Friday, December 14, 2007

Personal Values

Understanding and getting clear about your personal values is something I spend a lot of time on with my clients. Values are what guide us. When we live according to our values we feel alive, we feel life is good! When we are not honoring our values, we feel uneasy and yucky. Most of my clients have never taken the time to discover their values. Once you discover your values and make decisions to honor them, you will see a shift in the quality of your life.

Here's an exercise that I recently found that is a great way to uncover your values. (Unfortunately, I can not give credit where the credit is due, as I don't recall where I read it.)

Think of someone you admire, it can be a family member, someone from history, or a sport figure, etc. Now, write down ten things you admire about this person. For example, I admired my father in law. So, I might write, "He never allowed obstacles to get into his way."

After you compile your list, change the he/she to "I". So, I would write, "I never allow obstacles to get into my way."

See what this does? Can you take them in as your values? These qualities are also within you.
Perhaps you have not honored them as fully as is possible. So, now the challenge!! How can you start living those values more fully in your every day? For me, it's being aware of the obstacles that come my way, and just continuing to move around, over, or through them! I have a strong personal value of challenge! The challenge to overcome whatever comes my way.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You Are What you Think

"Whatever thoughts you plant in your subconscious mind
and nourish every day with conviction and emotion will
one day become a reality.

Constant repetition carries conviction.
Repeat something often enough and it
will start to become you.

A change in what you tell yourself will result in a
change in your behavior.

What you impress upon your mind, you'll inevitable become.
You are what you think."

I recently received this quote from The Daily Guru (
Just as we are what we eat, we are what we think. When we fill our bodies
with healthy, whole, nourishing food we are fueling our bodies to enable us to
live a full healthy life. When we fill our minds with positive thoughts we fuel our minds to inform our bodies and our soul that enables us to become our best.

We all have the inner critic that fills our minds with "I can't", "You're not good
enough", "Don't even bother," or "Just quit." That negative inner critic often gets louder as we begin to make changes to our lives. That inner critic resists change and wants us to stay right where we are. This increase in negative chatter can cause us to feel we're in the midst of chaos. The negative voice is so loud! Clients often ask me, "How do I quiet that voice?" or "How do I NOT listen to it?"

It's all about choice. You can choose to listen to the negative chatter or you can choose to do something about it. If you choose to continue to listen to the chatter, where will that take you? What's the impact on your life?

If you choose to do something about it, here are steps to Quiet Your Inner Critic.
1. Gain awareness. Notice when you hear that negative voice.
*When are feel criticized
*If you make a mistake
*Situations where you risk failing
*Situations where you are challenging yourself
*Times when you feel hurt
*Times when you are making changes
2. Gather your awareness. For one week, become aware as possible of the negative statements that you hear. Keep a log using three columns:
1. Time of day
2. Negative statement
3. Positive reconstruction*
3. For each negative statement write down a positive reconstruction of the sentence.
a. For example: "I can't do it" becomes "I can try"
"I am not (Fill in the blank)" becomes "I am becoming (BLANK)"
b. Eventually your "becoming" statements will turn to "I AM" statements!

Take the advice from the quote above, whatever you plant in your mind will become a reality.
Repeat it often, and it will become you.

Go out and fill your mind, your body and your soul with positive and nourishing fuel. You are what you think! What are your thoughts about yourself? Make those changes today! It's time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Have A Plan, Work Your Plan

Have a Plan, Work your Plan

When we have daily success in our lives, we receive the benefits from feeling good about ourselves as people. When we create a positive environment for ourselves and others, we learn and perform better.

When we recognize harmful thoughts as they happen, and change them to helpful ones, we learn and perform better.

Here’s a way to incorporate daily success into our lives and our to-do lists!

If your goal is to fit exercise into your weekly schedule, here’s four steps to accomplish that goal.

1. Make the time: Look at your daily routine. Where can you find 30-60 minutes to exercise each day. Finding the time might require you to change your routine…which is good, because your current routine is not allowing for the exercise time. Write your exercise time on your calendar. Make an appointment with yourself.
a. Wake up earlier,
b. Change your morning routine so that you go to the gym instead of reading emails or reading the paper.
c. Take a walk before your shower.
d. Use your lunch hour
e. Pack your gym bag and leave it in the car

2. Have a workout plan before you go to the gym.
a. Know what you will do before you get there.

3. Have a contingency plan.
If the kids are sick, it’s raining, or you’re called to a last minute meeting, have plan B in mind to implement if going to the gym is not going to work today.
a. Jump rope
b. Push ups
c. Go for a walk/run

4. Be happy with progress-not the results.
a. Remember, Action is progress.
b. Track your progress. Write down what you did, how you felt, your HR, miles, weight in a workout journal after each workout.
c. Every so often, flip through the pages and see how far you have come.

