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5 Essential Steps to Success

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
essential steps to success

What are the steps to success? First, it depends on what your definition of success is.  Is it getting rich?  Finding the love of your life?  Reaching a goal? There are many definitions of the word, but the one common theme is clearly defining what it is you want and then being proactive to get it.

Here are  5 essential steps to find success:

 

Be True to Yourself

Whatever your goals are make sure they are in line with your values and not someone else’s.    Ask yourself what do you truly want? Pay attention to your inner self and notice if you start telling yourself you “should” or “shouldn’t” want something.   That’s a red flag that it’s someone else’s goal and not yours. 

As you explore possibilities of what you really want, notice your self-talk.   Are you telling yourself you can’t do it or it’s not possible?   Question the validity of those  beliefs.   Are they true and do they serve you? Or are the self-limiting beliefs based on fear or lack of confidence that are getting in the way of pursuing your own happiness.

Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm.   Someone had to assemble the first rock-band.  If they didn’t, we’d still be listening to classical music.  People thought Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were both crazy and they have revolutionized how the world lives.  You may be nervous about your ideas but meet your fear with confidence and courage and you’ll be amazed at what unfolds once you start. 

Create a vision 

Think about all areas of your life.   For most people, the list includes things such as family, career, health, personal growth, spirituality, and finances.  Think about where you’d like to be in all areas of life a year from today.

how to create a vision

Having a vision is only the start.  A vision means nothing if not followed by action.  Too many people focus on the end-goal without giving serious thought about what they need to do and who they need to be to get there.   

For each part of your life, set one meaningful goal that will have the greatest impact.  Prioritize which goals are most important to you.    If your goals are set for one year, think about what needs to happen in one month to get there.  Then break down what needs to happen in one week to achieve your monthly goals.  The words best goal setting modal is  the SMART goal strategy.   The more specific your goals and strategy are the greater your chances of success are. 

Exercise self-discipline  

One of the most critical parts of staying motivated through the ups and downs of everyday life is remembering WHY you want something.   Reaching the goal itself is not what you’re really after, it’s the impact that it will have on your life that is what you are really chasing.    

As you plan your day (s), make goal oriented decisions.   There is no single action that will have a profound effect finding success.   Success comes from hundreds of tiny actions, repeated consistently over time.    Learn how to be selfish with your time.    Figure out how to eliminate distractions and accept that there will be times when you just have to say “no” to others so that you can stay focused.  Ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice to actualize your dream and learn how to ask for help and delegate tasks when needed.

Focus on your strengths.  One mistake many people make is spending too much time trying to improve on their weaknesses.  Find someone who is strong where you are weak and get better at what you are naturally good at.   It’s far sweeter to be great at one thing than mediocre at five. 

Be ready to deal with change

how to deal with change

The road to success is not lined with unicorns and cotton-candy.  Things are not going to go according to your plan.   Don’t let the unexpected knock you down or deflate your enthusiasm, just deal with it.  As we are all acutely aware, the world is in constant flux and there is so little we can do about it.   The only part we can control is our responses to each circumstance.   Persevere and be resilient and adaptive.   Whenever there is a problem, a solution exists somewhere.  Learn how to find solutions.  Turn problems into games and you’ll relieve yourself of unnecessary stress and angst.   Believe that some of the best things come from some of the worst things and look for the positives. 

If it feels like failure, look at it as a learning opportunity.  No one is wildly successful on their first attempt at anything.  Learn, adjust, and carry on.  If you can’t figure out what went wrong or what the next step is, ask someone who has been successful.  

Stay open-minded and ask for help!

Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stick with a plan or to change your strategy and try something else.   The key is to be deeply honest with yourself and ask yourself empowering questions.  

Here are a few examples:

                        Is there another way to look at this?

                        Is there a better way to do this?

                        Am I afraid?  If so, what of?   How can I overcome it?

                        What did I learn?  How will I adjust?    

When you deepen your understanding of what is happening you can invest your energy in what is working avoid burnout. 

Don’t go it alone!   No one gets a gold medal for doing things all by themselves and most people who are successful have teams of people that have helped them get there.  Try to surround yourself with positive minded people.   Look for people who have what you want and find out how they got there.  Sometimes friends and family mean well, but even if they are well-intentioned, they aren’t always the best allies for us to move forward. 

You’ll go much further when you collaborate with others and here’s why:   You’ll likely have different strengths and weaknesses and can fill in for each other.  Someone who is objective is better able to see your “blind spots” and help you gain a fresh perspective on things.   They’ll help you brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles and they are able to hold you accountable.  Just having someone who knows you and what you want to achieve is powerful because you can’t make excuses.   These are the things that life-coaches are professionals at doing.

What is your top goal right now?    What is your plan?   Can you get there on your own? Time and repetition are the key.   Every small step today eventually becomes something massive in the future.   

Take Control of Your Life: Think Positive & Overcome Your Fears

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

FEAR: F#@% Everything And Run

We all have fears.   Each and every one of us.  Some fears are good and healthy to have.   It is wise not to put your hand in a fire because you’re afraid of getting burned.  It’s a little much to avoid lighting candles at dinner because they are a fire hazard.  The difference is the level at which fear dictates how one lives.

What separates those who seem to have bulletproof confidence, and are those who over-react?   The thoughts behind the fear and the meaning that is attached to them.

Take, for example, someone who hates their job but won’t change.  

The underlying fears might be:  being too old, not being good enough to do something else, disappointing someone else, giving up the illusion of security for the unknown. 

Underneath those fears are still more fears and lies.

“ My friend was 50 and changed jobs, and she was the talk for months.   No one expected her to succeed.   She almost lost her marriage; her husband was furious.”

And so on.

A confident person also has anxious feelings about a change.  Their thinking is more like:

“OK, I’m 50, but I could be working for a minimum of 15 more years.  

If I love it, I might do it till I’m 80

They either don’t care what other people think, or they consider what others will say but know that those worthy of their friendship will support them, and those who don’t aren’t.  They understand there will be an adjustment with their relationship, but they work it out with their spouse and find a way to prioritize tasks and get it done.

One person spends another 15 years surviving, and the other creates a life they love.

That is what separates the two scenarios above.   

Check it out: Crush Self-Doubt and build Super-Confidence, a workbook.

The core of fear

At the core of fears that do not serve us and yet have control in ones, life is a negative thought pattern. That negativity is likely not even conscious, making it harder to manage and move past.

Thinking positive will take some commitment and practice, but you can turn irrational fears around if you are willing to make a conscious effort to be better.  When you get better at focusing on your strengths more than your shortcomings you gain confidence; when you expect the best outcome more than the worst, you gain motivation; and when you chose to act in the face of fear instead of allowing it to dictate your life, you gain courage.   All of these lead to a life of greater peace and happiness. 

The tips below are not necessarily easy, but they are simple, practical suggestions that you can use to develop more positive thinking patterns.  When you change the way you think, you will be able to take control during times of fear and be more productive and successful in reaching your goals.

Take care of yourself first.  

Taking control of your life requires a strong baseline.  Make sure your basic needs are met. It’s hard to have clarity and focus when you’re hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.   Eat well, get enough exercise, make sure you have healthy social interaction, and get enough sleep.

Look at the fears behind the fears; they tell you more about yourself than the “surface layer” thoughts.  To gain this insight, you’ll have to slow yourself down and find a way to dig below the surface or conscious thoughts.   If you’re not sure how to do this, here are a couple of suggestions.

Identify what you are really afraid of.

  • Talk it out with a trusted friend or mentor.   Try and uncover your “why’s”.   Why are you afraid to (for ex:) change jobs?   Why do you believe you’re too old to?   Why does that matter?   And so on.   If you can do this 3-5 times, you should be able to uncover a more deep-seated, core level fear.  
  • Try quiet mindfulness or meditation.   Sometimes when we try and sit quietly, the thoughts come racing fast and furious.    Notice those thoughts.    Think of what your heart’s desire genuinely is and pretend you already have it.   Chances are your knee jerk reaction will be all of the reasons that it is not possible.   PAY ATTENTION TO THOSE THOUGHTS, they are clues to your core fears. 
  • Grab a pen and paper and start writing.  Don’t try and censor your thoughts; no one is going to read this.  Just start writing about what you want and what stops you from getting it.   Similar to meditation, the underlying blockages are likely to present themselves.   Write anything that comes to mind, regardless of what it is.   After about 15-20 minutes, go back and read it.   You’ve probably got some new self-awareness on the paper. 

Crush your Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT’s)

Famous author and mental health expert Dr. Daniel Amen describes ANTs as the unconscious thoughts that bring you down.

Ask yourself: Is this really true? Maybe it was true in the past, but is it still true today?  Do you know someone who defies this?    What do you really have to lose if you try and things don’t go exactly as planned?    Has catastrophe ever really entered your life because you took a chance on your goals?

Everyone has fear, but successful people feel the fear and do it anyway.   A great book by that title, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, by Susan Jeffers offers excellent ideas to overcome crippling fears. 

Remember, negative thoughts only have as much power that you give them.  When you recognize them, don’t give them credence.   Try to detach from them and replace them with something empowering.     One way to diffuse their strength is to laugh them off.   If you notice yourself thinking “I’m not smart enough to be a _________ (dream job)”  instead of believing that lie, laugh at the fact that some small, childish part of you is silly even to think that, but there is a stronger, healthier part of you that is wise enough to know the truth and simply dismiss it.   Move on to something else so that you don’t continue the story in your head.

Thwart fear with an attitude of gratitude.  

When you focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t, stress and fear are deflated.   Take a few moments throughout the day to notice the things you do have, the things you’re doing great, the people who you support, and support you.   The positive feelings that come from gratitude will crush the negativity that fear generates. 

 Create a new story.    

Don’t get analysis paralysis, but consider different outcomes.  Sometimes fears take over, and we start practicing terror, imagining all kinds of unlikely events.  Thinking about the “worst-case scenario”  is helps some people muster the courage to take the plunge, but we find two flaws in this strategy.   First of all, it often cripples action, and it rarely comes to pass.  Second, it is based in negativity, and negative thoughts lead to more negative thoughts.   Try thinking about the best-case scenario.   The ultimate may not come to pass either, but positive thoughts lead to more positive thoughts, and you’ll still go farther than you would otherwise go.  Think about what it means to be successful.  Who do you need to be to get there?  What do you need to do to make it happen?   What supports do you have in place?  

Take Action!   

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.    Nothing great will ever come from a comfort zone.   Reading books, watching videos, writing journals are all great ways to learn about yourself and what to do, but they mean absolutely NOTHING if you don’t take action.    Changing your thoughts and behaviors is a process, and miracles won’t happen overnight. However, if you start now, and push yourself just a little bit every day, in a month, you’ll see a difference, and in 6 months you’ll be amazed.  A year from now, you might just have a brand new life!! 

Now, try this on for size     FEAR: FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE

If you ready to take control of your life and believe you’ll go further with support than on your own, why not try working with a professional Life-Coach?   Life Coach Library makes it convenient to find the best coach for you, and the process is risk-free!

I Guess That’s Why They Call it the (Winter) Blues…

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery

The holidays can be so stressful and hectic, and like it or not, we are typically surrounded by people.  Lots of people.  Family members, friends, colleagues at your office holiday party, crowds of people in the malls, restaurants, and traffic…the list goes on and on.

Then, poof! its over and everything is eerily quiet, or comparatively so.   

For many, this drop in activity and social interaction leaves a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. Couple that with single digit temperatures outside… and oh, those New Years Resolutions that you’ve already forgotten about, again…and. (deep sigh) yep,  the winter blues have crept right in.  

  
Regardless of why the first few weeks after the holidays can be emotionally overwhelming. 

My top 3 go-to’s when getting in a winter funk: Lights, Connection, Action!!

Let there be light! 

It’s common knowledge lack of sunlight during the winter months is connected to feeling down.   The scientific term is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and while some people suffer from it severely, almost everyone agrees the gloom of winter is a downer.    Dress warm and go outdoors if you’re able.   Being cold stinks, but as long as you’re warm, breathing the brisk air can be invigorating.  If you’re a dog owner like me, you know that getting them out sometimes is a pain, but everyone is much happier after.  Have an elderly neighbor with a dog?  Offer to help them.  They’ll appreciate it, and doing something for someone can really lift your spirits.  However, you choose to do it, don’t get too cooped up inside. 

Open your curtains and let the light shine in.    A lot of times, we close them because they do help insulate and keep the heat in.  I get it.  Keeping the heat in is good, but the flip side is that it blocks the light out.   Even if you only open them for an hour a day, let there be light!  You’ll feel better.  

 Feeling blue, try Gratitude for Happiness

It’s almost impossible to feel down when you have a real sense of gratitude.  Take a moment to think of anyone that did something extra special over the holidays and reach out to thank them.   You could call them, send them a card, or an email.  I discourage texting, but if that’s what feels right to you, then by all means, go for it.  Everyone loves to receive thanks and to get outside of yourself and to connect with another person with a grateful heart creates endorphins related to happiness (Psychology Today)

Make a plan

Just get going again.  Think of how focused you were during the holidays.  How ever you celebrate, making plans, meeting deadlines, reaching goals is a big part of the process, and chances are, you did all of that without even being aware of it.  Now is your opportunity to focus on something for yourself.  We all have something we’d like to accomplish and have procrastinated on (until after the holidays?)

Here are a few ideas.

Pick an area of your life you want to work on.   Are you happy with your career?  How’s your love life?   Still eating Christmas candy or just feeling the after-effects and ready to get back into healthy habits?   Thought about starting a business or writing a book or taking up a new hobby?  Pick one (or two), and write down your ultimate goal with it.  Even if it seems lofty now, as long as there is some reality to it, get it on paper.  Then break it down into chunks by what you need to accomplish in (for example) one year or six months. Then what do you need to get done each month to get to the end?  After that, break it into weekly goals to reach your monthly objective.  Lastly, what can you do TODAY to meet your weekly commitment?  

