Coaching

New Year’s Resolutions – Why They Don’t Work

I’ve read many articles over the last several weeks about New Year’s Resolutions.  Most of them talk about how you fail year after year because you aren’t setting goals.  The reality is that most of the New Year’s Resolutions ARE goals.  These resolutions aren’t much different than the goals you set throughout the year, and struggle to keep, and often fail (although there is much to be learned through failure).  I’d like to share some thoughts with you about how you might achieve better results  in 2011.

Your New Year’s Resolutions express sincere and genuine intentions.  They are based upon your dreams, wishes and hopes for your future and the future of your families.  Often they are developed because of your desire to eliminate or reduce problematic behavior; behavior you may often view as a sign of weakness and wrap in a sense of shame.  You assume that by eliminating this behavior, you will accomplish your goals.  And, when you don’t meet the goals, you may  look outside of yourself quite frequently at how others may have curbed the change in some way, obstacles that got in the way, or beat yourself up because you didn’t have the will-power or self-control to make it happen.

When viewed in this context, you can see why your resolutions rarely lead to significant change despite your clear and focused intentions. 

What you aren’t taking into consideration are those deep-seated beliefs you hold that may be getting in the way.  You need to look internally at the commitments you have made to yourself over the course of your life that stop you cold when working to facilitate change.  They create an enormous force field that resists change in many aspects of your life.  You developed them as a way to protect yourself, and the behavior you are trying to change is an effective and often brilliant way to do that.   

We are complex beings.  When you recognize you have multiple and competing goals/intentions, you increase the possibility of making significant changes because you finally understand what makes change so very difficult. 

It is fairly easy to recognize the behaviors you may have embarked on as protective measures.  It is far more difficult to determine why you developed them.  Here is the question.  What do you believe about yourself or situations that occur that you hold as truth.  And is that truth valid?

Are you confused yet?  Let me give you an example.  I have made a New Year’s Resolution to commit to right eating, physical vitality, and resulting better health.  There are way too many behaviors I identified that stops me from fulfilling that goal to list here, but if you are interested let me know and we can talk about them.  The interesting part of this exercise is that when I looked at the reasons underlying the behaviors, I squirmed in my seat quite a bit.  This process made me very uncomfortable.   Some of the reasons:  I made a commitment a long time ago that 1) I would never look disheveled or less than professional when I am out in public.  2) Exercising interferes with my work time.  3) Exercising interferes with my relaxation time.  4) Not enough time in the day to do everything I have committed to doing.  5) I would rather read, learn and gain knowledge. 6) Etc.   

What I learned by looking deep within me:  My truth is that I believe “If I don’t work hard, I am nothing.  Exercise and physical health is not going to “get me anywhere”. “   That blew me out of the water!  Of course that is not truth – but it gets in my way EVERY time. 

Here is the good news – by being aware of my assumptive truth now, I am better able to take the steps to do what I need to do to keep my commitment to myself to eat right, exercise and increase my physical vitality.  The TRUTH is – without keeping this commitment, I am unable to “get where I want to go” because I will not be healthy enough to do so.  And, it’s my intention to be around a very long time!

Georgia Feiste, President of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master and EFT practitioner.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find Georgia on her website, Collaborative Transitions, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.   Georgia may also be reached at (402) 304-1902 if you wish to schedule a 30 minute complementary consultation.

Gratitude and the Holidays

As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the United States, please remember to take the time to express the gratitude you have for your loved ones, your life, your country, and the world.

I thought I might take some time to talk about how to maintain balance and boundaries when hanging out with those who may not see the world the way we do.

I find it very interesting, as I talk with others about their plans,  that the presence or absence of joy depends strongly on who will be at the gathering. The shoulda, woulda, couldas reach maximum volume during this time of the year. My question for us to consider is whether we respond out of duty and obligation, or do we respond because it brings us joy? If we really can’t avoid people who push our buttons, what can we do to set our boundaries firmly so that we don’t feel neglected, abused or taken advantage of?

