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What is a Coach?

“I’m a life coach.”

I sometimes shudder when I hear this statement. I heard someone say this recently but since I overheard it from another table, I decided not to interject in the conversation. Being a coach these days is used flippantly.

While there are many coaching certification programs, the profession of coaching does not have any regulations. What does this mean? Anyone can call themselves a coach. During graduate school, I was trained under the Core Competencies of the International Coach Federation, which is as close to a standard currently in the profession of coaching.

There is a skill set associated with coaching. It is not only about encouraging. Sometimes, a coach must call out the hard stuff or lack of action in order to keep the client accountable to the goals they set. It is having the ability to be an active listener, asking powerful questions, hearing what is not being said outright, and communicate those truths back to the client.

Coaching is about maximizing your potential. Seeing the vision and helping you get there.

What exactly is coaching?

Coaching is about maximizing your potential as an individual while utilizing the gifts and abilities you have been given. In this professional relationship, the coach helps the client achieve extraordinary results in the areas of their life that are important to them, whether that be relationships, business, or taking care of themselves.

A coach will help you move beyond the mediocrity of your current situation. We often get stuck in our own head, putting limitations on what you can achieve in life.  A coach draws out what is inside of you that you didn’t even know was there. A coach helps you discover what needs to be changed, and then helps you come up with a plan to make those changes. Without a coach, you will never become the best you that you can be.

In the simplest terms, coaching is a client-centered relationship based upon goals set by the client. The coach acts as a facilitator, sounding board, and provides accountability to help the client achieve success.

Effectiveness and Importance of Hiring a Coach

No great athlete has become the best they can be on their own. They always have a coach pushing them towards greatness. The athlete understands they must be ever learning and changing to become better. There is no athlete or team who is without a coach. The coach sees the larger picture while the athlete can only see what is in his scope, including position on the team and mindset.

This is the same for a life coach. A life coach enters into the relationship with the best interest of the client, helping them see the larger picture. The coach is able to see the larger picture due to the fact that they are not in the midst of the current situation. To help understand your situation, questions should be asked that bring moments of clarity and the “aha” moments to get you moving forward.

Coaching is about expanding your capacity as an individual.

Coaching is about expanding your capacity as an individual. Click To Tweet

If you are in a place in life where you are stuck, hiring a coach may be the next step you need to take.

I would be honored to help you sort through what is important to you and how you can make the changes necessary to get from here to there, to live your best life now. You only have one life to live.

Why not you? Why not now?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.-If you would like more information on the coaching relationship, send me an email at stephanie @ stephaniegerman (dot) com. You can check out my coaching page here

I’d love to continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

3 Steps to a Smooth(er) Morning with Kids

Mornings at our house used to be chaotic. Some mornings still are.

You too?

Then you are in the right place.

My husband and I both work full time. Luckily, I have a great husband who helps out with everything around the house. Even though we both get things ready in the morning, there was a time it was extremely chaotic. It was ok when we just had one child. Then we had a second child and the chaos magnified. I’m not sure how adding one little person to the mix could do that, but it did.

In the mornings we would:

-Unintentionally be short with each other.

-Lash out at our 4 year old for not “moving fast enough.”

-Rush out the door with not a minute to spare.

Every morning was a nightmare. I would feel stress for at least the next half hour after leaving the house, even though that part of the day was done. Needless to say, it was not a good way to start the day.

One morning on the way to work, I was thinking about this dilemma. What made the mornings chaotic and how could we solve the problem? In short, everything which had to get done!

Mornings used to be chaotic. Then we implemented these 3 steps. Click To Tweet

3 Steps to a Smoother Morning (2)

Photo Credit: cuppycake fiend via Compfight cc

I talked to my husband about this later in the night, after the kids were in bed and we could think. We came up with three ideas to make our mornings easier.  Here are 3 steps you can take for a smoother morning with kids:

1. Prep everything you can the night before.

Think about what does not have to be accomplished in the morning.

