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One Step Forward

I want you to ask yourself,“what is the smallest step I can take towards achieving my life vision today?”

That’s right, not the biggest step, the smallest. What is the one tiny, smallest, littlest thing you can do today that seems almost silly it’s so easy?  But if you do that one thing it is moving in a direction that will put you a little closer to achieving your life vision.

Do you want to write a book? Go back to school? Start your own business?  If you wanted to write a book, maybe the smallest thing you could do today is buy a book about how to write a book.  Tomorrow the smallest step might be to read the first page of that book.

If you want to start a business maybe the smallest thing you can do is pick out one business in your competitive space to do research on.  Don’t actually do the research; just pick out the company you are going to research.

You might be saying to yourself, really Wendy?  If I only the read the first page of a book, I won’t ever get done. But the reality is you will get done, because you’ve gotten started, and getting started is the most important part of creating your vision life!

For those of you wanting to a new career, we are talking about pretty ambitious goals, right? We’re talking about changing our lives, discovering what we really love doing and building our lives around our passion! Obviously you’re going to love life a lot more if you’re spending your time doing what you love.

Unfortunately, I know for many of us we have so many obligations: kids, spouses, parents, family, work, mortgages, bills, etc., that it seems almost impossible to make radical life changes! After all, we’re so busy and exhausted just getting through the day how in the world are we going to have time to develop and implement an action plan for doing what we want in life? It’s just too much, right? Maybe it’s easier to just keep doing what we’ve been doing? After all, we’re getting by aren’t we?

Don’t buy into to that lie your mind is trying to sell you!  There is a reason you are reading this; you want more for your life. You want to live a life of passion but maybe you don’t know how to take that first step. Well you’re not alone. It wasn’t long ago that I was having trouble getting started myself in making part of my vision a reality.  I had seen a global yoga community; helping millions lead a Yoga Life.  I was so busy working though that I couldn’t think straight. I was moving so fast and realized I was creating too many big goals.  I didn’t know how to start. Well, then a coaching partner shared with me a concept called “Kaizen.”

This one concept has had a profound life altering impact on my life, and it’s what helped me take the first step to living the life of my dreams. If you aren’t familiar with it,Kaizen is the Japanese technique of achieving great change through small, steady steps.

There are lots of good books out there that explain Kaizen in great detail if you want to venture to the book store, but the essence of the concept is something we’ve all heard a million times: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step.”-  Lao Tzu.

The problem with this old saying is it really doesn’t help us in our everyday lives. Let me give you  a specific example from the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.   One example from Dr Maurer’s book really blew me away.   One of his clients had been overweight all her life and had tried every diet regimen known to mankind. Unfortunately, nothing had worked for her or if it had it was only temporary and she put the weight she lost right back on (sound familiar?).

The problem was that like most of us, this person wanted immediate change. She looked at magazines, watched the pretty models on the television commercials and wanted to look like them. When her body didn’t morph to satiate her need for immediate gratification, she became discouraged and gave up. She thought and planned in large chunks and did not break down her goals into small achievable tangible steps.

This is where Kaizen makes all the differenceDr. Maurer reset her expectations. He told her not to think about losing the weight, but he asked her what was the one smallest thing she could do every day that would be different than what she was doing and would be a step in the right direction.

They agreed that while she was watching television in the evening that during one 60 second commercial instead of sitting down, she would stand up and walk in place. Not run, not walk for 5 minutes, but just walk for one minute. He asked her to do this for two weeks, nothing more. At the end of two weeks she had no problem moving to two minutes. At the end of four weeks she had no problem moving to five minutes. You can guess the rest. That’s right, at the end of a year this client had totally changed her lifestyle and she didn’t even notice the difference! Her steps were so gradual she snuck right past any thoughts of resistance that might ordinarily have held her back.

If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t give up, scale back the size of your steps and make your steps so small that you can barely notice an effort.  According to Dr. Maurer: “when the steps are small enough, the mind will usually take over and leapfrog over obstacles to achieve your goal.” 

So, back to the beginning. What is the smallest thing you can do today that is a step towards your vision life? Make it so small you can’t help but accomplish it. Get started on your journey today!

Namaste,

Wendy (Adrenazen Coach & Co-Founder Yoga Guardian™…YES, my global yoga community has come to life!)

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If you are in the job search market, you have inevitably heard about creating your 30 second elevator pitch for networking purposes.  But how far has that that pitch gotten you?  As a recap, the old elevator pitch is a quick highlight of your work experiences and key successes (aka: abridged resume).

