Getting Help

Been talking about the need to be able to ask for and accept help for years but now that I am reliant on others, I am truly experiencing the power of help in a new way!

It has been several days since I had surgery. Maybe I was in full denial, but I really believed I would bounce right back. I didn’t arrange for any help. I had coaching client sessions scheduled the remainder of the week because they were all scheduled to occur by phone.  I find that I wasn’t ready for the reality of not being able to do anything and feeling so crappy.  The pain was so bad that doctors/nurses had to keep increasing my pain medication. The effects of anasthesia, pain medications, discomfort left be quite immobilized and needing help even for some of the most basic things.

Although I had prepared my family and business by removing a lot from my plate, had done a thorough house-cleaning, cut back work appointments, bought a full week of groceries, planned a week of meals with my husband, etc. things seemed to unravel when my condition wasn’t quite as expected. My teenaged kids were not as helpful as I thought they’d be. My husband grew bored with sitting around and helping me. Even the dog pouted because he didn’t get his daily long walks with me. I hadn’t planned ahead or aligned the help I needed. I falsely believed that I would be able to handle things.

After having a bit of a meltdown and feeling sorry for myself, I was able to appreciate the help I already had. My sister-in-laws who coordinated visiting on separate days to help out, a friend who stopped in with the medications she picked up for me, the many phone calls I receiced, the help from my husband, my mother-in-law and the kids. This morning I took control and put out emails, texts and calls for help. As a result, I had lots of response!

The lesson learned is that when you act like ‘super-women’ , people expect you to be such but when you expose yourself to needing and accepting help, there’s a world of people ready, able and willing to help! I am grateful to those who have come to my aid with help, emotional support, flowers, meals, and more. Too bad it takes experiencing a situation first-hand to be able to experience the real power of the lessons!

10 Tips for Balancing Work & Family Life

Read this article in the May issue of Treasure Coast Parenting to learn tips you can use in your own life to gain more balance.

Can We Really Have it All?

Prevent Burnout

In the latest issue of my FREE e-newsletter, I share practical and timely tips for helping you prevent and overcome burnout.  You can read and subscribe here:  Success Tips for Super Busy Parents – Tip #4 (vol. 12) Prevent Burnout. Or, just visit my website and subscribe in the ‘post-it’ on the upper righthand corner of the header.

Got Guilt?

It’s amazing how quickly we can feel guilty, even for the most meaningless things in our lives. Many of my clients struggle with guilt but its purpose it simply to let us know when we’ve done something wrong, to help us develop a better sense of our behavior and how it affects ourselves and others.  Guilt prompts us to re-examine our behavior so that we don’t end up making the same mistake twice. This article in Treasure Coast Parenting magazine offers 10 tips for busting the guilt. Hope it helps! 

see page 48-49

Anticipate Summer Childcare Needs

Sure, it’s only the beginning of spring, but if you haven’t started making plans for summer care for your children, vacation plans, and revised work schedules you may already be too late for some options.  Camp programs that are perceived as the best fill up fast.  Hot vacation spots quickly become booked and sold out.

Decide what type of childcare or camp you will need to for your children.  Younger children, of course, need more care and supervision, whereas, older kids want more activities and trips.  Some children are old enough to spend time alone (but do you really want your children unsupervised every day for large periods of time?)  Perhaps, you can arrange with a neighbor or friend to be available for your children and keep an eye on things.

Depending on their ages, a job at a camp, with a landscaper or other seasonal help may be perfect to keep them busy.  Your children would have the opportunity to earn money and you can breathe a sigh of relief because you know where they are, what they’re doing and whom they’re doing it with.

Parents who are home often welcome a mother’s helper (usually a 10-12 year old who is not quite old enough in most cases to babysit on their own).  Local businesses may offer internships or apprentice programs to help young teens learn about business.  In some cases, your employer may permit and welcome some extra help during the summer.

Summer camp programs are a viable option for your children.  There are several million children ranging from age 3 through 16 enrolled in summer camp each year. The programs are either a day camp or an overnight schedule. Camp programs are available for just about every interest and length of time.  Consider your child’s interests and you may be able to find a camp that offers programs specifically in his/her interest area.  In addition, in some areas there are summer enrichment programs offered either independently or through the local school system.  You may be able to use the summer as an opportunity to have your child catch up in a subject he/she is falling behind or take extra classes in an area of interest.

If you are interested in hiring a babysitter or nanny to watch your children during the summer, determine what your needs and requirement are first.  Seek out candidates through agencies, advertisements and referrals.  Interview each candidate and check references.  When you’ve selected the person you want to hire, train her (or him) yourself.  Be sure your caretaker understands your wants and needs and can adequately supervise your children.  Discuss your rules and restrictions and be sure your caretaker understands them.  Decide whether or not you will permit your caretaker to drive with your children in the car, where he/she is allowed to take your children, where your children may play in the neighborhood, and, if swimming will be permitted.

You must be confident in the care you arrange for your children so that you can concentrate at work without constant worry or interruption with their phone calls.  You cannot wait until last minute to plan for the summer.

Adjust Priorities

When emergencies or catastophes strike, cars break down, accidents occur, or health issues arise, priorities often shift on a dime. It could take just seconds to temporarily or permanently change your entire life.

