stay at home moms

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.

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).

Full on Fun with Family

As we wind up summer, my family and I went to an amazing place called Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. It was a day filled with lots of silliness and giggles as we posed with various sculptures, made up our own names for them and tried to guess what they represented. The stories we constructed made us laugh so hard sometimes we almost cried. sculpture garden men in line

I feel so fortunate that we are able to experience days like that one.  With all the running around that we do and everyone’s crazy schedules, it’s sometimes hard to be fully in the moment and simply let go and enjoy to the fullest without thinking about what comes next.

Days like that I want to cherish forever. We document them with pictures and in writing as well.

This way the joy that we experienced continues on and has a lasting legacy.

Make sure you’re not moving so fast that you forget to have fun. And when you do have those silly, funny, pure moments of gleeful deliciousness, find a way to hold on to them so that you can remember and relive them time and again (especially when the busy times feel like they’ve taken over).

So grab your family members or friends and go have some fun and be sure to document it in some way so the laughs and smiles keep on coming!

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.

A Special Wish for You

As you know, Sunday is Mother’s Day.  It is a day to honor those, whether they are here physically with us or not, that have nurtured us along the way.  I am incredibly lucky to be able to share a meal with both my mom and my mother-in-law this weekend.  I don’t take these opportunities for granted.

I am keenly aware of the gift I’ve been given in becoming a mom.  Each night I do my best to recount all of the things I am grateful for as I fall asleep.  My three kids are at the top of that list.

When I talk about my mission to help moms build their best lives OUTSIDE of parenting, it’s not in spite of their children, it’s because of them.  Kids deserve to have happy and fulfilled moms, moms who make conscious choices.  It’s those moms that are so good at parenting.

They demonstrate to their children what it’s like to make hard decisions, how to value themselves and encourage others to do the same, how to balance responsibility with fun and pleasure, and how to own the process of carving out an existence that is meaningful to them.

mom image

My mission is to help moms empower themselves, and in so doing, these moms strengthen their capacity to be incredible role models.

Enjoy this coming Mother’s Day by honoring your mom, or another person who has shined their light on you, in some special way.  And, if YOU are a mom, or are like a mom, find a way to pay tribute to yourself and all that you have done to nurture your loved ones’ goals, dreams and desires.

Have a Happy Mother’s Day.

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.  If you are interested in taking advantage of Laurie’s Mother’s Day Special (expiring shortly) click here.

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.

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.

Top 10 Tips for Stressed Out Moms

There’s no getting around it.  Moms get stressed.  We all do.  The key in managing our stress is in having go-to strategies, a game plan, for dealing with difficult moments.  No need to tear your hair out or yell at the top of your lungs.  You can handle challenging moments with aplomb if you experiment with these 10 tips for stressed out moms.

 

1. Take a “time out!” – Everyone needs a break sometimes. You might take a walk around the block or call a friend for a 10 minute venting session or (I know there are plenty of moms who do this) spend a little extra time in the bathroom simply for the sake of collecting your thoughts.

 

2. Ask for Help – You don’t have to be “supermom.” It’s more than okay to ask for assistance. You might see if a friend can watch your child(ren) for a bit so you can run an errand on your own or spend the extra money to have someone clean your home periodically so you don’t get caught too far behind in that respect.

 

3. Exercise – Get your body moving and bust that stress. Do something you enjoy, whether it be running, swimming, dancing, whatever! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and you’ll knock your stress down several notches while you’re at it.  Remind yourself of the power you have within you.

 

4. Listen to Music – Play some loud music in your kitchen and rock out with your kids, OR listen to something soft and soothing to create a calmer ambience in your home, your car, wherever you are..

 

5. Have some Fun – When was the last time you went out and had some fun with your friends? It doesn’t have to be a wild night out (unless you want it to be); it might just be grabbing a quick cup of coffee with your BFF. Having that time to connect and hopefully share a laugh or two will help you realize that your life exists beyond being a mom and will remind you that you are important to others in addition to your kids.

 

6. Make your Time Work for YOU (Prioritize) – Structure your days so that they are manageable. Be reasonable in terms of what you expect from yourself. Try to ensure that each day delivers to you something you seek (rather than just getting through it). When there are chores that you need to trudge through, try to create ways to make them more palatable.

 

7. Say NO to others sometimes if it means saying YES to you – Are you over-obligated? Do you say YES to everything that is requested of you, only to find that you feel like you’re drowning and never have time or energy for what YOU need? Learning to say NO is a powerful means of establishing healthy boundaries. When we are honest with ourselves and others regarding what we can and choose to do, we empower ourselves. When we do say YES, that response is far more appreciated, rather than expected.

