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Taking Time to Take Care

Hi – I hope you are all healthy and well. As we’ve collectively limited our interactions with others recently, I’ve thought about the many people who have touched my coaching practice over the years whether as clients, mentors or colleagues. While we may not connect often, each of you has impacted my life in an unique and meaningful way. For that, I’m deeply grateful and am sending you love, light, resilience and growth during this global pandemic.

Below is an article with a few simple ways to take care of ourselves. And given all the upheaval in the world today, I’ve opened-up my coaching practice to new clients. Email me if you or someone you know could benefit from phone/video coaching.

Be well, Amber


Taking Time to Take Care

After talking with clients, friends and family, I wanted to share a few simple ways to take care of yourself during these stressful times. Pick and choose what works best for you and adapt as needed.

1. Be Kind to Yourself:

  1. Allow yourself to feel all your feelings – including the pleasant, the difficult, the uncomfortable, and the ugly; it’s okay, we’re all having good and bad days right now
  2. Notice when you are holding yourself up against some perfectionist ideal that has you feeling like you’re falling short (whether it’s related to job loss/ job insecurity, working from home, homeschooling, etc.); allow yourself a little breathing room
  3. Instead of beating yourself up, try on the perspective of “good is good enough,” you’ll be surprised how often that’s exactly what’s called for
  4. Kindness towards yourself will naturally lead to kindness towards others; there’s never been a more apt time for appealing to the “better angels of our nature”

2. Focus on What’s in Your Control vs. What’s Out of Your Control:

  1. Make a list of what’s in your control vs. what’s out of your control; focus on what you can influence, let go of what you can’t
  2. Examples of things that are in your control: taking care of yourself; setting boundaries with others; adopting a mindset that serves you; telling loved ones how you feel
  3. Examples of things that are out of your control: other peoples’ words, actions or thoughts; family illness, the stock market, other people ignoring health directives
  4. Notice when your mind wanders to the many scary things that are currently out of your control, take a deep breath (or 500) and refocus on what’s in your control

3. Create Meaningful Social Connection:

  1. Reach out to immediate family, friends, roommates, extended family, colleagues and/or neighbors via phone, video conference, text, email; they need you as much as you need them
  2. If you’re on video conference overload, change up the start of the meeting to allow for some personal interaction. Ask questions about what people are doing for dinner or watching on TV. Ask if anyone can recommend a good book or an easy to bake dessert. Most people want to share what they’re currently experiencing and you might end up with a much different – and better – video meeting.
  3. Or, try an old-fashioned phone call. Without visual distractions, the phone can allow for more vulnerability, more presence and deeper connection. I often notice these benefits in phone sessions with clients.

4. Get (Outside) Exercise:

  1. If it’s still allowed in your region, go skipping around your block or take a neighborhood walk, run or bike ride; burn through some of the energy pent up inside of you
  2. While you need to stay six feet away from folks you come across, try making eye contact and smiling – it will make you both feel good; saying hello is still legal!
  3. If you’re not currently allowed to exercise outside, check out the plethora of online exercise classes and choose a couple that fit your needs
  4. Get your hands dirty planting a garden, growing flowers in a pot or cultivating vegetables in a windowsill planter; it’ll lighten your mood, instill a sense of accomplishment, be nice to look at; and may even be edible

5. Choose Healthy Food:

  1. Increase protein and veggies/fruit intake (if you’re fortunate enough to have access to produce). Consider some non-organic options given the current need to limit shopping trips and purchase items with a longer shelf life.
  2. Vitamins – the benefit of vitamins is up for debate. However, with so much out of our control right now, you may feel more proactive by taking them.

