“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightengale

I hope you are enjoying the final precious days of summer! Many of my clients tell me that, while they enjoyed the extra time and fun activities with their families, they also look forward to getting back into a more focused daily routine, once school starts.

Whatever the season, I believe that EVERY day should start with a personal practice to center, calm and focus you so that you can be as productive and happy as possible.  If you don’t take the time to prepare your mind and spirit each morning, it’s easy for your daily schedule to end up running you instead of you running it.

I hope this lightly-edited blog from two years ago will demonstrate how simple it is to master your mindset and energy by starting each day with quiet, focused time for yourself that will pay big dividends in prosperity, health and productivity!

May 31, 2015

A man is but the product of his thoughts.  What he thinks, he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly someone who cares about your personal development.  You believe that good ideas, tips, techniques and the experiences others share can contribute to YOUR success, well-being and happiness.

I would venture to guess that you also invest precious time and money attending workshops, trainings, webinars and/or reading and listening to a number of gurus, experts and inspiring speakers whose wisdom can help you reach your Big Goals and develop your personal potential.

If so, bravo!  You are one of the few people who are willing to go beyond the status quo and make a real effort to develop new skills, explore new ideas and even change any limiting beliefs that may be holding you back from greatness.  As a result, you could be delighted with your growth and progress in your business, family life and well-being.

On the other hand, you may wonder “Why am I not further along after spending so much time and money to learn all this good stuff?  Why isn’t any of it making a real difference for me?”

The Pull of the Same Old Same Old

As a “Workshop Junkie” for thirty-plus years, I can attest that simply paying the fee, listening carefully, taking good notes and underlining good material will NOT change your life. Returning home with a “workshop high,” then parking my notebook on the bookshelf and never opening it again is something I did many times.  Sure, some of the more vivid ideas from trainings and books stuck with me and I implemented a few here and there.  But unless I made a concerted effort to put what I learned into DAILY practice, all those great Ah-Ha Moments soon faded from my memory and I inevitably found myself reverting to my entrenched habits and comfortable old beliefs.

Unfortunately, after your thoughts and beliefs have been stirred up with something new,   your own Ego is pre-programmed to get you back to status quo as soon as possible because that’s what it thinks is the safest thing for you to do.  It knows you can survive your life just as it has been, but it’s worried that all those NEW ideas and tactics might change you in ways that could have dire consequences. Any time you try to implement something NEW, you are going to have a fight on your hands from your own Ego.

Installing New Thought Patterns

So how can you overcome this strong inner voice telling you to stay comfortably parked on the couch and not change anything about your life? The answer is simple: PRACTICE.  Training studies done by NASA on astronauts prove that it takes 25 to 30 days of consistent repetition for the human brain to build a new neural pathway for electrical thought impulses to flow through.  These thought corridors in the brain enable you to drive a car without having to consciously think about where your feet go on the pedals, or how each of your fingers should move to play a piano sonata or type an email message.  They form new go-to thought habits, if you will.  A single infusion of inspiration or knowledge – no matter how impactful – won’t stick around for long without being anchored in your brain via consistent repetitive practice.

I’ve found that while I’m learning an online accounting program to keep all my business records up to date so tax time will be a breeze, I must practice it regularly in order to master it.  If I don’t use it on at least a weekly basis, I inevitably forget parts of the process and have to refer back to my notes.

What You Think About, You Bring About

As Gandhi said, we are each a product of our own thoughts. The Law of Attraction (which states that energy attracts like energy) dictates that the people, resources and circumstances that habitually show up in your life are a reflection of your inner reality.  For things to change in your outer world, you must habitually think new thoughts and feel new feelings in order to attract what you want in your life.

But how do you develop consistently positive thoughts and energy?  I believe it is through simple Daily Personal Practices. If you will discipline yourself to spend just 30 to 60 minutes each morning on your own personal practices, they will help you turn many great ideas you are exposed to into consistent, habitual thoughts and actions that will set you up for success and inner enrichment.

