The Greatness of Optimal: Ending the Work-Life Balance Myth

Can 2015 mark the year we end our Sisyphean work-life balance pursuit? It seems that we’ve been looking for this magical firewall between work and life for most of my working career, and we can’t seem to find it. 

So what’s up?

It’s a myth. During the halcyon days of the mid-80s, when work-life balance was first referenced, we didn’t have to contend with today’s ubiquitous connectivity.  With the innovation of email, smart phones, and social media, the line between work and life is blurred at best.  So let’s stop searching for the comprise of work life and personal life balance. Rather, let’s take action to maximize our fulfillment, happiness, and mindfulness in our one life.

Based on my experience as an executive, business leadership coach, and motivational speaker, the genesis of our work-life drama usually starts at work even as we carve out personal time for exercise, downtime, etc. As a result, if work is less than ideal, then it’s hard to live a full life. Here are 3 steps to gain more fulfillment at work.

Alignment

Get clear on your values and take action that aligns with them.  Determine what gets you jazzed and ensure that your daily choices align to your values.

Beliefs

What gives you that “I got this and here’s how” confidence? It’s your inner greatness.  You know it.  It’s led to your success.  However, we also have moments when that inner critic steps in, plants doubt, and stirs up fear.  An optimal life isn’t possible when we listen to that inner critic. It sucks the potential out of us.  Learn how to lead with your inner greatness.

Calendar Choices

Own your time! Stop sacrificing your joy and success by settling for ineffective meetings.  You get to choose how you meet and connect with your co-workers.

Here are some easy steps to get more out of your meetings:

  1.  Start and end on time
  2. Shorten your meetings by at least 15 minutes. Get focused and use your extra time for planning, reflecting, or biology
  3. Stop multitasking
  4. Set up more “Walk and Talk” meetings
  5. Accept/send meeting requests with a set agenda and objectives
  6. Decline meetings without a clear purpose
  7. Increase the laughter factor
  8. Agree on clear action steps and ownership

Living these A, B, Cs can help you gain more happiness at work.  Make 2015 the year you trade the compromise of balance for the greatness of optimal. To learn more contact me at Michael@pelotoncc.net.


In his coaching practice, Peloton Coaching & Consulting, Michael O'Brien partners with today's business leaders to help them move from functional performance to optimal performance. His aim is to change lives by enhancing leadership energy, engagement, and fulfillment, and demonstrating how these qualities can cascade throughout organizations. To Learn more about Michael and Peloton Coaching & Consulting, visit www.pelotoncc.net.

Source: www.pelotoncc.net

5 Things To Do This Year

Hello good people – and HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Take a deep breath – can’t you just smell the “new car scent” in the air? This is one of my favorite times of the year. Many of us use the New Year as a turning point, a fresh start, a re-commitment to taking our lives to the next level. 

But SOME of us take it too far. We become overly obsessed with changing each and every area of our lives. And then we get overwhelmed. And because we aren’t able to focus on more than a few new things at a time, we inevitably fall short on some things. And instead of celebrating the good, we beat ourselves up because of the failures. Does this sound familiar?  If so, this message is just for you! As usual, I would love to hear any feedback you'd like to share! 

Trina


As you can imagine, I’ve been busy working on all my New Years stuff. This is naturally a busy season for coaches. As I was pondering what to share with you amid the myriad of New Years wishes, self-improvement gurus, fitness and diet advice, I decided to just give you a KISS instead.  (Keep It Simple Stupid).

So, here are my top 5 tips for making 2015 a great year.

1.  Ditch Resolutions!  Set goals and intentions instead.  Yes, I said it! I stopped making resolutions some time ago. But I do set aside time to really focus on the year behind while deciding what’s on tap for the new year. I’m NOT saying that you shouldn’t work on new stuff for the new year – of course you should! What I am saying is that instead of using resolutions, which many of us tend to talk about heading into the new year and not again after February. Rather, set some meaningful goals and intentions for yourself – and work steadily towards them.  More on that next…

2.  Focus. It’s so very tempting to try to do it all. It’s good to push yourself and expect more. I believe wholeheartedly in raising the bar and not settling. But if you try to take on too many new things on top of what is most assuredly a very busy life, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Choose a very small set of goals to focus on moving this year. Make them big goals. Make them impactful – things that will help you move closer to the life of your dreams or improve the quality of your life.  I recommend no more than 3, but if you must – 5 at the most.

3.  Take one step at a time. But most importantly – GET STARTED! Yes, this sounds elementary, but it’s true. Sometimes we heap so many expectations upon ourselves to ‘nail it this time’ that it paralyzes us. Start where you are – take it a step at a time, and you’ll see results.

