Will Your Valentine’s Gift Say What You Expect?

Gifts are a very personal thing. While many people want them to be a reflection of who they are, it is wiser and more beneficial for your relationship to make the gift a reflection of the receiver’s desires and longings.

If you plan on giving the traditional gift – flowers – make sure they arrive in good condition! Check out this review for Delivery Services. 

If your Relationship is On The Rocks, it’s very easy to go wrong! If you’re just looking for something to placate them, then don’t think too much about it, just do the same ole’ thing you’ve always done. It will at least say, “I haven’t forgotten about you.”

At this stage of the relationship, it’s a huge mistake to give an extravagant gift.

Gifts do not heal brokenness and they can drive people apart.

If you want your gift to be the start of a new growth phase for your relationship, give them the gift of your best self. When your relationship was at a good place, YOU were thinking, acting and being different. Regardless of their behavior, re-enacting your best days may cause them to fall in love with you all over again.

Don’t make promises. Just make changes. Investing in your relationship with time that permits loving, encouraging conversation can go a long way! Promises or commitments will be a big flop unless there is real action associated with them. ie. Letting them know that you want to invest in the relationship and believe you will learn how to be a better partner if you attend The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work might be a good way to show them your desire to be a better you. (Don’t worry, they’ll learn a few things too!)

The Early Stages of a Relationship can be a terrifying time for gift giving. Some pressure might be relieved if you remember that unless they have declared their love for you, you can easily scare them away with a gift that is over-the-top. On the other hand, you don’t want to appear stingy. If they know you’re loaded, a candy heart necklace will surely not make them feel special. The gift of time together, like a reasonably nice dinner out or an experience (i.e. a concert you know they’ll enjoy, or something they mentioned wanting to do) that you can then converse about over dessert and coffee are usually safe bets. They allow you to invest in the relationship by giving you time together and give you a way to converse in a non-threatening way.

Well Established Relationships permit more latitude when it comes to gift giving. Honoring your financial situation is important. Not only is it wise to be good stewards of your spending, it can make the receiver uneasy if they are insecure about you spending too much.

Don’t Ever Give: Anything that might affirm a poor body image. i.e. scales, fitness memberships, dieting recipe books, body shaping clothing etc.

Be Very Careful About Giving: *Something that YOU want. It’s only a good idea if you are sure they want the item more than you do!

*Things that could say, “you need to work harder.”  i.e.. tools, cleaning supplies or appliances. If you are considering something like a shop vac or dirt devil it’s only a good idea if you KNOW they will view it as gift that will make their life easier. Tools may be a great idea if they WANT the tools – just don’t give tools you want used on your behalf.

*Items that need to be displayed. i.e. clothing or home decor. It’s usually just not a good idea unless they’ve specifically asked for the item. Even if you are confident of their style, ALWAYS give them an out if you do give something in this category. For instance, a gift receipt and the assurance you want them to exchange it if they are not 100% thrilled. At the very least, the verbal or written assurance the item could be used in a not public way and you would not be offended. i.e. a picture that could be hung in the closet or garage.

Experiences: Can be a great choice. They can serve a two-fold purpose if it is something you’ll do together as you’re also giving the gift of time. But experiential gifts can go awry. Too much too soon or when your at a rocky place ie. vacations and high end experiences can do more damage than good.

Theater or Sporting Events: Can be excellent choices… just be sure to give what THEY want to attend.

Flowers: Generally a good choice. Be aware of any allergies and do your best to make sure your flowers will arrive in good condition. Here is a link for finding the bests delivery service. Reviews

Knowing your partner well is the best way to be a good gift giver. When you listen well, are attentive to their likes and dislikes, and you are observant of their choices, you are likely to know what they would like to receive.

If you are stumped, schedule a session to bounce around ideas. It will be fun!

To Change Jobs or Not?

Most people find either/or decisions to be the hardest. That’s why it’s good practice to think of a third choice. While four choices can become confusing, three choices help people feel liberated – not stuck.
PRIOR to using the 10 Questions For Making Decisions A Little Easier, ask yourself, “How could I have both?” If there is absolutely no way to have both, then proceed with caution. By “with caution” I mean, don’t rule out the idea that you might be able to have both…. keep repeating the question frequently (even as you work through the steps) because it helps you open your mind to solutions that may allow something you had not originally seen as possible.

Scenario #2 – Your work is not proving to be as fulfilling as you had hoped. You aren’t totally miserable, but believe everyone should enjoy their work and feel a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment plus have the opportunity for advancement. None of those are true for you, so you are wondering,”should I stick with my secure job or take the risk of making a career transition?”

1. How will making this decision make my life better?

I am looking to grow my career and I feel that I’ve reached a plateau. Plateaus are stagnant. Growing makes my life better.

