Are you overwhelmed by your calendar and to-do list?

If you feel tired just thinking about your schedule, email and to-do’s, try this Supermom life hack and “Close the Loop”

Do you like to think about things before taking action? When you get an email about a party, a request for donation or volunteering, do you give yourself time to think about it? When someone asks you a question you don’t know the answer to like, “What should we do for spring break this year?” what do you do?

Moms today are often the organizers for the family calendar. When we are asked a question that doesn’t have a clear yes or a clear no, it goes into our mental “think about it” file. The problem is, all these open loops and indecisions drain our energy. It takes energy to remember to get back to that person, do research or weigh the pros and cons. It’s an invisible energy leak that we don’t even realize drains us. If your email inbox is full of things you need to action on, you probably are guilty of keeping too many open loops.

Supermoms who want to accomplish a lot in a day, and still have energy at the end of it, close as many loops as possible. They have learned to book that dentist appointment 6 months from now, say yes or no to that evite (you can always change your mind), give a clear answer to volunteering or donating (they will always ask again). Making decisions clears our energy. When we “put it in the back of our mind”, it keeps us energetically tied to that person and that future event. Too many of these open loops and our energy resources get depleted.

Let’s say you need more information before you can make a decision, respond with “I will let you know by 3/1” and put that date on your calendar. Then pick a day and time to “research family camps” and put that action on your calendar and out of your mind. When you calendar your to-do’s, the only thing you need to remember is to check your calendar.

Your energy goes where your attention goes so if your attention is being pulled in 50 different directions, you will feel exhausted. As you learn to rely on your calendar and can trust yourself to follow through, you will increase your energy and accomplish more in a day.

Emilia felt busy and overwhelmed all the time. With two young children, a part time job, a dog, a house, and a husband who traveled, she could barely make it through the day. She knew there were highly productive people in the world who were WAY busier than she was and got a lot more accomplished. It bugged her knowing it was possible to do more with more energy, but she didn’t know how to do it.

Emilia stopped writing her to-do lists on paper and started putting them on her google calendar. Her calendar was synced with her phone and laptop so wherever she was she had access to her calendar. Whenever a question came up she couldn’t answer right then, she would put it on her calendar whatever the next action step was. “Ask Sophie if she wants to go to girl scout camp. If yes, fill out form. If no, recycle.” Some days she didn’t want to do what the calendar told her so she would just move it to another date or decide not to do it. It took getting used to, but she felt like a superstar with all she was able to accomplish and found herself able to say yes to more fun things.  

Remember to write “actionable steps” on your calendar: write email, call Mom, schedule appointment, research mortgage rates for 15 minutes, etc. If you just write “summer camp” or “dog” on your calendar it may be hard to remember what you planned to do. Any time you schedule “research” or “plan” or other internet related perusing, be sure to put a time limit on it. The internet will suck all your time and energy up like a black hole if we aren’t focused and clear on our goals.

Not sure what’s draining your energy?  Imagine you wake up every morning with a fully charged battery. Where does most of your energy go?  Are you at 10% before 10:00am?  Kids take a lot of our attention and therefore a lot of our energy, but see if you have any other “open loops” that need closing. Sometimes a negative relationship with a loved one can be a big energy drain but a 15 minute “close the loop” conversation will recharge you back to 100%. A job or commute you hate but feel trapped in can take up a lot of your personal energy. Cluttered rooms, a cluttered schedule and a cluttered mind are silent, secret energy drains. Making time to close these open loops will have tremendous payoffs in your energy.

Not sure where to start? Go to www.lifecoachingforparents.com/work-with-me and together we’ll create an action plan you can be motivated to tackle.

Staying optimistic in a negative world

After spending time at my vision board party last weekend, and the march for human rights this weekend, I am filled with positivity and optimism for the future. But just like anytime you feel really joyful and happy, that little doubt-filled, scary feeling shortly follows. As I was walking the streets with a crowd oozing with love and support for all people, I couldn’t help but think, “Why couldn’t we have done this sooner? Why didn’t I show my support before the election?”

Staying in positive emotions is hard for many of us. Brene Brown calls it “foreboding joy”, the immense love and joy we feel with our precious newborn baby, followed quickly by the fear that our baby could stop breathing and that love could be taken away at any moment. Happiness and love makes us feel vulnerable. Appreciating what we have and dreaming about a positive future makes us feel naive or ignorant. We worry about being blindsided by something bad happening. The fear of “getting the rug pulled out from underneath us” keeps us on alert. Instead of enjoying all the wonderful things we currently have, we “wait for the other shoe to drop” so we can at least say we saw it coming. Or, if you are like me, you go to feeling guilty for not doing enough.