6. Develop (or Continue) a Mindfulness Practice:

  1. Yoga, meditation, journal writing, knitting, prayer, baking, listening to relaxing music
  2. Anything else that gets you out of your head and into your body
  3. Focusing on gratitude is especially beneficial during stressful times

These are just a few suggestions – let me know what other ideas might work for you. And, to help people through this challenging period, I’ve opened-up my coaching practice to new clients. Email me if you or someone you know could currently benefit from online/video coaching support.

self care

12 Steps to Work More Efficiently

Crunched for Time as Year-End Approaches?

12 Steps to Work More Efficiently

Hi friends – happy fall! As we approach the end of the year, you may feel compelled to check off as many items as possible on your to-do list. As a life and career coach expert for wikiHow, I recently co-authored an article on 12 Steps to Work More Efficiently.

May your days be full of productivity and possibility.

Enjoy, Amber

work more efficiently

How to Move Abroad and Find a Job in 11 Steps

Dear friends – This newsletter features my inspiring client, Kerry Philp, who through coaching, decided to follow her dream of moving from San Francisco to Italy.  In our work together, she made her vision a reality and is currently living in Rome and enjoying the food, the culture and a rewarding new job.  

“I worked with Amber for the past year after struggling to find the next step in my career and to explore the possibility of living abroad. Amber was fantastic. We set objectives for what I wanted to accomplish, identified my values, tackled current work issues and explored future career ideas.  I was so pleased at the structure and focus of each session.  A year later, I can honestly say that I have work/life balance, better non-defensive communication skills, plus I’m living and working in Europe.  I highly recommend Amber. She’s the complete package: focused, reflective, practical, productive, and supportive.”
-Kerry Philp, Marketing and Communictions Professional

I met up with Kerry on her recent SF visit and she gave me permission to share her inspiring story, written by Tamara Murray, freelance writer, below.  Even if you’re not considering a move abroad, this article includes great tips for finding a new job or career.

Here’s to making your dreams a reality,
Amber


How to Move Abroad and Find a New Job in 11 Steps

By Tamara Murray

“I wish I could live here,” many of us say while on vacation somewhere far away. Meet Kerry, who actually made it happen. Here’s how she made Rome, Italy her new home.

Kerry was in love with her career and life in San Francisco, where she worked in marketing for a financial services company. She had no reason to leave, until she visited Italy in March 2013.

“Italy was romantic, challenging, charming, beautiful, and delicious. I was smitten,” Kerry writes. “And I couldn’t stop thinking about it.”

One year later, she was on a plane to Italy. Her goal: find an employer who would sponsor her within 90 days, the maximum visit for a U.S. tourist without a visa. Now, she’s working in Rome for the United Nations World Food Programme and eating pizza along historic, cobblestone streets.

How’d she do it? I caught up with Kerry via Skype from her apartment in Rome to learn more. While every situation is unique, much of what Kerry did is universal.

Step 1: Consider getting help with the decision

“When I came back from Italy that March, I asked, ‘How can I live there?’ First, I enrolled in Italian classes at a school I found in downtown San Francisco. Then, I got a life coach I found through Yelp. I read the reviews and saw that she’d lived abroad. You get a free consultation and, if it’s not a fit, there’s no obligation to keep working together. People think life coaching is really touchy feely, but it’s structured and goal-oriented. She gave me homework and asked questions that moved me forward. My goal of moving to Italy took over our sessions, and by August I’d made the decision to go.”

Step 2: Make a savings plan

“Talk to people who’ve done similar things and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I talked to a colleague who took a year off in Europe and she was very open about how much she’d saved which helped me plan. My goal was to hit $30K in savings to last me for six months. I stopped contributing to my retirement plan and factored in when I knew I’d be receiving a bonus. I saved for eight months.”

Step 3: Research visa requirements

“Google really helped me. What are the rules for being a resident? What do I need to know? For someone my age who isn’t retired, it’s either a work visa or student visa. I wanted to go the work visa route. So I needed to find an employer that would sponsor me.”

