If you don't know the answer, I'd love to help.
Hi, I'm Sheila.
Certified life and leadership coach, therapist, social worker, and mother.
I work with women who aren't sure what's next. After years of focusing on their kids and their kids’ passions they have forgotten their own. I help them get reacquainted with themselves and what they love and make plans for their lives beyond raising children.
“What’s next?” is a simple question but it generates so much curiosity and wonder. I love digging into all the possibilities with my clients and then distilling their dreams into actions. Together we develop the vision that becomes their dream life. As your coach, I will help you get clear on your dreams and build a big, beautiful life you love.
MY COACHING EXPERTISE
Life TransitionsCareer Development or ReiventionParenting
Boundary SettingStrengthening Personal & Professional RelationshipsWork / Life Balance
I became a coach because I love helping people move forward. I had been a social worker and therapist for most of my career, and while I didn’t realize it at the time, I was having a lot of coaching conversations with my clients—helping them see what’s possible instead of focusing on what’s not, or what they perceived was “wrong with them.”
Classically, in therapy, the client spends a lot of time looking at the past and processing emotions with the intent to heal. Because therapy focuses so much on the past, it creates a lot of awareness but generally not much action. Coaching, on the other hand, focuses on creating the future.
I decided that I wanted to be having more future-based conversations with my clients because that was so impactful. I saw their lives changing. I discovered Accomplishment Coaching and knew immediately that it was finally time to shift my career away from therapeutic work into full-time coaching.
Now I’m always helping my clients look at what they want to create in their lives and how they can make it happen. Our sessions are precision-focused on getting into action and creating the plan for “what’s next?”
Coaching... focuses on creating the future.
FROM THE BLOG
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Sheila works with women who are asking themselves “What’s Next?” From empty nesters figuring out their next chapters to recent college grads launching their careers, her clients all have one thing in common, reinvention during a major life transition. Sheila’s training as a coach emphasizes a holistic approach that looks at the interconnectivity of our professional and personal lives, who we really want to be in the world, and the thinking that gets in the way of living the lives we really desire.
Sheila’s coaching career began with a focus on helping women navigate the turbulent waters of parenting teens and tweens. Certified as a Positive Discipline Trainer and mother to two teenage boys, she created the Happy Parent | Happy Teen coaching program to help women feel more confident about their parenting skills, less anxious about their children’s futures, and ultimately have more energy to focus on their own futures and their life outside of being a mom. In addition to her private coaching practice, Sheila is a founding team member at Luscious Mother, a network of life and leadership coaches dedicated to empowering women around motherhood, work, their relationships, and beyond.
A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, Sheila devoted the first two decades of her professional life to supporting adults and families in a variety of professional settings. In 2015 she decided she wanted to be having more future-based conversations with her clients. Sheila now combines her extensive training as a social worker, therapist and coach with her signature humor and warmth, laser-sharp insight, and straightforward truth-telling to motivate women to discover and act upon their dreams.
Sheila is credentialed by the International Coaching Federation and certified by Accomplishment Coaching, a rigorous year-long program requiring ongoing personal and professional training. In addition to her private coaching practice, Sheila served as a program coach and trainer at Accomplishment Coaching, which allowed her to continue sharpening her leadership and coaching skills. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and her Master of Social Work degree from California State University, Long Beach. She now lives in Seattle with her husband and is embarking on the next phase of her motherhood journey as an empty nester.
Are you building a big, beautiful life?
What do I mean by a big, beautiful life? I mean a life where you are fulfilled in all of life’s interconnected areas—work, family and friendships. For if you are truly experiencing joy, love, and creativity in one area, you should be finding it in all areas of your life. As your coach, I help you dream big and say out loud (maybe for the first time) what it is that you really, really want for your life. Whether we explore beginning new careers, transitioning to a new life stage, or strengthening personal and professional relationships, it’s about identifying your values and passions to bring more of who you truly are to all areas of your life, resulting in more success and joy.
Interested? Let’s talk.
I offer a complimentary first-time phone or Zoom session. This is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other and for you to see if coaching is right for you.
I reached out to Sheila when I was struggling with issues in my personal and professional life. With a warm demeanor and sharp listening ear, Sheila encouraged me to trust my intuition and empowered me to make decisions that were inside of me all along. I felt incredibly supported and empowered as we set goals together and put together a plan so that I could move forward. Sheila changed my life for the better and I am eternally grateful.
I am grateful for Sheila Storrer. When we started our work together I was completely stuck. Sheila, thoughtful and genuine, gently but persistently helped me find my own answers to my life questions. Perfectly present, she has an insight and intuition that helped me tap into my own power and strength, step by step. She truly connects with her clients, and her brilliant sense of humor makes this serious work fun. I’m now in a different place in my life, enrolled in a program working towards a new career, and so thankful for a new attitude.
Sheila—You are kickass. Thank you for doing what you do in the world. I loved working with you and thank you for helping me see all that is possible in my life.
I worked with Sheila in 2016—one of the hardest years of my life—and again in 2020. The circumstances for needing her coaching and guidance varied, but her unwavering support remained true. Sheila is a champion of the discouraged, afraid and unmotivated with the ultimate goal of shedding back layers to find the essence within all of us. The moments when I believed I’d failed myself; she was there to remind me of my core. The good in me—in all of us—is what defines our DNA. Everything short of that wholeness is just a blimp on the radar, a passing moment—simply a distraction from becoming the highest version of ourselves.
