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! 🙂

Good Questions~

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Powerful questions can challenge us, help us move forward, and give us the opportunity to assess our lives, motivations, helping us to understand how & why we sabotage ourselves and how & why we are motivated!!! As a Coach, questions are so incredibly important!!

Here are some good questions:

  • 1.  What do I want?
  • 2.  What is the difference between a wish and a goal?
  • 3.  What keeps me going?
  • 4.  What do I need in order to reach my goals?
  • 5.  What am I choosing this week?
  • 6.  If I were at my best, what would I do right now?
  • 7.  What is it to be exceptional?
  • 8.  How can I recharge my batteries
  • 9.  What am I grateful for?
  • 10. What have I learned about myself?

Ask these questions of yourself, ponder them. What is being revealed about YOU? What helpful truths have you recognized that could help you grow; move forward?

For me, answering these questions is both humbling and clarifying!  Good questions can create fresh understanding.  Ask yourself GREAT questions and watch yourself grow in fresh ways!!

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My Life/Business Coaching Interview~

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Recently, I was invited to be interviewed on Life Coaching.  I have had so many people ask me what I do, and why I do it.  I thought this interview gives an answer to those questions!

Thanks for taking time to read! 🙂

Life Coach InterviewQ1.)How did you get into life coaching?

  A1.) I was a pastor’s wife for 16 years before I was trained and certified as a Ministry/Life/Business Coach.  As I look back I can see that I had been a “life coach” for most of my early ministry years in church ministry; I’ve always enjoyed helping people navigate the challenges and changes in their lives! It was my experiences as a ministry leader that helped me see the need for leaders to have someone to process their challenges and dreams with; a safe place to land.  Without it, many leaders end up isolated.  Being trusted to be that “safe place” for numerous women in leadership over the years is something I treasure.

Q2.) What’s your favorite part about being a life coach?

  A2.)I love seeing leaders win!  I love seeing leaders reach goals they never thought they could, get healthier than they ever imagined, grow in their relationships deeper than they thought possible, and lead with confidence. Being a trusted adviser while a leader walks through the many changes and seasons of life is truly amazing. I have a card file that I name the “why I coach file”—in it there are many, many cards that I have received from my clients; the statement on most of them that I love the most is “I just never imagined that I could ________, but I did it!!”

Q3.)What is the biggest misconception about life coaching?

  A3.)Well, there are a few.  One, that coaching is just “talking”.   Coaching is an intentional on-going conversation and exploration of the life and goals for a leader.  Coaching keeps a finger on the pulse of those life accounts that the leader has expressed to have key importance in their lives. The coaching conversation is about action and results.

The second misconception is that Life Coaching is a modern word for counseling.  Truly there are times when I know it’s time in a session to remove my coaching hat and put on my counseling hat; sensitive issues, losses, etc.  But Life Coaching is about “how” to move through those challenges.  A counselor is a better fit for those dealing with deep challenges.

The third misconception is that it is the Coaches role to tell their leaders what they should do; to drive the direction that I think would be best. However, this is not the case.  My role as a Life Coach is to help leaders discover their best direction and then empower them to begin to make needed changes.

  Q4.)How do you incorporate God or biblical principles into your life coaching?

  A4.)I love how Proverbs has so many rich nuggets of wisdom that relate to our lives, I like to use them regularly in helping leaders consider fresh ideas.  Most of my coaching over the past 12 years has been among those who have a strong faith, yet my coaching has spanned across every denomination and non-denomination so I am extremely careful not to coach from my personal biases.

That being said, I have loved the freedom of sharing our faiths with one another and getting the privilege to pray at the end of our sessions.

 Q5.)What is the biggest benefit that your clients rave about after working with you?

 A5.)1..“Having a third-party insight and the voice of wisdom speak into your reality is priceless!”

2.  “Having someone wise and caring outside the organization who believes in you, will speak honestly with you, hold you accountable and help you see where your own emotions or fatigue are blocking you, all combine to create success in being the best version of yourself that you can be. “

3.  “Coaching with Dianna has given me a new level of confidence! She always reminded me to ask, “What is God saying to me right now?” and thoughtfully answer. Even once coaching ended, I still think through how to be intentional in my different life accounts. She helps you identify what your life dream is, and cheers you to go after it and find practical steps to get there!

  Q6.)In order to get the most from life coaching, what advice would you give someone looking to become a coaching client?

