Category Archives: Transition

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.

Puzzle-Complete

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.

SmartGoals

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.

Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser–Stuck in the Muck

Forgiveness.  The Bible tells me to forgive others. The Bible promises God has and will forgive me.  Psychologists and medical doctors say unforgiveness causes many physical and emotional problems. 

I understand all this. I can accept the premise of all these. Over time I have learned to forgive others for the wrongs done against me.

There is one I have the most trouble forgiving.  ME. This keeps me stuck and I am unable to move forward.  Everytime I try to step away it pulls me back in.

I have accepted the fact that harboring anger against another doesn’t hurt them one bit – it hurts me. I can be wary that I not allow you to hurt me again, but I forgive you.

What I have trouble forgiving is my part. Whether it is something I did that caused the other to hurt me OR my reaction to the hurt, I hold onto that pain I inflicted on myself. I feel such shame I cannot get past it. This guilt and shame keep me stuck and I am unable to move forward.  Every time I try to step away it pulls me back in.

Recent devotional and Scripture studies have led me to discovering the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is that feeling when I have done something wrong – shame focuses on who I am.  It has caused me to step back and look deeply at what I am holding on to.

I have had to look closely at what it is I am facing: guilt or shame.  I realize much of it is shame. Why? Because of the effect it has on me.  Shame tells me ‘I am not good enough”, that “no one could love me because of this” and “I am a failure”. 

These are LIES!!! I have to choose to ignore these lies. I must fight to remind myself of the truth. I am valued. My Savior died and defeated death for me. This would not be done for one who is ‘worthless’.

For what I am guilty of, I repent. Shame has no place in my life.  I CHOOSE to turn away from the negative thoughts and lies. I CHOOSE to focus on what is pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (see Philipians 4:8 )

I choose what I put into my physical body when I eat, I also choose what I allow in my mind.  I choose to take control of these thoughts and focus on truth.

What do you do to keep shame at bay in your life?

Peaceful Productivity

I admire women that are busy and productive, yet have an air of peace about them. They don’t fret over life’s interruptions, they don’t rush about. They get things done with a calmness and peace that seems unreal. Yet the peace is so strong within them I want to be enveloped in it.

I have sought that peace.

Though still far from achieving total peace, I have found myself on the path toward the peace Christ offers in John 14:27 “My peace I give to you”. Give!! He is giving me His peace. So, why am I so harried?

 

Peace, like Salvation is given. He is giving it. It sits there in front of me, free to accept. It is up to me to accept it. I am free to take hold of it, look at it in awe, or totally reject it.

In my pursuit of this peace I have developed  a 4 week interactive webinar. During this small group online session we will look at the acronym PEACE and find ways to accept that gift which Christ has freely given.

The cost of this 4 week series is just $10.  See the online registration then take a look at your busy calendar. I’d love to share this journey with you.  CLICK HERE for details. 

Questions? Please email me. I’d love to discuss this further with you.

Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser–What If

I hate to admit it, but people pleasing is an addiction. The truth is, when people call me, depend on me, seek me out to do something my ego is fed and my image is enhanced.  It provides a temporary high. And just like the temporary high from a batch of brownies or a chemical enhancement, this temporary high ends with a crash leaving me craving even more.

For years I convinced myself it was an element of servanthood – I was putting others before myself. That’s what Scripture says so I had to say ‘yes’ to every call. Right?

As I committed to a closer relationship with Christ and dug deeper into His Word I found that was slightly out of context.

Jesus was always in demand, everyone wanted His attention. Jesus did not always say ‘yes’ to everyone. While there are many stories, let’s look at one in John 5, verses 1-9.  Many are waiting by the Pool of Bethesda to be healed. Jesus certainly could have healed every single person there with just a word. But, instead, he healed one.

Jesus also taught being busy was not more important than time with the Lord. Look at the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10. Martha busies herself with preparations while Mary sits at Jesus feet, listening to all he has to say. Martha asks Jesus to get on to Mary and tell her to get up and help. Jesus reminds her Mary is doing what is most important, that at that moment, all of Martha’s busy work is less important than the one thing Mary is doing. 

Ouch!  While there times I need to be busy, I must accept there are times I am slow down.  I can’t hear God’s still small voice if I am busy doing a dozen other things.

