Making a Change

Emptying the Gratitude Jar

My family and I just celebrated the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and this is exactly when we began using our Gratitude Jar last year. I’ve posted about the Gratitude Jar before so forgive me while I fill in those who are unfamiliar with the concept. gratitude jar

I simply placed a large mason jar on my kitchen counter, put a Post It note on the side and wrote “Gratitude Jar” on it (okay, so creativity may not be my strong suit). I then put the rest of the pile of Post It’s on top with a pen. I told my family that we were going to try an experiment – that the Jar would rest on our counter for the next year and that we all were to “capture” positive moments or thoughts, write them down and place them inside.  We could write down ANYTHING we were grateful for, no matter how big or small. There was no “right,” or more importantly “wrong” way to do this. I explained that it would be fun, and that it would help us to tune in to things that were going well, rather than focus our energy on that which wasn’t.

Everyone agreed to participate. I even sent my daughter off to college with her own Gratitude Jar.

Here’s what unfolded over the course of the year:

The jar filled up. That’s what I could SEE, but so much more took place. Because of the experiment, I attempted to stay focused on things I could be grateful for, even when it seemed like there wasn’t much at the time. If I was having a blue day, I’d be reminded when I walked by the jar that I had much to be thankful for, despite being at a loss for the specifics in that moment. The sound of the jar had an effect – I would open the jar to place a note inside and my son would yell from the other room that he heard me, and I could hear the smile in his voice.

Gratitude and good feelings have a way of spreading.

If too much time passed without my putting a note in the jar, I’d know to check in with myself. Where was my head? I probably needed to shift back to positivity….and I would challenge myself to find something to write about, and could always find SOMETHING. It would undoubtedly put me on a better path.

Sometimes people would be visiting and they’d ask what the Jar was for. Not only was it a conversation piece but it was always in those moments of explaining that I recommitted to utilizing the Jar. Some guests were so excited by the idea that they contributed then and there.

Here’s what took place last week:

My family and I had decided that we would empty the Jar on Rosh Hashanah and share our captured moments. We dumped the notes out and took turns taking a note from the pile randomly and reading aloud. Words won’t serve to describe what that experience was like for me.

My daughter remembered to bring home the beautiful notes she had written over the course of the year (without being reminded). My husband, who I hadn’t realized was participating regularly (he had been recording his gratitude on his work computer), wrote notes that surprised me and served to bring us closer. My sons’ notes ranged from being thankful for food to eat to being grateful for good health and amazing accomplishments.

There were “stealth” notes too – comments that people outside of our immediate family deposited while we weren’t looking. We had so much fun discovering them!

Themes emerged – we found that we often mirrored back to each other the things we appreciated most in one another.

We laughed as we remembered things we had done. We got emotional as we remembered how we felt. We connected. We reoriented ourselves to one another and recommitted to the things that are important to us. We all squeezed each other afterward and talked about how special, successful, and gratifying our experiment had been.

Then my youngest son took a Sharpie and wrote “Year 2” under the “Gratitude Jar” Post It on our empty jar. And when I looked at it that night before I went up to bed, there were several notes in it already waiting to be read next year.

Warmest Regards, Laurie

 

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Some of the topics of focus in her practice as a professional life coach are assisting and supporting individuals that are stay at home parents (stay at home moms and dads are constantly forced to adapt to their current circumstances as their children grow and change) as well as those returning to work. Laurie works with people reentering the workforce who are unsure of their direction and interested in cultivating professional development skills and support.

Laurie also provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no and setting boundaries.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.  Laurie is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the New Jersey Professional Coaches Association (ICF-NJ).

Just Going through the Motions?

What would it mean to do things with greater intention?

Wondering what I’m talking about? Let’s start with what “intention” means: what one intends to accomplish or attain. Synonyms include aim, ambition, goal, objective, purpose and meaning.

So my question to you really is: when you do things, or say things, are you plugging into your true intention when doing so?

I’ll give you a couple of examples to illustrate why intention might matter.