But, what if you have decided to shift your career focus a bit or even — “gasp” — change your career to truly align with your dreams?  Where can you pull the data for that pitch if you don’t have direct work experience? Yes, you absolutely have several transferable skills, but will those get the attention of the person listening to your pitch?  

Here is a way for them to really hear you–put the passion behind your message and start speaking to your natural talents in your personal brand. With the competition seeming even greater for the career changers, ignite the passion within your personal message and unlock the secret to differentiating you from all the rest.

It will not only get you in the door for an interview, but you will be “the competition”.   And you will make the jobs of any recruiter and hiring team a cinch, since often their final decision factor between the last two candidates is typically made on “fit” and personality.  Since you will lead the interview with your personal brand, which has a component of why you are really there along with your vision, they will be able to see how you are the perfect person for the role.  Now, let’s get started with creating your personal “passionate” brand.  Get your free consultation with Wendy.

Wendy is a current career and life coach at Feroce and former HR professional. Read more about her.

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Sarasota, FL Addiction Recovery Coach, Dr. Christina Winsey: “Do you suspect alcohol may be a bigger problem for you than you thought?”  Do you suspect that you have a dual addiction: food and alcohol?  Do you think your problem is that you just need to lose weight, but you don’t want to have to give up alcohol or wine?

There is nothing wrong with celebrating the New Year with the bubbly. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a glass or two of wine with dinner. So when does alcohol become a real problem?  How do you know you’re addicted?  How do you know if you’re addicted to food or to alcohol?

I’m Dr. Christina Winsey, a Sarasota-Florida-based Addiction Recovery Coach.  Many of my clients don’t even realize, nor do they want to admit, when alcohol or food are big parts of the problems they are facing in life.  Using an addictive substance to “deal with life” is never a strategy that works for long.  It is inevitable that addiction ends up destroying the very careers, relationships and health and lives we really want. 

Is alcohol affecting your life?

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Foods you can't stop eating

 

 

 

As an addiction recovery coach I work with men and women from all over the Country by phone.  These clients may have any kind of addiction, though alcohol and food are the most common ones people turn to coaching for.  Some have two or more addictions, (sometimes a combination of food and alcohol).

Many come to coaching saying they want to lose weight, and they get surprised to learn that alcohol may be one of the major causes of their extra pounds.  But they also then realize that giving up that alcohol is much more difficult than they ever realized.

Do any of these three profiles fit you?

*Weight is a challenge because over the years you became more sedentary but your eating habits remained hearty (filled with rich, high calorie foods).  You want to lose weight but you don’t want to give up alcohol or at the very least, you want to be able to enjoy wine with their dinners – and not just a glass, but a bottle a night.  Weight has packed on over the years and now you are even afraid to look in the mirror.

*You are beginning to get hangovers more frequently and your drinking amounts have increased.  You look for excuses to go out and party, and the partying always seems to include lots of food, and perhaps some behaviors you’re not too proud of.  Perhaps you’ve been late to work, or you just aren’t on “top of your game” like you used to be.  Maybe you know that alcohol is becoming a problem for you and you are worried that you really can’t stop. 

*You binge on carbohydrates (sugary foods, cakes, cookies, deserts, pastas and breads) and this has become a big problem.  Make no mistake; these carbohydrate foods are equally addictive in nature.  Wine or alcohol  go with the overeating “territory” and you have noticed how, over the years, you are drinking more and more.   You have tried many diets, including the “drinking man’s diet,” but nothing has really worked for you to keep the weight off, and you are still craving at least a couple of drinks a day. 

It may be one of these or anotherWhatever the case, don’t go it alone in your quest for health, recovery and real change.

Four  Vital Keys to Recovery:

What does it really take to recover from addiction, and to stay in recovery?  There are four absolutely vital keys to recovery that should be incorporated into any program you embark on.  These are: commitmentstructure, support with accountability and a whole-person approach

Commitment.  When a client comes to a treatment program, to addiction recovery coaching or therapy it must be he or she who is making the commitment to recovery for the long haul.  One of my favorite sayings about recovery is “The only way out is through.”  In other words, there are no short-cuts.  There is no skipping around addiction.  Recovery is process that you have to go through and there are specific steps to be taken.  Without real commitment that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” recovery will be a fleeting thing.  Diets, and swearing off the booze are not a long-term answer, as we all know.

