What’s Mindfulness Got to Do With Life/Career Coaching?

Whether people come to see me for life coaching if they want to change or improve an aspect of themselves, or reach a personal goal such as run a marathon or write a book, or if they see me for career coaching because they want to find a different career path, I do one thing consistently with all my clients: I incorporate mindfulness (awareness of the present moment) into the work we do together. Why? Great question. Here’s why.

  1. It decreases stress. When we are constantly running around from one thing to the next, we tend to get overwhelmed, which causes a rise in the stress hormones in the body. Over time, this can lead to physical problems, such as high blood pressure, decreased immune functioning, and physical illnesses (including cancers), as well as to emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. When people are in a job they don’t love or they are feeling like they haven’t reached a goal they would like to attain, they often experience chronic stress. Teaching some simple mindfulness techniques makes it easier to relax, which causes positive changes in many areas from work to parenting to relationships. It also improves the quality of your sleep at night, which is the foundation of everything else you do. Improving your sleep is the quickest way to cause positive changes in the rest of your life.
  2. It makes your brain work better. Studies have shown that meditation causes improvement in brain cognition, included increased mental focus. Also, when you are in the present moment and clear-headed, you tend to make better decisions. When you are stressed, you tend to breathe more rapidly and shallowly, which means less oxygen is going to your brain because it’s going to your extremities to prepare for the fight-or-flight response. This is great if a bear is chasing you, but otherwise, it’s not helping you decide what’s best for you. A few simple breathing exercises help you to draw in more air, oxygenate more of your brain, and think more clearly.
  3. It can cause physical changes as well. There’s definitely something to the mind over matter idea. One study found that hospital patients who had a view of nature healed faster from surgery and required less pain medication than other patients. Being relaxed allows your body’s natural healing abilities to take over, which is why more and more research is being done on the impact of mindfulness on illnesses. Another mind-blowing study showed how a guided meditation caused measurable physical changes in the body simply by thinking about working out. This type of research is guiding some professional sports teams in their use of virtual reality to improve one’s game without the risk of injuries. This is one of the areas I find most exciting in the power of mindfulness techniques.
  4. It helps you identify “wants” versus “shoulds.” When you are in the present moment, it’s way easier to decide what you actually want, versus what you think others think you should do. It quiets the monkey chatter of self-doubt, fears, and second-guessing yourself. One of my clients was offered a substantial promotion in terms of pay and job title, but did not appear happy or excited about it. Upon exploration, she realized she did not want the promotion as she had no desire to manage other people, but felt she “should” do it, as others would view her as being more successful. Once she identified this, she turned the job down and felt a huge sense of relief. Anytime, the word “should” pops into your head around a decision, it means it’s time to use some mindfulness to dig a little deeper.
  5. It increases your intuition.  The more clear-headed you are, the more you are fully able to access the information around you. When you are trying to think five steps ahead or are worrying, you are not able to allow that information to come to you easily. Instead, your constant thoughts of “what should I do?” are actually blocking the answer from coming to you. If you are quiet, you can tap into your subconscious and find that you had many of the answers all along. One of my clients who owns several multi-million dollar businesses told me that due to our mindfulness work, he can now tell almost instantly which clients he should take on and which he should turn down, based on his intuition. Billion-dollar U.S. hedge fund manager, Ray Dahlio, was asked how he has been so successful over the years, and he said the number one reason for him was daily meditation.

Mindfulness impacts every single area of your life. All of the good things in your life happen in the present moment; not when you are worrying or stressed, so it makes sense to live in the present as much as possible. Need more mindfulness in your life? Try a free app, such as Calm or Insight Timer, and spend more time outside in nature. Want to dive deeper? My favorite meditations (the ones I do every night myself) are the ones through Brainsync where you can choose meditations for topics ranging from confidence to anxiety to prosperity (this is an affiliate link). Brainsync even has binaural meditations which induce deeper brainwaves and are amazing! Whatever you choose, take the first step toward mindfulness and notice the difference in how you feel. Many of my clients have said that mindfulness is hands down the most life-changing of the work they do in coaching.

Kristi Helvig, Ph.D., C.P.C., is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified professional life and career coach who works with clients all over the world via Skype, or locally in her Denver office. Contact Dr. Kristi to set up a free coaching consultation at drhelvig (at) yahoo.com.

