Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year 2009

Monday, December 29th, 2008

It’s here again, that time of year when we all make New Year’s resolutions. Actually I’m all for resolutions, goals, intentions. Let’s go for it! Only this time, I’d like to be serious about it. Too often in the past I’ve made resolutions that I knew I wouldn’t even really attempt to keep. You know the type, ‘I resolve to lose 20 pounds and get in the best shape of my life…by February 1st’. That sort of resolution isn’t really meant to work; it’s just something to say before toasting to the New Year.

As a life coach it’s very important to me that I set my goals, plan my resolutions with the intention of carrying through with them. Now that doesn’t mean to make them easy, no-brainer goals, not at all. I still believe in shooting for the stars, but I’d like to do it in a manner that I actually believe will be completely successful.

So, here’s how I plan to go about it.

1. I discover what my hopes and dreams are by doing new vision boards. I usually do one board, but this year I feel the need to do several. I will most likely do one for health and fitness, another for vacation and travel, a third for home and gardens, etc.

2. Feel and express my gratitude. I believe before I can expect to bring new wonderful things into my life, I need to be grateful for what is already making my life terrific. For instance, I’m not going to carry on and crab about a somewhat less than perfect physical body, instead I will focus everyday on how grateful I am that I have a body that functions well, gets me everywhere I would like to go, sees, hears and thinks very efficiently and generally has served me very well.

3. Spend a bit of time visualizing my goal and feeling what I will feel like when I have achieved my goal. I will picture myself at what I consider my physical optimum, possibly see myself running effortlessly, swimming strongly or biking up a hill. I will allow myself to feel the excitement of knowing that I can run, swim or bike as far as I want and feel strong, happy, pleased with the accomplishment.

4. Let it go. Release the thought with the knowledge and full expectation that this new me is becoming reality right at this very moment. One of my favorite authors, Doreen Virtue, put it something like this; when you are in a restaurant you select your sandwich, put in your order and wait for it to arrive. You know that your sandwich is coming because you have asked for it, you don’t doubt it, and you don’t keep asking the waiter for your sandwich. You simply wait expectantly knowing that it’s going to be perfect when it arrives.

5. When the dream is realized – and I believe it will be, I simply offer my thanks again.

I truly believe that everything we experience is something that we have asked for, intentionally or not. So, I try to think in positive terms. If I want to be debt-free, I don’t focus on debt, I focus on having enough prosperity and abundance to cover my wants and my needs. Focusing on the negative, the debt portion will only bring about more debt, focusing on the abundance and prosperity will bring about plenty.

So, that’s it. The life coach in me realizes that it’s extremely important to have a goal or an intention. Taking action is putting those goals and intentions down on paper, looking at them and spending a few minutes every day visualizing and enjoying the feelings of success. Again, the life coach in me is not done, I will assess and reassess, tweaking and changing as life goes on and changes.

2009 is going to be full of changes, and change can be very exciting. I hope you are going to reach for the stars, because the stars are all there waiting for you to reach out and grab them, I can see you now, swinging on your own personal star. 🙂

I hope you enjoy the remainder of 2008, and plan a fabulous 2009!

With warmth and excitement,
Sandy

Teachers

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

I was thinking about my parents the other day when the most obvious conclusion came to me, they are and have always been awesome life coaches.

From my earliest memory my parents have taught me to try to find the positive side to almost any situation. They never denied whatever circumstances existed, they simply put their efforts into improving that situation and they taught their children to try to do the same.

Back in 1973 my dad broke his neck in a diving accident. The result was that he became a quadriplegic. During the next year, my mom split her days, going to the hospital for several hours in the morning to be with my dad, learning about his new disability and being his strongest supporter. She would then come home to be with us four kids, my elder brother was fourteen at the time, I was 12 and my two younger sisters were 8 and 3 years old. My mom would supervise homework and dinner and then taking one or two of the kids with her she would return to the hospital until 9 at night. She kept this routine day in and day out. While I remember her crying and being naturally upset, she didn’t dwell on it. I don’t remember her ranting or carrying on, I simply remember that life changed and she rolled with it well. She kept in close contact with my aunt and uncle who lived nearby, accepted and appreciated their amazing support. My mom is a terrific life coach.

When I would go to see my dad he would smile and laugh as he always had. He showed us how he was learning to do wheelies in his wheelchair, telling us all about the physical therapy he was going through everyday as he learned to walk again and making sure that we got to know the other men in the ward, all of whom had suffered some type of spinal cord injury. He did all he could to put us at ease and to teach us that while everyone there had some sort of injury, each one of them had plans to go back to his life and family as soon as possible. In short life goes on and he taught us to look forward to it with optimism and enthusiasm. My dad is a fabulous life coach as well.

As the years went by, my mom went to nursing school to become an LPN, she always told us that my dad being disabled gave her this opportunity as he was now home with the kids. She took positive action and made positive strides forward, again showing all of us that she was a great life coach.

