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Decluttering Tricks for Success

Decluttering Tricks for SuccessTricks for SuccessIf you are buying into the benefits of decluttering, check out my blog posts on this topic over at militarynews.com/blog and search for Krista Wells. I offer a lot of tips in this month’s blog series that you might enjoy and I would love if you say hello or just leave a little comment to let me know you visited me there, thanks so much!!

This is just one of the many tricks that I’ve put together to make my daily chores easier to do. Saving time is a big deal in my big family of six, so I’m always coming up with new “life hacks” to make my to do list a bit easier to get through.

For example, when I need to be at work right after my kids leave for school, I put together an easy breakfast, such as frozen sausages inside Pillsbury rolls, and serve them on paper plates with fruit bowl sides. My joy at the simplicity of a stress-free morning overrides the cost of the overpriced pre-cut fruit and saltier precooked meat.

I don’t serve prepackaged food every day, nor do I always use overpriced fruit or paper plates, but this “trick” for rushed mornings serves me best at times. It isn’t so much the “once in a while” that matters as much as my regular routine of serving a homemade, healthy breakfast eaten as a family.

Your “trick” might be getting a Rotisserie chicken and a bag of premade salad to serve on paper plates when your kids have sports games. I think that, by accepting that we need little tricks to get through the week, we can focus on the things that matter most. These tricks leave us with time to do the things that really matter, even on busy nights, like allowing our kids to eat at a reasonable hour and having time to read to them before bed.

Making Chores Enjoyable

Routines and daily habits, these regularized baby steps, can improve our health, our wealth, and our relationships. Perhaps your morning routine includes taking vitamins, pouring yourself a fresh bottle of water for the day, and packing a healthy lunch. All of these tasks are connected with the goal of being healthy, so they help set the stage for your day.

Similarly, you can make seemingly mindless chores help further other goals, such as your ambition to continuously learn something new. For example, you can turn laundry day into podcast day—it’s so easy to listen to podcasts or audiobooks while sorting, running, folding, and putting away the laundry, so why not use the opportunity to increase your positive mindset?

Or maybe you like to link laundry to leisure and decide to watch a television show while you get the chore done. Sometimes, I plan to call a loved one while I’m folding laundry and I simply put the phone on speaker—or use headphones or a bluetooth. Decide ahead of time how you’ll use this leisure time so that you don’t feel like you’re getting off track, but allow yourself to have a little fun!

Find What Works for You

Military life has an undercurrent of stress, so finding little ways to lift daily stress and make routines easier can make all the difference. I told my girlfriend that I loved taco Tuesday in our home because it was one less thing to think about—meal planning can be a lot to deal with sometimes!

Start by noticing what routines work well for you and your family and consider permanently embracing them for the sake of your sanity. If you get bored, just change from chicken to fish to tofu tacos, but enjoy the fact that it’s one night in the week where you don’t have to think about what to cook!

Getting Motivated

Getting Motivated to Declutter Your LifeTo get started with the process of building healthy routines and decluttering their lives, I tell new clients to think of three key areas in their homes that they would most love to see clean and organized. I have them sit and just imagine what it would be like to have that spot of their home totally in order. I have them describe what the area looks like once it’s clean and really consider what blocks would be lifted.

If you imagine how the space will serve your greater good, the “how” will come to pass more easily. After this practice, I have my clients let go of any judgment regarding why they have let a particular area in their home get chaotic. I say, “Just let it go, it’s okay! The mess is just a message for you to pay attention to where your life in general is overstuffed or too meager!”

Then, I have my clients keep imagining the spaces as perfect without yet doing any work toward tidying them up. Instead of tackling these big projects, I have my clients spend 8 minutes a day straightening up smaller areas. I say, “Ignore the guest room project that you’re dying to do but putting off, and just spend 8 minutes reorganizing your makeup or clearing out a drawer in the kitchen.”

Clients will text me things like “Oh my gosh, 8 minutes is all it took to clean out my car. Now I do it every time I pump my gas!” Or “I spent 8 minutes on my kids’ rooms and now they see how quick it can be to pick up!” Eight minutes turns out to be all it takes to think through your routines and make decisions as to where you need more structure and discipline.

Plus, by understanding that it’s all connected to the mindset of creating sacred spaces, you’re much more likely to value these commitments.