5 Mindful Questions to Help You Determine Your Ideal Career

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

The difference between a job and a career

While a job is something that one does solely for the money involved, a career involves a chosen occupation which often has room for progression in that specific field. Delivering pizzas for extra pocket money would be an example of a job, while teaching or medicine are possible career paths. If you work a typical 40-hours per week, that is 2,080 hours each year that you are spending at work, and a career often spans decades of a person’s life. Decades. That is a lot of hours devoted to one’s career and why it is so important to make sure you are doing what you love. The goal should be that you wake up excited by what you get to do each day—that you are thriving, not just surviving. While it’s never too late to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, the sooner you’re able to identify your ideal career, the more time you’ll have being happy and energized at work.

Here are 5 mindful questions to help determine your ideal career:

#1: What are your values?

In general, people are happiest when what they do in life matches their values. Examples of values can be things such as family, relationships, health, nature, travel, honesty, financial freedom, spirituality, success, and knowledge. There are many other values as well, but the key is that your day is spent in line with at least some of your core values. For instance, if two of your core values were social justice and equality, you would likely be miserable in a job on Wall Street, but might thrive in a non-profit setting.

There’s no right or wrong regarding values; just be honest in what yours are. If you aren’t sure what your top values are, the fastest way to figure it out is to ask yourself this question: where do you spend your 1) free time and your 2) money? People with family as their top value tend to spend their time and money on family activities, or someone who values the outdoors might go hiking or biking every weekend. List your values and then determine if your current career lines up with any of your top ones.

#2: When are you in the flow where you lose track of time?

The goal of mindfulness is to live as much as possible in the present moment, which is where all of the good stuff in life happens. When you are so absorbed in something that you lose track of time, you are fully immersed in the present. For many people, this state of flow occurs when they are involved in a favorite hobby. The definition of a hobby is: an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure. It’s something done due to the love of doing it, rather than for a secondary gain such as money. Some potential responses could be: when you’re gardening, taking photos, building model cars, skiing, rock climbing, jewelry-making, writing, woodworking, or playing with your children. You get the idea. When answering this question, you will probably come up with more than one answer, which is great so think of all incidents where you lose track of time.

A fun extension of this question is: as a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? No matter how far-fetched the answer might be, it often highlights what excited you as a child, and we often lose touch with that inner child as we grow. When you identify when you are most in the flow, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that your answer means you should make that hobby a career. Some people worry that making something they love into a job will cause them to lose their passion for it, whereas others would be thrilled to get to do their hobby full-time. The key is just to tap into those things that excite you, because you can use that passion to determine what is missing from your current career.

#3: What skills do you have that are unique?

Everyone has a combination of strengths, personality traits, and life experiences that make them unique. When you identify the things that make you stand out, you can better explore how to use those strengths. This could be having an amazing aptitude with numbers, whipping up an amazing meal without a recipe, or being someone who easily makes new friends.

If this question is hard for you, think about the last time you received a compliment. Has someone told you that you’re great at solving puzzles, a great cook or that they admire your homemade curtains? Did someone ask you where you got that awesome table or bookcase only to find out that you made it? NOTE: Don’t discount a skill based on not liking an aspect of it. For instance, if you are great with numbers, but didn’t enjoy being an accountant, it doesn’t mean there isn’t another great fit for you, such as data analysis or forecast modeling.

#4: What does your ideal work day look like?

You can try a fun visualization exercise before answering this one. Try closing your eyes and visualize what an ideal day at work would look like, and more importantly, feel like, for you. Don’t focus on what the actual job involves. What type of co-workers do you have in this ideal job, e.g. motivated, collaborative, creative, or independent? Or do you not picture co-workers at all, and see yourself working mostly alone? What is the management style of your dream boss, such as detail-oriented or more unstructured but supportive? Or are you the boss or business owner? What does the environment look like, e.g. bright open space, private office with door, your own house, or frequent traveling to different cities or countries?

When you feel excited and happy in the visualization, like it almost seems real, then you’ve succeeded in tricking your brain, so now you can open your eyes. Jot down everything you experienced in this visualization. Notice how close or far this ideal work day is from your current work experience. Also, keep in mind, that your ideal work day may look very different than your friends or family’s version, and that’s okay—own your vision and don’t let peer pressure talk you out of it.