I knew I was in good hands the minute I started working with you but let me tell you – you are a Super Woman! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your magnificent coaching, support and insight. Seriously, you are a powerhouse. Working with you was a beautiful and soul-searching experience that I am forever grateful for. I will continue to use all the tips and tools you gave me and the knowledge I gained as I move forward. Thank you!
Working with Sheila was transformational. She quickly broke down the walls I had built up to keep my heart protected which allowed for a deepening in self-love and expansion in heart connection. She wore the hat of mom, coach, ass kicker and comedian with style and grace; often at the exact same time. Sheila created a space where I felt safe, loved, challenged and motivated to take on my life. She saw through my bullshit with laser focus and never let me be anything less than the magic and wildness that was innately me. She has an incredible ability to hold people up to the light and speak to the greatness inside of them. She is warmth, play and exquisite love. I highly recommend working with her.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between therapy and coaching?
Both are incredibly supportive conversations that look in different directions. Coaching looks forward, focusing on creating the future. We get clear on what you really want–that big, beautiful life–and then we put a plan into place to make it a reality. Classically, in therapy, the client spends a lot of time looking back at the past and processing emotions with the intent to heal. With its focus on the past, therapy creates a lot of awareness but generally not much action. Coaching, on the other hand, creates awareness and actions toward a new future.
How do I know if coaching is right for me?
The best way to know if coaching is for you is to experience it first-hand. I offer a complimentary coaching session so that you can get a taste of what coaching offers. Imagine if I tried to tell you how awesome ice cream is: I could describe the texture, the sweetness, the joy of that first bite, but you really don’t know if it’s your thing until you try it yourself. It’s the same with coaching. You can read about it and talk to your friends about it, but you can’t really get the impact until you experience it.
How does coaching work?
I meet with my clients one hour each week by phone or video. At the start of our work together, we spend time getting really clear on what you want for your life. What do you want more of? What do you want less of? From there, we create a big, juicy vision and an action plan to move forward. We are always working toward that vision and creating structures and actions to make it happen. Along the way, we look at all the roadblocks–real and imagined–that may be getting in the way.
I have no clue what I want for my life. Do I need to figure that out before I call a coach?
Nope. This is actually the perfect time to work with a coach. If you’re not sure what’s next, I can help. Together, we’ll take a look into the future to see all the things that are possible for your life because that’s what coaching is all about–creating possibility. Aren’t you ready to create a life you truly want outside of the “shoulds” and “can’ts?”
How do I learn more about working with you?
Let’s chat! Click here to schedule a time with me.
If you’re asking yourself “What’s Next?” or if you’re wondering how to create that big, beautiful life you’re dreaming about, I’d love to talk.
Get in touch and let’s schedule a complimentary coaching session.
Guess What’s Not Cancelled? Holiday Traditions!
This creepy head has been a favorite part of our Halloween traditions for almost a decade. That’s right – that thrift store goddess promptly comes out of hiding on October 1 and spends the next 31 days moving around the house scaring my kids and everyone who comes in the door. She seriously brings me a ton of fun and joy.
But Halloween 2020 is different – no one is coming inside my house and both of my kids are away at college. So why bother?
I noodled on this for a bit but come on…I love that head and it’s simply not October without her. So out she came, and she’s been having fun scaring my husband, popping into Facetimes with my boys and lighting up social media.
The holidays will be certainly be different this year. There is so much we can’t do because of safety concerns, and this is especially difficult if can’t spend time with people we love. But there is still so much to celebrate and be grateful for.
It will help your sanity if you head into the holidays with a solid plan of what you CAN do. Now is the time to get intentional and start planning. Think about traditions you want to keep and how to make them safe. What new traditions you can start? How can you connect to the people you love if you can’t celebrate together in person? Are there less-liked traditions that you can reset now?
Here are some ideas my clients and friends have been tossing around -- go big on lights and decorations, exchanging holiday ornaments through the mail, hosting Thanksgiving dinner in the garage with heaters, Halloween bonfires in the cul- de- sac with the neighborhood kids, drive-through haunted houses, Zoom brunch with the grandparents.
It’s our first pandemic holiday – we get to decide how they go. Schedule a family meeting and get creative. I’d love to know your ideas.
It’s All About Cereal at Midnight
Years ago, the teenaged daughter of a well-known author was on Oprah. The author died of cancer and the girl was invited to talk about the last year of her mom’s life. I don’t remember who the author was, but I’ll never forget her daughter’s words.
The girl shared photos of the amazing things her family did together that last year. Disneyland, Paris, rafting, outrageous birthday parties. Her mom was determined to create memories that her kids would cherish for the rest of their lives. She certainly did but the most meaningful one was not one she had planned.
The girl’s favorite memory from that year was the night she woke up and wandered into the kitchen to find her mom eating cereal. She grabbed a bowl and joined her. They sat together at the table and talked late into the night.
That’s it. Cereal and togetherness. Right there in the kitchen. That’s her favorite memory from the last year of her mom’s life.
I share this story a lot because it’s such a perfect illustration of what our kids and everyone who loves us wants from us. They want us to be present. Connected. Loving. The rest is fluff.