Did you write those things down?

Those are the items you can prep the night before. The main excuse I get for this step is “I’m too tired.” I understand that. The last thing I want to do after the kids go to bed is prep for the next day. I would rather plop down and watch tv, write, or go to bed.

However, by spending 15 minutes prepping for the next day, I save myself from having a huge headache in the morning

Items I prep the night before:

-The kid’s lunches

-Our lunches

-Set out clothes

-If it is Sunday, I pack bags for preschool and the sitters for the week

Although prepping is not my favorite thing to do, it sure helps in the morning.

2. Make sure you are completely ready before the kids get up.

I like sleep. A lot.

When I went back to work after having our second daughter, I realized simply being up before the kids were up was not going to cut it. I was going to have to be completely ready before their little eyes opened up.

For me, this meant showered, make up on, hair done, dressed, coffee drank, and my daily reading.

Does my morning always turn out like this? Nope. Some days the girls decide they are going to get up 5 minutes after I do…at 5:30 am. Thankfully this is not the norm.

When I am completely ready, I can then focus on their needs once they are awake.

3. Have set “jobs” each morning.

The prep you have done the night before makes finalizing lunches and other items much less complicated. However, there are still numerous things that have to be taken care of in the morning.

Breakfast has to be made and lunches need to be finalized. The preschooler needs to be poked and prodded to get dressed, eat breakfast, get her hair done and brush her teeth. The baby needs to eat breakfast and *most* of the time we get her dressed before taking her to the sitters.

There is still a lot that has to be done to get the kids, and us, out the door on time. We figured out early on there are certain parts of our morning routine that we like over others. And thankfully we each like doing what the other would rather not.

The hubs loves to make breakfast, which means he takes care of all of the food in the morning, including finishing up lunches. I usually handle corralling the kids and getting them to the breakfast table and then finish up getting the preschooler ready.

This doesn’t mean this is the way it always is, but it allows us to each have something to own in the morning. This also means we don’t get in each other’s way or assume the other person is going to take care of that one thing neither of us want to do.

In Conclusion…

Ensuring mornings are a little less chaotic and a little smooth(er) with kids can be achieved. It takes some planning in the beginning, but once you find your groove, the process of each morning is much smoother. Are mornings still chaotic for us sometimes? Yes. When they are more chaotic than normal, odds are we skipped one of these steps.

What can you do to make your mornings smooth(er) with kids?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Self Talk the Gospel: Healing in the Most Unexpected Place

I normally write on intentional living, personal development, and leadership.

Today, I want to share something that is important and vulnerable for me.

When I left my ministry position at a large church in town, I left quietly, because that is what I thought I was to do. Only a handful of people really knew why I was leaving. I had not done anything wrong. In fact, I had followed all protocols and procedures which were in place. I decided I had to leave if I wanted to still follow Jesus.

The reality is that the church is full of people. People who make mistakes and sin. And often times, those in positions of authority mistreat staff. I decided that I was no longer willing to be treated in such a way and was no longer willing to work in a hostile, unhealthy environment.

When I left, I was broken.

I was hurt.

I was upset.

Instead of turning my back on my relationship with God, I pressed forward. It wasn’t easy, it still isn’t easy, but it is so worth it.

I would be honored if you would read about my journey to forgiveness and healing at Self Talk the Gospel. And if it speaks to you, I would be honored if you would share the article. I wrote it not for myself, but to minister to others who have been in similar situations.

Healing in the Most Unexpected Place

Here’s to the Journey,

Stephanie_small (1)

 

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

You Can’t Do It All: Live a Prioritized, Purposeful Life

I am excited to be sharing over at She Is Fierce HQ!

We often think we have to find the perfect balance in life. The reality is, you do not need to do it all. Instead, you need to figure out what is important to you and then create a life around those priorities. In this post, I discuss why you can’t and shouldn’t do it all.

