Coaching’s Saddest Moments~

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I have been so privileged to be a Life and Business Coach for so many years now; watching leaders grow in their personal life and skill set is truly thrilling for me! Watching courageous men and women chart fresh action steps into their calendars to achieve new and meaningful goals is pure joy and any good Coach will tell you the same!

Those who coach do so because we believe that everyone can reach their goals and build a legacy if they are willing to tweak some of their choices, engage in new behavior choices, and allow themselves to be accountable to someone who wants nothing more than to see them win in every area of their life!

Every win goes into the “why I coach file”.

Nevertheless, as a Coach I have experienced some sad moments. There are times when an amazing individual with mountains of potential just simply doesn’t allow themselves to make needed changes. There are times when these same individuals sabotage the little progress they have managed to make. These individuals express how badly they want change but they just don’t commit to the good choices it would take to reach those desired goals! This is when I, as a Coach feel really sad; I hate to see people miss out on the great life they could have while they settle for “good enough”.

As humans, all of us can settle for the good, while never reaching for what is great. We can lose the will to dream and simply focus on our day-to-day requirements. And sabotage?  Anyone whose dieted know how easy it is to undo weeks of mindful eating, right?

Can I encourage you today to dream again? Can I impress upon you to see your great value as a human and a leader? Is it possible to hand you a permission slip that gives you the right to make needed changes for great growth?

 

We have one life and there is only one YOU! Reach for the Moon!

Things we might regret~

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This past week I had the privilege of traveling with my mother and her sister on a road trip to see one of their lifelong friends a few hours away.  This would be a 3 day trip full of laughter, meaningful conversations, shared memories from days gone by, and lots of reminiscing.   I enjoyed the time I had with them all; each of them are so precious to me.  One of the comments was that “time has just gone by so very quickly”, I even see this in my own life as I am celebrating 30 years of marriage this week.  Life does indeed move forward quickly.

Since I returned from the road trip I have been looking at my own life and asking the question, “am I doing all I can to live this life well, with purpose and meaning?”  As I think about that question my answer is “yes, some of the time.” I could do better.

I began to ponder the question, “What might we all regret when we get into our twilight years?”  and I came up with a list of things to consider.

1.  Not stopping to appreciate the “moment”.  Living life so busy-minded that we miss so many amazing moments all around us.

2.  Not traveling when we could have.  Seeing and experiencing other cultures makes a huge difference in our world view and can create memories to last forever.

3.  Holding grudges.  How sad to live life as a hostage to hurt feelings! Gotta let it go!

4.  Not having taken time to get to know God~ to invite Him into our lives. He gave us the very breath we breathe; how amazing to have a life knowing and trusting in Him.

5.  Not having taken time to volunteer.  Life is so much richer when we take time to come alongside those wanting to make a difference!

6.  Not spending intentional time with loved ones.  It’s a sad truth to realize that we don’t know how long we get to have those we love in our lives.  It’s best not to put relationships off “till tomorrow”.

7.  Caring too much what others think.   We will never please everyone all the time.  As much as we may try, there will always be those who see us through a filter that we cannot control.  Care more about being the best YOU that you can be!

8.  Working too much.   Decide when then work day needs to be done.  Disengage and fill your life with life-giving activities and people.

9.  Never having taken risks to pursue a dream.   Do you have a dream in your heart? Are you playing it so safe that your dream will never be realized?

10. Worrying too much.   Life is complicated and uncertain.  All of us could focus on areas of concern and find ourselves consumed with fear and worry.  However, worry robs us of joy.  We will regret having spent our days burdened and concerned.

It was fun to hear of all the ways my mom and her sister intentionally built memories from childhood till now.  When life was hard for them; they created space for joy and laughter.  When life has been joy-filled they have intentionally celebrated those moments with gratefulness.  No matter what stage of life you may be in; ask yourself if there’s anything on my list that YOU may regret someday.  If there is there’s no time like the present to turn it around! 🙂

An Apple A Day~

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“An Apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a famous old saying but rings true! Keeping proper nutrition is essential to having a healthy life. It’s not about non-fat this or low-carb that~ it’s simply about giving your body all of the nutrients it needs and eating in mindful moderation. It’s so valuable to incorporate dark leafy greens, vegetables, fiber and protein into your daily diet! Eliminating processed foods and drinking lots of water, fresh juices, and teas  ( yes, coffee is acceptable!!) will be incredible beneficial in your goal of being healthy and vital.

There are some simple tricks to use in helping to make good health choices.  Total deprivation from yummy deserts or snacks simply isn’t a sustainable way of life.  Moderation, however, is sustainable.  Instead of a whole brownie…slowly enjoy a fourth of one.  Some say a little dark chocolate can be good for us! 🙂 Roasting over frying foods is a great “better” choice.

A challenge many of us experience is not preparing at the start of our week for success.  Taking a bit of the weekend to shop well, cut vegetables, grill chicken, and create a quality menu for yourself and your family, will make all the difference in your healthy success.  We’ve heard it so many times: “If fail to plan, you plan to fail!”