Last week I received this text from a client:
Yesterday was hard. Huge stuff at work and the boys were super bored and cranky. I started beating myself up because I didn’t have the time or energy to go do something big or Pinterest-y. I remembered what that girl said on Oprah - about the cereal. Damn – I love that story. So I made it simple - popcorn and 45 minutes of watching TikToks together on the couch. Boys loved it and it was exactly what we all needed. Connection.
The next time you’re feeling like a failure because you didn’t buy the perfect gift, cook the perfect meal or plan the perfect craft, think about the girl and her mom eating cereal together in the middle of the night.
Think about love. Think about connection. Think about presence.
LAST WEEKEND WAS THE BIG ONE
The weekend I said goodbye to my youngest son, Owen, who is starting his freshman year of college. And now I am an empty nester.
That’s right! An empty nester. For years, I have been dreading this time because I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without day-to-day, minute-by-minute parenting. What is life without soccer on Sundays, lacrosse on Tuesdays, carpool, Back to School Night? Such events have given my life structure for twenty years. My kids’ passions have been mine from The Wiggles, to Legos, to paintball to sports, and so sometimes I even wonder: What do I like to do?
When I dropped my older son off at college two years ago, life became more spacious with time to think about what’s next for me. Outside of my work (which I love) I realized I didn’t really know, and this felt pretty scary. I started talking about this with my coach, and my first step was to create a vision for my next chapter. I looked at the big picture, thinking about what I wanted my life to include. Fun, adventure and freedom. Lazy days with friends, lots of books, horseback riding, kayaking, cooking for fun, staying up late and sleeping in. And, of course more time for my business and clients.
This vision is what pulls me forward on the days I lose my way and can’t see my future through the fog and emotions.
What about you? In whatever life stage you’re in, if you’re asking yourself similar questions, let’s talk. I’d love to offer you a complimentary coaching session. It’s time to focus on what YOU want.
The Empty Nesters
It’s OK to Not be OK
This is weird but I miss the early days of the pandemic: The country watching Tiger King together, sharing bread recipes and hosting Zoom happy hours. We expected those quaint days to last a few weeks, not imagining we’d still be here in June. On top of the pandemic, we have been dealing with police brutality, sky high unemployment, protests and riots. Not surprisingly, the statistics show that there is a surge in mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, PTSD and insomnia. The isolation, uncertainty and fear are taking a toll.
I’m noticing among my clients, friends and even myself that we tend to minimize how hard everything is right now and the impact of world events on ourselves. When we’re struggling, we beat ourselves up that we can’t cope. The truth is that we are all doing the best we can. We are living in unprecedented times and the demands on us are unreasonable.
If you are struggling, here are some tips.
Let yourself feel the upset. This is not how we want our lives to be, and you don’t have to pretend it’s all ok. It’s not. Get mad, cry the tears, be sad. These are just feelings – let them come and go. Trust that they won’t last forever because they won’t.
Take excellent care of yourself. The most important thing you can do for yourself and your family right now is to take extra good care of yourself; this is how you become better equipped to deal with the ups and downs.
It helps to focus on the basics. Are you sleeping enough, eating healthy foods, moving your body every day, and connecting with people who support and love you? Self-care looks a little different during a global pandemic. It’s probably not an hour-long yoga class when you’re busy working and taking care of kids; it might be an extra-long shower. Maybe read some fiction when you first wake up. Start that meditation practice. Turn off Zoom and laugh at Tik Tok. Wear pants. Eat lunch on the porch a few times a week. Write down three things you’re grateful for before bed. Self- care can be simple and still nourishing.
Get supported. You can’t go through this alone: Who can support you right now? Connect with friends and family that love you. If you can’t handle another Zoom call, instead make a phone call, write an email, send a text, or social distance socialize in your driveway.
Reach out for professional help if needed. If you find that upping your self-care isn’t enough and you’re finding it hard to experience joy, then reach out and get supported. Call a coach. Call a therapist. Now is not the time to tough it out.
This is me with my older son, Finn, at the BLM protests in Kirkland. Self-care is important because it gives us the clarity to keep learning, growing and doing to better our communities.
Accepting - NO. Adapting - YES
In early March I had no idea that come April I’d be locked in my house with my kids and husband, wearing sweats 24/7 and feeling scared to go to the grocery store. It would have sounded insane 5 weeks ago. And it feels more insane as the days pass.
While I’m having a ton of trouble accepting what’s going on – how can I accept my son won’t have prom or graduation? – I am adapting. Online workouts, virtual book club, Zoom calls ad nausea. All my new ways of living are doing the trick; I’m staying connected and supporting my clients.
How about you? Are you adapting? Wherever you are in the process of finding the “new normal,” I’d love to offer you some support this month.
A mini session for you
This month I’m offering complimentary mini coaching sessions – these are 30 minutes of laser support. We’ll start wherever you find yourself in this time of upside down. From there we’ll look at how this pause can actually be an opportunity to create something new in your home and work life. We all feel like we want to go back to our normal lives, but what if there are parts of that life you don’t want to resume? Now is the perfect opportunity to strategize change.
Anything is open for discussion during your mini session – managing fear and anxiety, navigating parenting challenges, supporting your work team, creating an online executive presence, boosting your self-care…you name it, I’m up for it.