Scripture also tells a story of our own preparedness and that we each have responsibilities. Take a look at Matthew 25. There are 10 virgins, waiting for the bridgegroom to call. The time has come to go out to meet him. Five of the 10 are prepared with lamps full of oil, five did not fill their lamps and as they were walking needed them filled.  When the asked the 5 who were prepared to give them oil, these responded with ‘no, then I may not have enough for myself’.  The 5 unprepared had to seek their own oil and missed the banquet.  Yes, the 5 could have given up their oil, but why?  All had the same opportunity to prepare. Five chose not to make the meeting of the bridegroom a priority, and missed out. You could also look at this in another light: stewardship. Each was given the responsibility of their own lamp – five took care of the chore assigned them, five did not.

Setting priorities like stopping all the activity to sit at Jesus feet, or choosing to provide for my family by not sharing my oil is hard!!!  These are tough choices.  And many times we allow ‘circumstances’ to occur so we can declare “I had no choice”…and there may be times that is true.  But if you look seriously at you daily actions you will find many choices you made, even if unconsciously.

Setting priorities leads to a lot of “what if” questions. 

  • What if I turn down this big project at work? I will be spending more time at home but I may lose out on the next promotion.
  • What if I limit my children’s sports activities to a couple nights a week instead of 5? What if they are then not as good as the other kids on the team?
  • What if I don’t accept that committee appointment?
  • What if?

Life is filled with what ifs. We must each decide what is most important.  By saying YES to one thing, we are saying NO something else.  OR perhaps by saying NO to one thing, we are saying YES to something else.

No, I will not serve as head of the HOA this year – Yes, I will spend those evenings of heated discussed instead with my family

Yes, I will teach that Sunday School class – No, I cannot sit in the sanctuary with my husband at that time

Choices. We have to make them. Some are not life changers: chocolate or vanilla cupcake, coke or pepsi, hamburger or hot dog.  We make choices all day long. Do I open my eyes now? Do I get out of bed? Do I go to work? What do I wear?

What if

  • you chose not to go to work
  • you decided not to put gas in the car when it was so near empty
  • you didn’t pay the electric bill

And on and on it goes. I try not to answer right away when asked to do something, responding, “may I check my calendar and family, then get back with you”.   What if I miss out on that big event? What if I miss out on the little events God has provided for me? 

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

New Year’s Resolution or Disillusion

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution last year? How did it go?

If you like the majority of people you set it aside within the 1st 6 weeks of the year. Maybe you went a little longer. Perhaps you of the small percentage that stuck to it. If so, congratulations!

Not completing your resolution as hoped does not make you a failure. It makes you human.

So what about that change you wanted to make in your life? Is it too late, too far fetched, too unreachable?

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How important is it for you make that change?  Do you really want it? How hard are willing to work for it?

So often the change desired is B*I*G, so big it looms into a mountain before us – immovable. A few steps motorhome_traveling_mountains_md_clrare taken toward it, but it is just to large to climb.

Here are some steps to climbing that mountain.

  • Don’t climb alone. Find someone you trust and respect to climb with you. Someone who will hold you accountable.  (Ecc 4:12) (Prov 15:22)
  • Make the mountain a molehill.  Look at the overall goal as a large jigsaw puzzle. Break it down into workable pieces. Work a portion a time, bringing the full picture into focus. (Zec 4:10)
  • Plan ahead. Mountain climbers don’t wake up one day saying ‘today I will climb a mountain’. They prepare, build up muscle, collect and pack supplies.  What do you need to do to prepare? (Prov 21:5)  (Prov 31:15)
  • Set your mind on the goal. Make visual reminders and signs of encouragement around you to help keep the ultimate goal in mind. (Phil 3:13-14) (Ps 37:4) (Luke 14:28)
  • Learn to say NO. Saying ‘yes’ to one thing means saying ‘no’ to another. Learn to say ‘no’ to things that will take you away from your goal. (Gal 6:5) (Tit 2:12)
  • Forgive yourself. Stepping away doesn’t mean defeat. It means you stepped away. You can choose at this point to accept as defeat your faltered step or you can get up and start again.  You are already several steps in. Pick up where you left off and continue to move forward. Consider it a pit stop on the journey. (1John 1:9) (Acts 3:19) (Rom 5:1)

classic_convertible_road_md_whtNow, what are your plans for the New Year? You are about to begin a journey. Look out the windshield, not the rear view mirror, and move forward. Accept every accomplishment and hold to it. Take pit stops when needed, then continue on. Your destination awaits you.