Small Steps Lead To Long Term Change

small steps saving money www.maryhumphreycoaching.comThere are so many things that a person can do to spark up a sense of achievement in their lives. The smallest of steps taken forward, what may even seem inconsequential at the moment, often amounts to huge lasting impact.

We decide to lose 30 pounds and at the 10 pound mark we purchase a single new item of clothing and what happens from there? We wear that new garment, even if it is purchased at a second-hand store (a treat for some of us, right?), with a gleaming sense of, “I feel good.” The gratification of wearing something new, an item that we can now fit into because of our efforts, boosts our confidence and creates an inward and outward change, which adds to our self-esteem. It adds encouragement to our thought process, and we continue going after the remainder of your weight loss! By the way, do not hang onto the old clothes as they become baggy. Give them away, clean that clutter out of your closet and your mind! The shear act of ridding our closet of the larger clothes, out of sight, out of mind, can lead to a lasting change of mindset.

You want to learn a new language, I’ll use Spanish as an example. We don’t have to spend a fortune to learn. I decided that I wanted to casually learn Spanish. So, I began reading the secondary lines printed on packaging (food, cosmetics), and even on the doors of buildings. I bought a drop-in-your purse sized handbook, Spanish/English to English/Spanish, and I check words out whenever I am curious. I ask my Hispanic friends and co-workers, “How do you say that in Spanish?” I have fun learning, and they certainly have fun when they hear my non-Spanish sounding rendition. Learning this language is rewarding and will be even more so as time moves forward as I have the opportunity to use it. I am reaching for a long-term goal and I am having fun while doing so.

Saving money works in a similar manner. Are you tired of not saving? $5.00 a week is a great starting point. Today, you save $5.00, multiply that by 52 weeks = $260.00 saved in one year. What if you upped that to $25.00 a week? You will have saved $1300.00 twelve months from now! Unfortunately, $25.00 does not seem to go far these days, but, let’s break the savings down into small chunks. Instead of spending $9.00 for lunch (out), bring lunch to the office twice a week. Instead of buying coffee out, carry it with you. Look at this math: $18.00 (lunches saved) + $8.00 ($15.00 + coffee saved) = $26.00 x 52 weeks a year = $1352.00 saved in one year. Once we get in the habit of saving, of accomplishing this one thing a week for ourselves, it can become lasting change. We prove to ourselves what we might have thought impossible and it sticks.

I’ve listed several ways small steps can lead to permanent and fulfilling life change. It is your turn. Jump in and share manageable steps that you have taken towards goals. How have these added value to your every day life and long-term goals?

 

 

Managing Life by what You Value

life values www.maryhumphreycoaching.comAre you super busy?  Does your day not feel normal if you aren’t working, or if you aren’t on the go?

Do you often feel something is missing in your life?

I see myself in all of the above from time to time. We all do.

What I have discovered is how my fast paced daily work-life carries into my home life. I tend to feel uneasy when I sit still, and I feel the urge to get up and produce something.

Our personalities are different, of course. Some of us are driven by production, some are driven by peaceful rest.

Think about people that you know that curl their legs beneath them and focus on a book with total abandonment to the world. Or, they take a walk, and they do not look at their phone while they do so. They enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, or nature. They sleep at night without wondering what they will do to manage an unfinished project at work. They pray in their quiet space each day, or several times a day, taking beautiful care of their mental and spiritual health. They turn Facebook off for 24 hours, or longer, and it does not leave them feeling like they are missing out on things of importance. They sit down with their baby, delighting in tiny wisps of laughter, instead of mopping the floor.

What do we do to shut it all off, to find peace (slow the pace down), to bring on the sense of complete in our world?

First, we realize that work will always be work. In other words, it is never-ending, and the only thing that separates us from it is to stand up and walk away. We close the door behind us and say work is never finished, but our work-life is.

Second, we realize that it is okay to sit still. It is okay to unload our minds and be quiet. It is okay to turn off the phone, or at least, to only check it occasionally for emergency calls or texts. It is okay to tell our friends that we are shutting down…and God bless the friends that urge you to do this!

Try this:

List the top 10 things that you personally value in life. Arrange this list by the most (#10) to the least important.

Of these top 10 things, write down what you have completed from the list today.

If your top 10 thing is to write, have you written today?

If your #10 is to connect with family, have you called your mother, sister, or brother today?

If your top 10 item is to enjoy nature, have you enjoyed nature today?

So, you don’t have a load of time today for the most valuable things on your list, how about #5, #3, or #1?

Post your list to the dash of your car, your refrigerator, on at the top of your calendar in your work space.