Develop A Daily Personal Practice

Here are four simple but powerful Daily Personal Practices that I recommend to all my coaching clients:

  • Read or listen to an enlightening, uplifting message each day. This can be religious or something secular that is positive and uplifting. There are scores of  books, message texts or emails you can subscribe to for a positive daily thought or affirmation. I particularly enjoy both Joel Osteen’s daily messages and the affirmations in the Daily Word put out by the Unity Church, but they don’t necessarily have to be spiritual or religious. Reading any inspiring and uplifting messages will expand your consciousness and empower you to handle whatever challenges or opportunities you may face that day.
  • Pray or Meditate for a few minutes. After putting some good thoughts into your head, you can close your eyes and pray or meditate for maybe five minutes to let them sink in.  The goal is to stop your Ego’s monkey-mind chatter for just a few minutes so you can receive valuable guidance from your Higher Power or Higher Self.  It has been said that “Prayer is talking to God and meditating is listening to His reply.”
  • Maintain a regular Gratitude practice. I love to keep a Daily Gratitude Journal in which I list 10 things I am grateful for in my life right NOW. I learned this from Oprah, who said that just knowing she was going to have to list the things she was grateful for that day before she went to bed made her NOTICE all the good things in her life, which made her happier with her life.  And, of course, the Law of Attraction causes whatever energy you are sending out into the world to come back to you. So, whatever you feel grateful for now will attract even MORE of the same to you – like money, for instance!
  • Get some kind of exercise every day. Just 30 minutes of walking has been shown to provide substantial health benefits for people of all ages.  If you claim you “don’t have time” to exercise, you are REALLY saying, “Health and well-being are not a priority for me.” You can get up 30 minutes earlier or spend an extra 30 minutes after you drop the kids at school before you start in on your daily routine IF you value your health.  I walk for one hour six days a week and use this time to do a walking meditation and prayer session.  You could also listen to a daily positive message while you walk or do yoga. So you see, there’s really no excuse for not getting all four of these beneficial personal development practices done in just 30-60 minutes every morning!

Be Patient and Keep Practicing

Like any other habit, developing your Daily Personal Practice takes time, so be gentle with yourself as you explore different ways to fit it into your day and make it a priority. (One client listens to her recording of a weekly business training call each morning while putting on her makeup.) Just don’t let your Ego fool you into thinking you can do it once in awhile and still get meaningful results.  If you consistently do your Daily Personal Practice, your thoughts and energy will inevitably grow more positive and help you to get The Best results from your day.

One of my clients recently shared some major positive shifts in her life, which she attributes mainly to consistent Daily Personal Practices helping her develop a more positive mindset: “My business has really taken off, yet I feel so much less stressed than I used to be! I am sponsoring the right people with more ease. My life feels more balanced between work and family.  My Team and I are having FUN together and they seem more motivated.  I even took the whole Memorial Day Weekend off with my family and just enjoyed being together in the outdoors. There was no cell service, so I was completely cut off from work, and yet I still met a great new prospect for my business while we were fishing!”

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://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.

 

“Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success.” – Norman Vincent Peal

I am happily busy preparing more lessons for the Prosperity Summer Camp webinar that kicked off last week.  Therefore, I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from two years ago that demonstrates just how much influence our expectations and attitude have on what happens to us. That’s a key concept we will soon be covering in the summer manifesting course. I hope you enjoy it (or enjoy it again)!

June 28, 2015

“Your expectations set the limits for your life.  If you never expect anything good, you’re never going to receive anything good.  If you don’t expect things to get better, then nothing will get better.” – Joel Osteen

I just had one of my most memorable and wonderful birthdays.  My heartfelt thanks go out to all my friends, family, readers and clients who sent me your best wishes, cards and gifts!  Rick and I spent the day at our favorite recreational spot, Disneyland, and experienced a number of mini-miracles that made our day extra-special.

We go every month with our Annual Passes, and some visits are more crowded times than others.  This month, not only are all the kids out of school, but it’s also Disneyland’s 60th anniversary and there are lots of “Diamond Jubilee Celebration” attractions and events designed maximize attendance.

Rick is a native New Yorker, so jostling crowds don’t bother him.  I, on the other hand, was raised in the wide-open spaces of the Southern California suburbs, where I never saw a parking meter until I was in my 20’s.  Crowds bother me.  A lot.  I hate to admit it, but hot days, jostling crowds, long lines, crowded restaurants and baby strollers bumping my heels sometimes make me feel pretty cranky.

Anticipating that the day was going to involve crowds, I did my early-morning prayers and preparation to focus my subconscious mind to expect THE BEST from the day, regardless of whether it was hot, the lines were long, and other guests were less than polite.  No matter what outer circumstances would be, I reminded myself that my own ATTITUDE would be the #1 factor determining my experience.