As your time and attention changes to more pressing matters, what do you do with whatever is still left on your plate? How do you continue tending to the important when the urgent is so compelling?

Reflecting on the recent tragedies in the world, including the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, the major flooding, the bus accident on Route 95 in New York and other such events across the globe I wonder how people cope.  Although I had no one personally from my family, friends or professional colleagues in the World Trade Center when the tragedy of 9-1-1 occured, we were fixated with the events. Those like me, in the peripheral, went on with our lives and work and continued to focus on other priorities.

However, when it affects you personally, you may be immobilized and fixated on the necessary actions although other priorities continue to exist in your life.  Balancing your other needs and those of your loved ones is likely a challenge. For those who have lived through a death of a loved one, accident, sudden emergency, natural disaster big or small….how did you cope? What are some suggestions you have for others who may now be going through similar experiences?

Restore Balance

With an added flurry of activities to complete in preparation for the holiday season, it’s vitally important that you continually and consciously restore your sense of balance.

Here are a few places to start:

  • Set Realistic Goals – Establish goals for yourself based on your key priorities. For example, if being physically fit is highly important to you, then create an exercise plan and schedule time daily to honor it. Be sure your goals are positively-based (e.g., to be strong and healthy) vs. negatively-based (e.g., to lose 30 pounts). Avoid being all things to all people!
  • Minimize the Clutter  – Unfortunately, most of us have clutter some where in our lives, either in our office, our car, at home, or in our head!  Manage that clutter so that it doesn’t accumulate. Filter what comes in to your spaces.  Being in a clean, clutter-free zone will provide you with a sense of peace and the feeling of having some control over at least part of your environment. 
  • Detach regularly – Allow yourself some time to disconnect from the demands of work.  Avoid checking email, texts, instant messages at least every once in a while to give yourself a break and to differentiate the important from the urgent.
  • Set stronger boundaries – One of the most important things you can do to preserve your health and well-being while minimizing stress and overwhelm is to say “no” to demands placed upon you.  Realize that you don’t need to accept every invitiation, assignment, project, etc. offered to you.
  • Ask for help – Rather than suffering in silence, anger or frustration speak up and ask for help. Very often, famiy members, friends, neighbors or co-workers would be thrilled to help if they only knew you needed it. Anticipate whenever possible, so that you have help readily available before you have a meltdown!

Dissatisfied at work?

Everyone seems stressed out these days!  Now that the economy appears to be coming back, employers are becoming increasingly concerned about retaining their talented workforce. Those that survived downsizings, pay reductions, increased workloads, and other cutbacks may be leaving in droves once things settle down. Many employees have waited out the down-turn and have been holding out for the right opportunity to leave their current employer. In fact, 28% of workers in a CareerBuilder survey said they expected to switch fields in the next two years, looking for more interesting work, pay, and chances for advancement or stability.

With employee satisfaction at a low, as job creation begins, many will seek other opportunities. There may be a mass exodus!

As some companies take this opportunity to review their workplace culture and how to recognize employee contributions, they are challenged to do it on a budget.  Restoring pay and benefits may prove difficult. Therefore, they’ll have to seek out other ways to keep employees engaged.  Demonstrating respect, acknowledging contributions and keeping an open line of communication are critical at this juncture. Offering low or no cost benefits such as flexibility and telecommuting is also important.  Incentive-laden compensation packages that recognize high levels of productivity or customer satisfaction will incent employees to contribute their best, too.

Employers are now in the engagement era. As the economy improves, companies will continue to look for ways to boost employee satisfaction. Bosses need to step up to keep workers happy on a limited budget! And, employees need to realize that they are not indispensible. With an abundance of discontented employees and the unemployed, employees not performing effectively or exhibiting morale issues, could more easily be replaced.

Do you enjoy your work? Do you have a career strategy?

Working with The Priority Pro as your career coach can help you gain clarity, focus and direction. Imagine knowing your skills and developmental areas; utilizing your transferable skills to help land a new job; enhancing your leadership skills; establishing a career direction in 90 days!  Contact us to discuss your needs and schedule an introductory coaching session. This month it’s just $49.95!!

Happy Summer!

Today is officially the first day of summer.  For some, it may have felt that summer started weeks ago when your kids ended their school year or when the days were longer and hotter.  With temperatures peaking in the 90’s today and bright sunshine, it will definitely feel like summer here in NJ, although the kids don’t finish their school year until Wednesday!

As each new season comes and goes, many of my clients use it as a time for self-reflection and renewal. They check-in with their goals to see if they are on track. They commit to achieving new goals for the second half of the year.

  •  Are you on track with your goals?
  • What are your priorities this summer?
  • How will you be sure to stay focused on achieving what’s most important?
  • What obstacles may prevent you from achieving what you what you want to?
  • How can you plan on avoiding them?
  • What will you do to gain some enjoyment from this more relaxed time of the year?

As a professionally trained and internationally certified coach, I work with business leaders to help insure their personal and professional success.  I offer training, keynote presentations, and seminars to support each individual and the organization as a whole to achieve your goals. Contact me to discuss your needs!

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