I really don’t like to cook. Or what I should probably tell you is that I really dislike all the mess that needs cleaning up after cooking, and the disproportionate amount of time spent figuring out what to make for dinner, buying the ingredients, chopping and peeling and actual preparation COMPARED to the time spent actually eating.

However, when I stop for a moment and think of it less like a chore, and more as an action with intention behind it – as in, this is what I do to nurture my family, this is one way I demonstrate my love for them – then I approach making dinner entirely differently. It’s no longer something I’m just seeking to check off my list. It’s an action with a deeper meaning behind it.

That shift in recognizing the intention changes the experience.intention

Here’s another example of how recognizing, and plugging into, intention transforms the whole dynamic.

The supervisor at the town pool spies leaves and debris at the bottom of the pool just before opening. With a roll of his eyes, he says sarcastically to his staff, “Nice job cleaning the pool this morning!”

His intention is to get the lifeguards to do their job, however his statement, and the way it’s delivered, only conveys disdain and frustration. He could have more effectively said, “Guys, I need you to thoroughly clean the pool each morning before the guests arrive. Please clean those leaves out now because we’re about to open.”

Sarcasm serves to undermine our relationships. It doesn’t promote respect and often camouflages our real intentions and what it is we are really trying to say.

Imagine how your tasks and your relationships might be impacted if you considered your true intention more often in your actions and words.

Imagine less ‘going through the motions’ and speaking ‘off the cuff.’

Plugging in to your intention can shift your experiences from dull and unrewarding to more positive, effective and satisfying.

Be aware of your intentions. Be sure to see them through.

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Finding the time..

A common theme among those that I work with is that they just can’t find the time to do the things they say are important to them. Have you ever heard yourself saying those very words – “I would, but there’s just no time”?

When there is something I want to devote time to, and I just find that I never seem to get around to it, I know I need to employ a certain strategy to make the time for it!

I schedule blocks of time on my calendar so those times are blocked out as though I’ve made an appointment with someone else. In reality, I’ve schedule timeset aside time for me to address something I believe is important. It provides a structure and enables me to see clearly whether or not there truly IS time for this other thing.  Usually, it’s more the issue of honoring a commitment to me, rather than a scarcity of time.

I’ve learned that if something is important enough, and I make the effort to carve out some time, I can usually make it work.  I even become more efficient all the way around because I’ve got less time with which to play.

Some people get less done when they have too much time in which to accomplish their tasks. However, pile some more stuff on their To Do list and they will get cracking! Are you one of those? Then you just might surprise yourself with what you initially perceived was NOT ENOUGH time.

NOT ENOUGH is a way of thinking. It forces you to play from a place of scarcity rather than wealth. That way of thinking puts you at a disadvantage. Possibilities present themselves to you when you consider that you just might have ENOUGH. To believe you have what you need puts you in a power position. NOT ENOUGH thinking does the opposite.

Perhaps then carving out time can begin with a simple shift in perception.

What are you denying yourself by not making the time to do what is important to you?

Give yourself the gift of time.  Make appointments with yourself to do what is important to you and honor them the way you would honor a date made with someone else. Trust yourself to stay within the blocks you’ve chosen to set aside.

Don’t wait until the last minute to set this time aside.  Do it now, before you forget, while the strategy is fresh in your mind, and watch how you manage to find time that never seemed to exist before.

Let me know how it goes..

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. I have super exciting news! I am hosting a 3-hour live event and I’d love for you to come. It will be a morning of inspiration and great takeaways! To find out more about my program Stepping in 2 YOU and to register, click here. And please share the link with others that might ALSO be interested. The program is for every woman who’s felt bound by a certain identity or role she inhabits in her life. Questions? Call 973-343-6287 or email laurie@ideas2action-coaching.com.

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

7 Days to Rejuvenation [You Can Do This WITHOUT Lots of Time and Money]

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I thought about what most moms crave in the often crazy, busy, juggling world of 24/7 parenting.  Many are looking for a break, but better than that, many are looking for something that will have longer lasting, more permanent effects.