Spring is upon us and outdoor activities will abound in the months ahead; give yourself the gift of healthy eating.

Simplify:   don’t be overly concerned with calorie counting, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness.  Incorporate a few new items monthly and experiment with new recipes.

Start slow and allow for changes over time:  Trying to change your entire diet overnight isn’t realistic. You don’t want to think of a healthy lifestyle in terms of “being on a diet”.  Simply begin to make changes that make sense:  good salad vs. a bag of potato chips, use Olive oil over butter, have fruit for dessert rather than a bowl of Ice cream.  Once you incorporate this simple changes to your food routine you will find that it will become a healthy lifestyle.

Remember,  Every change you make to improve your diet matters: You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods your enjoy to have a healthy diet.  The long-term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of illness and disease.  Don’t let one misstep derail you~~every healthy food choice you make is a win!!

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New Choices for 2014~

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As I arose early this morning on one of the last days of 2013 I began to ponder just how quickly this year had passed!   Seems like I just blinked and another year had gone by. Delving even deeper into my thoughts, I asked myself if I felt I had used this year; the time I was given, to the best of my ability?  Was I a good steward with my time and priorities?

My assessment of myself? Not 100% perfect! However, I felt satisfied with the priority I had chosen as my main focus throughout the year. People! I have tried very hard this year to stay connected with the precious people God has allowed me to know and love.  Family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, and new relationships.

As I perused through my 2013 calendar, looking through the tasks/appointments that I set for myself I am satisfied that I gave ample time to my key priority of valuing people. Certainly I’ve not been perfect, wishing still that I’d have had more time with some that I only connected with occasionally!  Staying and being connected with others in this way is cup-filling for me; I pray it has brought value to those I care for as well.

Now, here’s the balance~ did my focus on my main goal of valuing people impact other priorities in my life? My devotions, exercise, study time, and housekeeping…….well, sometimes it did.  Because of this, I recognize the need to balance my priorities better in 2014!  Just a little tweaking here and there to my calendar and Ideal Week would create time to spend with others while making sure I am still being keenly responsible to the other areas of my life that deserve my attention!

As you look over your past year, are you pleased at how you used your time? chose your priorities? navigated your responsibilities?  Like me, are there some areas you need to shore up to find greater success when you arrive on the doorstep of 2015 (which will come in a blink)?

Now is a great time to think about the year ahead! calendar those priorities, create an Ideal Week to assist you in committing to how you will use your time ( contact me if you’d like an Ideal Week document to use), and give yourself permission to make needed changes for greater satisfaction in 2014! The new year is yet untouched~ make it your best!

Happy New fantastic year! 🙂

Time to sail away from the shore~

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During the past week I came across a quote that caught my attention right away; I felt that it embodied how I feel about this season of life.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

As a young girl I don’t think I would have called myself brave or daring, rather I was most comfortable with things that were steady and safe.  Certainly I could get excited about the “idea” of taking big, bold action but in the end I would always stay safely on shore!

I believe that my fear of failure kept me on tasks and in situations that had fairly sure outcomes, no real risk or adventure involved. I never wanted to feel the weight of personal disappointment nor did I want to disappoint anyone. Thus, I did very little that was competitive in my early years.

In High School I branched out and joined the Swim Team; practicing hard to prepare for the swim meets on the weekends.  I remember one particular swim meet where I realized no one was in the lanes next to me and I felt a twinge of excitement that, perhaps, I was going to be the first one to the finish line. As I pulled to the edge of the pool with all the speed I could muster I popped my head out of the water to find that, actually, I was the last one in! That was my last swim meet.

Today, with years of hindsight under my belt, I fully recognize the value of taking risks, challenging myself, throwing off extreme cautions that choke my ability to dream, and giving myself permission to “fail forward.” Without being free to “sail away from the Harbor” I would never have had the life I have full of rich memories, opportunities, relationships, and fresh challenges!

Everyday I learn that life is short, mistakes only cause me to grow, challenges strengthen my resolve, and risk makes me depend more on God in every way. So, 20 years from now I don’t want a laundry list of things I should have done; wanted to do~yet feared exploring! Rather I would love to have a journal full of memories, experiences, and adventures to recall with satisfaction!

What about you? Playing it safe, hugging the shoreline? Perhaps today is your day to explore what it would look like to “catch the trade winds in your sails.”  Dream big! 🙂

Lessons From Misery Ridge~

As a Coach I meet so many wonderful people. Janelle is one of them. Janelle lives in  Canada and after a year of coaching she came to Bend to visit with me. I wanted our time to be full of fun, good conversation, and activity; yet also inspirational.

After pedicures, shopping, good food and laughter, it was time to venture out!

Misery Ridge!!

It was early as we loaded up with water bottles and headed to Smith Rock. I told Janelle the hike would be challenging yet the view from the top would be well worth the climb. I think she believed me until she actually saw Misery Ridge and recognized just how difficult it would be.

