Monday Morning Ritual

It’s Monday morning. (But you probably already knew that.)

Could you use a quick boost of energy without another short-lived, crazy kick of caffeine? coffee-791045_960_720

If so, write down three things that made you happy this weekend.  They don’t have to be big things, but if they are – congratulations!

Maybe it was a great cup of cappuccino or tea, or a nice glass of wine or meal .  .  . Or, perhaps fun with family or friends .  .  . Getting the weeds pulled, the grass cut, flowers planted, the closets cleaned, or the wash done.

Did you have a great night out, or a quiet, relaxing day in? Special time with the kids or grand kids?

Whatever made you happy this weekend is worth noting and savoring – and you can do both in less than 3 minutes, maybe even 2!

1. Write down what made you happy. (Feel free to post them in comments.) Just a quick sentence, phrase or word or two can make a positive difference. Drawing or doodling them also works. (If you are really pressed for time, think about them on your way to work.)

2. Close your eyes, and take a deep breath. (If driving, skip the closing the eyes part!)

3. Now, savor each memory: picture the people, the setting, your feelings.  Hold them for a few seconds, take another deep breath, hold them- add a few more details and then let the your thoughts fade as you open your eyes and relax your shoulders and stretch your neck a bit to the left and right.

That’s it. Doesn’t it feel nice? (If you didn’t try it, you cannot say “No”!)

This quick ritual (repeatedly regularly), can make all the difference in your day or week. To enrich and expand the feeling – follow-up by listening to your favorite tunes on the way to work, or after everyone heads out the door. (Dancing is entirely optional, but personally recommended.)

Or, if Monday mornings are particularly tough for you, simply sway to some laid-back,  soothing music. It’s comforting and may even release a bouquet of relaxing hormones and natural chemicals into your blood stream that will help you glide through your day – or at least the morning.

If you are thinking, “What is she nuts? . . . I don’t have time to breath, yet alone sway?”, please note that while you were thinking that, you had enough time to take a deep breath and at least picture what it would feel like if you did have the time to savor and sway, and even that would help – so maybe you should simply let go and try it!  :-)

monday-1236072__340Okay, so most of us will never love or look forward to Mondays, but truly the best way to face the week ahead, is to at least make friends with them.

Sleep a little later or get up earlier to stretch or exercise  .  .  .  Plan a special breakfast, lunch or low-cal snacks to enjoy throughout the day .  .  . Wear something you love or save something new on Mondays only .  .  . Embrace your break – color, call a friend or start that book you’ve been dying to read.

When you get home . . . Plan an early dinner, eat leftovers or make Mondays someone else’s night to cook.  Make Mondays a no TV or electronics night for you and the kids, read to them or simply turn off the lights, lay on your backs on a  blanket in the family room and talk about your day. Kids love both novelty and rituals – creating interesting moments together is a great stress buster for everyone.

The key is to be kind to yourself, to get creative and to customize your rituals for you – and the kids if you’ve got ’em – and then make sure you savor them each and every Monday, and, only on Mondays to make your “its” extra special.

It might take a few Mondays to get in the habit, but you and the peace you will feel, are worth it.

And, breathe . . .

You can do it!

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Create a new you or unearth the you, you used to be.

It’s effective and affordable, and you are worth it!

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New beginnings

Spring has sprung and summer is heading our way.

It is the perfect time for renewing your spirit and taking on new adventures.

Spring (2)

Today, I’m hosting my first Wishful Thinking Women’s Meetup group on Long Island! It’s all about positivity and creating the lives we really want. My Wishful Thinking Women’s Meetup group in the Fort Myers, Florida area has 900+ members and has been going strong for 6 years this month! Fun to be starting and sharing “up north”; I can’t wait to meet everyone.

What new and exciting experiences and adventures do you have planned for the next few months?  How could you stretch yourself personally or professionally? What could you do to repair your spirit? Your Mind? Your heart? Your soul?

Find the new you this summer, or unearth the you, you used to be! Many of us spend more time planting our gardens and planning vacations than we do our lives! Who do you want to be? To feel? To experience?

This is the season for growth and renewal. Why not get in sync with nature by taking time in the next few days or week to reflect on what you truly want to bring into your life, and then begin planting the seeds of change.

