As a coaching group, we continually reap the benefits of sharing knowledge and resources that inspire us. My fellow Coach and Accountability friend Alexandra Hughes shared with me an interesting TedEd talk entitled “Try Something New for 30 Days” and asked me to consider what I’ve always wanted to do consistently but just haven’t.
I was surprised to find that my first thought was journaling. My surprise came from the knowledge that I write quite a lot every day, mostly resumes, cover letters, eNotes, and other documents for my career coaching and communication clients. But to sit down and write for myself, well, that’s always felt a bit overwhelming.
I took up the challenge, and knowing my personality, I created a short action plan for success:
In the end, I managed to journal for 27 of the 30 days, not bad for my first attempt. While the number of days wasn’t really my focus, consistency was the key. I found that taking the time to write down a few things helped bring the things I spent energy on into focus, brought structure to my feelings of chaos, and calmed my many thoughts before going to bed.
Would I do it again? Yes! I’m really enjoying the journaling so I’m going to continue with that process. In my desire to start the “something new for 30 days” right away, I printed a pdf version of the free Best Self “self journal” (try it yourself!) and if I continue to enjoy and use it for the full 13 weeks then I will buy one of their hardbound physical journals. They offer a few different products, check out the free pdf version of the scholar journal if you’re a student!
Since I’ve had a good experience with my first 30 day “something new” challenge, I’ve decided to try a second one. This time I’m focusing on celebrating fall, my favorite season, with Griffin, my favorite scruffy little pup. Wish us luck as we get outside every day, enjoy the fall leaves and change of the seasons!
What will you do for your “something new for 30 days?” What short action plan will you create to help make it a success?
Heather Palow, Career and Business Coach empowers entrepreneurs, career changers and people who want to take control of their lives by clarifying their strengths and achieving their goals.
You thought figuring out what to do for a career was hard…some consider retirement harder. At FromWithin Coaching, we see time and time again people struggling to find their “dream job” in a career…in fact, many folks aren’t having a hard time “finding” their dream job – they are out there, instead, they struggle with knowing what they want in that dream job. So, what makes you think you will get clear, all of a sudden, the second you retire? Will you suddenly know what you want? I have seen it so often when folks finally get to retirement, they are just as lost about how they want to spend their time as they were when they were working. Shocking I know, I am sure your head went to sitting on a beach and sipping a cool, frosty beverage. But for most of us, we won’t be on a beach everyday of our retirement…then what will we do with our time?
As a Professional Certified Coach, my job is to help provide clarity, focus, and support in setting and getting my Clients’ career goals. But what happens when the dream of retiring arrives, and you aren’t ready for it? I don’t just mean, financially, although that is a large concern for many, but I mean emotionally. You think it will be easy to go from 90mph in your life to zero? Think again.
I look to subject matter expert, Kim Halladay, Ph.D., ACSW, LMSW when it comes to supporting individuals and couples avoid potholes and find opportunities and pathways to enrich life during one’s active older adult years – in other words, to help them discover the silver lining in aging. After a long career in the mental health field, including nearly a quarter century as the director of a community mental health center in Michigan, Dr. Halladay decided to move his professional focus away from counseling and organizational leadership towards working with people transitioning into their active older years. This is a journey he has personally traveled. And his voyage continues like everyone else.
Dr. Halladay shared with me that, “like most people, I assumed that my life beyond my primary career would fall naturally into place, just as the other chapters had. While it was a frustrating learning process for me, I eventually discovered that I had to nurture a fresh perspective and a new set of skills, since what had worked in my past didn’t quite address my new challenges. In retrospect, it became clear that many of the bumps I faced could have been smoothed out with better awareness, combined with the courage to make challenging life decisions. Ultimately, I realized that opportunities don’t just appear, but need to be sought out and created. Among other things, this meant confronting the daunting task of deciding what to look for and where. After all, it’s hard to succeed on a treasure hunt if you have no idea what you’re seeking.”
Dr. Halladay and his wife of 48 years, Jeanie, moved to Vermont in 2016 after residing in Michigan most of their lives. While the allure of Vermont’s beauty and life style were major attractions, being close to their three grandchildren was the principal motivator for their move.
As the final step in his career transformation, in 2017 Dr. Halladay created Act2 Transitions, a coaching, mentoring, and consulting practice. Act2 Transitions coaching is a structured and professionally guided process of addressing important issues and decisions that need to be confronted to improve the chances of a successful transition into the active older adult years. In coaching, individuals, and occasionally couples, meet with a professionally trained individual to prepare for life after the end of one’s primary work career. Act2 Transitions coaching is also used by persons already retired when things are not working out as desired. While financial security is a crucial building block for aging well, the coaching provided by Dr. Halladay focuses on non-financial factors that are also vital to success.
