Mid-year Checkup

As we begin the second half of the year, it’s a good time to do a quick self-assessment. Perhaps you wrote down some desires or goals, or wrote thought thoughts and aspirations in a journal. I actually poked around my computer notes and realized it was exactly four years ago now that I started life coach training. Part of this included being coached myself. Kicking off the process was writing down some desires and expectations I was to work on, with 4 guiding questions: What are the one or two things that are on God’s agenda for my life right now? If I could change one thing in my life right now what would it be? What are the obstacles that are holding me back from reaching my potential in this season of life? When I think ahead to 3 years from now, how do I want my life to be different? I can’t tell you how encouraged I was to go back and see that I have either realized what  I expressed or have made significant progress on each item. The things that seemed quite fuzzy four years ago are no longer fuzzy, and I have made significant life changes to live a healthier life. How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself this year? If you’ve made progress on any, congratulate yourself and tell someone! If you still have work to do, remember that you still have half of the year left! Renew your commitment. Which goals are still in process? Are you making progress on them? Which goals need to be adjusted? Perhaps your goals weren’t SMART enough. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Success is not just about accomplishing all your goals, but also seeing where you need to adjust,...

For the Birds

Birds of a feather flock together. The saying came to mind when I recently drove by a park where a couple of hundred Canada geese were resting comfortably in the cold. Research shows that it’s not only birds that hang out with their own kind. People do too. It’s a myth that opposites attract; in fact, similar do. Multiple studies and simple observations show this. I even found this when I studied audience reactions to an African film. Even though the film was made in a completely different culture and region, audience members were drawn to the characters and story because of the cultural proximity. One person said, “They’re African like me!” In a time and place lacking locally made films, seeing people like them on a screen was significant. If you give cameras to budding photography students, and they go and shoot people who look like them. Whites photograph whites. Polynesians photograph Polynesians, etc. Ask people with whom they socialize and they will likely tell you about friends from their church, neighborhood, work or kid’s school. They tend to be of the same ethnicity, economic strata and education level. They also tend to be the same religion. We are quite naturally drawn to those who are similar us. But we don’t have to limit ourselves. We are not birds! We have the sophistication to be driven by factors other than instinct! We have free will, live in complex social networks, and have the ability to create new realities. We can actually rise above the narrow limitations of our social groups and actively seek out new ones. But it takes intentionality. I used to work with a very close-knit group. Even though group members were spread around the world, we had a pretty narrow...

Start

It’s the new year, so you have likely been thinking about (and hearing about) resetting aspects of your life. There is a sense in January that one can start over. Newsflash: It’s still January! But starting can be the hardest part. Starting is step 1. But often we get bogged down by steps 4 and 5 and so on. What if I don’t follow through? How much will it cost? What will happen if…? Change is intimidating for many of us because it involves uncertainty. But it’s a vicious cycle; and sometimes our deepest desires get bogged down. We experience paralysis by analysis! What is the one thing that is really on your mind these days? Spending more time with people you love? Stopping something? Getting a new job? Enjoying every moment a little more? Cleaning out that closet? Starting that retirement fund? Being present wherever you are? Just being content? Today you can do step 1. Just start. You’ve done it many times. You learned to walk by taking that first step! You learned to count by starting with 1. You learned the alphabet by starting with the 1st letter. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Be courageous. Be curious. Be confident. Go ahead; take the first bite. Just start. As Rob Bell said in an interview for oprah.com, “When you say yes to step 1, you cross over from one realm to another.”*   *http://www.oprah.com/connectembraceown/Life-Stories-That-Inspire-with-Rob-Bell Royalty-free image by Colin Brough in the United Kingdom. Retrieved from...

Where’s Your Treasure?...

“The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” This is an awesome principle from a little verse in the book of Matthew in the Bible.* And how true it is. We can talk all day about resolutions and goals. But in the end, we put our time and resources into the things we care most about. And in some sort of cyclical pattern those investments of time and resources set our priorities, define who we are, and reveal our desired destination. Which comes first? Yes. Time, resources, priorities, identity, destination; each affects the other. What you invest in reveals much about what is really important to you. And that is key—knowing what is important to you—because you can’t do everything! As Rob Bell said in his first Robcast,** “You have to say yes before you can say no.” It means you know what to say yes to. Then that gives you permission not only to say YES to what you’re passionate about, but NO to what you’re not! How cool is that? But oh how we struggle to say no! The priorities you set are both reflective of and determining of who you are. And who you are decides what you give yourself to (and not to). And your destination is both a reflection of your desires and a result of who you are and what you give yourself to. It may sound complex, but it’s actualy quite simple (and freeing)! Consider this circle as you contemplate how you will live your life this year.   * Matthew 6:21 The Message translation ** The Robcast (Rob Bell podcast), Episode 1, January 11, 2015. Check out here:...

020: Growing A Successful Life Jan13

020: Growing A Successful Life...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/20-Regina_-_Growing_A_Successful_Life.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 53:00 — 48.5MB)This is a great podcast to kick off the new year. Dr. Regina Lewis & Dr. Deb discuss strategies for growing a successful life. What is the difference between motivation and inspiration? How do you make big goals achievable? How do you push through the dips? We discuss developing a lifestyle of success, not one-hit wonders. “Whenever you make it to the top of the mountain, it just makes it easier to see the next summit.” – La Vonne Neal, Northern Illinois University Check out Dr. Lewis’s website here. Read about Dr. Lewis’s body building competitions. We mentioned, The Dip, by Seth Godin. It’s a great little book about handling walls you encounter in life. The key is knowing when to surrender and when to push...