Don’t put massive stress or pressure on yourself.

That’s counterproductive.  The stress will create negative feelings that will ultimately be the demise of the plan. Even people who think they are motivated by pain or panic typically fizz out.  It just doesn’t work, or at least not for long.   If you find yourself feeling angst or stress, try setting SMART GOALS.   These  are smaller, more specific and managable goals allowing you to celebrate even your simplest victory.

Winter can feel like an ending while you’re waiting for the new beginnings that come with spring.  However, it doesn’t have to be.   There are only so many tomorrows, and letting nearly 90 of them pass you by does not serve your highest good.   You deserve so much more out of life.   Let yourself live it to the fullest.  

Ring Ring Your Life is Calling: find your true calling in life

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Realize it or not, we all experience a sense of passion and purpose at some time in our lives. Think back to when you were a child and had an unfiltered interest in a game or toy.  Maybe you played a musical instrument or lost yourself in arts and crafts.  

Finding a passionate purpose in your adult life is not so different from this.  We resonate with a vision of possibility.  It may start seemingly ordinary, but as we lean into it, the possibilities seem endless, and it takes on a life of its own. The clearer we can see the vision, the more doors to new opportunities appear, and our vision becomes deeply meaningful. 

Living authentically frees you to turn possibility into reality. 

Are you living in line with your authentic self?  Do you do what is meaningful and inspiring to you? Are you achieving the results you want in your life? Do you feel fully alive? How much do you wholeheartedly engage and enjoy each moment, no matter where you are or what you are doing?   How you live one day is how you live your life. The answers to these probing questions define it.

You’ll have more confidence and self-respect; you’ll feel better knowing your strengths and weaknesses in a true and accurate measure; you’ll be more optimistic and be ready to forward, even if you’ve felt stuck in the past.

When you ignite your passion, you procrastinate less and have more drive; your relationships will improve because you being the best version of you. 

Uncover your true passion and purpose

It starts with a vision.

Allow yourself some time to quiet the mind and slow down the chaos of everyday life.  Ask yourself: What do I want? What makes me happy? What am I passionate about? Don’t filter your answers.  The answers you seek exist inside of you if you’re willing to listen.  It can take time, so don’t try and hurry the process.

Pay attention to shifts in your thought process.


You’ll start to notice your mental energy flowing towards unraveling what it is that you truly are meant to be or do.  You’ll be amazed as you begin to attract the elements that resonate with your calling.  It will be as if life is calling you on your own personal telephone, you just need to answer the phone. 

As ideas come to you, imagine that you are already living your ideal life.   Close your eyes and as if you are watching a movie starring yourself, fill in all the details with vibrant color; hear the sounds of success; feel the satisfaction and joy that comes with it.
 

It takes consistent vigilance

To manifest situations that provide the opportunities you desire, you must maintain focus on the end-goal.  Spend time each day doing even the smallest thing that is consistent with someone who already has or is what they desire.   Be selfish with your time and not get distracted, even if only for 15 minutes. Make this time yours without negotiation and be willing to repeat it again and again.

Ask for Help

You will always have to do “it” yourself, but you never have to do it alone.  Find a trusted confidante to run your ideas by.  Try to find someone who will support you without judgment.  That someone should also be living in line with their true passion and purpose.  Inner vision can take time to activate, and it’s essential to know where, how, when, and who to ask for help. 

These suggestions will help you get in touch with your core values and deepest desires.   They will stimulate your imagination to identify what your life’s purpose, vision, and mission are.

Consider that as you discover your passions that life is calling you.  Are you going to answer the phone?   Or are you going to wait for the voice mail (procrastinate)?   Will you respond with a text because you don’t have the “perfect” response? Or will you put a post on social media asking for permission from others to do what you desire most?

When you feel a strong pull that something is your calling, the best thing to do is get busy!   The sooner you start, the quicker you feel better and build momentum.  When you decide to live your purpose and go for what you really want, amazing things start to occur.  

Start today!  A year from now, you’ll be so glad you did.

Jobs and Careers: Why are so many people content with just earning a salary and working 9-6 their entire adult life?

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Ahh, the American dream: finish high school, continue to get a degree or specialized training, and live out the rest of your life for an organization the provides fringe benefits and opportunities for promotion. 

For some, attending college may be about enrichment and personal fulfillment. Still, for most people, the primary motivation to go to college is the hope of securing gainful employment when finishing.   Statistics validate that the average income of someone who has earned a bachelor’s degree is 80% higher than their peers with a high school diploma or less. 

So, assuming having a decent salary is the big win for investing four years of one’s life and tens of thousands of dollars, it is no surprise that so many are motivated and encouraged, if not pushed, to pursue this pre-mapped route.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with this and by no means discredit what a precious resource knowledge can be.  There is nothing wrong with taking the traditional route! But let’s look at this a little closer.  Over 70% of college grads are in debt with a whopping collective total of about $1.5 TRILLION. If you were to place 1.5 trillion one-dollar bills end-to-end, that would stretch for about 210,000 miles, or around the earth about 8.5 times.  It’s no wonder the average age children move out of their parent’s house has crept up to nearly 30! 

With such responsibilities, having a 9-6 job is not only attractive but convenient. A safe and secure job will help pay those pesky student loans, make the monthly payment on dependable transportation, take a vacation occasionally, and maybe even save towards a down payment on a home.  All good stuff and part of livin’ the dream!  

Whose dream?

Maybe dreams are for kids?

Hence, most people prefer to work for someone else all their adult lives. They get periodic promotions, pay into their retirement fund, and live a life that is risk-averse and without complications.  They are content.  Many of them at least.   According to Forbes, 58% of them are.   Which means 42% aren’t.    Over 2/3’s of them are merely surviving.  Miserable at work.  They hate their job; they hate their boss; they just go through the motions to collect a paycheck and get health insurance.  Sound familiar?

Compare this to the life of someone self-employed or an entrepreneur. Venture capitalist and internet entrepreneur. Reid Hoffman, eloquently said ‘An entrepreneur is someone who will jump off a cliff and assemble an airplane on the way down.’

This accurately describes the life of someone who wants to take a different approach to life. Someone who must live passionately and is driven by some higher purpose.  They are willing to forgo the security of a steady income in exchange for the opportunity for unlimited income.  Despite the extreme discipline and dedication, they will tell you they do not work at all.  Why?  They love what they do!  It makes them feel alive.  

Entrepreneurs take risks, make sacrifices, and endure hardship. The ultimate reward is freedom, a sense of accomplishment, and a flexible lifestyle that is entirely different from the mainstream lifestyle. 

Interestingly,  out of 185 million working-age Americans, 14% or 27 million are entrepreneurs today. They are either starting a new business or already have their own established companies.  This is the highest number of entrepreneurs ever recorded in the US and goes to show how millennials and Generation Z have a different approach to life than their parents. 

Why? Maybe technology has created more opportunities to niche out. Perhaps the allure of work-from-home in your sweats has winningly surpassed the “suit up and show up” mentality of the baby boomers.  Or maybe, just maybe, that despite all the benefits of formal education, we are learning to value the independence and satisfaction of creating our own livelihoods.  No longer are they willing to conform to the corporate culture and jump through the hierarchical hoops to get ahead.   They are living authentic lives.  

We have total respect for any hardworking human being who supports themselves in any ethical fashion, in whatever professional lifestyle they choose.   For those who know that they are cut out to use their God-given talents to do something fantastic on their own, we wish you success as you pursue your passion. 

If you hate your job and are merely enduring the days and weeks, living for a paycheck and a few benefits, you can make a change.  It’s not too late, you are not too old, and there is something better for you.   You owe it to yourself to live in line with your values, interests, and fulfilling work if you’re unsure where to start, with a career coach to find out how!

A NEW YEAR – A NEW BEGINNING

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Christmas is a wonderful time of year, time to be with your loved ones, and a time for laughter and cheer. But it is also a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas is not simply a commemorative Christian holiday. It is not simply celebrating with family and friends. It is not simply a time to give gifts and to be a giving person for a few days out of the year. The Christmas holiday can certainly be all these things, but it can be so much more. No matter what your religious beliefs, this time of year can be a time to reflect on our lives. Every year, I am particularly moved by the song “Happy Christmas” by Celine Dion.

So, this is Christmas and what have you done

Another year over, a new one just begun . . . .

Every year when I hear this song, it touches my soul in a very personal way, and it always gets me thinking about my life. What meaningful things have I done over the last year? Certainly, my accomplishments and goal achievements come to mind, but it is actually much more than that. It is about who I’ve become and what I have done for others. Each year it is my goal to become a better person. Health and wellness is something I always need to work on but, equally important, is my goal of becoming the person I want to be. I want to demonstrate my love for my family in many different ways. I want to create beautiful memories for my children and grandchildren that will live on for a lifetime. I want to deepen the relationships I have with my spouse, my family, my friends, and others. I want to step into the shoes of others, so I can see and feel things from their perspective, experience their world, understand and help them work through challenges, and join them as they celebrate their successes. As a life and leadership coach, I want to support my clients to reach their goals, achieve their dreams, and, in the process, become their personal and professional best.

There have been a number of self-improvement efforts I’ve made over the years. One that I would like to share because it has had a very positive impact on my life and may on yours too is learning to be present, to live in the present moment, the here and now. Most of us spend the majority of our time focused on either the past or the future. We have 40,000 to 50,000 thoughts entering our minds every day, and as many as 80% of these thoughts are negative.  While some past thoughts may be pleasant, many aren’t, and those are the ones we tend to focus on. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness are all emotions that can come from focusing on our past. We hold grudges and, as such, compromise our relationships. Thoughts about the future are also a source of negative emotions.  We worry about things that may never happen. Anxiety, tension, stress, and worry come from focusing on too much future. To make matters worse, we play these same negative thought patterns over and over and over again in our minds.  When we do this, we are escaping the present moment that is our life now. We may be eating a delicious meal or spending time with friends, yet our minds are “miles away,” stressing over a problem at work or replaying for the thousandth time an argument we had with our spouse a few days ago.   We don’t fully enjoy the food we’re eating. We don’t really hear what our friends are saying, and we don’t enjoy our time together as much as we could. We’ve lost connection. Our relationships and joy can be seriously compromised. Just think about how much we are missing out on life by not being present. To become present, ask yourself from time to time what you are thinking about, and instantly, you will become present. Note where your mind was. Were you dwelling on something from your past or possibly worried about something in your future?

Have I achieved being the best version of myself? No, I have not, but that is the point. It is something we need to work on continually. As I approach the New Year, I think about how I can become a better person to make more of a difference in the world. Change takes time. The New Year is the perfect opportunity for a new start, a new beginning.

So, I invite you to search your soul to see if you are becoming the person you want to be and making the difference you want to make in this world. As the song goes, what have you done? Another year over, a new one has just begun. When the Christmas holiday returns in December, and we hear the lyrics to “Happy Christmas” again, let’s have something to say about how we’ve been a giving person all year long and how we’ve made a significant difference for others by who we’ve become. The people that mean the most to us, our families, our friends, and others may not remember all our accomplishments, but they will remember who we are, how we’ve treated them, and the impact we’ve made in their lives.

We wish you a year of love, laughter, connection, success, joy, and fulfillment!

While no one can create your happiness but you, reaching our goals can be tough to do alone.  If you’re ready for better results than you’ve achieved in previous years, consider reaching out to a professional life-coach.  You will go further and do it faster than you will on your own!  Life Coach Library makes it convenient and RISK FREE to experience the impact working with a coach can have. 

Submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com/

You’re PROBABLY NOT Going to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

It’s nothing personal; research shows that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are broken and forgotten by February 15th.  Why are resolutions so hard to keep? There are a lot of reasons for this ranging from lack of clarity of goals, unrealistic expectations, or, according to some psychologists, the word itself does not program the brain for commitment and motivation, which are vital for success.

It’s true that at the end of December, most of us reflect on the year behind us and look at the new year as a fresh beginning, a chance to make changes.  The reality is that May 5th, August 30th, or November 19th are equally as good to create a new beginning and make changes.  ANY day you decide to improve something about yourself or your life is a GREAT day to start.  

The real question to ponder is not WHEN is a good time to start?  But WHY haven’t you done it already?  Why haven’t you done what you wanted to?  Why are you stuck in a dead-end job or relationship?  Why did you lose 20 pounds and then just give up?  WHAT has gotten in-between you and achieving your goals?

 The usual culprits are:

  • Absence of clearly defined and realistic goals
  • Unsustainable motivation and commitment
  • Limiting-beliefs that lead to procrastination or sabotage success
  • Making costly mistakes that deplete time and resources
  • Using the SAME thinking to solve a problem that created them 

“Problems cannot be solved by the same thinking that created them.”
Albert Einstein

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”  If any of this sounds like you, you’re not alone.   Hundreds of thousands of people go through the same cyclical process several times a year, every year.    If you’ve been afraid to try or have tried and failed repeatedly, it can be so discouraging, but the worst thing you can do is allow yourself to become a victim of circumstance. 

It takes courage, and it takes energy, but you can begin again.  You can change.   You can overcome challenges.  You can break through self-limiting beliefs.  You can become the person you want to be, and you can create the life you want to live.

The difference is:    If you want a different result, you have to do something different.  Something inside you must change before anything outside of you can change. 

Whatever it is you do today, you are creating your future.   If you do nothing today, you are creating your future.  If you  “go for it” today, you are creating your future.   The second you decide to act and push yourself out of your comfort zone, you win.

So, with 2020 right around the corner, what are your goals? 

Here are 6 common areas of life and goals.  These are very general, but we recommend that yours be as specific and detailed as possible.

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Career

  • Reduce stress and create life-work balance
  • Plan a better career path or transition 
  • Improve professional skills (presentation, leadership, time-management, etc.)
  • Start or grow a business

Finances

  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Establish a nest egg
  • Save for large purchases
  • Invest
  • Plan retirement

Health and Wellness  

  • Establish daily self-care routines
  • Nutritional goals,
  • Exercise and physical goals
  • Wellness goals (for ex: stress management)
  • Lifestyle changes.