I stated my INTENTION aloud (so God/The Universe and my own subconscious mind would be sure to hear and remember the BEST scenario that I wanted to experience): “Today, we have a great time at Disneyland. My birthday is fun, light, and happy.  People are kind and thoughtful. I am patient, relaxed and grateful. I am Priceless!”

It was Tuesday, but when we arrived at 11:30am, it looked more like a normal summertime Friday. We just waded in with a smile and the crowds parted. We walked right up to the hostess stand just as our favorite restaurant opened and requested the first available reservation at noon. That turned out to be perfectly timed for the arrival of our dear friends, who came all the way to the Park just to have lunch with us and then had to run off to a family function.  How kind and thoughtful!

While we waited for our friends, Rick bought me a cute Minnie T-shirt (yet another in his week-long extravaganza of birthday presents for me). Since there was nobody else in the shop, the two salespeople were relaxed and chatted with us for quite awhile, even giving us the “insider” scoop about the best days and times to avoid crowds in the Summer. How kind and thoughtful!

After lunch, we found one of our favorites rides temporarily closed, so we opted for a spin around the nearby Rivers of America on the S. S. Mark Twain steamship, an authentic replica of the three-story paddle wheelers Samuel Clemens used to pilot on the Mississippi before he became the famous Mark Twain.  I always assumed it was on a track, but on Rick’s birthday a couple of years ago, someone told us that guests can request to steer the boat.

Rick went up to the Pilot on the dock and asked if we could steer on this trip, but she said, “Sorry. We don’t take requests anymore. We just pick people at random now.” We didn’t allow ourselves to feel disappointed.  We just smiled and relaxed on a nearby bench, looking forward to the trip.  I was just hoping there’d be room in the shade on the second deck because it was a warm day.

Just before boarding, the Pilot approached Rick and said, “Nobody has been picked to steer on this trip. So I guess you’re it!”  We had a blast, with Rick steering and me chatting with the Pilot in the wheelhouse, enjoying the best view of the river imaginable. Before we left, she took our picture holding our official “Pilot’s Certificate” dated June 23, 2015, with both our names on it, stating that we are “qualified Pilots of the S.S. Mark Twain.”  It is now proudly displayed in our Disney curio cabinet – a unique Diamond Jubilee keepsake that we couldn’t buy in any store. How kind and thoughtful!

Before the evening finale to our special day, we went to our favorite restaurant adjacent to Disneyland, the Napa Rose.  A full dinner in the four-star restaurant’s lovely dining room was a tad too pricey for this trip, so we decided to splurge on shared appetizers and a couple of glasses of good wine in their comfy lounge.  The servers are first-rate professionals, and ours couldn’t have been nicer or more attentive.  Unfortunately, she misheard our order and brought out the wrong appetizer. She took it back to the kitchen for a replacement while we relaxed and enjoyed our wine. We had plenty of time, so no sweat!

After a leisurely, delicious meal, including two great desserts, the check came.  Without saying a thing, our server had comped our appetizer and my “birthday” dessert. As a result, our tab was about half of what we expected.  How kind and thoughtful!

At the end of the evening, as we waited for the tram to take us back to the parking structure, I felt tired, happy and entirely fulfilled.  This turned out to be one of the happiest, most memorable birthdays I’ve ever had.

I choose to believe that’s because I EXPECTED the Best and I was determined to be MY Best.  And that’s why I GOT the Best in return!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://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.

 

“We do not remember days; we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese, Italian Poet 

As I pondered what to write about this week, I realized that what I REALLY wanted to do instead of writing the blog was to play hooky! I guess it’s a case of Spring Fever, but I felt myself daydreaming about what it would be like to have an entire day completely OFF.  I know that a lot of my coaching clients also feel they have to work constantly to make their Big Goals happen. I advise them that they need to relax and recharge for at least ONE day a week, if they are going to have the right attitude and energy to be productive.

So, I decided to take my own advice: I want to share with you a lightly-edited blog from early 2016. It’s a great reminder that we ALL must take it easier, both mentally and physically, if we want the Law of Attraction to work for us.  I’m going outside now to savor life’s little moments. I hope you enjoy your day!

Yesterday, my wonderful husband Rick and I spent our monthly “Big Kids’ Play Day” at the Happiest Place on Earth. The sun was shining, lovely flowers and trees were blooming, birds were chirping and Spring was in the air.  My soul felt a renewed lightness in these joyful surroundings and I felt more grateful than ever that we live so close to Disneyland that we can go whenever we want to “lighten up.”

