Clearing


“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons.  Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie Carter Scott from the book One Choice

Happy New Year! I hope you and yours had a great Christmas or Hanukkah. Now that the Holidays are behind us, we can pause, take a breath and examine what lies ahead. I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tumultuous one for our country and the world.  We lost an unusually large number of beloved citizens, the most recent being Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. And many of us said goodbye to our own dear loved ones, as well.

With so much loss, rancor and division swirling around us, it is important to give yourself time to sit quietly and reflect on your own personal 2016 outcomes before you move on. Like mine, I am sure your year was a mixture of joy, heartbreak, challenge and triumph. By taking stock of what happened, you can discover important life lessons that will help you create your 2017 to be all that you want it to be.

In my 12+ years as a Personal Success Coach, I have been blessed to help over 600 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2017 your way requires a two-step process and NOW is the ideal time to begin:

Step One: Complete the Old Year.  You can’t create something NEW in a space that is cluttered with old stuff. So, if you want 2017 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced this year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great completion process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do that influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions.  Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Longtime readers will remember the thought-provoking list of 30 questions my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I have used for many years, called the Reflections Exercise. 

However, this year, I have winnowed the list down to just 12 KEY questions, in hopes that you will take the time to actually answer them!  If you are thoughtful and truthful, it should take just 30-60 minutes to journal your answers. And, if this introspection sets you up for a new level of success and happiness in the coming year, isn’t it worth making such a small effort?

(NOTE: If you DO want to take on completing the entire list of 30 questions, bravo!  I have provided a link at the end of the blog to all 30 Reflections Exercise questions.) 

Here are my selected 12 thought-provoking questions to help you gain perspective on the year just ended and prepare you to create a more successful year to come:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2016?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on, but didn’t?

Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2016?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the BIGGEST lesson I learned?  What’s important about that lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the eight questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year, including:

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2017?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year?  How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

If you are ambitious, click or paste the following link into your browser to see the entire 30-question Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your 2016: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

NEXT WEEK I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your new year with God/the Universe to be all that you would like it to be.  It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself every January for the past 12 years and I know you will too!

If you would like your own F*R*E*E subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift! 

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

“Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons. Love yourself, trust your choices and everything is possible.” – Cherie Carter Scott from the book One Choice

I hope you and yours had a great Christmas!   Now that it is behind us, our thoughts naturally turn to what lies ahead of us.

Each January presents you with a precious opportunity to wipe the slate clean and create a fresh start for your life! Whatever happened this year — for good and for bad – will not define your NEW year. Your beliefs, expectations and the actions you take today will determine how your TOMORROW goes.

In my 11+ years as a professional Coach, I have been blessed to help over 550 clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your 2016 YOUR way requires a two-step process and this week that bridges the old year and the new one is the ideal time to do it:

Step One: Complete the Old Year. You can’t create something NEW in a space that is full of old stuff. So, if you want 2016 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced this year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great “completion” process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

At the end of every year, my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I give our clients a thought-provoking list of 30 questions we call the Reflections Exercise to answer.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do which influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take NEW actions. Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much guarantees that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are a few of the thought-provoking “completion” questions we include:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2015?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on but didn’t?

Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2015?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the biggest lesson I learned? What’s important about the lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the 20 questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year, including:

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2016?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year? How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

NOTE: This not the COMPLETE list of questions. Done right, the entire Reflections Exercise takes most people about two hours, but it can be broken up into several sessions – one sitting per section works great. You do not have to answer every question, but do focus on the ones that are most relevant to you and take an honest look, so your next year can be even better!

Click here or copy this into your browser to get the entire Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your old year: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

NEXT WEEK I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your NEW year with God/the Universe exactly as you would like it to be. It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself at the start of every January for the past 11 years and I know you will too!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

“Life is too short to waste another day angry, offended, in self-pity…The pain of letting go is less than the pain of holding on and missing your destiny.” – Joel Osteen 

Everyone has been wronged at some time in their life – either intentionally or unintentionally.   It’s human nature to feel wounded, even devastated, by another’s betrayal or injustice. But once you get over the initial shock and sadness, it’s entirely up to YOU what happens next. You can choose to nurture your emotional wounds, or to let it go so you can thrive and prosper.

