Career, Life Coach

Getting Ready to Get Ready

I jotted down oodles of notes from a recent women’s leaders conference, gave up trying to type on my IPad. I realized earlier on this was no business meeting and my typing couldn’t keep up with all the knowledge dropping that was taking place this day.

Being back on social media has been a lesson in humanity’s funny way of doing things. Barely have we gotten through Thanksgiving and I see the #2016 hashtags popping up. I’m guilty of having my own–#goaldigger 😆. Go ahead and steal it!  I know I did.  Right off Pinterest. I sho’ did. 

We’re psyched! Who needs to talk about prepping for a weekend with family we rarely see, when we can talk about all the things we want to do come January First.  Poster boards flying off the shelves while we prep for Vision Board parties; leaving the 20 pound turkeys behind in the freezer. We are gung-ho. Applying for jobs, calling our trainers (oh the shame!), buying up all the books on self-help. All in the name of getting ready. 

Then the speaker stops me cold, hard in my tracks with this thought. We get caught up in the business of getting ready to get ready. Screech! Stop! What say you? Say it ain’t so! Yep. It is. 

Getting ready to get ready is procrastinating. You’ve been talking about writing this Great American Novel and haven’t placed pen to paper or fingers to laptop. You’ve been talking about going back to school to get that much needed certification but if asked which colleges has that program, you can’t pull it out your… well you get the point. You’re ready to start a family but haven’t found a reputable OBGYN to consult with. Genetics counseling? Huh? Pregnancy planning apps? What’s that? 

Getting ready to get ready is operating in fear. When you can’t move beyond a bunch of Facebook posts and Pinterest likes, to the actual “doing” of what you wish to do, it’s an indicator that something or someone is holding you back. That someone can be a parent, child, friend–husband/wife (gasp!) but that person usually ends up being you. You holding yourself back from getting down and dirty in the planning. You holding yourself back from getting in the muck of researching your competitors and developing that business plan, first draft, or portfolio. 

Getting ready to get ready is being lazy. Reality shows have  an entire generation and a half of another one believing you can call yourself an entrepreneur without putting sweat, blood, and tears in the game. I’m from the World Book Encyclopedia and card catalog generation. It meant I had to go somewhere to get what I needed. Real work takes elbow grease, not copying and pasting what you find on Wikipedia. It doesn’t have to be a college degree (although a four year degree never killed anybody) but it does mean taking some classes, getting a certification, and learning a new skill.  It doesn’t have to be leaving your current job, but the side hustle sure can’t hurt until that glorious day when you strike out on your own. Inhale. Pray. Leap. Exhale. 

John Maxwell, the guru on all things leadership says it best. “Intentional living is all uphill.” 
So let’s move from the getting ready to get ready to the business of doing what you are more than qualified and ready to do. Drop kick that spirit of fear! Say ciao to that spirit of laziness! Turn your back on that spirit of procrastination!  It’s the enemy’s way of holding you down. Last I checked believers don’t operate with a fearful mind yet rather in the confidence that the lamp at our feet only moves when we do. 

Life Coach

This Year I Will

Me and a group of unlikely bookmates are gearing up for the new year by getting some reading in and some personal plans of actions in place. No two reader is alike. No two vision and purpose is alike. M.J. Ryan’s “This Year I Will…” got our vote on book to get our mental juices going. Got my mind going on this whole New Years Resolution thing we are sometimes so hard pressed to invoke. 

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and your anxiety level is taking a quick spin on the high side. It’s not the family dinner preparations that’s got you nervous but the countdown to the new year that’s got you sitting on edge. Once you’ve made it through the Cyber Monday hype, there’s a temporary lull before the holiday rush begins. Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos is the nagging reminder that this year flew out like Patti’s Pies off Walmart shelves. You can’t take it back. No matter how badly you want to. 
Rather than look at the dwindling year with dread and trepidation, it helps to frame things in a way thats palatable. After all, who says you had to enter the new year with pomp and circumstance? Who says you have to host a vision board party (although I’m having two myself)? Who says? Here’s really all you need to bid Father Time farewell and kiss the New a Year Baby. 