Head on over to check out You Can’t Do It All: Live a Purposeful, Prioritized Life.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

 

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Permission to Let Go

I was at the end of my rope, emotionally, mentally and physically. I realized I couldn’t do it anymore.

How often do you push and push yourself, only to end up in an extremely unhealthy place? For those with dreams and plans, a lot of time and effort goes into accomplishing goals that are outside normal, everyday responsibilities. I seem to do that all too often. I have dreams, plans, and goals. I want to do and accomplish much in this life.

So I push.

And push.

And push.

Until I am at a breaking point.

When You Are At Your Breaking Point

Emotionally, one can only take so much. The car breaking down. The air conditioner breaking. Our daughter having surgery. My grandma passing away. Job interviews for jobs that meant a major family move. We have had one occurrence after another this summer. When I thought we were done with one situation, another presented itself.

Emotions play into our physical and mental well-being. When we are struggling emotionally, we struggle physically and mentally. The inverse of that is true as well. Physically, I was pushing myself to write a blog post a week, continue with coaching clients, and work as an adjunct professor. This was on top of my full time job, a husband, kids, and a house to manage.

Three weeks ago, I decided to give myself permission to let go.

Give yourself permission to let go of the

Granting Permission

The drive to do certain things comes from my “achiever” strength. I set goals for myself and I find fulfillment in achieving those goals. I create to-do lists so I can mark the items off of my list. I will even add something on to my to-do list after I have done it so I can cross it off (weird, right?). Yet I know this about myself which is extremely helpful.

Three weeks ago I decided to let everything go that wasn’t a top priority and to simplify my time. I had to go to work and I committed to adjunct; those couldn’t be put aside. What I could put aside was the pressure to write every night, to edit my book, to put that perfect graphic on the blog post, and to have my house spotless.

I had to give myself permission to have a messy house and to not give the baby a bath every night.

Give yourself permission to not do that one thing you feel you need to do. Click To Tweet

I gave myself permission to be a wife. I gave myself permission to be a mom, to play games with my big girl and giggle with my baby. I gave myself permission to just sit. I never just sit. Oh how this was so good for my soul. I also gave myself permission to be spontaneous and head out of town with my family for the day.

Give yourself permission to let go of the things that are not important. The things that take your time from what truly matters to you. When you know your priorities, you can begin to say no or put aside the items on the to-do list that do not matter.

The Right Action at the Right Time

I realized the amount of information I was consuming a day was not helpful either. Everyone is trying to sell something these days. 8 days to a more beautiful you. 6 steps to make $300k a year. How to double your Instagram followers. We are told by big names like Michael Hyatt that to be a success you have to do x, y, z.

The internet makes everything look so easy. The reality is, it takes hard work and networking to become successful. There is no magic formula. Being bombarded with these messages is not helpful nor healthy.

The internet makes everything look easy. The reality is, it's hard work. Click To Tweet

Limiting how much time I spent online and with the tv on took a burden off of me that I did not realize I was carrying.

In Conclusion…

Life can be extremely stressful. There are stresses that we can’t get rid of and unexpected situations that cause emotional turmoil. Playing with your kids, spending time with your family, these are the things that you can never get back. Once time is gone, it is gone. Give yourself permission to not do that one thing you feel you need to do. Cleaning the house or writing that blog? There will be time for that, but don’t let it consume you like it almost did to me.

What is something you can let go of?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

How I Lost an Hour of My Life

When I looked up at the clock, I could not believe an hour had passed.

Not often do I get time alone to do whatever I want. However, when I do, I usually utilize the time to be productive or participate in some self-care. I have a to-do list a mile long. This list includes things that have to be done and things I want to do. Some of these items on my list are important yet extremely not urgent that I don’t often have time to do them.

I was excited to have some time to myself.

