not try)

So I attached 2017 with a vengeance – committed to action.

I have accomplished so much, yet there is still much to do. I choose to focus on the road I have traveled, celebrating my progress. A reminder to myself, some of my accomplishments include:

  • editing the Proverbs 31 Woman group bible study into personal study in paperback and kindle
  • completing my first ‘Competent Communicator’ in Toastmasters
  • preparing the final details needed to complete my Professional Life Coach Certification thru PCCI
  • improved the regularity of my social media posting – still a work in progress
  • started to take control of the ‘’clutter’’ in my closets and in my mind

And the list continues. There is so much internally that I have faced as well.

Today is the first day of 2018. I see the road ahead. There are road blocks, detours, and various speed zones which will affect the travel, yet I will move past all of these.

My word for this year is ‘unstoppable’. I have proven to myself that I can move forward if I choose. I look back at the strides made over the past years. Now, with last year’s commitment, I grab God’s hand and say “I am ready Lord, where are we going today”.

In the Messge version of Isaiah 41:13 God replies:

That’s right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’

 

Unstoppable

 

What is stopping you from moving forward in 2018?

What is your WORD OF THE YEAR? How will it propel you to move forward? Consider using a life coach to help you take action and reach the higher level you desire.

Get A Life…Coach

(I recently presented this as a speech at my local Toastmasters Club)

I have heard it said, “If you don’t have a vision, you can never be focused in a direction.”

I wonder then, how do you set a goal, and once set what propels you to consistently move in that direction?

Perhaps, like me, you try searching the internet. This is fine, except for those times I don’t really know what I need to search for.

I ask friends and family. However, their answers are given from their own life perspective and experiences which may not quite align with mine.

To move forward I found I needed to look within myself.

How do I do that? In walks my introduction to a ‘life coach’.

You may have heard the term ‘life coach’ – you may even know someone who is a life coach. As with any other profession, there are various styles. Let me introduce you to Life Coaching as I use it in my own practice.

The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a manner that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential; in other word – working ‘from the inside out’ rather than ‘from the outside in’.

My daughter, unknowingly, demonstrated to me a life coaching technique when she was a teenager.

She would come to me and say, “mom, I don’t want you to tell me what to do, I don’t want you to fix it, I want you to listen, to hear what I have thought through, and let me know if you see anything I may have missed or need to consider”

As a life coach, that is what I do. I listen. And I ask questions. I help you see what you are looking at from a different angle.

Last year over the Christmas holidays I opened a jigsaw puzzle and set it out. There were 5 of us working on this puzzle at the same time and this is what I learned: we had the picture in front of us and were in agreement of what the end goal was – to make these pieces look like that picture; however, each of us had our own method of reaching that goal. We all started out the same – find the outer edge pieces and make the border. But then, we each went our own way of working through the process. Jon took a piece and worked methodically along pieces already in place and tested to see if it fit, then moved on to another piece. Angela looked for pieces that fit together, even if just 2 or 3 pieces, and worked to create a lot of partial fittings. My granddaughter and I looked at what everyone else did and mottled through trying to expand from their work. A few times, we switched chairs. With the new perspective the pieces to the puzzle suddenly fit in places we had not noticed before. Everyone had their own method to reach the same goal.

As your life coach, I help you find your method to reach your goal. I provide you with the tools you need make the decisions you require to get the job done. I walk with you on your journey toward your goal. I will remind you of your goal, your values, your priorities along the way when life’s detours and road hazards call your focus away from your destination. And, as your life coach I celebrate with you your successes.

Are you ready for a Life Coach? Ask yourself these questions:

• Do I want to grow and change?

• Have I made efforts to change within the past year?

• Am I capable of thinking about the future?

• Am I open to learning?

• Am I committed to making changes?

• Am I willing to learn from others?

• Am I willing to take risks?

• Am I willing to restructure my life if necessary?

If you answered YES to any these questions, you might want to consider connecting with Life Coach to help you as move forward. If this is something you are interested in learning about, I have some references for you from organizations I am associated with that may be of help.

Working ‘from the inside out’ what jigsaw puzzles are developing your life? What steps are you taking you need to clarify? Are there detours on your path you have not considered? Maybe it’s time to ask a life coach to help fill your toolbox.