The Law of Attraction states that “energy attracts like energy.” Whatever you focus on and send energy toward will expand and grow stronger. Therefore, if you nurse a grudge, you are doing self-inflicted damage by sending out negative energy to draw back to you MORE opportunities to be mistreated and hurt.   My favorite quote on the subject of forgiveness is this: “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”

In her wonderful book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity, Master Manifester Edwene Gaines asserts that all debt is caused by unforgiveness. She says that debt is the last remaining socially-acceptable way of punishing ourselves. If you have significant debt you want to eliminate, Edwene suggests creating a “forgiveness inventory” that lists every last person you need to forgive in your life and then “get about forgiving them.”

Thanks to the Great Recession, my husband and I have personally experienced what it is to face seemingly-insurmountable debt. I took Edwene’s teachings to heart, and worked diligently over time to release all old resentments and blame. I emotionally released all the “debtors” in my life and eventually, many of our own debts were forgiven and our financial opportunities improved greatly. Today, we are debt-free, and I believe that learning to forgive myself and others played a significant role in our financial recovery.

Nevertheless, resentment and blame still try to come calling from time to time. I wrote about my most recent forgiveness challenge in Blog 201, where a client of mine lashed out at me verbally after I tried to hold him accountable for his lack of personal integrity toward working on his goals and keeping his agreements.

I came to what turned out to be our final coaching call ready to clear the air and get back on track. But he came to the call to tell me in detail how awful my treatment of him had been and what a bad coach I was. Even though I realized that he lacked the emotional maturity to openly admit and take personal responsibility for his mistakes, I was caught off guard by his anger. To keep from losing my own emotional control and possibly saying something I would regret, all I could do in that moment was to hang up on him in mid-sentence. That definitely is NOT something I am proud of, so I knew that I had to forgive both myself AND my client.

I quickly wrote him as calm and professional a “goodbye” email as I could muster. While I was still smarting emotionally, my honest intention was not to castigate him, but to give him some productive parting advice. I wrote, in part:

“I had a list of tools I was going to suggest to help you be more successful from here on out, but I didn’t get the chance to share them. First and foremost, I recommend you read The Four Agreements. Secondly, I highly recommend you enroll in the Landmark Forum, which is a weekend-long coaching course that changes lives. You will learn about your ‘stories’ (limiting beliefs about yourself and others), how to forgive yourself and others for the past, how to take 100% responsibility for yourself and how to be your word. I believe the cost is about two months of coaching, but I believe it is PRICELESS.” 

He never responded. Nevertheless, to help me release all negative feelings about him so that I could continue to thrive in my OWN life, I added him to my daily prayers for several people I know who are facing serious challenges that are beyond my personal ability to help them with.

Each day that I prayed for my former client’s success and happiness, my hurt feelings softened a bit.   After a few weeks, the day finally came when I realized that I didn’t harbor ANY negative feelings, and I knew that I had forgiven him. Then I was able to release him completely to God, trusting that he was being guided on his personal growth journey and that all would be well for him.

Just when I had finally stopped thinking about him at all, he sent me a text out of the blue. It was short and sweet: “Tomorrow is my completion evening for the Landmark Forum. As the person who invited me to take it, I would like you to be there as my guest.”

I was stunned. I hadn’t imagined he would take any further advice from me, let alone invite ME to see him complete a course that obviously shifted his mindset and will likely change his life for the better in many ways!  I responded warmly that I would have been honored to come, but had a family birthday celebration to attend that evening. I congratulated him and wished him well in all his future endeavors. He responded that he wished me the same and hoped I had a lovely time at my event.

Learning to forgive him certainly has helped me to thrive in my life, and I believe that his forgiveness towards me will help him to prosper, too. One thing is for sure: Neither of us will be chugging any poison!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145.

 

 

 

 

“If there is any secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.” – Henry Ford 

My job, first and foremost, is to provide “safe space” for my coaching clients to be 100% themselves.   They know that in our conversations, they have complete confidentiality and freedom to speak their truth without fear of being judged or made wrong. I may not always agree with their point of view, but I strive to be respectful of it and to keep asking objective questions until I feel that I thoroughly understand it. Only when I understand their point of view can I suggest other possible approaches they might consider before speaking or acting in ways that could have unintended repercussions.

Yet, despite near-daily practice with hundreds of clients for almost 11 years, I still slip up from time to time. When I’ve had a particularly long or hectic day and my mental and emotional energy “tanks” are depleted, I can sometimes forget to put myself in the other person’s shoes. I may get attached to my own point of view or jump to conclusions. I might even hurt some else’s feelings by a poor choice of words or tone. In short, just like you, I sometimes say things I later regret.