Structure eliminates guessing games as to what is expected.  Structure provides a framework that creates order from what may have previously been a real chaos.

Support and accountability go hand in hand and are probably two of the most important aspects to successful recovery.  In addiction the ego plays a strong role in holding you captive, so to speak, to the addiction.  The ego says “I can do this myself.”  So many times addicts tell themselves they’ll stop tomorrow and promise themselves that “If I really wanted to stop I would.”  But without support and accountability to another person or program these are usually idle words that never translate into reality.  It is not weak to need support.  Asking for support is actually a sign of strength – a sign that the ego is softening.

A whole-person approach to recovery means that it is vital to consider all aspects of you, of your life and what makes you tick, and to what makes your life work.  Since addition is a multi-pronged problem affecting mind, body, spirit, emotions and all aspects of your life,there are tools, skills and techniques that address these different aspects of you and your life must be included in a long-term recovery plan.

Addiction Recovery-Life  Coaching

Addiction recovery  is not as simple as “just say ‘No’!”  This specialty arm of life coaching requires special training.  Recovery requires  a strong and structured recovery plan that may well incorporate community addiction recovery resources, and/or other professionals, as necessary.  An addiction recovery coach is not a therapist.  Utilizing both coaching and therapy together may be recommended.  Most important is that you, the client, are committed to the process for the long haul.  At least a solid year of following a structured recovery program or plan is highly recommended.

Some free resources can assist you in discovering whether you may have an alcoholic addiction pattern.  Alcoholics Anonymous has a questionnaire which may help you decide whether you are in trouble with alcohol.  It is not a questionnaire with which to diagnose yourself as an alcoholic, but it is a strong indication that alcohol is a problem in your life.  http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=71 American Society of Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria: http://www.asam.org/PatientPlacementCriteria.htmlOvereater’s Anonymous has telephone and online meetings, as well as in-person meetings in your town.  http://www.oa.org/meetings/find-a-meeting-online.phpPsychologists who specialize in serious eating disorders: http://www.findapsychologist.org/eating_disorders.html

Recovery isn’t an easy path.  There are habits to change and cravings to deal with.  There may even be medical issues that must be addressed.  But if you are suffering and if it is affecting your job, your relationships or your success in life, you owe it to yourself to catch the problem now and start to turn it around.

* * * * *

Recover with an experienced coach:  Dr. Christina Winsey practices as an addiction recovery coach, alternative health coach, weight loss coach, and life and confidence coach.  You can receive a free consultation with Dr. Christina Winsey:  http://www.ferocecoaching.com/contact/free-coaching-consultation/

Our addiction recovery coach serve clients in Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, New York City, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Madison, Milwaukee, NYC, Washington D.C., San Diego, Denver, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Honolulu, Baltimore, Boston, Kansas City, Omaha, Las Vegas, Newark, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Portland, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Jose, Phoenix, Tucson, Tampa, Olympia, Spokane, Tacoma, Palo Alto, Pasadena, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Greenwich, Hartford, New Haven, Albuquerque, Austin, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Eugene, Salem, and many more!

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Los Angeles Life Coach Laura Asks: Do New Year’s Resolutions Work?

A Life Coach or Career Coach Can Make the Difference

You know the drill.  It’s the new year and you have a new resolve to lose the weight,  start exercising, quit smoking, begin meditating, etc.  Or maybe this year you’re resolved to finish the book you’ve been dabbling with, or get that promotion that’s overdue, or navigate a transition to a new, more meaningful career – one that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning.

You start off strong. This is the year you’re going to do it. After six weeks or so, you’ve built up some momentum and confidence. You’ve started to make some progress and you’re feeling good. And then March rolls around. Distractions surface. Stuff happens to usurp your time and money. It’s tax time after all.  Or maybe fear and doubt creep in. Old patterns of thinking sabotage your progress. You tell yourself this is temporary and when the weather gets warmer, you’ll re-double your efforts and start anew.

Now it’s summer and you’re back on it. The sun is out, the weather is warm and you’re feeling optimistic. You’re going to stick to it this time. You start to regain the momentum from earlier in the year. Then as the weather turns colder, stuff happens again. More distractions. Life gets increasingly hectic as the holidays approach. And when the holidays hit, you tell yourself:  “Just get through the holidays.”

You decide to table everything until the new year…and then the cycle begins again.

