Tag Archives: life coach

Turn Your New Year’s Resolutions into Solutions!

Are you already thinking of tossing your New Year’s Resolutions out with the holiday trash? Do you want to make some big changes in your life, but just don’t know where or how to start? Try a different approach for 2013.

Stay motivated and moving forward with help from a life coach!

An experienced life coach can help you to:

  • Overcome limiting habits and behaviors
  • Create new life affirming habits
  • Balance personal and professional lives
  • Prioritize your activities according to your needs and values
  • Make time for yourself in your own life
  • Set and attain personal and professional goals
  • Clarify and understand your personal beliefs and their effects
  • Stay motivated and committed to your growth
  • Organize and manage your time and space
  • Communicate your own needs
  • Develop confidence and self-esteem
  • Learn to communicate with an honest, authentic voice
  • Expand your leadership skills
  • Learn to love and respect yourself and live a life based on your values and desires
  • Be happier with yourself and your choices!

If this sounds like the kind of help you need, then don’t wait another second to put your 2013 Solutions into action!

Contact Life Signs Coaching today!

Ask about our online New Year’s specials when you do!

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The Organization Detox: A new eBook by Dr. Janice Staab

 

The Organization Detox!

A new eBook by Dr. Janice Staab

Are you in a toxic relationship with your home? Is the clutter and chaos simply too much to bear? Tired of spending hours searching for things that should be easy to find? Do you feel like a slave to the constant struggle for an ordered home? Or perhaps you’ve just given up hope.

Well, there is hope! And it’s called The Organization Detox!

No matter how many times before you’ve tried to get organized, The Organization Detox has your answers!

That’s because The Organization Detox is more than an organization plan. It’s a comprehensive program for creating a home that serves your life purposes and needs.

In The Organization Detox you’ll learn:

1. The secret to why just trying to get organized actually makes you more disorganized.

2. The most common toxic habits that keep you from successfully organizing your home, and how to overcome them.

3. Simple strategies for clarifying and activating what you really need from your home.

4. A complete action plan for organizing your home around what really matters to you today.

Only $19.95 for the keys to an organized, inspiring home!

Get your copy today!

If Weight Loss is Your Goal, Don’t Say These 3 Words!

Whether for weddings or holidays, improved health or simple vanity, most of us have tried to lose weight at one point or another in our lives. And with spring springing early this year, bathing suits and vacations will have many more of us thinking those shrinking thoughts once again.

Before you start counting calories and scheduling Pilates classes, pay some attention to the language you use to describe your fitness goals. Language is powerful and can make or break your plan. I suggest that all my fitness coaching clients avoid these three words completely.

1. Weight:     It may seem odd, but the first word to avoid is the word weight itself. The only practical  meaning that this word has is “the amount of force it takes for gravity to hold you on the planet.” That’s it, folks. Yet we put so much stock in this word. The success or failure of our fitness plan depends on moving that number on the scale in the right direction. Don’t obsess on an essentially meaningless number. Focus on some more practical success indicators. Are your clothes fitting better? Do you have more energy? Is your body taking on a shape that you like? While you’re at it, just toss the scale in the trash!

2. Diet:      Diets are those restrictive, temporary ways of eating that rarely work long term. Eating plans are long term healthy ways of providing your body with the nutrition it needs to heal and grow. Which would you rather follow?  🙂

3. Tone:  Having muscle tone is not a bad thing. However, many women associate the strength training with the bulky He-Man figures you see in bodybuilding magazines. Tone is a word many of my clients have used to mean “timid, easy strength training that will put me in no danger of building actual muscle.”

I promise you that, short of you having a severe hormonal imbalance or working out like an Olympic athlete, you will simply not “bulk up.” The female body is designed to preserve a higher percentage of fat than the male body. Further, it takes more calories to support a pound of muscle than a pound of fat. So your body will burn more calories even at rest if you have a greater percentage of lean muscle tissue. Muscle is your friend in fitness!

Dr. Janice Staab is a life coach and philosophical counselor who helps clients navigate change and transition in life. Learn more about her practice at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

Mental Maps: Finding Direction in Your Life

Ever been lost on an unfamiliar highway with no road signs in sight? No one direction seems any more right than the others. All you have to go on are your instincts and a 10 year old road map.

Regardless of how determined you are to find your way or how honed your instincts may be, 10 years is a long time. Some of the roads shown on an old map may have washed out years ago. Others may have evolved from two lane highways into eight lane freeways. An outdated map wouldn’t be of much help..