Exercise is now part of your daily routine! Make no excuses!

So, what about you? How will you implement these tips into your life to increase your daily success? Post your reply.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Steps to Achieving A More Balanced Life

In general, Mothers have HUGE hearts and they give it all. They work until it hurts. They give to their children, spouses, friends, at work, volunteering...the list goes on and on. Most Moms also tend to get frustrated, stressed, exhausted, drained. Moms often try to solve this by working harder, giving more, doing more....really giving EVERYONE their all. And, it shows. Many times it shows in their health, in their well-being. Giving until it hurts is not sustainable.

However, there IS another way!

Most Moms want good health, energy and more time.
How do I know this? I was one of those Moms. I gave to everyone and everything, except myself. I felt guilty if I dared even think about doing something for me. Sit down, read a book? I just could not! There was always something to DO!
I live my life very differently now. I learned to slow down, live in the moment, fill myself up with what I love. This new way of living has enabled me to be fit, healthy, balanced and present for my family.

Here's four things you need to know:
1. Invest in yourself, NOW. Not tomorrow. TODAY.
Just as a financial advisor would tell you, if you want to save $10 a month, put it in your savings account first, then pay your bills. Same for YOU, fill yourself up then you'll know how much you have to give.
2. Get clear about what your personal values are, and start living them.
What's really important to you? Think about someone you most admire. What are the qualities of that person? Those qualities are important to you because they are also your personal values. Is honesty important to you? Then how can you live more honestly right now?
3. Know the first signs of stress and release them.
Pay attention to your body. How do you experience stress? How do you release it?
4. Set clear boundaries. Learn to say NO!

Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Well, the key to making changes in your life is not to just think about what and how to's taking ACTION!
So, how will you invest in yourself TODAY? What action will you take?
What action will you take in getting clear about your values and then living them?
What action will you take to relieve your stress?
What do you need to say NO to in order to say YES to yourself?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tips to Achieve your Fitness Goals

Top Ten Ways to Achieve
Your Fitness Goals

1. Establish S.M.A.R.T. measurable goals, write it down and post it where you will see it each day. (The bathroom mirror, the fridge door, the dashboard of your car)

2. Schedule your workout time on your calendar, make an appointment with yourself. Have a workout plan before you arrive at the gym.

3. Create support. You don’t have to do it alone. Ask family, friends or a coach to assist you with moral support.

4. Plan your meals one day in advance and keep a food journal of everything you put into your mouth. Get organized to eat healthy even when life is busy. Awareness is the first step to change. See what exactly you are putting in your mouth.

5. Plan your next workout upon completion of your current workout. Be sure to balance them between cardio and weight training to achieve lasting results. This allows you to have a plan of action when you get to the gym.

6. Find several sources of information that you can easily reference to answer any fitness and nutrition questions. Magazines, books, trainers.

7. Find a workout buddy or hire a trainer. This will give you the support you need to stay consistent. Having someone to meet each time makes it much tougher to skip a day. Or hire a trainer to jump start your new routine.

8. Use your workout as a release point for the day. Try focusing on your body and forget about all the other distractions in your day. It’s your hour of power!

9. Track and see your progress. Each time you go to the gym, put a dollar in a jar and watch the $$ add up. Use that money to reward yourself when you reach your goal. Keep a journal of your workouts, if you notice you are hitting a plateau look back at what you have been doing. Many times just a small change here or there will get you back on track.

10. Stay consistent. Once your plan is set do not deviate from it. Stay the course. Action is progress. Don’t give up!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Move Past Your Thoughts

"Anxiety and fear strip away courage and makes great performances impossible. Doubt makes even the best decisions feel difficult and causes procrastination. Anger rips your focus away from your goals. Frustration can only serve to make you quit. Guilt makes it impossible to enjoy any successes you achieve. Jealousy and envy create dishonesty, hate and corruption."

After reading that, did you notice that the only thing that can truly stop you are your own thoughts? The reverse is also true, that the only things that can propel you into doing, being and having anything you want in life are also your thoughts and emotions.

I read the above statement in a book quite a while ago and wrote it down. I reflect on it often. When I am experiencing frustration, for example, it causes me to realize that my frustration will only cause me to want to quit. It forces me to take a look at where the frustration is coming from. Sometimes it is simply a distraction, a negative thought or something I am tolerating. By taking a look at where the frustration is coming from it helps me realize I live in choice. Choice to remove or change action to continue on my journey and not fall into my frustration.