4.   Don’t go it alone. Any journey is better with friends. Moral support and accountability partners are the key to making progress on your goals.  You can get this in a variety of ways. Enlist a workout buddy to hit the gym together. For big goals, coaches and mastermind groups can help you stay on track.

5.    Cheat – a little. All work and no play makes Jack/Jane a dull boy/girl.  Don’t make it all about work and achievement. Reward yourself along the way. Build in days off if you are pressing towards a big goal. 

Most of all - remember to have fun along the way. We all get WAY TOO SERIOUS about this stuff. Push, but not too hard that you stress yourself out and don't get to enjoy the ride. 

C-ya next time! 

Trina

PS... As always, I'm available for 1:1 communication and motivation in-between these messages. I'm happy to provide a free Discovery Call to talk things out and see if coaching might help you achieve your goals this year. Email me at tramsey43@gmail.com and we can set something up! 


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

Source: www.trinaramsey.com

Going Above & Beyond: The Many Benefits Of Coaching

A few years ago, I read a biography of Bruce Lee that included a section describing how he experienced a series of recurring nightmares. 

These led to a growing sense of fear and unease during his waking hours, and he lost confidence in various areas of his life. It’s fairly obvious why confidence is important to a kung fu master and international film star; the negative effects of his anxiety took a toll on him professionally.

Eventually, after much soul searching, Lee recognized the root of his fear, then set it aside and moved forward. His career flourished, and today his name is known by just about everyone. Although most of us are not martial arts heroes on the silver screen, each of us can imagine what Lee’s experience was like. 

We’ve all had the sense of being held back, of being unable to move past some hidden blockage and onward toward a better future. To a lesser or greater extent, each of us has our own monster holding us back, and that’s where coaching can help. Sometimes, we need someone else to step in and help us slay the beast.

What Can We Gain from a Life Coach?

People often hold misconceptions about coaching. Many confuse coaching with counseling and mentoring, but a coach doesn’t provide advice or work with a client over a long period of time. Instead, a coach’s goal is to empower his clients so they can act on their desires and work toward goals. Generally, this is achieved over a short series of sessions.

Coaching doesn’t involve going into an office and lying down on the couch (as is the case with therapy).

Many coaches never even meet their clients. Skype has made it possible to connect coaches with clients all over the world, allowing clients to conveniently experience highly meaningful and successful sessions. Because of this, virtually anyone can benefit from coaching — even people who consider themselves happy and successful. 

Who Can Benefit from Coaching?

The majority of people who seek coaching suffer from a lack of confidence. People of all ages — from teenagers to retirees — find themselves restricted by fears of what they can actually accomplish. It sounds strange, but many people find it difficult to cope with the idea of success.

People often react to barriers they built early in their lives, usually before the age of 12. At some point, they developed a sense of their own incapability. These barriers can be self-imposed or constructed by social pressures. Although the high-water mark varies from person to person, almost everyone has an internal concept of his own limitations. Once a person approaches this supposed limitation, he says, “I can’t.”

Many people know they have a desire (for a promotion, for social recognition, or whatever else), but they fear what will happen once that desire is attained. Will they be able to handle it? Will they be capable of fulfilling the function? When it comes right down to it, these people are battling with two internal voices: one saying “I can” and the other saying “I can’t” or “I never will.”

Just about everyone can benefit from coaching, but people in the following situations will undoubtedly profit from the experience: 

  • People experiencing transition: A coach is useful when changing jobs, relocating, having a baby, retiring, divorcing, or during any other time when it’s important to assess your situation and develop strategies to move forward positively.
  • People who feel they have come to a crossroads: Coaching provides help when determining your values and goals in a way that will set you down the best path possible.
  • People who feel “stuck”: Coaching provides a means of analyzing and surpassing barriers.
  • People with unrealized dreams: A coach can help develop strategies for bringing goals and dreams to fruition.
  • People who are happy and successful: Even successful people have barriers. Breaking them down only leads to further prosperity.

Research Proves the Benefits of Coaching

recent survey performed by the UK’s The Work Foundation, a research and management consultancy, found that the effects of coaching are quantifiable, and their findings attest to the benefits of engaging a coach.

  • 84 percent reported improvement in their ability to work toward goals.
  • 60 percent reported a heightened openness to personal development and learning.
  • 58 percent reported a better ability to identify solutions to work-related issues.
  • 52 percent reported an increase in responsibility.
  • 42 percent reported a higher sense of self-awareness.