So I’ve come up with a 7 Days to Rejuvenation Plan.  It’s not hard and requires little time OR money – now we’re talking!

In order for the Plan to have the greatest impact, I recommend continuing each day’s practice on all of the remaining days to follow.  In other words, on Day 7, you will also be doing the recommended action items of Days 1 through 6.

Here we go!

Day 1Exercise.  Even just 30 minutes of physical activity will help you to feel more alive and stronger as well.  Don’t have 30 minutes to spare?  Don’t diminish the power of 15 minute intervals.  Exercise in two 15 minute chunks.  You’ll feel better for having done so and you will have squashed one of your go-to excuses.

Day 2Remove something from your diet.  Approach this as a kind of experiment.  Do you suspect that your body may not be tolerating something you’ve been eating for a while?  This is the perfect opportunity to eliminate that item and see how your body responds.  Does your digestion or skin improve?  Are you less prone to mood swings?  Do you have more energy as a result?  Foods you might want to consider abandoning are sugar, white flour or dairy.

Day 3Introduce a healthy food.  If your diet is full of grab and go, convenient carbohydrate or sugar laden items, you might want to consider adding a healthy option or two.  Incredibly healthy foods to consider adding to your diet include blueberries, almonds, broccoli, spinach, salmon and avocados.  If you are just not into adding certain foods, do you best to drink more water.

Day 45 Minute Meditation.  Take a few quiet moments each morning, preferably before your feet hit the floor, to consider what your intentions are for the day.  Be deliberate in the way you think about them so that you end up making really conscious choices.  Think about what you would like to receive and what you have to offer.  This is also your opportunity to acknowledge any self-defeating thoughts as they creep in and then allow them to move on, away from you, like clouds in the sky.

Day 5Connect.  Whether it’s through a phone call, a cup of coffee, a walk or an evening get-together, connecting with others is paramount to your well-being.  It reduces any sense of isolation you may feel.  Choose to do something fun or interesting with someone in your world, whether it be a friend, your spouse, another relative or your child.

Day 6Cleanse.  You can approach this step in a couple of ways.  You can have a relaxing, spa-like bath and use a full-body exfoliator to slough off dead skin and reveal the newness beneath (exfoliate only once or twice a week).

OR you can choose to clean and organize your desk, a counter top, a closet, or if you’re really ambitious, an entire room.  Doing this will give you a fresh perspective and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the effect clean surfaces have on you.  Chances are these changes will enable you to breathe a little easier.

Day 7Practice gratitude.  Before you go to sleep at night, take note of all that you appreciate in your world.  This enables to close your day from a place of fullness instead of wanting.  You end up falling asleep with a smile of your face as opposed to an ache in your heart.

Remember with each consecutive day, it’s best to continue the steps from the prior days of the week.

As a result of these 7 Days, you will experience renewed energy and empowerment for having chosen to do “good” things for yourself.  You will also hopefully begin the process of creating new “grooves” – healthy habits that have the potential to become your new normal.

With little or no cost, and not too much time, you can create tiny shifts in your day that are designed to have a BIG impact.

It doesn’t have to be Mother’s Day for you to treat yourself.  You can do this at any time to up your energy and point your life in a more positive direction.   Enjoy your 7 Days to Rejuvenation!

If you need help in setting up these practices, or you feel too bogged down to even try, go here to set up a FREE 30 minute “Time for Change” Coaching Call.  You may want to take advantage of her Mother’s Day Special Offer.  Go here to learn more.

Laurie Leinwand, founder of  Ideas 2 Action, is a Certified Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor.  Her mission is to help women move through transitional phases of their lives triumphantly.  She specializes in inspiring and empowering moms to build their best lives outside of parenting according to THEIR needs, goals and desires.  Working with Laurie, her clients go from stuck, stressed, overwhelmed and confused to focused, motivated and fulfilled.  She helps her clients find clarity around what it is they really want, identify true obstacles, develop strategies for overcoming them, and ultimately reach their goals due to increased accountability and always knowing their next steps.

