Archive for December, 2012
‘Tis the season for life change. Thanksgiving has come and gone, Christmas and the birth of our Savior has been celebrated, and now people are focusing on all the things they want to change this next year. Many will discover the changes they so desperately want to make this year are the very things they wanted to change last year, too. And the year before. And maybe even the year before that.
If this is the case, we may start asking if change really is a priority for us? Or are we simply unavailable for changes we entertain?
It’s one thing to WANT to change, dream of all the changes we can make and yet another to actually do something differently in our lives to cause that change.
To want change, all we need to do is think, ponder, look at something else, and desire for something different:
A brand new mindset…
A new career…
A better year full of opportunities…
A new attitude…
To be a world changer…
We may desire these changes this year, but may not realize that the things we desire now, were available to us last year, too. And since they were available, we might need to challenge ourselves with a question:
If all of this life change and opportunity was available to us last year, but we didn’t take it, take advantage of it, or seize the opportunities to grasp it, was it because we truly in all honesty couldn’t make the change happen while being truly diligent to move toward it? Or was it because we as individuals were unavailable for change and didn’t really try all that hard?
What do I mean by unavailable? As a coach, I mean the following:
- Hopeful and wishful without a plan
- Little thought about the steps needed to move toward it
- Lack of personal responsibility and accountability
- Self sabotage Identification (no excuses)
- No plan for perseverance
- Lack of proper positive supports
There is no doubt that we really would like our lives to change in many areas. That weight loss, that career path we really wanted, the job change, the financial freedom and savings we desire, well, those things we dream about and envision the positive impacts they may have in our life areas. While they are important and likely changes we may really want, we need to make sure we’re prepared to take the steps necessary to bring them to life and not just talk about them in life.
Without taking proper action, having an achievable plan, and the positive people and supports in place to follow through to make it happen with our daily efforts and accountability for those daily efforts we must make, we just act like change will happen based on luck. And there is nothing lucky about change. Just ask those who are making it! It may very well be hard and require tons of perseverance, but those who have made it will say it’s also very worthwhile work. And the only reason they succeed is because they didn’t give up!
For the changes to happen, we have to be available by:
- Having a clear vision of our goal
- Understand the reason we desire and prioritize it
- An achievable action plan with daily steps
- Time devoted to meeting with our mentors and coaches
- Accountability and admitting our weaknesses and strengths
- Accepting responsibility and persevering
- Planning our perseverance steps to keep going when the going gets tough (not when it gets tough…it WILL get tough, so we are prepared and proactive!)
If we leave life to luck, are we really saying we’re ready to make change? Or are we just occupying life with hope, dreams, and the imagery of change in the form of entertained thoughts without being available for the work required to make them our changed reality? We can entertain our minds with many feel good changes. But in order for them to become a reality, we have to do more than be entertained by them. We’ve got to work for them. And we need a plan of action and plan of perseverance. Leave nothing of importance to chance. Take action!
Without making those changes a priority and working toward them daily, the results of our inaction could discourage us before we really give it our all. We may have wanted it, but we were simply unavailable, because our focus was elsewhere. Without a proper focus and support system in place, persevering will be one of the most difficult tasks ever. Giving up is easy. Sticking with it through the doubt, setbacks, and times when progress is slow is much harder. Having proper supports in the form of a coach or mentor is absolutely imperative, not just for average people, but leaders as well. We all need good, solid support systems when it comes to making changes and living a life of opportunity. Opportunity for what? Whatever you can dream in the nine life areas. Your life is about vision. You have to see it clearly in order to move toward it.
Some will decide that this is the year they get healthy. Others will choose to simply make this the year they de-stress. And many others will determine to make this their year to try something new: head a new direction, learn something they didn’t think they could, change their community, focus on family…it’s your life, so you prioritize it!
This year, don’t be unavailable to the changes and priorities you desire in life. Make them real by making yourself available. Make your plan. Make your changes. And follow it.
Be there, be available to live it, and the change will happen.
Change doesn’t happen by chance. It happens to those who make themselves available and do what it takes to achieve it.
What’s your dream? What’s your priority? What’s the change you want to make? Share your comments!
By the way…if life management prioritization and coaching is something you would like to incorporate into your life change success in 2013, I currently have just three spots available (online email/phone coaching). $99 gets you three sessions and the action planning tools you need to keep going after that. Contact Christine now to inquire about your coaching sessions.