For effective communication, there is nothing more vitally important than following the Golden Rule. If we want to build positive, lasting relationships, we must treat others as we want to be treated. The key, as St. Francis of Assisi said, is to “Seek first to understand; then to be understood.” 

I had a painful lesson in the consequences of NOT doing this just the other evening. It came at the end of a long and hectic day spent trying to balance focused coaching with fielding a barrage of eager emailed requests for free coaching sessions (YES, this is a GREAT “problem” to have!). In the evening, I felt physically tired and emotionally depleted. In fact, I felt downright cranky.

Sitting numbly on the couch in front of the television, I heard the ding of an incoming email on my phone. I knew that I should wait until morning, and give myself a chance to relax and replenish my patience stores. Instead, I peeked at it and discovered a very upset message from one of my clients, describing something unfair she felt another of my clients had done to her.

Once again, my better judgment whispered to just leave it alone until I had a clearer head in the morning, but instead I inserted myself into the disagreement, which I had no business doing. My client fired off the email to me simply to vent her frustration; she never asked me to get involved! Nevertheless, armed with only the bare-bones “facts” presented from her point of view, my own tired, cranky Ego made a snap decision to jump headlong into a delicate, complex situation.

Over the years, I have recognized that my Inner Wisdom/Intuition almost always tries to stop me from acting impulsively. Whenever I listen to that wise inner voice, I invariably feel relieved that I didn’t take the bait and speak or react impetuously during a stressful moment. Whenever you feel gripped by a strong negative emotion that is urging you to fire off a biting, angry or snarky response to a perceived wrong, I recommend listening instead to that wise inner voice, which is undoubtedly urging you to STOP and cool off before you respond.

Instead of listening to my wise inner voice, I impulsively picked up the phone just before 9:00 pm and called client number two, purportedly to get “her side of the story.”   But when she answered the phone, my words spilled out as though something had taken control of my vocal chords and was using them without my permission. I grilled her with a rapid-fire barrage of questions – first accusing and then judging her “guilty” of exactly what client number one THOUGHT she had done.

I could tell she was taken aback, but to her immense credit, she didn’t lash back or even act defensive. As she did all she could to field my accusatory questions as calmly and clearly as she could, it slowly began to dawn on me that there really were two sides to this story, as there always are. The indignant, self-righteous Ego voice screaming in my head subsided and I began to regain control of my thoughts and emotions.

As her side of the story emerged, it became clear that there were NO bad intentions on either side – just a misunderstanding caused by both of them making assumptions that turned out to be wrong. And then I fell into the same trap myself by assuming that what client number one had told me was 100% right and that my other client’s actions had to   be wrong.

Throughout the call, I could hear a bone-weariness in my client’s voice, but I just ignored it. Only later did I recall what she had shared with me only a few hours earlier about her own extremely hectic and emotionally difficult day. I am sure that she was feeling far more tired and emotionally drained than I was. Yet, she kept her cool when I lost mine.

After we hung up, I felt progressively worse, as I thought back over my lack of emotional control, harsh tone and judgmental manner on the call. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to clean it up with her ASAP. It’s best to convey something like this by voice, rather than writing, because it is so hard to accurately interpret tone and intent in written messages. But it was too late in the evening to call her back and I didn’t want to leave her feeling disempowered, so I texted her.

I did my best to follow the integrity training I got from Landmark Education to avoid making excuses or making it about ME. As straightforwardly and sincerely as I could, I sent her this apology:

“I apologize for sounding upset. I am not mad at either of you wonderful women. You are two of the nicest, most giving people I know.   I am just frustrated that things went wrong for both of you through miscommunication. Nobody had bad intentions. Just another example of The Four Agreements and how hard we all have to work not to make assumptions. And I admit that somehow I took it personally [another of The Four Agreements]. I can’t even say why I would! I just introduced you to help you both. The rest is entirely none of my business. I let myself get emotionally involved and that was wrong. I apologize again if I offended you or made you feel wrong.   You had a very tough day and I entirely overlooked that, too. The last thing you needed is a call like that. Hope you will forgive me.” 

To her further credit, she responded magnanimously, “No apologies needed. I know you have the best intentions for me and all your clients. I felt bad about any frustration it caused you. Thank you for calling me to talk through the concerns. You pointed out some valid points.”