Likewise, when I made the decision to compete in triathlons I realized I had to face my fear (phobia) of water. My fear and anxiety were the only things that stood in my way of achieving my goal of competing in a triathlon. Once I realized that, facing my fears, understanding what they were, finding new ways to handle them...enabled me to get into the water and compete in the triathlon. It also enabled me to release and experience the wonderful, empowered life that awaited me at the other side of my fear.

I have not always been a positive person. In fact, it was not long ago that I was very negative. Through my triathlon training and goal setting, I have realized the value of changing my negative thoughts to my positive thoughts. Not only to I apply positve thinking to my sports training, but also to my life. I continue to find ways to challenge what I believe I can do. It keeps me positive and on my edge.

We do experience what we believe!! If you believe it you WILL achieve it.

What do YOU believe about yourself? What do your thoughts and emotions tell you?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Art of Possibility

I am reading a terrific book called, "The Art of Possibility" by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. Throughout the book the authors intertwine stories. One such story describes a dinner table scene. Each night at the table each child was asked what they had done that day. The author, being one of the younger children, felt the question was really, "What did you achieve today?" Having to listen to his older siblings answer with all they had accomplished he felt he grew up with an "undertow of anxiety..." He felt he did not accomplish or achieve anything of significance.

Moving forward in his life, he decided to rename the "dinner table game" to one he called, "I am a contribution." So, instead of what did I do or achieve today, he would ask "How will I be a contribution today? or "What contribution did I make?" After reading this I decided to give the exercise a try.

I was at the beach this weekend with my family for an annual reunion on the Jersey Shore. It was unseasonably warm and we found ourselves building a huge sand castle. While taking my turn at digging and designing, I asked myself the question, "How will I be a contribution today?" I decided my contribution to the grand castle would be the entry bridge. Complete with sand drippies. My son, was busy sculpting the center of the castle, my niece happily digging the moat. As I began producing the sand drippies for the bridge, my very shy niece came by with my brother. Usually, my young niece does not talk to me but was intrigued to learn how to make a "drippie." Together we made the drippies on the bridge. It was a special moment.

As I laid in bed that night, I reflected on what contributions I had made today. More importantly I saw how that sand castle stood as a reminder that we all contributed in some way to make that sand castle a very special one. Some dug, some designed, some found shells, sticks and decorations, some patted down the walls, some made drippies....together is was a mighty fortress!

We all have something to contribute to this world. How will YOU be a contribution today?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Life is Like a Sailboat

"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction." -Jim Rohn

I gave this quote to a group of women the other day. It's one of my favorite quotes. I remember a time in my life that I felt I had no control over my destination. I was (and still am) a mother of five living a very busy, full life. Yet, I was yearning for something more. Yes, I love being a mother. But at the time, not only was I questioning who I was, I wondered who my kids thought I was. Did they see me as someone who cooked their meals, walked them to the bus stop, did the laundry, the shopping, etc, etc, etc? Did they know that I had other talents that I no longer made time to pursue?

The day I chose to change my direction, was the day my life took on a new destination. While I won't go into the details of my transition, needless to say, I am happy I chose to do something about it. I now live empowered, confident and full of passion for my life. I am a woman, mother, a wife, an athlete, a musician, a life coach, an entrepeneur! My kids see me capable of creating a life I love.

I no longer live my life letting the wind blow my sails wherever it may. Instead, I live focused on the destination of my choice and I maximize the winds to sail on. I enjoy the gentle breezes and the brisk winds.

How about you? What's your direction?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Setting Goals

I was at the Coaching Super Summit this past weekend in Baltimore, MD. It was a fantastic learning experience. We were introduced to a number of concepts that enabled us to think more outside of the box. I took home many new ideas.

As a Life and Sports Performance Coach I help my clients set realistic goals for themselves. Often times, goal setting is new to them. While at the Summit, Ramon Williamson, one of the guest speakers and author of the book, "Six Simple Things That Can Change Your Life," said to us, "People set goals based on what they don't have, not what they want." Uhm...that thought has stayed with me.

Take some time yourself to reflect on that question. How do you base your goals? What do you want?

Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Whole New World

Only a month or so ago, I decided it was time to hire a web designer to help me create a website for my coaching business. Little did I know the decision to create a website catapulted me on a journey I did not expect. From deciding on colors that best suited me, to words to describe what I do, who I am, what I have to offer...and oh, make it short and concise!, to pictures, design, placement, features....the list goes on. But, somehow, I am coming out on the other side now. My website is getting more defined and some am I. Each decision leads to another, each question brings me on a soul search...and finally it has led me to discovering just what I have to offer, who I am and what I am about.

And, now, here I sit at my computer, writing my first blog. Blog. A word I had not heard of until about 3 months ago! It seems I have entered a whole new world through the door of my decision to design my website. So, I look forward to seeing where this world brings me.