self-care

Valentine’s Day Letter

I have a confession to make – I’m a little embarrassed by it. I often talk to people about offering themselves the same kindness they would offer others in their lives. When we discover how they’ve been feeding themselves negative messages about who they are, we often realize how they would NEVER, and I mean NEVER, say those very same things to describe anyone else they care about. Yet, many of us make derogatory comments about ourselves.

I’m guilty of it.

My sons play hockey, and for one, it was Senior Night a couple of weeks ago. The seniors each take a picture with their parents before the game and a tradition is for the moms to wear the boys’ ‘away’ jerseys. My son’s team has 14 graduating seniors and the parents have been meeting at frigid ice rinks at ridiculous hours for many, many years. We’ve shared victories, losses, injuries, frustrations, cups of coffee and hot chocolate, lots of pasta parties and a couple of glasses of wine.

The hockey moms decided to have a picture taken of all of us. I hadn’t seen the picture until another mom showed me at one of the games last week.

And then I did it.

I saw the photo and I said with a sour face, “Ugh. I look like a linebacker.” I heard the words fly out of my mouth and immediately wanted to go back in time to reverse them. It was only a moment before I realized it didn’t matter what I looked like in the picture. What DID matter was that I was IN it, a part of an incredible group of women, evidence of the fact that we shared our sons’ passion for the sport (most of the time) and the last decade or so with one another.

I realized I’ve still got some work to do. Who cares how I look in pictures? Better to be present, participate and have fun!

Here’s the picture I’m talking about. I’m standing at the end on the left.

hockey moms

I’m so happy to have it to remind me of the time spent with these women watching our sons play their most favorite sport.

A simple, knee-jerk response has rekindled in me the desire to be more kind to myself, to check in on the automatic dialogue I have with me. I will honor myself going forward. No more self-deprecating remarks. They really don’t serve a purpose. I will offer myself a little more love.

So with Valentine’s Day just a few days away, how will you extend more kindness and love toward YOURself?

Will it be by checking YOUR internal dialogue? Or by eating healthier so you’ll feel better? Or by getting in an extra work out? Or by reaching out to a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while because that would make YOU feel good to do it? Or will it be by doing something simply for the fun of it (here’s hoping there’s a little bit of THAT going on!)?

Sending a little love your way,

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.

 

Break Through the Bottleneck

I wanted to check in to see how the start of your year has been. It’s interesting – some people have talked to me about starting their year like gangbusters, but more people have mentioned that they’ve struggled a little in terms of developing some momentum.

There seem to be several reasons for this:

  • the traditional “coming down” after the holiday season – the decorations are put away, there are fewer social gatherings on the calendar,
  • the exhaustion and physical illness that sometimes follow the running around that accompanies the holidays,
  • here in the Northeast, the weather has been challenging with multiple snows and crazy temperature swings that have included extreme cold that has caused people to want to hibernate rather than get out and get things done,
  • or simply the not knowing where to begin.

So here are some simple suggestions for breaking through the bottleneck:bottleneck

1) Practice self-care – Get ample sleep, proper nutrition (avoid the tendency to carb load in the winter), exercise and take your vitamins! Rest, fuel and movement are the foundation of our existence. Ensure that you are taking steps to help you feel good and maintain good health.

2) Stay in touch – Plan social outings, participate in your community, plug into your network of support. If you don’t have a support network, now is a perfect time to cultivate one!

3) New goal? Pick a place to begin – There’s no need to belabor the thought process or seek the perfect time, place or set of circumstances. Begin somewhere and the next step will become clear after that step is complete, and so on. Don’t get ready to get ready because “ready” rarely comes.

How to keep this going?!

See these steps as gifts to you with a long-term payoff (a gift that keeps on giving) rather than things you “should” be doing.

If you practice basic self-care, engage with others regularly, and take consistent steps toward achieving something that is truly important to you, you’ll have more energy, be lifted up and begin each day with the knowledge that more good “stuff” is coming your way because you are consciously paving the way for it.

Enjoy the rest of your January!