If all of this sounds familiar, then hiring a life coach, career coach or spiritual coach might be the way to go this year. One of the reasons why coaching works is that it’s a support structure that holds you accountable for your progress. Life coaching and career coaching (as well as other types of coaching such as spiritual, business, relationship, etc.) keeps you focused when will power waxes and wanes and distractions deter your progress. And on a deeper level, coaching works because it helps you to dissolve the soundtracks from the past which sabotage your future.  Since I began coaching in 2005, I have found that fear and doubt are the two biggest reasons why people don’t achieve their goals. Distractions are the third.

But life coaching or career coaching is not meant to be a permanent support structure.  A good life coach or career coach strives to coach you to independence – not dependence. So a skillfully trained coach works with you to create other, long-term support structures to help you not only attain your goals but sustain them, long after the coaching is over.

Resolve this year to make your resolutions work. Give yourself the support to attain and sustain your progress throughout the year so you can make 2011 the time in which you achieve the personal and professional success that has eluded you in the past.

Posted by Laura Svolos, Certified Professional Coach and Swami of Kriya Yoga specializing in life, career, relationship and spiritual/wellness coaching.

Take the first step in making your resolutions work, schedule a free consult with Coach Laura.

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The Story: During a recent chat with a friend, he said “you called at the perfect time, I was having a zen moment”.  A zen moment…ahhh…you can visualize it right? I am sure he was walking along a free flowing creek, listening to the sound of the water rushing over the rocks, and gazing at the sun shining through the treas.  Oh, and I am sure he was sipping a cup of tea, listening to the birds sing, and watching his dog bound up ahead through the tall grass.  Wait!  That is my zen moment.

I created that zen place in my mind years ago as I was searching for ways to find peace in the midst of a crazy chaotic day. How do you find zen moments as life challenges come rushing towards you?  Where is your zen place that will instantly bring a feeling of peace to you?  Remember, you don’t have to physically be there…you just have to dream a little…be creative…and take yourself to your zen place for a moment of peace anytime.  Yes, you can even go there while sitting at your desk pounding away at work tasks.

Coaching moment: Take some time to visualize your zen place.  Etch it in your memory and visit it anytime.  You will feel an instant sense of peace and maybe; just maybe…it will give you an opportunity to approach the challenges placed before you with ease and grace.  Get your life coaching consultation from Coach Wendy now.

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As a Parenting Coach and Parent, Stepping Back and Looking at the Forest While Implementing Your Action Plan is Key

Parenting is the hardest job in the world.  Keeping an objective focus, bouncing ideas off of an objective third party, and keeping it all in perspective is key to sanity – and good parenting.  Having a parenting coach sounds goofy to some – it did to me.  But, really being able to keep perspective and to help talk through ideas to improve your skills in one of (if not the) most important job in your life – doesn’t sound so silly when the job and the joy of parenting is put in perspective.

Let me put my money where my mouth is, and share a very personal story that led me to believe that investing in a parenting coach will result in more confidence, better parenting (which in part is from confidence), more well-rounded kids, and perspective.  Here is my story:

When we got the news, we were sitting at a gas station – somewhere in West Virginia.  We were on the way to Williamsburg – a week vacation that we had planned for a long time.  It was hot and humid, and we had been driving for only a couple of hours on our second day of travel.  The kids were all awake, had been well behaved, and they were all laughing.  Henry, of course, had the loudest and deepest chortle – with a smile from ear to ear.  His laughter and happiness are infectious, and really have been a medicine for all of us. 

As I climbed back in the van, having gassed up, with the kids laughter in the background, Kristen was on the phone.  The conversation was serious, but Kristen, as she always does, brought comfort to the caller – she was gracious and kind – knowing at some level how difficult it was for Shirley to deliver the news that afternoon.  I quieted the kids down, and soon wish that I hadn’t.  Quieting the laughter, in retrospect, was so wrong. 

I knew Shirley; she was Henry’s neurologist’s assistant – she was to call about his biopsy results.  Before Kristen got off the phone, I knew the news.  I am no sleuth.  Kristen talked about the team that would be assembled, she talked about scheduling, and was being given websites to browse.  His biopsy confirmed the feared diagnosis.  Henry has a mitochondrial disease.  When Kristen pressed, Shirley specified that he had a form of the Complex 1 mitochondrial disease. 