The same report also found a wide variety of benefits for organizations that provide coaching to employees, such as an outstanding increase in each employee’s utilization of his talents, a general increase in organizational performance, a more motivated staff, better relationships between different departments, and an increased willingness to adopt a new management style.

Simply put, coaching provides the boost necessary to push a person far beyond the limits of what he thinks he is capable of. This brings about a positive result for individuals, the organizations for which they work, and society as a whole.

A key aspect of daily life involves overcoming challenges and pushing past barriers. That’s how life is for almost all of us. We all spend our lives in the pursuit of success, whether it’s small or large, physical or intangible. In order to achieve these goals, it may be helpful to have someone remind you to listen to the inner voice that says “I can.” Sometimes, it takes a little bit of coaching to get there.


For more than 30 years, Rod Beau has been an internationally sought-after education and management consultant and keynote speaker. His practical, real-world business experience and career have been in educational leadership, relocation consulting and executive and leadership coaching. As a Senior Consultant and Master Executive Coach, Rod is also an Accredited ANLP Trainer - specializing in Executive and Leadership Coaching. To learn more about Rod Beau, please visit www.sherpanlp.com

 

Owning The Cape

"Even when I'm a mess, I put on a vest with an S on my chest..." Alicia Keys

This line is from Alicia Keys's song "Superwoman". It's one of the many anthems to womanhood that have been penned over the years. Today I'm writing about my own battle with this label. I am a self-confessed "A type". I do a lot and have a lot of roles. As a working mother of two, and now also working on my coaching business, my life is very full. Some days it’s a bit TOO FULL lol. But I enjoy it. I know that I'm in the right space in time for me right now, so even though my pace is a bit manic at times, it's extremely fulfilling.

I have not always been at peace with this. I've had the title "superwoman" for most of my adult life. But I didn't OWN it. As a matter of fact, you could even say I resented it. I once journaled, "Superwoman is dead. She was crushed by the weight of the world on her shoulders." Wow, right? That's a very strong statement, but that was the space I was in at the time. Totally a victim - "poor me, I've got too much to do". But it is very real when you are in that space - in overwhelm and not able to find a good way to balance it out.

Now, before I go any further, I am NOT claiming to have figured this all out and have the magic formula. But over the years, and with God's grace and the help of some wonderful teachers, I have begun to challenge my perception of things. The truth of the matter is, I LIKE to be busy. And part of my busyness is because of the various relationships I have - family and friends, and taking time to focus on things that matter to me. So now I embrace the fullness of my life - it gives me focus and adds richness to my life. Recently I've been struggling to balance things out, so I thought writing this would help refocus an reenergize. Hope you enjoy it, too.

OWNING THE CAPE
... so how do you shift into wearing the cape proudly? Here are a few suggestions:
 

  1. Feed your spiritual life. Having a relationship with God helps us tap into a higher power and not feel so helpless when things are out of our control. We all experience bumps along the way, (sometimes valleys and derailments!) but knowing that God is with you throughout makes a huge difference. One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."(KJV). This verse has gotten me through many rough spots, and in retrospect, I find it to be true! Some of my greatest blessings have come after a period of loss or trial. God knows what he is doing, and part of the trick in owning the cape is knowing when to let go and let Him have control.
  2. Acceptance. If you are a superwoman (or superman) wear the cape proudly! Clearly there is something about you that resonates strength, leadership and/or perseverance. All wonderful traits to embrace!
  3. Cultivate a positive attitude. Do you routinely see the glass as "half full" or "half empty"? We've all heard "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade", and similar adages. How you view things makes a huge difference. So rather than seeing your talents as a burden (like I used to), wear that cape proudly. Cultivate a swagger and own the power that God has endowed you with!
  4. Take care of yourself. I'm sure this seems very basic, but when we are juggling a lot, sometimes we slip to the bottom (or off) of the priority list. This can lead to burnout, resentment and worse. Yes, it's easier said than done, but it is absolutely essential. When I wrote that "superwoman is dead" bit I was not even on the radar screen. Always allow some time for yourself - to enjoy things you like to do, spending time with people you love, or just DOING NOTHING. 

Have a wonderful week, and *raising cup of coffee*... here's to the journey!