#5: What would you be doing right now if money was no object?

What would you be doing if money did not matter at all to you? Even if your first inclination is to say “nothing,” think past the initial period of lounging on the couch playing video games or binge-watching Game of Thrones. People thrive when they feel they are living up to their full potential. Would you start your own charitable foundation? Your own business? Would you travel the world and experience new cultures? Move closer to family or loved ones?  Hint: Answering this question also helps you identify your true values in life.

Begin the Journey Toward Your New Career

Your new career starts now.

Too often people stay stuck in careers that aren’t satisfying to them, many times to fears or limiting beliefs about what they think is possible for them. So many of our challenges in life are mental, rather than physical, so use these questions as a starting point. Read through all your responses and notice any common themes, words, or ideas. These repetitions give clues as to potential career ideas. Keep in mind that there is usually not one perfect job out there for you, just like there’s not one perfect partner, so you’re just opening yourself up to possibilities at this point. Use your answers as food for thought in your journey toward a new career, and take the first step today. Did you notice any similarities in your responses to these questions? Did any of your answers surprise you? What step will you take next?

Kristi Helvig, Ph.D., C.P.C., is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified professional life and career coach who works with clients all over the world via Skype, or locally in her Denver office. Contact Dr. Kristi to set up a free coaching consultation at drhelvig (at) yahoo.com.

5 Ways to Determine If It’s Time to Leave Your Job

Many people daydream about a change in jobs now and again, but here are 5 ways to determine if it might be time to finally take the leap: 

Another day at the office

 

  1. Make a list of all the things you like about your job. No matter how unhappy my career coaching clients say they are in their current job, one of the first things I have them do is list the things that they enjoy, even if it’s a very short list and they can only honestly say, “the free coffee in the break room.” If their list of things they like is solely related to having a great boss, great benefits, and/or good co-workers rather than the actual work itself, that is very telling. Loving their work but not loving the corporate mission or its leadership is also important to figure out. Make an honest list and then keep that list in mind if you decide to go job-hunting, so you can recognize the things you like.
  2. How do you feel on Sundays? If you find yourself already dreading Monday’s return-to- work on Sundays, it might be time to rethink what you are doing. One of my clients told me he started to feel that dread on Saturdays, because he knew he only had one more day before he had to return to a job he didn’t like. The ultimate goal is to be happy about what you get to do each day, and that your weekends are a time to truly relax and renew yourself. Keep in mind that it’s normal to have some ambivalence about jumping into the work week after an amazing weekend of fun, friends and family, but that’s different than the experience of actual dread.
  3. You frequently browse jobs on places like Indeed and Linked In. I get this one a lot from clients. They aren’t exactly sure what they’re looking for but they just want to “see what else is out there.” The problem is that if you don’t first clarify what you want, you end up with the “different job; same crap” problem and you’re back to job searching soon after. If you take the time to sort out what you really desire in your next job, you will be happy you took that time in the long run.
  4. You keep hoping things will get better. Sometimes, waiting things out is the smart thing to do. For instance, if you love your job overall, aside from one or two things, such as an overwhelming project, bad boss or annoying co-worker, it makes sense to give things a chance. Projects end, co-workers move on, and bad bosses may (hopefully) get fired. The key is to figure out where that tipping point is and your overall satisfaction. Did the project that ended get replaced by something equally undesirable; are you working too many hours per week despite being told things would “slow down;” or does your bad boss seem like they are settling in for the long haul? If the “waiting it out” is to the point that you feel you’re in danger of an ulcer or drinking problem, it might be time to leave.
  5. Your unhappiness is impacting your significant relationships. Many of my clients say they had considered getting a career coach at some point in the past due to work dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, too often people wait until they are really miserable in the jobs, and only look for a coach when either they feel they can’t take it anymore, or their work stress is impacting the quality of their relationships with their spouse, friends, and family. It takes a toll on your relationships with loved ones if you are constantly irritable or complaining about your job. Ideally, you want to have a positive work/life balance, where you have plenty of energy and attention to give to the people you care about outside of work hours.

