Change

An Alternative to New Year’s Resolutions: Year-End Lessons

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 | 0 comments

Many of us fall into one camp or the other: the optimistic resolution-makers — who begin the year with energy and hope for positive change — and the cynical non-resolvers who sit on the sidelines and dismiss resolutions as delusional and doomed to be broken. But for those who see a value in year-end reflection and intention setting but don’t embrace the resolution model, I’d like to invite a slightly different approach — one that is both grounded in experience and constructively future-oriented. It has three steps: we celebrate our successes; we acknowledge our...

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Life on the Other Side of the Finish Line

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 | 0 comments

Last weekend I completed the Bike MS Waves to Wine ride — the longest cycling event of my life — and I raised nearly $4000 for the MS Society. I feel strong and happy and proud. (I hesitate to admit that I feel proud, because my good New England upbringing taught me not to get “too big for my britches,”  but I do. Yay, me!) But what comes next, now that I have reached my goal? As I’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about effective goal setting, I haven’t addressed the crucial followup question: what’s next? When you are working toward a goal,...

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The Secret of Goal Setting: Values Alignment

Posted by on Sep 13, 2012 | 1 comment

The Secret of Goal Setting: Values Alignment

One of the first things we do in a coaching relationship — whether it is career coaching, leadership development, team coaching, or personal life coaching — is set goals. Like most coaches, I encourage my clients to (1) be very specific about their goals, (2) make them measurable (how will you know if you have succeeded?), (3) set a time limit, (4) identify what actions will move them toward their goal, and (5) relate their goal to their values, so that it inspires and motivates them.  It is the last element that is the true engine of achieving your goal. As an example, I will...

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Ask the Right Questions

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 | 0 comments

Ask the Right Questions

Sometimes, asking “why?” can be a trap. A typical individual coaching client comes to me wanting to do something (it could be anything – find a job, write a book, earn a promotion, get in shape) and looking for my help. Very likely by the time he comes to me, he has been thinking about it for a while. He probably feels stuck and unable to close the gap between what is and what he wants it to be. The temptation for some of these clients is to delve into explaining to me why  they have not done what they say they want. Reasons range from the practical (it’s hard, they don’t have...

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Reality Check Your Resolution

Posted by on Dec 30, 2010 | 0 comments

Whether or not you are a resolution-maker, the New Year invites you to take stock of the distance traveled over the last twelve months and set goals for the coming year. This year, many of us look back on 2010 and see a lot of hardships – whether loss of job, financial stress, health problems, or loss of loved ones. Most of these have hit pretty close to home for me over the last twelve months. And I, for one, am hoping for a better 2011. But while I am hopeful and positive, I am also aware of the many hurdles to overcome, both personally and globally. Cultivating a perspective that is at...

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Tapping Into Your Inner Board of Directors

Posted by on Oct 10, 2010 | 0 comments

Have you ever been stuck at a decision point, paralyzed by inner conflict, pulled in multiple directions by different needs, desires, and fears? Instead of trying to choose among these warring factions of yourself, perhaps it is time to get them to work together. Cast them as your internal Board of Directors, give each a seat at the table, and work out a deal so that you can move forward. Here’s one way to do it:* Step 1: Identify the topic or decision in neutral terms. Imagine (or draw) a boardroom table with the topic in the middle. Step 2: Identify between four and six internal...

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