Step 4: Ask yourself what jobs you don’t want

“Your job search depends on where you are in your career. Ask yourself what you are NOT willing to do – it’s an important question. People will say you should be a barista, English teacher, or au pair. I had researched the job situation: there was no way an Italian cafe would sponsor a work visa for an American, especially with the Italian youth unemployment rate at 40 percent. A colleague of mine taught English abroad and said the pay isn’t good. Plus, in Italy they’d rather hire someone from Britain because there’s no visa required. And to be an au pair, it’s not for me. I’m going to live in Rome and watch three kids? That’s not the experience I wanted.”

Step 5: Research the job market and explore possibilities

“I looked at three categories of organizations: Italian, international, and American. I kept everything in a spreadsheet. From my research, I knew most jobs were located in Rome or Milan. I didn’t have the language skills for an Italian company, so I focused on finding an American or international organization based in either of those two cities. From there, I looked for openings with those organizations where my marketing and communications experience would be a benefit. LinkedIn was a great resource because you can narrow your search by city and see how many other people are applying, and I would also just Google ‘jobs in Rome’ to find local job boards.”

Step 6: Reach out to your network for help

“Once I narrowed down possible companies to work for, I sent people in my network an email asking for connections, which got a lot of responses. I treated those responses and connections like informational interviews. I respected their time, had questions prepared, and my goal was to walk away with three or more things I could follow-up on.”

Here’s a sample networking email:

I’m reaching out to you because I trust you, I respect your opinion, and I value your professional perspective.
 
After much personal reflection and soul searching, I’ve decided to take a massive leap and move to Italy. I spent a wonderful month there a year ago, and fell in love with the culture, the language, and the food. The plan is to resign from my current job at the end of March, enjoy one last month in San Francisco in April, spend time with family in Pennsylvania in May, and move to Rome in June.

I’m in job search mode now. I am looking for positions in which I can use my marketing and communications skills, either as a contractor or in a full-time position. As you know, successful job searching is all about networking and building connections.

Here’s the Request!

Therefore, I’m asking your help in connecting me with personal or professional contacts in any or all of the following:

1. Introductions to other marketing and communications professionals.
2. Introductions to professionals who work for the following companies that are either headquartered or have offices in Rome:
-Salesforce, Nike, Google, World Food Programme (WFP), UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Microsoft, Doctors without Borders, Save the Children, and any Financial Services company
3. Introductions to personal or professional contacts in Rome or in Italy; and/or
4. Introductions to professionals in the food and wine industry.

I’m attaching my resume as background, and you can feel free to forward this email/resume on to others, introduce us by email, whatever is easiest for you.

I really appreciate your help. My announcement is not public, so I ask that you keep this confidential for now. Many, many thanks!

Step 7: Start applying before you leave, and don’t let the written job description dissuade you

“Once I figured out the job market, I started applying for jobs. I had some phone interviews while in San Francisco, including one with the United Nations World Food Programme. I didn’t get that job, but another position in the same division opened a month later. It was a more junior position, but I applied anyway. When I arrived in Rome the next month, I got a phone and in-person interview. It was apparent to everyone that the position was a bit too junior for me, so they decided they could just give me more responsibility to match my experience. I was offered a one-year contract, with a special work visa for the contract period.”

Step 8: Understand unique salary and tax situations

“Because it was the U.N., most of the salary information is public and consultants are paid based on a set structure. Still, I had already done my homework on the pay scale. Google is wonderful for that. I also had to get a sense of the tax situation. Would I qualify for the foreign earned income exclusion? Or is this considered self-employment?”

Step 9: Be over-prepared when it comes to visa processing

“After I received my offer, I went back to the U.S. and stayed with family in Pennsylvania. I had to wait for two weeks for my paperwork to arrive at the consulate so I could apply for my visa. Then I could return to Italy. My advice? If you know an offer is coming, book an appointment with your nearby consulate as quickly as you can. You can always reschedule, but it’s better to get it on the books because sometimes there’s a six-week wait. I had appointments at the Philadelphia and Baltimore Italian consulates and just kept moving them. You should also call the consulate ahead of time and find out EXACTLY what you need to bring. Once the paperwork arrived at the consulate from Italy, I had an appointment already scheduled for the next day. They got me the visa the following week and I flew back to Rome.”

