Begin with the end in mind

Posted this piece at Manpower’s Experis page to help remind you of the importance of managing your busy life, controlling your time, making more effective decisions, and becoming more proactive, productive, efficient and balanced in the way you live your life.  Please add your comments!



Distractions at Work

Read about the top five offenders and some solutions you can incorporate into your own life:

Spring Cleaning

It’s time for spring cleaning. While you’re doing that, see what clutter you can remove from your life so that you can create more space for the things that bring you joy and success.

Read my latest article in March’s Treasure Coast Parenting magazine, “Spring Clean the Clutter from Every Facet of Your Life” on page 34-35 (


Online Webzine Magazine, Janaury 2010 – The Magazine Overview The initial publication, due out in 2009, will be approximately 50 pages with a circulation of 20,000 copies. Our goal is to increase in distribution size by at least 50% each year thereafter until distribution reaches a desired 60,000.

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?

Coping with “To-Do” Overload

Research continues to show that we considerably perform better and faster when tasks are done sequentially rather than all at once, as in multitasking. Brain function diminishes as we work on projects simultaneously or switch between several different tasks.

Here are some quick tips to better cope with your overloaded to-do list:

  • When mistakes matter, avoid multitasking!
  • When you must multitask, choose what you want to execute quickly and (possibly) mindlessly rather than be able to absorb or concentrate on it.
  • When you want to learn something new, focus on that one item.
  • Pair different kinds of tasks rather than tasks that are relatively the same because same types use the same part of the brain and can easily lead to overwhelm or mistakes.
  • Match tasks with different modalities, such as listening to music with no lyrics while reading instead of music with lyrics because the brain gets confused with too many words to process at once.
  • Focus on each task’s relative importance. For example, rather than just playing a video game, pay attention to specific aspects of the game and then evaluate how well your performance improves in that area.
  • Make at least one task routine. As you repeat a task, you increase your competence and confidence at completing it. If you repeat a set of skills over and over in exactly the same way, you are likely to get noticeably better.

Results tend to be worse when you multitask but in some cases, they’re especially compromised.

Re-Orient your Life Around Values

I am currently working with a successful entrepreneur on establishing Core Values for his Corporation. In doing so, I am reminded of the importance of recognizing your most important values and living your life each and every day based on these ‘rules’. Whether for your business, or for your life, clearly identifying your core values will help you achieve what’s most meaningful with the highest degree of integrity, pride and satisfaction.

Your life can be deeply enhanced when you intertwine your values into your overall framework for life. Aligning your work and life around your personal values will help you achieve the greatest levels of success. Your values help you establish more congruency in your life and increase your capacity for having an abundance of joy and happiness.

Your values are:

  • what you are naturally inclined or drawn toward;
  • what you are eager to do;
  • what brings you fulfillment;
  • what you do with little effort;
  • your strongest beliefs;
  • your internal motivator;
  • the only sustainable basis for goal-setting;
  • and, your heart and soul

Values are the core of who you are—not who you would like to be or who you think you should be. You are your values—they make up who you are, what you want and how you live. Like you mature, change and grow your values may also change over time. By gaining a better understanding of your values today you can begin incorporating your values into your life and creating a strong foundation which will be able to support you in every other way—including how you bring yourself to your work.

Your values represent your unique and individual essence. When you are engaged in activities aligned with your values, you feel most like yourself—well, connected, excited, glowing and effortless. However, when what you are doing conflicts with what is truly important to you, feelings of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, frustration and stress occur most often because your values are conflicting with your lifestyle and choices.

Values are linked very closely with your integrity. Integrity is when your external behaviors are closely aligned with your inner values; when your actions match your inner belief system, you are operating in integrity and using your values to drive your choices in life.

Your values run deep within you and are often disguised when danger is sensed. Danger in this case is anything that may interfere with or intrude on your values such as: needs, obligations, roles, problems, should’s , tolerations, stress, money, guilt, addictions or adrenaline.

The process of clarifying values is often difficult to do on your own. You can extract your core values based on what is most important to you, your actions, and the things you choose to do and not do in your life. The activities you engage in are usually an observable demonstration of your values; sometimes, though, your values are neglected so it’s harder to identify them. Working with the services of a professional coach, can help you with the process.

For more information, and some tips to help you identify your values, read the ”Live by Your Values” article on my website or contact me to arrange an introductory coaching session.


A client of mine highly recommended “Mastering Rockefeller Habits“. I just placed my order for it and am looking forward to getting it in a couple of days. We will work together with his leadership team to define their core values, vision, mission and key strategies. This is a key part of strategic planning to help exponentially grow a business.