Relationships: family; romantic; social

  • Meeting the love of your life
  • Improving your current relationship with the love of your life
  • Getting along better with your parents or colleagues
  • Communication with your teenage children
  • Broadening your social circle

Personal growth;

  • Build confidence; end procrastination; become proactive
  • Develop a happier attitude; learn to think positively
  • Overcome limiting beliefs; find one’s purpose and passion
  • Break bad habits, create good ones

Spirituality

  1. Deepen commitment to spiritual practices
  2. Broaden your understanding of religious philosophies
  3. Learn to practice The Law of Attraction
  4. Seek answers to questions you ponder or don’t understand
  5. Grow along spiritual lines and principles

Any of these goals are possible.  If any of them (or others) appeal to you, know that YOU CAN.  It may feel like moving a mountain right now, but one step at a time, they can be achieved.

If you decide to “go for it,” it does not matter what you call it, you must commit to change.   You must see it clearly, and you have to believe you can do it.   You must become the person you need to be and develop the discipline and character to make your goal reality.  You must change not to be the person who only wants success and become one who is willing to fight for it. 

One thing you DON” T have to do is go it alone.   No one is coming to do it for you, so you do have to get your a## in gear and get busy.  But you don’t have to fly solo.   DO get support.  DO find someone who can help you clarify your goals.  DO find someone who will hold you accountable and help you remember your why.  DO get an outside perspective that is objective.    Who is that person?   If you don’t have an answer already, we suggest working with a professional coach. 

A coach is skilled in helping you:

  • Clarify your goals and create a robust and actionable plan
  • Identify blocks that have gotten in the way of success in the past & help you overcome them.
  • Help you stay motivated, committed, and hold you accountable.
  • Collaborate with you to form a “think-tank” and come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have had on your own.
  • Save you time and money because you are less likely to make mistakes and get off track.

Life coaching works!  Life Coach Library makes finding a coach you love convenient and RISK-FREE.   When you register and complete a short survey, we’ll match you with up to three coaches who will offer you a complimentary coaching consolation.  From there, you choose the best coach for you and start reaching your goals!  The best part?  Our service is FREE. 

You haven’t lived your best year yet!  Will 2020 be it?

Why Career Coaching is a Must for Developers and Freelancers

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

This article was initially published by JetCake.

The benefits of career coaching have shown to be invaluable in almost every industry.  Forbes, Inc., recently published statistics reporting that over 70% of those who receive coaching see improvements in their work performance, communication skills, relationships, and more often than not, recoup their investment.

Many of the worlds most famous CEOs, including Bill Gates and Steve Jobs,  have worked with career coaches.   They had the personal insight to know that having object feedback and accountability could be the difference between excellence and mediocrity.  They worked with coaches to develop communication skills, business concepts and clalrify their vision.  While coaching was once considered a luxury service for the elite, mainstream professionals frequently advance their careers and personal goals by working with a coach.    Today, professionals in every industry, including developers and programmers work with coaches to sharpen their resume,  gain feedback on their “blind spots”, advance in supporting skill sets, and clearly define their career trajectory.

Coaching takes many forms, from collaborating with trusted peers, having a mentor, and formally hiring a professional coach to get the most personalized attention and expertise one can.   In today’s uber busy and digital world, most of the coaching takes place right on your smartphone or tablet.

Being a successful freelancer takes so much more than being an excellent developer.   You need a strategy to market yourself and juggle the many tasks of going out on your own.  You might be a fantastic coder, but do you have all the skills needed to stand out?  If you’re ready to be proactive to stay ahead of the competion,  the impact of coaching is  invaluable. Here’s why every developer needs career coaching along the way. 

A Coach will help you develop your soft skills

When it comes to skills that employers seek most, tech and coding skills dominate LinkedIn’s 2019 list of skills sought after by employers’. That’s great news for developers.   Finding work will be relatively easy for you as your skillset is in high demand.   Scarce are developers who cannot get by.  However, do you want to get by, or do you want to be wildly successful?  Do you want to pick up a few gigs here and there, or do you want to thrive and have a constant stream of business?   What’s your vision for tomorrow, next year, and five years from now?    How are you going to make yourself stand out from the crowd?  

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, having the right soft skills are in equal demand to honed professional talent.  This is what separates the good from the great.  Many developers and programmers focus on their hard skills but ignore this area of professional development.     

Read: Should you hire a Freelance Developer?

According to Linkedin, the most in-demand soft skills are collaboration with team members and management, being able to think outside of the box, an eye for detail and accuracy, time management & organizational skills, and being adaptive and responsive. When a recruiter interviews dozens of candidates for one highly sought-after position, guess who stands out?   They one who delivers “all that AND the bag of chips.” In other words, the total package.

Certified Business and Career Coaches are experts at helping clients by preparing them for nuanced, real-world situations that will hone communication skills and develop them to measure up in multiple skill areas.  The jobs are out there and you can gain a competitive advantage in the job market by becoming a seasoned candidate with various skillsets. 

A Coach will save you time and money in developing your career

There’s no shortage of demand for developers which makes it very easy to let yourself rest in a comfort zone.  You might be lucky enough that opportunities seem to find you more than you actively seek them.   If that’s you, kudos, but don’t take it for granted.   Inevitably competition will grow, the “fit” will survive, but only the “fittest” will excel!   A career coach can help freelance developers, and tech professionals connect to more extensive networks, navigate career changes, win proposals on more significant projects, and discern what types of companies are most suited to your talents and preferences.    

A Coach will help you “future-proof” your skillset 

What worked yesterday doesn’t necessarily work today, and what works today may not work tomorrow.  The tech industry is continuously growing and changing, and if you want to stay in the race, your skills must too.   Easier said than done when  you’re focused on work projects of the day, so how can you be proactive and sharpen your skills to be ready for tomorrow?

“Coaches can use assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses, both in terms of personality and skillsets. They can also help job seekers understand how a skill can be applied in a different way to a new job,” writes TechRepublic

Business and Career Coaches stay current on what recruiters and industry leaders are looking for and can help you see where your skills might be outdated.  They will help you sharpen your presentation skills for the interview.    Some coaches will also take it a step further and place a developer in a job.

In short, the longevity of your professional status comes down to staying ahead of the curve in both technological and professional skills.    Savvy developers take advantage of coaching to stay in high demand!

Ready to be proactive in your career?  Try coaching RISK-FREE.

If You’re Not Achieving Your Goals, It’s Time To Look Inside

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality
achieve your goals

Can you believe there are only a few weeks left before the New Year is upon us?  Is your life today as you hoped it would be this time last year? Have you kept your New Year’s promises and made the changes you were so enthusiastic about?  Or, are you among the many who wanted change, wanted results,  had powerful intentions, but once again, you didn’t go the distance and achieve your goals?

The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” Albert Einstein.  The truth is, if you want change, it’s you that needs to change.   No one is saying this is easy; old habits and old beliefs die hard.  The key to powerful, lasting change is having a clear vision and setting compelling goals.

Even though most people understand goal setting on a rational level, a whopping 80% of people never set clearly defined goals.  If that’s not bad enough, of the 20% who do set goals, nearly 70% of them never reach them.  Why not?  There are several possible reasons.   Sometimes there are outside circumstances that they genuinely have no control over. Still, the reality of it is the biggest obstacle to reaching the personal and professional growth we aspire to lives between your ears.  The typical culprits are lack of commitment, inactivity, or perhaps having too many goals. But even if these things are in perfect order, you could still miss the mark.

Here’s why:

  1. You need a change in attitude and to address self-limiting beliefs: Using the same thinking that got you “here” isn’t going to get out.  When you want something new on the outside, you need to create something new on the inside.  Most of our thought process runs in the unconscious, and that’s is where many damaging thoughts camp out.   Think of these limiting beliefs as pesky weeds which, until pulled out from their root, keep coming back and airing their ugly head. Typical examples are believing you’re someone you’re not; you’re not good enough, not smart enough, too young/too old, or some such disempowering label. Until that limiting belief is discovered and replaced with something positive and empowering, you are set up for failure.
  2. You fear failure, or even worse, you fear success: Some people are afraid they will fail, but the fear of success undermines even more people.  If they fail, they anticipate people labeling them a failure or a loser. If they succeed, they think people may be envious and treat them differently, perhaps negatively or that they can’t keep up the pace and will humiliate themselves.  As cliché as it may be, deep down, they might believe they’re unworthy of attaining the goal and, consciously or unconsciously sabotage themselves.   Either way, if you lack faith yourself and your potential, why would you even invest your energy and make the kind of non-negotiable commitment needed for success?   If you can’t give everything you’ve got, what can you expect to get back?
  3. You’re not being true to yourself, and there is a conflict with your core values and/or life purpose. Are you doing what you are passionate about or what you think you should be doing?   Are you trying to please yourself or someone else?   Get clear about your core values and life purpose because they will serve as a compass, pointing out what it means to be true to yourself.  If you are living in conflict with your core values, you create stress, like running against the wind or trying to swim against the current.  It leads to frustration and disenchantment.  When you live “on purpose,” you will be amazed how easily things can fall into place.  You still have to work hard and very hard at that.  However, your motivation will be stronger and last longer because you are doing what you love to do, what you are good at, and accomplishing what is important to you. You are making a difference in the world.   These are the key ingredients to finding success, joy, and fulfillment. 

The most common characteristic amongst successful people is the ability to take 100% responsibility for their lives, including their achievements, the results they produce, the quality of their relationships, their health and well- being, their income, and everything else. They are goal-oriented and take action.  When stuck, they don’t blame people, places or circumstances, they reassess and readjust and keep going.  Even if things do not go as they hoped, they do not feed themselves the lies ‘I am a loser, I am a failure, or I can’t achieve anything.’ They redefine their failure as a success by looking at the reality of the situation, learning from it, and pressing on. 

While no one can create your success but you, you’d don’t have to do it alone.  If you’re ready to go all the way and move past your fears, consider reaching out to a professional coach. Overcoming the limiting beliefs that interfere with success is what life coaches specialize in. 

Reach out and receive a free consultation to experience the impact a coach can have!

Written and submitted by:

Robbie Carlson

Professional Life and Leadership Coach

“Helping women leaders create successful careers and extraordinary lives.”

www.robbiekcarlson.com

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

Why Goal Setting Is the Only Way To Achieve Your Dreams

Hollywood superstar Denzel Washington recently gave a commencement speech where he famously said 

‘…You have these dreams. Dreams without goals remain dreams and fuel disappointment’

We all love to dream, think about the house we want to buy, that cool car we want to own or that high-paying job we are working towards. Unfortunately, a lot of people are never able to live their dreams and are stuck in an unhappy place.

While some people like to call themselves lazy or even unlucky, the biggest difference between a dreamer and a doer is setting goals.

The idea of setting goals is nothing new. Over 2,000 years ago Aristotle explained this as final causality.

According to him, the only reason why people do something because they have a basic purpose and a need to achieve it.  

This simple factor drives the world and takes us forward.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke researched this idea and conducted tests that culminated in the ‘Goal-Setting Theory’.

His research work has been celebrated for years, especially in the business world, with corporations following many of his conclusions.

Interestingly though, most of his research has even better applications in our private lives. To get more out of your life and turn your dreams into reality, you will need to:



1. Make specific goals:

Having a big house or making that career move are great goals to have. However, uncertain or ambiguous goals might not take you anywhere. The idea is to be very specific about the goals you have and build upon them.

For example, to say that you want to lose 20 lbs. by the end of the year is not a specific goal. Humans are emotional and such vague aspirations do not motivate us.

A better way is to set a goal of e.g. losing 2 lbs every month or cutting out on sugar and carbs. Such specific goals help us to act immediately and work on our dreams.

  • Turning dreams into reality takes effort:

If you want to change your life, make your marriage work, earn more or buy that house, you will have to work hard for it. There are no short-cuts, no lottery tickets to be won and no one is going to help you.

The good thing about setting small, quantitative goals is that it automatically pushes people to work that harder.

For example, if you are looking to buy your dream car, your goal should be earning an extra income. This way you will push yourself to work overtime and get closer to your objective.

  • Goals make us more persistent:

Read How to Get and Stay Motivated

Setbacks are a part of life and usually throws a lot of people off. You might have had a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse.

A bad day at work can be emotionally challenging and a bad marriage can be life-altering.

However, research has shown that the aim of achieving well-articulated goals make us more persistent against setbacks and generally makes us more resilient in life.

  • Goals can change our behavior:

Research has shown that having well-defined goals can gradually alter our behaviour and make us improve ourselves. E.g. if you are trying to lose weight you might have a goal of reducing your calorie or sugar intake. With such small, specific goals, you might not only shed away the pounds but alter your eating habits for the long-term.

How to Develop effective goals

Make sure the goals you set for yourself really make you work towards your dreams. For effective goal-setting make sure:

Your goals are clear – Goals should be SMART i.e. specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Make sure your goals are simple, clear and have a certain milestone or deadline. Without setting deadlines your goals will take you nowhere.

Also, complex goals are not easy to implement, thus be practical and realistic about them. You should also be able to keep track of your progress and measure your success.

Challenge yourself – While your goals need to be realistic, that does mean they should be easy. Only by challenging ourselves can we break free from our comfort zones and do something beyond the ordinary.

Commit to it – You need to commit to your goals and set up some kind of a feedback system so you can understand how close you are to your goal. E.g. if you are aiming to lose some pounds, record your weight every week and keep on measuring it. A feedback system helps us to stay committed to what you are doing.

Most people never achieve their dreams because they are never fully committed to it. A lack of quick results demotivates most people. Hence, stay focused and committed!