Questions I will Ask During my “Spring Clean Your Life” Teleclass include…

The first step toward building a tidier life filled with healthier and happier habits is to learn more about yourself. For your exercise this month, take a few minutes to think through the following questions. You can write the questions down and really think about your answers during your morning writing practice—the more you come to understand your own habits, the easier your planning will become.

  • What daily and weekly routines help you the most?
  • Do you plan your meals each evening for the next day?
  • What does your kitchen look like on a daily basis? What would make cooking and tidying up easier?
  • What does your laundry routine look like? What might you do to improve it?
  • What three areas of your home need decluttering the most? Describe the areas as if they are already tidy. Ask yourself, “what does it feel like to have these spaces decluttered?”
  • Where is your life overstuffed and where is it sparse?
  • Do you see any connections between your above answers and your physical surroundings?
  • What types of things around your home and life might you organize or declutter in just 8 minutes a day?

For more support with this process, check out the “21 Days to Declutter Your Life” e-course coming soon; an online version of what I am doing with my most successful one on one clients! Sign up below if you’re interested in being part of this class.

Declutter Your Life

Declutter Your LifeI do a lot of work on decluttering. In my coaching practice, I have a program called “21 Days to Declutter Your Life” in which I give my clients verbal and written assessments of their environments before setting goals to make such spaces serve them. Don’t get me wrong: these practices and this teleclass aren’t so much about how to put a ‘donate’, ‘consign’, and ‘trash’ bin in your closet; they’re more about creating better routines and training our brains to invite success into our lives. And I want to help you guys do the same. Clients LOVE the results and say they are really loving making military moves easier, and learn to stop letting stuff get in the way of success. I think decluttering is my favorite coaching topic because it impacts all the other areas of our life.

By signing up for my april teleclass spring clean your life you will…

  1. Learn how to maintain the mindset of ‘less is more.’
  2. Start practicing effective evening habits, such as meal planning, allowing you to make healthy and successful practices feel routine.
  3. Learn how to nurture motivation in order to tackle those bigger decluttering projects.

After listening to and following these steps, it will become super easy to accomplish things that used to be difficult to even imagine. Because there are hidden connections between our daily habits and creating healthy environments, making our action steps feel routine will bring us closer to success in many avenues of our lives in no time! This month’s blog topics will all be aimed at inspiring you to GET RADICAL and let go of stuff (and sometimes situations) that aren’t serving you. I am so excited to have you join me on the decluttering journey. Please reach out to me at [email protected] if you would like to share some tips on decluttering specifically helpful to military spouses that I can use on an upcoming The Military Spouse Show podcast or just want to join me community.

The Importance of Tidying Up

As a mom of four young kids and an entrepreneur, I feel like no matter how many times I “declutter” my life, the mess ultimately makes its way back. Many of my clients think that the seeming futility of our efforts explains why it’s often hard to motivate ourselves to clean in the first place. Deep down we think, “Oh, it will just get messy again”—and who can blame us, right?

However, as military families, it’s especially important for us not to get too overwhelmed by clutter. Messiness and the accumulation of physical items makes already tough moves and transitions even more difficult in the end! That’s why I’ve always worked with clients on this topic and encouraged them to adopt the ‘less is more’ mindset.

New clients sometimes look at me skeptically when the fieldwork I assign them for their goal of finding a new career isn’t going home and preparing their resumes—instead, it’s often just tidying up their desks! I am a big fan of old school cleaning out. Once my desk is organized, I feel like identifying that new career opportunity just becomes so much easier.

Attracting Success Through Decluttering

I believe that there is a huge correlation between decluttering and success; maybe its that after I clean my desk I run to Home Depot and buy a money tree or pretty green plant and the sun coming in the window just puts me in the mood to make an extra call or go the extra mile, but regarless of the causes of success, clutter blocks it. When I clean out my closet, something shifts inside me, and I attract new clients effortlessly. When I clean out my car, I get to work and feel more productive. When I tidy up my kids’ closets, they do an even better job keeping their rooms clean.

In many ways, less is definitely more. I love how simple cleaning up can be when there are only a few different types of toys in the room. I love how easy it is to find a particular garment once I clean my closet of clothing I no longer wear.

By having fewer things to sift through and put away, you really make the prospect of keeping your home clean and possible moves that much easier!

Look for Clues and Connections

I like to pay attention to where clutter builds up in my life and think of these messes as the accumulation of messages to myself. So often there are clues about our lives in our clutter—by looking at the problem areas in our homes, we can often discover where we may subconsciously feel blocked in our lives. After discovering these realities, we can deal with them and make great changes that serve our greater good.