Can you benefit from sitting down with Dr. Halladay? Anyone seeking a positive life experience after the end of one’s primary work career will benefit by sitting down with him. This service will be especially valuable for persons who find themselves perplexed by the many variables and life decisions that need attention. (And isn’t that most of us?)
Ask yourself the following:
If you do not have solid answers to the above questions, perhaps taking a moment in your busy day to consider if your “silver lining” of retirement is as sparkly as you think it is makes sense. My advice? Reach out to Dr. Halladay for a coaching session to stop guessing at what happens to you after retirement and become as intentional in your retirement as you are about your current career.
Dr. Halladay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell him I sent you!
And reach out to me anytime at email@example.com to see what we can do for you, today.
To talk about achieving our goals, we have to talk about keeping the bar low. Why? Because anyone who has achieved success will tell you, it not about the big leap. (Of course, we are made to feel this way.) It’s actually about all the tiny steps (and small decisions) that it takes to get momentum going. This especially comes in handy when you’ve lost your motivation.
I can't talk about keeping the bar low without taking about my dog, Jake.
We think Jake is 15 years old. The facts: we adopted him in 2003 and he wasn't a puppy. He could be 17. #winningatlife
What we noticed right away with Jake is that he puts in the least possible effort. Let's take the dog park. He will plant himself in the middle of the field, and as other dogs chase each other, Jake spins himself around barking and wagging his tail - as if he's ALSO in on the chase. But let's be honest, he really isn't. And while yes, this sounds like a life hack for having old joints, he's been doing this from day one.
Other questions Jake seems to ask himself...Why swim when I can just lay in the water? Why NOT sleep ALL day?
Alright, let's talk about humans and low bars. Because, unfortunately we can’t sleep all day.
Keeping the bar low has helped me reboot SO many times in my life. Why? It helps me shift my mindset.
Some examples of me lowering the bar:
“I’ll be killing it if I get up everyday at 5:30am this week.” VS. “Get up at 5:30 one time this week.”
“I’ll only be happy if I run 5 miles today.” VS. “I’ll be happy to get outside today for a half hour.”
“Drink a gallon of water each day.” VS. “Bring your water bottle when you leave the house.”
“I’ll be a good wife if I send a birthday card to all of our family this year.” VS. “Send cards to those you can and call/email/FB message the rest.”
“Don’t buy coffee out this week.” VS. “Buy coffee 2x this week.”
You get the picture. Every time I am down and/or have lost steam, I go back to setting the bar low. When I sit down to write out my low bar goals, sure, the voices of “Lindsey, you should know how to do this by now” or “Really?! This again?!” creep in.
And then I feel really smart. Because, I remind myself that with setting the bar low:
1) I almost can’t fail because they are so achievable.
2) The achievement WILL make me feel better.
3) I almost always do more.
This is the way I kick start myself.
So, knowing emotions, people, other priorities will inevitably pop up AND knowing we’re human and will experience a plateau during a task or project – how do we keep up?
Set a low bar and design with your “distractions” in mind.
We design knowing we will need to build momentum - again.
We design knowing we will need to boost our confidence – again.
We design knowing we will have negative thoughts - again.
It’s all going to be there. Again and again and again.
For many of us, we are fueled by our achievements. We get a little dopamine boost every time we check something off.
If you’re thinking to yourself “Only lazy people keep the bar low.” or “Small goals are too easy.” That second point IS The point. It’s harder NOT to meet these goals. (It’s like a frown...it takes MORE muscle to frown than to smile.) And, if you’re not getting stuff done anyway, think about how nice it’ll be to check a tiny thing off.
It doesn’t have to be forever. In fact, it won’t be.
Because small achievements + time = bigger achievements.
Well, except for Jake. But he’s winning at life anyway.
Lindsey Lathrop works with motivated people who want to make a change but feel stuck - stuck in their thinking, stuck because of perfection paralysis and imposter syndrome, you name it. She gets the value of a solid support system, and that's what she's able to give her clients. Lindsey believes in "eating the frog," good socks, strong coffee, and paying it forward.
The “dog days,” I always thought, were those long summer days so devastatingly hot that the only energy dogs could muster was to lie around panting to help them alleviate the heat.
I learned recently that the term “Dog Days of Summer” actually has nothing to do with slowing down, but instead, it turns out, the dog days refer to the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens during this time of year.
Good to know, but I prefer the image of my Dog, Oz the Great, making the most of the summer by slowing down and truly appreciating what is important. Oz is an eleven-something year-old super mutt. He came into our life when he was three years old, already a soul who has seen a lifetime of pain. Yet he seemed to put it all behind him when he joined our family. Oz has been my mentor since the day we brought him home 8 years ago, but he becomes especially wise during the summer, when he reminds me to not only be and stay present, but to play every day even if it is only for five minutes, not hold a grudge, jump up and greet people in your life that you love even if you just saw them ten minutes ago, avoid biting when growling will do, accept yourself for who you are and where you are at this very moment, go for walks every day, and drink lots of water.