Begin by asking yourself these three simple questions. Take the time to write down your answers (at least three sentences for each answer) and draw a picture or two about them. Use your answers to begin daydreaming forward:

  1. What do you want to see through your kitchen window?
  2. When your were a kid what was your favorite thing to do in the summer, why?
  3. What were your favorite books as a kid and as an adult, and why?

Bonus questions – Answering them can bring more happiness into your life and begin planting and sowing the seeds of change this summer – that’s a real bonus!  Go with your first answers.

  • What one thing can you do this week to bring some of the joy your memories and answers brought back to you?
  • How could you create new joy in your life this week?
  • How could you create more joy in the life of someone you care about?

 

You can do it!

 Click here to make the Summer of 2017 your season of change with

Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching!

Create a new you or unearth the you, you used to be!

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A poetic snapshot of well-being

This post popped up today on Facebook and it spoke to me all over again. Hope it brings something wonderful to your day, too. Folks have often told me I was having way too much fun to actually be working, but maybe that is just the way it is supposed to be!

Wishful Thinking Works: Create the life you really want

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Thinking snapshot of well-being 2

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”

François-René de Chateaubriand

François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian. He’s considered to be the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

I love Chateaubriand’s quote, it captures the essence of well-being and four of the five pillars of PERMA the positive psychology acronym for flourishing by combining fun, flow, and fulfillment with accomplishment. Add some rewarding relationships and you will positively flourish!

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Let go

Want to learn to let go of control? To let life take care of itself?

I know it is difficult and scary, but at least consider the option. (If just thinking about letting go causes you anxiety, breathe deep and keep reading!)

In a current 21-day free meditation series, Deepak Chopra noted that “your heart beats without you choosing to make it happen”.  How true, and yet we still think we still need to control everything!

mural-1347673__340You do not have to solve every problem that arises – yours or others. And, most challenges do not have to be solved now, or on your own! You can learn to trust yourself, the world and others. (Keep-up those deep breaths . . . )

I’ve done it so many times in my life, and the rewards have been enormous. Deepak reminded me to keep it up, and to apply to everything!  (More deep breaths!)

Deepak advises that “life can take care of itself”.  He suggests that when we recognize an issue needs attention, we take action by “holding an open, neutral intention for a creative solution, and then simply let it go.”

If we allow ourselves to be fully open, our personal awareness and the awareness of the universe will share solutions with us.

Sounds very new agey, but the truth is when we calm down and trust ourselves, solutions flow. Our brains relax, and release calming chemicals and hormones, which allow us to think more clearly and more creatively.

When we trust there is a solution our options begin to grow and develop. And, the truth is, there are many solutions for every single issue we face, being able to see them is the true challenge. That is what letting go is – trusting and seeing.

Let go. Set your intention for a creative solution and relax a bit. The world will not come tumbling down, and the issues we create or face will diminish in size and frequency over time.

It is so much easier to face life with a calm heart and a relaxed mind, and with the belief that there are solutions for everything, even if we do not have the answers right this minute. When you let go, you become the light at the end of every tunnel!

So, take a deep breathe, and let the rest go. Repeat as necessary!

You can do it!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Create a vision for your future

“So relaxing and inspiring”

“Fun…made me remember things that I always wanted to do, but forgot about them!”

“Wow, fun and surprising, new ideas popped up.”

Wishful Thinking Women were busy capturing their dreams on vision boards at a gathering earlier this week. I have created many over the years.  They have never failed to inspire me, and I believe they have helped my future far exceed my dreams.

VB April 2017 2 (2)

VB 2017 April (2)

VB April 2017 1 (2)

The “best” vision board is the one you create for yourself! Get busy this weekend capturing your future. It’s easy – all you need is poster board, magazines, scissors, glue and your dreams!

Think about how you want your life to look and feel – and then cut and paste your vision. Keeping it front and center in your life over the next few weeks, month or years will increase the likelihood that your dreams will come true – all it takes is you!