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 howto 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).

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.

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.

What are YOU worth?

I just returned from my second 2-day trip to San Francisco. These trips are for the purpose of developing my business. It is there that I met a supportive group of people and my own coach, who holds a vision for me and my business even when I have my moments of doubt.

small invest in yourself

These trips are a big expense in terms of time, money and energy. It takes me a full day to get to these seminars. I fly home on the red-eye so as not to “lose” an extra day but I just can’t seem to sleep on the flights home because I’m so pumped up from the meetings and feel so ready to move on my new and improved initiatives. However, I usually pay the price the following day when lack of sleep and not knowing what day it is begins to mess with me.

Flights are expensive and so are hotels and, of course, there is the cost of the program itself. But it’s worth it. And here’s why –

This is time set aside solely for me and my business. There are no distractions. Because I’ve made this financial investment in myself and my progress, you’d better believe I’m going to follow through on what I need to do to ensure I have every opportunity to succeed in manifesting my vision.  And, once again, I’ve determined that things are far more difficult (and don’t have to be) when I operate in isolation.

Support of others keeps us honest, real, accountable and moving forward. This is why I’ve chosen to go to the effort that I do.

The alternative is to endure a much longer learning curve and possibly succumb to the moments of self-doubt.  I don’t want that to be an option for me.

  • What do you do to invest in yourself?
  • Do you question the value of investing in yourself?
  • What leaps might you make if you enlisted support?

Secure some support for yourself, invest in YOU, and watch what happens!

You’re worth it, aren’t you?! It’s time to put YOUR ideas into action.

Warmly, Laurie

P.S. If you think I might be the right person to support you, let’s set aside time to talk about that possibility. I have several offerings and we can discuss what might be the best fit for you.  Click here to schedule an appointment. Let’s talk soon.

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.

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.

Seeing Firsthand Why Support is so Important

My 16 year-old son was injured a week ago Friday at his ice hockey game.  He left the rink in an ambulance despite being able to walk, but it was scary just the same, bringing my 10 year-old to tears.  My son separated his shoulder, tearing several ligaments.  His collarbone now protrudes from the top of his shoulder.  He will heal (though that collarbone will likely serve as a reminder of what happened).  He will probably heal faster and more efficiently due to the fact that he is an athlete and is in really good physical condition.  He is strong and agile, so that while physical therapy will be challenging and painful I’m sure, his body is ready for it.  He won’t be starting from square one.  The foundation, his physical “infrastructure,” allows his body to deal with the stress of the injury effectively and he’ll bounce back quickly.

His body supports him.

And so have his family and friends.  He’s received so many notes, phone calls and messages of encouragement.  That, too, serves to lift him up when he’s feeling discouraged or impatient, wanting desperately to be right back on the ice.

What kind of support exists for you?

First – how well do you take care of YOURSELF so that you can weather the stressors life throws at you on a regular basis?  Stuff happens.  How healthy is the physical and emotional foundation you have built?  Are there things you can do to strengthen it further, like eating right, exercising and getting enough rest?

Second – how well do you tend to your relationships, so that when you hit a rough patch or need to be buoyed a bit by those around you, people are willing to do so?  How often do you lighten someone else’s load, even just a little?  I believe that kindness and positivity come right back at you when you need them to.

And third – and this is key – are you willing to receive support when it is offered to you?  Are you willing to ask for it?  While it’s important to do what you can for yourself (this is how you return to “normal” and grow stronger), sometimes you need to simply stop, look around, and take note of the support you’ve cultivated.  Soak it in.  Be grateful for it.  You laid the ground work.  You created your foundation.

And if you decide that your foundation has a few cracks, then it’s time to do something about it.  Don’t wait for something bad to happen to realize you have no safety net.  Begin construction now.

So you can see why support is so important.  I saw it firsthand.  So take good care of yourself and others you care about.  And when you’re down, your support system (within and beyond) will lift you up, just as my son’s did for him.

Warmly,

Laurie

Laurie Leinwand is a Certified 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).

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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