Make it a practice to make choices from your own personal value list each and every day.

The fidgety feeling of “What am I missing?,” or, “What should I do today?,” will ease itself off because you will be focusing your life on what you value.

Start now.

Let me know as it works for you.

The value of life is not in its duration, but in its donation. You are not important becuase of how long you life, you are important because of how effective you live.  – Myles Munroe

A New Moment to be Anxious About Nothing

refresh www.dreamstime.comWhen we hit the key to refresh our computer screen it accomplishes several things, but the main thing it does is clear the path that allows our computer to operate on a fresh new page. By doing so, we erase the junk that was slowing progress down.

Gone went the past. Restored and unimpaired came the new moment.

We do not have an easy button in our human anatomy for refresh, but we can virtually select it to unload heaviness. Just how dense and burdensome is the unseen waste from yesterday, this morning, and a few moments ago? Are you ready to give yourself a new moment to be anxious about nothing?

Clear. Refresh. Breathe.

Reflections: What I Gain from Being Coached

I have a coach, which has added to the benefits that I see in coaching.

All of us have skills and values. I am organized, dedicated, on-time, focused (on God, family, friendship, and business…in that order), and I know what my life-mission is.

With this being said, I always walk away from an hour of coaching with something new to think about. My coach, and any dedicated coach, prompts the client to open discussion focused on their needs.The client knows best what they want to achieve in each coaching session.

So, I go into the session (as a client) with an agenda, and I walk away with valuable insight into what I needed/wanted to talk about in that hour, as well as a plan of action to keep me accountable, and afterwards, I always end up in deep thought on things that I never would have dreamed of. These are positive, growth-inspiring results!

I coach because I live my life to encourage and support others with their God-given paths. With myself being coached, I give accolades to what I personally have obtained from investing in myself.

Take a look at what I have accomplished through recent sessions with my coach:

  • Organized. I can write out a list or outline and set myself to work in a snap of a finger. A coach, however, watches for what I have not outlined, such as, celebration points, too much of a push, or too little, meaning, procrastination. In a 10-minute span, we mapped out the start and finish plan for an entire book. This plan went beyond the nuts and bolts of writing, it also included breaks and “toot my horn” moments. These are necessary things, but it took a coach to point what I had been missing out on. How can I inspire and encourage others if I do not share?
  • Dedicated. When there is work to do, and I am the responsible party, I focus and dive in. A coach opens us up to endless dedication. When I tell a person (coach) that I am going to stick with the program, I do stick! The human side of me whispers in my ear, oh, you do not have time for that plan, but the other human side of me says throw out the old me, and I stick with it like glue!
  • Values. A coach ensures we include what we value in our daily lives and work. Work too hard? The coach points us back to our family. Work too little? Our coach asks, “How do you plan to provide income?” A few weeks ago, my coach identified that I needed to put myself first in my daily life. I always ask others, what have you done for yourself today? This self-care should not come last in our priorities. Guess what happens when we put our needs last? What comes last, may not come often enough, if at all.
  • Accountability. A coach helps to keep us on the hook. I’ve felt the squeeze of pressure, pressure that I would not have applied to myself. This is reasonable pressure because I see the results. I have had the mindset that I can manage what I have applied to myself in life, with God’s help, and that I did not need someone else to tell me what to do. While that is true, I have now learned that I do not always see the obvious.

Years upon years of life leads us to a habitual state, and we believe that our way is the right way. Picture a flower that can see inside their own bud. It is quiet, beautiful, peaceful, and it feels right. It is smart to hold that beauty from others? What happens when we share? We encourage others, and they may even see hope for themselves, and follow suit. While coaching is not about telling a client what to do, it is about polishing the edges, so what we do shines through with light.

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What are doing for yourself today? Are you taking care of and investing in yourself? Do you set the example that others will see and want to follow?

Signature Mary L Humphrey

Share, Encourage, and Learn

newsletter www.maryhumpherycoaching.com

Every Moment of Life Involves a Choice: What are you doing with it?

As long as we are breathing, we are making choices. We choose to sit, lay choice www.maryhumphreycoaching.comdown, eat, drink, study, read, write, and the list goes on from there.

We also make larger choices, such as, when to start a project, when to end a project, when to do something for ourselves, or when to devote our time to someone else.

