Thursday, April 7, 2016

Who Might Want A Coach?

The myth of the individual, toughing it out alone—no outside support, advice, encouragement, or kick-in-the-butt—runs rampant in American culture.  The pull yourself up by the bootstraps (does anyone still wear bootstraps?) and forge your own path may be noble, but is hardly realistic or even fun.

Ask anyone who has achieved anything we would label success and they will tell you that somewhere along the way they were taught, inspired, encouraged, doubted, bank-rolled, or lifted toward their succeeding.  There was someone, or many someones, who helped them to get to their goals.  

We don’t live and work in isolation, and when you can take advantage of the wisdom and even failings of those around you, the climb toward success is made that much easier.

No one succeeds alone.

So, who is on your team? We all have our own team of family, friends, professionals, mentors, inspirers, networkers, and support—some hired, some acquired over the years—to help us achieve our dreams. 

Do you have the full spectrum of team members you need to get you where you are going?

If your team doesn’t have someone solely there to help you achieve your goals, then you might want a coach.

If you don’t have someone you can tell your fears, stories, and crazy ideas to without fear of judgment, you might want a coach.

If you don’t have someone keeping you accountable to your timeline and goals, you might want a coach.

If you don’t have someone helping you see new perspectives and possibilities, you might want a coach.

If you don’t have someone you can talk to about your whole life, because you are a whole person, you might want a coach.

No one succeeds alone.  You might want a coach.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Accountability—3 Tips to Get Some

One reason I have found that New Year’s Resolutions (and other big life-change proclamations) don’t get accomplished is a lack of accountability. 

There is no one following up with us, seeing how we are progressing along the way, reminding us of what we want to accomplish.

I find that even the most responsible, dependable, follow-through to the nth degree people are good with letting things slide if she or he is the only one affected. 

How did we learn that it was okay to disappoint ourselves? Why are we last on our own priority list?  And how can we get the support and accountability to become our best selves?

3 tips to get some accountability going:

1—Go Public
Using social media is one way to put out your commitment to the world and have your friends, followers or like-minded others cheer you on. I have seen this work well with commitments to weight loss, exercise, cooking more, and daily gratitude as people post their progress at regular intervals and get support and encouragement along the way. 

The upside is that your reporting on social media adds to the incentive to keep going.  The downside can be the very public aspect of social media.  If your life circumstances change or you just aren’t keeping on your path—everyone will know it.

2—Get an Accountability Partner
Having an accountability partner can be a great way to get, and potentially give, support on the journey to changing habits or achieving a goal.

Decide the parameters of your partnership. How often will you communicate and in what format?  Is the partnership solely about you achieving your goal or do you both want accountability? 

I have found that having an accountability partner who is also a coach who is growing his business has been hugely helpful for me.  We set out 2-weeks worth tasks for ourselves. We push each other to stretch a bit farther.  We share resources and ideas all in a quick 30-40 minute call twice a month.

3—Hire a Coach
Shocking I would suggest this, I know, but I continually hear from my clients that it is the accountability aspect of coaching that is one of the most valuable.  I know that I don’t want to fail to do the work I have set out for myself and then get asked about it by my coach. 

My coach actually takes me seriously when I say I will get something done and treats me like I’m worth achieving my goals.  My coach also questions me when I get overly ambitious and helps me set sane boundaries around work and personal time. I also find it helpful to have someone reminding me that personal, fun, just-me goals are important too!

With a coach, it is all about you.  A coach keeps an eye on your big picture; sees when you may be getting stuck and helps you get back on track.  The accountability, customized support and push to have you move out of your comfort zone to where the magic actually happens, are all great benefits of having a coach.

If you are considering a coach, click here for a complimentary session to see if my coaching is right for you!

Be well,

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Stop the Lie of Can't!

Ask a room of kindergartners who among them can sing, and all their hands shoot up.  They sing everyday, of course they can sing. 

Ask the same kids when they hit 3rd grade and fewer hands go up.  Ask them when they hit 6th or 7th grade and 1-2 hands may rise.  Then ask them to sing Happy Birthday, and like magic, they all CAN sing. 

Can I do something has been translated into Do I think I am good enough.

Does this sounds familiar to any of you?  It sure rings true for me.  If you had asked me in middle or high school if I could paint or make art, NO would have been my answer.  Because I decided that art wasn’t something I was good at, I also decided that I couldn’t do it.

But I could paint—no one needed to teach me how to dip a brush in paint and touch it to a canvas.  Heck, even elephants can paint—check them out on you tube:

When we decide we are not good enough at something, we stop doing it or don’t even try. We limit ourselves. When we decide we are not worthy—of attention, respect, love, or effort—we play small and make excuses. 