See you on zoom
Everyone is a Little Nuts Right Now!
It’s been a crazy few weeks, right? So much misinformation, fear, worry, uncertainty, anxiety… I could go on and on, but I’ll send myself into a spiral.
Last week I was all about CONTROL AND MANAGE – buying the canned goods and TP, setting up a schedule for my now working-at-home husband and I to share my office, checking Twitter a zillion times a day for the latest updates. I was in full doing mode, and I was cool.
‘Till Thursday. I woke up at 5 am and thought I’d take a peek at Twitter. Note to Self: DO NOT GO ON TWITTER AT 5 AM. I was instantly paralyzed with panic. I finally got that I cannot control ANYTHING because life as we know it has been royally turned upside down.
Later that day I thought of something my brilliant coach and friend Sarah Olin said to me. During a session in December when I was stressed about the holidays (what I wouldn’t give for holiday stress about now), she said something simple and incredibly impactful, “Listen, everyone is a little bit nuts right now. Shore up your self-care. Take amazing care of yourself because it’s the foundation for everything.”
So self-care is what I did for the holidays (to be honest, I do everything this woman says because she is the wisest). I didn’t miss a single workout; I dropped everything when my friend called mid-day inviting me to meet her for a pedi; I bought cookies for book club instead of baking; I put up minimal decorations; and I said no when I wasn’t up for going out. The month went differently for me. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but my anxiety was manageable.
I'm putting this practice into place now. Here is what I’m going to do this month: Take a walk every day, go to barre3 or work out at home, eat cookies when I want to, monitor my news intake, get enough sleep and make sure I connect with friends and family – even if it’s coffee over zoom.
Self-care sets the foundation so that we can fully show up. If we’re sorted we can be there for ourselves, our family, our work, our community.
How do you want to handle this unknown time?
PS – Want to connect? Let’s have a virtual coffee. Being home for an extended period does not mean you need to put your goals on hold. We can come up with a plan that will support you and keep you moving forward while things are a little nuts. Send me an email or text me – 425-941-9194. No hand sanitizer necessary.
Me and Sarah Olin - Pre-social distancing.
It’s February – Do you know where your New Year’s Resolutions are?
How’s your resolution to hit the gym every day at 5:00 a.m. going? What about your resolution to be more generous? Drink more water? Grow your business?
Radio silence? Well, you’re not alone!
If you are like 75% of Americans, you have already forgotten those resolutions you made a mere 8 weeks ago.
We are weird about resolutions: We LOVE making them. We make them every year. We shout them from the roof top (or Facebook), and then we promptly forget about them. Only to do it again and again, year after year. Rinse and repeat. Odd, eh?
If we love them so much, why don’t we stick to them? Well, it’s because we tend to make them from a disempowered place because we are trying to fix something we perceive as broken. Such as, I’m going to the gym everyday…because I’m fat. Or from shame – I’m going to be more generous…because I’m stingy. Or from fear or comparison – I’m going to start a podcast because Susie Q hosts one and since her business is booming I better get cracking and make one of my own.
It’s not fun and so it is no wonder that we dump them. Even worse, we often beat ourselves up before we give up. I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So, if resolutions don’t work (and they don’t), what does work to move us forward? Setting goals works! Really! I know because that’s what I do and so do my clients – and we get results.
Resolutions versus goals… Isn’t it just semantics?
Nope – because goals are different in that they are based in what we really, truly WANT – not a reaction to what we don’t want. They pull us forward. They’re forgiving because we can tweak them. And they have clear actions for progress. Goal setting and execution are very different than making (and quitting) resolutions.
If you decide to make goals for 2020 – here are three important tips:
• Decide what you really want. Set a big, juicy vision. Why do you want to want to write the book? What’s in it for you if you do a podcast? How would your life be different if you were more generous? Make your vision strong enough that it will pull you forward on days you want to chuck the effort.
• Create measurable actions. You want a healthier lifestyle – what actions do you need to make it happen? Gym, nutrition and meditation are great list items, but how many times a week will you work out and meditate, and for how long? What specific better food choices will you eat? In order to create that podcast, when will you research the equipment and invite guests? Or how will you measure that you’re generous? Will you open the door for a stranger every day or donate a certain amount of money every month?
• Support, support, support. Humans are social creatures so why do we think we need to do it all alone? We all need support, accountability and encouragement. Identifying who and how someone can support you in your goals is a huge piece of the process. Maybe a gym buddy can support your exercise plan, or a friend can regularly check in on your book-writing progress. Support can also be non-human – set daily phone reminders to think about three things you are grateful for or to drink a glass of water.
Now, imagine it’s January 2021. How great will it feel to have met your goals instead of racking your brain to remember what your resolutions were? Pick an area of your life that you want to move forward. What are two actions you can take this week…and, who can support you?
PS – Want some help? I’m offering three readers a one-hour complimentary session. We’ll get clear on what you want to generate in 2020 and create a plan to make it happen.
Me talking about goals at Caliber Home Loans.
The Future's So Bright
“It’s college application season, yippee!” said no high school senior ever!
For a lot of kids, this Fall will be filled with college visits, taking the SAT and writing never-ending essays. Hanging over all it is the daunting question: “What do you want to do with the next 70 years of your life?” It’s a stressful time for them – and for us parents.