Without knowing the current lay of the land, the likelihood of taking a wrong turn increases exponentially. In turn, the likelihood of actually getting where you want to go plummets.

The same is true of the inner mental maps we carry with us. Our inner maps plot out our well-worn habitual paths of thinking and feeling. We have traveled down these paths many times and think we know, for good or ill, what to expect of them. These are the secure paths to which we automatically turn for answers when faced with a new situation or potential change.

In attempting to navigate new situations, however, we need a mental map that will take into account both our past experiences and our most recent growth. The tried and true must be mixed with the novel and original to give us the widest range of future options. Yet, it’s easy to become complacent in or just comfortable with what we know, whether it gets us where we want to go or not.

Before you embark on any new personal journey, be sure your inner maps can get you there. Here are some suggestions for keeping your mental maps up to date.

First, trust the parts of your inner map that you know are still reliable. Just because you have not found the answers you seek yet, do not assume you’ve learned nothing in the process of trying. Look for landmarks along the way like greater happiness… like a relaxed attitude or greater energy … that show you when you were moving in the right direction.

Second, know and avoid your dead end roads. We all have those diets, resolutions and goals that we go back to time and time again. We don’t keep going back to them because they are worthwhile. We keep going back because we have failed at them repeatedly. The more we fail, the more we convince ourselves that finally accomplishing this thing we have dreaded and hated for years is the only way to be successful.

If you drove down a road and saw a dead end with no signs of houses or human life, you would not stay on the road hoping to find a town. Do in your mental life what you’d no doubt do in the car. Get off the dead end, turn around and go in a different, more helpful direction!

Third, if the path really starts to resemble a maze, just keep making left turns and you’ll get out eventually. We’ve all heard this little bit of folk wisdom applied to physical mazes. But it works for mental mazes as well.

In this case, the left turn indicates a move that is counter to your reflex, knee-jerk responses. Every successful change entails at least a small amount of risk. You may need to begin your journey with a “dip your toe in the pool” level of risk rather than a “naked skydiving” level of risk. But that’s OK.

Start from where you are with small steps. Any time you feel stuck and unable to make further progress, get unstuck making a move you would ordinarily hesitate to make … or even one you are convinced you can’t make. Such little risks will probably not get you 100% of the way to your goal. But they will get you in the habit of acting outside your comfort zone. And that will open up a host of new options for you.

Finally, know where you want to go. Most people would never think of getting in the car and just driving until good fortune lands them in a place they want to be. But this is precisely what many of us do when attempting to change our lives.

We go to the bookstore’s self help section, close our eyes and point. The first random book our fingers touch … or the one with the most intriguing cover art … becomes our written guru for the next few months.

Some of us do a little bit better by getting recommendations from our friends and family. But no matter how well a program, a method or an adviser works for someone else, every person is unique. Choosing your path by chance instead of by choice will can produce only accidental success.

Your change process requires a solution suited to you. Do not just set the goal that you’re “supposed” to set. Take time to decide what you really want from your life. Maybe you don’t really care if you lose 25 pounds, but you do want to feel better when you wake up each morning. Maybe you don’t care if you ever go back to school, but you would like to make more money.

Set goals that are driven by your own personal and specific needs and desires. Even if you end up in a confusing maze of choices along the way to attaining them, you’ll end up in a better place.

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

 

Change Your Habits and Change Your Life! Part I

All of us have tried to change some personal habit.  And at some point or another, we’ve all failed at the attempt!  Let’s take a quick tally. How many of you made a New Year’s resolution that didn’t make it to February? Perhaps the motivation to change was just not there. With all the energy spent on family, friends, work and home, there was nothing left for you by the end of the day. Maybe, in spite of being diligent, committed and motivated, you still haven’t seen any tangible results.  You vowed to put your heart and soul into changing, but still live exactly the same way you did before. The changes you want seem further out of reach; but that nagging sense of failure is closer and more real.

Wouldn’t it just be easier to eat the cupcake, to grab the cigarette or the TV remote and to lie comfortably in the embrace of these “old friends”?  Of course it would be easier! But don’t throw in the towel and take up the cookies just yet!  Instead, consider another reason why your new habit may not have taken hold.  It’s outnumbered!  Your new habit is only a tiny fraction of your total Self.  The rest of You is made up of memories, experiences, emotions, ideas and other deep-seated habit patterns.  In the face of all this, a new habit is weak and vulnerable.  Like a little child trying desperately to navigate the first day at a new school, it does not know where, how or if it fits into your life. Your new habit has not existed long enough to form alliances with other parts of You. Thus, it does not yet have the immediate support it needs to be successful.