Have an Action Pan – You need to have a complete action plan to turn your dream into a reality. Your action plan should consist of key milestones you want to achieve and when e.g. you dream of becoming a TV producer, you need to start with small internships, take relevant college courses and work your way up. There should be a complete strategy for whatever you want to achieve in life.

In all this, we should never forget the importance of our present. Currently, you might be a young professional or even a fresh graduate. However, 5 years ago, you dreamed of being where you are right now.

On an unconscious level, you did have a plan and goals in mind and you worked hard for it. We usually don’t enjoy the situations we are in and are always looking for a ‘better’ future. While this is human nature, we need to appreciate our present and where we are in life to fully realize our potential and prepare for tomorrow.

Hence, if you need to change something in your life, make a plan and start following it. If you believe saying sorry to someone right now can save your relationship, do it now! If you believe applying for a new job might help you increase your income, don’t think and do it now!

Having someone to help you set powerful goals and stay focused on them can be the difference between success and failure for many.  Professional life-coaches are trained to help their clients gain clarity on their values and set goals that are in line with their authentic selves.  They help you stay motivated and hold you accountable.   Bring on the new year ready for success and try life-coaching risk free with up to 3 coaching sessions on us at Life Coach Library.com!

If You Can Learn, You Can Lead

Career & Business, coaching, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

One thing that all leaders know is that they are never finished developing their leadership skills.  They are continually looking for ways to grow both professionally and personally.  Evolving in one’s leadership skill set is vital to the success of their organization, team, and themselves. 

Are you that leader who thinks that your subordinates suck? Guess what, if this is you, it might be you who sucks. A good leader believes there are no “bad teams.’   only ‘bad managers’ and they look within to find solutions before pointing the finger to others.

If you are currently in a leadership role, you know this is true.  If you’re not, but aspire to be, you can cultivate skills you already have to become one.   Leadership does not have to be a professional title.   You can be a leader in a marriage, your family, and even social acquaintances.   To be a leader, you only need to be someone who modals ideal behaviors and inspires others to follow. 

Characteristics of the best leaders are the ability to infuse passion, make strong-connections, infectious energy, and commitment to the mission of the organization.   Business mogul  Richard Branson says the ability to inspire is one of the most crucial skills every leader should have.  The greatest leaders encourage you to learn more, become better, dream bigger, and accomplish what seemed almost impossible. 

Lead by example

Expect from your team what you expect from yourself

Never ask your team members to do something that you would never do yourself.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. You’ll be resented and viewed as a hypocrite.  You can’t have such high expectations of others if you do not have them for yourself too.  If you’re ok with mediocrity from them, be mediocre.   If you demand excellence, make sure you deliver excellence. 

The only person you can change is yourself.  Be the person you want others to be, and ideally, you will inspire them to change themselves for the better.

When things go amok, stay calm and carry on

Remember, life is unpredictable. Thus, it is possible to run into challenges at any given moment.

It is vital to stay calm and set aside some of your time to think things through when they come up.  It’s not wise to rush and make decisions during the most challenging situations.  You want to keep your team calm, too, as mass hysteria will not solve anything.  Don’t dwell on the problem but focus on the solution.  Communicate clearly with everyone involved and encourage input.  Most issues arise when there is isolation, and the (proverbial) right-hand doesn’t know what the left-hand is doing.  Stay openminded to new ideas and collaboratively come up with a solid strategy to remedy the situation.

Everyone screws up sometimes.  If it’s you, own it!

Don’t be afraid to let your team see the fallible and human side of you.   When you admit you made a mistake and take responsibility for it, they will respect you and be able to come to you for guidance when they are in need.  Celebrate failure as a learning opportunity and move on.  You will create an atmosphere that is comfortable to work in.   You want your team to be challenged by the tasks that they do, not the environment they do them in. 

Be clear about boundaries

A good leader is the one who has clearly conveyed what is expected and what is not tolerated.    Their primary objective is to gain the respect and devotion of their team but not to be buddies.    As a manager, you need to ensure that all the team members take you seriously.  Make sure you follow your own rules too.   This models strong communication skills to your team and shows them that you are fair and consistent.  

Listen

 Sometimes it’s better to talk less and listen more.  Let yourself be approachable and available for your team to come and speak freely.  When you allow others to share their ideas, you empower them, and incorporating some of them will keep them motivated.   

When you are doing the talking, make sure that you offer praise and gratitude to your team.  It’s easy to say, “good job!” and your sincere appreciation will make them feel incredible.

  Inspire

Frontrunners know they have something great to offer this world.   They are talented at teaching others to access their own greatness to support that mission.  They do so with heartfelt support and guidance and provide the resources necessary for success.  They do not take advantage of their position and dole out rules and demands.   

 Inspiring leadership is the one that starts with passion. Passion leads to purpose. Purpose plus direction leads to accomplishing great things!

It starts with you! 

A leader is not a person who is born overnight. Leadership is a journey that starts with a single step. 

These tips offer general guidance to be a progressive leader.  Put them into practice and continue to take a personal inventory to hone your unique leadership skills.  

If you’re ready to up your game with a professional leadership coach, you can speak with up to 3 risk-free at Life Coach Library when you register and complete a simple survey.   If not you, who?  If not now, when?

Read: Why is Leadership Development Important

 

One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows (proverb) 8 Tips for Better Time Management

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Sometimes life is defined by either time or money.  Sometimes we have plenty of time, but don’t seem to have the money to do what we want.  Others, we have enough money, but simply can’t muster the time.

Time is the most valuable commodity in the world. You cannot buy it or produce more of it, and once time goes by, you can never get it back or makeup “lost-time.” While we have all slacked at some point in our lives, the biggest regret of most isn’t that they were active and made mistakes but did doing nothing and wasted time.

In our professional lives, time is money; In our personal lives, (enjoying) time is happiness. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a senior manager, or just someone trying to build their career, better time management can make the difference between reaching your dreams and being able to enjoy them when you get there.  

Ideally, you want to be productive at work, have a healthy social life, and still be able to spend quality time with your family. We all have the same 24 hours in a day; what differs is how we utilize them. We have come up with the top 8 tips that can help you better manage your time and achieve more in life!

1. Make a to-do list

This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and the simplest to follow. Prepare a to-do list to better understand what you need to do and when. It can be an hourly, daily, or weekly task list.

The idea is to be very clear of the tasks that need to be completed. As you complete each task, check it off the list and move on to the next. If you’re a procrastinator or just feeling completely overwhelmed, add things that you can complete in the next 10 minutes.  

Start with ones that are quick and easy to complete then progress to the bigger, challenging ones. There is a certain satisfaction you get as you move down the list, and it will keep you more motivated throughout the day.

2. Prioritize your tasks

Remember to prioritize your work. For effective time management, it is better to compartmentalize and complete the more urgent tasks first.  What’s urgent may not always seem essential.  If you have a big report to write, it’s probably more important than responding to an email your boss sent, but I assure you answering your boss is more urgent at that moment.

Know yourself and what keeps you pumped.  Is it better for you to tackle difficult tasks first? Or do you prefer to start with the more manageable tasks and knock them off your list?    Once you’ve decided what the most urgent and important things are, do whatever works best for you.

3. Remove distractions

Multi-tasking is a buzz word from the ’90s that has caused more harm than good.  We’re so technologically advanced that we think we can have a meeting on Skype while writing a report and texting friends to make plans for the weekend – This does not work!  Nothing gets done correctly, and the long-term results can be harsh when it’s time for performance reviews.  

For better time management, you need to concentrate on one task before moving to something else.  You get out of it what you put into it, so give tasks 100% of you, this is even more important if you have a short attention span or suffer from ADHD.

Learn the art of saying “NO”.  If someone asks you to take on extra work, politely decline when possible.  Saying yes to others is often saying no to yourself.    You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and only you know your limits.

It takes confidence to say no, but it will your life easier and help you better manage your life!

Don’t be afraid to close your door; turn your cell phone off; not answer every email in your inbox; and hunker down on an important task.  It’s ok to be selfish with your time, and you must be when you want to be most productive and efficient.  

4. Eat better and exercise

Eating healthy and exercising regularly can have a massive impact on your physical and mental well-being. It can keep you feeling fresher and active, giving you more energy to keep you going throughout the day.

One of the primary reasons many people miss deadlines is because they feel sick, tired, or stressed all day long.   Having chronic caffeine or sugar withdrawals wreaks havoc on one’s concentration and stamina to see tasks through to completion. 

Staying fit and healthy is a great way to combat this and can help you get more out of your day. This is even more important as you get older. For better time management and to stay active, work on a healthy lifestyle.

5. Get some sleep and start your day early

Speaking of healthy lifestyles, never skip on a good night’s sleep.  Many young professionals do not get enough sleep, making them feel tired and irritable throughout the day without realizing that sleep deprivation is the culprit.  This has a direct impact on efficiency, forcing you to be under-productive.

The most successful people in the world start their day early and for a good reason!

Waking up early gives you enough time to start your day casually. You can have a good breakfast, read the news, exercise or answer emails, and avoid that daily race to work.  Science proves that the first 20 minutes of your day have a lasting effect (Entrepreneur).  Use yours wisely, and you will set the tone for the rest of the morning and afternoon.

Be disciplined, get rest, wake with a lot of energy, and crush the day!

6. Take breaks

Don’t try and be a superhero and work non-stop all-day everyday. Taking short 10-15 minute breaks throughout the day helps to revitalize, relax, and keep you calm.  Every 2-3 hours, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the office or building, drink some water, and just let yourself regroup.  

7. Outsource or delegate whenever possible

We all want to believe we are amazing and can do everything ourselves, that we are in complete control. We would rather do things ourselves than ask someone else, possibly because we don’t trust people to do it right and believe we can do it better, or we simply don’t know how to ask for help.  Try and view “problem tasks” as “challenges” and make a game out of them.  When that doesn’t work, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Successful people know how to decide what to do themselves and what to delegate responsibility, whenever and wherever possible.  Chances are if it’s making you miserable, someone else is better for the task or can at least help you get through rough spots.   The ability to trust your team is a bit difficult but is essential for improving time management and your lifestyle.

8. Establish routines

With practice, you can discipline yourself to have a routine that makes your day work like a well-oiled machine

When you are consistent about the time you go to sleep, wake up, exercise, get to work, have lunch, and everything else you do routinely during the week, you will have successfully managed your time instead of allowing your tasks to manage you.

Expect hiccups now and then, but working on this type of discipline will go a long way in meeting key milestones and achieving daily goals.

What to Do When Your Boss Is a Jerk

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

A dream job could turn into a nightmare when you have a boss who seems to go out of their way to be a jerk to you. Sometimes, they seem to get some twisted pleasure in making you miserable. Some environments have such a toxic culture; the employees have come to think it’s normal for their bosses to behave this way. Worse still, they believe it’s a rite of passage.

Dreading Monday

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a beautiful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is incredibly depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day or the whole week. You even get the feeling your boss hates being at work almost as much as you do.

My boss is a jerk

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of complaints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in; jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then there’s the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could quickly have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade! 

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected, and demeaned. 

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills, consider these career tips to make it bearable.

 

Take it in Stride and kill them with kindness.

Usually, when people treat others poorly, it stems from deep insecurity and fear they have of their leading potential.  They somehow confuse intimidation with leadership.   Meeting them with anger and resentment only makes things fester and get worse, especially when they have the power to make your life miserable.  According to Sutton, in such a situation, treat them with respect, kindness, and give them genuine compliments.  At the very least, you’ll confuse them, but chances are, you will gradually soften their brashness and create a better space for yourself. 

This move may not work in all instances if your boss is a power-hungry and derives joy in treating people like dirt. In that case, it’s a defensive move—think of them as the miserable person they are, feel sorry for them,  smile, and move on!  Or, in your mind, see them as a comical figure. By doing this, you create an emotional distance.  It’s not worth getting upset or angry at The Joker so just laugh (to yourself)  at their irrational behavior. 

Limit interaction to the minimum needed to do your job.

You tried. Remember, you only have control of how you act and react, not how other people receive you.   Their attitude is not going to change, and there isn’t a thing you can do except take care of yourself.

You have to figure out a way to survive, and we recommend space and distance.  Create as much of it as you can so that their negativity does not pollute your psyche.

Give yourself kudos for not stooping to their level. Be graceful about the situation and act like their hurtful words little spit-balls that a 6-year-old would spew out.  In time, you’ll develop a thick skin, and it won’t affect you as much.

Consult with other colleagues or managers when you need help as the first line of defense.  When there is no way around dealing with them, be polite and respectful but get straight to the point so that your meeting is as brief and professional as possible.   

Take advantage of modern technology.

Here’s another easy way to create space and distance: instead of having face-to-face interactions, try to communicate electronically whenever it is useful and appropriate.   It’s much easier to brush off sarcastic comments when they’re online, and if you get heated, you have time to pull yourself together before engaging in any drama.    

If they send several unpleasant emails—don’t reply to them immediately. Get yourself together, compose a short and polite reply to that email. Try not to get into the vicious cycle where you keep getting angry and offended by everything they say.   

Know the situation and the jerk you’re dealing with.

Take a moment, sit down and do a thorough analysis, ask yourself;

  1. How much power or control do I have over the situation?
  2. How much am I suffering?  How can I look at this differently for my sanity?   

If you have a boss who is insulting you, dumping on you, and being disrespectful, try not to retaliate or fuel their anger.  Sometimes, when you look closely at the situation you find yourself in,  you realize your boss is criticizing you because the job is beyond anyone’s control, or it’s entirely a broken system.  Instead, approach them when they’re calm and express your irritation as polite as you can.

If you believe that won’t work, bypass him and go to their superior or directly to Human Resources to file a complaint.   It may be better to bond together with your coworkers experiencing the same problem, form a coalition, and try expressing how toxic and hostile the workplace has become a group. This way, it would become difficult to push people around or single out one person.

When you document and complain as a collective group, you’re more likely to get the problem sorted out than when you try to do it alone. Don’t rush, get your facts right, get concrete proof, and make sure there’s no dissent among you. Then present your evidence to an impartial person in authority.