Create SUCCESS on your own Terms

Researchers frequently study traits of successful people. I find that it’s important for each individual to first define what success means to him/her. When you know this criterion for yourself, you can track, measure and attain it. Every adult seems to have conflicting demands and multiple priorities these days. Those who endure success despite these ongoing challenges have a few key things in common, they:

  • seize opportunities as they present themselves
  • avoid regret by making sound decisions in their life and their work
  • have positive energy that helps them focus on enjoying the present

When success seems elusive for an individual it is usually due to a mismatch between your core values, needs, goals, beliefs, and strengths—who you are and what you’re trying to achieve.  When who you are and what you are doing are not aligned, it creates undue stress, frustration, worry and overwhelm.  Also, when you rely too heavily on one or two strengths rather than leveraging a variety of your strengths, you’re less likely to achieve your highest levels of success.

In the 2002 study by Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson and his senior research fellow, Laura Nash, they discovered that success that endures stems from four key sources that may seem contradictory but yet are all necessary: achievement, happiness, significance, and a legacy.

Achievement: Do you measure accomplishments against an external goal? Power, wealth, recognition, competition against others.

Happiness: Is there contentment or pleasure with and about your life?

Significance: Do you have a valued impact on others whom you choose?

Legacy: Have you infused your values and your accomplishments into the lives of others to leave something behind?

These four satisfactions are very different from each other, he said. To learn more about Dr. Stevenson’s findings and how they apply to you, click here.

On HIGH Alert

When we’re in new situations, most of us either consciously or subconsciously go into a high alert status. We’re more aware of our surroundings and cautious to protect ourselves.

As I walked my dog this morning, I chose a different path than ordinarily because I had a little more time and wanted to explore a bit further.  When I noticed a loose totally unsupervised German Shepherd dog just ahead several houses from where I was, I immediately took precaution and ducked down a nearby street before either dog saw each other.

Surprisingly, I found a paved path behind the homes with a nice wooded area to my left. Most of the homes had fenced in yards so this looked like a safe alternative. As I walked down that path, I was startled to see a group of seven white-tailed deer bedded down under a large tree. You’d think they would be on high-alert and run away but instead they watched me and my dog gracefully stroll by. Wow, what a beautiful sight! (Wish I had my cell phone or camera with me!)

I started becoming more alert to my surroundings, both to enjoy nature and to insure our safety. I noticed several other loose dogs, a large man walking towards us (I crossed the street to walk on the other side of the road!), a friend pass by in his car and wave, and I heard an approaching motorcycle and a speeding car coming towards us. It’s amazing how much more alert I was, when I was conscious of this action!

I wonder, how often any of us get so caught up in what we’re doing, go through the motions with routine tasks, or use music or conversations to enhance what we’re doing. What do we miss when we’re not alert to our surroundings?

Especially when you’re in a new situation—a new job, new work/project team, a new route, a networking event—you can raise your awareness and be more observant. Use your eyes to see what’s happening around you (and what’s not!); use your ears to listen to conversations, sounds, and the silence; watch body language and notice the aromas in the air. Use all of your senses to zone in to everything happening around you! Listen and observe at least twice as much as you talk!  Use your senses to monitor the situations around you so that you can more consciously choose the best way to respond.

Face your Fears

Many times, the biggest obstacle to success, balance and happiness is fear. Fear is just a barrier that challenges you and may stop you dead in your tracks.

I once heard a motivational speaker define fear as “false evidence appearing real”. Unfortunately, I don’t recall who to credit but I’ve remembered these words and repeated them to clients who were stuck.

Fear may show up in many forms.  Petra (name changed) was so afraid of how success would change her life that she continually sabotaged her chances of success. She wasn’t consciously aware that she was doing this. She thought she was taking the steps to build her business, yet she wasn’t reaching out for new business or following up consistently with former clients. 

When we began to explore how fear was showing up in her life, Petra realized that although there were several fears in her life, the biggest one was that she feared success.  She labeled that fear and defined it as being afraid that her life would change; that she wouldn’t be the same person.  (There were a number of limiting beliefs we uncovered that we worked through separately—I’ll write more about beliefs in a future blog!!)

Petra worked hard to disclose the origin of her fear and discovered that her uncle that she highly admired had distanced himself from the family when he became successful. He ultimately died a sick and lonely man. He was a workaholic who drowned himself in work; the resulting stress led to a severe heart attack at just 54 years old!  Therefore, Petra feared that success would kill her too! She was afraid that having a successful business would mean she’d have no time for her family or friends. She feared being divorced, in poor health, with no friends or family who cared about her because she spent no time with them.

After realizing the origin of her fears and reevaluating them, Petra was ready to reframe her fear. She looked at her fears as an opportunity to build her business differently and a way to consciously stay connected with those she loved.  She took responsibility for creating her success in the way it was important to her. Today, I’m happy to say that Petra lives a well balanced life with a successful business and happy family life.

For valuable tips and strategies to help face and fight your fears, visit my Full Plate Blog at  (

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