A6.)I feel it’s key to assess whether or not you are ready to make fresh changes in your life, coaching is not something you can be pushed to do, it is something you choose to engage in for your own benefit.  Are you in a place of honesty and do you feel committed to taking steps, even baby steps, to move toward fresh goals, are you willing to be kept accountable for the Action Steps you’ve committed to?   A personal readiness and commitment is key to a successful coaching experience.

It’s important to find a Life Coach that you feel you can connect with. Some folks want someone who is firm and directed while others may want someone with a stronger relational connection.  The Coaching relationship is an important one so it’s key to find the very best fit for you!

 Q7.)What current projects are you working on?

A7.)My husband and I have just completed creating an online tool for the leaders we coach. The tool is key to helping church and business leaders create coaching cultures within their organizations.  We are very excited about the growth possibilities for them!

I am starting a book for women discussing key elements we need to navigate the many seasons and assignments we encounter in our lives.  I coach so many women in numerous life transitions, some very overwhelming: aging parents, empty nest, menopause, illness, new marriage, career change, etc

How can we walk through life changes without losing ourselves in the process?

 Q8.)Any final thoughts about sharing life coaching with my blog readers?

 A8.)One of the greatest values of engaging in a coaching relationship is the opportunity to gain greater momentum in each key account in your life: faith, family, finances, health, personal/professional planning, and priority management.  Just like in sports; an athletic Coach takes raw talent and intentionally trains towards a goal.  A Life Coach will help draw out those deep longings in your heart, those goals and dreams you’ve allowed to go dormant, and will help you to see the possibilities in a whole new light!

Life Coach Interview: Dianna SalciccioliLIFE COACH BIO: Dianna Salciccioli

Dianna Salciccioli is a Professional Life/Ministry/Business Coach. She was a Ministry Coach with Ministry Coaching International for 9 years before founding Coachwell alongside her husband, Greg, in 2011.  Dianna was originally trained and certified by Building Champions as a Ministry Coach, and continued her training with Ministry Coaching International until establishing Coachwell.

Dianna has spent years as a mentor to women and teens as a pastor’s wife.  She understands the challenges and celebrations of Ministry life as has been a valued support to many ministry leaders.

Dianna is passionate about helping leaders clarify their passions, dreams big dreams, and trust in God’s heart for them as they bravely press forward to live a life full of legacy.

www.coachwell.com

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

Lessons from Yosemite.

We had heard that Vernal Falls in Yosemite was a beautiful sight, just a short mile and half hike to see it! We had half a day to “play” in the valley this past weekend before a family wedding, so Greg and I decided to go take a look.

When we starting out we walked on a paved surface, we passed people of all ages and languages. We enjoyed views of the valley below as we meandered along at a leisurely pace. Eventually the pavement ended and the surface became a little more rocky, and a little steeper. By the time we had reached this point we were growing in our excitement to see the falls; we were committed to going all the way!!

Within a quarter mile the hike changed dramatically as the path led us up a path that caused us to climb nearly 1200 ft. in a one mile stretch! YES!! practically straight up! Well cut stone steps and handrails placed where needed were helpful to the journey ahead but there was no escalator; we had to place one foot in front of the other to get to the top!

About half the way up, feeling like my heart would beat right out of my chest, I had to remind myself of the value of the goal ahead of me. Did I really want to see the Falls, because I could just buy a postcard at the gift shop! Hmmmmm…….I could stop if I wanted to.  As I looked at the stair-step path in front of me I realized how much like “life” this hike truly was!

Every worthy goal requires steps.  If I want to grow in a new area of my life, achieve any new abilities, attain any lofty purposes , it will require steps that may often tax my will to stay the course.  I will have to decide along the way not allow myself the freedom to return to the way things have always been, or to stop short of the goals that I’ve longed to attain.

The commitment to continue the climb outweighed my pending fatigue and within minutes I could hear the rumble of the waterfall; this spurred me on.  Step by step got us closer to the top.

Peeking over the waterfall to the vast beauty of the Yosemite Valley had been worth every ounce of muscle it took to climb to see it!  Incredible.

Are there goals ahead of you that seem to be taking too long, expending more energy than you had anticipated, or that you simply find challenging to remain committed to?
Keep in mind the sense of satisfaction you will have if you stay the course and walk out the needed steps! Keep your goals where you can see them and march forward…the “view” will be wonderful!

The Power of Grace~

Ever had a day where you beat yourself up for missing the “mark” somehow, and that very day you receive a card from someone expressing how much you mean to them? I have.

Ever had a season where you feel you are falling short of your goals and deeper purposes, and you get a call from someone telling you they have watched your life and would like to glean wisdom from you.  I have.