You don’t have to remind little kids to lighten up. They are all about play, fun and using their imaginations to find adventure everywhere they go.  As we stood in line for the Storybook Land canal boats, Rick chatted with a small boy whose shirt was covered with  buttons proclaiming that he was celebrating both his first visit to Disneyland AND his birthday.  It didn’t take much coaxing for him to excitedly relate all the rides he had been on and the ones he was still looking forward to.  Some of the adults in line looked tired and frazzled, but there was not one iota of resignation, worry or negative energy in the little boy.

This got me thinking about some of my clients who seem to struggle with how to lighten up.  They take their Big Goals very seriously, and sometimes feel frustrated when things don’t seem to be progressing fast enough or according to their own plans.

I understand, believe me.  For five years during the Great Recession and its aftermath, I had to focus every single day on releasing heavy feelings of fear, worry, disappointment and frustration that my coaching practice was just barely surviving and Rick’s real estate business seemed dead in the water.

When I couldn’t see any visible progress being made, what enabled me to face each day in a positive frame of mind was my faith that God/the Universe was on my side and that if I just kept doing my BEST, the solutions would come at the right time and in the perfect way.  Even when we can’t see it with our eyes, we have to keep the faith that there is progress being made  behind the scenes.  I kept reminding myself that the “How” is up to God/the Universe and MY job was simply to stay positive, stay alert  for Divine direction, and feel gratitude for every good thing in my life.

Despite our shoestring budget, Rick and I made it a priority during those tough years to keep up the monthly payments on our Annual Passes and take at least one day each month to play at Disneyland and to regularly do other things that made us happy. We knew that by “lightening up” — focusing only on the positive and choosing to be happy, no matter what our circumstances were — we would attract the people and resources we needed to turn our financial situation around. Eventually, that’s just what happened. One friend’s referral led to another and another, and without warning or build-up, both my coaching practice and Rick’s real estate business took off at the same time and haven’t stopped growing since.

If they express frustration that their dreams are not manifesting as fast as they would like, I tell my clients that they must lighten up – let go of all heavy energy produced by worry, frustration and discouragement and rev up the light energy of joy and gratitude.

The Law of Attraction says that “energy attracts like energy.” If you are pursuing your goals with grim determination, attachment and clenched teeth, what kind of people and situations do you think you are going to attract into your life?

If you want to attract what and who you want more quickly and easily, the first step is to express sincere GRATITUDE for all the wonderful things God/the Universe has put in your life thus far.  Expressing gratitude for all the good we have NOW attracts even MORE good things to us.

Next, you must create a genuinely positive, light energy that will be a magnet for the serendipitous people and resources that can help you reach your goals.  One of my former clients recently discovered how well this approach works.

Before our coaching, she struggled with feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration about the pace at which she was building her network marketing business. She didn’t enjoy her business the way she did her day job. I encouraged her to stop pushing to try to make things happen and instead to go with the flow and allow God/the Universe to bring the “How” to her.  I suggested she approach her network marketing business the same way she did her day job – with a feeling of relaxed confidence in her own skills and true joy at being of service to others.

We completed our coaching and I didn’t hear from her for a couple of months. Recently, I got this email, proving to me that she truly has mastered the art of reaching her goals with grace and ease:

“Hi, Caroll:  I’m really excited and had to share.  I feel things are really shifting for me: my attitude is positive and non-attached to the outcome.  I’m getting things done quickly. I’m getting things done with ease.  I’m contacting more people, talking to more people, scheduling more appointments and I’m headed toward month-end without my usual anxiety….

I’m continuing to read my [Daily Success] Script two times daily and listening to The Power [by Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret.]   Is this how it normally goes for your clients? That it just kind of ‘kicks in’? It feels very different this time and I’m feeling momentum in my team, too.”

Here’s one simple but powerful way you can rev up your own positive energy: If you aren’t currently taking at least ONE DAY off from ALL work each week, I highly recommend you begin doing so. Taking regular breaks to engage in self-care, play and activities you enjoy with people you enjoy will actually make you more productive and help you to reach your goals faster.  It’s time to shake off the winter doldrums and lighten up!

If you would like your own free 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.

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

I invite you to 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 a while, 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 and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  or call 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

Spring is around the corner, at last!  I know for many parts of the USA, it may seem like it’s still a long way off.  But the early signs are definitely here in Southern California.