I first discovered the science behind this connection while reading the A Slob Comes Clean Blog, but her article merely validated something that I noticed in my own life. When I’m on top of doing the dishes every night, I’m also better at meal planning; when I do my laundry every Sunday, I suddenly know where certain clothing items are—the week, in general, just goes by far more smoothly when I keep on top of my chores!

I know some of you listening in are thinking, “Well, that is SO obvious!” but the connection definitely wasn’t clear to me. Before learning to read for such clues, I innately knew that I needed to improve my daily homemaking routines, but I wasn’t sure that it would have an overall effect on other aspects of my life, including my relationships and career.

I believe that these small household chores exercise our mindsets and train our brains to work in the ways we want them to. Kind of like when we go to the gym to train our muscles, daily chores train our brains to just “do it now” and remind us that “it’s easier than you think.” Once we begin taking regular baby steps, the idea of taking those giant leaps forward becomes so much more palatable.

How To Cope With Overwhelm

How to Cope with OverwhelmMilitary spouses are always thinking up great ideas in January, but after a few weeks, we often realize that our original lists were a bit too daunting and unrealistic. We are often dealing with an undercurrent of stress—from deployment, to moving, to feeling like a “single mom” who has to do it all alone. The anxiety is always there and, sometimes, this anxiety is enough to prevent us from moving forward at all. Military spouses get so many good ideas for their lives and their businesses, but often have to put these great ideas on hold for the greater good.

Remind yourself that getting sidetracked is perfectly okay. Don’t strive for perfection, just take baby steps towards your passion and keep moving forward, even if it’s at a slower pace. Even if you haven’t yet identified your passion, taking actions will help it unfold perfectly if you keep the momentum growing.

These tips particularly deal with overcoming the feeling of being overwhelmed while trying to actualize your life goals. While it may feel impossible given the anxieties and responsibilities associated with being a military spouse, I promise you that if I can do it, so can you!

Starting Small

So often, we already know what to do (especially when we ask our wise selves), but it’s the doing that’s the actual problem. If you ever feel this way, remind yourself that it’s totally normal and that any ambitious spouse should expect life to sometimes get in the way.

I love the concept of getting your goals into writing, but even when we write down what we want, it’s hard to find time to actually implement it. Sometimes, I feel that whenever I set aside a morning just to write, I inevitably end up with a sick kid. Or every time I commit to taking a personal day, I end up needing to help a close friend with something urgent.

We’ve all been there, so there’s no reason to beat yourself up about it! I suggest writing down three goals each season in the areas of health, wealth, and relationships. I also like rewriting these goals on a daily basis or at least the days where they don’t feel as clear in my mind, adjusting them to fit my current dreams.

I like to write my three goals on the cover of whatever journal I’m using. That way, every morning when I start writing my three pages in longhand, I am reminded of my goals. I then take a few moments to reflect, feeling gratitude, clearing my head, and setting my intention for the day.

Communicating With Your Wise Self

As my readers know, I am a huge fan of morning journaling! I feel that it’s a great way to tap into the wisdom of what will motivate us each day. I listen to my intuition that sometimes says I need a rest day or I am going to get sick, but most days, my wise self reminds me, “just get started and it won’t be that bad.”

I literally write out, “what next steps do I want to take?” and then quietly listen for the answer to come from deep within me. One of my clients has told me that her wise self will give her hunches to make a particular phone call or even suggest that she sign up for classes.

Some clients have asked me whether or not it’s okay to be negative and write about being frustrated at work or mad at one’s spouse as part of their journaling practices. Many of us have read that it’s good to stay positive, which is definitely true to some extent. However, I find that it’s easier to be positive if you have a safe place to vent; it’s important to give your problems some space on the page.

Let these morning pages be cathartic—a way for you to relieve and release emotions. That way, when you can close the journal, you can spend the rest of the day feeling grounded and ready to commit your time to what you have decided matters most.

In this way, the benefits of your morning pages become twofold. You write away your cloud thoughts to get to your wise self while also teaching your subconscious that a little “me” time is a wonderful way to start the day. By dedicating each morning to this practice, you subconsciously remind yourself that it’s important to make you a priority in your life. I love the ritual of pouring myself a cup of coffee, opening my journal, and just inviting grace to come into my day.