Ever doubted your abilities, feeling fearful to embrace new opportunities only to be invited to lead in a fresh way because someone fully “believes in your abilities to lead?”   I have.

You feel like you deserve judgement when in comes blessing….

I find this so perplexing because I  (we) can be so hard on ourselves, beating ourselves up with negative talk, worried about what others “might” think, when in all truth, we are surrounded by Grace.

Grace – God’s unmerited favor is so much like this.  We sin, we fail, we disappoint and yet…He loves, He sees the good, He blesses…………

Grace is mentioned 170 times in the Bible. Wow. We must need to be reminded over and over again.

2nd Corinthians 12:9 says  “My Grace is sufficient for thee…”

I know I will not always hit the mark, say all the right things, act perfectly, catch all the social ques, or make every right choice but I will do the very best I can…………and at the end of the day I will continue to be so incredibly grateful for His Grace!

His Grace IS sufficient for YOU!

“Health” Club~~

One of my favorite jobs these days is working with a great team at our local health club. It is in this role that we get to serve and support our members in various and often times, creative ways.  What I love the most is seeing the effort the members make to become or stay healthy; it’s inspiring…especially those amazing folks who are standing at the door at 5:15 am! Wow!

So what really is HEALTHY?

The Dictionary says “a sound and vigorous mind, healthy recreations, prosperous or sound, robust, good well-being, and restorative in nature.”

These terms churn up many thoughts as I take inventory of my own life.  Am I healthy?

1. Do I have a vigorous  mind?  do I allow concerns and fears to cause anxiety and restlessness within me? do I take the time to read, learn, dream, or try new things?

2. Do I have healthy recreations?  do I give myself permission to take time away from my diligent work to regroup, refresh?

3.  Is my life prosperous or sound?  do I make intentional decisions to use my time in a way that prospers my family, faith ,  and finances?

4.  Do I have a strong sense of well-being?  Do I surround myself with healthy people? do I speak encouragements to myself or do I feel critical of who I am?  Do I feel my life has value?

5.  Is my lifestyle restorative?  do I live a life that depletes me and those around me? do I run in a manic pace? or do I live life with a rhythm that allows me to work hard and yet still remain balanced?

Being healthy is so much more than what you weigh, how big your muscles are, or what your BMI is…though these elements do matter there is such a broader sense of what it truly means to be a healthy person.

Are YOU healthy?  Ponder the questions I have asked myself and if you see a need to make some changes then bravely do so!

This is your new healthy season! 🙂

“Sorry, You’re Not In The Club!”

I have always been fascinated by people~~ I love their stories, experiences, uniqueness’s, and even the challenges they may bring. Yet there is a type of behavior that I have observed; even been impacted by that I believe ought to be addressed or at least considered….

In High School students join a team, the choir, or a club….they share experiences, laughter, challenges, and responsibilities and then, for some reason or another, they withdraw from their involvement and to their surprise they experience the feeling of “Sorry, Your Not In The Club!”.  Since they are no longer a participant in that group  the interactions begin to become stilted, even awkward or non-existent. I watched this happen over and over in college as well.

Imagine my naive surprise when my husband and I stepped out into church ministry –serving our hearts out, watching others work and serve hard as well, only to watch the same behavior surface when we or others sensed God moving in a fresh direction. Obedience to what He desired caused many who served faithfully and selflessly to experience the feeling of “Sorry, You’re Not In The Club.” People became distant, relationships strained, and a new awkwardness set in…..

In business I have watched this apply as well; as those who have served on teams, building the goals of the Company and supporting the vision, move in a fresh direction after years of service that same awkward sense sets in once again. And I am left to wonder why?

Should we not value the times we have shared and served together? Should we not be reminded by fond memories of experiences and challenges weathered together? Should we not allow our teammates to fly free, to grow, and to chart a fresh course for their lives with the joy of knowing they will always matter to us?

I often ponder these questions!  What about you? What are your thoughts on this?

As I turn to the Word of God I find true nuggets hidden in the pages!

Proverbs 17:17
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Proverbs 20:6
Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is truly reliable?

Proverbs 17:17

A Friend Loves at all times. 

I wonder if we could stretch harder to stay connected to those who have served alongside our lives, ministries, or jobs remaining so grateful to who they have been in our lives and for all they have done whether in our church, community, or place of work!

As the silly song from a Disney movie expresses:

Boy, and as the years go by
Our friendship will never die
You’re gonna see it’s our destiny
You’ve got a friend in me 🙂