Wishful Thinking Works Vision Boarding tips:

  1. Gather all of your supplies in one place – make sure you have room to spread out.  A variety of magazines works best, but even if you only have a few, go for it.
  2. Set the mood. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a cup of tea, play the music of your choice – this is a great time for new age or classical, but go with what works best for you.
  3. Sit quietly for a moment and take some deep breaths. Say a few positive, comforting phrases to yourself such as:.  “The future of my dreams is waiting for me.”  “How do I want it to look and feel?”  “I am excited about what lies ahead for me.”
  4. And, then go for it! Don’t censor yourself. If something catches your eye, cut it out. You can figure out how it “fits” later.
  5. Once you have a big stack of pictures and words, begin arraigning them on your board. (Dollar Stores sell the thicker foam core poster board for only $1!
  6. Toss anything you cut out that no longer appeals to you – no regrets – we are creating a future that excites and delights you! You are in charge.
  7. Begin gluing the pieces down when you like the arrangement. Nothing has to be perfect here, have fun with it. (You can always create a new board, in fact I recommended doing at least one vision board a year to keep your ideas fresh and flowing, your motivation strong and your inspiration growing. In times of change, try doing one every 3 months or so.)
  8. When you have finished review your board. Create a story for your future, including all the pieces and parts you have captured. Share the story with yourself, as though you are talking to a friend and you have already accomplished everything on the board. Don’t skip this step – no matter how silly it sounds to be taking to yourself – it is key and helps you and your brain truly buy into and reinforce your dreams.

“I just took the trip of a lifetime . . . My new job is amazing . . . I can’t believe I am already done with college/the book/the move . . . This move was the best idea I ever had, I love . . . I feel so much more relaxed now that I am . . . I cannot believe how quickly the pounds came off when I . . . It was hard, but I feel so much better now that I have . . .”

The options are endless and just like your future – the choices are yours.

The future you truly want is waiting for you.  Have fun creating it.

You can do it!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Need motivation? Reset your mind!

Dr. Carol S. Dweck is a leading researcher in the field of motivation. In her book “Mindset”, Dweck explains her research and shares her finding that the key to learning and success is closely linked to the degree we believe our intelligence and talents can change and grow.

According to Dweck, your belief as to whether or not you can succeed, is a huge predictor of if you will or not. Why not raise the bar on your thinking, and see what happens?

“I think, I can, I think I can.”

I think I can

Studies show kids who are praised for their effort rather than their brains out perform the “smart” kids on a variety of tasks in both short and long term settings.

Reinforcing a “can do” attitude is much more beneficial than praising kids for how smart they are. Reinforcing a can do attitude in yourself, can help you create the life you really want.

A lack of belief in our efforts can follow us into adulthood and leave us doubting ourselves and our abilities, which can derail our motivation and limit our outlook and our lives. To determine how your mind is currently set, take Dr. Dweck’s 16 question survey, here.

If you find it’s time to reset your mindset, you can change from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset by following the steps Dweck outlines on her web page:

Step 1. Learn to hear your fixed mindset “voice.”

As you approach a challenge, that voice might say to you “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.” “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure” “People will laugh at you for thinking you had talent.” “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

As you hit a setback, the voice might say, “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.” “You see, I told you it was a risk. Now you’ve gone and shown the world how limited you are.” “ It’s not too late to back out, make excuses, and try to regain your dignity.”

As you face criticism, you might hear yourself say, “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.” You might feel yourself getting angry at the person who is giving you feedback. “Who do they think they are? I’ll put them in their place.” The other person might be giving you specific, constructive feedback, but you might be hearing them say “I’m really disappointed in you. I thought you were capable but now I see you’re not.”

Step 2. Recognize that you have a choice.

How you interpret challenges, setbacks, and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them in a fixed mindset as signs that your fixed talents or abilities are lacking. Or you can interpret them in a growth mindset as signs that you need to ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. It’s up to you.

So as you face challenges, setbacks, and criticism, listen to the fixed mindset voice and…

Step 3. Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

As you approach a challenge:

THE FIXED-MINDSET says “Are you sure you can do it? Maybe you don’t have the talent.”

THE GROWTH-MINDSET answers, “I’m not sure I can do it now, but I think I can learn to with time and effort.”

FIXED MINDSET: “What if you fail—you’ll be a failure”

GROWTH MINDSET: “Most successful people had failures along the way.”

FIXED MINDSET: “If you don’t try, you can protect yourself and keep your dignity.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t try, I automatically fail. Where’s the dignity in that?”

As you hit a setback:

FIXED MINDSET: “This would have been a snap if you really had talent.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “That is so wrong. Basketball wasn’t easy for Michael Jordan and science wasn’t easy for Thomas Edison. They had a passion and put in tons of effort.

