Posts Tagged ‘goals’
It’s that time of year again, time to choose your “one word” for 2018

Your “one word” becomes your intention (what you will do), it gives you a lens to look at life through, and make choices around.  Having “one word” to remember keeps it simple and easy.  You can then create your new years goals around your word.

My “one word” for 2018?  ALLOW

Why “Allow”?  For me, allow represents my easing up on myself, letting go of force toward goals and instead have a better sense of expansiveness and limitlessness.


Opportunities to show up that I might not have thought of
Insight to come in my personal and professional life
Experiences that are fun and new
Well being to be present in my life
For You
Choose a word that evokes something positive in you, a feeling you are craving.  Your word will feel good (no “shoulds” please) and be one that is a good fit for where you are in your life right now and where you would like to be.

Need some examples?

Playful, Play

Update:  I actually have TWO WORDS this year!  The second is RADIANCE – as it makes me feel warmth and energy whenever I think of or say it.

Would love for you to share your “one word” with me!
Happy New Year!

You can share your word, find others who have chosen the same word, and see a list of words to inspire you

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Have you ever had those moments when you were just not sure of your next step on your life or career path?  When I have those moments (which are quite often), I use Inspired Action.

Inspired Action, to me, is when you allow inspiration to show you the way toward your next choice or goal.  There is no trying or forcing an idea to come to you.  There is not even any research or digging to find an answer.  There is only inspiration.

Inspiration from what you are already reading (in books, magazines and on the web), what you are already watching (videos, Netflix), what you are already talking about (with colleagues, family and friends).

Inspired action can come from your internal sense of “readiness” for something new, some next step on your journey.  You may have heard the term “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”

Here is an example of how I personally have used inspired action.

Several years ago I was on a break from my volunteer board work having just come off a board role of 5 years with a women’s business group.  When I began to have the “itch” to join another board, I had no idea which one.  I did some research, attended some things but nothing felt right.

I chose to stop “trying” to find the next thing and just waited for inspiration to hit.  One day I received an email from a coaching colleague I had not seen in a while inviting me to the next event the group she belonged to was having, just to catch up with her.  When I arrived (it was the Coach Federation Raleigh chapter Cutting Edge Conversation event), I felt immediately “at home” with these people in the room and energized by the conversation we were having.

At the end of the meeting, the colleague that had invited me announced to the group that they were seeking volunteers to join their board.  I knew this was no coincidence and took the inspired action to make this new commitment.  What is interesting about this is that I had attended events from this group in the past, but never felt the desire to join the group, this time was different.

How to take Inspired Action

  • Let go of trying to find answers
  • Live your life, doing things you already enjoy
  • Notice when something catches your attention, sparks your interest or gets you thinking.
  • Pay attention to ease – often inspired action feels easy, sort of like a “no brainer”
  • Take Action.  Once inspiration hits, take a small step forward (or a giant leap).  Depending on what has inspired you, your step may be to have that conversation, research that career OR it could be a full commitment (like my joining the ICF board)

What if inspiration not coming?  You can give it a nudge by

  • Having more conversations.  Invite a friend over you have not seen in a while, throw a party, or attend an event you have been meaning to
  • Start researching something you have had your eye on and see where it leads you
  • Read something out of the ordinary for you.  Could be a book someone recommended, a different magazine at your dentist office, or a blog someone recommended
  • Overall – get out of your comfort zone.  Doing, being and experiencing something slightly (or greatly) different than your norm.

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While I do not usually use the word “normal” (is there truly such a thing?) In this context I’m using it to describe what is often seen or patterns I notice in the many clients I have served over the years.

When going through a transition of any kind (especially one the will take you out of your comfort zone), our minds bring up lots of juicy messages like

I don’t have….
I’m too old….
I can’t….
What if……

I often refer to Transition as a roller coaster ride.
Some moments you are more clear, focused, taking action
Some moments you are more confused, unfocused, taking no action
When my clients realize that their experience is a natural (“normal”) part of the rhythms of transition it seems to take some of the edge/pressure off. They can then let go of the chatter in their head that sounds like:

Why is this happening?
What’s wrong with me?
This must mean…

With an already emotional experience of transition, any amount lifted can be beneficial.

