Friday, January 7, 2011

Some things are just too easy

More and more I find myself posting other people's blogs and news stories. It's not that I've become lazy, the truth is, other people have great things to say. I think it's important to share them. I subscribe to a blog from Marla Tabaka, I've mentioned her before, and she says some great stuff. Since she is a life and a business coach and I suspect, because she writes for, that she leans a bit more toward business. That's not to say that her blogs are not useful for everyone though.

Here is a list of 20 questions Marla posted, to ask yourself about a winning attitude. You don't have to be a business owner to want to say TRUE to these. In fact, these are things you can ask yourself for almost any situation. Take a few minutes and read them over, decide what your score is. And of course, I'm here to coach you to get to "TRUE" on all 20 questions.

1. When I think about my vision I feel confident and eager to achieve it. Sometimes it feels like it has already come to fruition!
2. I have a clear picture of the steps I will take to achieve my vision and have confidence that I will learn from and conquer any barriers that may come into the picture.
3. I’m aware of my weaknesses but also know how to leverage my greatest strengths.
4. I have the ability to adjust my plan with optimism when unexpected events come into the picture.
5. When I speak with others I project a positive, excited and confident attitude.
6. I am able to listen to the dreams and hopes of another without interrupting them with my own thoughts.
7. I can accept the need for change in a calm, positive manner.
8. When people disagree with me I allow them their opinion and listen and speak calmly, rather than trying to force my perspective on them.
9. I refrain from judging others.
10. I can convert my fearful thoughts into motivating energy and belief in myself.
11. I consider all possible outcomes and perspectives when I create and implement my plans.
12. I make sure to spend time in the activities (outside of work) that are most important to me.
13. I take good care of myself by eating well, exercising and enjoying lots of laughter!
14. I am able to still my mind and connect with whatever higher power I believe in on a daily basis.
15. I am aware of my values and honor them when I make my plans and decisions.
16. I surround myself with people who support and encourage my success.
17. I take time to contribute to the success of others.
18. When I have an “off day” I am able to accept myself anyway and know that I have the power to change how I feel.
19. I am realistic in my outlook, but willing to step outside of my “comfort zone” to take some risk.
20. I surround myself with resources and helpful people rather than keeping everything to myself and trying to do it all alone.

If you answered “true” to at least 15 of these questions, you’ve got great “attitude”! If you are at 100% you have a Million Dollar Mindset – welcome to the club!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - goodbye 2010, hello 2011

I'd really love to write some witty and inspirational blog about the new year. Truthfully, I'm not a "new year's person." I rarely celebrate it. Not for any particular rebellious or religious reason. It's goes more like this - I celebrate my birthday which is an acknowledgement of how far I've come since the day I breathed the air of this life. Each year I have a birthday. Each year I celebrate with friends and family. Each year I take stock of the previous year, etc. My birthday and New Years are less than two months apart. So in a way, I've already done it. But I understand the joy and excitement a new year brings (mine just happens in November).

So however you acknowledge the new year - whether on your birthday like me, or on Rosh Hashanah or Mal Hijra or Vikram Samvat or whenever - enjoy the wonder and the possibilities of the year to come.

That said, here is a nice editorial from the New York Times on the new year (applicable to any New Year). Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Step by Step

So I was perusing's website today. I happen to like to read Marla Tabaka. She's a coach too and she wrote an article earlier this month "5 ways to achieve follow through." I thought, hmmm...kind of looks like my EmpowerMap process - ok not really. Of course, most coaches and training programs have step by step requirements to achieve success in various domains. The difference between them is often the perspective you take when going through them. I happen to like the way she presents this information and I wanted to share it with you. The steps are actually a great adjunct to the EmpowerMap process. If you've taken the teleclass, or have had any other EmpowerMap Process coaching, or would like to, these five steps for follow through will be a great way to manage your action steps once you've created your EmpowerMap.

Finally, if you have not yet registered for the next EmpowerMap Process teleclass, time is running out. The next class begins January 13th. For more information or registration go to See you on the Teleclass.

5 ways to achieve follow up:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Managing Holiday Season Stress

Research dating from 2004 to the present show that finances are the #1 cause of stress all year round but most importantly around the holidays. As the holidays approach our stressors are exacerbated by demands to buy gifts, entertain, etc. Credit card debt, the poor economy and family responsibilities seem to conspire against us and increase our stress level. Many people cope with stress by making unhealthy food choices, arguing with loved ones, becoming depressed or some combination of all of these. Poor coping behaviors don’t actually reduce our stress. In fact, they can add to it.

