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How to Stay Balanced this Holiday Season

This mid-month ezine offers you tips on how to stay balanced this holiday season. Listen to my recent interview with Women’s Radio for more tips on maintaining your balance and productivity throughout the entire year.

As mentioned in the radio interview, for the rest of December, if you buy my book “Inspiration to Realization” from pacificlifecoach.com and mention the end of year special, you’ll get a 20 minute coaching session. This offer is valued at $42 and is good through the end of 2006.

To start your new year with greater intention, join me for a virtual retreat focusing on “Your Life in Balance” on February 3rd, 2007. I’m also accepting suggestions for group coaching topics in 2007.

To your health, happiness and success,

Amber


How to Stay Balanced this Holiday Season

For many of us, the holidays can be fun but overwhelming. We savor the parties, the decorations, the visits with family and friends but there’s the stress of adding more activities – shopping, sending holiday cards, social commitments, etc. – to already full plates. Even if we start out with enthusiasm and expectation, we’re often left feeling physically exhausted and emotionally depleted by the end of this festive season.

The holidays can be a time of joy and fulfillment if we just maintain a sense of perspective. Below are three ways to do just that:

  1. Borrow from the past. What made previous celebrations special? What memories come to mind? What was satisfying about them? Use the best pieces of the past to create the best celebration this year and in the future.
  2. Start planning the holiday you want. Think about what your dream experience would look like so you can design a celebration of your own making. Do you crave rest, relaxation and rejuvenation? Do you want to party with 100 of your closest friends? Could you use a holiday getaway with your partner? Your festivities should reflect who you are and how you have fun.
  3. Celebrate. Now that you’ve taken the best pieces from the past and planned a holiday that will bring you joy, it’s time to actually enjoy yourself. Don’t worry if a dessert is runny or if a gift isn’t exactly the right size, enjoy the interactions and opportunities to share with people you love. So don’t sweat the small stuff, just go have fun.

holiday planning, holiday season balance, holiday stress

What Do You Tolerate in Your Life?

What do a messy office, a stiff back and a negative friend all have in common? They are all examples of the things we tolerate – often without realizing it – that try our patience, dull our spirit and drain our energy. This month’s article will help you look at what you tolerate in various aspects of your life and help you choose what to accept (or not accept) from yourself and others.

To your health, happiness and success,

Amber


What Do You Tolerate in Your Life?

What do a messy office, a stiff back and a negative friend all have in common?

They are all examples of the things we tolerate – often without realizing it – that try our patience, dull our spirit and drain our energy. They may be so subtle, of such long standing, or so widely held as normal that they don’t feel like something we tolerate but more like “that’s just the way life is.”

The fundamental principle here is that the universe treats us just as well as we demand to be treated. Yet, we often move through life accepting less than the best from ourselves and others. Furthermore, it costs us our vitality every time we tolerate something that really isn’t up to our standards.

If you are committed to making changes that will bring you greater peace of mind and happiness, looking at what you tolerate in your life is a great, empowering place to start.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Make a list of three things you put up with in the various areas of your life: home, work, health, romance, friends and family, money, recreation, and environment.
  • Looking at your list, what items do you choose to minimize or eliminate? By starting with baby steps, you give yourself the permission to succeed and build confidence. If, for example, you choose to minimize your messy office, start by trying to clean up your desk or bookshelves.
  • By taking a deeper look, you may find that there are limiting beliefs that have supported you in putting up with these things for so long. In the case of the messy office, you may think to yourself: “I don’t have time to clean this up” or “I’ve always been disorganized”. Or, for other things you tolerate, perhaps some of the following thoughts sound familiar: “That’s just how it is”; “That’s the price I have to pay”; “Don’t rock the boat”; “Don’t make a big deal out of it.” Try adding the words “until now” onto the end of your negative beliefs and see what happens.
  • What is the benefit of continuing to tolerate these things? There is usually some kind of payoff – even if it’s as simple as maintaining the status quo. What part of you does not want things to change? Revisiting the messy office example, perhaps you find some comfort in holding onto old files “just in case you need them”. Acknowledge that part of you that doesn’t want to change.
  • With your friends, family or coach, develop a strategy for eliminating or minimizing each item on your list. Commit to making real changes. In the case of the messy office, you may choose to set aside a half hour every Friday afternoon to clean up your desk. You can then expand this to other weekly action items until your entire office is exactly the way you want it. Create a support network for accountability, feedback and celebration to help you along your path to success.

As you choose to minimize or eliminate what you tolerate, you will enjoy greater confidence, joy and empowerment. Now that you’re in the driver’s seat of your life, be sure to enjoy the ride!

how to eliminate things you only tolerate, how to reduce things you only tolerate

Nine Ways to Explore Your Life Purpose

Do you ever feel stuck or confused about what your next step is in your career, relationship or life? If you’re like many of us, this confusion and indecision can drain your energy and motivation. This month’s article offers ideas to help you gain focus and clarity by exploring your life purpose.

To your health, happiness and success,

Amber


Nine Ways to Explore Your Life Purpose

Do you ever feel stuck or confused about what your next step is in your career, relationship or life? If you’re like many of us, this confusion and indecision can drain your energy and motivation. One way to gain focus and clarity is to explore your life purpose.