Laurie also provides workshops on topics such as Jump Starting Your Life, Strategies for Saying NO and Making Friends with Change, and is a co-author of an upcoming compilation book on personal development called Catch Your Star.

You Don’t Know if You Don’t Ask

I want to share a success story of someone with whom I’ve worked.  He had been frustrated with the “red tape” he was dealing with at work.  He wanted additional responsibility and had already demonstrated his capacity to take on more.  His problem was that every time he wanted to make a decision involving large amounts of money, he had to wait for approval by a committee, whose verdict he would often not receive until long after it was relevant.

He complained about these circumstances for some time, attributing it to the “powers that be” within the company.  He then decided to see if HE could do something to change it, and came up with a very specific, simple strategy…which is exactly why it worked.

He decided to send a request to the committee that traditionally weighed in on these issues.  He chose to ask that he be given discretion up to a specific amount of dollars, an amount he had proven himself to deal with effectively and appropriately on countless occasions.

And then he did something more that was so smart, and yet so simple.  He walked into his boss’ office (his boss was separate from the committee) and let him know of his intention to send the email.  He did not open the subject up for discussion; he just let his boss know what he was about to do.  He then said to him, “After I send my note, I just ask that you do one thing.  Simply reply all (to those on the committee) and state that you are in support of my request.”  His boss agreed.

He sent the email and his boss quickly replied to all with a very simple message of support, probably no more than a sentence or two.  Within a short time, ALL the committee members replied that they too supported giving him greater discretion to make decisions with regard to the higher limit he set for himself…a unanimous response in less than two hours.  This type of vote would normally require being put on the next committee meeting’s agenda, meaning it could have taken a month to receive an answer.

He was amazed at what he had accomplished.  He had never before tried another way.  He, like most employees, simply adhered to the way things were traditionally done.

Here’s why this person’s request worked:

  • he came up with a simple strategy
  • he found a means of support
  • he did not leave room for discussion
  • he spelled out exactly what he needed/wanted from others.

His plan consisted of an email, that’s it, inviting a YES.  He asked his boss to provide a vote of confidence and told him exactly what to say.  His boss did not need to think about how to craft his response.  It was spelled out for him, and he obviously agreed with the validity of the request.

He did not invite discourse.  By setting his own limit on his future responsibilities, he did not leave it to others to decide or debate.

Keeping things simple and being so specific about what he wanted made it easy for others to say YES to him.

By taking this action, he rediscovered his sense of power, enabling him to greatly reduce his level of frustration and renewing his spirit to do great work at his place of employment.  The worst thing that could have happened is that he might have been told NO; however, his situation would have been no different than it was currently.

Where is the power within you?

You don’t know the answer to your request if you never ask.  Someone might say yes to you as well.  What would happen if you asked precisely for what you want?  Is it possible that it need not be as complicated as you may have imagined?

Ask for what you want and share your success stories with me!  If you need some assistance in getting started, contact me for a free 30 minute coaching strategy session.  Call (973)343-6287 to schedule.

Warmly,  Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Certified Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Spring is (Almost) Here!

It’s technically spring though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it here in NJ.  But there’s definitely something in the air.

I love the change of seasons.  It’s a way to mark the passage of time and keeps things interesting.  Things are never the same for too long.  My favorite transition is from winter to spring – I’m not really a fan of cold weather.  I love noticing buds beginning to emerge on plants and trees, and how the air smells so good, and how days over 50 degrees feel like such a treat initially.  I love being able to opt for a sweatshirt instead of a coat.  I adore how the color green begins to fill in the gray-brown spaces and how sometimes, when I’m driving, the sun hits my window at a certain angle and I feel like I might actually be getting a tan in my car.

But the spring is when I begin to sneeze, and my skin itches and I start to feel a little “funky” overall.  My body seems to say, “Here comes change and I’m not so sure about all this.”  I become more sensitive to certain foods.  My energy ebbs and flows seemingly without reason.