Wow. How KIND she was to me in response to how UNKIND I was to her! Whose energy do you think influenced the other’s more? Her powerful positive energy had a much greater impact on ME than my negative energy had on her. Positive energy is always stronger than negative energy. She demonstrated what it means to truly live the Golden Rule and it is a lesson I will strive to remember.

Ironically, just a few days before my self-inflicted drama, I coached another client about how important it was to think carefully before she responded to an injustice perpetrated on her two young children. The Vice Principal of the private school her kids attend called to tell her that they must serve 15 minutes of detention during the last week of school because they had been tardy to their first classes too many times. She was incensed because the school is way across town and their few late arrivals were due to heavy traffic.

After forwarding her an inspirational thought from minister Joel Osteen I had received that very morning, she was quickly able to regain a positive perspective and respond in a very effective way. Instead of dressing down the overly-strict Vice Principal, she wrote a calm, measured email to the Principal stating why she felt her children should not be punished for something they could not control. “It is perfectly OK if you want to fine us parents, but I cannot allow my children to be humiliated for something they didn’t do.” The Principal immediately wrote back, assuring her that they would waive any punishment and expressing appreciation for the strong support she and her family have shown the school over the years.

Here is the thought that helped my client express her position in a committed, but positive way that garnered a positive outcome.

Guard Your Mouth [by Joel and Victoria Osteen]

Today’s Scripture: “He who guards his mouth keeps his life, but he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3, AMP

We’ve all said things we wish we could take back. Scripture says that when we guard our mouth, we keep our life. That’s because our words determine the direction of our lives, and wrong words can get us off course very quickly. 

The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. There’s no neutral ground. We are either sowing seeds of life and productivity with our words, or we are sowing seeds of ruin and destruction with our words. 

Today is a good day to take inventory of your words and make the decision to sow only good seeds. Sow seeds of life by speaking God’s Word over yourself and those around you.   Make the decision today that your words will bring glory to the Lord as you guard your mouth and keep your life!” 

May these words of wisdom remind us to think before saying and doing things we will wish we could take back!

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching! It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached! And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or call toll-free 888-503-8145. 

 

 

 

“Service is the very purpose of life. It is the rent we pay for being on this planet.” – Marion Wright Edelman

Before I address this week’s topic, I want to thank everyone who sent me personal feedback on last week’s blog about Tolerations. Apparently, it really struck a nerve with many of you!   Most gratifying, many readers reported that they are already getting into ACTION on their Tolerations and feeling great about it!

Tolerations – things, people and situations you have been “putting up with” for some time that drain your physical, mental and emotional energy – can interfere with your ability to manifest the future you desire for yourself. Your 2014 Year Completion exercise helped you identify the valuable lessons you learned from the mistakes you believe you made last year, while the 2015 Year Creation exercise helped you identify exactly what you want out of THIS year.   Identifying the Tolerations that are in your PRESENT is the bridge between the two.

If you simply make a list of everything that’s currently bugging you and begin to work steadily at completing all your incomplete tasks, ending toxic relationships, getting out of commitments you don’t really care about, you will gradually open up a clean, clear energetic “space” for your NEW year to show up in – exactly the way you already imagined it on paper.   So I hope you will get to work on this pronto!

OK, now to today’s topic: As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.” When you give GOOD to others, the Universe will give GOOD to you in return.

First, I want to quote in its entirety today’s affirmation/positive message from The Daily Word, a wonderful little daily positive thinking tool published by the Unity church, because it sums this idea up so beautifully:

“[Today’s Affirmation:] I am appreciative, kind, and generous with others.

Today I live with the intention to express to others my generosity, kindness and appreciation.

I am grateful for the presence of my loved ones. I cherish the good moments and the difficulties that help us grow. As I appreciate others, I also feel better about myself.

Because I value others and myself, I am kind. In my thoughts and actions, I treat myself with gentleness, and I extend that kindness in my relationships. As I cultivate gentleness, my spirit expands. Out of kindness and appreciation for others, I am generous.   I take every opportunity to give of my time, talent and treasure. As I cultivate benevolence, I grow in the love of God.

[Scripture that was the inspiration for this affirmation:] You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:11.”

I begin every coaching session by inviting my clients to do an energetic “clearing” by saying anything they need to say to let go of any negative thoughts or feelings, so they don’t clutter up the energetic “space” for our session – kind of like Tolerations do! I wish I had a dollar for every clearing that featured a complaint about another person – usually a family member, spouse, friend, business associate – i.e., someone who is emotionally close to them.

