Snowed in? Perfect time to . . .

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful Snowbound. . . celebrate by getting started on your free Wishful Thinking Works downloadable “Ta Da” List

Don’t start the new year with a long list of what you want to do until you have created an eye-opening, awe-inspiring, mega-motivating “Ta Da” List!

A “Ta Da” List is much more fun than a “To Do” list, because it’s for all the wonderful things you’ve already accomplished!  It will help you capture the best of 2013 to build forward in 2014, which can help you make it your best year yet!

To gain  “The Happiness Advantage” in 2014, click here.

Don’t forget to share the links with family and friends so they can begin celebrating their 2013 accomplishments, too.

For Wishful Thinking Works services that can change your life, click here.

 

Use the best of 2013 to create an even better 2014!

Patrice Koerper  Life Coach Wishful New Year 2014Be proud of what you’ve accomplished or created in 2013 – change, big or small, matters. Here’s how to capture the best of 2013 and use it to create a wonderful 2014.

  1. Take time to jot own the memorable moments of 2013 (or your life) – the moments that touched you, excited you, inspired you, delighted you or made you feel happy and proud.
  2. Write anything that comes to mind; don’t censor yourself.  (Using a Mind Map might help you get started. There are lots of other free resources here that might get you in the mood, as well.)
  3. Then write about what made them special to you. (This is the step most folks skip, don’t! It will make all the difference. Take all the time you need. If you feel like writing a page, do it.)
  4. Note how you felt, which may be even more important than what you did. You may not be able to recreate the events, but identifying and savoring how you felt can help you focus on what you want more of in your life.
  5. Add to your list or create new Mind Maps in the days and weeks ahead. Don’t worry that the year is already underway; there is always time for change.
  6. Be honest, don’t write what you think should have made you happy or proud, just what truly did.
  7. Use the moments you note and the emotions you felt to help you design the life you really want.
  8. How do you want to feel in 2014? What do you want your life to look and feel like?
  9. Use what you have discovered to guide you through the New Year.
  10. Start now!

Below is some of what happened on Wishful Thinking Works in 2013! Click on the photo or link below to find out more. Woo hoo!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s two days after Thanksgiving, and I know what you’re thinking . . .

MH900448550You just spent two days eating way too much and you’ve been beating-up on yourself for almost as long. And, you are now making promises to yourself you can’t possibly or won’t keep. “I’m not going to eat anything at all today.” “I’m going to fast and just drink liquids.” “I’m going to go to the gym right after I go shopping.”  “I don’t care how cold it is , I’m going for a walk.” Problem is you do care, and you probably won’t.

Or, you’ve already thrown in the towel and decided to spend the next few weeks eating anything and everything you want, since you’ve already blown your diet and your good intentions. Your new plan is to worrying about it in the New Year.

If I’m reading your mind, before you think another thought, take a deep breath.

That’s good, now take another one. Belly breathe, which means you not only inhale through your nose and fill your chest with air, you fill your belly as well.

Now, simply note “I probably ate more than I should have.” Followed by another deep, belly-filling breath. “Yup, I did.” “I kind-of wish I hadn’t done that, because now I feel bad about it.” And, breathe . . . take two more deep breaths.

The deep breathing gives your brain enough time to focus on what you are saying and feeling, and will relax you even if were feeling guilty or frustrated a few seconds before. Relaxing your brain also gives it time to readjust and switch gears, and that’s a good thing.

Now tell yourself something positive. “Hmm, I’ve been in a tough place before and I have gotten myself out of it. I bet I can do it again.”  And, breathe. Try to keep the deep breathing going, as it not only relaxes you, it breaks the negative spiral your brain is used to going into at this point. (Oh, why do I even try. I always overeat, I can’t lose weight, Why do I even bother, Besides, my family just metabolizes food different, other people eat more than me and they are skinny; it’s not fair. . . )

And, breathe.

You’re right, it’s not fair, and I’m sorry you can’t just keep eating everything you want. It’s hard to pass-up all that food, especially during the holidays, but you can do it.

Start by picturing yourself at your ideal weight. You know, when you can slip into your skinny jeans and zip them up with no trouble. Or you can wear that dress you love and not feel you have to add a jacket or shawl to cover your jiggling bits, wherever they are. Or, you can run around with the kids and not feel winded or tired.

The more detailed and real the picture is in your mind, the more likely you are to achieve it. (Accessorize it – I know exactly which jeans and which boots I’m wearing!) The key is to create the picture that works for you – you will know what works for you when it feels real and makes you feel good at the same time.