Step 10: Enjoy your new home country, but remember you’re not on vacation anymore

“You can’t live in Rome and be unhappy. It is a challenging place to live though. Getting things done can be a long process. One of my colleagues said it was easier for her to get her Internet installed when she lived in the Sudan. Traffic is bad, roads close at weird times, and there are public transit strikes monthly. But I can also go eat a pizza and sit outside and it’s fantastic. I pulled it off! I did it; I live here. The grocery stores are so interesting. I have an apartment in a cool, historic neighborhood. I had dinner the other night with the 89-year-old woman who lives downstairs.”

Step 11: Leave with gratitude

“Don’t leave where you live when it sucks. Leave your job, your life, on a good note. I can’t stress this enough. I was grateful to have lived in an amazing city like San Francisco for 14 years. At the end of my contract, if I don’t get an extension or a new contract, I’ll have to leave Rome and go back to the States. I don’t have an apartment or even a city to go back to. But I’ve learned so much from the job I have about what I want and don’t want, how important a team environment is to me. It’s so important to challenge yourself no matter what age you are or where you are in your career. It reaffirms your values. Just don’t leave with a grudge – leave with gratitude.”
~~~

– Written by Tamara Murray (@tamaramurray), a social-change communications consultant, full-time traveler, and author of Awesome Supervisory Skills: Seven Lessons for Young, First-Time Managers. She and her husband set out on sabbatical to explore Latin America in 2013 with two backpacks and their dog – and it transformed their lives. Now they’re traveling across North America in a minivan-turned-camper while freelancing.

find a job abroad, how to move abroad

How to Make a Big Decision

Dear friends – the start of spring is a good time to reflect on new beginnings, opportunities and decisions. Here are a few thoughts to help you kick-start this process and make empowered and intentional decisions in your life and career.

Warmly,
Amber


How to Make a Big Decision

Life is full of decisions – big and small. Most of us make small decisions in our every day lives fairly seamlessly. However, the bigger the decision, the bigger the impact and often the more pressure we feel to make the “right” decision.

For example, let’s say you’re deciding between two different job offers – one pays better but includes a commute (and less time with your family/friends). This decision impacts you, your family, your friends, your money and your career (as well as other potential relationships/areas of your life). That’s a lot of weight on one decision!

My husband and I were recently faced with a big decision on whether or not to move out of San Francisco (spoiler-alert – we decided to stay) and we used some of the below tactics to make an empowered and intentional decision.

The next time you’re faced with a big decision, I invite you to pick and choose which exercise/s might work for you.

Trust Your Intuition:

Research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options. Your intuition is there for a reason and your job is to quiet the external noise (fear, doubt, worry, guilt and what other people want/expect) so you can truly listen to it. So, find 10 minutes where you can be alone and quiet. Take a few deep breaths. Where do you feel intuition in your body? What does it feel like? What is your intuition telling you?

Since intuition is emotions-based, it can be the most fulfilling way to approach a decision. However, the size and potential impact of many big decisions merit a closer, more thoughtful examination.  We navigate the world through both rational and emotional filters.  The rational brain buys the house, the emotional brain picks the colors and furniture.

So let your intuition lead you in a direction and allow for a rational examination as well.  Here are a few ways to approach a rational based decision.

Create a Decision Matrix:

The standard pros and cons list has its limitations. It can give us a sort of tunnel vision, where we get so focused on the immediate consequences of the decision that we don’t think about the eventual outcomes.

Instead, it pays to take some time to consider the longer-term outcomes. Take out a piece of paper and draw four quadrants. In the upper left quadrant, write down all the best possible outcomes if you decide option A. In the lower left quadrant, write down all the worst possible outcomes if you decide option A. In the upper right quadrant, write down all the best possible outcomes if you decide option B. In the lower right quadrant, write down all the worst possible outcomes if you decide option B.

Thinking in terms of longer-term outcomes – and broadening your thinking to include negative outcomes – can help you find clarity and direction while facing your big decision.

