Saturday, May 23, 2009

Need a JUMP-START? Join this Powerful 4-Session Experience in Chicago -- Led by 2 Life Coaches!!

Feeling stuck?
Need a change?
Not sure what to do?

Create the fulfilling life you have always wanted. Get a Jump-Start!
  • Discover what you want and how to get it
  • Define SMART goals
  • Design strategies for using your time and energy more effectively
  • Identify your core values
  • Recognize your disabling self-talk
  • Find clarity and balance
WHEN: Thursdays 7:00pm-8:30pm
June 18 & 25 and July 2 & 9

WHERE: Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago

COST: $165
$20 off before May 31

For more information contact Judah Kurtz.

JUMP-START 4-Session Workshop

Your Life Coaches:

Judah S. Kurtz - Coaching & Consulting - Since 2000, Judah Kurtz has provided life and business coaching and consulting to individuals and organizations to help them find clarity, success and fulfillment. He has expertise in career development, effectiveness, motivation, leadership, and organization and communication skills. He holds degrees and certifications in psychology, training, and organizational development from Northwestern University, has extensive coaching training, and has over fifteen years of experience working with corporate leadership.

Power of Three Coaching - Jennifer Foster is a Professional Life Coach and founder of Power of Three Coaching. With thirteen years of experience in corporate human resources, she became a Life Coach in order to make a generous contribution and have a positive impact on others. She received her Co-Active Coaching certificate from The Coaches Training Institute and is currently undergoing training for the industry standard coaching certification as a CEC (Core Energy Coach) through iPEC.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Declaring YES and NO

Many of us are in the habit of squelching our true desires and living by someone else’s rules. Saying what we want and don’t want can sometimes be one of the hardest things a person can do. As children, many of us were told what to do, how to act, to keep our heads down and our mouths shut, and we accepted these directives as guides for “appropriate” behavior.

As adults, we often continue to live like this without identifying and saying what is true for us today. Being good boys and girls takes precedence over our real desires out of not wanting to offend, create conflict, risk censure, or venture too far outside of comfort zones. There are many costs to this approach to life – specifically, full self-expression and living life on our own terms. As adults, it is our duty to live in alignment with our values…and that starts with getting clear.

There is nothing selfish about identifying our wants and needs and making them known. There is nothing wrong with creating boundaries with people in our lives (personal, professional, romantic). By defining our desires and creating parameters in the world, we are shaping our experience. We are being true to what is important to us, standing up for ourselves, and taking responsibility for creating versus reacting to our world. And we are modeling behavior for others by giving them permission to do this for themselves.

This starts with the act of declaration. Declare what you want and don’t want by identifying what you are willing to say YES to and what you are willing to say NO to. These statements will be pretty obvious when you look at your common complaints or challenges, or even where you notice where you have a strong commitment to something or someone.
Start with the statement: “I declare I am saying [YES/NO] to...”
For example, in the area of money, a YES statement might look like: I declare I am saying YES to putting $50 a week into my savings account. In the same category, a NO statement might look like: I declare I am saying NO to going over my budget each month. In relationships, it may be “YES to giving love without condition” and “NO to going to bed angry.”

Create a list with 5-10 YES and NO declarations in each category. Look over the various areas of the Wheel of Life to get some ideas for categories. Some suggestions: Career, Money, Relationships, Family, Time Management, and Health.

By getting clear and declaring what you want and don’t want, you are raising your level of awareness and giving yourself the possibility of choice in the moment. When next confronted with something that counters your wants/needs/declarations, it will be more obvious to you what choice you really want to make. You can choose to honor your declaration, or continue to act unconsciously with knee-jerk responses.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How Do I Know What I Think Until I Hear What I Say?

This paraphrase of an EM Forster quote is one of my favorite questions, because it points to the importance and value of getting thoughts out of your head and into word form. It is not until we are forced to articulate our ideas that they take real shape and we can gain clarity around what our thoughts are really about.

I am a huge advocate of journaling, and have been doing it regularly for over two decades. It has allowed me to process through emotions, frustrations, blocks, and to even brainstorm and plan strategically. So many of the exercises I do as a coach require identifying and generating current and new thoughts – and recording them. If you are more visual, mind mapping is a useful technique for organizing ideas in a productive way.

Another approach I use a lot is dialogue. I sit down with a friend, or my coach, and deeply and honestly talk through what I’m thinking. It is particularly important for the person to be someone trustworthy and who has skill in listening and asking good questions. Working with a coach is one of the most powerful relationships out there for creating this experience. However you choose to approach this, just having someone to share with can make a huge difference.

Have you ever noticed that when you get something out of your head (off your shoulders/chest), you often gain insight or clarity? You may even feel better – having unburdened yourself, or released the emotional charge. More often than not, dialogue with yourself (journaling or doing an exercise) or with others will unlock new ideas and questions – providing you an opening that wasn’t available before when you were turning the thoughts over and over and over again (ad nauseum) in your head.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Values -- Awareness, Choice, Alignment

We are much more satisfied, effective, engaged, and motivated in life when we are connected to a sense of purpose and values. In every choice we make, every action we take, there are values underneath we are honoring or not. We may not be able to articulate those values, but they are there – and we reap the benefits, or pay the price, every time we are in or out of alignment with them. But it starts with conscious awareness.

When we get hungry, we eat. It may be because, for example, we value health and well-being and therefore choose to provide our bodies with sustenance; or we are simply putting food in our mouths out of habit or craving. Were we conscious or were we operating on auto-pilot?

Powerful living comes from being at choice – paying attention, evaluating the options, and choosing which we want to be/do/have (see HERE).

I am reminded of a version of the story about three bricklayers. When asked why they do the work they do, each responded respectively:
1) for the money
2) for my wife and kids
3) because I’m building a cathedral
Most would say #3 is the best answer. However, I contend that if the person identifies what has meaning for them and they choose based on what is important to them, they are in alignment with their values -- and thereby much more content and satisfied with what they are up to.

In the responses above, money might align with the values of freedom or the ability to fund education or other important endeavors; wife and kids might relate to providing a home or having more time to spend together; building a cathedral could be about higher calling or making an impact. Each response could be aligned with each person’s core values.

Get Clear About What You Value
Rank Them - Start by ranking your top 10 values in order of importance. Dig in deep to find out what those values really are about. If you place “family” as number 1, what does that really mean? Is it about connection, dedication, trust, duty, love, or a combination of these and others? Perhaps there are a few values that come out of that and can be placed on your top 10 list.

Honor Them - After you have ranked your values, place a percentage next to each one (0-100%) to indicate how much you are honoring each value currently. For instance, if “integrity” was at the top of my list, I might say I am honoring it at about 50%. Knowing that “integrity” is my number 1 value, what might I want to shift in what I’m being/doing to bring it up to 90%? Keeping it top of mind, how might I make different choices in my day-to-day to begin shifting how I approach my commitments and my follow-through?
Knowing what you are about is the first step toward living a life with intention and purpose, ultimately bringing greater rewards, satisfaction and fulfillment. Take the time to articulate them and choose - don't just act unconsciously.