We have had our share of the wettest winter in the state’s history, although my friends in Northern California have been drenched far more than we have.  Our unexpected record rainfall has been a mixed blessing. It pulled California out of a five-year drought, for which we are very grateful.  But, at the same time, it has caused considerable destruction and loss of life, especially up north.

A sign of Spring I always love to see is the tiny green buds on the trees and bushes. New plant life is a reassuring sign that Earth’s cycle of life continues, no matter what.  A few weeks ago, our gardeners pruned all the rose bushes back to what looked like dead stumps — so dry and sad, it was hard to remember the lovely blooms we had enjoyed right through Christmas.  But gardeners know that it is essential to prune rose bushes before Spring comes. The temporary pain of cutting back the branches spurs the plant to put out new green twigs, followed by lush leaves and finally some lovely red and pink buds.

Our lives are full of “pruning times,” too.  We never find them pleasant, and we often resist and struggle against them, but they are just as necessary for our growth and development as for the roses.

Facing a major health challenge is a type of radical life pruning.  People suddenly faced with the possibility of death or permanent disability and their loved ones quickly discover what REALLY matters in life.  All the “small stuff” they were sweating on a daily basis suddenly feels ridiculously unimportant.  They become laser-focused on a single goal — recovery.  Although it is certainly a painful lesson to endure, many survivors see their health challenge as a blessing that taught them how strong they really are and what truly matters in life. They are grateful for  their newfound faith, inner peace and strength that can never be taken away.

Severe financial challenges can also be seen as a kind of strengthening pruning. I can tell you from experience that when keeping a roof over your head becomes your primary focus, petty obsessions like keeping up with the Joneses and worrying what others think of you become laughable.  Before the Great Recession took two homes and a car from us, I would have spent $100 on some silly luxury item without a second thought. During that time, having $5.00 left in the checking account at the end of the month was cause for celebration.

But five years of struggle to regain our financial health, while painful, also brought my family many blessings. Now, I am more grateful for every dollar that comes to us than I could have ever imagined.  And I am much more aware of the plight of others around me.  When I see a homeless person, I always give them some money and a blessing.  When we learn that someone is struggling to make ends meet, we share what we have with them.  It is second nature to us now to be Go-Givers, and as a result, more prosperity has flowed to our family in the past three years than ever before.  Most importantly, our faith in God/The Universe as the Source of all our good is unshakable.

I am particularly inspired and gratified when I see one of my coaching clients make a positive mental shift after they have been tested by a life pruning such as a serious illness, job loss, divorce or discouragingly slow progress toward a Big Goal.

At the beginning of this month, one of my newer clients told me that she was feeling distressed about the lack of progress she felt she was making in building her networking marketing business.  She had been working diligently and trying to stay positive, but was getting the door slammed in her face at every turn.  She felt stuck and disappointed that “Nothing is coming to fruition.”  (Interesting choice of words, huh?)

I reminded her to use the mindset tools I had taught her to put the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to work connecting her to the right people who will appreciate the opportunity she has to offer. I reminded her that declaring aloud the specific qualities or attributes she needs to embody in order to give her BEST in a given situation will direct her subconscious mind to help her produce the outcomes she desires.

So she chose to state aloud, “I am a patient, unattached, committed Leader.  I am PRICELESS!” That declaration gave her subconscious mind a blueprint for creating the ideal words and right actions that a patient, unattached, committed and priceless Leader would use. Those ideal words and right actions, in turn, will become a bright beacon of positive energy to attract individuals whose energy and desires are a match for hers.

Does that mean it will happen the minute she declares it, or that she won’t have any further setbacks or disappointments during her quest?  Nope.  “Pruning” was still taking place in her belief system, which was necessary in order for her to blossom into the kind of Leader who will attract the quality people she wants on her Team.

A few weeks later, she told me she had been reading more about the Law of Attraction and was doing mental “experiments” to test it out in small ways. She was amazed at what she felt were clear signs that specific, unusual things she focused her mind on were showing up in her life.  Her belief in her ability to attract to her exactly what she wanted was becoming much stronger.  Instead of skeptical, discouraged energy, she was now giving off excited, positive, expecting-the-Best energy. I could see that her internal Belief Switch was about to be thrown, and once it was, I knew she would start to make real progress toward her Big Goals. That’s how it works – first she must BELIEVE it is going to happen for her, and only then will she SEE it become real.