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When we stood at the base of the mountain I told Janelle that we would break this hike into thirds and that we would think about different life challenges we were facing as we headed toward our goal to reach the top; imagining ourselves successful in facing those challenges as we conquered each phase of our hike!

We started out at a fairly fast pace; excited about moving forward! It wasn’t long before the altitude began to labor our breath. I asked Janelle if she wanted to turn back; we had made some good progress but were still far from the top. Should we go on or turn back?

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We discussed the value of the ultimate goal of reaching the top yet we realized it was going to be a greater challenge as the path got steeper; the footing more unsure.  This second part of the hike would require us to pace ourselves, to take longer breaks to catch our breath, and to be intentional with where we placed our feet. Off we went! Partway through this phase of our hike a big snake slithers out onto the path catching us off guard! Do we turn back?

Finally we reached place where we would begin the third part of the climb; the steepest part! Janelle was amazed at how far we had come yet still feeling caution about where we needed to go. Do we continue? Do we turn back?  Was this view really worth this effort?  After some good discussion we committed to the goal of reaching the top and pressed on.

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During this last phase of our “journey” the altitude was making it hard to breath and the shale on the path caused us to feel our feet slipping. We realized that this last push would require extra sure footing, that we would need to hold each others arms to prevent us from falling and getting hurt. Slowly and intentionally we made our way up the switchbacks towards our goal. Closer and closer, steeper and steeper! With a final push we rounded the corner and gazed at the glorious view from the top! Amazing!!  The success was thrilling! We were seeing a view from the top that many people will never see! We did it!!

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Our lives are a lot like a hike up Misery Ridge.  You start out full of excitement, goals, dreams~ ready to take on the world!  You can imagine your goals, you can visualize  conquering your challenges. Yet life starts to get hard, to required more stamina, or make you feel uncomfortable and there is a desire to abandon the very goals that mean so much to you.

As challenges come it’s important to pace yourself; catch your breath. Often times we expect so much of ourselves not recognizing the impact of “climbing higher”. We forget to nourish and replenish ourselves so that we can press on….one foot in front of the other. Often times, just like our surprise snake, obstacles make come out of nowhere~~Do we abandon our goals because of them?

I wonder how many people get to the last third of the Misery Ridge hike and turn back because they are too tired or afraid to climb higher? Right before they have the joy of that unprecedented view!!  How many of us get so close to reaching our personal goals, facing life long challenges, creating healthy relationships, or stepping into fresh dreams, and abandon them because it just feels impossible, right before we see success?

As Janelle and I learned; as it gets closer to the top, as the challenges get harder; you need the support of your fellow “climbers” to keep you from losing your footing, to encourage you to keep climbing; to press on! I would never climb Misery Ridge alone for that very reason!

I have to say that the BEST part of the climb is the celebration at the top! The joy of reaching the goal and the satisfaction that we didn’t quit!  Every person I have led to the top of Misery Ridge has been so glad that they didn’t turn back before seeing the view from the top!

Do you have dreams, goals you want to attain, challenges you must face? Are you halfway there? Turning the last difficult corner? Or have you just begun? Remember these few lessons from the mountain:

Pace yourself, stay hydrated, place your feet carefully, catch your breath, stay committed to looking forward; not back, and surround yourself with fellow climbers (healthy support systems) who can hold your arm if you slip and celebrate your WIN at the top!

You’ll never know what you’ll miss if you are afraid to “climb”.

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Dr. Desiree Margo~~

This past weekend my family had the pure joy of watching my amazing sister receive her Doctorate!  We are all so proud of her! At graduation we shouted, hooted, and clapped with all our might to show her how proud we are of her. Following the graduation we gave Dr. Desiree Margo gifts to further show how proud we are of her!

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However, the graduation ceremony was only a tiny reflection of the cost of earning this degree! The work, commitment, sleepless nights, numerous papers, and the dreaded dissertation required every ounce of energy she had.  While accomplishing this goal, Desiree also worked full time as a school principal of a thriving elementary school!

Why is this significant to me?  Attaining goals, especially big goals, requires commitment and sacrifice!  To move toward a fresh milestone in our lives we may have to assess our current commitments and allow ourselves to say “no” to some involvements for a season!

I am certain that late at night while working on her degree my sister must have wondered “what have I gotten myself into?”! Yet, the look on her face at graduation made it was easy to see that it had been worth the work to receive an honor given to only  1% of the population.

What about you? Are there goals you want to achieve but are afraid of the “cost”? Could focusing on this new goal (s) force you out of your comfort zone for a season? Whether attaining education, building a quality marriage, starting a business, getting healthy, writing a book, or any other goal that would be important to you; there will be adjustments needed.

Oh, but the JOY in accomplishing your goal will be so worth it! Once you begin; stay your course, dig deep, lean into your support systems, and celebrate every WIN!!

What milestone is ahead of you? No better day to get started than today! Thank you Dr. Margo for you inspiration. 🙂

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“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”  C. S. Lewis