Make A Positive Change

Think about the number of hours you spend each week at your job (2,080 per year for full-time work!), and how many hours that adds up to over your lifetime. Life is too short to waste on something you aren’t passionate about, so if you are unhappy in your current job, do something about it. Many people don’t need a coach if they already know what they want to do and how to get there, but others need more guidance or desire career assessments to determine their next path. Whatever you do, decide you want to be happy doing it, and get started!

Kristi Helvig, Ph.D., C.P.C., is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified professional coach who works with people all over the world via Skype, or locally in her Denver office. If you would like to have a free consultation to determine if career coaching is right for you, email Kristi at Kristi@prosperitycoachingandconsulting.com.

Is it possible to have more time, more energy, and more business than ever? YES!

 

My friend Tim was working on his business day and night. He was trying so hard to make it work. After not hearing from him for a while I found out why…

He was starting to burn out – and was having thoughts of giving up. He left a good job as a corporate executive to follow his dream of coaching others. He new exactly what he wanted to do to help other people be successful. However, months of unsuccessfully trying to build a client pool left him feeling defeated. It was consuming his time and energy, his wife was worried about their finances, and he had very little to show for it. He was thinking of going back to corporate America! Ugh!

We met for coffee, and we started a conversation about ways he could step up his game. I wanted to see him make this work. We developed a plan based on a new way of thinking about building and maintaining his business. Sure it was unconventional, but it worked! Within three months his client pool quadrupled – and he even had a wait-list. Tim was now considering hiring someone to help him, and his confidence was at an all-time high.

“I’m so thankful for your help,” he said. “Right now I’d be wearing a suit and answering to a boss. Instead, I can do this every day!” Now he has more time, more energy, does what he loves doing, and is on track to have more income than he made in the corporate world. Tim is truly living his dream.

Where might a free consultation lead YOU and your business? Find out how YOU can start working on your dream today!

Leave a comment – or drop me an email at:  drtoddhelvig@gmail.com

 

Feeling Stuck in Your Job? Get a Career Coaching Consultation

Feeling stuck in your job? Read my client’s story below and see if you can relate, then contact me for your FREE career coaching consultation today!

Abby* is a professional in the corporate world who came to see me because despite the great money and benefits she received from her job, she was not happy. She realized she had been unhappy for years, but had convinced herself that the money and security was worth the trade-off. She had also gone through a divorce, and did not want to have to count on someone else for her livelihood. Like many of my clients, she came to me because she reached “a breaking point.”

For her, that breaking point seemed an unlikely one—she had been given a promotion with more responsibilities, a fancier job title, and more money. One of those responsibilities involved her supervising others, and she quickly discovered it was not a task she enjoyed, stating, “I don’t want to babysit other adults.” She struggled with the fact that she knew others would consider her lucky and envy her “success,” but in truth, she felt miserable and knew in her gut that something needed to change.

Due to the divorce, and wanting to be self-reliant, Abby had been diligent about saving her money and after assessing her financial needs, she concluded she did not need to make the same amount of money she had been making in her corporate job in order to thrive. After completing several assessments and assignments, as well as introducing mindfulness concepts such as meditation, Abby discovered her true career passion where she felt she could really make a difference in an area that reflected her personal values. We laid out a step-by-step plan for Abby to transition to her new desired line of work. Abby expressed regret that she had waited so long before making the change, but I told her that I’ve worked with clients who were in their mid-60’s and that it’s never too late to change your life for the better.

Abby ended up in a meaningful and rewarding job that lined up with her values and brought in a higher salary than she had anticipated. She commented at the end of our work that “everyone should hire a coach,” but in truth, it’s not for everyone. Many people go through their life, living it according to the expectations of others, whether it be parents, spouses, or friends. They go through the motions, achieving the commonly accepted versions of success in our society, even if there is an emptiness inside that they can’t identify. All personal growth happens outside of one’s comfort zone, and it takes a brave person to make themselves uncomfortable on purpose. While some of my clients were made uncomfortable by outside circumstances, such as getting laid off due to down-sizing, most of my clients have decided on their own to make big changes. If you aren’t waking up every day excited for your job, or if you feel you aren’t thriving and that something is missing, then coaching might be for you.