All good lessons, but I would like to focus on the slowing down and staying present. Because as humans, even during summer, we forget to do exactly that. I personally find myself trying to pack in as much as I can in the summer including trying to have a year of dinner parties within three months, hiking all of those trails I didn’t get to over the spring, visiting as many family members as possible, tackling exterior house projects, visiting every creeme stand in the state of Vermont, and other “over-functioning” opportunities.
For my dog, Oz summer means taking naps in the sun, rolling around in the grass, and just sitting in the backyard and watching the insects pollinate the flowers. He knows to look up at the stars when they magically appear before him at dusk. And during the day, he also knows to look up at the sun, only he does so without sunglasses, so he looks up through the trees and allows them to soften the light streaming through. For him, the dog days of summer mean being and going slower, in his walks around the neighborhood or when he eats. He has it figured out.
For me, as the founder of FromWithin Coaching, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the explosive growth our organization has seen in the past year and I have spent more time than I care to admit working on the business. But Oz the dog has helped remind me what is important: to slow down and see what is happening right in front of me. Because in order for me to navigate the growth of our organization, I need to appreciate where we are right now as a company.
So, take it from Oz, tap the brakes a little and transition out of summer nice and slow. Listen and watch for what might be next for you and your life. Oz the Great is all knowing and truly powerful because he sees what is before him.
What is possible for you?
Amy Magyar is the founder of FromWithin Coaching. As a Professional Certified Coach (PCC), she specializes in Change Management for people at all stages, ages, and wages. Her life is based in Burlington, Vermont where she is a firm believer in "getting outside and playing".
Ever have a summer that’s just been a bit…different? This has been one of those summers for me. We’ve been working through some anticipated changes in home ownership and this is my first summer in as long as I can remember that I don’t have vegetable or flower gardens to tend.
While this might not seem odd to some, gardening is pretty much in my DNA. My grandfather, a botany professor, shared his love of all things botanical with me. Growing up our family owned flower and landscaping businesses for years, and most of my summer memories contain family, flowers, and taking care of the harvest.
Earlier this winter, when I received my new gardening catalogs in the mail, instead of hungrily pawing through them for fun new things to plant this summer, I found myself wondering how I was going to enjoy beautiful spaces, dig in the dirt, and partake in the harvest.
Without a garden I had to find alternatives to meet my need to weed. I did! In early summer I visited the Vermont Flower Show to enjoy beautiful spaces; in mid- summer my daughter and I volunteered in our community gardens; and as summer is starting to draw to a close we have been enjoying the bounty of the farmers markets in our region.
This summer, my energy has shifted from gardening to staging and home showings. Similarly, has your summer also been a bit different? Maybe you’re having to think creatively about your career path? Are you trying to grow your skills in new, different ways? Are you trying to find new ways to shift your energy into a more fulfilling way of life?
Like my summer gardening challenge, a career change can be daunting. Here are a few tips to help along the way:
This summer, I’ve learned that thinking creatively about my garden woes created many great adventures for me.
A bit of digging into your career could do the same for you.
We can’t wait to see where your career change adventures take you!
Heather Palow, Career and Business Coach. I work with entrepreneurs, career changers and people who want to take control of their lives by clarifying their ideal lives and achieving their goals.
It’s true. Our decisions determine our future. They influence our achievements,
our sense of purpose, and our overall happiness. Even the seemingly small
decisions that we make every day—what to have for lunch? what time to go to
bed? what movie to see this weekend? post it on social media or not? —are
building blocks of our future selves and ultimately of the quality of our lives.
Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly choosing to either seize an
opportunity for growth or make an excuse that allows us to remain within our
comfort zone. Most of us are hardwired to stick to what we know. Why risk our
sense of security for something bolder and brighter when there’s a chance it
might not work out?
It’s a good question. But reframe it. Instead of listing all of the things that could
go wrong (i.e. making excuses to “play it safe”), dream up all of the things that
could go right. The challenge then becomes justifying why we wouldn’t give up
safety and predictability to take a chance. When we allow ourselves to envision
all of the opportunities that exist outside of our comfort zone, the possibilities for
who we can become are endless. We are the limits we create for ourselves, after
Not so sure? Does the name Bethany Hamilton ring a bell? Oscar Pistorius? How
about Jason Lester? The competitive surfer, sprint runner, and endurance athlete
respectively, are world-class athletes who have earned international recognition
for not only excelling in their sports, but for doing so despite having suffered the
loss of a limb—in Oscar Pistorius’s case, two limbs. These athletes risked
privacy, humiliation, and their own comfort zone to pursue what lit a spark in
them. And they did so by refusing to put limits on what could be achieved; they
chose the brilliance that comes from choosing opportunity over excuses.
