Regaining Enthusiasm

How I Regained My Enthusiasm & How You Can Too3ddec2a4-3d0d-4742-98db-b639d2618a83

When I stopped writing my newsletter a year and a half ago, I needed a break! I had new things on my plate and rather than trying to do it all, I decided to back off on a few things. Besides that, I’d lost my enthusiasm for writing.

When our enthusiasm is gone, we feel stuck. I sure did! I spent some time down in the rut, but then, I took my first step. Being a coach, I knew that to move out of stuck, I needed to reassess where I was (overwhelmed) and then get clear about where I wanted to be. Since I was feeling overwhelmed, I backed off on things that were draining my energy. 

Taking a break is essential to being able to think clearly. Humans were designed to need rest and relaxation. Our brains need time think outside the confines of our daily grind. We also need to time to think about nothing!

Sometimes we only need a short break. Just a day away to REthink, REfocus and REmember why we are doing what we are doing.


I needed a longer break. Taking a break gave me time to refocus and get clarity. During my break I began working with Stronger Families as a Master Level Trainer. I was traveling all over the US doing presentations at military installations. Learning the ropes of traveling for work from making all the arrangements to being away from home, sometimes 10 days in a month – I was on over-load. Even though it was a great experience. It was too much to try to keep up with all I had been doing. I needed, and wanted to give up something. 

It sounds easy, ‘just take a break,’ but that first step can be really hard. Just knowing what to take a break from can be difficult! We get so bogged down with life and what we ‘have’ to do, that we have no brain space for what we ‘could’ do – or what we could ‘not’ do. We may have no idea why we’ve lost our enthusiasm, but it is gone – and we feel depleted. 

What I learned during my break from writing was that I needed to develop a team of  coaches to work with if I wanted to re-engage with writing and consider taking on more clients. I have done that and I have been inspired to write again! My colleagues are great! I will have (or will) introduce you to Kim Kompel and Ted Hackney in blog posts.

Though we may feel like we have no choice, isn’t being stuck just the result of making the same choice over and over again? I thought I “had” to write my newsletter. If I didn’t, I’d be throwing away everything I’d worked for. When we get stuck in a rut we begin to believe it’s the only way. We’re no longer going where we want to go but can’t see any other way.

Simply reframing our choices and realizing we are NOT stuck. We have chosen this path today. We must consciously recognize our freedom to make different decisions, whenever we are ready. Facing the reality of this freedom helps us feel much better! It can REnew our enthusiasm and bring life back our endeavors. 

Inspiration, Motivation, Discipline, Great Habits – repeat process

InspirationWhen we are motivated, disciplined and develop good habits around an idea that inspired us, we do great things. Why is it that, very often, we get an idea and feel SO inspired, but nothing ever comes of ‘it’? Maybe you’re like me and you manage to make something of it, but after a while you get bored, decide it’s too much work or it just doesn’t bring much satisfaction.

If you look at steps 1-4 as building blocks, where is it that you habitually fall off the wagon?

1. Inspiration gets us thinking.  2. Motivation gets us moving.  3. Discipline keeps us moving. 4. Great habits keep us inspired.

Of course, we do not have the time, resources or manpower to act on every good idea we have, but when we are truly inspired we contemplate and scheme about how to make ‘it’ happen. We think about ‘it’ a lot, and though we are not conscious of this, even as we sleep our brain organizes our thoughts and ideas (according to world renowned brain researcher, Dr. Caroline Leaf). Our brain literally begins acting on our inspiration. It’s only then that we have the motivation to get our ‘it’ off the ground.

I habitually fall off the wagon just after I’ve reached step #3.  I get motivated and get the ball rolling. Sometimes, if I’m enjoying the process, I’ll develop the discipline to keep the ball rolling. As we all well know, there are pieces of everything we do that don’t bring us a ton of joy. We just want the end result!! It’s when I forget about how good the end result be, and allow my focus to get locked in on the duty of discipline, that I lose heart. I begin to feel like the duty IS the result of my inspiration. How silly!!

On the other hand, when I push through the dutiful, sometimes painful part of discipline, I slowly begin to enjoy the new habit because I can see ‘it’ coming to fruition.

Becoming aware of what gets me off track has helped me persevere and enjoy the benefit of inspiration that comes through a good habit. What does that look like?

Fortunately, the painful part of discipline doesn’t normally last forever because when we begin to see ‘it’ materializing we are inspired once again. Whether it’s playing an instrument, creating great relationships, writing a book, or reaching a career, political or humanitarian goal – to stay inspired, we must decide that it’s worth the effort. The skills of a great pianist slip if they do not play the piano regularly, but what once was a dutiful discipline is a creative outlet they now enjoy. Likewise, a relationship loses vitality when effort wanes but because it brings great joy it becomes easy to nurture.

Once we make these “great habits” part of our everyday life, we experience the joy of what they produce and that keeps us inspired!

