A simple morning check-in can have a big impact

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A client recently mentioned that she starts each day with this question:
How do I want to treat myself today?

I have been asking myself a variation of this question each morning, that was suggested to me be a colleague:
How do I want to feel at the end of the day?

And here are a few other great options to consider as you start your day:
Who do I need to BE today?
What is most important for me today?
How can I slow down today?
How will I acknowledge myself for [ fill in the blank ]?


Starting the morning with a good question like one of these sets you up for a day of intention. Rather than simply drifting through the hours, you will have more focus.

Why not pick one that feels appealing and ask it of yourself each morning this week?

You may want to switch around and see which question works best for you, or set a rotation of questions to use during the week.

And at the end of your day, make a note about how the question had an impact. You are likely to experience important shifts as you bring more focus into your daily life.

Email me, or leave a comment with other good questions you’ve used at the start of your day, and to share the impact of this practice after you’ve tried it.

Just as my client told me about the way her question has been a game-changer, we can all learn from one another and inspire each other when we share great ideas.

This moment of transition

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As you savor the last days of August, you cannot miss the changes in the air.

School has started or is about to start. (In Boston, that means college students with U-Hauls filled to the brim will soon jam the streets!) People are returning from vacations. Calendars are a lot more crowded. Traffic will soon be even worse, slowing everyone down.

And, the air will be crisp and refreshing. Energy will buzz as new projects get started. Focus always begins to get sharper as many of us consider the opportunities and possibilities for this last season of the year.

As you think about next week and heading into September, what do you want to create?

What priorities will be at the top of your list?

What will you commit to doing — differently? for the first time? with renewed energy?

Think now about how you want to feel when you look back at the final four months of the year and head into 2020.

And make a plan.

Three things you can do now to end the year on a high note.

1. Embrace this moment of transition and get clear.

Take some time to consider the questions I posed above.

Write down your thoughts — a brain-dump is a great way to start. You’re likely to have a long list of ideas and possibilities.

Next, reflect on your notes and begin to shape what showed up. You may want to make categories for items related to work, health, relationships, personal pleasure, etc. You’ll then be able to focus on choosing your top priorities.

Remember, many good ideas will have to be put aside. If you aim to focus on too many big things you’ll be splattered! None will get the time and attention needed for you to realize significant progress.


2. Next, get specific.

With your top one to three focal points in mind, think about what is realistic to complete for each of them in the last four months of the year.

For instance, if you want to write a book, or renovate your kitchen, think about what can reasonably be accomplished in four months. Specificity will be key. Break down big projects or ambitions into small, doable bites.

For example, to begin a home or office renovation, you can first get clear about what's not working now and what key elements you want the finished project to include. The next step may be to collect images that appeal to you for ideas on color, style and use of space, before you reach out to meet with designers and choose a contractor.

With a framework for discrete steps, schedule time on your calendar to work on each one.


3. Commit to taking consistent action.

Being clear about your priorities, breaking big projects into small, doable chunks, mapping out a plan, and scheduling time for each step are all important. But that effort will only lead to solid results if you commit to taking small action, followed by more small action, week by week.

It will be easy to get sidetracked, because life happens! But when you know where you are headed and have a strong desire to reach your outcomes, it will be easier to say “No” (even to exciting possibilities) and stay on track. And it will make it easier for you to attend to the inevitable, important interruptions that will come along and get back on track.

Remember, even the best plans will need to be modified. Surprises will show up. Mistakes will happen. New ideas will emerge. In every case, evaluate the situation, correct course as needed, and keep moving forward.


One last suggestion.

Be sure to acknowledge and celebrate each small milestone as you complete pieces of your big projects. This gives your brain a jolt of pride and satisfaction. And that will make it easier to maintain continued commitment to your project.

I'll be excited to hear about the projects you choose to make your focus in the coming months, and to hear about how the work progresses. leave a comment here or drop me a note.

I’m rooting for you!

A movie that will change you

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Having heard rave reviews about the film, Maiden, I was sure I would enjoy it.