Now, mentally give that you a hug.  Do it, because that is the you that you truly want to embrace. The you, you know deep down inside you can be.

And, breathe.

Now figure out what you can do today, right now to take a step in that direction. Throw out the leftovers, find your walking/running/hopping jumping shoes, and put them on.  Or simply head up and down the stairs a few times. Do what ever you have to do to set yourself on the path you want to be on.

And, remember to breathe, deep and long and often as you go, and to bring the picture of you, the you you know you can be, wherever you go. Every time temptation strikes – and it will – picture that you. When you wake up or before you go to sleep – breathe long, and deep, and slow and picture that you. Make it a part of you, and it will be!

Now you have a plan and you are not alone. The breathing and the picture of you are the perfect holiday gift to give yourself. After all, ’tis the season for believing, why not start by believing in yourself?

You can do it!

No need to take unnecessary baggage with you into the New Year!

Forgiveness is not about condoning a behavior, but rather letting go of the hurt or anger we are feeling about it.

2013 is right around the corner and as with any New Year, there will be  things ahead we can’t control, but forgiveness is not one of them. We are in complete control of who we forgive and when. Why not spend the next few days, exploring your feelings and options, so you enter the New Year with a fuller heart and a lighter load?

It’s not easy to forgive, but study after study shows the benefits to our physical and emotional well-being are more than worth the effort.  Forgiving reduces stress and enhances our health and our happiness and fulfillment levels.

Here are some steps to get you started.

  1. IDENTIFY – Start by admitting – to yourself, not others – that you are upset, frustrated, angry or hurt. Identify your emotions.
  2. EXPLORE – Figure out why. This step isn’t about what they did or said; it’s about why it is upsetting to you. (And, remember sometimes the first person we need to forgive is ourselves.)
    • Why does it hurt? How does it hurt?
    • What do you think it means? Is there a connection between what the person did or said, and a belief you have about yourself? (Sometimes the actions of others can trigger a fear – real or imagined that we have.)
    • Write, draw or mind-map your way through this step. Jot down your thoughts or journal; draw pictures or symbols; or brainstorm your way to clarity. Try them all, and then do what works for you.
    • Don’t feel you have to get to the bottom of your emotions in one sitting, be willing to come back to your notes or drawings, again and again. It can take days, weeks or months, don’t rush it. And, you may end-up having to forgive more than one person.
    • Promise yourself not to think or worry about these feelings, unless you are seated and actively writing or drawing them out. This will cut-down on your stress and keep you focused on honestly exploring your feelings.
  3. WRITE A LETTER – Once, you have a better understanding of what you are feeling; write a letter –BUT, DO NOT SEND IT – to the person you are trying to forgive, even if that person is you! You can use as many details as you like, but make sure you include the feelings associated with them, as well. Explain what they did that hurt you, why, and why you are forgiving them.
  4. VISUALIZE – Now, visualize yourself having forgiven the person. How does it feel? How does your forgiveness look? Try to imagine how you want to feel when you are with them. Picture how you will be thinking and acting around them; revisiting a memory when you liked being with them in the past can help. Or, if you have chosen not to be around them, fill your visualizations with how this will make your life better, as well.
  5. REPEAT – these steps as needed. As many times, as needed!

Forgiveness takes courage. We not only have to be brave enough to explore our innermost thoughts and feelings, we also have to trust that we can forgive and that we can deal with this situation and any others that might arise in the future. Make sure you congratulate and treat yourself to something special for being brave enough to forgive! Also feel free to tell a friend you trust that you are very proud of yourself – no details – just that you did something you weren’t sure you could do, and you are happy about it!

PS The “forgive” drawing is from helobiae, another great WordPress blog!

The back-to-work-blues

Even if you love your job, you may still be experiencing some form of back-to-work-blues this morning. The holiday rush, combined with overindulging in all things fancy and edible; mixed with late nights, early-rising kids, long-staying relatives and a long weekend to enjoy it all – may have left you feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of heading or being back to work today.

Not to worry, you’re in good company. Much of the world is feeling exactly the same way. To help combat the back-to-work-blues, I have developed a novel approach rooted in ancient teachings.

The Archetypal Return

You are passing through an emotional and mental threshold as you rise and return to the world outside your door. After 2-4 days in your cozy cave and weeks of holiday and social activities and demands, you are once again on your own. Embrace it!