My dad accepted his new found limitations, taking on the roles of head cook and chief babysitter. He always told us and tells us to this day, that every day is a bonus. As the years went by my dad continued to work hard to keep the mobility that he had gained in the year after he got hurt. The doctors told him that he would never be able to walk again, but he did, showing us that having a goal and a positive, determined attitude makes anything possible. I told you he was a terrific life coach.

Time has gone on. In 1973 my dad was told that he had an outside chance of living for another 15 years. I remember that he used to laugh at that, and I think he’s still laughing. It’s now 35 years since his accident. He no longer walks, using a wheelchair to get around now as his condition has deteriorated in recent years. But here’s the thing, my parents are still showing us how to move forward in a positive manner. They are not a sweet, cuddly couple that’s likely to gush about one another. Instead they are loud, friendly and sometimes crabby, but underneath all the noise as they laugh, tease and make good natured fun of one another, there is no doubt about the respect, optimist and love that they still demonstrate very clearly. Each of their children and grandchildren has been blessed to be witness to this behavior and attitude and I have to believe that we are all the better because of their teachings. I’m very grateful to have been raised by amazing life coaches and teachers.

Wishing you a day filled with optimism, enthusiasm and wonderful life coaches.

Warmly,
Sandy

Together

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

It’s been a long time since my entire family was together for Christmas. Our eldest son left for the Air Force right after high school and spent most of the next six Christmas holidays in far away places. One of our other sons enjoys traveling and he spent last Christmas far away in a much warmer location. This year they are all home, along with our beautiful new daughter-in-law. We are very grateful.

As a life coach I spend a lot of my time trying to help others see that there are always two ways of looking at every situation. We have been very grateful for the past several years that everyone was healthy and happy, focusing on the amazing blessings in our lives and enjoying the emails and phone calls that we shared, even when we were not together.

I realize that it is very likely that next year we will be spending the holiday season in different locations. One of our boys is probably going to be moving south (he is so not a fan of the cold Wisconsin weather) another is probably going to relocate to another state for his job. That means that the third will probably get a bit more attention than he would like, but he’s a good sport and I think he can handle it.

What all of this means is that like everyone, we discover again and again that life is about change. We are determined to relax and enjoy having each other this year. Visiting with grandparents, aunts and uncles we appreciate all of the blessings that we often take for granted. We don’t know what the next year will bring, except that we can be pretty certain it will be somewhat different than this season. Some of us may be together, some may be far away. I feel sure that we will still find ways to stay close, and being located in other parts of the country gives us all good reason to take vacation. For our family even when we are separated by many miles, we still know that we are connected by love and genuine affection.

I encourage you to contact and connect with family and friends. If they are nearby terrific! If they are far away you can still be together. Phone calls, emails, cards and letters still connect us in powerful ways. We don’t have to be related to those we love, friends often become our family. This is a wonderful season to reach out to all those we care about and to let them know how we feel about them. Every time we do share that affection we feel a little bit better about our own lives and what friend or family member doesn’t want to know they are loved. The life coach in me loves that! It’s a win-win all around.

So, for this holiday season I wish you the fabulous feeling of knowing that you care about someone and that they care about you in return.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, happy holidays to all of you my friends,
Sandy

Snow!

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

It’s winter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Not officially of course. According to the calendar, winter won’t begin for a few more days. But it turns out that Jack Frost has decided to do things his way. Last night we received approximately another foot or so of snow and there is more to come over the next few days.

Not everyone is a fan of the snow, especially not this much snow this early in the year. But I am! I love the snow. My only complaint is that this was not snowman snow. I know that for sure, I tried and tried to build a snowman, but it just didn’t pack right. Something about a fresh snowfall brings out the 4 year old that lives deep inside of me. I can’t wait to go out in the snow and play. I like to kick it around, make snow angels, build snowmen, taste it (only the snow that is white) and watch it for hours and hours. I don’t even mind shoveling the snow.

Why? To me I think that snow represents so many good things. First of all it represents change of course. I really enjoy the change of seasons in Milwaukee, it’s beautiful. To my mind change is very exciting! It means that anything can happen and I always assume that means something wonderful. But most of all, I think that snow brings wonderful memories back to me.

When I was growing up, a good snowstorm meant that my dad would load us all up in the car along with the toboggan. We’d head to Whitnall Park; they had the very best sledding hill in the area. My dad would pile all of us kids on the toboggan and then he’d jump on just as we were headed down the hill. We would fly! Sometimes when it was time to climb up that very tall, slippery hill we would jump back on and get pulled right back up. Ice skating, sledding, snowmobiling, building snow forts and having snowball fights. When I think about it, snow meant fun, fun, fun! When we were all tired out, my mom would make us hot chocolate and wrap us in warm blankets.

As a life coach sometimes I think that there should be a deeper message in everything. If that’s so, then the message this week is very simple. Enjoy. Enjoy the changes that are inevitable. Enjoy the memories and enjoy building new memories. That’s it. It’s just that simple.