To receive the news at a gas station somewhere in West Virginia was ironic and definitely consistent with our journey.  For years, we had been in search.  In search for answers, a diagnosis, a treatment, a reason.  And, we had seen dozens of doctors, in many hospitals, in three states all across the country.  We moved, in part, to be close to the program where Henry could get the treatment.  And in that program, they tell us that he has a much bigger problem. Our poor little Henry sent off again to more (and different) doctors for more tests, more procedures, more unknowns.  So, after all of this, we sit at a gas station in West Virginia to be given the diagnosis.  Right now, it is an answer (though not the one we wanted), that creates so many more questions.  The journey continues.

When Kristen got off the phone, we did not lose our cool.  I said “he has it.”  Kristen nodded, and we started a movie for the kids.  In our own bubble in the front of the car, with Scooby Doo muting our conversation, Kristen told me her conversation.  The most I remember from those several minutes were my impression that Shirley was kind in her delivery.  The type of kindness that we never wanted to have to face.  And hadn’t before.  She told Kristen that Henry would be a candidate for the Mitochondrial Clinic, and that we would have an appointment with the neurologist, geneticist, and a genetics counselor.  She also said not to despair – that everyone responds differently and that there could be development in the field.

Those later comments took me back to Dr. DeGraw (Henry’s neurologist) comment to me when I pressed him about prognosis – if Henry had a mitochondrial disease.  He told me not to research it, not to cross the bridge before we get there, that medicine is miraculous, but “to answer your question, the prognosis is not good.  There is no cure, and there are no survivors so far.”

The kids engrossed with Scooby, Kristen and I used the gas station parking lot as our internet library.  Both of us on our Blackberries, we went to the site that Shirley directed us to.  Like with many things, Kristen was faster than I.  At first, when she said “Complex 1,” I thought she said it is a “complex one” meaning difficult.  So, I am slow.  She grabbed my hand and said, it is neuro-degenerative and progressive.  Could result in hearing and vision loss – before the mulit-system failure.  The one we didn’t want to have – of course.  Essentially, Henry’s cells do not have the energy necessary to have his organs do what they need to do.  It is system wide, and with age, the energy drops more and more, affecting new systems in different ways, in no particular order.  The disease progresses until there is not enough energy for life function.  So, he will pass with this – unless our prayers are answered (and medicine comes a long way fast).  The fact that several of his systems have already been affected (called early onset) is not a great sign – just from a pure time standpoint.  The literature points out the obvious – the later the onset and the slower the progression, the longer the life expectancy.  But, it is all very individualized.  So, we are not defeated. 

After our internet café parking lot picked up with traffic, we got back on the road.  As tears streamed down her face, I could show no emotion.  My stomach was in knots, and I’m sure that my next questions seemed like what a medical student would ask a mentor – not a father of a sick son.  I asked, “Will he degenerate cognitively?” (as I can’t imagine our smart little boy in that state).  Then, I asked “What about Luke?”  Kristen knew the questions were almost rhetorical, and we just exchanged painful glances.

On the trip, for the first time, we both noticed (though we didn’t discuss for the week) that Henry was quite drained.  He refused to walk, saying he couldn’t for a few days.  The trooper was tired.  Many days, he was too tired to laugh.  Henry, too tired to laugh, was very painful for us.  It could be emphasized because we knew, but it was what it was. 

Our next discussions turned to what we have always come back to – making sure that our family is whole, happy, and complete.  The goal has never changed from the start.  We love our family so much, and are so lucky to have each other.  We are focused on giving all of our kids the most full (but “normal” – whatever that means) life that we can.  The kids are all very happy, and we plan to keep it that way.  There is a bit of an ominous burden in the back of our minds – that we want to make sure we know what full is (we think it is love), and the journey ahead and the time we have is uncertain.  As is whether Luke will also fall victim to the disease, or his recent symptoms (gastrointestinal, eye issues – and his hypothyroidism) are just coincidental.  So, we will take it one step at a time, get Henry his treatments (whatever they may be – there are some experimental ones out there), and cherish every day.

Of course, our story is not unlike many others.  Everyone has a challenge – some more difficult than others.  But, keeping perspective and the eye on the ball – providing the opportunity for a full and happy life (whatever its length) to our children is the lesson here.  I know that as well as anyone.

And the bottom line, our story is just the beginning. What we needed, got and continue to get, were specific ideas and ways to achieve these goals.  Not just the “be happy” goal.  We captured our ideas in starting a non-profit for kids like Henry – Henry’s Hope, Inc. – www.henryshope.org.  That was a specific and effective strategy – that, we as a family, work on.

