Managing Transitions

Transitions happen throughout our life! It’s important to plan for them whenever possible by anticipating changes and preparing.

This week was a BIG transition for not only me, but for my entire family, including the dog! After running my International Coaching & Training company from my home-based office for nearly 15 years, I went back to work FULL-TIME in the corporate world. Although I will continue to serve my current clients I will selectively decide which future clients I will work with both as a speaker and a coach.

There were lots of ups and downs this week and key lessons both applied from my work and learned as a result of this huge transition! Here’s some of the key highlights.  Let me know what you learned from my personal experience…

  • previous Wednesday: got formal offer and request to start on Monday
  • weekend: stocked up on groceries, caught up on wash, cleaned and straightened the house, planned meals, purchased train ticket, researched parking, gased up car, went clothes shopping, met a friend pre-made kids’ lunches and refrigerated part of it overnight, took dog for an evening walk, prepared singles for parking meter, showered
  • Monday: ESTABLISHED NEW ROUTINE!! got up extra early, took dog for half the regular walk, fed him and ate my breakfast then finished kids’ lunches, got dressed while listening in to the news, applied makeup and fixed hair, got kids up, dropped off daughter at bus, trusted son would get to school on time (MISTAKE #1), went to work and met many new people and attended new hire orientation with about 8 others, panicked when I received a call from the school that my son was truant at 10:50, connected with husband and he handled it, ran to catch the 5:17 train home and battled with traffic from the train station to get home to a lovely dinner prepared by my husband, took dog for second half of walk, finished emails I didn’t finish on the train ride, showered, prepared sandwiches for next day, read through materials from work, was in bed by 9!!
  • TUESDAY: pretty much same routine but my daughter asked to walk up to the bus stop and I made sure my son was out of bed before I left the house and not just awake. Got to work a little early again! Grabbed a cup of cocoa at DD, met with team members and contributed my ideas at a meeting (which were well received!). Had sessions with scheduled coaching clients and did evening prep again
  • WEDNESDAY: same am routine and every seemed to work smoothly till I got to the train stop just a few minutes behind schedule. Did a load of wash before work! Brought my own lunch with me to save from having to go down to the cafeteria again. Through in a load of towels before walking the dog and put them in dryer when I returned. Nearly missed train as I folded bills to get them into the meter. (NOTE TO SELF: HAVE BILLS PRE-FOLDED AND READY TO GO!). Worked on learning new systems and getting acclimated at my new job. Hurried home to attend Grandma’s birthday celebration with the family.
  • THURSDAY: had a little trouble waking up because I got to sleep a little later last night. Brought my lunch with me again. Ended up getting the next train (which wasn’t an express) and got to work just 20 minutes later. (NOTE TO SELF: DON’T PANIC, THERE’S ANOTHER TRAIN EVERY 15 MINUTES OR SO; LEAVING EXTRA TIME HAS BEEN A BENEFIT BECAUSE I AM STILL THERE BEFORE 8:30). Hubby had to work late and daughter arranged a ride home from cheer practice beings son was working. Held scheduled coaching sessions in the evening, then completed evening routine.
  • FRIDAY: good morning, everything flowed smoothly! Got a lot of things accomplished at work and am running fairly smoothly. Enjoyed some lunch on the company and goodies left over from a training so I didn’t have to buy lunch. Took one train earlier and left a little more time to get down the elevator because I’ve been rushing to the train every day. Got home in time to meet husband and a friend to travel an hour to our daughter’s HS cheering at the FB game. Fortunately, lunch held me over and I wasn’t hungry for dinner. I’ve been stocking up on healthy snacks and water to keep in my office so I had plenty choices. Hit a deer on the way home from the game. Are you kidding….what a way to end my first week back on the corporate job! We’re ok but the car and the deer didn’t quite make it!
  • SATURDAY: Got to the gym for a good solid workout! Brought my daughter to cheer practice. Started cleaning and straightening. Did more wash. (WHERE DOES IT ALL COME FROM??)

So, I’m proud to say that I got through my week! Without my husband stepping up to prepare dinners and pick up what he saw I wasn’t able to get done, it would have been much more difficult. So, thank Goodness I have such a wonderful husband. I miss dinners with the family all together and miss communicating with each other more than anything.

Preparing, planning, organizing, communicating and staying calm were the big winners this week!!

Rejuvenate and Relax!

There is an art to taking vacation and getting the rest and rejuvenation you need. Here are some important tips posted in my blog at MyPath that will help you prevent work from spilling over into your personal time.


Tips for Working from a Home-Based Office

The current issue of Treasure Coast Parenting features an article I wrote about the “Top 10 Tips for Working from a Home-Based Office” . Read this article on page 36-37 of the magazine to learn how you can be productive and effective when working at home.

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.

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.

Stuck working late

Imagine this…I was at the gym on the treadmill and opened one of my favorite magazines. As I flipped through to choose a good article to read, I came across an article in Working Mother’s February/March edition that included tips when you have to work late.

Noone wants to get stuck without a plan when you suddenly need to work late. This article contained excerpts from an interview I forgot I had with an editor from Working Mother magazine. My tips include…

  • Have a plan B
  • Prep your kids
  • Try negotiating

What strategies work for you when you have to work late??

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.

Greeting Card Saga

Years ago when I became a mom for the first time it seemed everyone wanted to hear about the newest addition to our family and see pictures of him (so I thought!!!).  So, I began writing and sending an annual holiday newsletter with pictures, letters and photos that evolved over the years to include separate columns for every member of the family (with my kids eventually writing their own with much coaxing!).

Sending out these newsletters was on the top of the list of priorities for a dozen years that I could remember. The planning would begin months in advance. The list of recipients grew to include not only close friends and family but business colleagues, associates and clients. Most people expressed joy in receiving it and looked forward to getting their annual update and greetings from us. Several joked about how I must have had too much free time or that I falesly believed that people really cared about what my kids were doing, how they were doing at school and what my husband and I were doing in our careers and personal lives.

But after carefully crafting the newsletter for over a decade, I finally came to the difficult conclusion that it wasn’t a priority anymore. That year, I reluctantly sent out one of those picture cards of the family. The next year, another photo greeting card. The following year, a store-bought card with a hand-written note and a separate family photo. Then, last year, a card with no photo…just a signature!

This year, I wasn’t even going to send out cards! I reflected on how important cards (and newsletters) were to me over the years and how they lost their importance in the busyness of life. I chose a reactive method of sending out holiday greetings in response to those I received and didn’t send any out in addition.

So, as the saga continues, next year as my eldest  finishes high school and my youngest begins, I will again revisit the holiday greeting card ritual to evalutate the importance of the tradition, possible alternatives, and then decide what 2012 brings.

What holiday traditions are most important to you?

Have these holiday traditions held the same level of importance over the years? If not, how have they changed?

What new traditions have you put in place in recent years?

What traditions have you eliminated?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!!  Share your thoughts and answers to these questions in the comments section below. And…don’t be checking your mailbox for a holiday greeting card from me this year, unless you sent me one first! 

Happy Holidays to all and to all a healthy and successful New Year!

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