Here are some tips for surviving and thriving with grace and ease:

  1. Just say NO. Set priorities and leave time open to rest and recharge.
  2. Plan ahead around length of time spent at an event. Setting our boundaries make the tension easier to take.
  3. Excuse yourself if the talk gets heated, or your buttons are being pushed.
  4. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect perfection in a family brouhaha. The family dynamics have been there FOREVER. You don’t have to fix them right now!
  5. Remember that you are not responsible for the behavior of others. You are only responsible for what you say and do, and how or whether you choose to react to what others say and do.
  6. Breathe and think before you speak. Ask yourself, “do I really mean this now, and am I willing to follow through with what I am about to say? Is it necessary, and can I say it kindly?”
  7. Drink a lot of water. Dehydration causes illness, and irritability.
  8. If you just have to have sugar, choose it wisely. Choose quality over quantity. Too much sugar is second to dehydration in getting sick.
  9. Simplify. Cut down on the gifts. Consider recycling items you own that are in great condition and you never use – they may be someone else’s treasure – give it away so that someone else can buy it.
  10. Give to your family’s favorite charity with your time, money, and love.

Gratitude is the magic elixir, the balm that soothes a weary soul, during the holidays and all year round. It helps us plug back into joy and abundance, no matter how hectic the world around us appears.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. May your weekend be joyful and abundant.

What Do Women Want?

Yesterday, one of my great Twitter friends, William Powell (commonly known as @LeadrshpAdvisor), alerted me to a trending topic on Twitter: #whatdowomenwant.  I monitored the topic off and on throughout the day, and after sifting through some of the more graphic posts, I have distilled the following major themes from the twitter flow: 

  • Women want to be admired. 
  • Women want to be deeply respected.
  • Women want to be listened to.
  • Women want to be loved.

Within these four, subtopics arose:  Women want to be understood, safe, and secure.  Women want their relationships to be based on honesty, commitment, loyalty, balance and choice. Women want to be happy. 

And, finally, as a sign of our times and culture – women want clothes, shoes, purses, money, etc. 

Many of the men that commented firmly believe that women don’t know what they want.  After watching the stream for a period of time, I would encourage these men to listen to the women in their lives.  I think they really DO know what they want, and one of the first things they want is to be listened to.  Much of what they were saying was buried under superficial words and the energy of the conversation was hiding underneath the surface. 

It strikes me that what was being said in this sometimes frantic conversation yesterday is applicable throughout the entirety of our lives, whether in our relationships, our physical vitality, our spiritual life, or our work.  These are very core values, wants and desires for most people on this planet.   The women responding to this stream are not unique – just more hooked in to social media, and not afraid to put their thoughts out there for all the world to see.


As I mused on these observations overnight – as I am wont to do – I concluded that this has been part of my personal growth over time – and while I am still not perfect, I have made giant leaps forward in my thinking.  So, I would like to share a thought with those who might resonate with this.    If you want to be admired, respected, listened to and loved, you first must give that to yourself, moment by moment throughout the day.  Then you must look around you to your relationships – family members, spouse, partner, co-workers, and people you touch daily – and give those same things to them.  Constant daily practice will create major changes in your life – and you will find that you have gained the admiration, respect, attention and love not only from those around you, but from yourself. 

And, you will be happy.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and leadership transition coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.  You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com   Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

A Place in My Heart

About 14 months ago, we lost our thirteen year old Golden Retriever to old age and kidney failure.  My husband and I miss our four-legged child tremendously.  And, since we have received guardianship of our son’s Alaskan Malamute, my husband has been extremely reluctant to take on another dog.  He has told me “no” for at least ten months every time I bring up the subject of another Golden, and very specifically when I bring up the subject of a smaller dog.

Two nights ago I broke it to him that I had an appointment to go visit some Golden Retriever puppies to see if I bonded with any of them.  He smiled and said “that will be the hardest visit you have ever gone through when you have to walk away without a pup”.  I told him I didn’t think so, because none of them were ready to leave their Mom yet.  And, if I bonded with one, we should expect a new baby in the house within four weeks.   I love dogs, and I’ve never been without one.  I know I don’t want to head into retirement without one to love and play with each day.  We just need to make sure the dog is trained well enought to go just about everywhere we go!

