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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.

Draw Me A Picture With Your Words

I love to use word pictures to try to describe what is happening in my mind’s eye.  I can see something but it is fuzzy, and unclear. By speaking out the picture to someone it becomes clearer. Focus becomes sharper. I can see it and now I can choose how to act on it.

One thing I really enjoy about the coaching process is using questions to help bring that picture into focus. With my own life coach I often describe a bunch of ping pong balls bouncing around, each with a different thought or idea. When it strikes my mind goes there, but before I can focus on that thought or idea, another ball bounces and another thought starts to form. This continues until I am filled with disjointed and ideas that paralyze me from moving forward.

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My coach has learned how to use this scenario to bring clarity and focus by addressing the ping pong balls.

To some, this word picture may be ridiculous. My coach might even think that. But that doesn’t matter. It is my mind, my focus. As a coach she walks alongside me using the metaphor I describe and helps me to examine it, to look closely, and understand within myself what I am seeking.

Another word picture I have seen many use in coaching calls is that of a road. To some the road and clear and they are speeding along it; others find various road blocks and unexpected turns.

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As a life coach I enter your word picture and walk with you.

What word pictures would you use to describe a goal you desire to reach?

What will it take to move you forward from where you are

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to where you and God desire you to be?

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I’d love to discuss this with you. Click the “move forward” tab to start the conversation. If possible, I would love to enter the journey with you.

Living within Healthy Boundaries

I did it again.  She called with a last minute cancellation asking me to please take over the project. Through gritted teeth with a forced smile I said it would be no problem.

Afterward I slammed a few cabinet doors, spoke some words I wouldn’t want my daughter to hear, and then started to readjust my plans for the day to complete the project and submit it on time to our client.

Everyone has emergencies come up, I get it. But this person seemed to always have one excuse or another. Everything was an emergency. The stories are such that I don’t even listen to them any more. I simple say ‘sure, I will take care of it’. Then I lash out.

Why can’t I confront her? Why should my family take the brunt of this?

This is just one of many scenarios I live with. Can you relate? What would your story be?

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend address this and similar issues in their book “Boundaries”.

I will be using this text and correlating video lessons in an 8 week online course.

Some of the questions to be addressed include:

How can I say no and not feel guilty?

Are boundaries biblical?

What if setting boundaries will upset or hurt someone?

For more information, go to the Boundaries page (CLICK HERE) and sign up to join us.  This online course is for women only and class size will be limited to allow everyone a chance to participate.

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My Checklist

‘Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you have set’ – Psalm 119:5 msg

I have tossed my daily TO DO list and now work on an I WILL list.  Simply thinking about ‘what I should do’ verses ‘what I will do’ is a perspective shift that has helped me to move forward.

Alongside my I WILL list I now have checklists.  Many activities require a number of steps, as if putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Once I determine what I will do, I look at what must be done to complete that task.

An example would be writing this post. I work it out like thischecklist_md_clr:

  • determine the topic
  • open the software so I may type as phrases or particular words come to mind
  • type, delete, type, repeat
  • proof read for spelling/grammar
  • set categories
  • set tags
  • schedule the post

To you, this may be excessive. Perhaps for you it all comes naturally and impulsively. I used to be able to do that as well. I don’t know if it is aging, time of life, or just a cluttered mind Smile 

By breaking it down, I stay on course, feel a sense of accomplishment and realize that I am closer to my goal with each step.

What works best for you? How do you stay on top of your TO DO lists and accomplishments?

Quit Planning–Start Acting

Every year on January 1 people all over the world make New Year’s Resolutions.  Forbes reports that an average of 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. EIGHT percent!!

Psychology Today reports that people who set goals, write them down and ask for accountability succeed nearly 75% of the time.

What is the difference between a New Year’s Resolution and a Goal?  Commitment. Saying “I will” instead of “I want to” is committing to action, not just dreaming and hoping.

We all need to dream. We all need to hope. But it doesn’t stop there. 

I dream often of having the skinny body I did many years ago, even while eating my latest batch of chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven. Dreaming won’t bring the body back – only acting on the commitment to exercise and change my eating habits.  Not just for a day or two, but to a lifetime commitment.

Opening a business where I would coach women who desire to move forward from where they are now to where they and God desire her to be means more than dreaming. I can visualize a schedule filled with clients, speaking engagements and an active blog post. That does not make it come to reality.

Making it a reality is overwhelming. There is such a large chasm between the desire and the picture in my dreams. Do you relate? Is there a chasm in front of you as well?