Don’t quit in rage

Don’t hesitate to resign if you no longer feel safe at your workplace, or you’re being demeaned and insulted constantly. But don’t make any decisions in rage. Plan a departure so that you can leave the company on the best terms possible, you never know when you may need to use them as a reference, and if you storm out, you’ve burned that bridge.  

Consider your options and make a plan.   If you’re unsure how to come up with a sound strategy, consider working with a career coach.   They are skilled at helping you clarify your goals and putting into action a plan that brings results.   One of the most grueling experiences in life is the job-search, and having the extra support of a professional will help you stay focused and sane through this tedious process.

It can be so bad that you get depressed the moment you realize after a wonderful weekend that you have to resume work on Monday. The thought of sharing the same building with such a boss is extremely depressing and can ruin your mood for the rest of the day, or the whole week. You even get the feeling, your boss hates being at work just as much as you do.

You know the one: No matter what you do, it’s never right or enough. You could be on your own, doing your own thing, or you could be asked to perform a task. You give it your best shot, but all you get is a barrage of compalints and criticism at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what industry you are working in, jerk bosses can be anywhere.

Then theres the one who probably has no life of his own and expects you to stay after hours to do things that could easily have been done during the workday or are entirely above and beyond your job description AND pay grade!

To put things in perspective, Robert I. Sutton provided a robust definition of who a jerk boss is. He is quite knowledgeable in this field as he’s a Stanford University professor and New York Times best-selling author of The No-A$$-hole Rule.  He is referring to the manager who  leaves you feeling de-energized, disrespected and demeaned.

In a perfect world, you have a great boss and love going to work.  If you don’t, you might want to consider a career change.   In the meantime, when you have no other option than to go to your hellish job so you can survive and pay the bills consider these career tips to make it bearable.

How To Be a Better Communicator: Seven Ways to Help You Express Yourself

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Relationships & Family

How to be a better communicator: Seven ways to help you express yourself

The Importance of Communication Skills

1. Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.    

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express.  It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.  

How can you be a proactive listener? 

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally.  It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.   

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak.   What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds. 

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest.  Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them. 

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for.  Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent.  If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.    

2. Build trust by showing empathy 

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy, people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying. 

How to be more empathetic 

First, here’s what you DON’T do.  The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)  

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value).  When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication. 

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language  

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills?  Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal.  Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion.  They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously.  Verbal and non-verbal communication work together.  While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust.     If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock.   If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.  

Be a proactive listener: What’s the difference between listening and proactively listening? You can be in a conversation with someone and say that you’re listening, you’re there physically, hearing them speak, but you still aren’t proactively listening to them.

Proactively listening means you are present, conscious, and concerned with what the person is telling you. You’re not just physically present but also mentally and emotionally engaged. Proactive listening doesn’t mean you have to have answers or solutions to another person’s problems. Still, you do have a genuine concern and interest in understanding what they are feeling and trying to express. It is vital to building trust in professional relationships and intimacy in social ones.

How can you be a proactive listener?

How can you be a proactive listener? To some people, active listening comes naturally. It is an innate skill they seem to have been born with. Others must learn how to be more engaged, but it is something you can learn.

First, be physically present. Being physically present means sitting in appropriate proximity with them, making proper eye contact as they speak. What is considered proper space and eye contact can vary in different cultures, so be aware of these when communicating with people from different backgrounds.

Secondly, listen with the intent to understand. Listen without judgment. Ask questions, show emotion, and interest. Try paraphrasing what you just heard to show that you’re present in the moment with them.

Third, try and support them without jumping in and offering advice if it wasn’t asked for. Sometimes people aren’t looking for answers; they want to vent. If you choose to talk about yourself, relate it to something the person was saying.

2. Build trust by showing empathy

For effective communication, it is essential to be able to show compassion. Empathy is recognizing and acknowledging another person’s emotions. It is validating that what they are feeling is valued and of significance. If we’re not able to show empathy,

people tend to think that what they’re expressing is not important or isn’t appreciated. In addition to listening proactively, being empathetic requires ignoring distractions and acknowledging what another person is saying.

How to be more empathetic

First, here’s what you DON’T do. The worst thing you can do is tell them “not to feel that way” or try to make them feel better by “one-upping” them. (this is when someone says something like, “you think that’s bad, something even worse happened to me”)

As the listener, put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Try to feel what they feel, and then you will understand what it is they’re trying to say. Let them know it’s okay to feel whatever it is and that you support them (even if you don’t agree with their feelings, you can still show support of them as a person of value). When you’re able to express empathy, there will be active, more in-depth communication.

3. Improve non-verbal communication/body language

Why is it essential to master non-verbal communication skills? Studies show that 55% of all communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal cues show attitude and emotion. They send signals to the listener that are read both consciously and unconsciously. Verbal and non-verbal communication work together. While we use words to say what we want, our non-verbal communication must be consistent, or it will cause confusion and possibly distrust. If someone is telling a sad story yet seems to be smiling or laughing, they seem cold or at the very least, in denial or shock. If you avoid eye contact or have shifty glances, you’ll be perceived as dishonest or insecure.

You can talk extensively about something, but if your non-verbal cues don’t match what you’re saying, you will not convince your audience to believe in you. Physical gestures should be consistent with the message we are trying to convey.

4. Be clear and concise

To be clear and concise is an essential communication skill. Whether it be written or oral, it’s best to get straight to the point without a lot of flowery and unnecessary words that are just meaningless. What you may think is an introduction to a topic may be thought of as a waste of time in getting to the point if it’s not directly connected to it.

How can you give value in an introduction to a topic?

First, make it informative and drop anything irrelevant. Avoid wordy sentences so that the point is not watered down with unimportant detail. Don’t be repetitive. It’s one thing to assert a position, but repeating the same point, again and again, is just overkill. If your point is not clear, try to illustrate or explain in different ways. An analogy is an excellent tool for this if the analogy is truly relevant. Check for understanding before offering more prolonged and more in-depth explanations. Maintain focus on your topic and make sure not to use too many words when you can say it with just a few.

Whether you’re speaking to a crowd or captivating an audience with your writing, it is best to be clear and concise to keep your audience’s attention.

5. Ask “good” questions

The manner you ask the questions says a lot about your communication skills. You ask questions to get information; to be fully committed and engaged; to understand what the speaker is trying to say; to affirm your interest.

To get good answers, you must ask good questions. As easy as it may seem, asking questions can be a bit tricky. Some pointed questions may be offensive. The tone of your voice and your body language are vital when asking questions in most settings.

  • Keep questions focused on what you really need to know. The questions asked should be based on the topic. Structure the questions based on the information you already have.
  • Discern if your question is best asked as open (an explanation) or closed (yes/no) ended. Is it rhetorical? If it is personal, can it be asked in a way that one can decline to answer comfortably?
  • Know the reason you’re asking. Do you need clarification? Are you looking for a different perspective? Are you looking for help with something?
  • Consider your intent: Are you looking for help? To start a discussion? An argument? What will you do with the information you get?

These awareness’ will help ease the flow of communication so that no one feels like they are being interrogated or put in an embarrassing situation.

6. Improve written communication

Written communication is a communication skill that not all people will take time to master. While some people are naturally gifted at putting their thoughts into written words, others do struggle.

How can you improve your written communication?

After you’ve done your research (if needed), try brainstorming. Brainstorming is nothing more than writing down all thoughts randomly, without any censorship, judgment, or concern for accuracy or cohesiveness. Then, go back and circle the main points you want to get across. From there, put them in some logical sequence. Maybe organize them by time or level of importance. Then construct your writing. If you are writing a letter, find a template online, there are thousands. If it is an essay, start with a basic 5 paragraph format (Introduction, 3 body paragraphs, conclusion). Use a free tool like Grammarly to check your grammar and spelling. Have a fresh set of eyes read your writing before you submit it whomever.

7. Learn to resolve conflict

Agree to disagree:

Agreeing to disagree means accepting other peoples’ opinions even if it is different from what you think. When two people have opposing viewpoints, it doesn’t always have to be that one person is right and the other one is wrong. Part of being emotionally and socially mature is the ability to accept the fact that other people may think differently and have different values. Some people who cannot allow other people’s opinions find themselves threatened that they might be wrong. This negative feeling hinders effective communication. Being open-minded or at least having a higher level of acceptance will allow you to feel comfortable in most situations. As a result, your thinking will stay clear and not clouded by the need to be right. Resolving conflict starts with accepting differences in opinions, views, and sentiments. Instead of getting angry, try to take it constructively as a different perspective you could learn from.

Strong communication skills are essential for success in both your social and professional life. Being adept at discussing and resolving problems, asking for and giving information, and interacting with other people with respect and dignity will pave the road to growth and happiness.

How to Negotiate Salary Or Ask for a Raise

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Scenario #1: You’ve aced the interview and got offered the position, now it’s time to work out the money, but how?   Sometimes candidates are so eager to accept an opportunity they are afraid to rock the boat and take whatever salary the employer offers.       

Scenario #2: You’ve been crushing it at work and you’re mustering up the courage to ask for more money…but when and how does one go about asking for a pay raise?  How will it go down, especially if they say no?   

Whichever scenario describes where you are right now, you are certainly are not alone.   There are very few people who like talking about salary at all, and this phase of employment is often intimidating.  Some people never ask because they don’t want to be perceived as pushy while others are just too uncomfortable with the process.   

One thing that is worse than confronting the money situation is getting up every day to go to a job where you are believe you are underpaid.  When you add value, you should be compensated appropriately, and it’s up to you to know and ask for. what you deserve.  

In most cases you will not get it unless you ask for it and if you don’t you may be costing yourself thousands!  

If it’s a new job, you must negotiate before accepting the position.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of the offer and remember most the hiring managers expect you to negotiate salary. 

When you’ve been at the company for a while and you become of greater value to them. It may be that you’ve taken on more responsibility, your role has expanded or changed,  or you’ve just become the best at what you do, whichever the case,  it may be time to ask for a raise.  

 So, how does one go about asking for more?  

Be prepared 

In either case, it is essential to prepare well before going into any type of salary negotiation.  

Do some research and know your value 

Your success will depend on the strategies you use to show how you contribute to the company.  A smart way to sell yourself and be convincing of your added value is to focus on the mission of the organization and how you going to help them.  Negotiations tend to go south when candidates become overconfident and focus on what the company should do for them.      

It is critical to know what your minimum and ideal compensation will be.    There are several websites you can easily access current salary trends.  To name a few, try glassdoor.comcareerbliss.com, or indeed.com.   There will always be a range which is based on many factors, such as: geography, education & credentials; experience; and detailed job descriptions.   Spend some time to get the most detailed information possible. These numbers can serve as both your starting and jumping-off points when negotiating.  

If youre a new hire, be ready to emphasize the unique skills and attributes that you bring and be ready to justify how they will benefit the company.    

Negotiation time 

You’ve convinced your manager you are a great asset and they want to you happy.  

New Hire:  

Let the hiring managers make the first offer. Don’t make the mistake of going first.  It is possible you ask for too little and you can’t negotiate when you set the bar.  It is the first offer that establishes a baseline from which you will work from. There’s generally about 10% wiggle room in an opening offer.  

One strategy candidates and managers may use is known as “the flinch”.  This means you listen to the first offer suggested by your employer, repeat it, and then go silent.  In that silence, it is  possible for hiring managers to suggest a higher offer on their own, or “flinch”.    Even if they do not, you cannot lose anything by doing this. 

Take your time before responding.   A moment of pause will help you gather your thoughts and stay focused on your research and talking points.  Speaking too soon can send the message that you’re anxious.    

Begin your counteroffer by emphasizing how you understand your role in the organization and what makes you uniquely qualified for more than their offer. This is where your research and preparation will pay in dividends.  Be confident yet humble.  Not all compensation has to me money.  If the company cannot pay you more, explore what benefits they offer and consider their value. For example, they may not be able to increase your wage, but will allow you to work from home once you’ve established yourself.  Maybe they can offer extra vacation days, or a company paid vehicle.  These perks can be worth thousands.   

Remember, things cannot always go as per your ideal, which is why you have to be clear on what your minimum is.    If you don’t get everything you want, make sure you are not walking away feeling bitter or you will start on the wrong foot and things never get better from there.  It is ok to ask your employer for a 3- or 6-month review and if they are then happy with you, to reconsider a bitter salary.  

If you do decide to accept, show appreciation for the opportunity and your commitment to giving your all to the position.   

Asking for a raise 

When asking for a raise, have both general and specific examples of how you have     contributed to the growth of the company.   Management will want to know about your performance and how you have contributed to making their department run better and the company’s goals a reality. Thus, you need to prepare the right answers to these questions. Be ready to confidently discuss projects you’ve competed successfully and how they contributed to the overall success of the department or company.   

Remember, being on time and doing your job is what you are getting paid to do in the first place.  If you’re looking for more money, don’t focus on the things that are expected of you anyway.    Show them how you work faster and save them time, (and money) or that you’ve helped to increase others productivity or revenue.   

If you need to, make a list of your accomplishments and talking points.  It will make it easier for you when you have this conversation with management.  

All companies have goals and it is safe to assume that somewhere there is a board of directors mainly concerned with the bottom (profit) line.   Thus, it is possible to come out with a raise if you can show how much you have contributed to the company’s growth. 

Do not demand or give ultimatums  

Never make the mistake of approaching the hiring managers with this attitude when asking for a salary increase.  You will invariably lose.  Even if you get more money that day, you will likely taint the relationship with management and end up on the short list should the company have to make changes.  There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness, and you will not be perceived as a team player if you approach your employer with an attitude of entitlement.    

You win when you anticipate the interests of your boss and make them understand what you can do to make the goals of the company a reality. 

