Dear Dr. Connie: How do I deal with all of this change?

Many of the experienced coaches I know are getting this question from their clients. I have been asked this question in several sessions over the past few weeks. Most of my coaching clients are high-achieving individuals who are finding themselves in situations where they are now working from home while also helping their kids learn and taking care of their parents at a distance.

Yes, we are in changing (and challenging) times. Balancing all the new with the uncertainty of what is happening is difficult for most of us; however, there are things we can do to improve our mindset while also enjoying what this strange present has to offer.

I created a new coaching tool, My WINs for Today, for clients who have needed a little help finding their new grooves. One of the daily challenges I set for them is to have some fun every single day. Yes, this may sound strange to many. However, we know that fun helps strengthen us physically, mentally and spiritually.

Fun: Doing anything that creates joy in your life.

-Dr. Connie

The WINs for Today coaching tool is designed to provide a simple, yet useful, roadmap to help people create and celebrate 3 intentional WINs (Wildly, Inspired, Natural Actions) each day that support their lives now and into the future. For overachievers, times like this can be very difficult. Why? They are never quite satisfied about how much they accomplish. Times like these can be super-stressful because productivity is challenged by all of the other items they have added to their plates. I know from my own experience that working with kids who are learning at home is something that takes a few new braincells and mindfulness techniques to balance.

Intentions are whatever we truly want to make happen. What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.

Dr. Connie in SMARTER Intentions & Authentic Goals (2014)

There is only so much we can do in a day, so keep it simple until you feel like you are in a good place to do more. Create some momentum, and learn from each day. Try not to judge yourself too harshly, and get some help if you need it!

You can download the My WINs for Today Coaching tool for FREE by clicking on the following link:

You can also preview the My WINs for Today coaching tool below. Let me know how the tool works for you. I would love to hear how you are all navigating the present to create a new future!

Have fun creating your WINs!

-Dr. Connie

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Freedom in Your 40’s: Is It Time for A Change?

My new favorite book is, “The Freedom Journal:  Accomplish Your #1 Goal in 100 Days,” by John Lee Dumas (aka JLD).  John Lee Dumas hosts the EO Fire business podcast.  I listen to EO Fire every week, and I really enjoy how JLD continuously points out the importance of focusing on specific goals and taking action.  He wrote the Freedom Journal to help entrepreneurs achieve their goals.  I had to get a Freedom Journal to experience the 100 day transformation for myself.

If you have been following my posts on AskDrConnie.com, you know that I prefer the word “Intention” instead of goal.  Here’s why:

Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions (what many people call goals) often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.

Intentions have the power to strengthen your “Inner Leader” and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.

Life in our 40’s can be a fascinating time of change.  Oftentimes, it is important for women over the age of 40 to reassess their goals, dreams and true intentions.  A few questions I encourage women to ask themselves:

  1. How do you define success?
  2. How are you using your intuition to guide your decisions?  Has it kicked into overdrive because it is trying to lead you into a new direction?
  3. What do you want to experience?

Sometimes, it is time for a change.  The great thing is that you have the freedom to decide to make the changes and adjustments that best suit you.  You just need to make sure you are headed for the right change!

The Freedom Journal is my new favorite book.  It is a tool I can use to clarify my intentions and help keep my busy life focused.  I will keep you posted on my 100-day journey and a few other adventures (my trip to Wyoming, etc.) as well!

Go Wild with Your Freedom!

-Dr. Connie

To Change Yourself, Change Your World (and Your Brain)

Science can help people stick to their goals.  I posted a SMARTER Intentions coaching guide on Ask Dr. Connie on December 31, 2015 to help people set their true intentions for 2016.  If you are already struggling a bit, brain science offers a little help!

Kira Newman, from the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, suggests changing your environment.  Newman suggests some simple tips, and I added a few more of my own.  The real goal here is to create new habits and behaviors that will ultimately influence your subconscious mind.

A few key takeaways from the article:

Map your goals and support your transformational journey by using the following techniques:

  1.  Add goals and reminders to your calendar and keep them posted where you can see them.  Newman notes that 10% of people forget their resolutions, so consistently keep them in front of you!
  2. Steer clear of temptation.  Notice obstacles and roadblocks that get in your way and move them!
  3. Surround yourself with inspiration (and I would add others who have the same mindset).  Create living and working spaces (I also have to add social networks to this list)  that fuel your soul and your goals.  Use cues that you see and hear throughout the day.  Newman suggests finding a piece of jewelry that holds meaning to you.  I have used this idea for years!  I wear a ring with a large, light blue stone that reminds me to play big and follow my dreams each and every day.