My son and I have been having lots of discussions about possible careers – does he want 9 to 5 hours or flexible hours; rural living or big city; fast paced work or slow pace; working individually vs being part of a team? On and on. He has a pretty good idea on what he wants and is working really hard to create lots of possibilities for himself. But who knows? His plan could change in a second.
That’s why the most significant conversations we’ve been having aren’t about college or about careers, but more about what’s most important to him as he launches his adult life. I’ve been asking him questions about his values. Questions about what kind of impact he wants to have on others: Who does he want to be in world? What does his ideal life look like? I want him to get clear on this because who he is as a human is way more important than his accomplishments and failures. Those come and go but the constant is who he is deep inside. If he knows that, he gets to decide how to align that with work and relationships. He can draw strength from knowing who he is when things aren’t going so well. And, one of my jobs as someone who loves him is to keep reminding him of his awesomeness when the going gets tough. Let’s say it all goes to hell and he doesn’t get into the school of his dreams…he is still Owen – a remarkable person with one of the most loving, generous hearts ever. That will never change.
What’s cool for me is that the conversations I’ve been having with my son are the exact same conversations I have with my coaching clients. I help people see who they really truly are outside of their successes and failures. I support them by helping them to see all the incredible stuff that’s possible for their lives. We dream big together – the sky is the limit! And, then we get busy to make it all happen.
If these are conversations you’d like to have – unique conversations that we don’t usually have with our family and friends – give me a call and let’s schedule a complimentary session.
PS – Watch out. Here comes the Class of 2020. Ready to change the world.
Me and Owen
Is Your Life Luscious?
Hey Seattle Women!
Do YOU have a community? Is it enough? I hear in my practice from women so often that they crave connection and community. Women need spaces where they can come together and get real about what’s really going on in their lives. Time and space that gives them a chance to cut through the nonsense, to discover they aren’t the only ones dealing with the crazy challenges of being a mom, and to reconnect with the vital individual, non-mom sides of themselves.
Do you want that? Good, because I’m bringing the Luscious Mother Weekend to Seattle and you are invited! Luscious Mother is a two and half day retreat I’m hosting with Sarah Olin, a coach like me, and she is pure MAGIC. I promise you will fall in love with her just like I have.
The Luscious Mother Weekend is all about connection among like-minded women. The conversations, exercises and small group coaching you’ll experience throughout the weekend are all geared to help you get in the driver’s seat of your life and back to your truest self. You’ll leave the weekend feeling refreshed, inspired and encouraged. I promise!
Thursday, April 25. 6:30 pm -9 pm
Friday, April 26. 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday, April 27. 9 am - 3:30 pm
Location – Mercurys Coffee Corporate Headquarters in Bellevue.
Check the link for more information and to register – Take advantage of Early Bird pricing by registering before March 15. Sign up with a friend for an even better price.
Need more info to decide if it’s for you? Let’s talk! Call or email me and let’s chat.
We Drive The Sleigh This Year
DI hosted a holiday workshop last week and guess what almost everyone said stresses them out the most this month? EXPECTATIONS. Usually our own. And when things don’t go just right then it’s BAH HUM BUG.
We agreed that we usually kick off the season with great expectations of creating the perfect holiday. No pressure there, right? Then the month gets crazy. We start to feel overwhelmed with all the holiday demands, or we haven’t asked for help and feel like we’re drowning. And then POOF…it’s January and we realize we didn’t even get to enjoy a glass of eggnog by the tree.
The good news is that we get to decide how we want the month of December to go. Not the ghosts of Christmas past.
So what is it this year? Do you want to hit every holiday happy hour or do you want to enjoy quiet time with family? Either way is just fine but it’s up to you. All of it is up to you.
You also get to choose how you’re going to cope when something goes wrong -- because we all know something will go wrong, right? The cookies may burn or that Amazon box won’t land on your doorstep in time or maybe those holiday cards won’t make it to the mailbox. Will you let it go and keep on trucking, or will you make it mean everything is a bust?
Want to do things differently this year? Ponder some of these questions I asked the guests at my workshop –
1. What do you want to experience, feel, accomplish during the month of December? Think about your relationships, work, self-care, celebrations and year end goals.
2. What needs to happen to make #2 a reality?
3. Traps! Life will definitely get in the way of #1, so what’s predictable? What flies out the window for you when you get busy with the holidays? Maybe you say you want to feel peace and joy but you get caught up in all the rushing around and end up feeling stretched to your limit.
4. What support/structures do you need to put into place so that this December can go differently for you? Do you need an accountability buddy to keep your workouts on track? Do you need an Excel spreadsheet for gift buying?
5. What is your holiday motto? Having a motto that keeps all of the above top-of-mind can help you stay focused on your goals. A motto like “joy,” “connection,” or “merry” might resonate with you. One workshop participant added the motto “Calm” and a holiday photo to her phone’s home screen so she will see it throughout the day – a great idea!
Now embark on the month with intention. YOU drive the sleigh!
Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season.
Don't Be Sidelined
What does fall have an abundance of, besides leaves and new TV shows? Sports of all kinds. Whether on screen, in stadiums or on the fields at our kids’ schools, there are athletes on the fields. There are also players on the bench waiting for the coach to send them in. Do you feel like you are stuck on the bench of your life? Hire me and I’ll be the coach that gets you in the game.