Lessons learned for me – being able to say to my husband that I hear him, and I understand his reluctance.  However, this is important to me.  I have a special bond with dogs, especially Golden Retrievers, and this is a love I don’t wish to do without.  It is hard to set boundaries with  the people we love.   It is harder to walk away from the yearning to fill that special space in your heart with the love you know you will find.  The real lesson was in telling him up front, without just doing it and requiring him to cope with the consequences.   This is the freedom you gain by being who you are, without fear.

So, here you go folks.  My foray into “motherhood” once again.  Once I showed him the picture, my husband’s heart melted.  The “no” was less heartfelt.  Hmmm… names?  Abby or Grace -what do you think?

Intuition vs. Facts

What follows is an excerpt from a coaching class I teach entitled “Using Your Intuition”.  Enjoy!

You are interested in success.  You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.  Good for you!  Let’s talk for a bit about the stress that the traditional pursuit of success can cause.  What is traditional, you ask?  Let’s talk about overwork, traffic jams and long commutes, skipped mealtimes and unhealthy snacking, neglected family and unhappy children, non-existent social life, intense pressure – do you want me to continue? 

We’ve talked before about living in the past, present and future.  I’d like to share a concept with you that is a bit unique.  When we are in the present moment, really participating in it fully, we are feeling.  It is a state of being.  When we react to clues from the present moment, and it brings up emotion, we move immediately to the past bringing up unresolved issues and often project them into the future.  Emotional reactions are often confused with feelings, but they are quite different. 

Feeling is constant renewal.  For me it is looking at the possibilities that are in every moment we are presented with.  It is making conscious decisions for the joy of it. A true feeling is joy, it is a feeling as if you have disappeared and have merged with everything around you; you are fully present. Reacting creates barriers, and pushes us into a sense of “what’s the use, nothing ever changes”.  Reaction is characterized by emotions and subsequent behavior, i.e., sadness, anger, frustration, worry, etc.  Every emotion such as anger, depression, frustration and even sadness is a carry-over from a thought, carries a story, and results in a self-conscious action.  When you get clear on this, you begin to pay attention to what is going on, and shift.  

Burt Harding says that “Pure feeling is the voice of God within. It ‘talks’ to us through silence and shows us (through its light) how everything IS!! This is the Inner Silence that all masters talk about.”  Some call this intuition, that inner voice that helps us pay attention to the possibilities.

So, have you made the choice to feel and sense more?  Here is the key – you must believe that your thoughts and feelings are worthwhile.  Your radar is working!  You can’t just listen to your feelings and shove them aside.  You must be willing to take action – to obey them.   Most of us have been taught that we should never take action without facts and figures to back us up.  It takes a leap of faith to take action on an intangible, immeasurable feeling, but it is often more valuable than any fact we have been presented with.  It may take a while to see tangible benefits.  That’s okay.  Take your time.  Feel the joy.

One of the things I was taught at CoachU was the concept of “Ready, fire, aim”.  Another was “Take a guess and trust your instincts.”  What does this mean for you?  As with all things in which we work to gain mastery, it means practice, and practice some more.  Experiment – improve on it.  And, watch for the payoff.  As you sense things earlier, and take action faster, you will find yourself moving forward more quickly.  You won’t be consciously deciding to do something, it will become second nature to you to respond.  Trusting your “gut” is an advanced skill necessary for success based on attraction – you must be receptive and ready to receive the information the Universal Source is sending you.   The key is to loosen up your flexibility muscle, and be ready to move quickly into new areas of thought and activity.  When you begin living from this place of excitement and growth, you will discover all those who have been waiting for you to join them.

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth and transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also a Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    You can also find her on her websites http://www.collaborativetransitions.com and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com . Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.

Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman

I am on a mission to encourage my fellow women to never forget their value. 

Listen…

Enjoy…

Smile…

And, Rejoice…

Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a life transitions coach, writer, and workshop facilitator.  She is also an Usui Reiki Master.  Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life.  She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life.    Her website is http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where she blogs about business and career, and http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion.  Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.