I’ve learned to welcome this process and liken it to change in general.  It’s uncomfortable.  My body reacts viscerally, rejecting it at first.  And then it slowly begins to familiarize itself with what is new.  Prior to change, or growth or emerging, I can feel upended, less grounded, and uncomfortable in my own skin.  But I know what beauty and excitement are in store if I simply give myself the freedom to move through this phase, rather than resist.

So now, instead of necessarily bemoaning a few of weeks of sneezy, itchy discomfort, I welcome them, knowing that warmer weather, gorgeous blooms and longer days are to follow.  And when I work toward my goals and experience something similar, professionally OR personally, I remind myself that my spring, a new phase of my own blossoming is what will come next.

Can you remember a time in your life when something fantastic happened for you?  Do you recall how you felt right before that time?  I would imagine you probably didn’t coast into those benevolent circumstances.  Chances are you experienced some sense of struggle beforehand.

Don’t fear or shy away from discomfort.  It might be signaling something amazing is right around the bend.  Happy Spring!

Warmly, Laurie

P.S.  I’d love to hear about YOUR experiences prior to a welcome change.  Was there discomfort?  Did you find any part of you resisting the newness of it, despite truly wanting it?

Laurie Leinwand, founder of  Ideas 2 Action, is a Certified Life Coach and Licensed Professional Counselor.  She works primarily with women in transitional phases of their lives, specializing in inspiring moms to rediscover who they are so they can successfully build lives for themselves outside of parenting according to THEIR needs, goals and desires.  Working with Laurie, her clients go from stuck, stressed, overwhelmed and confused to focused, empowered, motivated and fulfilled.  She helps her clients find clarity around what it is they really want, identify true obstacles, develop strategies for overcoming them, and ultimately reach their goals due to increased accountability and always knowing their next steps.

Laurie also provides workshops on topics such as Jump Starting Your Life and Strategies for Saying NO, and is a co-author of an upcoming book on personal development called Catch Your Star.

If you are ready to move YOUR life forward, call Laurie at (973) 343-6287 to inquire about her coaching programs.  Her coaching is done by phone is accessible to all.

Is there a Cap on your Success?

I was coaching a client recently who had worked really hard to achieve something spectacular in her life.  She was feeling euphoric as a result of her accomplishment when she heard that someone close to her had suffered an extremely upsetting disappointment.  Her euphoria quickly began to fade.  She questioned if she was somehow responsible for her family member’s difficulties, whether she had so much favor bestowed upon her that there was none left for those around her.

This was a limiting belief of hers that needed to be challenged in order for her to continue to progress.  Otherwise, she was destined to hold herself back from her true potential, shying away from the success for which she had strived so hard.

Do you have limiting beliefs of your own?  You may not even be aware of them.  When things begin to take shape for you, when you find yourself moving substantially closer to your goals, do you ever notice yourself hesitating, putting off success or fulfillment for just a little longer?

Tune into the thought process linked to this behavior.  These are some examples of limiting beliefs:

  • I question whether I truly deserve success.
  • I am unsure I will be able to handle the next step.
  • I do not know if I can live up to new/increased expectations or responsibilities.
  • I am concerned about how others might perceive my success.
  • I question whether I have worked hard enough to earn a positive outcome.
  • Once I have achieved this goal, I will have reached my success ceiling.
  • If this is my personal pinnacle, I have nowhere to go but down.
  • If I succeed, others will fail.

If you notice that YOU have limiting beliefs that hold YOU back, be deliberate in challenging them.  Develop ‘encouraging beliefs’ that combat them.

Examples of encouraging beliefs are:

  • I deserve success as much as anybody.
  • I can handle anything as long as I am determined to do so.
  • I have the ability to learn from, and embrace, new challenges.
  • I have worked hard to achieve my goals.
  • When I succeed, I can serve as a model to others to do the same.
  • There is plenty success to go around.
  • There will always be new goals I can choose to pursue.

Do not put a cap on your own success.  Take ownership of all that is good in your life and all the good you have yet to receive.  Put the cap on your limiting beliefs and step fully into your success.

