Tag Archives: new year’s resolutions

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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Succeed by Running Your Own Race

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!

The race isn’t always to the swift…. OK, maybe the race was to the swift that day. After all, when the group with which I was running the St. Jude Marathon was at about mile 9, we saw a cluster of young gentlemen across a tree-lined lane from us running four abreast with humiliating (for us, not them) ease and precision toward the finish line. They were certainly swift and one of them took the race.

But in other equally significant respects, that marathon was mine!

I was certainly not among the swiftest in the pack of over 11,000. But there were many runners trudging on far behind me. Some did not finish the race at all. But after 6 hours and 7 minutes, I crossed the finish line to receive my finisher’s medal.

Perhaps the coolest part of the whole finish was that I didn’t just collapse from exhaustion after the race. In order to get out of Auto Zone Park (where they kept the finish line), we had to walk up a long, steep flight of stairs. With no rest save the few seconds it took to get my medal and a bottle of water, I hit the stairs and walked the mile back to my hotel with no problems. It was a nice cool down.

Aside from a couple of blisters, I had no pain at all during or after the race. There was never a time when I felt winded or like I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt physically and mentally strong and capable throughout the course.

I can’t recall a time when I’ve felt more attuned to what my body needed from me. I experienced a kind of internal practical wisdom that let me know when to drink, when to eat, when to speed up and when to slow down.

The most striking example for me was between miles 15 and 16. I felt fine one second and the next, my legs began to shake. I had no other symptoms. My mind was clear and pulse was steady. There was nothing to indicate dehydration or over-hydration.

About 60 seconds of negative thinking and wondering how bad it would look to crawl across the finish line quickly gave way to thought. I had read a ton of material on marathon running (Thank you, Julia!) and knew what might happen during the race. Scanning my memory, I decided that this was most likely a matter of low calories.

I downed four of the GU Chomps (essentially, energy gum drops) I had with me along with two starlight mints. Three minutes later or so, I had a Popeye moment. Energy surged into my legs like spinach into his fists. Suddenly, I was a runner again.

Moral of the story? Train as a whole person, not just a pair of legs. Knowledge really is power! If I had not trained my mind and my body for this race, I would not have been able to turn my negative thinking around so quickly. If I had not read up on marathoning before the race, I would not have known what to do to get my runner’s legs working again.

One other little blip in the race cost me some time. A rather large hill at about mile 11 caused me to fall behind my pace group. I was not the only one who fell back on that hill. I know this because I passed two other pace group members later in the race (and ended up beating both of them).

My mistake was spending about a mile trying to catch up with my group rather than just running my own race from that point. Focusing on the pack instead of myself caused me to wear down my energy reserves. I needed to listen to myself in the present moment, not to an ideal I had set up at the start of the race.

Moral of this story? In life and in marathons, run your own race at your own pace! What works for you may not work for everyone. And what works for others may not work for you. Know what you need out of life and go get it. Whether you are passing people or being passed along the way, you’ll finish stronger if you finish on your terms.

Had I not lost time to those two mistakes (neither of which had to do with how well I ran physically), I was on pace to complete the race in about 5 hours and 30 minutes. I will do better than that next time.

But how far I have come from that woman who wondered if she’d finish a ten mile run to one who considers a half-marathon to be a good training run for the real distance!

I learned a lot about myself and my strengths while training for this marathon. I now know that there is no distance in life or otherwise that I cannot cover if I choose to do so.

So, I choose to run more marathons. I can now confidently speak a phrase seen on many a tech shirt at the Expo the day before the race. 26.2 Miles: Been There, Run That!

My running goals and life goals will continue to be set and attained in 2012. What’s your 2012 plan? What do you want to be able to say in December of 2012? Speak the words in your mind now. Then set up a plan to make them your reality! If I can do it, you can too!

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.

 

Finishing Strong: Staying Focused on Your Life Goals

 

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!

The goal of running 26.2 miles was never really unattainable for me. I’ve always had the basic ability to run the race. However, there were points in my life when, due to a lack of confidence, focus or training, running a marathon seemed like a good or an impossible dream.

All worthy goals are moving targets. And like all worthy goals, my commitment to running the marathon morphed throughout my training. In particular, the greater the distance I became able to run, the greater my desire to go further and faster. The closer I got to race day, the more I found myself plotting which marathon I’d enter next and what the next goal would be.

During the month before the race, allowing my focus to veer off track and on to my next training goal felt uplifting and empowering. But I still had one rather huge hurdle to clear before any new goal made any sense. 26.2 miles. Anything that took my mind off that very tangible goal wasn’t my friend.