We often get hung up on excuses, and we have a difficult time blaming ourselves — and we are quick to blame others (it takes the pressure off of ourselves). “I cannot do this because he (she) did/did not ____________,” “If it had not been for _________________ I would have gotten that done,” or, “I cannot do this today because________________, but I can do it another day. ”

I want you to do an exercise. Look at life through a difference lens. Start today. Be aware of your choices. When you make toast for breakfast, think about the choice that you are making. Which setting is the toaster on? What are you topping the bread with? Are you having coffee or water with your breakfast? This sounds mundane, but all of these actions are choices. As your day progresses, continue this exercise, and pay extra attention to the things that you could be doing that you make excuses for. Write down all of the choices that affect your life, your future, and do this for several days (up to a week).

After several days, or a week of recording your choices, let’s take a look at what you have.

  • What decisions did you take charge of?
  • What choices did you allow others to make for you?
  • Were you a decision maker, or did you make excuses (which is also a decision)?
  • What did you choose not to do?

How have theses choices affected you today?

I believe, when we become acutely aware of our daily lives as a series of decisions, it gives us the reality to become the captain and navigate our ship. We no longer say we are too busy, or that someone else is in our way, or that we will face that decision tomorrow. We gain the clarity are in the ocean (of life) and we have to do something other than float!

What series of choices will you make today? Which direction will these lead  you?

Signature Mary L Humphrey

Life Breakthrough Coach

newsletter www.maryhumpherycoaching.com

Women Returning to Work at Mid-Life

I am journeying back into the work-force as I see the approach of my 60’s. I will be giving you glimpses into this journey through this blog. So, those of you considering a mid-life return to the career world, follow along with me.

A few initial pointers from a recent job-seeker (me):

A simple resume’ involves deep thought. What experience do you have? Be honest, of course, but do not be afraid to be creative. I have been self-employed for 14 years, so I included all of the “hats” that I have worn in my resume’. Also, use an up-to-date resume’ template as your guide.

Go into the interview with confidence. Ignore the horror stories about employers that only want to hire young adults. Remember, you are settled in life…meaning, your children are raised, and you know what you want, and you know where you want to go with it. You also have a strong work ethic. This is exactly what a potential employer needs to hear!

To be point blank with you, going back to work feels liberating. We still “have what it takes,” right? Yes! We can step right back in and pull that weight, right? Yes! We are more than capable!

My desire to return to my career began with an urge to help others, to be a part of the team, and to help a woman that needed to retire. Then, my own desire to bolster the income (and health insurance) of my family kicked in.

You never know where God and life will lead you, and I believe we should all remain flexible, to the point we do not look at change as something of a burden, instead, look at it with shear wonderment. Go forward and do what you need to do in t(His) world! Then, tell your story.

Mary Humphrey

Mid-life coaching partner, women with purpose and mission-filled lives.

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The Damaging Excuses We Use

motion www.maryhumphreycoaching.comMaking a choice to pursue a new avenue in life involves several actions: doing it, doing it later, or choosing to not do it at all.

Doing it now is the best choice, as long as we have a solid plan in place. A plan that includes specific and measurable goals to keep us on track. With this in place we remain focused on the outcome, and we do not walk down paths that lead us astray from our vision — picture a straight road versus a narrow one with sharp curves and branches that leave us wondering which way to go.

The decisions that we make in life that are “on a whim” are usually things that we have always wanted to do, but fear had always stood in our way. Think about that!

Not doing it at all is a good choice when we know our goal is not meant to be. These are dreams that make no sense at all, not even to ourselves, and they always lead to bad outcomes.

Doing it later can be a very dangerous choice if filled with procrastination. A decision to move ahead later, accompanied with a measurable and dated plan is smart, but we often allow excuses to follow close behind.

Major delay excuses

  • I am afraid of change.
  • What if it does not work out?
  • What would people say?
  • I will do this after I feel less stress.
  • I will do this when I have more time.
  • I need to feel (physically) better first.
  • I have never done this before.

If you recognize yourself in any of these major excuses, ask yourself these questions:  When will I not fear change? What is the worst thing that can happen if it does not work out? Does it matter what other people say? What would have to happen to make me feel less stress? When will I have more time? When will I feel better physically, and what can I do now to feel better/take a small step even though I do not feel 100%? How do I do it?

Minor delay excuses

  • I’ll do this after my kids leave home.
  • I do not have the money.
  • My house is not big enough/too small.
  • I live in the wrong area.
  • I need training/education.

We make mountains of minor excuses. I call these types of excuses minor because they usually depend on some action in our life that is currently out of our immediate control (but are do-able or fixable). If you see yourself in any of these, or similar excuses, ask yourself: What can I do today to move one small step closer to making this happen? Is this a valid excuse, or can I move towards my goal today even though I am in these circumstances? Can I take a class next week (even a free one to just get started)? Can I rent a space or a room? Can I rent a room out? Can I commute several times a week? How can I fund this today? How can I save a small amount of money beginning today? Can my children, or spouse, help me in large and small ways, and how do we/I implement that change?