Your old habits, on the other hand, have formidable allies.  They are entrenched in the vital activities of your body, mind and spirit. You have repeatedly allowed them to influence and be influenced by many other aspects of your life.  Emotional stress, for example, may cause you to indulge in chocolate a little too freely.  The craving for chocolate arises with each stressful day and throws a road block in your path.  In doing so, that craving is allied with every Oreo you’ve ever eaten just to feel better, every time you’ve told yourself “It’s hopeless.  I am a chocoholic” and every self-defeating emotion you’ve felt after surrendering to the sugar urge. As much as you may want to change, you have devoted a lot of time, energy and attention to growing your current set of habits. They are strong and stable and will not go down without a fight.  That is the bad news.

What’s the good news?    Whether intentionally or not, you are the one who mobilized your resources to create the set of habits you now have. Your old habits are strong and stable because you made them that way!  Even better, the same resources you used to solidify your old habits can be mobilized to create any new habit you wish. These resources fall into six primary categories that can be represented by the acronym H*A*B*I*T*S:  Habitat, Affect, Body, I, Time and Socialization. We’ll talk about the first 2 of these categories here.

Habitat:   All habits have habitats. They live and grow in certain specific places and environments with little, if any, resistance. In their native habitats, established habits exert the most automatic control over a person’s behavior. Often this control manifests in the form of “triggers,” or prompts that cause habits to spring into action. In the words of Psychologist William James, “habit diminishes the conscious attention with which our acts are performed.”

A warm bed on a Saturday morning, for example, triggers laziness much more effectively than a roller coaster. The couch in front of the TV is a great cue for the munchies. Some triggers are not as obvious since their power depends upon the specific experiences of the individual concerned.  For instance, the same college classroom may be frustrating for one who barely passed high school, but exciting for one who excelled in her studies. Understanding which habitats perpetuate your limiting habits is a crucial first step in the change process. Start by asking yourself these questions.

1.  Where do my negative habits thrive?  In what locations do I almost always give in to them?  Where do my helpful habits thrive?

2.  What negative habit triggers do I experience in these places? What places trigger my positive habits?

3.  Where do I feel powerless to change my negative habits?

4.  How could I begin to change these places to make them less supportive of my negative habits and more supportive of the habits I want to create?

Affect:   Affect is just a fancy word for emotion. All habits produce emotional consequences somewhere in your life. This may mean that a habit actually generates a positive emotion within you. However, it can just as easily mean that the habit helps you to avoid or lessen the impact of a negative emotion. The longer and more intensely a habit is practiced, the greater its emotional payoff (for good or ill) will become. Begin to assess the emotional pull of your current habits by asking yourself these questions:

1.  What emotions do I experience before, during and after I act on my negative habits?  Do my habits give me comfort?   Do they challenge me?  Do they offer affirmation? Convenience? Consistency? Do they help me to make sense of my life?

2.  Do I really want or need to cultivate these emotions in my life?  If so, is there way for me to do so without acting on my negative habits?

3.  If not, what emotions would I choose to cultivate instead?

4.  What positive emotions would best support the habits I want to develop?

We’ll discuss the other 4 aspects of habit in upcoming posts. Until then, begin to examine your own habits (the ones you like and the ones you could do without) to see how both habitat and affect contribute to their strength.

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

Train Your Mind for a Marathon!

Aside from a few minor updates, the following post was written while I was training to run my first marathon. OK, it’s a repeat. But at this time of year when New Year’s resolutions begin to fade and motivation wanes, I hope these reflections on meeting a challenge head on will help you stay on or get back on track to your goals!

It’s a little over a month into my marathon training and I’m happy to report that, in spite of the heat and one minor injury, my training is on schedule. That training involves some pretty strict exercise, nutrition and hydration requirements. But in the past few weeks, I have begun to see that accomplishing a physical goal necessitates training the mind as intensely as you train the body.

Case in point. I had planned to do a 10 mile run one Sunday morning when the meteorologist promised me nothing but blue skies and a breezy 70 degrees only the night before. The meteorologist lied.

Even though I got out pretty early in the day (well, early for me), the sun was already beating down and the thermometer was at 83 and climbing. It topped 91 by the end of my run. I did have enough sense to take a hydrator with me, so I had plenty of ready fluids. But the promised breeze was not to be found. Add to this the fact that I was travelling and hadn’t run in this area recently. I was primed for problems.