But here’s the thing, foreboding joy DOES NOT WORK! Worrying about something does not keep it from happening. Feeling guilty does not motivate positive action. Getting mad at yourself or others only creates more anger and an avoidance of love and positivity.

Sometimes we use negative emotion to motivate like calling oneself fat and lazy to get ourselves to the gym. If you get stuck in negative emotion try asking yourself “What immediate action step can I take today?”  If you are angry about the steps our new President is taking, call a Senator, join an organization, or donate to support your cause. If you feel guilty, forgive yourself. If you are worried about your health, make a dr. appt. If there isn’t a clear action step to take, then it’s not helpful and it’s time to let it go.

Love casts out fear, but it also motivates you to take positive action. What motivated you to play with your adorable one year old? LOVE! What motivates our young athletes to sweat in a stinky gym and get beat up by their peers? Love of the game! What motivates us to throw cutely themed birthday parties for our toddlers who won’t even notice or remember? Love! Who would you rather hire to babysit your kids: A worried, stressed out perfectionist who feels guilty if she does something wrong, or a joyful, loving person who adores your cute kid?

Love gets you hired. Love draws other positive people to you like a magnet. When you raise the bar on how much joy you can tolerate in your life, country, and planet, it shows other people how to do the same. My clients and children need me to stay in joy and optimism, but not denial. I don’t watch the news or listen to our new president talk, because it’s not helpful or productive and it makes it too easy to fall into fear. I maintain a positive Facebook feed and surround myself with kids and uplifting adults. This optimistic state allows me to coach my clients, inspire my children, support organizations I believe in and create a vision of a positive future.  When I slip into “not doing enough” guilt, or fear and anger, I catch it and coach myself on it, so I don’t have to go into my bubble and hide. Listen to your body and let it show you what actions are healthy for you, and which are toxic. If all you can think is what you DON’T want, it’s time for a negativity detox.

If there are certain topics or people you can’t listen to or tolerate, or if you are stuck in negative emotion, it’s worth taking the time to “clean it up”. Our country is going through quite the evolution and we need as many carriers of “love and light” as we can get. Schedule a life coaching session with me today, www.LifeCoachingforParents.com/work-with-me

This video helped me focus on creating a vision for our country I’d like to see. Someday, I’d like to see an advertisement like this for the United States. Enjoy!

You have got to try this!

 

I have friends, family members, and clients with strong personalities who can feel like themselves no matter who they are with. They probably don’t need this getaway as much as I do. Maybe it’s having high empathy, my life coach training, or just being a Mom, but I find it really hard to stay fully connected to myself when I’m around other people. Tuning out my kids I find nearly impossible. Walking through my house without seeing it as a giant to-do list is really hard. If this sounds like you, try giving yourself a weekend away, by yourself.

At first it was really hard. I started with a day at a spa. I felt guilty spending the money and leaving my husband with the kids. After 12 hours (I can milk a day at the spa) I felt so much better, so much more like myself, I knew it was the best gift I could ever give my family.  A year later, I expanded it to an overnight in  a hotel alone. It was so fabulous, I KNEW I needed to do it again for two nights.

I bring work projects so I can call it a write off. You might scrapbook, write Christmas cards, read and watch movies, whatever your heart desires. I spend lots of time walking in nature. You might get the same feeling from house sitting, traveling with a girlfriend, attending a retreat, I can even get the same feeling from babysitting other people’s children at night! My intention for this post is to give you permission to do whatever sounds delicious and delightful to you! xo

 

Here’s a picture I took yesterday on my walk through a redwood grove. img_2740

 

What can one small change do?

Imagine two different Moms. Both devoted to their kids. After years of intense time and attention poured into creating a great family, they both start to feel a little unsettled. Things they used to enjoy don’t seem as fulfilling. They have a longing for something new, different but they aren’t sure what. One Mom, I’ll call her Eileen, ignores this longing. She has the life she always wanted and doesn’t understand why she isn’t happy. Eileen tries to be grateful for what she has and keeps busy with social obligations. This longing doesn’t go away. She thinks about trying life coaching but she’s embarrassed and feels funny spending money on herself. In order to keep this restlessness under wraps, she suppresses other parts of her personality as well. She figures if she can just keep her kids happy, and do what she’s supposed to do, that’s enough. She starts gaining weight and worries about finances and the future. As the kids grow into teenagers, Eileen constantly criticizes herself for not being able to lose weight. This self criticism and embarrassment drown out the restless feeling. The thought of her kids going off to college gives her anxiety attacks. Without them, her life will be small and she’ll be left alone with her self-critical, anxious mind, not even realizing that it was her, ignoring her inner longing, that created her current unhappy state.