2. What if I just don’t decide or postpone making the decision?

I am working on a new project, so I will be postponing the search. I would be

settling and being complacent if I pretend to be happy where I am.

3. What specifically, is making this decision difficult?

It’s whether or not I want to spend more time transitioning. I’m also worried whether or not I will actually be motivated to thrive on a new team and new project.

4. What false beliefs am I hanging onto?

  • I’m happy settling and coasting in my current role.
  • I also believe that I have to choose between family and career.
  • If I get a new job, it’ll take time away from my family.
  • If I stay in at my current job, I know how it runs, so I just need to stick with it because at least I know what it requires.

5. What is the ultimate outcome that I want and what will it take to get it?

I want to figure out the best time to make a move. What do I want to do? – to spend time with family and my baby OR join a new team? Joining a new team would take a lot of time. I don’t feel I could have both.

6. How could it benefit me to include others in this decision making process?

If I find my passion again in work, it will make the family finances
easier. Currently, I have no passion, so I’m not motivated to work anymore. Realizing my family benefits from me having passion makes me think I need to figure out how to regain my passion.

7. If I believed that whatever I chose would be good, what would I choose?

If I could be passionate, grow personally and have the career growth opportunities I want where I am, of course, I’d stay where I am. Transitions are hard – even it they are worth it. Hopefully, I’ll find the passion and, in this new project, lead the team to success.

8. What will it take to feel good about making the decision?

I don’t think it’s wise to make another big change right now with my baby
being so little. I will work for 6 months at my current position – so wait and see.

9. What is the best timing for deciding and how can I make that happen?

I will start looking in May for new jobs if I am still unsatisfied.

10. What is my next step?

Give my job my best while I’m there, give my family my best when I’m with them. I will give my job another 5 months and then if my passion is still low, I will start applying for new jobs and see where life takes me. If I my passion doesn’t kick in within a few weeks, I will call Suzette for some coaching.

[email protected] or 425-269-4806

10 Questions For Making Decisions A Little Easier

What I learned in the summer of 2016 caused me to want to make a fairly major personal decision. It was really hard, but I’m happy with my choice. Below is the series of coaching questions I used.
They can help you make big decisions like “should I stick with my secure job or take the risk of making a career transition?” or “Should I get divorced?” and they can help create clarity in those minor decisions that seem strangely difficult. (My next two posts will be real answers to the 10 questions regarding the 2 big decisions listed above.)
10 Questions For Making Decisions A Little Easier  
1. How will making this decision make my life better?
2. What if I just don’t decide or postpone making the decision?
3. What specifically, is making this decision difficult?
4. What false beliefs am I hanging onto?
5. What is the ultimate outcome that I want and what will it take to get it?
6. How could it benefit me to include others in this decision making process?
7. If I believed that whatever I chose would be good, what would I choose?
8. What will it take to feel good about making the decision?
9. What is the best timing for deciding and how can I make that happen?
10. What is my next step.
(note: Writing your answers down and talking through your answers with someone who is ‘for’ you or better yet, an unbiased professional makes the process more effective.)             To contact me:   [email protected]

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. 

Update: John Gottman Workshops

 The Gottman Institute workshops are known and respected world wide. As a Gottman Trained Educator and Microsoft approved Gottman Presenter, I have the privilege of offering these workshops to Microsoft employees for FREE!

People have asked if there are any available “FREE tickets” for non Microsoft employees so I decided to give one set of tickets away per workshop. Email me at [email protected] and state why you want to attend and why you believe you and yours should be chosen.  IMPORTANT: The subject line should say either 7 Principles Application or BBH Application.   FYI – I do not personally choose the recipient. 

For more in depth information about the workshops go to Workshops & Assessments and click not the tab you are interested in.

  •  The 7 Principles For Making Marriage Work  
    – an 8 hour workshop based on 40 years of research and more than 3000 couples observed. You’ll find out “How are the masters of relationships different from the disasters of relationship,” and learn how to adopt the master’s strategies.
  • Bringing Baby Home an 8 hour workshop on how children affect relationships and how to thrive as a couple despite the new demands of life. You will also learn what you can do to begin establishing a healthy relationship with your baby who will soon be a teenager!!

Follow the link in the menu above or Contact Me at [email protected] or 425-269-4806 to learn more about these workshops.

Gottman’s work is fascinating because of the science behind his books and seminars.

With decades of research, and the study of thousands of couples in his “Love Lab”, he can predict, within 15 minutes, whether a marriage will with fail or succeed with 91% accuracy!
His findings debunk widely held myths and expose which common tools used in therapy are useless in helping relationships. But, he offers great hope by sharing principles that are proven to make a marriage work well, whether newly in love, or together for decades.
The next post will be about an article by Kim Kompel. To find out more about Kim click here.