Be Careful with Your Verbiage 

Be mindful of your verbiage. Notice if you are using wording that is non-committal. What you say may end up being what you think, followed by what you do not do!

Look at the differences in these statements:

“I think I can do it.” versus “I know I can do it”, or, “I will do it.”

“I may try it.” versus “I am trying it,” and better yet, “I have scheduled a date and time to do it.”

Motion is Movement

The day you take the first step, the day you take action, you are making the choice to move forward. You are in motion. Motion is measured by movement — and not at all by speed!

God speed to you!

~~~~~~

Mary L Humphrey, LBC

Paint your life masterpiece today!

 

Am I The Only One That Feels Overwhelmed or Out of Balance?

FullSizeRenderWe go through life in stages, it simply does not remain the same through the years. We experience transitions in relationships, children, work, and physical changes.

Can we just put the brakes on? No, but it might feel good for a short while. So, our thoughts through these twists and turns commonly are:

  • What’s next in my life?
  • My energy is drained, each and every day!
  • How do I move to the next chapter?
  • What more can I possibly do?
  • I feel overwhelmed, out of balance!
  • Something seems missing.
  • Am I on the right path?
  • Where is God in this?
  • I see no connection with my future.

The number one thing that helps in these situations is to realize you are not alone. You may feel singled out, but you never are.

Try breaking your situation down into small manageable pieces, and give yourself permission to think about your own welfare. Women are natural care givers, the care giver must be mindful of her own mental and physical needs!

  • What’s next in life? (What do you want to do? What excites you the most? What gives you the most energy?)
  • My energy is drained, each and every day! (What drains your energy the most? How can you turn that around?)
  • I see no connection with my future. (What goals do you have? Which direction do you want to go? What small steps can you take to begin – or continue – your walk towards your future?)
  • Where is God in this? (Pray, even if you feel God is not there — these are the times for patience as he never stops molding the plans that he has for you. Meditate on scripture. Apply scripture to your life.)

A friend that listens, one that looks after your own welfare, is also key to surviving transitions in life. Seek out groups or activities where you can meet other women that are in comparable life cycles, or possibly mentors that you can follow or consult with that have been in similar shoes as yours. If your circle of friends do not meet your needs, branch out. Find that harmony.

Start a new interest — something that builds your inner-strength, like a class or physical exercise. This boosts your mental and physical well-being, and both work in unison.

I hope you found this article helpful.

I look forward to your comments, and if you need a listener, I would love to hear from you.

Is it Rain or Shine? How To Handle the Discourager

naysayer www.maryhumphreycoaching.comSit here with me, get comfortable, and let’s talk about dealing with naysayers.

Dictionary.com defines a naysayer as “a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views.”

These defeatists, people that drain our energy, try to put our fresh ideas on the chopping block by saying:

“I’ve heard other people say it did not work for them.”
“That is something too new, nobody has heard of it.”
“You can’t make money doing that.”
“You are a women, your family and husband come first.” (Yes, they are important…but, take care of you so you are able to be there for them.)
“Really, you want to put yourself through that torture?”
“Been there, done that,” or “It’s already been done.”
“You don’t have enough experience or skills.”
“It is unproven.”
“I love you so much. I want only what is best for you, but…”

The list goes on from here.

1) Consider what the killjoy (i.e. they kill your joy) has to say, but only long enough to ask yourself if their concern is valid. Meditate and pray, while keeping your emotions out of the equation. Do their concerns hold value in the sense that this could be a valid warning for impending failure?

2)  Look at the history of the naysayer:
What are they an expert at, or are they an expert at everything (or anything)?
What have they succeeded in at life?
Are you in their best interests, or are you a threat because you might succeed at your goal(s)?
Is the naysayer generally optimistic or pessimistic?

3) Ask yourself these questions:
Are you unique (because someone else failed, will you also fail)?
Have you thought your decision out (the pro’s and the con’s)?
Are you willing to take on a unique career or business, or make that challenging life move?
Who are you making your life decisions for? Your immediate family, God?
Who is afraid of change more than you are?
Who sees you as a threat?

4) The answers to these questions should set the naysayer in their place, without you uttering a sound (remember…forgive and forget). Always consider what they have to say, weigh it out sensibly, and then go!

Never, ever, are you going to please everyone, nor is everyone going to agree with you. In fact, most journeys start out pretty lonely — you take off with your own set of ideas, and isn’t that the way it should be, unique to you? God didn’t design us alike – there are no exact replicas.

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