Now let’s take a look at the other Mom, I’ll call Elena. Elena pays attention to this longing inside her. She doesn’t know what to do but she feels an urge to start playing the piano, something she loved to do as a child but stopped. Playing the piano every day gives her the mental space to hear her inner voice more clearly. One day while watching her kids play at the park, a story took hold of her. This story, that seemed to download itself from the clouds into her mind, followed her home. She didn’t know what to do with it. She loved reading books but she wasn’t a writer. Ignoring this story caused the longing inside to get worse. One day, she was so sick of feeling yucky, she committed one hour a week to life coaching sessions. Working with a coach helped her trust the message her inner longing was trying to send her and move past the fear and doubt that it caused. She felt so free, she started running every day, giving herself more time to for this story to take shape. Eventually, the pain of not writing grew stronger than the fear of writing. Elena joined an online writing group and started getting up at 5:30am every morning to write her story. She continued to face her fears of having it published, having people read it, having people reject it. Elena got so good at facing fears, she felt invincible. Her kids watched this journey of Mom following her inner voice, overcoming obstacles and they learned to do the same. When her teens went off to college, they knew their Mom would be fine without them. They were proud and supportive of her, just as she was proud of herself and excited to have even more time to devote to this exciting life she had created.

Little things, over time, have a big effect. Learning to trust your inner guidance, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, cutting out soda, signing up for an art class, listening to Happier or other uplifting podcasts, hiring a life coach are small changes that can have a long lasting effect. As the new year approaches, think about one little change you can COMMIT to. Little changes grow into habits from which bigger changes can emerge. If you try to overhaul your whole life at once, it’s difficult to sustain.

When you get quiet, what do you feel yourself longing for?  It doesn’t have to make sense right away. Some of my clients have mentioned things like “I want to wear a business suit and heals” “I want more time in nature”  “I want to make money”  “I can’t stop watching HGTV”. These are all important things to listen to!

Don’t just go through the motions. CREATE the life your inner guidance is telling you is right for YOU!

Want more clarity on listening to your inner guidance and defining what’s next for you in 2017?  Come to my vision board party on Jan. 16th!

Ready to try life coaching?  I’ve got spots open for 2107. Sign up for your free initial life coaching call by clicking here. 

It’s the Supermom Superbowl!

December is here! It’s GO TIME in the land of Supermoms. Are you ready for the Supermom Superbowl?

The smell of pine trees, the twinkling of lights, the cranky teens studying for finals, the late nights finishing projects and the last minute requests (“I need black pants, red glitter and a secret santa gift by tomorrow!)

Ah, the joys of the holidays! Save some sanity with this one simple strategy, decide ahead of time.

List all the things you love and look forward to this month. Then list all the duties and responsibilities that fall on your shoulders, beyond your normal duties, between now and January. Your list may look something like this….

Buy presents for kids, bake cookies, take holiday photo, send cards, donate to toy drive, drive to look at lights, attend church service, decorate gingerbread houses, contribute to class party, take the kids to visit Santa, host Hanukah party, wrap presents, ride the “train of lights”, clean house for company, volunteer, go caroling, help with the winter production, spend time with extended family, watch Christmas movies, string popcorn, buy teacher gifts, deliver gifts to neighbors & friends, do Christmas crafts or handmade presents for family, go to the Christmas tree lighting in the city, cook holiday feast, hang exterior lights and decorate, make plans for new years, etc.

Christmas stress
but you feel more like this…

No wonder we go a little nuts! This is quite a list above and beyond our already full to-do list!

Christmas stress
You want to feel like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now rank each item on your list on a scale of 1-10. The highest number means you are so excited about this one thing, you can hardly do anything else. When you think about it you notice your body (not your head) reacting with a feeling of expansion, light or freedom. The 1 on your list means you feel heavy or tense when you think about it. You want to curl up into a ball and hide or run away. Your head might say “but I love doing that” but your BODY reacts negatively. You don’t have to know why, you just have to acknowledge how your body reacts and give each item a number between 1-10.

Once you have your list ranked between 1-10, take anything that scored a 7 or lower and ask yourself, “Could I just decide NOT to do this?”  There is so much freedom in deciding!  Your energy goes where your attention goes, so if you hold an exhaustive list in your MIND, without eliminating anything, you will be depleted before you even get out bed!  Deciding NOT to do something frees up your energy and creates more enjoyment of the other items on your list.

Are you having a hard time eliminating anything? It might be because you want evidence to prove you aren’t “Mom enough”. So many of us have perfectionistic pictures of what “good moms” do that we create these unrealistic expectations for ourselves. You can choose to stress your way through the holidays and feel exhausted yet accomplished at the end, or you can reduce your expectations and enjoy every aspect of the holidays.

Try this – mentally make the decision to eliminate your lowest scoring items and just see how it feels for a few days to have made the decision. Make the decision to feel calm and peaceful, while being proud of all you accomplish.