This holiday season is an especially difficult one for many of us. Perhaps this is just another difficult holiday added to the list of difficult holidays over the last few years. Business has slowed down, some people are out of work and yet these demands remain. You might be asking yourself how you can get your holiday shopping done without breaking the bank, without disappointing your children or other family members. Demands to conform or to buy the latest hot item for your kids may be undermining your ability to effectively deal with stress. Parental guilt caused by not buying that item is short term. Setting realistic financial goals for your holiday spending is the first and most important step and will have long term effects including teaching coping strategies and decision making skills to your children.

Here are a few of the most common tips to reduce holiday stress:

Identify the stress, evaluate your responses to that stress, make changes where necessary incrementally, first one behavior, then the next. Only by recognizing and tackling these issues one at a time can you make real and lasting changes. When you feel that you must change it all overnight you increase your stress and anxiety.

As I said before; set realistic goals for what you want to achieve this holiday season. Being realistic, not being drawn in by marketing or media messages, about what you need or must have will help you stay on track. If finances are an issue create a budget and stick to it.

Keep it in perspective. Check your stressors over the long term, where do they fit in, how impactful are they really? If the stress you are feeling is restricted to this holiday season then you can let it go more easily. The impact is minimal and studies show that even under stressful conditions most people feel good about their holidays when they are spent with loved ones. Knowing that you will too can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety of holiday demands.

Remember what’s really important this holiday season (hint: it’s not in the amount of money you spend). In these difficult times our family and friends and the support we give one another is priceless and that’s what makes holidays memorable!

Finally, please remember, there are always people less fortunate than you or I. Share your gifts or volunteer your time to help them this holiday season. The gift of giving is the greatest gift of all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Self acceptance for a stress free holiday season

Thanksgiving is upon us and that means the beginning of the holiday shopping and entertaining season as well. This can be a very stressful time for some but it doesn't have to be. One of the hallmarks of my coaching practice is to work with clients to develop feelings of self acceptance. But what does that have to do with Thanksgiving and the holidays you may ask. Well, the answer is simple; a good amount of stress comes from the desire to please others especially around the holidays. The truth is, you can't please everyone and most people know that but that doesn't keep the stress away. Practicing self acceptance is one of the ways in which holiday stress can be minimized or eradicated completely.

Holidays are a time when we get together with loved ones and then complain about it for the rest of the year (maybe).

Through the process of developing self acceptance one can easily recognize and acknowledge whatever missteps might have been taken without all self directed anger. We all make errors in judgment and there will always be others who criticize us for whatever reason they may have. Through self acceptance you will be able to say to yourself or to others, "OK that didn't go as planned but I am still a worthwhile and valuable person." That's really it in a nutshell. Spend a few minutes every day (this season or forever) reminding yourself that you are not the totality of your mistake or others criticisms. You are a whole and worthwhile valuable person even when you make mistakes. Viewing others in this light will also be helpful and go a long way in allowing you to enjoy your holidays and your family gatherings.


Self acceptance blog from the Albert Ellis Institute:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day

November 11th is Veteran's Day. I've noticed, sadly, that many people have forgotten the meaning of this day to a large extent and there are many reasons for this. Often people confuse honoring veteran's with supporting war. At the same time we take our rights and hard fought freedom for granted. To be sure, there are many rights that civilians have sacrificed to achieve. But even that ability, to gather, to protest, to elect officials that we hope have out best interests at heart, they come to us because someone else puts our rights before his or her own and went to battle.

There are currently thousands of men and women deployed overseas who put their lives at risk everyday. Veterans' day is a day for us to honor their selflessness. To say thank you. To acklowdege, without shame, that there are some people who do this better than we do and to let them know we appreciate them.

Freedom, the ability to make decisions about your life, is precious and it comes to us thanks to soldiers. But Veterans day is not about mourning the lost, it is about celebrating those who served honorably and are still with us. So if you know someone who served just say "Thank you" they will appreciate it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happiness takes effort

It's true, happiness takes effort.
Sure, there are lots of people who are optimistic naturally, who see the brighter side of a situation but that's a little different from happiness (although it helps). Happiness is often measured, in scientific terms, as life satisfaction.

In a recent article, Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, positive psychology researcher, stated that happiness can in some ways be compared to maintaining a healthy weight. If you want to lose weight you go on a diet, if you want to keep the weight off, you make the effort to maintain it.

The same goes for happiness. Being actively engaged - thinking happy thoughts - can help increase your happiness. No kidding, she's even done research on this. Her team found that people who spent about 8 minutes a day thinking about happy events in their life scored higher on happiness and satisfaction scales four weeks later. This is without making any changes in their lives.

Taking the time to think about happy events, or learning how to put these events into perspective is something that a coach can help you do. Shifting your thinking, finding those happy thoughts may take effort but the payoff is priceless.

I want you to be happy, happy people make a happy world. I'd love to work on that with you.

Feel free to share your happy thoughts and inspire others here on my blog.