Why does this matter?  What difference would it make if I never picked up a paintbrush, or took a stone carving class?  What if I played safe my whole life and never tried something I might fail at or not “like?”  Who would care?

I would. I would be living a small, limited life. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this. I wouldn’t have changed careers a couple times, started two businesses, traveled the world, lead non-profit boards and chaplain teams, or found out that I’m actually pretty good at making art—with a camera, paintbrush and carving tools.

I don’t believe that we are meant to live small, unadventurous, limited lives.  I believe that we all have gifts and ideas and stories inside us that will inspire others and change the world for the better if we choose to step outside our comfort zones and share them.  Outside our comfort zone is where the magic happens.

What have you decided that you “can’t” do?  Is it to learn a new technology, travel solo, speak in public, write a book or poem, learn to ski, or to ask for a raise?  I hear all the time—I don’t cook, I don’t dance, I don’t go to Queens, or I don’t do math. 

What if you could?  What if you did?  How much bigger would your world be?  How many more options and adventures could you have?

My challenge for you is to “Just do it.”  Do one thing, something new, different, and definitely outside your comfort zone. Do something that you have decided that you can’t or don’t do.  Choose to picture a great outcome.  Choose that perfectly imperfect is the best result.

Start saying that you can, or you will, or you can learn.  Because you can, and the world needs your unique light to shine bright!

I know you can!

Be well--Carol

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Powerball Dreaming: What To Do If Sudden Wealth Comes Calling

Can you feel the slight frenzy in the air? 1.4 billion dollars are up for the winning this week in the Powerball lottery. Do you have your ticket yet? I have mine! Of course I do--because even though I have better odds of being elected president than winning, there is a chance. And you can’t win if you don’t play.

As a sudden wealth coach who works with people dealing with the emotional and logistical fallout of financial windfalls, what is my plan if my numbers are pulled this week? 

It is the same as the advice I give to my clients who come into $20,000, $20 million or $200 million from a lawsuit, divorce, retirement payout, dream job, business sale or inheritance.  And those windfalls happen all the time.

1—Pause and Assess
            Don’t rush into anything. Most financial windfalls are the result of a big change.  Any loss or change of routine comes with disorientation and various stages of grief and overwhelm.  The emotions can range from relief, to lack of deserving, to anxiety about the added responsibilities.

            With these changes also comes a redefining of identity—from married to divorced, or widowed, from the guy in charge to retiree, from the co-worker to the boss, or from part of cast to the star.  It takes time to accommodate this new role and figure out the new rules and responsibilities.

            Stepping back from Doing, allows you to start the process of figuring out what is important now and who you want to be in the midst of all this change.

2—Make a Plan.
            Take time to create a plan.  For some people, 3-4 months extra salary at once can be over-whelming and be gone faster than it came. Even if this is “play money” for you, make a plan of how you want to spend it, share it, pay-it-forward and/or save it. 
            Even if the amount seems bigger than you could ever spend in a lifetime, trust me, there will be plenty of people and opportunities to prove you wrong.  

            Creating a solid plan helps you focus on what is important to you, establish good boundaries, and gives you structure when there are way too many options.

2—Build Your Team
            Hire a team of professionals you like and respect to help you protect your assets and limit your liabilities. Typical team members include: a financial planner (CFP, wealth manager, etc.), a tax attorney, CPA, insurance professional, estate attorney.  And, yes, a certified coach as a sounding board, perspective shifter and accountability partner.

            There may be others you want for your circumstances, but what is important is that you feel heard and that you are comfortable with your team.  If you don’t understand a concept—ask questions. If you are still confused, ask more questions.  If you do not get clarity, get a new team member.

            You do not need to be an expert, but you do need to understand how your money is being invested and why.

3—“No” is your Friend
            There will be many people who will want to help you spend and invest your new found fortune.  Family, friends and strangers will approach you with opportunities and tales of woe.  Stick to your plan.  You are not responsible for everyone.  If you want to share, work with your team to create a plan to make that happen.

            If someone or some project is not part of your plan, you can gently tell them no or not at this time.  You can even “blame” your lawyers or advisers for not being able to help at this time.  Remember, every No is a Yes to something else.

            It is okay to treat yourself well when you have a windfall.  Eat well, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and take time for reflection—through meditation or journaling.  You will change and grow as you adjust to your new circumstances and you want to be able to follow your instincts. 
            What have you always wanted to do, but have been putting it off? What toy or treasure have you always wanted, but have denied yourself?  Life isn’t about the stuff AND living by a code of self-denial isn’t a virtue. 

Financial windfalls are much more common that the Powerball hitting $1Billion.  Having a plan and the support to put it into place can help reduce the stress and make it a time of opportunity rather than a minefield of overwhelm.