5 questions to ask yourself now

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Asking yourself good questions is a great technique for getting clear and getting real. Here are five questions I ask my clients — and that I take time to answer for myself — each time we transition to a new quarter. This practice is a great way to check in four times during the year and take stock.


1. Am I being real?

Are you showing up fully and authentically? Or, are you trying to be what you think people expect you to be, or want you to be? Maybe you are afraid to show the world (or segments of the world) your true self — afraid you’ll be “too much,” unliked, or are simply uncomfortable being seen.

If your answer is less than a whole-hearted YES, think about why you may be holding back.

What to do next: If your answer was, "No," consider how you can make a small change, to show up as your true self in a particular situation. Starting with a small effort lets you test this out, and from there you can consciously bring more of yourself into all parts of your life.


2. Am I letting fear take the reins?

This is a big one for all of us. Taking a clear-eyed look at where you may be operating based on fear lets you consciously make shifts that can have a profound impact.

Most of what we fear is not perilous, and can be overcome with clear perspective and getting support.

What to do next: If you are holding back because you are afraid to fail at something new or challenging, try taking baby steps to test the waters.

If you are afraid to speak up about something on your mind, let a trusted friend help you practice ways to express yourself and encourage you to do so.

When you take small steps, and continue taking additional steps, you will gradually build confidence. Things are rarely as scary as they seem when unexamined.


3. Am I living small?

This question holds many more questions, such as:
How can I bring some boldness into my life?
How can I take steps to embark on a burning desire?
How can I lead in new ways?

What to do next: Pick one way you see that you are living small and explore at least five ideas for small steps that can open you up in new ways.Then pick one to test now.


4. Am I taking action?

Some of us are full of ideas, but hesitant when it comes to implementing them. Some of us habitually procrastinate. Some of us feel stuck — around a particular issue, or in general. All of these can drag us down, and often cause pressure and stress.

What to do next: If you realize that there are ways you are not taking action, this is the time to begin committing to taking small, consistent steps. Once you begin, momentum can build. And even if you hit rough patches along the way, the flow and energy you’ll experience when you commit to ongoing action will amaze you.


5. Am I celebrating my wins?

High achievers typically feel the need to do big, heroic things to feel worthy of celebration.

The truth is that when we acknowledge and celebrate micro-wins we have the satisfaction of accomplishment. It’s a big deal for our brains to get a boost like that. And it gives us energy to continue down the path we have set.

What to do next: Celebrate small wins like three straight days of keeping a commitment to stay in action around a particular initiative; or inviting someone to have a conversation you’ve been putting off; or (finally) asking someone for help.


The common thread.

You have probably noticed that small steps are the key to living more authentically, to living without fear, to shifting from keeping yourself small, to getting into flow and building momentum, and to reaping the benefits of celebrating your wins. All of these are doable if you set the bar low enough that you can clear it with ease. And when you continue to take small, doable steps, learning and adjusting as you go forward, the impact adds up dramatically.

Drop me a note, or leave a comment to share the insights that come up for you when you answer these questions. And, tell me about the small steps you are committing to taking, too.

Start taking a small step or two today, keep it going, and imagine what it will feel like to have truly moved the needle by the time the next quarter rolls around.


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?

Choose a word, change your year

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Now that we’re a week into January, the holidays are behind us and a big, promising new year is stretched out ahead. Lots of women I speak to find themselves asking how they can make this the great year they yearn for. 

Rather than make some quick resolutions — that even with great intentions are hard to sustain — they wonder what they can do to make this their best year ever. They ask what key actions they can take that will have impact. They wonder how to get started. And they are concerned about how can they sustain momentum.

If you relate — if you want to be more aware and awake in your life so you stop drifting and start making the changes you want — try these suggestions:

1. Choose a word of the year to guide you

It may sound simple, but when you take the time to thoughtfully choose a word to guide you for the year ahead, amazing things happen.

Last year I wrote about my process for choosing a word that embodies layers of meaning and really nails it for where you are in your life right now. I offer instructions that you can easily follow, as well as examples to inspire you. Here's how you can pick your powerful word for this year.

2. Stop looking for quick fixes

We all wish there were magical ways to make change fast. And we all know that in order to make important changes — and for them to stick — time and commitment are required. When you acknowledge and accept that the changes you want to realize — everything from weight loss or better health, to a more harmonious relationship, to a less chaotic pace of living, to having more satisfaction at work — will take time and focus to shift, you will be able to take the small, deliberate, consistent steps each day that will add up to big change over time.

3. Start saying “no” 

When you have a clear word for your year and you are ready to take small, consistent action in your life to live guided by your word, you will quickly realize that you must do less to be able to bring attention and focus to what really matters. 