I acknowledge this as an observable fact: People close to us DO behave badly sometimes and it DOES hurt or annoy us. But the amount of time and energy we expend being angry and/or feeling hurt by what someone else says, does or even (we imagine) thinks about us is amazing! Unfortunately, that is purely negative energy that we are holding inside our mind, body and spirit. The energy WE feel and exude into the world is what comes back to US as “like energy.” That’s the Law of Attraction (or karma) in a nutshell: You get back from the Universe exactly what you give.

Whatever another person did or didn’t do that we judge they should or shouldn’t have can have NO lasting impact on US – unless we allow it to. Unless we invite it in with our hurt feelings, blame, judgments and Tolerations. One of the Four Agreements (an incredibly powerful and helpful self-coaching book that I highly recommend) by Don Miguel Ruiz is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.”   Ruiz asserts that if you can master not taking personally ANYTHING someone else says or does, you will live a life of “Heaven on Earth.” Nothing anyone else does or says will have the power to hurt you.

That’s true even if they were purposely TRYING to hurt you! The negative energy someone else directs toward YOU will come back to bite them via the Law of Attraction. Only if you meet their negativity with your own negative reaction will you draw negative circumstances to your own life. Evil does seem to have the upper hand sometimes, but it can never last. Positive energy is stronger than negative energy, so kindness, truth and generosity will eventually prevail — IF your thoughts, feelings and actions remain positive toward yourself and others.

How the Law of Attraction works is simple, if not always easy to carry out: If you want MORE prosperity, happiness and kindness to come to YOU, you must first GIVE them to others. One of my favorite coaching tools and personal daily practices is keeping a Daily Gratitude Journal, where I list 10 things I am grateful for in my life right now.   Many of them involve other people who are in my life. After I acknowledge my GRATITUDE for the ways they have blessed me, I always send THEM an energetic blessing that they, too, will have a great day filled with love, health and prosperity.

Whenever an opportunity arises to help someone else with my time, treasure or talents, I do my best to ACT on it. That doesn’t mean I always put others’ projects, commitments and requests ahead of my own. It means that IF I can help someone else, I will do so. And invariably, whatever good I do for someone else comes back to me – usually greatly multiplied!

One of the ways I routinely try to use my time and talents to assist others is by offering free one-hour phone coaching sessions to anyone who sincerely WANTS help with an important problem or goal in their life. In the hour we spend coaching together, I strive to deeply listen to them (allowing them to clear/release their negative feelings about themselves and others), understand their point of view (without judging them), and then offer any advice or resources I know they could use to help themselves.

Obviously, I hope many of my “free session clients” will want to hire me to coach them on an ongoing basis. This is how I make my living, after all. But I would say between one-quarter to one-third of them either don’t want to make the time and/or accountability commitment or believe they cannot make the financial investment at the moment to enable them to reach their goals. That is perfectly fine with me.   My belief is that this is the most valuable service I can offer the Universe as my “rent” for the happy, healthy and purposeful life I am blessed to live.

The funny thing is, though, that ALL these free sessions come back to bless me in some way. At the very least, I feel good about making a difference for a stranger I will probably never speak to again.   And it always sharpens my listening/coaching skills to try to help someone significantly in just one hour. The more I coach, the better I coach! But the prosperity benefits that have come back to me by serving strangers in this small way have been amazing, too, as some of my wonderful long-term clients came to me via referrals from someone I spent just one hour coaching long ago.

If you simply do whatever Good you can for those who need it – especially love, understanding and forgiveness and ESPECIALLY for your loved ones – that positive energy will always come back to bless YOU as well — exactly where, when and how you need it. That is the Law of Attraction in its most wonderful, magical form!

RECOMMENDATION: Check out Don Miguel Ruiz, Four Agreements and much more at: http://www.miguelruiz.com

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching. It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached! You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish. (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

 

 

 

 

“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” – Deborah Day

How are you coming with your 2014 Year Completion and 2015 Year Creation exercises? The main intention behind the Year Completion exercise, of course, is to help you emotionally complete the past and identify things you want to do differently this year. Unless you complete the past, you will inevitably carry that old emotional baggage into the new year and end up re-creating what you did NOT like about last year.