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. Which encouraging belief will you use to keep moving forward?  Is there one you would like to share that is not listed above?

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

One of her specialty areas is career life coaching for women and men transitioning between jobs or reentering the workforce.  If you are stuck in your job or career and need help in finding fulfillment and your life purpose, Laurie can help you break through and arrive at your desired destination fast and efficiently.  She also coaches clients who are stay at home parents.  Stay at home moms and dads are required to make adjustments regularly as their children grow – this can be difficult.  Laurie also works with them as they make pivotal decisions such as returning to work.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Where the Magic Happens

This year I decided I’m really going to challenge myself.  My new mantra is “step into the discomfort.”  I don’t want to find myself avoiding the things I don’t want to do (but need to do) in order to be my best self.

I’ll give you an example.  For a long time I wasn’t happy with my weight, and perhaps more importantly, my fitness level.  I was tired, out of shape and feeling yucky overall.  I’d exercise once in a while, but never regularly and I’d never push myself or take it to the next level.  I’d just do it to get it over with.  My eating habits weren’t great either.  I’d “enjoy” certain foods like bread and sweets, only to crash later and crave them even more, leading to energy ups and downs that I knew weren’t serving me well.  To be honest, I was disappointed in myself.  I knew better, and I was upset that I wasn’t honoring the body I’d been given.  I had the potential to be in shape and energetic and I wasn’t reaching it.  What a waste!  And I wasn’t doing the best job in terms of modeling for my children.

I decided in December that it was time to finally do something!  I knew that I needed help.  I needed to be held accountable and needed someone to push me to prove to myself that I COULD do it.  I signed up with a personal trainer that I work with twice a week.  I try to do some cardio on the other days but I don’t punish myself if I don’t.  Those 2 training sessions each week serve as my anchor.  The trainer increases weights or the number of reps or changes the exercises on a regular basis so my body has to reach beyond what it knows and enter the realm of discomfort.  When I finish those workouts, I feel strong and powerful and I carry those feelings with me for the remainder of my day.

I’ve also changed the way I eat.  No point in working out ambitiously only to sabotage myself with what I put in my mouth.  I’ve drastically reduced the amount of sugar I consume and hardly ever eat bread.  I’m not gonna lie, I miss fresh hot bagels on Sunday mornings, but I feel SO much better physically as a result.  And thankfully I’ve lost a few pounds to boot.

It wasn’t easy for me to call the trainer and schedule that first appointment.  I had to get past wishing I could get in shape on my own.  I had to be willing to ask for help.  I had to be willing to invest in myself and put some of my earnings toward my physical (and emotional) well-being.  And I had to push past my doubt to make it happen.

The trainer actually didn’t show for our first training session.  Another client named Laurie had texted him to cancel and he confused her with me.  I could have decided not to go back at all then and there.  I could have asked for my money back and decided based on that one event that he couldn’t be any good having made a mistake like that.  I could have used his no-show as MY excuse to not get fit, blaming him all the while.  But I didn’t.  He apologized, we rescheduled, and my journey to fitness began a couple of days later than I anticipated, but the point is, it began.  I followed through, and continue to.

I’ve chosen to step into the discomfort in others area of my life as well, confronting my fears, proving to myself what I really am capable of.  It’s scary, for sure, but also incredibly exciting.

Have you seen this picture?

where-the-magic-happens

I imagine this picture every time I’m faced with fear.  I consider whether I am keeping myself “stuck” or simply status quo, and missing out on all the magic, the possibility, that lies beyond my comfort zone.

I want the magic.

In order to get the magic, I have to lose the excuses, do what might be difficult, confront my fears, be willing to make mistakes or even make a fool of myself, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h.

I have to step into the discomfort.

WILL YOU?