Why? Because coaching will seriously change your life. The accountability, support and encouragement you'll receive will rock your world and pull you forward in ways you've never experienced before.
I know because not only have I have experienced this in my own life and I also witness it every day in my clients' lives. Coaches help you get out of your own way and into action. We challenge the mindsets that keep you stuck by asking powerful questions and pointing out your blind spots – the things you can't see that are getting in your way. And, we hold you accountable, so you do what you must to move forward.
I love being a coach because it’s thrilling to partner with people who want to dig a little deeper to see what else is out there and explore new ways to enrich their lives and their relationships. Whether we're talking about careers, connections or life's transitions, the conversations I get to have with my clients are exciting and meaningful.
Is coaching for you? It is if...
You're scared, and your fears are getting in the way of what you want in life – connection, love, joy, success.
You need a kick in the pants. You know what you want but you can't figure out how to make it happen.
You're unhappy. You want more out of life, but you aren't sure how to get it.
You're happy. You're open to what’s out there and you want to grow and thrive.
What do all of the above have in common? MORE. You want more in your life. More of the good stuff that makes life rich and meaningful.
Wondering if coaching can make a difference in your life? (Spoiler alert – it can!) Let's talk. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary coaching session. I promise I won’t make you run laps (unless fitness is your goal!) or yell at you in a locker room. But I will change your life.
A Simple Way to Practice Gratitude
Coffee always makes it to my gratitude list.
Did you know that research shows that people who practice gratitude experience improved mood, decreased loneliness and a greater sense of overall well-being?
But, some days it’s hard to be thankful when we’re bombarded by the news, the construction next door, our kids’ bickering, the mortgage…
Practicing gratitude is a way to remind ourselves to pay attention to the good things in our lives that we otherwise take for granted because it’s easy to get numb to the richness in our lives.
Here’s a way to do this --- Scan your day before bed. Start with the very first thing you did in the morning and work yourself forward. “I heard the birds, got up and put my favorite sweatshirt on, made a great cup of coffee, had a laugh with my son before he took off for school, listened to an interesting podcast on the way to work, had a cool conversation with the woman in line at Starbucks …”
Get the gist?
My clients who do this exercise report that they have a greater appreciation for the simple things in their lives. It often surprises them when they notice just how much joy and connection they experience during their day.
If you’re interested in seeing how practicing gratitude can make a difference in your own life, let’s talk. Message me at email@example.com to schedule a complimentary coaching session.
Try the 1% Challenge
Life would be better if only my kids were better behaved.
My relationship would be more satisfying if only my husband listened.
I would be happier if only I had friends who really cared more about me.
Most of us have these “if only” thoughts from time to time. But, it is easy to get stuck here. To think that the only solutions are outside of our control, which eventually will lead to us feeling helpless.
So, what can you do when you find yourself thinking this way? Try doing something 1% differently.
Here’s an example. A client of mine wants more connection with his wife. I asked if he could think of anything he could do to create more connection. “ME? But, it’s all her,” was his reply. Got it – but since he can’t change her, what can he do? I suggested that he try to create 1% more connection. Go small.
He didn’t think it would make a difference but committed to giving it a try. He decided to do little things like send her a funny text during day, take a minute to say a heartfelt good morning, and buy her a coffee on the way home from work. 1% -- that’s it.
A week later, he was shocked when he noticed that things had been smoother between the two of them and he felt more warmth in their relationship. Pretty cool.
So, you want to feel more loved? Try giving 1% more love. Want more joy? Give 1% more joy. Want more calm? Be 1% more calm.
Be the change and my guess is you’ll experience more of what you’re looking for.
PS -- If you take on the 1% Challenge, I’d love to know how it goes for you.
Turn and Face the Strange Ch-Ch-Changes
We’re always in transition…and I’m in the midst of a giant one.
My oldest son will be leaving for college in the fall. Did you hear that? LEAVING MY HOUSE TO GO FAR AWAY TO COLLEGE. How is that possible?
What does this mean for me? Being a mom is the most important role of my life and while I’ll always be his mom, he doesn’t need me in the same way. Our relationship is constantly changing as he becomes an independent, capable young adult.
Every day I wonder - What will my life be like without him here? I’ll miss the hell out of watching him play soccer on Sundays, cooking for his friends, waiting up for him to come home at night, making sure he’s happy and healthy. It’s hard to even write that.
On the flip side…I’m slowly starting to see the opportunities for my future. As my role changes and my emotional and physical responsibilities decrease, there is more space to think about what’s next. What do I want my life to look like outside my role as a mom? What do I want for my business? My marriage? My friendships? My free time? My relationship with my youngest son?
As coach, I love working with people like me who are in a transition. My job is to help my clients see what’s on the other side of that transition. And then, support them to create the changes that will make their lives full and rich.
If you’re knee-deep in a transition and need some support to see the possibilities, let’s talk. I have three appointments open this month for complimentary sessions. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.
Let's Make the Holidays Good Enough
Are these lights amazing or what? I wrote the family a thank you note to express how much I appreciate their hard work to make our neighborhood festive.
‘Tis the season to run around like crazy, spend too much money, drink too much eggnog and burn the candle on both ends.