10 Questions To Improve Your Legacy

Leaving-a-Legacy-of-Faith.001-001The Big Question:

If you knew you were going to die in 6 months but could not change your relationship status, job/position or financial status (no loans or credit cards allowed) what would you do to ensure you would be remembered as you wish?

2) Who would you spend more/less time with?

3) What words of life and encouragement would you speak into your children, your spouse, parents etc.?

4) What unhelpful thoughts would you stop thinking?

5) What bucket list items would you be sure to accomplish?

6) What would be the most important thing you would want to share with your loved ones? acquaintances?

7) How would you spend your money that would show you honoring your values?

8) Who would you hope to influence the most? In what way?

9) What would you want people to say at your memorial service?

10) How will you begin to implement these things so that if you do die in 6 months, 6 weeks or 6 days you will leave the legacy you desire?

Make The Most of Opportunities – Priorities & Planning

24-Portfolio-Stop-and-Smell-the-Roses“Make the most of every opportunity” is something that rings in my ears frequently and the volume has been way up lately!

Our eldest son just graduated from college and, as all parents do, I thought “where has the time gone”? A question I ask often.

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and feel like it just slipped away.

Old people always say things like ‘take time to smell the roses,’ but we’re encouraged to set goals, be focussed and work hard to attain them. The questions is, how do we do both?

When I fly by the seat of my pants I usually get a lot done (I am very task oriented) but flying by the seat of my pants makes it more difficult for me to be completely ‘present’ because my brain wonders what I ‘should’ be doing. As you may know I hate that word ‘should,’ so it really irritates me when I realize I am shoulding on myself.

My AhHa was realizing why a little planning helps me be fully present. . . It allows me to make the most of the present opportunity rather than thinking about what I could or should be doing.

**Daily planning when spawned from goals can be good, but all too often when I focus only on this, I accomplish a lot toward those goals but still feel empty. Living a more fully integrated life has helped me meet goals and feel a sense of fulfillment. By including my core values and deepest desires in my planning I am able to attain both. Centering only on the doings of life like career planning causes a feeling of emptiness and as though I’ve missed the roses along the way. I have zero desire to reach my career goals yet when I reach retirement, or worse, my death bed, to look back and feel like life slipped away. So I’m into prevention!

Intentionally planning to have meaningful relationships and trying to remember to cherish each moment helps me plan more wisely and makes me more conscientious about time management. I plan to take time each day for those I love, although I must say, I struggle to make time for long distance relationships. I’m not so good at making room for the stuff of life either, like the daily tasks of laundry, cooking and such, but even those become less mundane when I look at the bigger picture. The stuff of life moves from being an obstacle or hindrance to an opportunity, but believe me, I still have tons of room to grow!

What I know is that by taking time each evening to be purposeful in my planning I am more likely to make the most of every opportunity. A few of my most recent opportunities have included joining my husband in yard work, listening to one my youngest sons new ideas (I have no idea what he was talking about but I am interested in him so I listened and tried to learn about being a DJ), helping clean a house so some young men could get their deposit back, making graduation announcements, working on my next speaking engagement etc…. They are all opportunities and I want to make the most of them. I’ve found that if I cheerfully help clean up the yard, chatting and connecting with my husband in the process, even though I forgot to actually smell the roses, it doesn’t matter. These opportunities are the roses of life. When I dread them, they’re more like a thorn bush. When I choose to embrace them as opportunities, I enjoy them, like the scent of a rose.

Feeling Robbed, Cheated or Deprived of Precious Time?

time-bandits-opening-titleNegative thinking creeps in fast especially when we feel robbed, cheated or deprived. But allowing this feeling to persist only weakens us and makes us more vulnerable to the attack of the thief!

While some people struggle because of demanding work schedules, others feel robbed because they are compelled to deal with situations and circumstances not of their choosing. Still others feel cheated because of needy people.

Deciding how you want to spend your time is the first step to fighting the time bandits. This can be a tricky and heady conversation. Heady in the sense that it may be one “Tending to upset the mind or balance of the senses.”

For many giving credence to what they can’t control and taking responsibility of their own values, responses, actions and feelings is tough. If you are not clear on these, that is the first place to start. Assuming you already have a good grasp on that, this simple process helps fight the time bandit and bring victory.

Unlike physical robbery, the thief can only steal a days worth of time, or a days worth of peace. It may take more than a day to get your security system in order, but with a little research and proper installation/utilization, he won’t keep stealing for long!

3 Steps for Combatting The Time Bandit

1.Determine what is causing the feeling of loss. Ask “what specifically has the thief stolen?” Write everything down.

2.Consider what security you currently have in place to keep the bandit from stealing again? He will return, so what is it you will put in place to deter him? If you don’t know, where will you start your research? ADT, Front Point and Home Depot all have good options for securing your home. It’s time to explore the options for securing your heart. Much better to lose your possessions than waste your life feeling robbed, cheated or deprived.

3. After determining your security system look back at #1 to be sure you’ve covered all your bases. Then get to work installing the security system for your heart.

I’d love to hear your stories! Please take a minute and comment here.