Planning With an Eye on Doing

Everyone has their own morning rituals and ways they like to plan. I like to do an overview of everything I want to accomplish in a week each Sunday night. Then, I spend a few minutes of planning each morning reflecting on these goals after I finish my morning journaling.

There are days when I don’t journal but I still make sure to take five minutes to consider what I want to do that day. When I find some downtime, I try to ask myself what would best serve me based on how I am feeling and how motivated I am in that moment.

Different people plan in different ways. I have one client who swears by making a “to do, to be” daily list, while others love using their phones and other technologies to plan. I personally love using a paper journal and putting “me” dates on a physical calendar so that I can visually anticipate the reward.

Do what works for you but consider weaving in a little time for reflection no matter what system you use. By contemplating your process, you will improve it and help better align your goals and your to-do list.

Plan With Your Heart

Another planning tip I give, particularly to my type-A clients (like me), is to plan more with your heart than your head. I used to be a taskmaster, but I started realizing that I wanted to enjoy the process itself more.

By using your intuition, you can play off of your moods and get more done with less effort. By spending a few minutes looking at your vision board and lifting your vibration, you might just find that you can work smarter rather than harder.

Do what works for you, but one of the keys to getting over feeling overwhelmed is pushing yourself to take one tiny action step. Trust that the momentum will follow.

Taking Steps Forward

Our brains are filled with so many ideas for our lives and our businesses. Sometimes, I even enjoy basking in this land of opportunity floating around my brain. Unfortunately, idea overload can keep us stuck in one place without ever bringing these great ideas closer to fruition.

So, how do we go from idea to implementation?

One solution is to think of a very small action step and just take it without giving yourself any time for second guessing. The phone call, the note, the email… this simple step starts you down the path. Plus, often in the amount of time you spend meditating on the task, you could have actually just gotten it done!

Once I set a goal for a season, I do my best to get some action steps on my calendar. Regardless of the other items on your to-do list, try to think of a small, medium, and large task (your big frog task) to tackle each day. A small action step isn’t meant to accomplish a goal, it’s just something that gets the juices flowing. It could be taking 10 minutes to declutter an area or even making a phone call—something quick that you still somehow keep putting off.

Successful people learn the art of trusting their inner guide and making these three items each day as important as the larger items on a to-do list. Morning journaling, a walk, a warm bath or shower, or even straightening up for 8 minutes can clear your mind, making it easier to come up with your daily intuitive actions.

The Power of Getting Everything in Writing

I love a plan that balances tasks you would like to accomplish with some space for intuitive actions and self-care. I always have clients start out by writing down their ideas, creating vision boards, and then getting some seasonal goals for their health, work, and love lives.

However, I am also a big proponent of tweaking plans as you need to.

It’s less about accomplishing particulars and more about being this future self—if you can step into success before you even reach the actual goal, then you are ahead of the game. Eventually, the goal itself becomes less important than living out your personal mission and attracting the success you desire. So, make a plan, but be open to working on things out of order, and let that inner wisdom guide you—even if it goes against your initial plan.

Have a Conversation With Your Stuff

Think about what your ideal home would look and feel like before asking yourself if you can add this element to your vision board. I know that as military spouses, we often can’t choose where we live geographically, but we can decide we want homes that are organized, simple, and homey. We can decide that we want to make our beds every morning or clean the dishes every night, as well as how often we want to do the laundry.

Our environments matter and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to invoke the feelings we desire. Oftentimes, a fresh coat of paint and a new candle or comforter is enough to create a space that feels authentic and supports who you want to become. I ask myself things like, “What type of room would a published author have? Would she have a reading chair, a light by the bed, a tray on the ottoman for a pot of tea?” Be creative as you imagine this vision of your future self!

If imagining an ideal home and addressing the gaps between dream and reality feels too daunting, then just pick a room or an area and have a conversation about what you really want the area to look and feel like. If you’re closet is overstuffed (like mine), you might add a mirror from Target to make it look more spacious. Ask yourself what it would take to have the room better serve who you are and who you are becoming.

Have fun with it! It’s not about sitting and calling yourself a slob or spending a fortune on beautiful items, but more about having an open dialogue with yourself and making small changes.