Final thoughts:  

 Don’t be surprised if your boss seems to have more trust and respect for you after your negotiations.  You are amongst the 53% who dare to ask for what you are worth.  Salary negotiations can be nerve-wracking but having the fortitude to withstand them sends a very positive message about who you are as an employee and what you bring to the organization.    

Learn how a Career Coach can help you boost your career!

I Hate My Job!

Career & Business, Life Coach Library

I hate my job!  

I’m going nowhere in this job! 

I’m overworked; underpaid; unfulfilled; bored; miserable; etc. etc. 

 If any of these sounds like you, it might be time to consider a career change.  

Certified career coaches suggest having a transition strategy before making any changes. Making this type of change won’t happen overnight and takes a lot of energy. To make sure you put your enthusiasm in the right direction, career coaches offer these tips to help you achieve success.  

Tips for planning a career change 

Have a plan… 

Before you embark on a job transition, make sure you have a clear vision of what you want. Zeroing in on this can be the hardest part, especially if you usually make decisions based on what you believe you should do instead of what you want to do. A great way to start is to get in touch with what you are passionate about. Passion alone is not enough. When making a career choice, you need to know what makes you tick, but then you must evaluate where your talents are. Look for the overlap between what you love doing and where your abilities are.  

Do some research… 

Do your homework to find out what job opportunities align with your passions and talents. A great resource is The Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outreach Handbook. It will provide you with valuable information such as what fields are projected to grow and the current salary trends. Reach out to people who are working in your dream job and find out how they got there. Linked In is a great networking tool to find professionals in your chosen career track. Social networking could open doors that you haven’t even considered yet. At the very least, professionals in your field will be able to offer you valuable insights into breaking into a new career.   

Know your value… 

Everything you have done in your previous and current workplaces has some value to your next employer and maybe what makes you uniquely qualified. You probably already have skills that transfer to many different job descriptions, but you may need some education or training. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, so later you can present yourself in the best light. Find out what you need to get your foot in the door and build your skills.  

If you are unsure about what skills you have to offer or how to present them on your resume, investing in a career coach will pay dividends. They are skilled at homing in on your strengths and stay up to date in keyword trends to get your resume noticed. A coach or any mentor will bring a new perspective to your search and to help structure your plans. Building a network will help keep you focused on your goal when challenges arise and offer feedback that may be beneficial.  

Don’t be afraid to enlist professional guidance… 

Sometimes the notion of a career change can be overwhelming, and we don’t even know where or how to start. Online career coaches specialize in industry research and mastering job search skills. If you’re not getting interviews, have someone look over your resume. If you’re getting interviews but not offers, troubleshoot your interviewing skills with your mentor or career coach. It’s helpful to have someone supportive to vent to at times. Job-searching can be frustrating, and rejection is inevitable. It can be very stressful and discouraging. Having someone outside your social network will support you and give you unbiased advice.  

Be patient, persistent, and realistic… 

Remember, this is a process that takes time, energy, and patience, so you must have sensible expectations. Everyone has strengths and limitations. Everyone encounters challenges and setbacks in this pursuit. Letting the stress of job searching get out of control will only hurt your efforts and possibly affect your health and personal life. You, your family, and your next employer want the best version of you. Don’t let self-care lose priority. Be sure to keep up with decent diet and exercise habits and last but not least, get adequate sleep!  

Your next job may not be “the” job, but if it is a stepping stone to your dream job, consider it a success! Some people start volunteering or create a goal-oriented “side hustle” to get started. Either can be an excellent way to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go, especially when finances are a priority. A change of this magnitude will take a lot of time, energy, commitment, persistence, and guidance. Investing even a full year or two will indeed pay off for decades to come.  

ACT… 

When you areready to take control of your future and embark on the journey to a more profitable and satisfying career path, why not see what a career coach can offer you RISK-FREE?.   Life Coach Library will match you with up to 3 certified coaches who will all offer you a complimentary discovery session. Experience the impact of working with a coach can have today!  

Time, Money, Your Love-life AND Opportunity: That’s what lacking confidence is costing you!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Relationships & Family

As both coach and client, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with some truly amazing and inspiring people. I am eternally grateful to be “sandwiched” somewhere in the middle of what I perceive as some of the most accomplished and the most aspiring people on this planet. I am always fascinated by the exchange of ideas and perspectives that are shared. I have come to believe we are all both teacher and student, giver and receiver and ultimately here together on one journey committed to, and on some level, obligated to, carry each other along the way.  

I have witnessed success in people’s lives that are beyond my wildest dreams.  

Unfortunately, I have also witnessed what, at best, are living in mediocrity. Why do intelligent, hardworking, and competent people seem to underperform or just accept less? I have researched this and tried to analyze it deeply. I have discussed this with some of the most successful people I know at length. There is only one answer that comes up consistently. At the core of every theory is one common denominator: lack of confidence.  

When we think of people who struggle with self-assurance, many blatant images come to mind but seldom do we consider the subtle and insidious costs and consequences.  

What are the costs of lacking confidence?  

  1. Lacking confidence is costing you thousands of dollars:  

Studies show that blue-collar workers who test higher in self-confidence scales earn an average of $7,000 more than their lower-scoring peers. That same study reveals that professionals earn an average of $28,000 more (Neil Burton, M.D.).  

When managers seek to promote, often the person who exudes fearlessness will be chosen over someone who may be more capable but lacks esteem. People with confidence are often perceived as more skilled, even when they are not. They’re not afraid to ask questions or even make mistakes; they are seen as the “go-getters”. Unfortunately, bosses, clients, and customers make negative assumptions about people who exhibit behaviors of low self-confidence, believing they are incompetent or apathetic. That stinks, but it’s a reality of life.  

Less secure people are often timid about asking for raises or promotions. I have yet to meet a career or business coach who doesn’t swear that self-doubting clients stay stuck in comfort zones significantly longer than their confident peers. They have a greater need to feel safe, even if that safety is costing them endless opportunities, including living their passion. To step out of one’s comfort zone for necessary growth translates risk and possible rejection. Maybe they’re secretly waiting to be recognized and approached but, in most cases, it is those who are big and bold and speak up for higher positions and salaries are who receive them (Ashley Staht).  

2. Your most precious resource is time. Lack of confidence is stealing it from you: 

 Think perfectionism is a virtue? Not always true! In many cases, perfectionist doesn’t believe anything is ever good enough, including themselves. They will spend hours longer on projects trying to perfect every detail, simply because anything less than perfect is sub-par. While attention to detail is important and held in high regard, for them, this approach is very inefficient and leads to more frustration than satisfaction. Studies show that the delta between the work produced by competent people vs. that of the perfectionist is marginal and typically not valued as high as the extra resources utilized. Perfection simply does not exist. On top of wasting valuable time, the perfectionist will lose-out on joy because they are never truly satisfied with what they’ve accomplished.  

On the other side of the coin is the procrastinator. Not all procrastination is linked to self-confidence issues, sometimes it’s simply a matter of motivation. However, for those who are self-doubters, there is a vicious cycle of putting things off and then feeling bad about it. This, of course, leaves one even less motivated to do anything, therefore, putting the next thing off even longer, and then naturally they end up feeling even worse…and so on. Fear and worry are the culprits. There are hundreds of possible fears, but the fear of rejection, failure, or even success are the biggies. Worry is linked to the fears behind the fears, such as the approval of others or appearances.  

3. How can you get the guy/girl if you shy away?  

Low confidence will dramatically affect your love life. It will dramatically impact all of your relationships. According to relationship coaches, this is why:  

  • They second-guess their choices in friends/partners/bosses. Even worse, they are often skeptical of those who choose them. 
  •  They are constantly trying to analyze what the other person is thinking. They are in constant need of reassurance, which can be an energy suck for the other person.  
  • They often sabotage good relationships or stay in bad ones too long.  
  •  They often lose themselves in the relationship because they can’t set healthy boundaries.  
  • Also, because they are trying to win approval from others, they try to morph into being someone they aren’t. This is dishonest and unsustainable so there is seldom a happy ending.  
  • People who lack confidence usually a) take responsibility/fault for everything or b) take responsibility/fault for nothing. Neither are good.  

4Opportunities that you never even knew existed will be lost:  

Having confidence allows us to see opportunities that we would not usually see. Because confident people are generally more positive, they recognize potential that others would readily dismiss. Someone lacking confidence will view the situation as a problem, while the confident person sees it as an opportunity to succeed.  

Have you ever heard a motivational speaker that did not mention the power of the mind and positive thinking? Almost all agree that positive thinking creates more positive activity. Conversely, negative thinking creates more negative activity. Is there any question which one is which?  

What has it cost you? 

In short, if you see yourself in any of these scenarios or if you lack confidence it is costing you the happiness of leading the fulfilled life that you rightly deserve to live! What is the price tag of that?  

Are you ready to move on?  

How to be more confident now  

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way! You cannot change your past but you can take control of your future. You have a choice to take action and overcome any obstacle that gets in the way.  

At the core of the matter are limiting beliefs. These are the negative thoughts that we form, subconsciously that undermine our success. They result in self-doubt and questioning our judgment. They prevent us from taking strategic risks, setting ambitious goals, and acting boldly on them.  

Luckily, by being aware of what your limiting beliefs are, you can change them into positive and empowering ones. When you change your thinking, you change your story. Once you do that, you see everything through a new filter and the world becomes a different place. It won’t happen overnight, but if you are willing to be honest with yourself, you can gain the esteem you desire.  

It takes courage. It takes persistence. But you can do it if you are willing to decide that your life is worth it.  

Feel like you need a life coach to help you overcome your limiting beliefs? Find a life coach today and open your life up to endless possibilities!  

How to get unstuck and move forward

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they feel overwhelmed, confused, depressed, in a funk, or just plain “stuck” – it happens to the best of us! It can be hard to get “unstuck” on our own, especially if it is our best thinking and acting that got us into a funk to begin with.

Why do we get stuck sometimes?

The reason we get stuck is because this is real life and not a fairytale where some conflict is overcome and everyone lives happily ever after. Real life doesn’t always go according to plan.   We can’t give people a copy of a script and expect them to follow their lines and act the way we want them to. No matter how hard we work, we don’t always have control over the outcomes.   At the end of the day, life is not always fair.

There are so many reasons we get stuck. Here are 6:

  • We simply cannot accept the outcomes of a situation and move on.
  • We believe we should be something or someone we are not.
  • We’ve compromised our values and settled for less.
  • We’re creatures of habit, we get into a comfort zone and are afraid or unwilling to step out of it.
  • We feel guilty or shameful about being stuck so we beat ourselves up.   Negativity only reinforces whatever is not working and keeps us stuck.
  • We repeat a pattern over and over again, thinking “this time” the results will be different, but they never are. In fact, many times they get worse.

Advice to help you get out of a rut today!

Regardless of why we are stuck, what matters most is “how does one get unstuck and move forward with their life?”   Deciding to take some action is the first step to getting out of a rut.

  • Let Go!: When we resist accepting things for what they are vs. what we want it to be, we suffer. It is healthy to experience our emotions, even sadness and disappointment, but getting trapped by them is destructive. Holding on to anger, grief, or guilt is living in the past and robs us of the ability to experience joy in the now. Acceptance is often the key to peacefulness.
  • Think small: Looking at the whole situation can be really overwhelming and cause analysis paralysis (overthinking something so much you cannot make a move).   Even the smallest step moving in the right direction will get you closer to your goal than waiting for the perfect execution. Start with small manageable changes and they will gradually become bigger, more impactful ones.
  • Get an attitude adjustment: Instead of looking at situations as problems, think of them as challenges and make solving them a game.   No matter how bad things seem, there is always something worse and much to be grateful for; instead of feeling like you have to do something, tell yourself you get to and see how much better it feels. This works for everything.   Try and focus on what’s right instead of what’s wrong; this will give you an energy boost to move forward.
  • Don’t go it alone:   Chances are your best thinking is in part why you are in a funk.   No shame or judgement; we all do the best we can with what we have to work with.   The problem is, we all have “blind spots” too and having a support system that is both objective and honest will shed a new perspective on things in the most helpful way.
  • Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and act: Insanity is often defined as “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”. If you want a different result, do something different! Sometimes just doing something is different.   Don’t worry if it’s not your ultimate best plan, as long as it is in line with your final goal. Even the best ideas and plans mean nothing if not followed up with action.

Remember, you are not alone! We all get stuck from time to time. The longer we stay stuck the harder it may seem to breakthrough. However, the change you wish for is possible as long as you are willing to make it happen.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Master Motivation in 6 Simple Steps

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

The most outstanding characteristic of successful people is the ability to set goals and take action to achieve them. Everyone can do both. Where many fall short is not in setting goals but taking the disciplined and sustained action needed for success.

Why??? Could it be people often go about tapping into the kind of deep motivation that will fuel the process from start to finish completely wrong? They muster up enthusiasm, will-power and determination and intensely focus on the “outside” stuff that must be controlled to produce desired outcomes.

While this may work for some people all the time, and all people some of the time, most people cannot sustain this and go the distance, and they repeatedly come up short. It’s like swimming upstream or running against the wind. So much energy is exerted yet eventually their enthusiasm peters-out and they are simply tired. What’s worse – not only is goal not met, but feelings of failure creep in to wreak havoc and leave them even less motivated than before.

Here are 6 strategies to boost motivation and jump start success today!

1. Create a crystal-clear vision: You must know what you really, really, really want and why you want it, or you cannot achieve it. First, think of a goal and imagine you already have it. Take a few moments to really let yourself experience what it will be like when you get there. Try to involve all 5 senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell). When you have a crystal-clear vision of what you want, you can begin to lean into that goal as if it has already been achieved and act the part.

For example: You want change careers and become a teacher.