Good parenting coaches provide specific ideas to try out (we don’t have the answers as there aren’t right and wrong in parenting) – but you deserve someone that has experienced a lot, fouled up, got help, and can provide kind, useful, and helpful insight into the issues we all face as parents.  Choosing to get the help – whether through a parenting coach or other means – is a brave and humbling act as a parent.  Call today for a free consult.

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Most people cringe at the thought of putting one together.  Attorney business development plans are nothing new.  Everyone has told us to do them – from marketing departments to business books.  Even when not told, it seems like a good idea to have a “plan” to get new clients and grow our existing books.  And, over the years, most of us have even created a lawyer marketing plan.  We might have even felt energized with our creative juices flowing when putting the ideas on paper.   I guarantee you that, when you wipe the dust off those marketing plans, they are filled with some great starting places for building a great book of business.  Another guarantee:  if you develop and implement an effective lawyer marketing plan, you will develop business.

 Most Attorney Marketing Plans Do Not Work

So if they can build our books and most every lawyer has been exposed to attorney development plans, why do they gather dust and never really implemented?  It is really simple – most attorney marketing plans do not work.  Don’t worry – it’s not your fault (mostly anyway).  Though we’re told to put them together, no one is really ever taught how to do it successfully – that is taught by someone who has successfully developed a large book of business because of their personal attorney marketing plan.  (That task, if you ever have gotten guidance, was probably left to a marketing staffer that is well intended, but missing the key experience of closing the deal.)

Here are three tips to develop your own lawyer marketing plan.

Tip 1:  Your Lawyer Marketing Plan Must Set Very Specific and Measurable Goals

As lawyers, we’re taught to think big picture.  Big picture is important and necessary, but successful  lawyer marketing plans require plotting out the details.  Somehow, most lawyer marketing plans are more theoretical than practical.  For example, a plan may be designed to “obtain new defense personal injury cases with injuries in restaurants – through insurance panels and direct contacts.”  That is a great start and the goal is pretty specific, but the plan doesn’t provide guidance.  The “how’s” and “when’s” are left unanswered. 

To answer those questions, a successful attorney development plan will:

Identify each step required to achieve the goal.  This makes us think through the practical steps.  Sometimes it will cause us to re-evaluate the goal (maybe it’s too aggressive or not aggressive enough) early on.  For the above example, our specifics might be:  1) make list of restaurant contacts; 2) research competition that has handled similar matters; 3) research and list insurance carriers; 4) identify adjusters and arrange meetings.

 Set alternative steps for accomplishing the goal.  There are always several paths to a goal, and many times we run into stumbling blocks.  But I have found that those that have a back-up plan or two keep at it and are successful.  If you only have one plan and it doesn’t pan out, you might just give up – feeling you did as much as you could.  In this example, while getting on the “panels” and arrange a meeting with the targets, you might also want to look to provide the adjusters (who make the decision to hire you) with something of value (a training or presentation) that they can pass along to their insureds and your future clients.  This is a win-win proposition and a great back up.

Set regular deadlines for each step – and meet them.  This is critical to success.  And a key that is often overlooked – you must set a task for at least every two weeks.  The key to lawyer marketing is to keep the ball rolling.  You have other deadlines and things going on, but this is a must.  (This is one of the reasons why attorneys hire coaches – we are good at setting productive tasks and following up; sometimes we’ll even help you with your homework!)

Regularly measure performance, and make adjustments.  Looking back at your plan, what you have accomplished, and what you need to do is another key step.  I suggest that you re-evaluate at least monthly or task by task, which should be every two weeks.  Adjust and fine tune as necessary.

Tip 2:  Effective Legal Marketing Must Have Short-Term Results

 Results matter.  To keep your attorney development plan effective and alive, I always suggest that one of your goals is to ensure a short-term success.  And, I don’t define “success” as some feel good; I mean real, bottom line, money in your pocket success.  This is what development is all about, and if you experience short-term success, you are more likely to continue working on lawyer marketing and achieve long-term successes too. 

 These are a couple of short-term goals that I suggest:

 Look at Your Numbers.  If you are like me, when you first heard the term “realization rate,” it triggers the eyelids to lower.  But, when in management, I learned the true definition –  getting paid for what you already do without doing more work.  What?  Yes.  As a development coach, I often set the short-term goal of raising an attorney’s realization rate (bottom line cash in door) by 4-5% within 30 days.  And, I do not take failure well – so, we accomplish that goal over and over.  Again, this is money in your pocket without doing any extra work.  (Call for a free consultation to get working on details.)