Ask Yourself Some Deeper Questions:

  • What does success and failure look like for each option?
  • What is fulfilling and disappointing about each option?
  • Which option moves you closer to your life/career objectives?
  • How will each option impact your day-to-day life?

Keep Asking Yourself “Why”:

By asking yourself “why” as many times as needed, it can help you determine whether a decision you’re considering is in line with your core values. Values are one-word descriptions that get to the core of who you are. When you’re honoring your core values, you’re truly alive and engaged and you show up as your best self.

For example, if you’re deciding between freelancing and looking for a full-time job, you may ask yourself the following questions:

Why should I start freelancing? It allows me to make my own schedule, be my own boss and work on the projects I choose. Why is that important? Because I want to enjoy work when I’m at work and also have a life outside of work. Why? Because I want to make a real impact through my job and have more time with my family. Why? Because I want to leave a legacy through my work and connect with my family on a deeper level. Why? Because that’s what’s truly important to me.

Through this line of questioning, we uncovered the values of freedom, flexibility, independence, connection, impact and legacy.

Next, go through the same line of questioning about looking for a full-time job and pull out the relevant values. Last, compare and contrast which decision honors your highest priority values.

Own Your Decision:

Whichever decision you make or process you use, you’ll serve yourself well by owning your decision. The very act of making a decision can be quite validating and liberating in itself. Once you make your decision, you may even find that you adopt a whole new perspective.

Throughout our own recent personal decision- making process, I adopted the perspective of deep gratitude. I was reminded that to be in choice, is to be empowered. We may move out of San Francisco one day – just not today. In the meantime, I’m better able to appreciate what we have and truly live in the present. Isn’t that what life is all about?

how to make a big decision

How to Find a Job You Love

It’s been awhile since I’ve written and a busy first half of the year with lots of one-on-one coaching, workshops, press interviews and the redesign of Pacific Life Coach. As you’ll see, this revised website explains all my services – from various types of coaching to workshops and presentations – in one neat little package. I welcome your feedback.

Also, I was recently interviewed by Fast Company about the lost art of small talk in a social media era and by Wallethub on improving the plight of working mothers.

Last, not least, Daily Worth interviewed me for the article below on how to find a job you love.

As always, I welcome the opportunity to help you find purpose, success and balance in your life and work.

Warmly,
Amber


How to Find a Job You Love

An Interview with Amber Rosenberg
By Serena Kappes, Daily Worth, May 30, 2014

Job Check-in

When’s the last time you asked yourself if you’re (still) doing what you love? Often, just getting through the daily workload keeps your mind occupied enough that wondering whether your career is really making you happy becomes an afterthought. You can become so focused on your day-to-day job that you set your career on autopilot without even realizing it.

It can take a major transition – getting laid off from a job, for instance, or getting a new boss – before you ask yourself whether you’re happy in your current situation and in your career. But doing a career check-in when you’re still employed is actually a smart idea. You may come to the determination that the job you have isn’t really utilizing all your strengths or the goals you had earlier in your career may no longer be the ones you have now.

“Sometimes people find themselves falling into a career path that was unintentional,” explainsAmber Rosenberg, a San Francisco-based career coach with 20 years of experience working with private clients and companies like Google, Adobe and Morgan Stanley. “Five years, 10 years, 15 years down the road, they think to themselves, ‘I never really intended to go in this direction and now I’m here. How can I change this?'”

Here are some exercises that can help you figure out whether the job or career you have is really the right one for you – and if not, what you can do to change that.

Write a Vision Statement

A vision statement, explains Rosenberg, is a writing exercise to help you identify some important attributes of a fulfilling career: what kind of people you really work best with, what values you’re honoring in your career (think about what makes you feel engaged and happy or achievements you’re especially proud of), what kind of impact you want to make in your career and what you need to do in order to make this vision a reality. It may seem daunting to tackle, but don’t overthink it. Plan to spend about 5 to 10 minutes thinking about each.