This one is tough for many women who consider themselves accomplished multitaskers, get excited about new ideas all the time, and/or recognize that they tend to be people-pleasers. 

The truth is that we all have limited time and limited energy. This is the perfect time to start saying “no” to things that spread you too thin or are not in alignment with your priorities. This may feel uncomfortable, but you do not need to apologize when you say “no.” You can simply say that you have other commitments and thus are not able to help with...  do...  take on...  etc. Give it a try. With practice you can get comfortable with it, and you'll find that saying “no” will open important space for you to focus on what matters most.

4. Remind yourself of how capable you are

When doubt shows up, look back at last year and notice the times that you tried something new, were able to find courage when you needed it, or handled a challenge. Acknowledge things you learned and impact you made. All of these reminders will bolster your confidence when you need it.

5. Take consistent action

Having selected a word of the year to guide you, and preparing yourself for the time and patience needed to make meaningful change, then opening space in your life by saying “no,” and bolstering your confidence for stepping up in new ways, you will be ready for the last key step — making a commitment to take consistent action

Taking action and sustaining the commitment to continue to do so — even when you hit places of feeling discouraged or sagging motivation or lack of confidence — is the biggest challenge. It’s easy to get fired up at the start of the year. (Think about the crowds at yoga classes and gyms in January and February that thin out by March!)

The beauty of selecting a word of the year that embodies what you want for yourself this year is that you can more easily stay committed to living into it — even at the times you struggle. After all, that’s the meaning of commitment!

Are you ready to make that kind of commitment to yourself?

If you are, you will be able to look back at this current year a year from now and smile at what you created in your life!

Remember that getting support will make it easier for you to stay committed to the change you want to make, the growth you desire. Ask someone to be an accountability buddy. Attend workshops that will enlighten and inspire you. Join a group coaching program or reach out for one-on-one coaching support. 

I would love to hear the Word of the Year that you choose.

I am eager to hear about how you have selected a guiding word. Share your word in the comments below, or email me to let me know. And let me know why you chose it, and how you are stepping into making this the year that you are envisioning today.

My word for this year?

This year I chose DEPTH.

I intend to go deeper in my work with clients, my writing, and my painting. This demands that I get more support in my business, that I say “no” more often, and that I remain mindful of my intentions and honor them. I have already begun living into my word and it feels great!

I wish you a big new year — one of growth, commitment, accomplishment and joy.


If you’re looking for another way to change your year, you can consider having a coach to support you to get clear about the life and work questions on your mind — to live the big life you long for — so that you can set clear objectives and get help to step into your future with intention and commitment. If that’s something you want to explore, I welcome you to set up an Introductory Coaching Call with me. There’s no cost or obligation for us to meet. Simply complete the Coaching Inquiry Form and I’ll be in touch to make a date with you.

You can break free when you’re stuck — here’s how.

At my workshop I held recently, Dear Future: Getting ready for what's next, I led a group of remarkable, accomplished women through a series of exercises and experiences designed to help them take sure steps into the futures they want.

What I see every time I begin to work with great women like these, is how many similar challenges keep them stuck and frustrated. To the outer world, they look like dynamos. Inside, they often feel:

  • Overwhelmed by their day-to-day lives — which makes it nearly impossible to get out of the weeds and see the big picture

  • Rudderless — because they lack clarity about what they truly want

  • Unsure about how to get moving forward — or how to sustain momentum when they do take first steps

  • Plagued by perfectionism — which they recognize inhibits them, but nonetheless, they feel powerless to change

Do some of these issues resonate for you? 
Do they make you feel stuck too?

If the answer is “Yes” (to any or all of these challenges, or others that come to mind for you) I have good news.
You are not alone — and you can take these 3 sure steps to get unstuck:

1. Say no to isolation.

When we face a challenge in isolation, we compound the challenge. We circle around alone in the muddle of our mental clutter. Frustration builds and we struggle more. 

Some of us (and I was one of those women!) feel we need to figure things out alone. Seeking help makes us feel inadequate and ashamed about feeling unable to bring enough intelligence and determination to figure things out and solve problems ourselves.

And, because so many accomplished women tend to compare themselves to friends and colleagues, they think that they alone struggle with their challenges. If they could open up to other women, they’d know they are not alone — and they would be exposed to new ideas, strategies, and support.

When we look for opportunities to safely connect to and open up with peers, the benefits are enormous. 

2. Look for support

When you’re ready to end isolation, you have some choices. You can seek out ways to connect and get support like this:

  • Reach out to a friend who cares deeply about your well-being, listens well, has some objectivity about the matter at hand, and is not oriented to telling you what to do or to "fixing" things for you. Not all of us have such a friend to turn to, but if you are fortunate to have that friend, invite her (or him) to spend some quiet time with you to listen to your concerns, and ask you questions that will help you find clarity and answers.