One year, I gave my daughter a few cans of black olives as one of her gifts. Why? Because every time I opened olives to cook with or use in a salad, she would sneak a few with me following her close behind chasing her out of them! They were for dinner! But, they are also one of the things she enjoys and loves very much. As a young girl, she would put olives on all 10 fingers before eating a single one, as she would remind us how much she loved her “olphants” or rather olives.
So at a time of the year when it’s about love and giving, I decided as one of her gifts to give her something she would really enjoy and treasure. Needless to say she ate them ALL with a big smile on her beautiful face! Each year, I seek tiny treasures for everyone by searching for the things I know they love the most and don’t always get to enjoy as they would like to. And it makes the shopping fun and gift giving intimately personal.
It’s not about big and expensive gifts, but rather giving treasures. While some treasures are very small, the meaning within them is priceless. And to me, a tiny treasure is always a gift worth giving.
There are a lot of different views on giving from the heart. What tiny treasures have you given or received?
Change requires follow through. Without it, it is only possible to gather information, data, and dream about our vision. But once we have all that, there has to be something more.
Something sustainable to support the endeavor.
Something that will mean lasting change and not just the latest failed attempt.
If you’re making changes in your own life, you must follow through by taking on the task of making the appropriate changes yourself. You’ll want to make sure you have your own personal supports, plans, and action plans in place. And you’ll have the opportunity to run with the ball getting things in motion right away.
But, if you’re making changes and working with a team to make adjustments or changes in an organizational type of setting, there must be support that is ongoing from the organization as a whole. This is necessary in order for those gathering information and taking the necessary steps to be successful over the long term.
Without proper supports in place when making changes, anything forthcoming is more than likely only sustainable for a short time. Changes require resources of some sort.
Personal changes are easier to navigate, because there is no one to ask before making them. You want to change something? Change it! It’s fairly easy in that aspect.
However, when on an organization has multiple layers of leadership and various levels, people may find themselves in a place where permissions are necessary to implement changes. If support is coming from the boardroom or from others who need to be in on the changes taking place, and the support and follow through doesn’t come from the sources it should in a timely manner, the ball can be easily dropped causing chaos and confusion. This just leads to frustrations by the team members and those working diligently to make the changes happen. Eventually, they will give up and move on realizing that the mountain is too difficult to move and their efforts are fruitless. At this point, the ball drops, the change stops, and no one knows why.
When the ball is dropped it can mean that there was no one to pass it to on the same team. And after trying to be an entire team without a response from the other members or the lack of supports, the player drops the ball. After all, if people can’t change the obstacle that stands in the way, they may decide to join another team where there is someone to catch the change and move along toward the vision.
Remember: When asking people to join a team to make changes, or when making changes yourself, always remember to provide and plan for proper supports. Make sure that the provision, encouragement, and time is there to implement the changes and that the resources are provided in a timely manner.
Here’s a follow-up from Christine’s last post.
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This is part of our life management in December series to bring you tips for dealing with stress during this crazy time of year! Enjoy this second part of our life management stress-busting posts!
My kids have always been impatient when it comes to food. In fact as little ones, it was always my goal to get them served as quickly as possible to avoid any hunger meltdowns in the high chair that would draw the attention of neighbors three doors down. My kids have always had good sets of lungs, and when they were hungry and tired of waiting, I wasn’t the only one who could hear it!
My daughter was rushing my mother in the kitchen to hurry up and fix her “swamwich.” one day at lunch time. So my mom had a conversation with her about patience, what it is, and how to have some while she prepared her lunches.
A few days later, my oldest (now almost 19 years old!), asked my mom for some patience on her sandwich. Only my mother had no idea what she wanted! After going through everything in the pantry, she grabbed the jar of peanut butter, and my daughter shouted, “Patience!” Of course, at this my mother was laughing. She remembered the conversation about having patience while fixing my daughter a peanut butter sandwich. So naturally, this kiddo associated patience with peanut butter!
If only we could open a jar and smooth some patience into our lives. If only it was that easy.
But really, having more patience in our lives IS that easy. It will however, take some work on our part. And a ton of effort if we’ve been conditioned to instant gratification all of the time.
