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A Jar of Gratitude

I bought this jar which now makes its new home on my kitchen counter with a pad of post-its and a pen on top. Its purpose is to house all that my husband, kids and I are grateful for in the coming year.

We jot down the things we are thankful for, fold the notes and drop them in the jar without reading what others have written. We are enjoying the process of watching these little papers of appreciation accumulate. As the jar fills, glancing at it reminds me that I am fortunate, without my even needing to be fully aware of the specifics. I now more often approach all that I do from a place of abundance, rather than from a place of wanting, or scarcity.

gratitude jarFilling the jar of gratitude is a feel-good activity.  It requires that I focus on everything that’s going well. I am forced to look at my life through a lens of positivity. I’m less likely to miss opportunities to take note of the things that make me smile and I’m eager to find more things to write!

For my daughter away at school, I sent her with her own jar of gratitude to place on her desk and fill at her own discretion.

A year from now, I’ll sit with my family and we’ll remove the notes we’ve all amassed one by one, read them aloud and conduct our “year in review.” I look forward to this becoming an annual tradition.  And I hope that it serves to shape the way my children see their world.

How would a Gratitude Jar change your world?

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.

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 (NJPCA).

Do You Have a Tool Kit?

Because I’m a psychotherapist as well a certified coach, many of my clients share stories with me about having experienced incredible anxiety in various types of situations. One common anxiety-ridden situation is sitting in traffic.

I share with my clients the concept of having a Tool Kit. It provides a feeling of preparedness and the knowledge that you have what you need – the notion of “I got this!”

trafficSome of the things I recommend people put in their Traffic Tool Kit is water, non-perishable snacks, music you enjoy or that wakes you up, music that relaxes you, a book on CD, gum or mints, Tylenol, a car charger for your phone and even a blanket.

We also talk about the importance of keeping thoughts in check and the relief that can come with surrendering to the situation.  When we yell, pound the steering wheel, and clench our fists, we fight against our current circumstances but with no results. It doesn’t get us where we want to go any faster, or cause the cars in front of us to part any sooner. If we focus on our breath (simply inhaling and exhaling at a steady, controlled rate) and remind ourselves that there is nothing we can do to change the situation, we release the resistance we feel and the accompanying symptoms of anxiety may begin to subside. You can choose how you respond to a situation in which you feel a lack of control.

Having a Tool Kit enables you to be proactive instead of reactive.

Are there Tool Kits you can assemble for other areas of your life that challenge you? Examples might be putting together some snacks, drinks, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel make-up and moisturizers on days when you have endless errands to run or back to back meetings, OR a Tool Kit for the babysitter to combat your child’s most common complaints when you’re not home, OR having your iPod and headphones for that dreaded visit to the doctor or dentist’s office.

What preparation can you do to ensure that things go as smoothly and as “painlessly” as possible – so you actually DO feel a semblance of control in situations you wish you could avoid?

If you have other ideas for Tool Kits, I’d love to hear about them and share them with the others who read this blog.  Please share them with me by writing laurie@ideas2action-coaching.com or by posting your comments below.

Thanks so much!

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.

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) as well as ICF-NJ.

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.

Ideas 2 Action Named Among Top 100 Life Coach Blogs to Follow in 2013

I’m proud to report that Ideas 2 Action has been included among the Top 100 Life Coach Blogs to Follow in 2013.  The link to this infographic is here – http://www.couponaudit.com/blog/top-100-life-coach-blogs-to-follow-in-2013-infographic/.  In light of this exciting news, please feel free to share my blog with others that might be interested.  I’m eager to get your feedback on my posts and for you to share YOUR experiences with me.  Thanks so much for your interest and support thus far.  I love what I do and I feel honored to be able to share my thoughts, experiences and observations with YOU.  Here’s to great success for ALL of us in 2013!!

Warmly, Laurie

Laurie Leinwand 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.

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.

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.

Catch Your Star
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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