Every year I’m bogged down by expectations – mostly my own. The holidays are supposed to go a certain way. They’re supposed to be magical and perfect. And whose job it is to make sure that happens? MINE.
That’s a tall order for this mortal.
What if I try something different this time around? What if I aim to make them enjoyable, fun and good enough?
I decided to do the 29gifts.org challenge after hearing from friends about its powerful impact and how it helped them slow down. The concept is that you give something away every day for 29 days. Something small or something big.
So I dove in - I wrote a thank you to the family a few blocks over that puts up my favorite decorations every year; sent nail polish to a friend after she commented that she liked mine (Opi’s Lincoln Park After Dark); gave extra tips to waiters; held the door for strangers; hand-delivered flowers to a friend; baked cookies for my son’s soccer team; and paid for the coffee of the person in line behind me.
Some days the challenge was super annoying and felt like a chore. Once or twice, I even had to jump out of bed and order something online before the clock hit midnight. But, most days it was so much fun and brought me a ton of joy.
I noticed that I felt more engaged in the world. I was always on the lookout for someone to give to, and I got really creative. I enjoyed the simple stuff around me – the lights, the sounds, the faces, the smiles. I was actively looking for ways to connect, but only by giving, not getting.
It was so simple, and it felt so good.
What if I approached every single day this way? Just showing up. Looking to connect. To give. Not to get. Phone down, head up.
Do you see anything for yourself in this story? Perhaps a different way you’d like to engage with the world? Are there expectations you’d like to shed? I’d love to hear from you!
Mindfulness...it's not all b.s.
From experts to friends, meditation is a hot topic, but what is it exactly? I used to think it was a yoga or meditation thing that took years to perfect.
Nope – It’s simply a way of paying attention to our thoughts in the moment when we find that we’re distracted.
Here’s an example – I was driving to the gym this morning and listening to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast. (I’m a Happier super fan.) Pretty quickly into my drive, I noticed that I wasn’t even listening to Gretchen but rather ruminating about all the things I need to do today. My stress level was spiraling.
So, I took a few deep breaths, focused on my surroundings and honed back in on the podcast.
And, that is mindfulness! Nothing fancy, but effective since I can’t stress if I’m focused on Gretchen.
I teach my clients concepts of mindfulness to help them experience a greater sense of calm and success in their lives. Research shows that people who practice mindfulness experience greater productivity, deeper focus, reduced stress and anxiety, better sleep and eating habits, and better cognitive functioning.
A simple way to bring mindfulness into your life is to set intentions. Intentions bring us back to our purpose if we get off track or find ourselves procrastinating.
Think about how you usually start a morning: Do you stretch? Lay in bed and fret? Say a prayer? Reach for your phone to check Facebook? Turn on the TV? Read the news? Whatever you do sets the tone for your day.
Try this instead…
First thing in the morning write down your three major priorities for the day.
Next, think about how you want to show up to each priority –not what you want to DO but how do you want to BE – and write it next to the priority. This is your intention.
Here are some ideas for your intentions ---- Love, confidence, compassion, power, joy, fun, connection, calm, action, authenticity, clarity, courage, creative, possibility, balance, harmony, peace, commitment, curiosity.
Here’s how mine look for today:
1. Meeting with a new client– Curiosity. If I come from a place of curiosity I do my best listening and I really want to learn who this new person is.
2. Prepping for an upcoming presentation – Focus. I know the material and I’m excited to share it so I need to get it done.
3. Family dinner to talk about this year’s curfews, allowance and chores – Connection. If I focus on connection I am more likely to create a dialogue so we can come up with mutually respectful agreements. That’s much better than me telling everyone what to do and ticking them off.
Before starting each priority, I’ll do exactly what I did in the car this morning. I will take a few minutes and close my eyes, breath, think about my intention and how I want to show up. I’ll let the distractions of the day go and get very present so that I can be effective and productive. Sometimes I write my intention on a post-it note and stick it on my computer or my phone as a quick reminder. This is a simple but great visual aid if I feel myself getting distracted or anxious.
Give intention setting a try and let me know how it goes for you. If you need support around this or want to talk about other ways to be mindful, give me a call or send me an email. What can being mindful give you? I’d love to chat it out!.
Dreams don't die...they stalk us
What was it? That thing you really, really wanted but then told yourself you were either too old, too lazy or too lame to make happen?
Was it taking a class? Joining a hiking club? Losing ten pounds? Writing a book? Running a marathon? Applying for a new job? Moving to a new city?
Here’s the thing. When we say NO to something we really want it may go away for a while but believe me - it will be back. Like a horror movie monster that the teens in the woods thought was dead.
Dreams and desires postponed
I started dreaming of becoming a coach years ago. I was ready for a change and I knew it would be a perfect fit for me – I had the background, the skills, the passion. I wanted to own my own business and work with people that were up to cool things.
But it took me years to make it happen because of the noise in my head. It went like this… you would suck at it, it’s too hard to own your own biz, you don’t have time to do a program, and you … blah, blah, blah…
Get the picture?
I would push this dream of mine deep down but it would always pop right back up. It was my stalker. I’d move on to something else, experience a bit of contentment but it would always come back – I really wanted to be a coach but I was scared.