This past Christmas I purchased a jigsaw puzzle for my family to work on while visiting.  We each have our own way of working on a jigsaw puzzle as far as placing pieces, sorting the unused ones, etc; but there is one thing we all agreed on – set out and position the border pieces first.

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I apply the same to moving forward in my dream. Whether through using a coach of my own to help me go deeper into my desires, by journaling, through a vision board, or any other method that helps me focus, I outline the outer borders. What does I desire in the end? What values will I maintain? What ethical choices will I stand firm on? Where will I say no?

Then it’s time to sort the puzzle pieces and slowly, one by one, put the pieces into place until a full picture is presented. There were many interruptions along the way but we did finally put all the pieces together. That is, all the pieces except the one that was missing from the box.

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Now that I have clarified my dreams and desires I add color as each step brings the dream toward a reality.

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The process is slow moving for me; for others the pieces fall in place quickly.

The important thing is to remember that even a baby step is still a step forward. Stay committed. Keep moving forward.

What do you do to stay focused? How to you return to your efforts after interruptions occur? What happens when you find a piece is missing?

What dream will you commit to making a reality in 2017?

My One Word for 2017

I first got the idea after reading the book “One Perfect Word” by Debbie Macomber. For several years I chose one word which would be my word for the year.  When I did this, that word resonated throughout the year and helped me to focus. 

Last year I didn’t choose one and as I look back at 2016 it feels undefined.

So I am choosing a word for 2017.  The word is ‘committed’.  I am committed to stepping out; I am committed to moving forward; I am committed to following the path God has laid before me; I am committed to believing I am not walking alone; I am committed to me; I am committed to action.

So many thoughts, ideas, and desires have flooded my mind and my heart.  It is time to get them out of my head, off the paper, and into action.  I may fail, yes. But I may succeed.  Either result is frightening. But I have committed to facing the results, no matter what it may be.

Do you celebrate a word for the year? What word did you choose?

A New Perspective

I am a Star Trek fan; from the very first episodes in the 60s through Next Gen, Deep Space, Voyager and movies.

One of the many things that intrigues me about this Sci-Fi series is the various aspects they display about daily life.  A favorite episode in Next Generation is from season 6 titled “Timescape”.  Picard, Laforge, Data, and Troi return to the Enterprise via a shuttlecraft. They had been away to a conference. As they approach the Enterprise they find it and a Romulan ship frozen in time in what appears to be a battle.

They find a way to board the ships and by first appearance, the Romulans are taking the Federation ship hostage and it looks as if they are killing some of the crew.

Ever calm Captain Picard and his shuttlecraft crew find a way to turn time back a few seconds which shows them exactly what led to each presentation. In doing so, they see their perspective of what imaged happened is quite different than what actually happened.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could freeze time to take a step back and then rewind to view all the details of a scene from different angles?

But, we can’t. I was talking with a teacher who works with kids before and after school. She was telling me how she has explained to her class why the 2nd person is the one that is ‘caught’. “The activity that triggered the event catches my attention” she explains, “but what I see is the response.” 

Several people can view the same event, and each come away with a different story because of the angle they viewed, their personal beliefs, and what they were doing/thinking at the time.  Everyone is right – from their perspective.

Several years ago some friends and I were looking at this picture I had hanging on a wall.

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Each of us saw something different: I saw a parent praying over a child, another noticed the hand the man has on his son’s back because that is how her husband prays over their sons, the other woman noticed that guardian angel at the window (something I didn’t even notice until she pointed it out).

Each of us looked at the same picture, each saw something different.

How can you change your perspective about a situation you are facing?

  1. 1. Stop, take a deep breath, clear your mind.
  2. 2. Look around. Is there a piece you are missing or have not considered?
  3. 3. Ask others for their thoughts.

Everything is not as it seems. A new perspective may bring new meaning. You can’t turn back time, but you can step back and look again. What do you see from your new perspective?

What Color Do You See? A story of perspective

Several years ago a friend was visiting my home. We sat out on the back deck drinking iced tea and catching up on our lives.

During a lull in the conversation my friend commented on the pretty yellow roses along the fence line. I yellow_rose_sm_clrlooked out there. Yes, there were pretty roses I had worked hard to plant along the fence line, but they weren’t yellow. Thinking she probably just misspoke, I didn’t say anything. Conversation continued.

A bit later she mentioned the yellow roses again. “You want to see them up close?” I asked. We stepped off the deck and walked along the fence, looking at the various flowers. When we stopped at the roses I asked her what color they were, she again said yellow. At that point, I was really confused. We were looking at the same rose, from the same distance, and she was seeing a yellow rose where a red rose resided.