Declutter Your Life

Sometimes, it’s getting rid of old books, paperwork from an old job, or college textbooks that you hate to part with. Ask yourself if these things are really serving you, especially as you make all of these military moves, or if it’s time to let go. You can sit and chat with the rooms that are bothering you the most or you can just sit down with a notebook and ask general questions that will still give you a clue as to where you need to take some actions.

 

Pay attention to what works for you. I once had a client who said she was finally ready to have a conversation with her messy desk at work. She asked her messy files if this “system” was really serving her needs. She asked her ideal future desk what it would look like and how she would feel coming to work with her desk in order.

 

As a result of this conversation, she decided to bring a little pile of work home for a few weeks as an investment in catching up. Because this task was linked to a longer-term vision, she carried the work home with a refreshing new attitude versus the resentment that she had in the past. She looked at her desk as a symbol of self-acceptance and was surprised by how the piles of clutter were quickly replaced with fresh flowers and photographs.

Happy 2017

A new coach once asked me what marketing techniques I use to attract new clients. I told her that, when I am looking for new clients, I clean out my closet. While she totally laughed, I feel like this is actually one of my best techniques!

Try it out and let me know what new awesome things you brought into your life once you let go of the stuff you no longer need and focus on loving the journey toward your dream self. You may find that you more easily attract success toward you and your vision board becomes reality sooner than you ever believed possible.

Clarity Will Keep You Moving

Clarity Will Keep You Moving

I have so many clients come into my office in tears, explaining, “I just don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!” While this feeling can be incredibly frustrating (I know, I’ve been there too!), there is so much you can do to try and find your passion in life starting today.

The first thing I tell these clients is that what they are feeling is completely normal. After all, being a military spouse is a significant and meaningful role, so I assure them that they are already living their life with quite a bit of purpose! I give them permission to just be and remember that they are offering the world so much by supporting their spouses and maintaining the home front.

Plus, just by taking some baby steps, we can co-create a plan to uncover other passions. I have clients start paying attention to what they love and what others see as their strengths. By following this same path, you too can discover your life’s passion.

Find Your Strengths

While there are many exercises that will help you determine your strengths, I recommend starting with these four—I find that they help people take that important first step on the journey to fulfillment and success.

  1. Think about what you’ve received compliments on—whether it be your cooking, your style, or even your positive attitude. While it may initially seem as though these things are far removed from an actual career, some deep thinking about the underlying passions and talents may prove your true potential.
  2. Ask yourself, if you were deserted on an island and had only one subject to study for the rest of your life, what types of books would you end up reading? If you aren’t quite sure of “who you are,” then remember that reading is the fastest way to gain some significant insight. These books can help you discover what to take action on in order to figure out your true life’s work.
  3. Buy a diary and journal about what piques your interests, what puts you in the zone, and what hunches are coming to you. By journaling regularly, you can further solidify your personal mission statement. Start your journal entry with answering what you know to be true about the mind, the body, and the soul.
  4. Ask yourself the following questions, writing the answers in your journal or on a loose sheet of paper:
    • What makes you unique?
    • What kinds of things do you love?
    • What lifts you up and makes you feel like taking action?

You may find that you end up with your health, wealth, and relationship goals all written out with an action plan to boot!

If you still find yourself struggling after following these tips, don’t worry at all! Just hold an image of your future self in your mind and then start reading and writing regularly.

We all move at different speeds, but I promise that this practice will bring you closer to your vision, even if you don’t quite know what it is yet. Just trust the process, stick with it, and start taking some “me” time directed at helping you find your personal North Star.

For More Support

I love clients who have gone through the process of identifying their inner strengths because they end up becoming so self-assured. Whether they work 50 hours a week or stay home with their kids, when people ask, “What do you do?” they are ready with an answer. Even if they haven’t published a book, they are confident calling themselves writers. Even if they have yet to secure a single client, they may be comfortable describing themselves as life coaches.

If you read my blog regularly, consider subscribing to my new podcast, The Military Spouse Show, for more support and additional tips. Or, if you would like some live coaching with me, join my mailing list and sign up for my monthly free teleclass: www.militaryspousecoach.com/events

You may even go to my client area on my website and download my list of values, choose an idea that sounds fun to you, brainstorm you potential work theme, and spend some time thinking about your military spouse legacy. I am also here if you’d like to schedule a one-on-one coaching session where we can co-create your personal mission statement.

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Clients often come to me confused. They feel worried and uncertain about what career to go into or how to go about finding a career that works with military life. Their words come out in a jumble of stress, often accompanied by tears and notable frustration.