I suggest starting the day by picking the attitude and archetype that suits your current mood or mindset. Carl Jung, a famous psychologist in the early 20th century, popularized ancient archetypal roles and took them quite seriously; I’m suggesting a much lighter approach for today, in fact I call it Archetype-Light.

There are many Archetype-Lights to choose from: hero, warrior, wizard, goddess, damsel, mother-earth, trickster, sage, explorer, guardian, adventurer, detective, cowgirl, philosopher, angel, devil-may-care, etc. Select the one that sounds the most appealing at the moment to you, and then act accordingly throughout the day.

We’re not talking long-term – adopting an Archetype-Light approach is an imaginative way to make your passage back to the “real” world as relaxing as possible. You can start your day as light and as airy as mother-earth by sipping lemon water and nibbling on nuts, or you can feed the warrior within and begin your day with lean meat and eat it off the tip of the knife you use to cut it! The choice is yours, and since we are only type-casting for the day, throw caution to the wind and create the persona that best describes how you feel or who you most want to be, and blend it with:

A Sense of Adventure

Go for it. Decide to take a chance in the New Year and let your imagination run wild. Exercise your psyche and your soul.

A Sense of Drama

You can choose to push your blues aside and dive into your new persona using all your creative acting abilities, or you can choose to wallow in any lingering grogginess and grumpiness and craft your actions around being the best post-holiday Scrooge-like creature imaginable. No matter which option you choose – revel in the details and the drama by immersing yourself in your character.

A Sense of Humor

Make it fun, even if you only ended up laughing at yourself. Pose as your persona when no one is looking or perform for the amusement of all around you. Pretend your scarf is your wings or the wind blowing through your hair, or transform your tie into your shield or the launching pad for all your super powers. Your cellphone can become your transporter and your car can be a chariot or a gilded carriage. You decide.

I have decided to be a goddess/angel for the day – I’m a Gemini so I responding to the whims of twins. I started by turning my many gratitudes into gold, so I feel rich and wonderful. Keeping in character, I’m sipping and enjoying only the most delicate beverages and the most delicious and diminutive portions of food under the most elegant conditions, which include a glass of sweet, freshly-squeezed tangerine juice with rich dark chocolate on a holiday napkin at my desk! I’m wearing a two-tone scarf woven of the memories of my family and friends in the States and my new family and friends in the Republic of Georgia, who after much holiday revelry in very different locations on opposite sides of the globe, are sharing in the same cultural phenomena today – the back-to-work blues.

Enjoy your journey!

Trendsetting in 2011

Trends

I have always been interested in trends.  Oddly enough, my interest started with historic trends, because I hated studying history in school.  I didn’t see any value in it.  “Who cares?” popped into my head way more often than any of the required events, places and dates.

Until, one day, when a lightbulb went off.  I was seated in a high school sophomore social studies class when I realized most of history was based on trends, which led to patterns, which led to changes.  That got my attention.  Often, those changes came about through major conflicts, but other times they occurred simply because people just like you and me wanted something different for themselves, their family, their community or the world, and individually and/or collectively made “it” happen.

Over the years, my interest in trends expanded to include the present and future. I now love researching current trends and where they made lead us.  I recently came across a description I liked of the word “trend” in a Trendwatching Brief  – Please hang in there with me, I promise it will be worth it; after all we are talking about changing lives here – yours, mine, the worlds’  🙂

A trend is:

A novel manifestation of something that has unlocked or serviced an existing (and hardly ever-changing) consumer need, desire, want, or value.”

They go on to say . . .

At the core of this statement is the assumption that human beings, and thus consumers, don’t change that much. Their deep needs remain the same, yet can be unlocked in new ways; these ‘unlockers’ can be anything from changes in societal norms and values, to a breakthrough in technology, to a rise in prosperity.”

That’s when a Christmas tree of lightbulbs went off. The mother of all lightbulbs, so to speak.

Human beings . . . deep needs . . . “unlockers” . . . trends . . . patterns . . . changes.

Lighting up the New Year

In just under one month a new year begins.  It will be a year that our ancestors could only dream about.  A year in which people all over the globe will communicate instantaneously, travel with ease, and learn more about themselves, others and the world than ever before.

It got me thinking.  What trends do we want to set for ourselves in 2011? What would make 2011 one of our best years ever? What deep needs, need to be met?  How will we unlock them?

Are you interested?  Me, too.  Let’s meet back here this weekend.

And, just so you know, we are going to take this one step at a time.  No need to panic.

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