Wishing you a fabulous day, just like I remember when I was a kid.

Warmly,
Sandy

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Recently I had the opportunity to meet truly remarkable women. Back in 1999 their sister and Aunt Ms. Joan Sagan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Dedicated to fighting this disease in 2001 the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance or WOCA was developed. www.woca.net.

Since that time, Ms. Sagan unfortunately lost her battle with cancer. Her sisters Sandi and Kelli, along with Sandi’s daughter Erin have been working tirelessly to spread hope, encouragement and information to families who have been affected by this disease.

Meeting these women and hearing their message touched me in a way that was much deeper than what I expected. Of course they are passionate about their subject. I expected that much. What really moved me was the way that they quite literally radiate light and hope. They are currently in the process of having their website completely redone by NewAlliance Marketing, www.NewAllianceMarketing.com. Their message is unrelentingly positive. Early detection and education can and does make such an amazing difference in the outcome of this disease. That is of course their emphasis. But it’s the way they deliver their message that strikes me. These women are cheerful, uplifting, positive…in short they are hopeful.

Traveling frequently, they share this message whenever and wherever possible. They offer insight regarding how to communicate with someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. They offer some idea of what a person who has been diagnosed with cancer may expect to experience regarding emotions, treatments and so much more.

Sandi, Kelli and Erin have faced this most feared disease and continue to face it everyday. They are not angry, bitter women although many would say they have every right to be. They are comforting, uplifting and darned funny!

I encourage you to watch their new website develop in the next few months; you will see so much more of their dedication come to life on your computer screen. Please consider making a donation to WOCA. No doubt about it, it’s time and money well spent.
To contribute, please make your check or money order payable to the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance and mail to:

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance
P.O. Box 482
Oak Creek, Wisconsin 53154
Fax: 414-764-4492
E-mail: friends@woca.net

Sandi, Kelli and Erin are fabulous. My hope for all of you is that you allow yourself to be touched by them and their cause.

Warmly,
Sandy

Goals, Plans and Dreams

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Do you have goals? What do you hope to accomplish? Where do you intend to go? What are your dreams?

I encourage you to take some serious time to think about these questions. After all, how can you possible work out a strategy for achieving goals if you don’t know what they are? I encourage you to shoot for the moon, truly. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen, or at your computer, whatever works for you. Jot down every desire, everything you dream of doing, everything you hope and intend to be, everywhere you plan to go, all that you intend to bring into your life. Brainstorm. Write it all down. You might be very surprised at some of the things you discover about yourself.

A few months ago I decided to make a vision board. I really thought this would be a very simple process. I’m a grown woman after all; I have a pretty darned good idea what I want, where I want to go, etc. And so I sat down thinking I’d have this done in very short order. Not so much. It took me half of forever. I used magazines, newspapers, etc.

The idea was to cut out pictures, words and phrases that appealed to me. This helped me to focus and define my goals and dreams. Then, using a glue stick, apply these pictures, words and phrases to my posterboard, creating my vision board.

The first evening it took hours. For some reason almost none of the pictures spoke to me at all, however words felt as though they were practically jumping off of the pages at me. I found many words describing feelings, thoughts and ideas that truly spoke to me. I cut them out and glued them to vision board. It took me hours. The next day, I felt a need to go back to my vision board. I pulled out the magazines again, but now the pictures seemed to speak to me, not the words at all. I found myself pulled again and again to pictures of water of all sorts, gardens of many types, etc. I let instinct guide me and I truly enjoyed putting my vision board together.

What does a vision board have to do with goals? Well, my vision board was about the places I intend to go, the gardens I intend to have, etc. My intentions are my goals. It’s been proven again and again that we are much more likely to reach our goals if we write them down and place them somewhere that we can see them daily. A vision board can be a list of goals, pictures, or whatever speaks to you. I encourage you to make one soon, or 15 if that’s better for you!

A few days ago I was chatting with a client about vision boards and realized that I need to work on a new one. Except that now I don’t want one board. I want or perhaps more correctly, I need to make several. One is about travel, the trips that I intend to take. Another is about the home that I intend to live in; a third is about personal health and fitness. I think you get the idea.

I would encourage you to set some goals, really allow yourself to think as big as your heart will allow. Imagine yourself accomplishing these goals, think about how you will feel when you achieve them and enjoy the feeling. Get excited! Then write them down, draw them, take photos, cut out pictures, whatever speaks to you. Put them on one or more vision boards and keep this board somewhere that you are able to focus on it for at least 5 minutes a day. Keep it somewhere that you are able to see it frequently. Read the words aloud and allow yourself to feel the excitement that you know you will feel as you drive that amazing car (if a new car is one of your goals), smell the fragrances, feel the elation, hear the sounds, really immerse yourself totally in the success that you intend to experience.

The fact is that we are much more likely to achieve that which we are able to visualize, feel and experience in our hearts. So give it a shot.

Wishing you a fabulous time as you discover all of your goals, plans and dreams.

With warmth,
Sandy