  • Attend a workshop that’s focused on the challenge you face. Look for a leader whose message resonates for you and who will attract like-minded participants. Show up with the intention to be open and to learn.

  • Consider working with a coach — either in a group coaching program or for one-on-one coaching support. Seek a seasoned coach with a strong track record and effective tools you can learn to use. But most of all, choose someone with whom you feel the right chemistry, trust, and eagerness to work with. Seek someone who will lovingly challenge you and call you out when you make excuses; someone who will see more possibilities for you than you may be able to see for yourself; someone who will hold you accountable to the commitments you make.

3. Take a first step — even a small one!

It may sound obvious, but when you are in a place where you’re stuck, you overlook the fact that taking action is required to get unstuck. It will likely feel pretty uncomfortable to take action when you feel uncertain or unclear about what to do. But action is what’s called for, and this is the time to urge yourself to move forward in spite of some discomfort. 

Remember that you can begin small! Your first small steps will get you in motion, and momentum can build from there. Here are some great options:

  • Make a list of people who you'd feel could be good listeners related to what’s on your mind. Your next step will be to choose one of those people to invite to meet with you for coffee and a conversation.

  • Think of someone who has moved through a challenge similar to one you are facing and reach out to ask if they have resources to suggest.

  • Check out coaches that colleagues recommend or web searches bring to your attention.

  • Download the Roadmap to Clarity, a process I recently developed that will guide you to get clear about a question on your mind. It will also help you to identify and implement small action steps that will bring meaningful change into your life. (Lots of women have used the Roadmap to Clarity and I’ve received tremendous feedback on its impact. And, you can use it many times, to address a range of challenges you want to work through.)

The wonderful news is that when you start taking action — even small action — and make a commitment to continue taking small steps, you will realize that you are no longer stuck! You will be on a path to creating the changes you want in your life. And, as you bring in desired change, you will usher in more joy and satisfaction. Keep moving, and the true experience of Living Big will be yours!

Drop me a note or leave a comment below to let me know what you try, and what works best for you to get unstuck. 

And, I am happy to extend an open invitation to you to schedule a complimentary Introductory Coaching Call with me. Simply complete the Coaching Inquiry Form and I’ll be in touch to make a date with you.

Are you taking inspired action?

I’ve been making big plans of late, and thinking about setting intentions, motivation, making progress and completing projects. Spring is an exciting time to launch new projects that really excite me and that will offer huge value.

Following my fall sabbatical, I was busy developing program proposals that had been requested, starting work with new coaching clients, and writing a major proposal for the book I'd worked on during my sabbatical. (More to follow about the book soon!) Once my proposals were submitted, it was time to look ahead to what I wanted to create in my business — and my life.

I’m never at a loss for ideas that excite me, so I had important decisions to make. I started by thinking about my intentions. Being clear about what I most wanted to do — and why — helped me decide where to put my focus and my attention. It made it easy for me to say “Yes” to some things, and to put other ideas and opportunities on a side burner. The last thing I want to do is “splatter” myself across a lot of projects and be unable to do any of them well. So, while it’s a challenge to say “No” to things that excite me, when I stayed clear about my intensions, and thewhy behind them, I was able to choose the projects I most wanted to make a reality.

Then it was time to take action. That’s where the hard work — but also the fun — began. I’ve been excited to dive in and see my ideas become realities, and I am on track to bring them to completion.

What I’m creating now.
I am happy to be offering some great workshops this spring that are designed to inspire and ignite change. I am excited, too, to be doing several one-on-one artist retreats this season. And, I’m thrilled to be offering a new 6-month coaching group in 2016. In this group, 6 brilliant women will explore what Living Big means to them, and decide how they want to take action to stop living small, navigate a big transition, or create a vision for their future and begin taking confident steps toward it. This will be a journey of significant change, filled with shared love and support. (If this opportunity intrigues you, get in touch with me directly. I’m accepting applications now.)

What is your intention for this new season?
Do you want to get healthier? Show up in a bigger way at work? Improve a key relationship? Bring more inspiration and creative energy into your day-to-day life? Stop over-working and get balance back in your life? Find courage to follow a dream? Make a bold idea a reality? Think carefully, then consider why the desire is strong for you. Knowing that will provide a foundation for taking action and staying motivated.

If you want to talk about what you want to pursue (or what you are sorting out) and how you can start taking inspired action, let me know. I hope that this will be a fulfilling and creative season for you, filled with abundant inspired action.

Early spring Sightings! I am inspired by the new growth that heralds a beautiful new season.

Early spring Sightings! I am inspired by the new growth that heralds a beautiful new season.