If you’re in this place, try this: hit the pause button and back up! Before making any big plans, it is important just to do some work that takes a deeper look at who you truly are.

Take a Deep Breath

Once a person has become more grounded, it is a lot easier for them to find opportunities wherever they go. By doing this preliminary work, we effectively change the lens that we are looking at the world through, allowing ourselves to actively or subconsciously seek out opportunities that appeal to us.

Some clients are initially confused as to why the career discovery fieldwork I assign them is journaling every morning, taking a “me” day, or cleaning out a sock drawer. “What do these things have to do with sending out my resume?” they often ask me.

However, soon enough, they realize that the more they know about who they really are, the more authentically they can network and feel aligned with the opportunities they attract.

Military life is busy and there is often an undercurrent of stress, but I promise that taking some time for self-discovery is always worth the investment. I want all of you to feel fulfilled and motivated by your careers, which is why I like to share the same activities here that I offer my clients.

How to Get Started

Getting started sounds easy, but it can actually require a lot of work going with the flow and accepting that, even if the task seems unrelated to your ultimate career goals, you truly are taking important steps forward. One military spouse said that she wrote every day that she was tired of feeling underemployed—the journaling practice motivated her to apply for a much higher paying job, which she ended up landing, and she loves it!

So, make sure to go with the practice and trust that it will work:

  1. First, just open up a journal and start writing and doodling, even using crayons to color the page.
  2. Write “I am” at the top of the page.
  3. Have fun brainstorming in whatever way sounds the most enjoyable or useful to you. The clearer we are about who we are and who we want to become, the calmer our journeys will feel.
  4. Once you have completed this task, begin a daily journaling practice, writing as soon as you wake up until you fill three entire pages. This is a tip that I share with all of my clients who feel stuck—I borrowed the idea from Julia Cameron who uses this practice to help artists tap into their creative centers. I find that this process provides military spouses with the perfect outlet for venting, releasing stress, and opening up conversations with their wiser selves.
  5. Reading is also a great way to figure out who you are, because as you make your way through a text, you unconsciously begin to compare your life to the tapestry of literature that interests you. This practice can also make journaling easier because, if you feel completely out of things to write about, you can always discuss your thoughts on the books you’ve just read!

Take That First Baby Step

You might feel like you are settling for less than your dreams in a particular area of your life. And that’s where journaling can help: writing daily is a great baby step that can lead you towards your goals. Try this practice for three months and then look back at your first page to see all of the amazing progress you have made.

I love when military spouses adapt this practice and share their personal success stories. Open up your crayon box and your heart while giving these morning pages a try!

Personal Mission Statement-Defining Who You Are

Personal Mission Statement - Defining Who You AreIn the beginning of the year, many of my clients create vision boards before writing out their long-term and seasonal goals. They then set up some great new habits such as weekly planning, rewriting their goals on a daily basis, and completing morning journaling pages (a technique I borrow from Julia Cameron’s work, which I share with my coaching clients).

I also ask my clients to write their top 5 values, and then we co-create a personal mission statement, setting the stage for a fabulous action plan. In this piece, we’ll look at some ways to work on developing your own mission statement, setting the tone for how you will go about accomplishing your goals in 2017.

Brainstorming

To come up with your mission, first think of a time when you were proud of an accomplishment. Then, consider how you would teach that skill to someone who had no idea where to start. This successful process then becomes a map to achieving other goals in your life.

Success leaves clues. By looking at achievements in your past, you create a recipe for success in the future. Remember that the best predictor of future performance is past performance—you’ve already done so much, so be confident that you can continue achieving into the future!

Let’s say I was really proud of how I organized a pre-Marine Ball icebreaker that grew my list of volunteers. I could think about teaching a new military spouse how I did that, what resources I used, and how I was able to build upon a pre-existing event.

I could also use this same technique in my business today. I could figure out what the big military spouse events are and ask the coordinator of an event if I could do a pre-event icebreaker again, even citing my past success as an example. I might even offer to create vision boards with spouses and then let everyone at the event know about my new podcast.

This process will likely work well for me because it’s essentially replicating a process that I am familiar with and that builds upon my strengths. I am more of a live networker than an online networker, so creating opportunities for myself that align with who I am help me to be more authentic.