Contact Dr. Kristi today to set up a FREE 30-minute career consultation if you’re ready to change your life: Kristi@ProsperityCoachingandConsulting.com

*Name and identifying information changed to protect confidentiality

Meditation and Mindfulness for Success in Business: Part One

Meditation and Mindfulness for Success in Business: Part One

This is the first part of a 3-part series of how to incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your life, and specifically, in order to maximize your career and business decisions.

I’m the first to admit that when I first raise the idea of mindfulness and meditation with my clients, I sometimes get a raised eyebrow in response. Not to be stereotypical, but this has been most true of my male clients who are in high positions (CEO’s, CFO’s, entrepreneurs who own their own companies, surgeons, etc.), and suspect that meditation might be too “woo woo” for them … until they do it. Then, every time, they are also the ones most likely to tell me it has changed their life.

I start by telling them about the billion-dollar hedge fund manager, Ray Dahlio, who is widely considered the most successful of all time in his position, and how he considers daily transcendental meditation to be the one thing he attributes most to his success. Meditation increases mindfulness, which can be most simply explained as “the state of being aware of something.” Mindfulness trains you to stay in the present tense which is where all the best decisions in life are made. In fact, think of every great thing that has happened in your life, and I guarantee it was while you were in the present tense, rather than when you were focused on the past or future. As soon as you are making decisions based on worrying or are ten steps ahead of yourself, you have lost the state of being mindful. Decisions based on fear or anxiety are never as good as the ones you make based on the present moment.

One of my clients told me a great story which highlights this concept. A client came to him offering a lot of money for the type job he does all of the time. His gut sent him warning signals that accepting this client wasn’t the right decision, yet due to the amount of money involved, he took the job anyway. He said the job turned out to be a nightmare which took him a long time to clean up and he wished he never accepted that “great paying client.” He began meditating daily, and soon after, a client came to him with a small job which almost didn’t seem worth the time or money to do the job, but he felt strongly that he should do it. This time, he listened to his gut, and did the job, and the client ended up recommending him to a much larger high-paying client which turned into a huge profit for him. This same client is well on his way to his first multi-million dollar year in income.     

What exactly is meditation anyway?

Meditation is a practice wherein you train your brain to “let go,” and is technically defined as an act of reflection or deliberation. I think of it as yoga for the mind. It brings about a state of relaxation, yet also heightened awareness at the same time. Some people use it along with prayer, but meditation itself is not inherently religious, and it has been incorporated into many spiritual beliefs. It dates back thousands of years and the earliest known record of it is in 5,000 year old Hindu scriptures.

Fact: If people fully understood the power within their brains, they would spend just as much time exercising their brains as they do their bodies. I will present a mind-blowing study which highlights this power in Part 2 of this series.

What are the benefits of meditation?

The benefits of meditation are numerous, but a few key ones include:

  • relaxation
  • increased focus
  • stress reduction
  • helps depression and anxiety
  • enhanced learning ability

One of the best benefits of meditation is stress reduction. When the body relaxes, the cortisol levels in the body drop, and meditation has also been found to increase the body’s “feel-good” neurotransmitters such as seratonin. In fact, many anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications work by boosting the production of seratonin in the brain.

When you are under extreme stress, the stress hormones flood the body to create a “fight or flight” response, which means blood is going to your muscles and away from your brain. Under chronic stress with elevated cortisol levels, we are less likely to make the best decisions because our brains are not functioning at their optimal level. Daily meditation for just 5-10 minutes can make a drastic difference in how our brains work, and helps it to work for us rather than against us.

In next week’s post, we will dive into the science behind meditation (why it’s quite far from “woo woo”), and what your brain looks like on meditation. Until then… 🙂 Kristi

Reduce, don’t re-use, and don’t recycle: Stop the anxiety!

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their life, and some experience it much more often than others. Though we’re often aware what makes us angry, happy, irritable, or excited, it takes more work to look beneath these emotions to discover what creates – and maintains – that feeling. Anxiety is one of the core emotions that is directly related to the days of our evolutionary ancestors when humans survived based on their instinct to fight or flee. A person’s response time combined with their physical and mental abilities often meant the difference between life and death. So it stands to reason that those of our ancestors that survived (and passed on that agile chemistry) were either a) good at anticipating likely threats, b) strong, c) smart, d) really, really fast or, e) some combination of the above. It also meant that they responded immediately to their internal emotional system which prompted the need to react in the first place. Anxiety, then, was key to connecting anticipation with a response. More anxiety meant more awareness, faster thinking and quicker (or smarter) response. Anxiety itself is not a bad thing and has many adaptive components.