You have the vision, and now you have tools to keep you focused on the direction, it’s time to begin the journey.

Keeping the Pieces Together

 

You are so busy. You struggle to keep all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of your life together- home, church, family, kids afterschool activities, work, and the list goes on.

Jigsaw-Puzzle_filled_tap

You must plan ahead and determine what pieces of the puzzle (a.k.a your life) will get a ‘yes’ response from you and which will get a ‘no’ response.

Before the holiday season becomes hectic for you, take a look at your situation. Where will you focus your energy? What will be your priorities? Plan now so you can enjoy the holidays instead of dreading them.

Jigsaw-Puzzle_tap

Place your priorities in this puzzle and determine to keep yourself pieced together. Just like putting together a manufactured jigsaw puzzle, there are boundaries. Set your boundaries and build the beautiful picture that is you within them.

Voices in My Head

I suffer from a problem I am sure none of you ever face. I experience bouts of low self-esteem and lack of confidence.

I know, I know, this is unfamiliar to you, but if you will allow me to share my story with you, perhaps you will have a clearer understanding.

Inside my head are a bunch of ping pong balls that bounce around triggering thoughts and ideas – sometimes they run in supercharge mode and hit all the negative nerves inside my brain …and occasionally hit on ones I didn’t know existed. These negative thoughts turn the volume up until nothing else can be heard except the slow and steady drumming. Think of that car that passes by your house with bass turned so high the windows rattle. Yeah, that’s my mind-field.

Several months ago my small group did a video study by Pastor Steve Furtick. I had never heard of this guy, but the title looked interesting – Crash The Chatterbox.

In this study he described the thoughts we have and voices we listen to as a factory, and we must maintain quality control. That was interesting in itself, but what really got my attention were the sessions where he ‘interviewed the chatterbox’. He personalized the chatterbox by having someone portray this chatterbox. He demeaned the interviewer, reminded him of his failures, and hinted at others displeasure of him. It appealed to me because, by placing a face and personality to this negative trait, it changed the way I looked at ‘the ping pong balls’.

Taking my cue from the chatterbox interview I created my own ‘chatterbox’. I used one of my teddy bears.

Are you a Star Trek fan? Do you know what happens when a crew member in a red shirt joins the away team? Yeah, that person won’t be back. The term “red shirt” is defined on Wikipedia as a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced.

So, I got out one of my Star Trek bears, dressed appropriately in a red shirt, and named him “chatterbox”. When the negativity strikes I tell my red shirt chatterbox to shut up.

Occasionally, before dying, a red shirt will say something that may be referred to throughout the show. Thus, my red shirt doesn’t always stay quiet. So, I created a NO CHATTERBOX ALLOWED sign. I put the bear in the box and ban it from mind. Hey, whatever works!

Still, the chatterbox tries to call out to me. I need another defense!

This one comes in the form of a Tiara. Every woman should have a tiara.

It started in fun. I commented one day needing a tiara to remind me I am a daughter of the King and my wonderful husband, on his next trip to run errands, picked up a tiara for me.

I put the tiara on to remind myself of my worth. I am royalty! My Heavenly Father is the King!

In a quick check of google I found some tips on how royalty is to be treated. Here are a few tips I learned and modified to tell my chatterbox it was unwelcome.

• Do not initiate conversation with royalty – Chatterbox, you may not start with me

• During a formal dinner, stop eating when the queen does – Chatterbox, stop chewing on my life, my past failures, perceived indiscretions, and inaccuracies.

• A non-royal must never touch a person of royalty – chatterbox, keep your distance; and stay out of my head!!

• Most importantly, take the lead from the royal person – Chatterbox, please leave me alone.

Speech_8_photo-9x6Yes, this is silly. But when I get a glimpse of myself with my tiara as I pass a mirror or see my reflection in a window or even in the monitor of my computer, I get a little smile. I stand a little taller. I walk with a surer step. I have the strength to block the chatterbox out.

Is it silly if it works? Yes, it is probably still silly. But there are is so much negativity around us it seeps into lives and can take over. We must find ways to see beyond it, to change the focus and the self talk.

For me, it’s a teddy bear in a box with a not welcome sign on it and a tiara on my head. How do you destroy the chatterbox in your life?