Really Believe in Your Vision

Ever heard of a vision board (if you’re a regular reader of this blog, then that’s a resounding “YES!”)? Making such visual projections for one’s future is an activity that I do with all my new coaching clients. This project offers a way for me to get to know them and for them to get to know both themselves and what they want to accomplish over the next year.

It’s also fun to make goals visual, allowing people to hopefully unlock some of how it would feel to really be successful, using their definitions of success.

Build your own vision board with these easy steps:

  1. Buy a big piece of poster board and then go get a bunch of magazines that resonate with you, such as gardening, success, female entrepreneurs, photography, etc.
  2. Cut out and post up on the board pictures of things that you would like to attract into your life.

    Example: I put a tennis racket on my board almost haphazardly and, several weeks later, my children’s tennis teacher asked me if I was interested in playing in an adult beginner’s clinic. Because it was on my radar, I agreed. There is still a little part of me that feels that this is why vision boards work—this bias scanning helps us attract the things we want into our lives.

  3. By being clear about your dreams, you will begin to attract them toward yourself more naturally.

    Example: I drew a Jack and Jill-themed bathroom on one of my vision boards and then, several years later, moved into a new home. There, I found two of the bathrooms that I had “dreamed about” for my children already in place!

Perhaps one of the less common but inspirational examples of how this attraction works comes from my husband.

One day he said that he wanted to get a new job without interviewing. If a client said this to me, I would say, “That’s great! You’re so clear with what you want” but, because this was my husband, I tried to be more realistic. “I’m not sure you can get a new job without interviewing,” I told him skeptically.

Well, as you can imagine, about six months later he came to me and said he had received a new job as a professor. I was so surprised and pleased for him, saying, “Oh my gosh, that’s great! I didn’t even know that you had applied!”

He simply smirked and replied, “I didn’t!”

Apparently, one of his old professors had reached out to him via email and, when he expressed an interest, she just offered him the job. Now, he very much enjoys teaching—and as a result of his experience, I am letting go of some of my skepticism.

While I previously believed in the power of vision boards, I’d only allowed myself to accept what was in my comfort zone. Now I’m reaching for even bigger and brighter stars, and I want you to do the same!

If you haven’t done a vision board, go have fun and make one. And, if you did make one but still have a tiny little bit of doubt, create a new, bigger one. Make sure to include the word “believe” in the middle of your board to remind yourself to believe in the possibility of the unlikely and your potential to fulfill your dreams.

For More Help

I highly encourage you to get your personal mission statement down in writing. You can then put your personal mission statement on an index card and post it on your desk. Then, just allow this statement to be a constant reminder of the lens that you want to produce your work through!

My February teleclass, held at just about the time when the average person gives up on New Year’s Resolutions, will walk you through all of the steps for preparing to face 2017 head on. I will also be doing a podcast on this topic where I walk my co-host Wendy Poling through the process of writing her personal mission statement, available later this month.

For more help, you can also visit www.militaryspousecoach.com/clients and download the values clarification exercises. These are available cost free and will get you started on your path to living the life of your dreams.

Action Steps Can Lead To Your Career Passion

Action Steps Can Lead to Your Career Passion

Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up, especially actual adults! Every day, people tell me that they wish they had found their career passions earlier in life—those ideal careers that would make them feel fulfilled and energized. While many of us develop and try to follow career plans, if feels as though most successful people accidentally fall into doing what they love, making it seem as though all of our efforts at planning are in vain.

I was there too, so I totally understand the feeling! That’s why I wanted to share my own story with you. Sometimes, as in my own case, you may blindly take baby steps forward only to realize that you were headed toward accomplishing your dreams all along.

My Story

When I was working on my doctoral dissertation, I was so stressed after moving yet again, working in a new job, dealing with infertility, and enduring my husband’s deployment. I felt stuck in a lot of ways, so, even though I would sit down and plan specific times to study and put “writing time” in red ink in my old-fashioned day planner, I would somehow end up completing chores during that scheduled work time.

I guess you could say it was a bit of situational depression—after all, military spouses really are facing many stressors that other people simply can’t conceive of! But what helped me break out of this procrastination cycle and my feelings of dissatisfaction was hiring a coach of my own.

Sally Jensen, the Dissertation Doctor (now called Academic Coaching & Writing), worked with me each week until I was so sick of hearing myself complain about things I wasn’t doing that I got out of my own way and started typing up my dissertation. Along the way, I fell so in love with the process of coaching that I started learning more and sharing the process with others.