If you haven’t yet started or haven’t made much progress, don’t beat yourself up….Just start right NOW. One of the main things most of my clients and I want to do differently this year is to complete whatever we have left incomplete for too long and to stop putting up with whatever no longer serve us.

The coaching term for these annoying situations, habits and people that we drag around emotionally like a dead weight is Tolerations. We have been “tolerating” them for so long that they are always in the background of our lives, sucking away our energy, joy and freedom.

For me, it’s those “last 10 pounds” that I have been vowing to take off for the past 6 years or so. For you, it may be unfiled taxes, an unfinished home project, a messy desk, an overdue report or an unhealthy relationship you can’t seem to end. I am very proud of my clients and friends who have announced to me that they are IN ACTION on completing these old, nagging Tolerations:

  •  A young man had his last cigarette on his 30th birthday and has been a non-smoker for over a month now. It was much easier to quit than he’d imagined and he no longer craves tobacco — even when he’s around others smoking.
  • One client wrote to me: “I really do want an uber-organized desk (and life). I’m working on my desk this weekend.”
  • One client asked to be acknowledged for installing flooring in his attic and garage that had been on his “To Do” list for seven years.
  • A new empty-nester just emailed that she craves a closer connection with her husband, so “I told him I need six hugs a day and asked if he could help me out with that. To my delight, I’ve had ten straight days of my hug quota and it’s become a lot of fun.”
  • One of my clients admitted to tolerating her partner speaking rudely to her – even calling her “stupid” – when under stress. The last time he did it, she stopped what she was doing and declared calmly, “It’s not OK for you to speak to me like that. I’m going out for a walk to give you some time to think of a nicer way to say what you have to say to me. I’ll give you another chance when I get back.” He apologized and has since made an effort to treat her with more respect and even more affection.

What strategies could you employ to avoid having to list your 2014 Tolerations on your 2015 Year Completion exercise? Here are some New, Empowering Beliefs and strategies that could support you in overcoming your inertia and getting into action NOW:

It Won’t Take As Long As You Think

I have personally found this to be true many times in my life! More often than not, when I finally plunged in and made a start, I found it took FAR LESS time to complete the task than I had imagined. I had been procrastinating, thinking I had to wait until I found a “free” hour, half-day, day, week, etc.

A prime example was moving into my new home office several years ago. I had 20 cartons of books on the floor in front of four empty bookcases. They were stacked in the corner, leaving me enough space to walk around them, so I just left them there… for a YEAR! I felt chagrined every time I looked at them, but I was SURE I would need an entire afternoon to put them away, and there was always something more urgent to do, especially on the weekends.

What got me to start unpacking that first carton was the advice of a fellow coach I had complained to about “not having enough time” to get all those ugly cartons out of my office.   He gently suggested, “Why don’t you promise yourself to do ONE carton a day?” By the end of this month, you’ll be finished.”

Duh! When I finally opened the first carton, it dawned on me that when I had packed the books, they were already grouped together in logical sections, so all I had to do is lift them out of the carton and choose which shelf to put them on! It took me less than 5 minutes per carton to finish this Toleration and be able see my office floor again.

You Can Eat an Elephant One Bite at a Time

This New Year’s a dear friend of mine made a list of all her long-overdue projects and is now happily tackling just one item each week: Every week I get something off my list that has been on there forever and is bugging me, like getting a watch battery replaced, taking clothes to Goodwill, cleaning out a drawer, etc. I’m punching away at it…It’s funny, but that gives me the biggest high when I knock something off of it.”

YOU Are in Control of Your Time

Are you are one of those people who gets completely absorbed in a task and loses all sense of time? Don’t worry! An effective way for you to control your time as you tackle big projects is to set a timer for as little as 15 or 30 minutes – whatever you know you can spare that day. Then you can plunge into the task and when you hear the timer ding, STOP!   One of my clients used this method to clean out every closet in her home in just two weeks, including organizing all the clothes into sections in each closet and sending the old items to the Goodwill.

It’s OK to Ask for Help

This is probably the #1 most effective Toleration-busting strategy and the hardest for some of us. We were raised to believe we should be self-reliant, or we feel guilty “imposing” on others, or we are just embarrassed to admit we have let a problem become so big that we can no longer handle it alone.