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

5 Maintain Your Sanity Strategies for the Holidays

Do you get stressed as the holidays approach?  It doesn’t have to be that way!  Here are 5 strategies to help you make the holidays exactly what you want them to be and enable you to maintain your sanity at the same time:

1.  Start Planning NOW – What needs to happen between now and the holidays to ensure that you are able to enjoy them as much as possible?  Are you hosting a party, do you anticipate going to some, do you have a list of people for whom you will need to get gifts, do you need holiday attire?  Map out what you need to do across the next several weeks so that not everything is saved for the last minute, stressing you out and spoiling your fun.  If you strategically plan out what you need to do, shopping and preparing will be less of a chore and more of a pleasure.  You may not be able to take full advantage of last minute sales, but you’ll save yourself the “procrastinator’s pain” that goes along with them.

2.  Plug Into What Keeps You Calm – Pre-holiday season is NOT the time to ditch your exercise routine and healthy eating habits!  More than ever, you need what anchors you in times of turbulence.  Find time to take a breath here and there to make certain you’re on track and utilizing your energy, resources and time in the most efficient way possible.

3.  Recognize Your Limits – Don’t overschedule or obligate yourself.  Delegate when you can.  Say NO to some things so that you can fully enjoy and embrace the things that mean the most to you.  Be honest with yourself and others about what is reasonable for you to accomplish and what’s not.

 4.  Start Living the Life You Want to Live NOW – Are you waiting until January 1st to make your resolutions?  Why is that day any more meaningful than today?  What would happen if you began to experiment with making the kind of choices you want to be making in your life sooner rather than later?  There is no better way to head into the holidays with optimism and empowerment than by treating yourself well, and by respecting your choices to do right by yourself.

5.  Name What You Want! (and tell others!) – Instead of having people guess what you want for the holidays, let them know.  You can be obvious, or make a game of it, but whatever you do, you will only have yourself to blame if you haven’t been clear about your wishes and desires and end up disappointed that a loved one missed the mark.  You are, in fact, doing others a favor if you DO tell them exactly what would make you happy.  They now have a roadmap and you’ve quite possible reduced the stress they are feeling in connection with the holidays.

Now…what you seek as a special gift may be something that cannot be purchased in stores.

It might be the opportunity to really focus on YOU, what you hope to accomplish in the next year, and a way to formulate, and STICK WITH, a plan to truly make that happen!

Have you thought about making that kind of investment in yourself, but you hesitated or put it off because you’re accustomed to putting others first?  This is your time!  And if you won’t do it for yourself, ASK someone to GIFT it to you!!  The first step in being true to yourself is in asking for what you want.

Stay tuned for a special holiday offer…..

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

Trying to Jump Start Your Mojo?

When was the last time you learned or tried something new?  Exploring a new hobby or interest might be just enough to get you excited, and that energy will extend to other areas of your life as well.

Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?  Have you considered ballroom dancing, knitting, skydiving, running, or maybe just a new restaurant?  Give it a shot and you’ll be surprised to find how it spurs you to do other things.  We often find comfort in our routines but need a change every so often to keep things fresh and inspiring.

You might also choose to become an expert on something you already know a little bit about.  This can be an amazing confidence booster.

Tap into your creativity.  How would it feel to draw, paint, write, play an instrument or dance?  No rules apply – simply experiment with it for the sake of enjoyment and free expression.

Do the opposite of what you normally do.  Eat dessert before dinner.  Alter your routine.  If you only drive one way to get to the dry cleaners, go a different way and see if you take notice of things you never had before.  Gain a new perspective.

Have fun for the sake of having fun!  Increase your repertoire.  Acquaint yourself with something other than your norm.  Get your creativity on!  Change things up once in a while.

All of these things can serve to jumpstart your mojo, move you out of the doldrums and propel you into novel, fun, exciting and interesting territory.

Make it happen!

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.

Laurie provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no, setting limits and boundaries, as well as balancing work and life.

Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide.

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Laurie's chapter in Catch Your Star will inspire you to see CHANGE as a tool to vastly improve your life. She and 19 other experts share definitive strategies for identifying personal values and belief patterns, changing a stuck mindset and tapping into dreams and intuition. Order your autographed copy today!
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