Peace & Blessings,
TRamsey © 9/2010


Trina Ramsey is a career and life coach, specializing in personal transformation and career transition. With 20 years of experience in business and management, Trina is a "people person" and a change agent. Trina started her business, Perspectives Plus Coaching in 2009 after spending 15 years as a nonprofit fundraiser and experience running her own interior decorating business. For more on Trina visit trinaramsey.com. @PerspectivePlus  or https://www.facebook.com/CareerTalkWithCoachTrina

Stuff

I left home with 3 suitcases and $1000 to my name. Now 45 years later I’m looking at stuff.  We all seem to like “stuff”.  It’s a fact-we are creatures that accumulate stuff!  We buy big houses to put all our stuff into.  And if that doesn’t work, we pay extra to have our stuff in storage units. We work long hours at a job where we cannot see or enjoy our stuff.  The weekend comes and we collapse in bed, ignoring our stuff. 

We tend to hold onto it, carrying that one box of precious stuff as we move from location to location. We purchase stuff, AKA collector’s items, old cars, junk jewelry, antiques, china, Lladro and more, that we don’t have space for anymore.  Maybe these hold memories of our younger days or they remind us of our childhood, our children or loved ones that have passed away.  To part with these seems impossible.

There is a saying that goes, “You have to get rid of the old to make way for the new.” or “If you are feeling stuck in your life, ditch the stuff and do some “Spring Cleaning”. 

To make way for this new “Spring Clearing” with every step we need to take a long hard look at the things that no longer serve us, things that drain us instead of giving us energy, and things that keep us from moving forward. We may also need to leave those toxic friendships behind.  Saying goodbye to old clutter and toxic friends may not be an easy task but it can prove beneficial for bringing in the new.  In the “Spring Season” we welcome new energy, new growth and new beginnings. 

If you need a little gentle nudge to toss stuff, consider these:

  1. First sit back - see if there’s stuff taking over your life.  Cleaning out the clutter is “done in layers”.  In a moment of mindfulness, you may be able to expand your comfort zone and look at what you really need and enjoy in your life and look at what you can remove that’s no longer working. Ask yourself- “Do I allow stuff to identify who I am?”
  2.   If you live alone, make the decision to surround yourself with what makes you happy, what you enjoy most and down size the rest.  If you have an office at home make it uniquely yours and remove the clutter.  Removing clutter opens new doors to opportunities.
  3. Our bodies accumulate toxic residues -that may also need to be cleaned out.  And “Spring” can be the perfect time with the warmer weather it brings.  Try juicing at home, for 5 days. Juicing can give your digestive system a rest.  You may also experience improved immune function.
  4. If you have a ton of skin care products, look at the expiration dates. The epidermis constantly rebuilds itself.  Nothing worse than old skin care products going on your brand new skin! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0005206/)

We can experience many emotions when we clear the clutter, such as depression-helplessness-survival and fear. Include “Self Care” in your day- this can mean a hug, a walk, a home cooked meal or having a meaningful conversation with a loved one.  Honor your health and embrace change.

Hire a health coach for any growth area you need to work on.  Connie Rogers is a Certified Integrated Holistic Health Coach.  For more health tips I invite you to visit www.bitesizepieces.net and https://www.facebook.com/ReverseageWellnessSpa

 

THE MOST EXCITING TICKET IN TOWN

Q: What was the most exciting ticket in town this past weekend?

A: Well, it depends on what you’re into, but for me, it was the Inaugural Life Coach Radio Network Workshop Weekend!

I’m part of this amazing network of coaches from around the country, and we’re on the radio several times a month; however, this was our first live event and it was a great success. Here are some of my takeaways. My hope is that you will be inspired in some aspect of your life by some of these really amazing coaches!

·         Mindful Eating: I was able to apply lessons from this talk right away, especially because it took place right before lunch! If you know me, you know I love me some Japanese ramen. Well, I went to my fave place for lunch and practiced the mindful eating techniques Danielle Mercurio provided during her workshop. I left feeling satisfied, yet not full and was able to return to the event fully charged, but not lethargic.

·         Spirituality: This is an area I’m constantly looking to work on. Jennifer Kottler provided a fresh new perspective – a different way to look at spirituality that I can incorporate into my daily practice. Her use of analogies and phrases made it very simple for a novice spiritual-ite to engage.

·         Resilience: Man, this is one of my favorite topics. Developing resilience serves us in so many aspects of life- work, diet/exercise, personal relationships and hell- even the NYC Subway system! When I was promoted a few years back in my conference life, I had an executive coach who focused on resilience with me, and these lessons have served me well. Filomena Iorio-Tasoluk and Veronica Taylor really broke down the top 10 characteristics to grow and build upon to develop this important muscle. They’re turning it into an online workshop soon, too!

·         Defining Your Life, Your Way: This was my workshop and it’s a topic area I’m super passionate about. We talked about defining what matters to you- not what matters to others- and the next step is to put what matters to you into a WIP “Life Plan” so to speak that can be changed as you go and grow.