I knew it was about the first all-female crew to race in the Whitbread Around the World Challenge yacht race, so I expected to be inspired. This award-winning documentary did not disappoint.

The suspense of the race was certainly riveting and the documentary was wonderfully made.

But the most remarkable part of the film was the seeing the determination and commitment of the young Tracy Edwards. She decided to embark on the audacious effort of getting funding for a suitable boat and recruiting an all-female crew — in 1989. And, having done both, she courageously lead that crew through challenges that would have crushed most of us.

Against tremendous odds, she persevered — she found a way to make all of it happen. She withstood withering ridicule from the press and her sailing peers. She coped with enormous doubts and crushing pressure. And she never gave up.

She not only showed the world it could be done — she grew in immeasurable ways. As did her fabulous crew.

Watch the trailer here. Then find a theater where it’s playing, and go to see it. Every minute of this film is worth savoring.

What are you waiting for?

Each day we awake with a fundamental choice.

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We can choose to go through the day much like all other days. Entrenched habits and patterns can rule us.
This leads to reacting to everything that comes along. And tolerating frustrations or relationships or jobs that drain us. And to struggling to make time for self-care, not to mention things that bring joy.

Or, you can choose a different option.

You can start each day with the energy of a creator — deliberating considering what you want to create in your life, and actively creating when you move through your days.

What does it look like to embrace the energy of a creator?

When you embrace yourself as a creator, you look at the way you have been living and decide what is working well and where you are frustrated — or are tolerating things that don't work well.

This is what can happen.

You can choose to make positive changes, like showing up as your authentic self, both at work and with people in your personal sphere.

You can learn to listen to your intuition — and trust it.

You can begin to live boldly, and play more, and not let fear or doubt stop you.

Learning to live this way means stepping up in new ways. It means being willing to make commitments to yourself to take action, to shift from living on auto-pilot.

And while it means being willing to step into some discomfort, it means trusting that you are capable of doing this work, and willing to ask for support. And it means you want to be accountable to staying on the path of positive change.

Or, you can wait.

You can wait for certainly.
You can wait for permission.
You can wait for confidence.
You can wait for magic (sometimes in the form of someone who will come to the rescue or someone to do the work for you).
You can wait for complete clarity about what you want, or what to do next, or the exact destination.


Are you content to wait, or are you ready to take action to live a life that makes you excited to wake up to each new day?

This is your decision point. You get to choose.

This can be the day you say “Yes!” to yourself and a bigger future.

If you are ready to know more about what it can look like to become a true creator in your life, drop me a note.

We’ll schedule a time to talk — no obligation, no sales pitch. Just an opportunity for me to hear about your challenges and the dreams you have for a more fulfilled life, and for you to hear about what it takes to become the creator of that future.

I can promise that this conversation will provide you with big insights and a lot of inspiration.

Scheduling this call will be a meaningful action step.

Do you want to take it?

How ready are you to make a change?

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Do you yearn to make a change in your life?

Do you feel stuck in a job that stresses you out, doesn't light you up anymore, or pays you well but is unsatisfying? Do you dream of starting something new? Is external change coming at you and you have an opportunity to rethink what you really want? Does the prospect of an empty nest open possibilities you want to explore?

I speak with women who ponder questions like these all the time. 

And I truly relate — because that’s just where I was a decade ago. The business I’d founded and was proud to have built was no longer exciting me. I knew I was ready for something new, but had no idea what it would be or how to figure it out.

The only way to make change in your life is to be willing to change.

Lots of women want to make a change in their professional or personal life, but the prospect of having to change — changing outlooks, habits, getting out of your comfort zone — can be scary. And when we are afraid, we have a tendency to shrink back and cling hard to the known quantity of the status quo.

Are you clinging, or are you ready to embrace the process of change?

I remember thinking it would be great to magically make the perfect change happen. But I knew, as you do, that there is no fairy dust that will instantly make the situation you are currently tolerating perfect — or a magic pill that will give you the answer to what your next great career move ought to be (or the best move forward in your personal life).

That's why so many women tolerate what they say they want to change. It can feel daunting to step into the process of change, or even know how to get started.