The following day, she sent me this email:

“Just wanted to share something that happened today! This morning I prayed for a new customer to reach out to ME!  This afternoon, someone did!  She was not exactly new; she was one of my very first customers who felt as if the products were way too expensive and she ended up cancelling her account. 

She called me out of the blue and I have to confess that I didn’t recognize her number….I just kept listening to her speak and finally figured out who she was!

Everything that you said to me yesterday hit me. Today, I started to read The Power [by Rhonda Byrne].  Not even 5 minutes into it [the customer called me].

So my conclusion is, I finally Believe what you are telling me, and I am so incredibly happy that I am recognizing it!”

Looks like the pruning phase of her business development may be nearing completion…. I can’t wait to see the wonderful fruit it is going to produce for her!

If you would like your own free 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 a while 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.

 

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Early Nightingale

As the whole world knows, we just inaugurated our 45th President of the United States.  Whether that thought makes you happy or makes you cringe, it’s a fact.

While I have very little positive to say about Donald J. Trump the man, I do have a high regard for America, for our democratic process and for the American People’s right to choose our Leaders.  So I am consciously choosing to give President Trump my respect and support, as long as he does his sworn duty to serve and protect our country.

And although I can feel disheartened when I read about some of the policies the Trump Administration and Congress seem ardent to pursue, I choose to take the long view recently expressed by departing President Barack Obama: “We’re going to be OK.”

In fact, I think President Obama’s is a great philosophy for life in general – you can expect that you are going to be OK.  Even better, you can expect that you are going to continue to be or become GREAT and that your life is going to remain or become GREAT.

“Optimists don’t always present as cheerful,” says Eric Kim, a research fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “…but they have the general expectation on the inside that things will be better [in the future].”

In a Los Angeles Times article (12/24/16) containing the quote from Dr. Kim, I read this startling statistic published in the American Journal of Epidemiology: “Researchers at Harvard University found that among a group of 70,000 female nurses, the 25% who were most optimistic had a 31% reduced risk of mortality while they were being tracked compared with the 25% who were least optimistic….[T]his work was one of the first to show that optimism is also associated with reduced risk of death from infection, respiratory disease and cancer,” the authors said.

The article went on to say, “Kim said it is unlikely that simply thinking positive thoughts about the future is behind the effect he observed.” According to Dr. Kim, “People who are more optimistic generally get better sleep, exercise more, and have healthier coping habits to reduce stress….These could be some of the pathways that optimism is working through.”

The Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) would also explain that optimists are more likely to attract other positive, optimistic folks into their sphere, while habitual Debbie Downers tend to repel positive people who don’t want to be bombarded by their constant complaints and dire predictions.  And as we all know, positive, empathetic friends can be a GREAT source of stress relief and support in trying times.

My personal favorite strategies for reducing stress are to watch a funny TV show or movie with my perpetually-optimistic husband, Rick, or laugh on the phone with my BFF, Lisa.  Lisa and I certainly don’t always express a positive view of everything, but as we trade our ironic observations and sarcastic quips like a couple of late night talk show hosts, our shared laughter releases tension. Throughout our lives, having a good sense of humor has helped us keep everything in perspective, no matter how dire the personal challenge or world problem we face.

“The good news,” according to the L.A. Times article, “is that optimism can be taught. Twin studies suggest that having an optimistic point of view is inherited 25% of the time, but there is also evidence that it can be learned.” (I believe I got my humorous, outgoing and optimistic tendencies from my Dad, while my dear Mom’s shy, more worrying nature seems to have been inherited by my brother.)

According to the Harvard study, keeping a daily Gratitude Journal is one of the simplest strategies for learning and increasing a sense of positivity and optimism, which is why I assign it to ALL my coaching clients.  Also, “keeping a list of the times you have been kind to others and  practicing mindfulness meditation on a regular basis also have been shown to improve optimism, as have various types of cognitive behavioral therapy,” according to Dr. Kim.

So, you don’t have to be a yippy, skippy, always-happy Pollyanna about everything that comes your way in order to live a healthier, happier and potentially longer life.  You just have to have a solid belief – I prefer the word FAITH  – that things are eventually going to get better, just as long as you expect The Best, take steps to actively work toward your goals with everything you’ve got, and consistently strive to live up to your own ideals, values and integrity.

If you would like your own free 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 your 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

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.