Running a marathon isn’t only about feeling good and being successful. Practically speaking, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other repeatedly for a few hours. It is about tackling the cold, the boredom, the distractions, the pains and the doubts with every footfall.

With every step, you have the opportunity to go on or give in. You have the chance to say “This is too much for me” or “I am a match for anything.” Every decision to keep going is a mini victory. And in that sense, every endurance runner wins many races before ever seeing the finish line.

This is perhaps the most useful life lesson in which my marathon training has re-educated me. Having lofty goals and inspiring dreams is an essential part of life. But planning and dreaming do not make it so. No matter how much you wish and want to attain a goal, it will never be yours if it remains merely a figment of your imagination.

There are many adept and practiced dreamers in this world whose fantasies never see the light of day. A lot of people (me for a long time) say it would be cool to run a marathon, but most of them don’t actually do it. Many people imagine what it would be like to own their own businesses, earn college degrees or be in a rewarding relationship. But far fewer folks ever get there.

That’s largely because it’s easier to dream big than to do big. Big doings, unlike big dreams, are composed of hundreds upon hundreds of infinitesimal steps, commitments and re-commitments. Individually, these tiny steps may seem like nothing. But each one is as essential to the accomplishment as any other. Together, they are dreams come true.

There will always be many ways to attain goals and realize dreams. But one inescapable fact remains. Your effort will always be required.

Even if someone plunked a winning lottery ticket in your hand tomorrow and gave you infinite funds to do with as you wish, you’d still have choices to make and actions to take for that money to produce good for you or anyone else. The money might be a convenient tool, but you’d still have to make your own dream happen.

Yes, it’s cool to be able to say I am a marathoner. I know that the training I have undertaken for this experience has changed me in ways that I could never have imagined. And I hope that, perhaps, reading about my experiences has started you thinking about that long time dream goal on your list … and how you might take the initial…and repeated…steps towards accomplishing it.

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.

 

 

Success Tips from a Two-year-old

      While looking through some old holiday photos, I was struck by the confidence I saw on the faces of my nieces. Even as toddlers, every one of them showed more self-assurance and determination than many women I know in their 40’s.

          They’re not alone in this. Look at any young child you know.  Does she show even the slightest doubt about her abilities?  Does she flinch at the thought of having to confront you over whether a second cookie will or won’t soon be in her hot little hands? If you have the courage to scan through photos of yourself at age 2, you’ll likely see that same poise and power.

          In this time of New Year’s dreams (I hesitate to call them resolutions. For many of us, the resolve faded on January and we’re now running solely on high ideals or brute force), can we learn anything from tough-minded toddlers?  Can a child’s approach to life teach us to be successful, indomitable adults?  Allow me to share lessons in success that I’ve learned from watching my nieces’ attempts to understand and conquer their worlds. Since living with joy is so much a part of all of them, I’ll refer to my nieces here collectively as “Joy.”

Celebrate yourself!  Each morning, Joy proudly enters the kitchen, throws her arms in the air and announces to the world “Ta, Da!  I’m up!”  She is thrilled when the sun comes up and is certain that its only reason for being is to light her stage.  Like Joy, greet each new day boldly as if it were made just for you. Celebrate your uniqueness and unique contributions to the human family.

Be a creative problem-solver.  When the basket of Christmas candy was on top of the refrigerator out of Joy’s reach, she wasn’t deterred.  She simply asked her dad to pick her up.  As he did, she gave him a big hug reaching around him to access the candy basket from higher ground!  Do not live with obstacles.  If the path to your success seems blocked, forge a new path.

Know your own power.  Any time I ask Joy whether she has accomplished something she’s been working on, I get one of two answers. “Yes” or “Not YET.” Not yet is no admission of defeat. It’s a clear acknowledgement that eventually she will succeed. She knows nothing of self-doubt. Like Joy, never doubt yourself.  Know that you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind and commit your action.

See life as an opportunity to learn.  For a young mind, the world is an exciting place full of chances to expand and grow.  As soon as the words “what’s that” and “why” enter their vocabularies, kids begin to pepper their experience with questions. Age erodes this excitement. (When was the last time you asked “why?” “Why me?” doesn’t count.) Somewhere between high school and your first 9-5 job, education became a chore instead of a delight. Let 2012 be your year to rekindle your curiosity and love of learning.

Play!!!  Ever watched a child at play?  If so, then you know how a child’s approach to fun differs from an adult’s.  Adults see play as one kind of activity.  For kids, any activity can be playful if you have a playful attitude.  This playful attitude is contagious.  (Tell me you have never made airplane noises while trying to feed a baby strained carrots.)  Promise to take a more playful approach to life in 2012.