Alexandra Hughes. I help people break through physical limits to realize and harness their strength. As a coach and a cheerleader, I guide them through hair-raising, goosebumps and “I DID IT!” accomplishments.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had John Wooden; Mat Fraser has Ben Bergeron; Nadia Comaneci had Bela Karolyi. Agnieszka Radwańska has Martina Navratilova who had her dad, then George Parma, then Renée Richards. Most people understand that every athlete has a coach. But, in business there is the concept that you are supposed to do it alone.
You don’t think you need a coach. Not now. You are not an NBA draft pick. You’re not competing at the Crossfit Games. You’re not training for Wimbledon, nor are you preparing to defend your Ph.d. dissertation. You are a professional and you’ve made it this far on your own. You’ve made it on your brains, your connections, maybe even on your good looks. But now what?
If you are feeling stagnant or are not finding the results you seek, it’s time for a career coach. The perspective and good feedback you’ll get from a coach will help your career evolve. In our nation of individualists and bootstrap pullers, it takes courage to admit you need help. It takes genius to ask for it. Here are five reasons why you should:
The right career coach won’t tell you what to think; instead she’ll pick your brain and show you the treasures she finds there. From where you are sitting, you are too close to these gems to see them. Those great ideas incubating in the back of your mind need to come forward to propel you to the next level.
Are you on task? Are you staying there? Maybe not, you’re reading this blog post. Engaging the right career coach with help you stay accountable to your good intentions. A weekly phone meeting, or even a quick email, might be all it takes to keep you moving forward.
You’ve got good ideas. You know what to do, but implementation is holding you back. The right career coach will challenge you to uncover and possibly dismantle your self-imposed impediments to progress.
Two heads are better than one is an old adage for good reason. In a recent study at Duke University, researchers used sets of electrodes to connect the brains of two rats tasked with a specific challenge. Together, the rats completed their task more effectively and efficiently than any single rat in the study could do on its own. The right career coach will help you expand your capacity to meet your goals. Together, you’ll set the appropriate goals and realistic deadlines.
5. Hold My Beer
“Hold my beer, I got this.” Ever question your own judgment about your next step? Wonder if that new business idea is a good one? Big change (even small change) necessitates some risk. Your friends will hold your beer while you dive into the risks of the unknown, but the right career coach will lend you the objectivity and insight you need to mitigate those risks.
How do you find the right career coach?
Our coaches have a variety of skills and experiences. Find the one who meets your needs by scheduling a FREE exploratory session. No matter what you’d like to change or achieve, this session is the perfect next step to help get you there.
Go ahead. Ask for help. Be a genius. You know you are one.
Jane Taylor. In writing, I present my clients in such a way that they more easily attain their calling and fulfill their dreams.
“What?! People hire you to write their resume?”
Yes, yes they do. And, their cover letters. And bios. Oh, and LinkedIn profiles. It’s more common than you may think.
Before I go any further, I need to say this: Resume writers will not misrepresent your skills and experience. Instead they will help you produce a better document that will get you noticed by the right people. And, as we know, all good writing requires proofing and editing. Resumes are no different.
If you’ve never hired a writer before, here are two approaches.
Option 1 - Ghostwriter: This means the writer designs a resume layout and writes on your behalf, with your input throughout the process. Think of it this way: the writer completes 85% of the effort, you edit the content. This ensures accuracy and that your voice resonates throughout the document.
Option 2: Editor-in-Chief: This means the writer gives you customized step-by-step instructions to improve your resume format and content. In this option, you perform 85% of the work while the writer focuses on editing and supporting your direction, focus, and content. This is a very hands-on service and is often for those who seek to polish their resume writing skills. It’s a somewhat cheaper option than ghostwriting.
Other things to know:
Hire a writer you want to work with. Most writers have no problem jumping on the phone to talk over what you’re looking for. Make sure it’s a good fit.
After you’ve found your writer and discussed your needs, they should send you a timeline outlining when to expect your first draft, how many revisions you get for the price, and how they will be communicating with you throughout the process (phone, in-person, e-mail).
Resume writers know how online career sites work. You will want to provide them with at least one job description so they can make sure your resume has the right keywords to make it through.
Resume writing is collaborative. This is not a “set it and forget it” process. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to the process right now, don’t hire a writer. Like you, their time is valuable.
It may not cost you as much as you think. And, you can spend your time doing stuff you actually enjoy…like kite surfing or reading.
Once you have your snazzy resume, you can do all sorts of things, like… be your confident self when applying for jobs, use it to inform improvements on your LinkedIn profile, and when the time comes to update, you can DIY!
Hop on over to takeaimfromwithin.com/services to see what we can do for you!