“Each of us can look back upon someone who made a great difference in our lives, someone whose wisdom or simple acts of caring made an impression upon us.  In all likelihood, it was someone who sought no recognition for their deed, other than the joy of knowing that, by their hand, another’s life had been made better.” – Stephan M. Wolf

‘Tis the Season to show heartfelt GRATITUDE for all the good in our lives by doing something to pay that grace forward to those who are less fortunate or who simply need a reason to smile right now.

This past week, my readers told me even MORE great stories about their Pay-it-Forward Challenge results, and I just had to share a few of them with you.  Here is the final installment of your joyful acts of kindness, generosity and caring.  I wish I had room to include every single one!

Acts of Service

  • One reader’s husband built a 5 ft. by 7 ft. sleigh for their church families to take Christmas portraits with. He is a bit disabled, and she feared he took on more than he could handle, so she pitched in and they finished it on time working side by side.  The children and families loved it and she says it was SO worth the effort they made.
  • My friend’s teenage son attends a private religious school that holds a Christmas tree fundraiser each year. I bought two trees and donated them, since I have an artificial tree.  She and her son delivered all their donated trees to various charities, and she sent me a picture to prove that “my trees” had found a good home at Olive Crest, a home for children in temporary foster care.
  • As she does each year, that same friend got up early and spent her Thanksgiving morning serving dinners to the needy before going to her own Thanksgiving celebration.
  • Several of my readers volunteer at local food pantries, which get a load of donations to distribute this time of year.
  • In the news: A deputy patrolling an industrial section of a Northern California city noticed a young African American man in a hoodie walking along the side of the road at night. It’s not an area where you see many pedestrians, so the officer stopped him to see if something was wrong. He was surprised to learn that the young man was “commuting” on foot seven miles each way to and from his nearby factory job because his car had broken down some time ago and he didn’t have the money to fix it.  The deputy insisted on giving him a ride home and later took up a collection among his fellow officers to buy the young man a bicycle and, eventually, a new car.  Now, the young man rides along with the deputy because he is training to become a peace officer himself.

Acts of Kindness and Compassion

  • A reader wrote an individual message on each of her business partners’ Facebook pages about one special quality she saw in them, such as “Leader,” “Motivated,” “Giver, “ They were surprised and delighted to be acknowledged publically by their Team Leader, not just for their accomplishments, but for their character.
  • A reader said the office secretaries at the school where she teaches “do everything for all of us,” but rarely get the thanks or recognition they deserve. She bought each of them a gift card and put it on their desks anonymously, expressing gratitude for their service on behalf of the entire staff.
  • My reader saw a man digging through the dumpster outside her apartment and put together a little “Care Package” for him, filled with personal hygiene items, a blanket, gloves, a couple of homemade sandwiches and some plastic trash bags for him to use when collecting cans and bottles.

Acts of Giving

  • A reader’s young son took all the money out of his piggy bank and she kicked in some more to buy a Christmas gift for one of his class’s “adopted”children in need. “I love teaching him giving early in life. For a six year old to be so excited to give something to another child he didn’t know was amazing!”
  • One reader who works for a children’s therapy services organization coordinated the staff’s annual drive to provide presents for some needy young clients and their siblings. She collected the donated gifts, bought all the wrapping materials and wrapped the presents. Each of the nine children will receive about 10 gifts apiece, for a very abundant Christmas!
  • One reader has collected about $3,000 worth of design books over the years. He plans to donate them to the arts program of a high school in an underprivileged part of his city.
  • A reader knew a couple who both passed away within the last year, leaving their three college-aged sons with little financial support. She continuously donates half of the proceeds from the sales of her skin care products to their college fund, for as long as they need it.
  • My friend Bob Perks used my reader’s generous donation to create the most lavish Christmas party his local American Legion Post has ever had. He sent pictures of the crowd of vets and their families line dancing and enjoying a huge buffet of wonderful dishes, mostly prepared by Bob himself. A singer and DJ, Bob also provided the musical program and arranged for Elvis and Santa to join in too.

Please don’t STOP spreading the joy when the Holidays end! I hope these stories of creative kindness and generosity will inspire you to continue your personal Gratitude-in-Action program far into the future. In fact, let’s make one of our New Year’s Resolutions  to Pay it Forward every day of the coming year!

PLEASE NOTE:  The blog will take the rest of the year off so I can focus on coaching my wonderful clients and enjoying Christmas activities with my friends and family.  A Cup of Caroll will return with a special New Year’s edition on January 1, 2017!  Until then, I wish you and yours Happy Holidays!

If you would like your own free 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 on fulfilling them, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.