Sally and I worked together even beyond defending my dissertation. With her support, I was able to take important steps, such as getting some coaching training, volunteering to help military families, and even putting my information up on the Barnes and Noble bulletin board to test the waters. When I started getting calls and working with clients, my coaching training began to make a lot more sense. Finally, I was applying all of what I had learned!

Despite this momentum, however, I still felt stuck—I simply didn’t have my own niche or defined passion in life. How was I going to teach clients to find passion in their own lives when I wasn’t even sure of my own?

Eventually, Sally figured it out for me. “You love helping military spouses, so just work with them,” she explained. This discovery eventually led to a career that I find incredibly fulfilling and one that works well with the duties of being a mom.

Finally, I had found my path in life!

Finding Passion Through Baby Steps

Now, when clients come to me and say they don’t know their passion, I can confidently assure them that it’s a completely normal and acceptable place to be in, before explaining that we can discover it together. I love to share my story because sometimes people can see their own strengths better when considering their lives with fresh eyes.

Just taking a little action can boost your confidence until you realize that your passion has been guiding you all along!

If you’re feeling stuck with any aspect of your work, taking a small action is often the best remedy. Just moving forward lowers anxiety and starts you in the right direction. This action will build momentum, provide you with feedback, and help you keep moving forward until you wake up one day and realize that you are finally passionate about your work.

Next month, I am hosting a free coaching call to help listeners determine their missions, visions, and values following a process similar to some of the first coaching fieldwork I completed with Sally. I am confident that, if you are feeling stuck and/or are prone to procrastinating, taking these first action steps will help you too!

Take that first step forward and trust that it will lead you to success in the end. For more information, visit www.militaryspousecoach.com/events/.

Fresh Start: Learn how to coach yourself to success in 2017

Fresh Start Learn How to Coach Yourself in 2017 Teleclass

Every January is the opportunity to start fresh, go with it! In January’s free coaching call will help you to get your 2017 vision into writing and further define your winter goals. What do you want for your health, wealth, and relationships this year? In this “fresh start” teleclass you will learn how to assess your life and make a weekly plan of action. I will be asking probing questions that will get you moving forward such as What daily habits can best serve you this season? Where is your life too sparse? Where is your life overstuffed? What “next step” action will best serve me? I am going to share three simple techniques that will help you make 2017 your best year ever so join the call and start making your life vision a reality.

Sign Up here to get on the list and get the call information:

How Your Mindset Can Actually Make You Physically Stronger

Positive Thinking Will Let You Do Everything Better Than Negative Thinking Will
Positive Thinking Will Let You Do Everything Better Than Negative Thinking Will

Do you believe that simply changing the way you think can have a big impact on your life or your accomplishments?

It might seem unusual to think that just being more positive or more driven can attract more good things to you, or that focussing more on the good in your life can make you happier.

So how about a demonstrate to show just how powerful the mind is? What if the brain could make you considerably stronger, simply if you change the way you think?

Introducing Hysterical Strength

Hysterical strength is a term used to describe historical examples of people tapping into incredible physical power. The most common story is that of mothers who have to rescue their children from being trapped under cars or some other heavy object. In these scenarios, the mothers call upon some kind of superhuman strength and manage to physically move the cars out the way. How can this be possible?

While this has never been proven, there actually is a good scientific explanation for how it might work and some evidence to support it.

That’s because we normally are only capable of accessing around 30%-50% of our muscle fiber. When exercising or going about our normal routines, we can’t use 100% of our strength because we would risk injuring our ligaments or exhausting ourselves. You can see this when someone gets an electrical shock – this causes the muscles to contract to their fullest which is enough to throw the individual right across the room!

But during considerable stress or in life-and-death scenarios, it might just be that the brain is able to tap into those hidden depths. This would work because of the release of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline and perhaps other neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine. Together, these could improve communication across the neuromuscular junction, thereby recruiting a greater number of muscle fibers and allowing the individual to access their ‘full’ strength.

Putting it Into Action

In theory then, you could gain more strength simply by imagining a scenario where you would need to tap into that hidden. If you could really believe it, then you might be able to access hidden strength enough to break your records in the gym.

But there are easier ways according to the research. That’s because yelling at the top of your voice just so happens to trigger a small stress response and studies demonstrate that this is enough to allow you to gain a little more strength during lifts! Talk about mind over matter…