 Expand Work For Existing Client.  To be more specific, I work with attorneys in partnering with their existing clients to bring in two more matters (for that client or for one of the client’s contacts) in the first month.  Each relationship is unique and will require a specific game plan, but this is one of the easiest and most satisfying short term goals to accomplish.  (Of course, this short term goal should become a recurring monthly goal as well!)

 Real Accountability Required

Study after study has shown that if you are accountable to someone else, you are more likely to produce results.  More surprisingly, people are even more accountable to people they don’t know as well – maybe the excuses won’t work.  Of course, we believe that this is where coaching is key.  You have an objective, outsider that has built a large book of business that is willing to share these methods and keep you on track.  Well worth the money invested.  Even if we are not the right fit, we think hiring an experienced coach is essential.

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Painting by Vytas

As children we are introduced to the wonderful practice of wishing.  Crossing all cultures and standing the test of time, we all dream of making our wishes come true.   

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

Performed by Jiminy Cricket

Children of all ages delight in wishing upon a star, and the practice of wishing wells are well known to help you buy luck and fortune.  “The tradition of making a wish with a coin has been passed down through generations by socialization, evolving from a religious ritual into a fun, yet superstitious, cultural practice.”

However, vague and generalized wishing just doesn’t work.  If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this article, you would be enjoying the luscious pleasures of being in paradise, on a tropical island, or other versions of your own personal Shangri-La.  

Wishing for something that deep down you know will never happen is a waste of time and energy, unless you use it strictly for entertainment purposes.  So, imagine that you wish someday to be working for yourself but in your heart of all hearts, you haven’t a clue how this miracle of all miracles could occur, and better yet, you don’t have one shred of belief that it could happen.  You feel blocked but still keep wishing.  Similar to throwing a seed into a garden, hoping something blooms. 

We just celebrated the New Year’s holiday and many of you habitually wrote down all your New Year’s resolutions.  How many times have you written down the same goal and nothing changed?  You always seem to get the same results.  I’m here to suggest an alternative. 

Before you can initiate the powerful wishing cycle, it would be helpful to do some spring-cleaning.  I know what you might be thinking, what strange place am I taking you to?  Stay with me and judge for yourself.  In order to create new momentum and shift patterns that haven’t been working, I recommend creating some space in your life to allow possibilities. 

One way to start this process gently is to release one blip from your radar screen.  By following this process, you will functionally remove this item from your immediate sphere of influence.

The process:  1. Write down whatever you would like to leave behind in 2006. This could be a practice, a pattern, type of food, etc.
2. Safely burn the piece of paper outside and watch the flames of fire reduce this paper to ash. You can also shred the paper, for safety reasons.
  The key is to watch it disintegrate and vanish from your life.

Feroce’s Certified Assessments’ Coach, Merrilee Olson-Axtell first introduced me to this technique.  While celebrating New Year’s Eve at Merrilee’s hacienda, she suggested that we release all the things we wanted to leave behind in 2006 as we moved on to 2007.  One of her guests, a very perceptive 6-year-old little girl had real difficulty identifying what she wanted to remove for 12 months.  Remember when you were six?  Life wasn’t as complicated as it is now, was it?  So, with the help of her Mom and me, she declared that she wanted to stop eating broccoli.  She wrote down the word ‘broccoli’ with her Mom’s help and gleefully threw the paper into the fireplace.  To see the look on her face wearing the biggest grin I have ever seen as the adults toasted, “no more broccoli!” was priceless.  What is the broccoli that you want to remove for 12 months? 

Once you make space for new possibilities, play with the notion of wishing with a focus.  Once you are clear, you can let go of your emotional attachment to the outcomes. 

Brian Tracy suggests â€œclarity accounts for probably 80% of success and happiness. Lack of clarity is probably more responsible for frustration and underachievement than any other single factor. You could even say that the three keys to high achievement are, “Clarity, Clarity, Clarity.” Your success in life will be largely determined by how clear you are about what it is you really, really want.” 

Being open and receptive will allow opportunities to emerge that you would have never thought possible.  Wishing with a focus means you will receive more of what you focus on!  Try it and see.

Need help getting clear about what you really want?

William Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,” and we are all actors playing a role.  The art of play fosters creativity, encourages fun and believe it or not, actually produces amazing results. 

Ready to join me and play?

Your creativity coach, Wanda.

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If You Hear the Message Three Times, LISTEN
by Patricia Heller
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
283 pages
Reviewed by Coach Bradley
If You Hear the Message is a highly readable and inspiring account of Patricia Heller’s transformation of suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) to becoming a spiritual and self aware healer. She takes us on a journey from curing her ‘incurable’ illness to investigating healing hands, past life regression, shamanism, manifesting greatness, automatic writing, heart centred transformation, her inner gypsy woman and many more. The book is actually an excellent survey of the healing arts in America over the past fifteen years.

The title refers to what she calls “listening to the universe”. When you hear the same message three times, it is time to pay attention. She gives several examples of when she heard messages three times before she got it. In a heart centred transformation centre in the Arizona desert she heard the teacher tell someone to move her energy to her heart and ‘let it go’. This didn’t make any sense to her at all. The second time she was in awe standing over the Grand Canyon. She turned to her teacher and told her how it was so beautiful it hurt her heart. She was told to ‘let it go.’ She looked at him as if he was an alien. Let go of what, she thought? During a full blown attack of CFS at the centre she was again told to ‘let it go’ when the penny finally dropped. She realized that holding onto her anger was making her physically sick. She had to hear it three times before she was able to really hear it and ‘get it’. That was her last attack of CFS.

In case you are thinking there isn’t a healing art Patricia doesn’t like, rest assured that she approaches them intelligently and with a healthy skepticism that is often absent in books of this type. The road she is on is long and winding, full of insights, pot holes, blind alleys and magnificent vistas. Patricia takes us on the tour with excitement, passion and humility, without trying to make us into converts or convince us that she has found ‘the path’ to enlightenment. In a graceful and humble way, she describes what she found on her own quest for enlightenment and if there is a piece you can take away from it then she has done her job.

Readers are rewarded by Patricia’s insights and warmth; she does an excellent job of writing clearly and extracting the meaning out her experiences. I marveled at her curiosity and capacity to absorb and integrate so many different teachings and to draw important lessons from them that have relevance for a general audience. This book is especially exciting for those who are or who are thinking of going on a similar journey of self discovery.

As a coach I am constantly reminded that it is not the events that shape our lives so much as how we respond to them that is what makes us who we are. This book demonstrates how a woman with spunk, determination, courage, curiosity, a great sense of humour overcame a seemingly hopeless situation and the death of her husband to arrive in a place of wisdom, compassion and happiness.

Bradley Foster is a Gestalt-trained life and leadership coach who lives in Toronto and practices across North America.

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I really love this life balance tip, and I think it is one which bears repeating from time to time.

“Who I am is ENOUGH!”

My friends, I don’t know about you, but in this fast-paced, consumer society of capitalism and racing to the top, most people are walking around feeling as though there is somewhere else they need to be, or someone else they need to be, or that who they are and what they have just doesn’t measure up.

It is so vital to feel good about yourself and your life WHILE you are “going for more gold”

It is so vital to be in a place of peace, acceptance, even gratitude for who and where you are. Being in acceptance does not mean that you don’t try to make changes or improvements. It simply means that you are at peace and in joy just as things are now, AND, that you are happy IN THE PROCESS of working towards being, doing and having more.

I used to spend my life feeling “not enough”. I used to believe I had to prove something. I used to compare myself bitterly to other people and always felt as though I came up short.

It wasn’t until I truly began to embrace all of myself and my life as it was that I then seemed to make big leaps forward.

Most people truly want peace of mind, but they are usually so busy striving for this or that thing or experience or way of being, thinking that THEN they will have peace of mind.

Now I’m not speaking about people in abusive relationships or oppressive situations where there is threat or danger. I don’t believe anyone should accept that kind of situation, nor stay in it.

I’m really speaking about personal growth and personal achievement issues.

My fondest wish for you is that you know that you are ENOUGH just as you are right this very minute! You are good enough! Sure, you may want to spend time improving and growing. And, I guarantee that that growth and improvement will come much easier when you are loving accepting and supporting yourself for who you are, while on the improvement road.

This can be done, and in the process of life balance coaching, clients find that place inside themselves where they realize they can be happy with themselves and they absolutely can and wil create lives they love!

Cheers,

Coach Christina

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