One day, while at my desk ruminating about how boring my work life was, my friend emailed me about a coaching program. I looked it up online and filled out the application, hitting send before the noise had a chance to flare up. This looked awfully impulsive to people around me, but they didn’t know this dream had stalked me for years.
Turn off the noise
That stuff in our head that gets in the way…I call mine noise. Some people call theirs an inner critic or gremlin but it’s always the same - It keeps us small, it keeps us feeling less than, it keeps us afraid, and it keeps us from sharing our gifts with the world.
How do you make the doubts shut up? Action.
1. Acknowledge the noise. Write it down. Recognize that it is actively obstructing your life.
2. You’ve got the facts so replace the original thought. “Lazy? No, I'm motivated! I get stuff done.”
3. Just do it! Pick up the phone and make the call. Put on your sweats and get outside for a walk. Turn off your phone and write a page.
4. Feel how empowered this process makes you. This is how you will conquer the stalker.
What’s your dream? That thing, that idea that just won’t go away, that deep down inside you really, really want? Don’t give in to the noise. I can coach you through it. I’ll help you put together a plan to make your dream a reality. The world needs more dreams, less noise.
With my husband at my graduation from the coaching program.
It was a fabulous night of celebration.
Want to spark up your sisterhood? Here are two great ways.
My oldest son turned 17 this month which means it was 17 years ago that I was panicking in the parking lot of Safeway because I couldn’t get the infant car seat off the shopping cart.
I had a quick list of options: 1) Push the cart, car seat and baby home (5 miles) and pretend this was my plan all along; 2) Put him in the Baby Bjorn, leave the car seat and cart in the parking lot, drive to Babies R Us and buy a new one; or 3) Casually stroll the aisles of Safeway for 6 hours until my husband got off work and could get us.
Ah…but there was a 4th option: 4) Call new mom friend Cindi and ask for help.
Cindi calmly told me to, “Take a deep breath…NOW PULL THAT F*CKER OFF WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.”
Guess what? It worked!
While my cries for help have changed a lot over the past nearly two decades, my strong need for my female friends has not. I rely on them to champion me on, point out my blind spots, and to laugh and cry with me.
And, I'm there for them in the same ways they are for me.
Did you know that research shows that strong female friendships can have lasting effects on our health – decreased blood pressure, lower heart disease and extended overall life expectancy?
How about you?
Do you ask for help when you need it? Do you have friendships that need some nurturing? Or maybe you need a bigger tribe? If so, what's getting in your way of taking action to create what you need?
I think the friend connection is so powerful that I often make it part of my sessions with clients. When they are creating their list of practices designed to move them closer to their goals, we discuss who can support them for each one. Initially, reaching out to friends and family can be an awkward exercise, but as the weeks go on they find that their relationships grow stronger and they feel more connected to their friends. As an example, one client’s practice was to meditate three days a week; she enlisted a friend to check in with her and that helped her stick to the goal and discuss her progress.
If you’re looking for more connection in your life, I have two cool opportunities coming up for you Seattle-area people.
1. On April 29, I’m hosting a table at MamaCon, a fun day-long gathering for moms in Bellevue. Check out the description online for more information. I’m excited about this opportunity to talk about parenting teens, a passion of mine. Come find me.
2. For you moms of teens, I’m hosting a six-week book club in Kirkland to dive deep into Dr. Jane Nelsen’s book, “Positive Discipline for Teens.” These book clubs foster a connection with other local moms of teens and provide concrete, practical tools for parenting. Call me if you want to know more.
It's time to spark up your sisterhood.
My boys on our travels. The car seats are long gone.
Got #goals? Avoid these typical mistakes.
The start of January always has us dreaming and plotting goals for the new year.
It’s a time of renewal. A time when anything seems possible.
But now that the calendar has flipped to mid-January, a lot of us have slowly given up and tucked those resolutions in the back of the drawer.
The line at the gym is gone, the outline of the book is still a bunch of empty pages, and we’ve given up on the hopes that our relationships will ever change.
What happened? What gets into our way? The noise in our heads that says we’re too tired, not smart enough, too busy or too old.
Since that’s mostly stuff we’ve made up about ourselves and decided to believe, how do we stay in action to reach the goals and desires that seemed so possible on January 1?
Here are the big mistakes a lot of us make.
Mistake #1 – Setting goals that have not been clearly defined. It’s important to figure out why this goal is important to you and what it would bring to your life if you obtained it. What’s the cost if you do not achieve it? And even better, what’s the benefit to you by achieving it?
Mistake #2 – Not creating a plan of action. How are you going to stay motivated? What are the obstacles that might get in your way to sabotage you?
Break down lofty goals into digestible pieces, identify the milestones and schedule them into the calendar. Make it specific, measurable, and set a deadline for it.
Mistake #3 – Going it alone. Pull in your tribe – reach out to a friend for support and ask tell them how best they hold you accountable. A text on the day of deadline you’ve set to see how it’s going? Times to take walks together?
Many people have made lasting changes by approaching their goals in a fresh way. But if you feel stuck or it all seems too daunting, call in a professional. I can coach you through the sticky spots and help you align your values, effort and goals. Coaching doesn’t have to always be about huge life changes, either.
I can help you make lasting change in any area of your life, no matter the scope. Let’s have a chat about your goals and desires for your life. It could be just the kick start you need!
More exercise is one of my resolutions - my Fitbit is holding me accountable