Here is how to get clear, and how to move forward if you’re ready to change your life.

1. Assess your level of desire.

Ask yourself these questions: 
How tired am I of what I have been tolerating? 
How much do I want to bring change into my life? 
Do I want it enough to take a big new step — even if that means calling on myself to be bold?

In my case, I knew I was willing to initiate a change and step into the work of finding a new career direction that would excite me when I woke up every morning. (I had been longing for that missing feeling for too long!)

What about you?

When you answer these questions honestly, you’ll know if you are ready to start on the path of change.

2. If you want to get started, get support.

Embarking on a big change is easiest if you have a guide to help you. This is not a good DIY project! Getting support will not only ease the anxiety this decision may bring up, it will accelerate the pace at which you will move through the process of change.

With the help of a seasoned coach, you will be in safe hands as you get clear about what you want, assess your best opportunities, and move forward. 

3. Embrace the process.

This powerful, life-changing work will teach you so much. Anticipate it with excitement! 

Even as you will be called on to look deep, and set a course that may have unexpected turns along the way, you'll have help. That help will support you when discomfort arises as you step outside of your comfort zone, rise and grow, and then face new moments that call for courage.

This process is an incredible path to growth. 

This is how you make your desires your reality. 

This is how you can transform your life!

I have lived this process, and am honored to guide women through it every day. I know that you can proceed with confidence when you invest in yourself and your future, as I did a decade ago. 
I now live with the delight of a life that fulfills me in more ways than I ever imagined possible. I’d love to see that happen for you.

Let’s talk about the future you want to create — what’s possible for you.

Drop me a note, or leave a comment below, if you feel ready to consider initiating big and important change in your life.


Let love be your secret power

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I hope your new year is off to a great start. For many, January was a time for making resolutions. If you set goals for the year, this is a good time to check in and take stock of how things are going.

If you are committed — and are taking consistent action — to the exercise you want to do more of, or the decluttering you set out to tackle, the job search you decided to initiate, or any other objective you have to make this a great year, I say, “Bravo!”

On the other hand, if you’ve struggled to get traction, take consistent action, or have had set-backs or feel discouraged, this is a great time to get back on track. There are still 11 months of the year ahead!

Here’s how to stay the course — or get back on track — as you pursue your goals and resolutions.

Leverage love!

Love is a powerful resource that’s always available to you, and that you can turn to at any time. Curious about how love will help you meet your goals? Here's the way this works.

Love powers your life in remarkable ways when you put it into action. And to help love do its magic, I suggest you begin with a simple technique: Pay attention to the words you say to yourself.

Because the words you use have a huge impact. The actual language of your thoughts matters!

It’s time to start speaking to yourself with love.

We tend to be incredibly hard on ourselves when we feel we are falling short in some way. If someone walked up to you and said, “What a loser! I can’t believe you didn’t make it to yoga class today!“ how would you feel? That would be harsh and mean, right? 

If you’d be unhappy to hear that from someone else, why would you use a similarly negative tone when thinking to yourself? Instead, consider loving ways to speak to yourself.

Loving self-talk about something that feels discouraging might sound like this: “Okay, you missed the yoga class today. Why not register now for the next one, and clear space on the calendar to be sure to get there? It will feel wonderful to spend that hour with a great teacher and so many lovely people! And, it will make the rest of the day so much more pleasant.”

Speaking to yourself with love will come naturally when you cultivate self-love in many ways. The idea is to stop being accusatory. Stop putting yourself down. Start treating yourself tenderly, like the deserving person you are.

Try these 3 easy ways to practice self-love and bring more loving self-talk into your life.

  1. Look at yourself in the mirror for a minute or two after you’ve washed your face each evening. Smile. Place a hand on your heart and say a few loving words to yourself. Yes, it will likely feel awkward, but if you do this every day for a week or two, it will get easier. Keep going! You’ll start to notice a shift in your self-talk throughout each day.

  2. Closely watch the words you choose in your thoughts about yourself. Do not label yourself in ways you would find unacceptable by others. Be positive, supportive, and encouraging — just as you would with someone special in your life. Reflect on the language you use and the circumstances when you give yourself the messages that most touch your heart, and find opportunities to do more of that.