The simplest 10 mile route I found was more hill-infested than anything I had run to date. Sure, I had been doing some hill training. But the hill segments I had done up to that point had always been balanced out with some flatter segment to allow my legs to recover.

On this route, there was nothing but steep ups and steep downs as far as the eye could see. The first big hill just kept going on for 1.5 miles. I had run this route a few years ago, but failed to recall just how steep this particular stretch was.

Most of the time, I was just running short uphills followed by the same distance downhill … over and over again for the remainder of the 10 miles. Working into this kind of terrain more gradually would have been the smarter option. But I had set out my course and was determined to complete it.

After 4 miles of this, I really felt myself getting tired. Scanning my body to find the source of the fatigue, I found no cause for it. My legs were feeling strong. The same was true for my arms and my core. My breathing was even and smooth. My heart rate was steady. I had no pain anywhere and it was not the heat.

Out of this moment of confusion, the answer hit me. When I saw the temperature climbing earlier that morning, my first reaction was frustration. I was counting on the weather not hindering my progress. The weather didn’t have to hinder me at all. But somewhere inside, I assumed it would.

To my dread over the weather, I added my uncertainty about the hills. I had no such uncertainty when I planned the route in the first place. But when one doubt about my performance came to mind, another followed closely upon its heels.

 I realized that before I was able to get out and run, I had spent a good two hours dwelling on how difficult the run would be. And guess what? It was difficult!

If I was going to get to mile 10, I needed to change the game plan. So, I began to center my mind on images and thoughts that would generate positive emotions about this run and confidence in myself.

I began to treat each hill as a mini-run in itself. Every time I got to the top of a hill, I celebrated that accomplishment as though I had just completed a marathon. I pictured a giant abacus (some of you still know what those are, right?) and saw myself moving one red ball from the left side of the abacus to the right for every hill I climbed.

I also had a couple of little songs running through my head. “I Feel Good” was a helpful reminder. Sometimes, I changed the words to “I love hills.” Felt like a lie at first. But after awhile, I began to enjoy completing the hills. To the tune of “Jimmy Cracked Corn,” I found myself singing “Yes it’s hot, but I don’t care.” I even pulled out a couple of inspiring hymns.

Silly as this may sound out of context, it worked. The tiredness faded and I was ready to finish the run as strong as ever. It was not my fastest time. But by the end of the run, I knew that I had another 10 miles in me in spite of the heat and hills. To go from thinking I might not get through 5 miles to running 10 and feeling like I wanted to run 10 more shows the power of changing your mental focus.

During this particular run, I was reminded of three truths. First, I am incredibly physically strong. Secondly, I am also incredibly stubborn when I set my mind to something. Finally and most importantly, neither my strength nor my stubbornness can accomplish anything if I am replaying negative messages in my mind.

Mind over matter is more than just a challenge to exert better self-control. It is a simple fact of human life. One way or another, your mind will tell your body what to do and your body will be inclined to listen. Be sure, in whatever you are training for, that you are sending the message your body needs to hear!

Dr. Janice Staab is a philosophical counselor and life coach. For more information on her services or to schedule your free consultation, e-mail info@lifesignscoaching.com. You can also check out her Web site at www.lifesignscoaching.com.

 

 

WHAT IS STRENGTHS BASED COACHING?

 Strengths Based Coaching uses your unique talents, experiences, core strengths and values to help you make the changes you want  in your life.

Learn to: 

  • Build Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Identify and Attend to Your Needs and Values
  • Develop Positive Habits that Support the Life You Want
  • Change Negative Self-Talk and Language Patterns
  • Set and Achieve Personal and Professional Goals
  • Organize your Life, Space and Time to Fit your Needs
  • Create a Wondrous New Life or Second Career
  • Navigate Complicated Life Transitions Such as Divorce, Job Change, Empty Nest
  • Make Time and Space for Yourself in Your Life!

     Dr. Staab will help you to see the power of your personal strengths to change your limiting habits and to create fulfilling ones. From there, her motivational one-on-one coaching will guide you to the life and lifestyle you know you deserve!

Janice Staab, Ph.D.

Philosophical Counselor * Life and Career Coach

info@lifesignscoaching.com

www.lifesignscoaching.com         www.facebook.com/lifesignscoaching  

Call today for your free initial consultation!

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