“Sit down after some kind of self-care activity, like exercise or meditation or yoga – whatever it is that’s going to help you feel really centered and grounded and not in your head and coming from a place of fear, doubt or worry,” says Rosenberg. “If you have an annual vision statement for where you want your career to be and you check in along the way – little check-ins every month to see how you’re doing against that vision – that’s a good way to approach it.”
And, if during the course of writing your vision statement you realize that your values (what really makes you feel fulfilled) aren’t being met in your current career, it may be time to make some changes. “At the end of the day, if you’re in a career or a profession that really does honor values, you’re going to feel more fulfilled and be more successful,” adds Rosenberg.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

You want to be S.M.A.R.T. about setting goals – that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. “The idea is the more specific and measurable you make them, the more realistic they are,” says Rosenberg. “You can break them down into small, achievable action steps that are big enough to move you forward but small enough to be doable.” For instance, a short-term goal might be getting more engaged with clients. A long-term goal might be that you want to be the CEO of a company in 10 years. By segmenting your goals, you won’t feel quite as overwhelmed.

Learn Your Strengths

Sometimes we’re not even aware of what our strengths are because we take them for granted. Rosenberg recommends taking an online strength-finder assessment like the one on the Authentic Happiness”from Dr. Martin Seligman, the Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and founder of positive psychology (a branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of positive emotions and strengths-based character).

“It can be very validating and confidence-boosting to do a little bit of external check-in to find out what are these strengths and are you leveraging them? I always recommend that people look at their top five strengths and record them,” says Rosenberg. “So much of our performance reports in our culture focus on areas for improvement and instead, if you can approach your job and your career from a place of strength, how much more empowering is that going to be?”

Analyze How Your Job Makes You Feel

A2012 survey by Net Impact, a nonprofit organization geared toward students and professionals interested in using business skills in support of various social and environmental causes, found that 88 percent of workers considered “positive culture” and “work/life balance” to be very important or essential factors in their dream job. Meanwhile, 86 percent said the same about “interesting work” and 58 percent of respondents said they would take a 15 percent pay cut in order to work for an organization “with values like my own.”

Because we spend so much of our life working, how your job makes you feel really matters for your overall well-being. “A good way to gauge if you’re on track with your career is how do you feel at the end of the day? Do you feel energized? Do you feel depleted? Do you feel excited?” asks Rosenberg. “These are good questions to ask yourself as well as how do you feel at the beginning of the day when you’re going to work. A lot of people want to feel like they’re making some sort of difference. Is your job helping people to live better lives? Is it helping companies to produce more? Is it making things easier for a population of folks? Getting a sense at the end of the day what people are contributing to helps them evaluate, ‘Is this really feeding my soul?'”

Have a Daily Renewal Ritual (It’ll Help You Think Better)

In our non-stop, email-checking, Facebook status-updating culture, taking time to decompress and just be is often a challenge. But it’s an essential factor in figuring out what motivates and makes us happy. “All the experts and the research points to the benefit of taking 10 minutes, twice a day, for some sort of quiet, reflective activity that quiets the thinking brain and allows you to be present and in the moment,” explains Rosenberg. “It can do wonders if you’re in a career and you say to yourself, ‘I don’t really know what I want. It’s very difficult to think clearly and make decisions when you’re operating from a place of stress and overdrive.” Any regular daily renewal ritual that quiets your mind – cooking, going for a run – can really help center you and help you think more clearly about what you really want.

find a job you love

Create More Time for Yourself; Interview with Confidence