Fast forward to now, and far less of our day-to-day choices directly result in our survival. The decision whether to download that app, make it to the gym, or respond immediately to that email will likely not result in your demise (fingers crossed). And yet we strangely have this inclination to respond to many of our activities as if there is an immediate outcome that we either need to pursue (aka fight) or avoid at all costs (aka flight). And our internal system tells us that anticipating these outcomes will be best for our survival – hence the anxiety.

In fact, many of those secondary emotions we feel (angry, happy, irritable, or excited) depend an awful lot on the underlying level of anxiety we experience beneath that emotion. For example, we might get angry at our young child because we lost sight of them in a store, but beneath that anger is the fear – anxiety – that something could happen to them. We get irritable when we run out of time to get a task done, yet beneath that irritability we hold the anxiety that somehow we either won’t accomplish our task or that we will be perceived by others (or ourselves) as “less than” for being unsuccessful. Think about this with other emotions you feel. When do you feel them? What’s the underlying prompt, and how is that then connected to your emotional reactions? The pattern is there if you can find it.

So where is YOUR anxiety? Not unlike the Princess finding that pea wedged many mattresses below, it is not until we find the underlying issue that we can do something about it. Finding and removing the pea returns our restful night sleep – as does finding and dealing with our underlying anxiety. There are many ways to manage anxiety, enough that it would take another whole blog post. However, a few potential options to consider: self-discovery, mindfulness, & meditation.

Still struggling to uncover or address your anxiety? Let’s find it – and find a way to help you relax again.

DrToddHelvig@gmail.com

Happy 2017: Goal Setting and Career Coaching for the New Year

 

Happy 2017! This is Dr. Kristi here, and I know you’ve seen Dr. Todd’s post about goal setting earlier this week, so this is my spin on approaching the new year. I will admit that even as a very upbeat person, the end of 2016 was rough for me on several levels. I attended several funerals for people who died well before their time (ages 39 and 18 respectively), as well as saw the deaths of many of my beloved childhood icons from Prince to Princess Leia. This combined with the political ugliness of election season made me really happy to see the end of 2016.

Yet, with every ending comes new beginnings, and I believe that going through emotional pain often causes self-reflection and allows you to view the essence of what is most important to you. For me, that has always been family and career, in that order, and where I will continue to put my energy in the coming year. I’m not a believer in resolutions as they don’t tend to stick for a lot of the same reasons extreme diets don’t work. However, I am a believer in creating goals and then taking small steps each day toward reaching them. At the beginning of each year, I create a goal list and then do some reverse engineering to figure out what steps I need to take, and in what order.

One of the great things about hiring a life or career coach is the accountability factor, as there will be days you don’t feel like taking steps. I have awesome (and very honest) clients who sometimes tell me they only took their next step because they knew they had a Skype session with me that week. That’s great, and I’m a firm believer in the notion that ‘slow and steady’ accomplishes a great deal over time. Ask any financial planner about saving for retirement and they’ll tell you the same thing. If I wasn’t married to another psychologist/coach who holds me accountable (but only when I ask him to or we’d have problems), *grins* you can bet I’d hire one too. In terms of my goals for the year, I have a fiction anthology coming out in the Spring, and another completed novel in production now, also for a Spring 2017 release and need to work on a marketing plan for both books. By the end of 2017, I want to have another novel written and ready for production, as well as complete my non-fiction book on career coaching. This means I have to write about 500 words per day, which is very doable.

In terms of personal goals, I want to continue a consistent yoga routine as well as increase mindfulness through more meditation as I feel healthier when I do it, and have found more creative ideas flow easily as a result. I use a tracking sheet to mark my progress in all areas each week, and am in love with the Conquer Your Year planner, and will give more updates as I use this throughout the year. Note: I am not receiving any compensation to endorse this planner; I just started using it myself and love, love, love it.