Spending Energy

Where Will Your Energy Go in 2015? As I get older, I am more aware of the limits of my energy. So when I think about having another year to, “laugh and love and live,” as my dad used to say, I’m starting to consider the coming months differently. The first difference is that I am looking at the “channels” where my energy can flow, rather than specific goals I want to accomplish. Hmmm. Energy vs. goals. Both are important. But it seems I first need to identify what is important in my life, and where of the many potential directions, I want to go this year. Where will I put my energy? As a coach, I usually ask my coachees (clients) to identify the ‘big rocks’ (priorities) in their lives. These are the major responsibilities that you need to balance in your life; they don’t change much from year to year unless you have a significant shift like a job change. Channels are a different. I see them as more specific aspects of those big rocks that you really want to see grow and expand in the next year. For example, one of my big rocks is the vacation rental business I want to grow this year. My major channels are pursuing new clients and creating sustainable and reproducible systems for each aspect of the business. There will be many other responsibilities that will take my time and energy as well, but these are the ones I would like to really give my energy to this year. And that brings me to another realization. I find I have different kinds of energy, and when one is exhausted, another may still have some fuel in the tank. When it comes to channeling my energy,...

Countdown to 2015…5...

Besides enjoying the holidays, you are likely thinking about the coming year. Perhaps you’re even thinking of making some health resolutions! But according to Forbes Magazine, 92% of us fail to realize our resolutions. There seems to be a systematic problem with resolutions. I “wish” I lost weight or was more spiritual are just that, WISHES! Making systematic goals that are SMART are much more helpful. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. For example, you want to be healthier. But how will you DO IT? Specific: I want to lose 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) by March 1st and build body strength. Measurable: My goal is 2 months away, so I need to lose 2.5 pound a month. How? I will mostly illuminate high-sugar carbohydrates like bread and sugars, visit the gym for at least one hour 3 times a week, and have no more than 1 serving of alcohol per day. Attainable: I will shop and prepare lots of vegetables and meat. I will reevaluate my schedule and plan when I visit the gym. On those days, I WILL go to the gym, not decide that day if I want to go or not (because I will usually want to go home or otherwise opt out; I will make saying, “no” NOT an option. During my 3 gym visits, I will 1) swim, 2) do a yoga class, and 3) lift weights. Realistic: This is a realistic goal. Losing 10 pounds in 1 week is not. I can achieve my goal by doing the things listed above. Timely: I will lose 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) by March 1st. Life changes do not just happen; you have to make them happen. Think about what you really want this year and put systems in place that will allow...

Personal Checkup

How are you doing on your 2014 resolutions and goals?

Change

It’s a word that excites some of us, and scares some of us. Whether you like it or not, change happens; it’s an inevitable part of life. As we begin a new year, many are reconsidering how to make some changes. Stores are full of vitamins and exercise equipment, playing on the fact that a lot of people know they need to take better care of themselves. Shops are also full of plastic bins to help us get organized, books to help us grow, and clothes to help us look better. But we all know that true change happens from the inside out. Even though we get tied up with the mundane and stressful details of life, like running the kids around, taking care of the home, working, etc., there is something deep down that wants to make a difference. How does change happen? I will be writing soon about changing our personal habits. In an attempt to get some of the focus off of ourselves—which is always a good thing—I want to share the lyrics for one of the most profound pop songs I’ve ever heard. Man in the Mirror (written by Glen Ballard and Seidah Garrett) was a huge hit by Michael Jackson. How do we change the world? It starts by changing ourselves. “I’m Gonna Make A Change, For Once In My Life It’s Gonna Feel Real Good, Gonna Make A Difference Gonna Make It Right . . .   “As I, Turn Up The Collar On My Favorite Winter Coat This Wind Is Blowin’ My Mind I See The Kids In The Street, With Not Enough To Eat Who Am I, To Be Blind? Pretending Not To See Their Needs A Summer’s Disregard, A Broken Bottle Top And A One Man’s...

Holidays

A holiday is a special day set apart to celebrate something. Originally from the words, Holy Day, holidays have their roots in religious celebrations. Today we celebrate holidays that mark national and political days, birthdays, seasons, and remembrances as well as religious traditions. July 4th is a holiday in the United States, a day to remember our declaration of independence from England. It is celebrated with particular foods that usually include backyard grilling, camping, concerts and fireworks. Mostly it involves being with friends and family. Hindus celebrate Holi, a spring festival associated with Krishna where people throw colored talc on each other. Muslims celebrate Ramadan, a month of fasting during the day and feasting at night. Jews commemorate Passover and remember the time when God delivered them from Egypt. Christians mark Christmas and Easter, seasons associated with the arrival and sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. These holidays make us pause to remember and reflect on important things, connect us to God, and restore our souls. We need holidays. We need to remember. Sometimes we need special days to make us cease from our labors and spend time with people. We need holidays to stop and smell the roses. The English talk about “going on holiday,” what Americans would call “going on vacation.” Whatever you call them, we need them. Sundays are holidays we get to celebrate every week! I came to the realization a few years ago that Sundays are a gift. As much as I’d like to believe it, I do not have endless energy. I need days off. I need days to do nothing. If I choose to work on Sundays and other holidays, I am looking a gift horse in the mouth; I’m just being stupid. I have a new philosophy...

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