·         Going With The Flow: We had our first live studio audience for an actual LIVE radio show on this very topic! Coaches Andrea Ruchelman, Tim Billiter and Russ Terry talked about how to get into the right mindset to be able to do this naturally and easily. This TOTALLY came in handy during snarled traffic and commutes due to freezing train lines this week!

·         Clearing Clutter: Danielle Mund shared her theory on “Your ONE thing,” where she laid out what multitasking actually does to our brains and why focusing on Your ONE thing will help you actually achieve results. She talked about how you can define your one thing to move forward. This was REALLY helpful to me, because in addition to my growing coaching business, I do event work so I am constantly mutli-tasking. This helped me understand how to cultivate my ONE thing while still being practical.

·         Networking With Linked In: Russ Terry brought the workshop weekend HOME, yo! He closed the weekend on an equally strong note to the rest of the amazing workshops with a really practical, hands on approach to using Linked In to find business opportunities and the job of your dreams. I was able to use my computer in real time to update my profile and make it stronger.

Unfortunately, I was unable to clone myself and attend all the various workshops going on at once.  There were opportunities to hear from Divorce Coach Martin Salama, Life Purpose Coach Annette Johnson, Clutter Coach Tracy Pierce, Leadership Coach Barbara Hetzel, Purpose and Transitions Coach Mandy Roczniak and Corporate Coach Shannon Sennefelder.

If you’re looking for some guidance on any of these areas of your life, definitely contact them or me and be sure to listen in on our upcoming shows!


Jill Ozovek is a personal development coach who works with 30-something women (and others!) with demanding careers and busy lives get real with themselves and figure out how to take the next big step in their lives, whether it be a career change, personal development goal or relationship challenge. To learn more, visit www.jillozovek.com

3 Ways to Honor Your Sentimental Items and Reduce the Clutter

When I work with clients, one of the common things people have trouble with is sentimental items they received or inherited. Some of us feel that to donate or otherwise get rid of these items that have been passed down isn’t right, that we must keep the item to honor that person’s memory. But how are you honoring a person’s memory if all that stuff is just sitting in your basement gathering dust and mold?

Just because you’re getting rid of a sentimental item doesn’t mean that you’re throwing out the person or his or her memory. There are many ways to remember these items and the memories they represent. Here are three ideas:

1. Take Digital Photos. We are so lucky to live in the digital age where we can create ways to remember our physical items in a digital format, which of course frees up our physical space. When my mom finally made me take ownership of all the dolls she had saved for me from childhood, I knew I didn’t want to keep most of them, but I did want to remember the dolls. So I spent some time taking some great photos of them to help me remember. It made it much easier to donate them after taking the photos. I've found that with sentimental items, people are often afraid that if they get rid of the item they will lose the memory. For me, taking a digital photo is a great way to keep the memory without keeping the stuff.

2. Keep ONE, Not All. Many people will shutter to think of breaking up an old dish set, but if the dishes are just sitting in a box in your basement, what good are they really serving? Consider keeping one place setting of the dishes or another piece you really like, and finding a place in your home to display it. Donate or consign the rest of the set. The same goes for other collections that you may have inherited - pick one (or a few) that you really like and that you're willing to display in your home, and get rid of the rest.

3. Repurpose Old Items into Display Art. I encourage you to think outside the box. For example, those quilts that you inherited – perhaps they are ripped in a few places and stained in others, but your grandma made the quilts so you really want to keep them. How about cutting out some of your favorite parts of the quilts and transforming them into a wall hanging for display? Another fun idea - I met a woman who takes antique-looking dishes and makes them into yard sculptures (most of which have little solar lights built into them for night lighting). If you're not the arts and crafts type, talk to some of your friends who have these talents and see if they might be willing to help you repurpose your items.

If you have sentimental items in your home that you’ve had packed up for some time, look very carefully at them; do you really want to keep them? If you do, find a way to incorporate them into your home and DISPLAY them, they aren't serving any purpose to be packed away for years on end. Stuff was meant to be used and enjoyed, not collecting dust in moldy corners of your basement!

Have you used any of these or other methods with your own sentimental items? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

 Tracy K. Pierce

Tracy K. Pierce

Tracy K. Pierce is a Clutter Coach, Holistic Organizer, and the creator of the Reclaim Your Space, Reclaim Your Life Bootcamp program. She is the owner and founder of Synergy Organizing and Synergy Wellness. Her mission is to propel her clients towards the realization of their ideal lives. Tracy assists holistically-minded and motivated people who are sick and tired of their clutter reclaim space for what matters most.