28 Jul 2013

Reduce Life Down to the Lowest Common Denominator

No Comments Be More, Building Confidence, Decision Making, Do More, Empowerment, Fearless Living, Goal Setting, Life Coaching, Live your best Life, Stress Management

Lowest-Common-DenominatorMath was not my subject. In fact my poor Uncle Dennis probably still has the occasional nightmare about his time spent tutoring me. Me, at 17 through Math 11. Yikes. One concept that I do remember was the idea of reducing parts into their lowest common denominators so that they were easier to work with. It occurred to me the other day that every day I guide clients by breaking down big complex sums of overwhelming obstacles into manageable parts. The feeling that something is too big to take on is the reason behind things like procrastination, avoidance and plain old not doing. People get stuck because they don’t know how to break down big parts into smaller parts.  I help people do that everyday.

The process of breaking down life into manageable parts isn’t where the work ends, but where it begins. We believe we know how to do “life” but the inside voice that speaks gets in your way. Our thoughts sway to  objections to getting at “it.” Things like: “I am too tired,” “I don’t know how to do this,” “I am overwhelmed,” and “I can’t think when I am overwhelmed.” And then we stop. We turn on the TV, surf the net, take out the garbage – basically anything that allows us to avoid having to confront actually doing “it.” A skilled personal coach assists by breaking down your resistance to the process.

When working with me, people learn what really is at the heart of the matter. What is that voice of fear saying in your subconscious while you are actively choosing to do or not do?  I assist people in taking the time to really break down the internal objections that come up.  Together, we take the time to hear what the excuses in your head are really saying.  When you identify these life becomes easier. You can learn how to talk back to the voice inside your head.

Coach Yourself Exercise

What is it that you say you want to be doing?  Name three things.

Example:

  1. Selling cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Socializing more.

Now, name what your excuses are for not doing that.

I’ll walk you through one:

Selling cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market

1) Too tired after working all week

2) Watching TV too much and zoning out

3) Got distracted by family, my wife wanted me to do a bunch of chores.

Now, reduce selling cupcakes. Do the work. What is a list of 50 things you will need to do to sell cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market. What? 50 things!  Yes, 50 things. Be real and honest here.  To actually be to the point of being able to sell cupcakes at the farmer’s market is going to take many different steps. What are all the things you would need to know and do before you would be ready to actually do that?

Here are some examples:

What recipe am I going to use? What am I going to charge?  How much is each cupcake cost? Where do I buy ingredients? What equipment will I use? How do I register for market? When does it run? What am I going to call the cupcakes…and the list goes on. While making that list, pay close attention to the voice. What is it saying to you?

Your visceral reaction to that list is the thing that is running the show in your life. Use the tool of reduction to get to the bottom of what your excuses are excusing you from. It isn’t about the TV. It is about what you are avoiding when you confront the work associated with actually doing your dream.

Let’s do the work. As a Coach, I am your tutor. Just like my Uncle Dennis, I get you to sit and actually think about what you are doing in life and why. It is amazing what can happen when you get clear.

02 Dec 2012

A Christmas Journal ~ your key to holiday stress management

1 Comment Christmas, Stress Management

stress-free christmasOne of the greatest responses I have had from readers of my Coach Tips is my suggestion to use a Christmas Journal as a way of managing holiday stress.  If you didn’t start last year, go back to last year’s article A Stressless Christmas – YES you can!, and get the benefit of this easy tool.

Last year, I asked you start a Christmas Journal.  The challenge was to write about three things and then tuck the journal away with the Christmas decorations until next year. A year later, here we are, and as predicted, Christmas has come again!

The three questions from last year were:

  1. The 3 things that I honestly could have skipped getting stressed out about.
  2. The 3 things that worked the best and I enjoyed the most.
  3. The 3 moments in which I felt the greatest gratitude.

What made your lists last year?  What are you going to put on your list this year?  Are they similar? Is there a theme?

Coach Yourself…

What 3 things do you not want to be stressed about this year? Considering what made your list last year, what does your new list tell you? Maybe you have found some peace or solace, and whatever was on your stress list last year, is totally over with this year.  Wonderful.  Time really can heal.  Maybe your new list is telling you that you’re still stressed about the same things. If so, what are you going to do to eliminate this item or items from your list?

What 3 things do you want to enjoy the most this holiday season? If you get specific about what you want and need from Christmas, you are more likely to get it.

What 3 things are you willing to notice and nurture? Sometimes in life we need to dig a little deeper to find the gratitude in situations.  Being willing to notice and nurture the moments when we are connected, peaceful, and joy-filled gives us the presence of mind needed to truly enjoy the holidays.

Happy journaling!