Happy fall! This is a great time of year to bring renewed focus to what’s next for you and your career.  And, to help you contemplate what’s next for you, it can be very helpful to take some time for yourself.

Also, I’m delighted to team with speech coach, Laurie Schloff, who has been on the Today Show and Oprah, to bring you “Ace the Interview” Teleclass. Has it been a long time since you’ve been on a job interview? Are you in a career transition; looking for your first position, or managing a lay-off? Learn how to speak with clarity and confidence and ace every interview.

The Oprah Winfrey Show NBC Today Show

Last, be sure to connect with me on LinkedInlike me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for more tips on creating success, fulfillment and balance in your life and career.

Warmly,
Amber

How to Get Passion Back Into Your Life

Happy Summer! As the days get longer, it’s a great opportunity to think about how to get some zeal back into your life. Watch my interview in the below 90 second video. You’ll learn how to identify and honor your values and step outside of your comfort zone to get you on the right track:

Also, check out a recent LA Times Interview with me about following-through with goals.

Last, be sure to connect with me on LinkedInlike me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to receive more regular tips and tricks to achieve success that’s balanced.

Make it a fun, successful and balanced summer.

Warmly,
Amber

get passion back into your life

How to Revive Your Goals

Now that we’re a few months into the new year, I hope your new year is off to a fulfilling and successful start. The January newsletter provided tips on how to outlast your new year’s resolutions and this issue offers more tips to keep that momentum going.

Also, be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to receive more regular tips and tricks to achieve success that’s balanced.

Here’s to your continued fulfillment, success and balance.

Warmly,
Amber


How to Revive Your Goals

Focus on the Positive – One reason goals can fall short is they tend to stress the negative. Instead of thinking about what you want to eliminate in your life, think about what you want to create. For example, instead of just losing weight, think about creating health. Or instead of shrinking debt, think about creating abundance.

Remember the “Why” – To help keep you motivated when the going gets tough, it helps to remember why you set out to achieve your goal in the first place. For example, if you want to create a healthier lifestyle, what will be the benefit of this? Having more energy to play with your kids? Feeling better and looking better? Feeling more confident?

Make Self-Care a Priority – If you really want to make changes in your life, it’s imperative to take care of yourself and manage your stress. Start by making sure you’re getting enough sleep and eating well. I also highly recommend creating a daily renewal ritual to help you manage stress. This is any quiet, reflective activity that allows you to slow down your thinking brain (which can be caught up in fear, doubt, worry and guilt) and truly be in the moment. It allows you to recharge your battery so you can be more present and energetic throughout the rest of your day. Examples include meditation, yoga, journaling, prayer, yoga, nature walk, listening to music or any personal quiet activity. Start with 10 minutes/day and notice all the great benefits you receive.

Reflection – Review your progress at the end of each week. If you’ve achieved all your goals for the week, great! If you haven’t reached your goals, all is not lost. This is a valuable time for reflection. What did you learn by not reaching your goals? What was the benefit?

Celebrate Your Successes – One of the most important parts of working towards your goals is rewarding yourself when you’ve succeeded. Be sure to choose a reward at the beginning of the goal setting process and decide on when/how often you’ll cash in on that reward. Since you’re working on developing new habits in the beginning, I recommend starting with weekly rewards and slowly moving towards monthly rewards. The trick is to be sure to follow-through with rewarding yourself. You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.

revive your goals

How to Outlast Your Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope you’re able to focus on whatever is most important to you this year.

My year is off to a fun start as Balance Bar® has hired me as their Balance Life Coach/ New Year’s Resolutions Guru. Join us for a live Twitter chat on January 9th at 1:30pm est/10:30am pst (#ResolutionChat). Balance Bar® is also hosting an Outlast Your Resolutions Facebook contest from 1/1 to 1/18. The grand prize is an hour long personal phone coaching session with me and a great prize package featuring Balance Bar products and items to help you achieve healthy balance in the coming year. In related news, I’m now on Twitter and Facebook. Feel free to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to receive more regular tips and tricks to achieve success that’s balanced.