As you face criticism:

FIXED MINDSET: “It’s not my fault. It was something or someone else’s fault.”

GROWTH MINDSET: “If I don’t take responsibility, I can’t fix it. Let me listen—however painful it is– and learn whatever I can.”

Then…

Step 4. Take the growth mindset action.

Over time, which voice you heed becomes pretty much your choice. Whether you

  • take on the challenge wholeheartedly,
  • learn from your setbacks and try again
  • hear the criticism and act on it is now in your hands.

Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset. See how you can make it work for you.

To hear Dr. Dweck, check out her TED Talk.

Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Changing your mind can really change your life!

You can do it!

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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Hope

hope-1804595__340Many of us in the States and around the world are participating and enjoying the Oprah and Deepak Chopra 21-day free meditation series on hope. Each day they share a message and a quote, along with a meditation. I love this quote from Day 3 of the series from Bernard Williams, an English philosopher.

“There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.” – Bernard Williams

I truly believe there is always a solution. When my sons were growing-up, I often shared that thought with them: “I know this is a big deal, but I also know there is always a solution. Let’s sit down and try to figure this out.” Hope also kept me centered and moving forward through a divorce two decades ago, a Masters degree a few years later and three life-changing assignments with the United States Peace Corps 10 or so years ago.  Hope makes tough things manageable and good things great!

You may not have an answer to a dilemma you are facing or a dream your are delaying, but with a calm and centered approach and a sense of hope, finding a positive solution or creating a positive outcome can be a reality. (I believe this to be true on a personal and a global level.)

Here are some hopeful guidelines to help you:

Don't give up

  • Don’t give up too soon, or try too hard. Sleep on it if you can. Give the situation a bit of space – we often create deadlines for ourselves that aren’t necessary or realistic.
  • If you start to feel overwhelmed or hopeless, take at least three deep breaths. (Inhale, slowly – 8 seconds in through the nose, and exhale 8 seconds through the nose).
  • Give yourself a time out! Take time for a bit of peace and quiet. (In nature, cyclones and hurricanes have a calm in their center, known as the eye of the storm. Follow nature’s lead, and give your internal eyes a bit of time so they can relax and refocus to allow them to “see” the situation from a new, calmer perspective.)
  • Ask yourself a series of five questions when dealing with problems.
    1. Does this problem or situation really have to be solved right now?
    2. Is it both urgent and important? (Make sure all deadlines are real – yours and others – and that they truly matter to you.)
    3. Have I faced other problems and solved them successfully?
    4. If your answer to #3 was “Yes”, and the answer to #3 is almost always “Yes”, if we are being truly honest with ourselves ask yourself: What helped me then? (If your answer is honestly a “No” go directly to step question #5.)
    5. What resources – including my own skills and talents and the help of others – do I have to help me solve this problem? (Or,  grow this dream.) Begin figuring out how to use these resources. (I have a free great sheet to help you with this, check it out here.)
  • Don’t let yourself be caught up in anger or the blame game. I know this is much easier said than done, but if you are at least able to say to yourself, “I really do not want to get caught-up in blame games or anger,” you send a calming message to your brain, which will avoid the release of fight or flight chemicals and hormones into your blood stream that anger and blaming always stir-up.
  • Say out loud, as often as you can “I know I/we can figure this out. I know I/we can.” This calming, confidant message releases a swell of positive chemicals and hormones into your body, which will help you relax and think more creatively – increasing the possibility you will resolve the situation positively. (This works for your dreams, as well. “I/we know I can do this. I/we know we can.)

HopeI truly believe you can reduce your stress and sense of despair and turn-up your dream meter by developing a more hopeful outlook and by taking hope-based actions.  Positive responses dramatically increase the likelihood of a positive outcome and help build your personal hope reserves, which make hope more accessible when strife and stress appear or when you begin to doubt yourself or  your abilities.

Another great way to build your reservoirs of hope is to take time to meditate or sit quietly at least five days a week for 15 minutes.  This peaceful, relaxing habit has many positive benefits for your mind and your body and can provide a cushion of calm to protect you from the emotional bumps and bruise of life.

It’s not too late to join the free 21-day meditation series, click here to begin or grow your meditation practice and to gain new perspectives on hope.

Are you ready? Life could be better  . . . Wishful Thinking Works Life Coaching

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