“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.