Laugh at yourself loud and often.  No sound is more touching than the laugh of a child.  A child’s laughter is pure with no hint of mockery or pride.  The best evidence of this is a child’s ability to laugh as heartily at her own antics as she would at anyone else.  Control your stress in 2012 by laughing at yourself and taking yourself less seriously. 

Ask for help when you need it.  There is no shame in asking for help.  The first cry from the lips of a newborn acknowledges this fact.  It sings, “I cannot live this life by myself.  I must have your help or I will not make it.”  If you have been unable to make the life changes you want on your own, take a cue from your toddler.  Ask someone you trust for help.

Know when to say no.  I really knew how strong two-year-old Joy was the day she disciplined one of my 70lb dogs.  Not happy about the dog licking her on the face, Joy placed one hand firmly on each of the dog’s shoulders, pushed her back and said in no uncertain terms “No”.  Be just as firm in setting boundaries and saying “no” to those people in your life who fail to respect you.

Rest and recharge.  One of the best things about being young is the ability take a nap anywhere you find yourself with no risk of ridicule.  Kids don’t wait until they can schedule a vacation day.  They just rest when they feel the need.  This year, listen to your body’s needs and make healthy rest a part of your success plan.

          All of us were once just as creative about our own lives as children are.  May these tips help you to experience the kind of success in 2012 that our children naturally create every day.

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.

 

 

Reinvent Yourself in 2012!

Like all new years, 2012 is a time of fresh starts, new opportunities and second chances. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to reinvent yourself, now’s the time to give it a whirl.

Maybe you have a childhood dream that still beckons you saying, “Come on. You know you want to try.” Maybe you are burned out from 15 or 20 years in the same job seeing the same people and doing the same things day after day. Or perhaps it’s just that you’ve never quite found a fulfilling career that elevates your spirit.

For many, the drive to reinvent life is more than just a dream. Economic crisis has forced many folks who never thought of pursuing a second career to do so out of necessity. Circumstances may give you no choice but to change. Yet, that does not mean the change will be easy or that the way to change will be clear.

If you want to reinvent yourself but do not know where to start, here are a few suggestions.

Reinventing yourself is an opportunity, not a burden. The need to find a job that pays the bills may be your most immediate motivation for changing. However, it does not have to be the only one. As long as you have to do something different anyway, why not pursue something that will really make you happy?

Spend some time thinking about what you wanted to be when you were young. Those early choices don’t always materialize. But the things we gravitated to as children often point to our core abilities. A little girl who plays school for example, might end up becoming a teacher. But even if she does not, teaching in some form may well be among her basic gifts.

A little boy who loves to color and finger paint may be equipped to become an artist. However, his art may be incorporated into everything from the fine arts to architecture or engineering. Listening to the younger version of yourself might remind you of the life you desired before money became a guiding issue.

Evaluate the positive and negative aspects of your current career. When you are planning to change careers, it may be tempting to focus on the things you dislike about your current situation. But whether you were motivated by a paycheck, enjoyable work or just the chance to work with interesting people, you were drawn into your current job for some very specific reasons.

Do not let the drive to get out of an insecure or soul-sucking job cause you to lose sight of the things you like about your work. Try to find a new career that retains the good things about your present job and jettisons the negatives.

Maximize the joy your new career gives you. Make a list of all the things that bring you joy in life. Include you’re your favorite music, colors, setting and hobbies. Do you crave connection to people or time alone? Do you love the outdoors or are you an AC kind of gal?

Once you have your list, design a job for yourself that will allow you to maximize the number of joys you can experience in any given workday.

Trial and error is OK. You don’t have to hit the job jackpot on the first try. It is OK to give something a shot only to discover it is not for you. Allow yourself that flexibility.

To increase the chances of finding your dream job sooner rather than later, do some research. Read job descriptions online. Look into the backgrounds and commitments of the companies to which you are applying.

Even better, find someone who is already doing the job you think you want. Offer to take this person to lunch or coffee. Those who know the terrain can let you in on the aspects of a career that an outsider might not expect.

The sky is the limit! Reinventing yourself can happen from the neck up or ground up. That is, you can change your thinking or change your life. The choice is yours.

Do not allow what you have done in the past to limit your options for the future. Don’t assume that you can’t own your own business just because you have always worked for other people. Don’t believe that you aren’t the creative type just because you have not yet developed those skills.

You may not be able to join the Olympic bobsled team or become an astronaut. But more options will open up to you when you stop looking for a job that is a clone of the one you are leaving. Expect the sky to be the limit for you and the clouds will begin to part.

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.

 

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