  • See yourself walking through crowded hallways to a classroom; visualize how your classroom will be set up;
  • Hear the chatter of students quieting down as the bell rings. Hear yourself ask a probing question and engaging students in discussion.
  • Feel the dust of dry erase marker on the whiteboard; the stack of papers you are collecting for review. Feel the sense of satisfaction you have when you see progress.
  • Smell the fresh make-up and mix of perfumes from blossoming high school girls or the construction paper and glue for elementary students’ activities.
  • Taste the coffee you’ll sip in your classroom while planning (I do not recommend imagining the awful cafeteria lunches that hopefully you’ll never have to eat 😊)

2. Know why you want it. Go at least 3 deep in asking yourself why. The answers can be extrinsic (money, schedule) or intrinsic (pride, satisfaction):

  • Why do you want to teach? There’s a shortage of teachers and I like helping people.
  • Why do you like helping others? I’m good at finding what makes people tick and it feels good to help them.
  • What feels good about it? Deep connection with others it what makes me feel alive.

When you uncover your reason behind your reason, you are uncovering gold! Within the deeper reason is what your true motivation and passion are and identify a true purpose.

Ever notice how most people perform better under pressure? It’s because deadlines (or whatever is causing that pressure) give them a sense of purpose. That’s why people go on diets before big events, clean their house best before company arrives, save more money when they have something specific they want to buy. Acting deliberate and with a sense of purpose will keep you fired up, especially when the unexpected comes up.

3. Write your own eulogy: Yes, you read that correctly. As morbid as that sounds, many a great motivational speaker and writer suggest doing this. I have done it myself and must agree. None of us are here forever and beginning with the end in mind will help you to truly define what who you want to be and what you want to do.

Imagine those last few minutes where you are looking back on your life like you are watching a movie about yourself. What kind of person were you? What did you accomplish? What did you not accomplish that you wish you did? What is the one thing you will be most remembered for?

Using this insight, work backward. Make a plan that you can start today that will, over time, get your life aligned with to how you want the story to read. What is the smallest first step (see #4) you can take right now? What get’s in the way of you taking it? Are you afraid?

Everyone has some fear. You’re not human if you don’t. but fear shouldn’t run your life. Instead, run to what you fear, it’s never as bad as you imagine and on the other side of that fear is what you really want. Just the act of doing something you’re afraid of is empowering and creates confidence which is where success lives.

General George S. Patton is often quoted in saying “Fear kills more often than death!” You only die once, but fear kills you every time you give in to it!

4. Do one thing daily that is out of your comfort zone. If you want to lose 20 pounds but feel stuck, don’t lie to yourself in thinking if you can’t stick to the perfect diet and exercise routine, it’s not worth trying! Pass on one snack that you usually have or do just 5 minutes more exercise than your daily average.

Focusing on everything needed to reach the end goal is often overwhelming and leads to greater procrastination. Even the smallest step is a step and doing something small today will get you much closer to goal than thinking about big steps for weeks, months, or years without action. Give yourself credit for even the small victories, as feeling successful will create more energy and motivation to do more things that lead to success.

Don’t be a perfectionist. To some, perfectionism seems virtuous, but it can be self-sabotaging in so many ways. Perfectionists are almost never satisfied and

usually rob themselves of feeling joy with their accomplishments. Don’t let this be you.

Lastly, how you act is who you become. Doing one thing daily that is in line with your goal is how you become the person you want to be and achieve your goals.

5. Never be the smartest or most ambitious person you know. Surround yourself with winners:

People who are optimistic and positive thinkers are not only the most pleasant to be around, they are typically more creative, inspiring, and successful. When you’re looking for ideas and influences to keep you moving forward, you must draw on something bigger than yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas through other people who have what you want to achieve. Even if you don’t use their ideas, they may inspire your own creative genius. Have a friend or mentor or a life-coach who will help you come up with winning strategies and keep you honest and accountable. You must do it yourself, but you don’t have to do it alone.

If you’re surrounded by pessimists and cynics, you’re in a toxic environment and nothing extraordinary comes from toxicity. If you can’t lose them completely, keep a strong network of positive thinkers to help you stay on track.

6. Live in the NOW. It’s the only place real happiness can exist.

Yesterday is gone. Realistically, your memories of it are probably either full of guilt or nostalgia.

Tomorrow isn’t here. If you’re living in tomorrow, you’re either worrying about things you can’t control, or you could be confusing hope with discontent.

If you’re not happy NOW, you won’t be “when…” Hoping for something better means something is missing now and truth is when happiness depends on something outside of NOW, it only lasts for 20 minutes and then you’ll focus on the next think you need to be happy.

If you’re not happy now, try a gratitude list. No matter what life is handing you, if you’re sitting upright and reading this you likely have something to be grateful for. Read: Gratitude for Happiness.

Final thoughts:

These are just a handful of ways you can take control of your inner voice and get the motivation juices flowing. There are countless others, the key is finding what works for you. Wanting to achieve a goal is fruitless if youre not willing to make a change that includes action.

These strategies are ones I’ve learned over 30 years of passionately pursuing personal growth. In that time, I have read dozens of self-help books that have inspired core-level changes in my thinking. It’s not possible to credit every book and author that may have influenced this post but I’d like to shout out big thanks to Dr. Joe Vitali, Steve Covey, Steve Chandler, Tom Hoobyar, Susan Sanders and Tom Dotz, whose written works truly are the motivation behind this post.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

6 Times You Should Hire a Life Coach

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

When is the best time to hire a Life Coach?

Studies on the effectiveness of life-coaching show that 99% of people who work with a coach have a positive experience. According to a survey conducted by The International Coaching Federation’s nearly that same number find it effective and report they will work with a coach again in the future.

So when do people hire a life coach?

We have found that every great coach has a great coach. Here are the times great coaches will work with their coaches and we suggest you do too:

1. You’re inspired but unsure “I’m gonna make this happen but HOW do I make it happen?

You have a dream, a vision, and/or a goal. You’ve either tried and didn’t get there; started with excitement and enthusiasm, only to peter-out halfway through; or you simply do not know where to start. Whether you want to lose a few pounds, find the love of your life, make a total career switch, or build the business of your dreams, a great coach can help you overcome obstacles, strategize next steps, keep you accountable and motivated, and support you while you create your dream. They also can see your “blind-spot” and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

2. You wake up one day feeling blah and realize “Nothing is happening”

You’re simply stuck. Things aren’t bad but they aren’t great either. Nothing is really exciting you and you’re just out of ideas. A coach can help you uncover why you’re stuck, form a collaborative think-tank with you, and reenergize your plans to start moving forward. They will help you reignite passion for life and find your purpose, causing a whole new perspective will cause a total paradigm shift.

3. You’re overwhelmed and wonder “What the heck is happening?”

Sometimes in life things are beyond our control and nothing seems go right or make sense. There are always things we cannot control but the one piece we can control is ourselves. Sometimes the root is our own belief systems, others it is because we have changed while than others haven’t, or have we just changed differently OR beliefs that worked in the past no longer serve us anymore. Having a skilled and objective coach can help to quickly identify any beliefs that are running in the background and raise your conscious awareness and making moving forward virtually effortless.

4. You’re so excited “Something wonderful happened

Yay for YOU! You started a new business, got promoted, married or had a baby, suddenly you don’t recognize your life anymore because life as you knew it no longer exists. Change, even when it is fantastic, can throw us off center. So many unexpected things come with change, even good ones. Your coach can help you navigate this new beginning and support you in transition.

5. You’re in a good place but “Now what happens?

Maybe you’ve just overcome a major obstacle and are out of the weeds so to speak. Now what? Overcoming a crisis can be exhausting and leave us feeling empty and off center. When things go from crisis-mode to maintenance, its not always easy to shift gears back into production. Fortunately for you, you are closer than you think! A great coach will help you figure out when your next steps can be. They will help you create that amazing life you’ve been dreaming about and support you through exciting elements that may a little scary but in the most wonderful way

6. You’re not feeling up to par “Something Terrible happened

Life is not always kind. Loved ones pass away, relationships end in heart-break, healthy people succumb to illness, jobs are lost…. It can just really stink sometimes. I am so sorry if this is you. Having a strong support system is so important when life takes a turn. It’s not always easy to turn to friends in these

situations and having someone who allows it to be “all about you” by offering you their undivided attention and compassion allows you to process in a confidential and safe place. There are no shortcuts through the grieving process, but a good coach can help you find the path back to living happily and lighten the sadness and despair.

Ultimately, you are embarking on a life-changing experience if you are open-minded and willing to try new things. A coach will improve your self-awareness, help you stay focused, and access your greatest talents while keeping you motivated to go the distance. You might be able to do this on your own if you are super-disciplined and ambitious, but you can do it so much quicker with motivation and accountability behind you.

If you’re still not sure if coaching is right for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

5 TIPS TO ENGAGE AND RETAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES

Career & Business, Life Coach Library

Organizations today need to rely on the commitment and engagement of their employees in order to thrive.

Sadly, only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs according to a Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report. (Gleeson, B., 2017). Equally concerning is the high cost of turnover. In a 2018 Retention Report: Truth and Trends in Turnover revealed that U.S. employers were expected to pay $600 billion in turnover costs in 2018 predicted to increase to $680 billion by 2020 according to the study. (Tarallo, M., 2018).

If this trend continues, organizations will struggle to survive. With the way our economy is today, more jobs available than people to fill them, organizations will find themselves struggling if they cannot retain their employees. I wholeheartedly believe that engaged employees are a company’s most important asset. Leaders need to make employee engagement a core responsibility knowing that it is an investment in the organization.

Here are five tips to consider for engaging and retaining your employees:

1. Be the leader employees want to follow.

Numerous studies show that the number one reason employees leave their jobs is because of their supervisor. Leadership matters. We need to continually invest in our own professional development so we can be the leader our employees want to follow. We all have areas for improvement.

Employees often complain that their supervisor does not listen to them. Effective communication is a critical leadership skill and this doesn’t just equate to speaking. Active listening is incredibly important. Take time from your busy schedule to listen to your employees. They want to be heard and know that their thoughts and opinions matter. To keep employees engaged, leaders must show their employees they can be trusted. They must be approachable and show their employees that they genuinely care about them.

2. Start early. Employee engagement and retention starts upon hire.

Retention efforts should start on day one. Create a robust onboarding and training process so new employees can acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors to become engaged members of the team. Effective onboarding also reduces employee ramp-up time. New employees should know exactly what is expected of them, and have the appropriate resources and training to help them be successful. Consider assigning a new employee a buddy, someone who can show them around, introduce them to others and make them feel welcome.

3. Mentor and coach your employees.

Don’t wait for the annual performance review to provide performance feedback to your employees. Meet often especially in the first year. Take the opportunity to coach for performance improvement. Nurture the strengths and talents of your staff. Help your employees create a career plan and give them opportunities to grow. Make it part of your mission as a leader to help your employees attain their career aspirations. If career advancement is part of their career plan, mentor and prepare them for the next level. When appropriate, give your employees new experiences by having them accompany you to meetings and appointments.

Mentoring builds loyalty, helps employees feel valued, and is engaging.

4. Recognize accomplishments.

Everyone needs to feel valued. Recognizing accomplishments and showing appreciation goes a long way towards driving employee engagement. Employees will want to stay with you for the long haul. Recognition also helps reinforce what you’d like to see the employee do more of. Recognizing accomplishments could be a simple thank you or a nice handwritten note. It’s also important to know what kind of recognition means the most to your employees. Some may like to be publicly recognized while others may simply prefer one-on-one recognition.

5. Inspire, demonstrate your passion and commitment.

Be able to communicate a powerful vision for the company. Show your commitment and enthusiasm for the mission and vision of the company. What really matters is when leaders can create enthusiasm and empower their employees. Your enthusiasm can be contagious!

Are you ready to advance with a coach?

Life Coach Library was designed by coaches who have been clients and know how to work with busy professionals. Now you can conveniently experience the impact a coach can make and without risk. Simply register, fill out a questionnaire so that our coaches can get a snapshot of you and your goals, and receive up to three coaching consultations from certified coaches who specialize in your area of need.

Submitted by Robbie K. Carlson – Life & Leadership Coach http://robbiekcarlson.com/

Why Online Coaching is Your Best Option

Career & Business, coaching, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality, Recovery, Relationships & Family

Congrats! You’ve decided to take the plunge and be proactive in reaching your goals of getting into the best shape of your life, sparking up some passion in your love-life, or improving your work-life balance. Now, you’re just wondering if online coaching is the right choice…. For most people it is! And, here’s why.

1. You’re probably already uber busy!

One of the best parts of working with a coach is saving time in reaching your goals. What gain is working with a coach if you spend the most limited resource any of us have, time, trying to find the right coach and getting to and from coaching sessions? Between the commute, a full-time job, family, squeezing in a happy-hour with friends, the gym…where is the time to find a coach you love and travel to and from appointments? The flexibility offered by online coaching leaves you much more time to actually do what you love and put your energy towards reaching your goal. Coaching happens anywhere you take your cell phone or tablet.

This is only the start of why online coaching is the obvious solution.

2. It is simple to find the perfect coach

Finding the right coach is a matter of finding the right chemistry and that means you may have to talk to a few. We recommend three. Think of some of the professionals and services you use in your life: doctors; lawyers; mechanics; hair stylists; home services; etc. Wouldn’t it be awesome if three of each would give you a free sample of their service before you made any commitment? Most of the time, just getting an appointment takes several phone calls and possibly weeks to schedule. Being confined to local professionals is not ideal when the best candidate happens to live in a different state. With Life Coach Library, up to three coaches who can meet your specific needs will offer you a complimentary coaching session, and then you get to decide who you want to succeed with, all from the comfort of your home, car, or hotel room.

But wait, there’s still more……………

3. You can be completely anonymous

Anytime you do something to empower yourself you should be confident and proud. However, a lot of people still prefer to keep working with a coach confidential. Many people find it easier to open-up over the telephone vs. face to face, especially when they know their coach has no connection to any of their local associations and that everything they say is strictly confidential.

Our preliminary questionnaire gives you a chance to share in detail what you are looking to achieve. Based on your criteria, only the coaches who can serve you will contact you. Knowing you’ve got the right professional on the phone creates a safe environment to relax and talk about your deepest desires.