The roller coaster of transition can sound like:

UP – I’m feeling more clear about my direction and goals
DOWN – I’m more confused than I was yesterday

UP – I’m feeling exited about this new idea I am considering
DOWN – Just when I started getting excited about this idea, I started thinking ….. and it deflated me

UP – I’m experiencing great progress with….
DOWN – This will be too hard

UP – I’ve built some great momentum around….
DOWN – Why am I not/ I did not do my homework – what I said I would

So you see, this “ride” of transition is a “normal” part of the process of change you are choosing to take. Rest assured that you are not alone!

When you can learn to enjoy the ride, and embrace the waves of excitement and terror you may feel along the way, your experience can be quite exhilirating!

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Why is it important to take ownership instead of WAITING for things to change?

When you take ownership, you are in the drivers seat of your life.  There is no one better than you to determine what is right/good/best for you.

When you leave it in others hands, a few things may happen

  • You may be given opportunity you don’t want
  • You may be waiting a very long time to get what you want (if it ever comes)
  • You may be working against the very thing you want by focusing on what has not happened yet

When you take ownership, here is what could happen

  • You get more of what you want, because you determined it and are working toward it day to day
  • You go much farther in life because you are taking an active role in your life instead of a passive one
  • Your life is richer and fuller!

How do you Take Ownership?

  •  Determine what you want – not what you feel you should do/have, but what you truly want for your life – how you want to be, what you want to have and do
  • Decide what you have full control over – which of your wants can happen without anyone else having to do/be anything, without any circumstances being any different.  What can happen immediately once you put your mind to it, decide it and do it
  • Understand where you have influence – how, by changing your approach, your behavior, your interactions – you can influence those around you which can get you closer to what it is you truly want
  • Make no excuses – no blaming others or circumstances for what you don’t have
  • Set daily intentions – ways you will be, things you will do each day toward the things you want


You want to have a happier life, and you decide one of your wants is to be more connected with other people.  Where you have full control is how you interact with others (how open, friendly and social you are).  When you behave the way you want, that influences how others see you, which can change how they engage with you.  Your daily actions may include smiling at everyone you meet or asking your colleagues what they did last weekend.

How will you being taking ownership of your life?


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Reflection and Renewal

It is the joy of the holiday season, a wonderful time for reflection as the year comes to a close and renewal as the new year dawns.

Why reflect in order to renew?

How often do you rush to your next to do list item, and also into the new year without ever acknowledging what you have completed, achieved and learned?  Stopping to recognize how far you have come is a powerful motivator to keep moving forward.  Reflecting on what you accomplished, however large or small, and how you accomplished it, gives you a sense of pride and can serve as a confidence boost. Reviewing what went well helps you decide what you may want to add more of, or reduce in the new year.

How do you conduct your year in review?

To get started, grab a journal, a notebook or your computer.  You can look at your life as a whole or conduct a separate review for different areas of your life including:

Career, relationships, family, recreation, finances, personal development, etc  –asking the same questions of each.

Here are some Questions for you to get started:

  • What did you accomplish this year?
  • What are you most proud of having achieved?
  • What were some of your peak experiences?
  • Why did these things matter so much to you?
  • What worked really well?
  • Which of your strengths, skills, mindset & insight helped you accomplish all of this?
  • What did you learn most this year – about yourself and in each area of your life?
  • How have you grown this year?
  • What would you like more of in the new year?
  • What would truly give you “life” in 2016?
  • What additional skills or support will you need to accomplish what you want in 2016?
As you capture your answers to these questions, additional questions will come up.  Continue this process until you have a snapshot of this year as well as a foundation for what you would like to achieve next year.

If you find that it’s hard to remember all that you accomplished this year, begin your new year by doing your own month in review, and by the end of next year, your year in review will be much easier.

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Fear is a normal human reaction to change, even change we are choosing!  When clients come to coaching, they are excited about achieving or experiencing something new.    They may be dissatisfied with their career and want one that is more fulfilling, they may be eager to grow their business or enhance their growth opportunities.

Whatever the goal, when faced with taking that commitment step to really push forward, we often stop in our tracks.   Stopping is a normal reaction, how we move forward dispite the fear is what separates successfulness from stuckness.

When faced with fear, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What am I truly afraid of?
  • Why am I fearful of that?
  • What is it that I really want?
  • How will this path/solution/strategy I am fearful of get me what I want?
  • Am I really afraid or just resisting?
  • What one tiny step can I take to move forward?

These are questions that I am asking myself these days as I embark on growing my own career/life coaching business.  I have several enticing options to consider and not feeling the connection to any one of them yet.  There is also some fear coming up – for me, it sounds like “will this experience/product deliver what it is I am wanting?  What AM I really wanting for my business?  For my clients?