According to Buckminster Fuller, a well-known inventor from the twentieth century, you can learn about your life purpose by exploring the life purpose of a honeybee:

“It is possible, just possible, that the honeybee has a life purpose. What would that life purpose be? To pollinate plants, to keep life on earth going. We wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for honeybees.”

“But do you think the honeybee gets up each morning and says to herself that she has to pollinate plants? No. She just has – what goal? To collect nectar to make honey.”

“In the case of the honeybee, it’s the smaller goal of pollinating plants that has the much larger side effect and the real impact – the maintenance of life on earth.”

Following this theory, I invite you to take the emphasis off of discovering your life purpose – which can be daunting and overwhelming – and, instead, simply focus on getting into action with small goals and noticing what brings you joy. It’s easy.

Following are a few ideas to get you moving:

  1. Research local non-profit organizations and volunteer for one whose mission really inspires you
  2. Learn a new language, musical instrument or how to draw or paint
  3. Go to events where you meet people with similar interests
  4. Start a garden in your back yard or on a community plot
  5. Explore your ancestry and travel to track down your roots
  6. Teach a continuing education class on a subject in which you’re knowledgeable
  7. Attend conferences and seminars on topics that interest you
  8. Get involved with your child’s school or team
  9. Train for an athletic race or join a sports team

As you get into action, simply be aware of what you do best (your gifts, talents and skills) and explore with your coach what brings you joy, satisfaction and fulfillment. Chances are, they’re related.

If you explore that which brings you joy, the universe will respond well. This doesn’t mean that all of your feedback will be positive. On the contrary, getting flak is a sure sign that you’re really exploring your life purpose and not sitting quietly on the side-lines. It’s good to stir things up a bit.

When you really commit to exploring your life purpose, eventually, you will find that you shine with an unmistakable light. Explore your light. Uncover your light. The more you truly explore that which brings you joy, the more focus and clarity you will have in your career, relationships and life.

explore your life purpose, get unstuck

Seven Steps to Creating Change in Your Life

With fall approaching, this is a great time to think about what you want to create, accomplish, be, or do before the year is over. Read the article below to get a jump-start on your path to success.

To your health, happiness and success,

Amber


Seven Steps to Creating Change in Your Life

What could you change about your life that would dramatically improve your life? Perhaps you want more money, more free time or to fit back into your skinny jeans?

Whatever you decide, the following action plan will give you a jump-start on your path to success:

1. Vision – what do you want? I mean, what do you really want? If you’re like many people, the thought of change may stir up those all-too-familiar negative thoughts of fear, doubt, worry or guilt. Instead of focusing on these gremlins, stand up, shut your eyes and take a long, slow, deep breath. Inhale through through your nose and exhale through your mouth. As you exhale, push the breath down through your head, through your neck, your shoulders, your chest, your abdomen, your pelvis, your thighs, your shins, your ankles and, eventually, all the way down through your feet and into the earth. Now, repeat this ten times. Each time you exhale, ground your feet more firmly to the earth. Imagine your body is a tree and your feet are the roots and each breath spreads your roots further and deeper into the ground.

Now that you’ve grounded yourself, ask yourself: what is it that you really want? What will that get you? What’s important about this?

2. Target Date – now that you’ve figured out what you really want, set a target date for completing this goal. Perhaps it’s one month, two months or by the end of this year. A good way to determine whether or not your target date is realistic is to say your goal and target date out-loud. If you can say it with a straight face yet it still feels like a challenge, then you’ve got a good target date. If not, you’ll want to take some more time to examine what target date really works for you.

3. Small Steps – completing small steps each week boosts your confidence, energy and motivation. Create a chart, diagram or collage that will help you to gauge your progress – one week at a time – all the way to the eventual completion of your goal. Be sure to include how you’ll reward yourself once you have completed your goal.

4. Direction – your chart, diagram or collage includes all the ingredients needed for success. Simply refer to this tool at the beginning and end of each day to review how far you’ve come. You can represent your progress with percentages, different colors or smiley faces. All that matters is that the measurement tool works for you.

5. Accountability – find an accountability partner – someone who will ask you every week about your successes and challenges and what’s next. Keep in mind that the people closest to you may not be your best accountability partners. Your spouse or best friend may not always be thrilled that you’ve decided to go the gym every day or spend extra time at the office – at the expense of spending time with them. Or your business partner may find that the daily demands of her job get in the way of truly holding you accountable to leaving the office early. Instead, consider finding an accountability partner who has more detachment and who, at the same time, clearly understand the importance you’re placing on your goals.

6. Reflection – if the end of the week rolls around and you’ve achieved your weekly goal, great! If you haven’t reached your weekly goal, all is not lost. This is a valuable time for reflection. What did you learn by not reaching your weekly goal? What will work better next time?

7. Celebration – congratulations on a job well done! One of the most important parts of the action plan is rewarding yourself when you have succeeded. What reward did you choose at the outset? Whatever it is, relish in it, bask in it, drink it up or soak it in. You deserve it.

create change in your life, improve your life, path to success

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