As I looked at her face I noticed her sunglasses. “Would you take off your sunglasses for a moment please” I red_rose_sm_clrasked. She did and quickly explained, “The rose is red!”

She was wearing a pair of sunglasses with a thick amber tint, altering the color viewed all around her. Once she removed the tinted lens, she could see clearly the red rose.amber_glasses

Working with a life coach can benefit by helping to change the lens you look through. A life coach will listen intently, ask powerful questions from your disclosure, and help you look at circumstances from another angle, with a different lens. This allows you to determine for yourself how you wish to proceed with a clear image and refocused path.

Is it time to ‘take off your tinted glasses’’

NEED INPUT

Do you remember the movie “Short Circuit”?  It is a very cute movie made in the mid 1980s about an experimental robot that becomes intelligent.  Upon escaping into the world it seeks out INPUT. It wants to learn.

The phrase “input, more input” became a fun mantra as my children were growing up; signaling more information was needed.

One of my daughters loves to gather input before making a decision. She is not like her mother, who, on many occasions, has been known to make quick decisions without all the details and regretted the results. Grown now, with a family of her own, she started as a young teen asking for me to ‘listen’ to her thought process.  “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 how I came to this resolution, and help me to see if there is something I have not considered that may affect the outcome.”

Wow, where did she get to be so smart?!?!?

This is one way to describe how I work as a life coach. You have to make your own decisions. You have to live with the consequences of any action you take or don’t take.

But you don’t have to go it alone. As your life coach I will listen to you. I will ask deep questions for you to consider. I will repeat back what I hear you say. Did I hear correctly? Do you want to explore that more? 

As the client, you have control of the direction. You have the right to say,”No, I don’t want to go there” or “Let’s go another direction” or “Yes, I do”. 

Some people can work with a life coach for just a few sessions pursuing deeper understanding of a change that is on the horizon. Some of those changes could include: empty nest coming up, planning for a job change, balancing work and home, stretching your comfort zone, and so much more.

Are you seeking ‘INPUT’ as you explore your next step? I’d love to discuss this with you further.

Time For Change

Spring time is beginning to show itself here in the Midwest. The grass is starting to green and grow, my husband is already looking at the lawn mower to wake it from it’s winter slumber.  Perennial plants are showing tips of green as they yawn and burst through the ground. Rain comes often.

Spring is a sign of change; a change in seasons.  Change is all around us.  I am a creature of habit and find myself a bit reluctant to change.

When a change is suggested in routine my first thought is “Why?  Are we changing just for the sake of change or will the change be beneficial?”  I like routine.

So when I desire a change in myself, I stand back and challenge it.

Taking training to become a Professional Life Coach through PCCI I learned a lot about how to approach change, face it, and move forward.

The most effective learning tool was the use of a coach. During the training I experienced personal coaching. I found that having someone listen deeply to what I was saying, asking me questions helping me to delve deeper into what I truly desired. I faced my fears, my concerns, found hidden desires, and made a commitment to myself.

I realized I was responsible for my own decisions. If I do things because it will please others, I am not fully committed. If I do something because someone told me I ‘should’ then they have made the decision for me. I do not accept ownership. With the coaching conversation I examined my ultimate goal.  It looked so huge, could I truly achieve it? Working together, I created S.M.A.R.T G.O.A.L.S.

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Like opening the box of a huge jigsaw puzzle we opened the package together and looked at the final picture. Through questions and looking within myself the big picture was broken down into attainable working sections. First, gather the pieces to make the outer border. Now sort the pieces into smaller working areas, focusing on one area, then another while keeping the big picture in mind.  With a coach reminding me of my ultimate goal I was reminded of what was important and even found a few things that I thought were important really that were not. By breaking down the ‘big picture’ I could more clearly see the “whole picture”.

Are you ready to move forward but feel stuck? Would a life coach help? 

· Do you want to grow and change?

· Have  you made efforts to change within the past year?

· Are you capable of thinking about the future?

· Are you open to learning?

· Are you committed to making changes?

· Are you willing to learn from others?

· Are you willing to take risks?

· Are you willing to restructure your life if necessary?

If you answered YES to the questions above, I would like to speak with you.  Check out more by exploring other pages on this website then submit a request to schedule a no obligation meeting via the MOVE FORWARD page. 

Let’s break down that big picture into attainable steps, empowering you to bring all the pieces together in a manner that will help you achieve your goals.