Keep an open mind. Be prepared to receive God’s personal best for you in the coming year. If you’re closed off to trying new things or meeting new people, imagine how short changed you will be. It can’t hurt to try a new hobby. You don’t want to go back to school. Fine. Try your hand at some local community ed courses. You have a weight loss goal. Well let’s try kicking sugar out your diet and picking up some new favorite veggies for your foodie repertoire. Boot camp can come later. Right now you need to lose some inches and wait out the New Year rush to the gym.  

Don’t compete. Life isn’t a race but rather a well thought out marathon. Pace yourself. You should be your only competition. Your friend is getting her Ph.D. ?Congratulate her!  It’s her student loans not yours. Colleague moving on to another job? No pressure. She’s got some dreams to chase that have no bearing on your here and now.  Celebrate her departure and get back to the business of living. Leave that petty behavior for the kindergarteners on the playground. 

Trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day people! And judging by your long laundry list of things you want to accomplish, neither will you. Reality TV have folks believing that you buy your house today and remodel it tomorrow. Balderdash! There will be peaks and valleys. You left a good paying job to strike out on your own. Good for you! That also means less Starbucks trips and more Thrift store trips. It won’t be all good days. But those good days will sure  make up for the bad. 

So yeah. It’s countdown for the new year. Instead of avoiding it like The Plague, let’s take the time to embrace the fullness of it all. Confirm the commitment to being your best self. Place one foot in front of the other and move. 


New Year Musings: Couples Setting Goals Together

Ahhh…the luxury of being single! You make your schedule and owe no man any explanations. Get hitched and you now have another human being whose tagged along for the matrimonial ride. Gone are the days of scheduling last minute trips to Vegas with your friends. Don’t go into the new year without thinking some things through as a unit.

1. Set aside some time to review your marriage statement. Remember the one you should have created earlier in your marriage? It’s the philosophy and/core values that guides the decision-making in your home. Buying a home, having children, starting a business may be cause to tweak it some. Revamp it if need be.

2. Be sure your budget aligns with your values. Your taking trips on a monthly basis may not make sense if you have set goals to purchase a home or set aside money for the children’s college fund. It has to make sense on paper and in reality.

3. Set aside time during the year for enrichment opportunities. Having a healthy marriage means regular tune ups. Attending counseling sessions “just because” or registering for marriage conferences is a great way to keep things fresh.

4. Spend time in prayer and meditation together. Your spiritual lifestyle can’t afford to suffer. Nothing like a house of cards collapsing to put things into perspective.

Be proactive as a couple in heading off any issues before they arise. Going into a new year with old issues is a recipe for disaster. Your marriage deserves a fresh start for the upcoming new year. So make it happen.

Life Coach

New Year Musings: I Takes The Stairs

Creeping up on another year is cause for all types of anxiety. Social media outlets have people thinking that you’re a snail in a Speedy Gonzalez world. If you’re not traveling to the ends of the earth, reading the latest book, or making your butt stand at attention, there certainly must be something wrong with you. Well don’t believe the hype!

When was the last time someone posted that they had every intentions of getting up to run, but fell right back in bed? Or that they didn’t have the funds to go to the swanky steak house and ended up at the local two for the price of one eatery? After all, no one is posting pictures of chicken tenders and fries. Lol! Or that they stay in the consignment stores and bypass the department stores? Setting goals and keeping it real with self and others is a dying art in these here streets.

I recently teased a rather successful friend of mine about making the “got it all together” life look easy. Got folks ’round here thinking her stuff don’t “stank.” Her response to my sarcastic jibe: “I don’t take the elevator where I’m going. I’m taking the stairs.” A reminder that for every goal that’s set comes with objectives that will take more than a microwave minute to see through. Getting a doctorates means sleepless nights. Raising a family means dreams deferred for a season. Starting a business means not getting paid for months.

Don’t go into the new year already bogged down with self-doubt and trepidation. Breathe. Relax. Take the stairs one at a time.