In the meantime, to get you off on the right foot, check out the first of two articles below on how to outlast your resolutions.

Here’s to your fulfillment, success and balance.

Warmly,
Amber


How to Outlast Your Resolutions

Resolutions are as common as champagne on New Year’s Eve and, unfortunately, they lose their fizz just as quickly. In fact, nearly 80% of all new-year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January each year.

This time of year, I tend to hear from many folks that they want to lose weight, get fit and create more organization. To set yourself up for lasting success, it’s important to approach your resolutions from a balanced perspective. Here are some tips that can set you on the path to success:

  1. Short-Term Focus – Humans, by nature, have a short-term focus and work better with small steps. Many don’t consider this when making resolutions. It takes too long to achieve a goal of losing 20 pounds or of fitting into your skinny jeans. It’s much more realistic, for example, to commit to replacing one can of soda in the afternoon with a much healthier alternative. A piece of fruit or a handful of baby carrots will help curb your sugar craving and are healthier alternatives. The positive feedback from small, daily successes will create motivation and – eventually – lead to lasting, balanced change.
  2. Be Patient with Yourself – On average, it takes 21 days to create a new habit. When you first get started, it will take more time and energy to focus on your daily goal. The trick is to notice when you didn’t accomplish your daily goal – and to not beat yourself up about it. After about three solid weeks of working on your daily goals, they’ll become second nature and part of your daily routine.
  3. Enlist Your Support Network – Build the support and accountability you’ll need to make your resolution a reality. Talk with your partner or folks in your support network about your goals. Saying a resolution out-loud or even via social media creates outside accountability and increases your success rate by 80%. That’s why I’m excited to participate in the “Outlast Your New Year’s Resolutions” Facebook contest and offer you more tips.
  4. Gauge Your Progress – Create a simple chart, diagram or collage that will help you to gauge your progress one day at a time. Simply refer to this tool at the beginning and end of each week and month to review how far you’ve come. You can represent your progress with percentages, different colors or smiley faces. There’s no one right way to do it. All that matters is that you create a measurement tool that works for you.
  5. Create a Theme – If resolutions don’t appeal to you but you still want to make some changes in your life this coming year, consider creating a theme for the year. A theme is a word or succinct phrase that describes how you want to show up in the world, the qualities you’ll bring forth and the impact you’ll make each day, week and month of the year. Examples include “going out on a limb,” “feeling good and looking good,” or “enjoying the fruits of my labor.” You get the idea.

Once you have your resolution or theme for the year, you can make a list of actions that will help support your intention. For example, for the theme of “feeling good and looking good”, perhaps it’s following-through with all those doctor appointments you’ve been putting off or committing to start each day with breakfast.

To help anchor your resolution or theme so that it has a longer shelf life and you’re reminded of it on a daily and weekly basis, try writing it as the screensaver on your computer; as the wallpaper on your phone; or on the front page of your hard copy calendar. The idea is to have it front and center so that each day you’re reminded of your intention for the year. Then, each day, you choose one small, achievable, realistic action step that will help support your theme or resolution.

outlast your resolutions

Don’t Let Fear Trump Success

Don’t Let Fear Trump Success

Happy summer!  The last three months have been incredibly inspiring.  Through several corporate workshops and a ton of one-on-one coaching, I’ve witnessed tremendous growth, change and success in my clients.  A great reminder that to successfully meet our goals, we must proactively manage our fear.  That bears repeating.  Unless you make a concerted effort to manage your fear, success will prove elusive, every time.  Here’s a 60-second video with some tips on how to manage your fear of failure (just one of hundreds of fears):

Also, check out my recent interview with Glass Hammer, a leading career site for women: Women in Corporate Leadership Positions

Here’s to a fabulous summer full of fun, adventure and love.

Warmly,
Amber

manage fear of failure

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