I hope that you have a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017, and that you reach all of your desired goals in life, love, and career. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about coaching, and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

Live long and prosper,

Kristi

Replace those New Year’s resolutions with daily success!

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Never have been – never will be. The reality is that very few people set attainable resolutions that they are able to maintain over an entire year. What happens? Life. Daily life provides the twists and turns that can make a day feel like a week or a lifetime feel like a brief moment. It’s meant to be that way. After all, if nothing ever happens…not much fun for Nemo (yes, I’m quoting Dory from Finding Nemo).

However when life happens, typically the first thing that gets chucked out the window are those nagging annual resolutions. Sure, you meant to get in shape, planned to be more understanding of others, or were going to save more “safety net” money in your account. But when life happens we revert back to the same thoughts and behaviors that we’re comfortable with – like that comfy old sweater you keep on your shelf despite the holes – and how it looks. Face it – we are truly creatures of habit.

A much more productive approach, however, is to wake up in the morning and focus on 3 truly achievable goals for the day. Three things that you know that no matter what happens you will find a way to complete. Some people like to write down their goals for the next day the night before. That’s fine. As long as your first act of a new day is to focus on your 3 achievable goals and visualize how you’re going to get them done. You may even want to close your eyes and do a little meditation on it. This should only take 5-10 minutes – and believe me – it will be the best spent 5-10 minutes of your day because it will set you up for being successful. Each time you do this – and follow through on your goals – you’ll be reinforcing new patterns in your life. Patterns that extend from your thoughts and behaviors through your emotions right down to your very physiological makeup.

Now, instead of worrying about what may happen throughout the week that may get in the way of your “resolutions,” you are focused on specific goals that you can begin to look back on – and take credit for. You are building confidence in your daily success and creating meaningful change in your life.

Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!

Find mentorship and take another step towards success!

Mentors raise the tide for all boats, big and small.

What is a mentor? While there are many definitions of what exactly a mentor is, the general concept of a mentor is someone who shares their knowledge and experience with another in an effort to assist and expedite growth and development. Sometimes mentors are specifically sought for a purpose – such as mentoring a new business, a new employee, or a new board member. At other times mentors appear in the form of colleagues or associates who step into the role more informally based on their general experience.

What’s fascinating is that when you take a hard look at successful people, especially those who pursue personal and professional development, you consistently find they have mentors. Some people find an experienced mentor that has walked the path they themselves want to emulate. Others have a few mentors that specialize in certain areas of development. For example an investment mentor, a relationship mentor, a spiritual mentor, etc. Yet others participate in an organized forum of mentorship where the work is accomplished collectively – such as a Mastermind group.

The power of mentorship is undeniable. I would challenge you to find a single successful person who has not had one form of mentorship or another. Receiving guidance by someone who has been successful – as well as made mistakes – is invaluable to someone who is walking a similar path. That’s not to say that all of the hurdles and pitfalls will be avoided with the assistance of a mentor. Rather, an effective mentor demonstrates choices that lead to success, and ways to recover and rebound when missteps occur. They also tend to offer trusted, confidential support and encouragement with direct feedback that a mentee would find difficult to obtain from (arguably biased) friends and family.

On a personal note, I can attest to the fact that some of the biggest steps of growth and development I’ve had in my life and career have been when I’ve had mentors who took time to provide their insight and guidance. Likewise, periods in which my growth has plateaued or stagnated have been in the absence of good mentors.

While some people are blessed with mentors who step into their lives at just the right time and offer guidance as a form of altruism, others look to professional mentors – or mentoring groups – for what they need. My impression is that either may work as long as there is trust and a combination of valuable knowledge and experience to be shared.

What’s the takeaway? If you’re at a point in your life that you’re looking to make significant personal and professional strides – look for a mentor or mentoring group. Search out someone who has developed what it is you want to develop, has earned what you want to earn, or who has accomplished what you want to accomplish. A mentor (or group) will help keep you focused on your goals, will give you honest feedback, and will challenge you to consider opportunities or choices you otherwise wouldn’t even consider.

With a new year quickly approaching, there’s no better time for personal and professional development. Want to find a mentor, but don’t know where to begin? Let’s start the conversation today!

Contact:  DrToddHelvig@gmail.com

 

Tags: Mentor, Mentorship, business, business success, entrepreneur, success