Here are some things to help you add a little patience to your life and teach your family to do the same:
1. Focus on people. Not your technology. Relationships are more important than the technology in our world today. While technology can keep us connected, it is the relationships that need to flourish in our lives and communities. But if we let technology control our time and energy by being constantly “on”, we run the risk of not being IN relationships after all, because we may not be fully present. Our kids, spouses, and those we love and minister to need not just our time, but our attention, too.
2. If it’s not urgent then don’t. Don’t respond to every call, every text, and every email as you receive them. Not only is this a time waster and inefficient, but it takes us to the place of having to have an immediate response time and a zero wait in our society only adding to peoples impatience and demand for instant everything. There is nothing wrong with waiting. Waiting produces character and truly nothing exposes character flaws faster than times that patience is requested. Create healthy boundaries and expect that people be reasonably patient with you. This is good and healthy for you, your family, and those that you deal with. Think of patience as character development. And when you need to be patient with others consider it YOUR character development. This works two ways!
3. STOP feeling guilty! One of my FAVORITE life management quotes is from Bill Cosby. ” I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everybody.” Stop feeling less than you really are, because you can’t please everybody, get to everything, and save the world all before lunch time. Seriously! It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Then why do we spend so much time beating ourselves up over and over, because there is just not enough of us (time, energy, or otherwise) to get to everyone as soon as they request it? It is silly. Yet we do it all the time!
The best way to add patience to your life is to determine your life priorities and then manage your time, talents, energy, resources, obligations, goals, skills, and dreams around them.
Once I met a young woman that was so distraught and upset with herself and her ability to cope with the constant demands of her life. So much so, that she tried to take her own life, because she felt she was a failure. The truth is, she was not a failure at all. She was just trying to run through her hectic life without priorities and a plan and without establishing boundaries for her time, energy, and resources. To her surprise, she learned to take control, have patience with herself and others, and change the outlook for an impossible life, to a more peaceful, productive, and enjoyable life.
Sometimes the key is not to figure out how to do everything. The key is to learn to be patient with yourself and others. The key is to do what your priorities and resources allow for. And sometimes it requires that you just spread a little patience into your schedule to remember that like fixing a sandwich, you can’t just throw your life together and hope it tastes good. Even a good sandwich requires a little patience.
This is part of our December life management and helpful stress-busting tools to help YOU manage and navigate through the crazy seasons in life. Stay tuned for more coming in the next weeks! Make life management a must in your life and find the relief you desire! Until next time…:)
The following is from my personal Facebook status tonight. It’s just my thoughts about an amazing day I thought I’d share. It’s really nothing other than me just thinking from the heart out loud…
After my day today in this community, and praise and worship in community tonight, well, I am just beside myself with few words, because I sit in awe of God. I love community. All communities. But I love this community with a passion, because of the relationships built with the people in this community. All of them. Rich, poor, it doesn’t matter. But, I do have to say that I LOVE getting hugged by the homeless person that knows my name and asks for prayer. I don’t mind that the person wanting to join hands for prayer reeks of body odor and is filthy. I love having a conversation with the person picking up cigarette butts to roll whatever they can get out of them because it’s all they’ve got. They just want to have a friend. And I am blessed these same people will confide HUGE, massive, and scary things (they used to scare me and I’d tell God I wasn’t ready to help pray for such intense things) but I thank God that they feel comfortable enough now to ask for prayer, and I no longer fret, because God shows up every time!
It’s not about preaching in a church building or having church between four walls. It’s being the church wherever you are! The body can pump life into the world when it reaches out into the community and doesn’t try to change people, but rather just love them. It’s loving people enough to be the Light, speak the Truth, and build real relationships. That is church to me. It’s community. Inside the church AND out. Those relationships matter so much. And I am so FREAKIN’ blessed because of them. (I normally don’t use that word, because I feel it is almost too strong, but it fits here in strength!) God doesn’t bless them with us, but rather He blesses us with them!
I believe that we build up the church when we build up the people outside of it. And that is how community erases the line between them. The church exists in the community. And the community exists in the church. That’s when they become one. I’d say I need to turn off my brain and stop thinking, but that’s not what this is about. It’s not my brain or smarts at work here. It’s all heart. And if the heart stops beating…well, we don’t want that! GET involved in community. It’s not hard. And everyone has time. Could be why I am so passionate about life management. We ALL have time to do something and do it well. Time, Talents, and Resources. You’ve got them! Don’t be afraid to give them! Live a life of faith in action. Go. Do. Be the Light. 🙂