My next step?  To take some time to answer the main question first – what DO I truly want for my business and my clients?  How will each product/solution get me to that goal?

Feel like fear is stopping you from going for what you want?  What will be YOUR first/next step?


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So…many of you who know me, either personally or from these posts, know that dessert (or sweets) is something I place high on my list of things I love and thought I could not do without.

Nomatter what diet or eating plan I have participated in over the years, I always included sugar as something I was “never” going to give up!

Well…never say never.  Several weeks ago I decided to start a new eating plan, one that I hope I will stick with the rest of my life.  It is plant based and does not include sugar.   This is the first time in my life that I have not had sugar every day.  The most interesting part?  I am OK without it!  This is huge for me as I never thought that was possible.  Will I ever have it again?  Maybe now and then, but I now don’t feel I need it to the extent that I did before.

What in your life do you feel that strongly about?  The thing you say you will “never” give up or “never” do?

What would be the benefit to you if you did let it go or try it?

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Thought I would share some of what was discussed in my Inspired to Action: Making Commitments and Building Momentum seminar.

Do you have a vision for your career and life?
Your vision is the big picture of what you want for your life.  It sets the framework and foundation for the creation of your goals.  You vision can be a word, a statement, a narrative or a vision board.   Choose a method that resonates for you.
Not sure what your vision is?
One strategy to gaining some clarity of your vision is to begin with your goals.  What are they?  Why are they important to you?  What is the bigger picture of what you are wanting to achieve with this goal?
What goals are aligned with your vision?
Your specific, tangible goals are what make your vision a reality.  Ideally your goals will be things you truly want to accomplish rather then feel you “should” accomplish.

What will be your first steps?


Sometimes your first steps are easy to understand, sometimes they are not. When they are unclear, a strategy is to list all of the steps you believe you need to take action on to accomplish your goal and work backward from there.  Ask yourself what would have had to come before these tasks in order to get to these tasks.


What will be your Commitment Step?

This is the one step, one action that really gets you in motion.  Not on the fringe, but plunging in.  It’s the one step (large or small) that in your mind is your total commitment, your serious move.  

How will you maintain momentum?


One way is to create accountability with a support systemBe accountable to someone (ideally more than one person) to report your progress, someone who will support you in achieving these goals.  This could be a friend, partner, colleague, or life coach, those you feel are your motivators, people in your life you trust, who cheerlead you on.


If you would like help in creating your vision and goals and maintaining your commitment and momentum, contact me for a free consultation at 919-744-9722 or


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My father is 81 and has alzheimers so he is not always very clear these days.  He does still have his moments of clarity and some great wisdom though.  The other night while visiting him, he said a few things that really made me think so I wanted to share them here.

First he asked “what do you want out of life?”  I thought he was asking me that question but as I was preparing to answer him, I realized he was asking himself that question.  His answer was “I don’t know”.  As many do with alzheimers, he kept repeating the same question and answer over and over again.  In between though, he would look up at me and tell me how much he loves me.  I think that was his answer.  What he wants out of life is love and family.

Something else he said also make me think “We used to have nothing, now we have too much”.   Since he often lives in the very distant past he remembers clearly how little he and his family had growing up in the 1930’s and 40’s.   Though I am not sure what he meant by that statement, it made me think about how much we do have now and how distracting and sometimes overwhelming that can feel.

What would it be like if we all asked ourselves

What do I want out of life?

What would it be like if we stopped to think about just how much we do have, where there is perhaps excess that we don’t really need at all and how that excess may distract us from what we truly do want out of life.

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Some of you may have seen my first video on Facebook last week.  It was only 30 seconds but it was my commitment step to a video series I am planning. 

Commitment steps are something I often talk about in my seminars and with my clients.  To me, they represent the one small step you take that catapults you on your path toward the realization of a goal. 

For me, putting that 30 second clip on Facebook announced to the public what I am up to.  It solidified my goal of creating a video series for now that it is “out there” it inspires me to keep going.  It also aligns with one of my values “doing what I say I will do” so not doing it is not an option any longer for me.   This commitment step took me out of the planning/thinking about it stage and into the doing it stage!

What is something you have been waiting for the “right” moment to do?  Something you have been thinking about for a while but not yet catapulted to action? 

What could be your commitment step toward the realization of your goal?

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