4. You become more empowered and independent.

Probably one of the biggest reasons why online life coaching is better than in person is the fact that you don’t get dependent on your coach and your coach remains completely objective. Coaching in person can create a slight dependency where they seem responsible for your successes and it can be difficult to detach when it’s time. An online coach will work with you to develop a strategic action plan, but you alone take those steps. You are never alone though as you do have access to your coach whenever you need a boost. Simply text or email him/her to keep you on track or share your mini victories along the way.

5. It’s Simply More Affordable

Online coaching limits the overhead costs for coaches, passing the savings on to you as reflected in reasonable coaching fees. The last thing you need to be worrying about is another massive bill being added to the pile. Online coaching is almost always more practical live coaching.

How to find an online coach?

As the coaching industry has grown in popularity, online coaching has become the preferred medium for coaching. In fact, online everything has become a way of life. Life Coach Library was designed by coaches who have been clients and have the best interest of both in mind. Potential clients have a convenient and risk-free way to experience the impact a coach can make. Coaches can utilize a platform that does extensive marketing for them so that they can spend more time doing what they love and do best ~ help people reach their goals! Just like a recruiter brings amazing employees to great companies, Life Coach Library connects goal-oriented clients to certified coaches. Sure, you can find a job on your own, and companies can scout out talent for their openings, but having someone who completely understands the needs of both cuts out the frustration and saves everyone time and money in the end.

That is why online coaching is the best option!

If you’re still not sure if coaching is for you, take our quiz, it’s under a minute!

Written by Wendy Cope, Positive Change Coach & Founder, Life Coach Library

How to Form Habits That Will Help You Reach Your Goals

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

One of the keys to reaching a new goal is to have habits in place that support that goal. If your current habits are counter-productive, you’ll need to change them or face the reality of not reaching your goals.

How do success habits help you reach your goals?

Suppose you have the goal of running a marathon: if you don’t already have the habit of running regularly, your chances of you reaching is very low. Running regularly gets you closer to attaining your goal in several ways, including getting you in great physical shape and strengthening your endurance.

Developing supportive habits can be easier than you think and far more powerful than you can imagine!

Identify the Habits You Need

Before you create new, positive habits, you’ll want to figure out which habits will help you attain your goals. For every goal, there are habits that can pretty much guarantee your success. Reflect on your goals and what actions you can take to help bring them about.

Here are some habits that people who always reach their goals have:

1. Look for daily habits. Habits you practice each day are much easier to put into place and keep than those that are less frequent.

2. Keep it simple. The more complex the task, the less likely you are to stick with it. If you really do need to implement a complex habit, start with a simpler version and then add more complexity later. Set some SMART goals to develop new habits in your routine.

3. Be specific. It’s not enough to just specify what you’re going to do; include the how, when, and where as well. Time is always critical when creating a new habit. Be sure to specify a precise period of time in which you wish to implement the new actions.

  • So “I’m going to exercise 1 hour per day” is inadequate. “I’m going to swim from 6-7 am, Monday through Friday at the YMCA” is more like it. This has enough detail to be quite clear about what you want to accomplish and includes the how, when and where.

Prepare for Interference

There are usually obstacles to creating new habits and behavioral patterns. Try to figure out these possibilities ahead of time so you can eliminate them as soon as possible.

How to achieve personal success

For example, if you’ve decided that you’re going to eat a healthy breakfast every day, get rid of all the breakfast junk food in your pantry and freezer. That junk food is an obstacle to successfully implementing your habit. The obstacle might be time interference. Maybe your partner, child or family members do not usually leave you alone for 20-40 minutes every night so you can meditate, write, read, or whatever it is you want to do towards your goal. Simply let them know ahead of time that you need be undisturbed during this time.

Look for More Supporting Habits

When you determine supporting habits that will help you reach your goal, consider going even deeper into the details to find habits that will help you accomplish your other new habits.

For example, if one of your new habits is to make it to the gym every morning by 6:30 am, you can develop several supporting habits to help you establish this habit, such as:

  • Get out of bed by 5:45 am.
  • In order to get up at 5:45 am each day, you might need an additional habit of always being in bed by 10:30 pm.
  • Another supporting habit might be to pack your gym bag the night before.

These supporting habits are extremely importance to your success. Spend some time thinking about additional habits you can develop to support your efforts.

Just as counter-productive habits can keep you from success, supportive habits can aid to your victory. So, consider the habits that will best support your goals, put them into action on a daily basis, and enjoy your new success!

If you’ve tried to reach your goals on your own in the past and fallen short, or if you’re ready to start and want to save time in reaching success, try working with a life coach. A coach will help you stay motivated, hold you accountable, and strategize ways to overcome interference so you can stay on track. Life Coach Library makes finding a coach simple. Simply register and we will match you with up to three certified coaches. It’s free and each coach will offer you a complimentary coaching consultation so that you may conveniently find the right match.

Clifford Aning

empowercoaching.us

clifford@empowercoaching.us

It’s Time to Spring Clean Your Self-Talk! Lose the negative and bring in the positive!

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

It’s true we all experience negativity in our lives. One day you’re in a great mood until you talk to that one friend or family member that always manages to bring you down. They may have been well intentioned, but they were just so negative it was an energy-suck. You may have even been that person a time or two, possibly thinking you were being helpful or cautious.

The average human has about 48 thoughts per minute. Only 6-8 of them are conscious and the other 40 or so are running in the background, in our subconscious. That means that almost 80% of your reaction to the world is literally on auto-pilot.

What’s even more alarming is that psychologists say on average 70% of unconscious thoughts are negative or limiting. YIKES! If you’ve ever wondered why you’re just not that happy or feeling stuck, read on….

Here are a few of the most common automatic negative thoughts (ANTS):

1. All or nothing thinking: Everything is black or white. Think of the words always and never. “I always mess things up “ “I never get what I want”. “I never do anything right”, “Nothing is ever good enough” “It’ll never work out”

2. Catastrophic thinking: Fixating on the worst-case scenario. “If I fail, I’ll never recover, and life will be ruined.”

3. Emotional Reasoning and/or Mind Reading: You are so sure of an outcome you actually create it. “I know she won’t go out with so I won’t even talk to her” or “I know he’s mad at me so I just ignored him”.

4. Should-ing on oneself: Feeling guilty or trying to live up to others values. “I should lose weight” “I should have studied more”. While seemingly harmless, should-ing on oneself is based in guilt or shame and keeps us stuck in a cycle of fear. It is not the same as “I want to lose weight” or “Now I’m going to study more seriously”.

5. Labeling: I’m “lazy, stupid, a terrible cook, cheap”.

6. Blaming others: Chronically being the victim; “I would have been ok if you didn’t…” “I am trying but everyone else is…” “This place is just so…”

These are just some of the biggies, but there are countless more. Any inner-talk that is telling you why you can’t do something is a limiting belief or ANT. Not ALL negative thoughts are bad. Some of them keep us safe. The key is to understand which ones are working for you and which ones are not.

The good news is, that once you understand your limiting beliefs, you don’t have to allow this negativity to rule your life! We all have a choice to either run on auto-pilot or consciously choose to boost positive thinking. The question is, do you have a true desire and willingness to look inside to improve yourself?

Have you noticed how much more energizing it is to be around positive people than negative? Negative people leave you feeling tired and depleted. Positive thinking not only feels better emotionally, it creates endorphins in the brain that make you feel better physically and open you up for bigger possibilities and creativity. Building confidence and self-esteem.

You can turn the negative thoughts that no longer serve you into positive ones that do! And, changing the way you think will change your life! Here is a practical approach to practice:

1. Awareness is the stepping stone: You can’t change anything until you know what it is you want to change. Practice thought awareness. One way to start is to pay attention to your body’s cues. How do you breathe when you have certain thoughts? What thoughts make you feel anxious? Laugh? If you want something badly, and the first thoughts you have feel depressing or give you a feeling of angst PAY ATTENTION. They are likely limiting beliefs and probably distorted lies! Listen to the “inner-voice” that is telling you why something isn’t possible. Try and figure out who is telling you that your idea isn’t good. Is it you? A friend or family member? Maybe a teacher or boss?

Try journaling. Writing down your thoughts without judgement is a great way to go deeper into them. Often when we uncover one thought we become aware of two or three more that are running behind it. Try this until you feel sure you have gotten to the “core” of the belief. This may be going back years in your life. Our childhood experiences dramatically shape our world view. What served us as children may not necessarily work for us as adults.

2. Is it really true? Does it always (or never) happen this way? Really? If it was true in the past, is it really still relevant? Who or what situations have defied this lie?

3. Consciously choose a better thought. You do have a choice. Decide on a moment-to-moment basis that you are going to stay aligned with happy and cheerful thoughts. This works better when you state them positively. Don’t tell yourself what you’re not going to do (for example: “I will not overeat”). Even if the intention is positive,

it is still a “negative” thought. State this in a positive manner, like “I only eat until I am satisfied”. Believe it or not, thinking positively will create pleasure hormones in your brain which will make you feel happier.

4. Fill up with positive, motivational and inspirational messages and people. There are a bunch of ways to do this: daily affirmations; videos; pod casts; blogs; my personal favorite is guided meditations. Focus on positive thoughts and your mind will begin to recognize and eject the negative ones easily. Surround yourself with positive people and you will naturally become more upbeat.

5. Make a conscious effort to notice how much better positive feels. There is a real domino effect that is going to take place either way. If you stay negative, you will continue to feel more and more negative. When you begin to think positively, you will create more positive situations in your life which will leave you feeling and thinking more positive again.

6. With practice, most people begin to have awareness of the underlying core issues that drive limiting beliefs. It is common to realize our negative and limiting thoughts are rooted in something deeper than the surface. Don’t be afraid of it, it is only a thought. If it feels overwhelming or you just want to connect with someone who is highly charged and positive, life-coaches are trained and experienced at helping people uncover the root causes of limiting beliefs and overcoming them.

7. If you can, minimize negative or toxic relationships – None of us need people in our lives who chronically make us feel bad about ourselves. Sometimes we can step away from them, but other times we can’t. Do your best to detach both physically and emotionally whenever possible. If you can’t remove yourself from negativity you still don’t have to let it drag you down. Try to focus on something that brings you joy.

8. Be true to yourself. We can’t make everyone happy all the time and sometimes we just have to say no. It can be hard, but it is better to say no than to lose yourself and end up resentful.

These are just a few practical suggestions that can help you lose the negative self-talk and replace it with positive thoughts. It is time to say good-bye to limiting beliefs and say hello to empowering thoughts that will enable you to feel truly happy and achieve your dreams! If you have a personal favorite strategy you’d like please share it below or email me directly at wcope@lifecoachlibrary.com.

By Wendy J. Cope – Recovery & Positive-Change Coach

About the author:

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery I felt really “stuck” and needed to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound.

I felt inspired to become a Positive-Change Coach and later to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients. Hence, I created Life Coach Library. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their businesses is what Life Coach Library is all about.

Education:

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and I’m currently pursuing a graduate degree in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and Reiki master. I completed my coach certification at Coach Training Alliance and I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning .

Powerful Tips for Making Hard Decisions

Career & Business, Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library

Have you ever heard of analysis paralysis? It’s when one is so afraid of making the wrong choice that they overthink and overcomplicate something. They get stuck in limbo while the issue at hand seems to grow bigger and bigger. Some get stuck for hours, others for days or weeks!

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Below are some tips to make the process much quicker and far less mind boggling. Not every strategy will work for every situation but choose the ones that apply to you and see how much easier it is to get off the fence.

Give yourself time to think it through and get clear about what you really want

For small but important decisions, give yourself about 30 minutes to de-stress, and think through several options. For more epic decisions, it’s better to give yourself hours or even days to weight out the repercussions of your choices, and then the repercussions of them.

Research proves that stress can often destroy the ability to make great decisions. Being under pressure can kick in the fight or flight response and no one makes their best choices when they feel desperate. There isn’t enough time to think about the unintended consequences that should be factored in when making a choice.

Spend time thinking about what you really want, and why. A great strategy is to ask oneself what they want, and the what do you want as a result of that. There is no limit to how deep you can take this. Finding what is called the meta- outcome will reveal your deeper values and make coming to a decision easier. Sometimes there’s a much easier way to get to the ultimate desired outcome.

Think through your options. Are there other ways of reaching your goal?

Sometimes we do what we’ve always done simply because we’ve always done it that way. Deep down we know there is a better way, but we just don’t know what it is. When we slow down, we can see alternatives and compromises that we couldn’t in the heat of the moment. While doing something is better than doing nothing about 90% of the time, there are times when it is better to not take action at all. Consider what the outcomes will be if you do nothing at all.

Are you doing what you really WANT or what are you simply SUPPOSED TO?

Once you identify what you really want, listen to your inner “voice” and make sure you are doing what’s best for you! Sometimes we unconsciously try to please others, such as a boss, parent, or spouse, that we do something purely out of obligation. While well intentioned, making decisions based on someone else’s values is generally does not serve us.

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake

There is no such thing as a mistake if you learn from it. The fear of making a mistake can be crippling. Learning to appreciate mistakes will give you inspiration to try step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

  • Ask yourself” what is the worst-case scenario?”. Is anything ever really catastrophic? Who do you know who made mistakes before achieving success? What mistakes have you not only recovered from but thrived after?
  • Don’t attach to outcomes. Whatever you decide to do, have a playful attitude towards it. Have a sense of humor. There is an element of risk in anything we do to pursue success. Look to see how stumbling blocks spark change and growth.

Talk it through and if needed, ask for perspective

Sometimes we just need to talk-it-out with someone who is detached and will allow us the space to explore. Simply hearing ourselves “think out loud” often reveals the answers we seek. At the end of the day, the decision is yours but there are times when feedback is helpful. Just remember to be true to yourself and your values.

Wendy Cope
Recovery and Personal-Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net

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