 

8. Get Creative – What did you love doing as a child that you might not have done in a very long time? What have you always wanted to learn? When was the last time you sketched, painted, knitted, or played an instrument? Plug in to just one thing that will get your creative juices flowing. It will invigorate you!

 

9. Take a bath – Even a bath that’s not very long can serve to minimize your stress. Use aromatherapy by adding something to your tub with a scent that soothes you. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Restore yourself! [No tub?…Take a nice warm shower and it will serve to relax you as well.]

 

10. Have sex – Sexual activity releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones.  However, if feeling stressed is interfering with your libido, physical contact such as holding hands or a hugging or snuggling can go a long way to helping you feel connected and supported.

 

The Truth: By learning ways to manage stress more effectively and actively implementing those strategies, moms demonstrate to their children how important it is to deal with stress in an appropriate way, AND by reducing their stress, are better parents overall!

What tips will YOU implement?  I’d love to hear from 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.

First Steps for Stay at Home Moms Choosing to Return to Work

Making the choice to return to work was actually the first big step you took.  I imagine it wasn’t an easy decision, and that you may have gone back and forth on this a number of times before finally choosing to forge ahead.

Be clear about WHY you’ve made this choice. 

Is it for financial reasons?

Do you need to work because you need the intellectual stimulation, challenge, or the validation that some feel when they receive a paycheck?

Is it because you seek to fulfill a passion or want to pursue an interest and hope to parlay it into an income stream?

Is it because you like the structure that having a job can provide?

Do you need the benefits?

Maybe you just feel the need to get out of the house and be among adults on a regular basis?

The answers to questions like these will help you know how to determine your next steps at every stage of this transition.  For example, if you find yourself considering taking a job that offers no benefits, when that was one of your initial goals in seeking work, you will more quickly know whether that job is, in fact, a good fit for you.  It’s extremely important to tune into your own very personal reasons for going back to work to ensure that your quest for employment mirrors those aims.

Be Aware of the Ramifications of the Change

Consider what will change as a result of your return to work and be realistic regarding your expectations about how things will be afterward.  How will you make time to run errands, clean and prepare meals?  Will you have someone else do it for you or are you able to split those responsibilities moving forward with someone else?  Will you still enjoy quality time with your family?  Will you continue to make time for yourself (provided you’ve already been doing so)?

You will have the highest likelihood of success and enjoyment if you’ve truly thought through how going back to work will affect the running of your household and how it will impact your relationships as well.

Address any concerns you have as early as possible.  The more you can explore them beforehand with those that support you, the fewer difficulties you’re likely to experience.

Lay the Groundwork/Set the Stage

As a result of the things that will change, be sure to have as many resources in place as possible.  For example, if you are only on planning on working when the kids are in school, you should still have a backup plan for when a child becomes sick (a grandparent who is willing to watch your child, a neighbor, or a babysitter).  Make sure that those who are playing “back-up” are aware of their roles, and agree to them well ahead of when they are needed.  This helps prevent misunderstandings and will give you a sense of peace and assuredness.

If you know you won’t have as much time to prepare meals, you might choose to prepare a few things on the weekends so your meals are ready to go throughout the week.  Or maybe you’ll choose to just spend more on take-out.

You also might set up carpools so that you are spending less time in the car and more doing the other things you need to be doing.

What do you know?

Is your skill set current for the job you are seeking?  Do you need to go back to school or obtain some training? Recall what you’ve already accomplished, what skills you’ve harnessed and developed along the way, where your interests and passions lie and what other resources you possess.  Fill in the gaps as needed.

Who do you know?

Who do you know AND who do they know?  While seeking a job opportunity, let everyone you know that you’re looking and exactly what kind of position you’re interested in.  This way you will have an army of people with their antennae out for the perfect opportunity for you.  Be sure to network with others in the field you want to break (back) into.  Don’t be shy about it.  Those in your desired industry can provide you with useful information about current trends, other people you may want to talk to, and how you can best proceed in your search.

These are the 5 things you need to do in order to successfully transition from home life back to the workplace:

1)   Be clear about your WHY

2)   Be aware of the ramifications of change

3)   Lay the groundwork and set the stage

4)   Bring to the surface what you know and increase your skill set

5)   Tell everyone you know what you’re looking for or what you offer

These same steps apply when you are planning to start your own business, except that instead of telling everyone you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be broadcasting what it is your new business offers.

Wishing you much success!

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.

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.

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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