  3. Treat yourself to small moments of delight — like time to sit and simply breath quietly for two minutes. Or take a break to walk in the fresh air. Or soak in a bubble bath. Or take a few extra minutes to savor the taste of your meal in quiet, rather than multitasking. As you take time for yourself, remind yourself of your talents and all the great things you do in the world. You might even want to start a self-love journal, where you can make a note each day of several ways that you are special. (Keep it handy and refer to it whenever you feel discouraged!)

While everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day as a single day for love, you can choose to fill your heart with love, and fill your thoughts with loving words about and to yourself, every day. This self-love will be an enormous help as you pursue the goals and dreams that deeply matter to you. 

And, there’s a bonus: The more fully you love yourself, the more love you will have for others in your life!

A perfect time for reflection

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Most of us are super busy during the holiday season — getting ready, traveling, celebrating in all sorts of ways. There’s lots of emotion in the air (and often a mix of emotions). 

Happily, we get a short respite between Christmas and the start of the new year. 

I treasure this space. With festivities behind us and so many people on holiday, things get quiet. I find this to be a perfect time for reflection. 

Reflection is something most people never get to doing. Life is always hectic! But when you make time to slow down and look back great things happen.


The benefits of taking time to reflect

Meaningful reflection requires time and space. You must slow down and get quiet, and that in itself is an important gift you can give yourself. 

Taking time to reflect enables you to gain perspective. Rather than drifting from day to day and week to week until a year has sped by without any insight, when you create focused, quiet time you can see so much! With thought and attention, you can consider what worked in your life, and appreciate yourself and celebrate your accomplishments. You can also spot the patterns or habits that kept you stuck. 

The insights gleaned from reflection afford you tremendous opportunities for moving into your future. This is a time to consider what you want to build on, as well as what you want to do less of — or stop doing altogether. Consider the qualities you need to cultivate or nurture to live your best life. Start to consider the goals you want to set, and how you can reach them.


5 tips and suggestions for meaningful reflecting  

Why not create a special ritual for this process? You might even want to begin an annual tradition of reflecting. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Set aside some time for yourself at a particular time of day and find a place you like — a cozy nook, in front of a fire, a special chair — to settle into.

  2. You might want to ask someone to be a partner. Sitting together, you can do some thinking and writing, and then share your insights and ideas with one another.

  3. Designating a lovely journal for reflecting can make this a more special experience. And the journal can also be your place to note reflections at regular intervals during the year. (You might reflect monthly or at the start of each new season.) Your periodic reflections will help you stay clear and aware as you move through the year.

  4. You can approach the process of reflecting in a range of interesting ways. One possibility for getting started is go through your calendar and review the entries for each month, then note insights that come to mind. 

    Another approach is to create lists as your jumping off point. Try noting your top 10 highlights of the year or top 10 lessons learned or the 10 most important things you want to stop doing in the future. Next, jot down WHY each thing is on your list, and what you learned related to the entry. Before long, you’ll have a rich array of insights.

I would love to hear about how you reflect on the year that’s winding down, and what your big aha’s and take-aways are. Leave a comment here, or email me.

I would be happy to hear from you if you want to talk about how coaching can support you to live with clarity, intention, and commitment this year. I welcome you to get in touch to talk with me about how I can help.

I wish you and yours a New Year of living big!

How big are your dreams — and how close are you to living them?

I often talk to people in the fall, as they think about the year winding down and reflect on the big ideas they had back in January. So many women were sure about what they wanted and felt fired up to go for it 10 months ago.

Some wanted a new job, or to go for a big promotion. 
Some say they were ready to find love. 
Some wanted more harmony in close relationships. 
Some yearned for more excitement in their lives. 
Some wanted to lose weight.
Some wanted to grow their businesses, or shift the focus of their business.
Some knew they were holding back and wanted to show up more authentically and boldly.
Some were starved for more self-care and time for themselves.
Some yearned to have a bigger impact.