In addition to surrounding yourself with great people, or your social networks, I have to add another coaching tip:  Celebrate Your Success!  Many of us women over 40 are extremely busy and rarely take the time to recognize and celebrate our progress.  Get creative and do something for you!  Celebrating your success will keep you motivated and energized while helping you stay connected to your purpose.

Get the details from Kira Newman, editor and web producer at the Greater Good Science Center online: To Change Yourself, Change Your World

If you missed the SMARTER Intentions Coaching Guide on December 31, 2015, you can download it here:  

AskDrConnie.com 2016 SMARTER Intentions Coaching Guide 12.31.15

Happy New Year

Megatrend 2: Living with Purpose and Meaning

Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning.  Leaders must be willing to create an atmosphere of sustainable innovation designed to continuously move organizations forward while connecting employees and clientele to meaningful experiences and their definitions of personal fulfillment.

How many distance-learning leaders are adding value to the lives of learners, faculty and staff from a holistic perspective? 

Personal fulfillment is a growing trend and may be a growing trend in distance education as well.  Research on the “entrepreneurial learner” in the distance learning environment demonstrated an increase in credit hour completion as learner motivation associated with personal fulfillment strengthened (Reimers-Hild & King, 2006).  People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment.  Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life.  At first glance this may seem like an odd topic for administrators in the distance learning arena to consider; however, minimalism is gaining popularity in trend-setting places like Silicon Valley and is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design.  The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources.  How can future-focused distance leaders create a better experience for learners and employees alike?  Leaders can connect with individuals’ beliefs while helping them find purpose and meaning in their educational endeavors and careers while living fuller lives with less clutter and greater health and well-being.

Technology may help distance learning administrators holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both learners and employees.  For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud.”  They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:

Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.

This forecast provides an example of how distance leaders can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future.  A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning might be help institutions focus on both learners and employees in a more holistic manner.

Two trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 2) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality.  People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play.

How do these trends influence distance learning?  As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, educational institutions should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies.  A few ideas might include:

  • Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into distance learning programs in an effort to create better learner experiences and to create more value in courses, programs and the lives of learners (including the lives of their families).
  • Providing coaching for learners and employees to help them uncover their purpose and create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their educational endeavors and lives.
  • Adding physical activity and fun to courses or programs in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness (perhaps an App or the intelligent cloud can help).

It’s time to move beyond the traditional grading scales, discussion boards and homework assignments and focus on the whole person and what life means to them.  Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide distance-learning administrators with tools to innovate their institutions.  Competition for learners, along with their precious time and dollars, will continue to increase.  Distance-learning institutions will have to find new ways to add increased value to the lives of learners, employees and their families.  Not only can people choose to learn anytime from anyplace, people can choose what they want to learn and from whom they want to learn it.  Institutions that add the most value will have the competitive advantage.

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I Need Your Help before Friday!!

I need your fresh insights about confidence before Friday? Why??

Clint Bellows, a man I truly admire, invited me to be a guest on the Tom Becka show this Friday at 3:30 PM. Clint is hosting the show, and I am starting to get my thoughts on confidence, leadership and coaching together. Your ideas, perspectives and experiences will make this radio experience on the Mighty 1290 a much richer experience for listeners.

Here’s a question to get the conversation started:
What do you do to strengthen your confidence and the confidence of others?

I would love to hear from you!

Go Wild with Confidence!!
-Dr. Connie

Jagger’s fun and amazing drawing represents my feelings about being on the show (I am so proud of my little artist):

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What Does a New Year Mean?

I am writing this post with only a few hours left in 2013. My daughter just asked, “What does New Year’s mean?”

For my family, New Year’s Eve is a time for fun, reflection and anticipation. We started the day by celebrating at the zoo, which was fun. Now, it is time to reflect on 2013 by showing gratitude about the opportunity to be together as a family while giving thanks for our many blessings. Then, we need to get excited about welcoming 2014!

The new year presents the perfect opportunity to teach kids about setting their own goals and intentions. As a parent, I love the challenge and opportunity of teachable moments related to helping my kids find meaning in their lives while taking risks to pursue their dreams.

I usually start by asking myself and my family a few coaching questions focused on helping all of us realize the great times we shared as we approach the end of yet another amazing year:

What do you have to celebrate? What goals did you reach? What adventures did you take? What are your favorite memories? What did you like doing?

As we count down the hours, I have to ask myself and everyone reading this:

What do you want your life to look like in 2014?

My husband and I already co-created a list of intentions for 2014. We need to refine them a bit and work with the kids to do the same. I will post a coaching tool focused on setting true intentions (and living your life in full color) on AskDrConnie.com and KimmelTV.org tomorrow.

Get Ready to Go Wild in 2014!
-Dr. Connie

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