I had a client a few years ago who told me her house was a candidate for the cable show “Hoarders.”   She was not some crazy old Cat Lady.   She was a 40-something, smart professional who lived in a big home with three teenagers. But since her husband left her, she had lost the will to keep the house organized and cleaned regularly. Worse, she worked from home and had paperwork and craft projects spread all over the house. Her family could no longer eat at the dining room table because it was covered with papers and half-done projects. Her kids could not have friends over and she had given up entertaining because she couldn’t stand to have her friends know the truth.

She was paralyzed, not knowing where to begin and finally had to admit that the task was too huge to handle alone. With coaching support, she courageously asked a trusted friend to help her. The friend was great at organizing, loved the challenge and didn’t shame her in any way.   They enjoyed plunging into the project as a team, and even hired a couple of strong men to help them haul away stuff. In less than two weeks, the whole house was organized and spotless. My client was so thrilled, she splurged by having the inside walls freshly painted and bought some new furnishings. She was thrilled to be able to entertain during the Holidays in her own home for the first time in several years.

Just Do It!

OK, now you have ALL the information you need to succeed! Your simple Success Strategy is this:

1) Make a list of all the Tolerations you are truly ready to retire.

2) Pick ONE to start on.

3) Set the timer.

4) Grab a friend or hire a helper.

5) Begin!

P.S. I would love to hear YOUR personal story of what you did to triumph over a Toleration! Please email it to me in exchange for a heartfelt acknowledgment of you!

 ****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching. It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached! You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish. (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

 To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

 

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Welcome to a brand NEW year — your precious opportunity to wipe the slate clean and create a fresh start for your life! Whatever happened in 2014 — for good and for bad – will not define your 2015. Your beliefs, expectations and the actions you take TODAY will determine how your TOMORROW goes.

In my 10+ years as a professional Coach, I have been blessed to help hundreds of clients reach their Big Goals, so I know what it will take to make your next year turn out even better than this one did. Creating your next year the way you want it to be is a two-step process and this time of year is the ideal time to do it:

Step One: Complete the Old Year. You can’t create something NEW in a space that is full of old stuff. So, if you want your 2015 to be more than just a replay of the same things you experienced last year, you must first complete your old year to make space for your new Intentions.

The Reflections Exercise

A great “completion” process is simply to sit quietly and answer a series of questions that make you think deeply about the outcomes of your past year – the good, the bad and the ugly. Answering them honestly will clarify your underlying beliefs, expectations, attitudes and actions that influenced the results you got.

Every January, my coaching colleague, Sue Koch, and I give our clients a thought-provoking list of 30 questions we call the Reflections Exercise to fill out.

This exercise is designed to help you look objectively at what you did (and didn’t) do which influenced what happened for you last year. Determining accurately what caused your past outcomes helps you to identify new ways of thinking and being that will cause you to take new actions. Taking new actions will bring you new results, while continuing on “auto-pilot” inside of the same thought and behavior patterns pretty much assures that next year is going to bring you more of the same.

Here are a few of the thought-provoking “completion” questions we include:

Part 1 – Questions to Complete the Year

  • What promises did I break to myself and others in 2014?
  • What did I do that did not work out?
  • What do I wish I hadn’t wasted my time and energy on?
  • What do I wish I HAD expended my energy and time on but didn’t?

 Part 2 – Questions for Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • What promises did I keep to myself and others in 2014?
  • What accomplishments and milestones am I celebrating?
  • What is the most important lesson I learned?   What’s important about the lesson?
  • What am I thankful for regarding this year?

Once you have completed the 20 questions in these first two sections, you are ready to take on creating something NEW by answering the last 10 questions, including:

Part 3 – Questions for Creating Your New Year

  • What do I intend to do differently in 2015?
  • What new skills or practices do I intend to put into place next year? How would that make me feel?
  • What would I most like to learn or master?  How would that make me feel?
  • What do I intend to accomplish next year that will matter most five years from now?

Done right, the Reflections Exercise takes most people one to two hours, but it can be broken up into several sessions – one sitting per section works great. You do not have to answer EVERY question, but do focus on the ones that are most relevant to you and take an honest look, so your next year can be EVEN better!

Click here to get the entire Reflections Exercise for powerfully completing your old year: http://wp.me/pttZj-j4

Next week, I will share with you my all-time favorite method for co-creating your NEW year exactly as you would like it to be. It’s a great adjunct to the Reflections Exercise. I have loved doing it for myself at the start of every January for the past 10 years and I bet you will too!

*********** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching. It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached! You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish. (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

 

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