For all the determination and enthusiasm they felt at the beginning of the year, time after time I see the same thing: lots of excitement and talk early on, but little change or progress over time. Many of these women tell me about how hard they’ve tried, but that their attempts didn’t lead to the big results they were after.

Some will say that when it came down to taking serious action, they couldn’t really get started, or couldn’t build momentum, or they were unable to sustain their efforts. 

What inevitably follows? Discouragement, frustration, regret, self-recrimination, self-doubt, or a toxic combination of these negative emotions. Many feel stuck. Some will say their luck was bad. Some say that external factors or dynamics were working against them. They feel like victims of circumstance.

The ambitions they started with often weigh on them now. Many resign themselves to the status quo.

Why are scenarios like this so common? 

Even the most accomplished women can find themselves in a bind like this. Even when they’ve excelled professionally, they get stuck when pursuing personal ambitions or making progress toward bold new professional goals. 

If you relate to stories like these, I have good news.
You are not alone, and you need not settle. 

So, you ask, what’s the path forward?

I wish I could tell you there’s a magical, easy way to achieve what you had set your mind to back at the start of 2018 (or maybe years ago). But you’re too smart to believe that there’s a quick fix for making important and lasting change.

Here are the 5 steps it takes to make consistent progress to bringing your dreams and desires into reality.

1. A clear and important “Why”

When you have a goal in mind for something you really want, it needs a strong foundation. Think about the reason why you want to accomplish it, create it, or make that change in your life. Maybe it’s something you are unwilling to tolerate any longer. Maybe you have a picture in mind about something in the future that will be different if you do this. The how is always easier when you know why something is meaningful. And, getting clear about the why at the start will make it easier to stay committed to the effort required to achieve your goal. 

2. Willingness

Trying to achieve an important change in your life requires you to be willing to set clear intentions, willing to focus on the work to be done, willing to put in effort — and willing to sustain that effort, even when you fall short or experience set-backs along the way.

3. Belief

To take serious steps to make an important change or make a big ambition your reality, you need to believe in yourself. You must believe — in your bones — that you matter, and that you deserve the outcome. You must also believe that you can be what’s required to accomplish your goal — such being strong, or flexible, or resourceful, or committed, or confident, or resilient, or brave, to name some examples — which is the basis for believing that you really can create the future you want.

4. Commitment and action

Commitment is the key to stepping into the effort and seeing it through. This is where the proverbial rubber hits the road! 

As I said, many of us start the year with big ideas and enthusiasm, but never take more than a first step, or are unable to sustain the effort that’s required. When you bring commitment to the effort, you get into motion and can keep going — especially when you run into a rough patch, or your confidence flags, or you experience a setback, or you feel unsure of your next step. 

When you are committed, you take the endeavor seriously. You schedule blocks on your calendar for the time and effort that are needed to make steady progress. You work to create new habits. You reach out for help. You stick with your plan, small step by small step, and keep moving forward even when it isn’t easy. Commitment and consistent action help you to gain momentum and are the keys to sustaining your efforts.

5. Support and accountability

Lots of people go it alone — at least at first — as they attempt to bring important changes into their lives. That works for some people. But I have personally experienced, and seen with my clients time and again, that getting expert support and guidance makes a huge difference. 

Not only are goals reached, but they are reached more quickly and with less struggle when you have the loving support of a skilled coach. When you hit the (inevitable) places that struggle or discouragement show up, or you experience confusion about next steps, you have someone to turn to who helps you get back on track.

And, accountability is one of the big benefits of reaching out for support. It’s human nature to let yourself slide or stall unless someone is holding you to your commitments. A coach with whom you work on a regular basis can gently but firmly support you to stay in integrity with your commitments and keep moving forward.


If you are looking for help to finish 2018 with clarity and insight — so that you’ll have a running start for the new year — I welcome you to reach out and contact me. We can schedule a time to talk about the deep work I do with private coaching clients, or if an upcoming group coaching program would be a good way for you to get support and accountability in the company of an intimate and committed group of women. Either approach will help you to get clear, make and keep big commitments, and take big steps to realizing your dreams.

How would it feel to be living that life at this time next year?