How I Lost an Hour of My Life

Then It Happened

I had plenty of time on Monday night as the kids were in bed and my husband went out with a friend. I had two small items to accomplish and my third item was to read a book that I have wanted to read for a long time, yet continued to put off.

I really thought this time was going to be awesome. No kids climbing on me or asking me for anything. No husband climbing on me and asking me for things. Just me!

After the two items were completed, I sat down to quickly check social media.

First I checked out Instagram, looking at the great quotes and cute pictures of my friends kids.

I then went on to Twitter and even scheduled some tweets for later in the week.

Then I landed on Facebook. I am a part of a few online communities so I made sure to check out the posts in those groups along with my normal news feed. I commented and got caught up. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.  I had unintentionally lost an hour of my life.

For someone who prides them self on being a good with time I sure screwed that one up.

iphone social media

The Reality

Then I started thinking about how often I am on social media and how much time it consumes. I find that if I am bored or simply need a mind numbing break I grab my phone. In all honesty, I know that I have been on my phone too much if my thumb is hurting at the end of the day.

In a report from 2009 published in the New York Times, the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. If the amount of bytes consumed has increased six percent each year, which means today the average American consumes 48 gigabytes of content in a day. This will continue to increase with the use of technology and social media use increases with Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Periscope.

What does this mean? It means I am consuming a lot of mind numbing information each day. Everyone has a message or is trying to sell something. That is great, and the “world” needs to hear your message. But not every single person needs to hear your message. I don’t need to hear everyone’s message. At times I think I do, but the reality is that taking in all of that information is all consuming, and not in a good way.

Everyone has a message to share, but not every message is for you. Click To Tweet

The Plan

To try to combat the time suck that social media can be, I am going to put limits on when I can be on social media. I know this will be hard as my go-to when there is down time or when I am bored is to grab my phone to see what everyone else is doing.

This is my very loose, and modifiable, plan.

-If I am at home with my family, I plan on not being on social media from 6:00-8:00 pm on weeknights.

-I am going to limit when I am on social media during the day.

-On Sunday and Wednesday nights I will plan social media posts (automation so I don’t lose more track of time).

-I am going to limit when I am social media, and my phone in general, on the weekends.

In Conclusion…

I do not have this figured out in any way, shape or form. I know I need to work on it so that is where I start. A greater level of self-awareness and a plan to move forward. The online world should never be a replacement for real life that is going on in front of you. Hopefully, next time I have some time alone, I won’t be wondering how I lost an hour of my life to social media.

Do you find yourself “wasting” time on social media? Share below how you combat social media as a time sucker!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Why You Need to Be Intentional

Do you ever think an event or time that is 5 years away is going to take forever to get here and then all of a sudden that time has arrived?  It’s been five years in a flash? It is something you have anticipated doing. You set goals. You made a plan. Yet in the planning stages it felt like it was going to take forever to get there.

Then one day you look up and time has gone by in an instant. In almost a blink of an eye, the time has passed by.

And you didn’t even realize it.

Where did the time go?

We live at the very edge of development in our town. About four years ago they ripped out the mature trees in the orchard. We thought they were going to be putting in a commercial center. Instead they replanted the trees. I remember thinking how small they were. I remember thinking how it will take them a long time to grow.

This morning when I went to exercise, I walked by those trees. The trees that I drive by every day all of a sudden were mature, full trees.

Where did the time go?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I want to make sure we live the story we want.  To live out a purposeful life and invest in those around us.

I want to make sure we live the story we want. Click To Tweet

That doesn’t mean that you quit your job, give up the security of a paycheck to do what you love or spend time with your kids without being responsible. I think that you can find purpose where you are. That doesn’t mean you have to stay in that place forever, but it does mean to look for the silver lining where you have been placed. You can make an impact right where you are at.

Be intentional about the story you live.

When did that happen?

Looking at those trees automatically made me think of my kids. See, right now they are small, but I have a fear that all of a sudden I’m going wake up one day and they are going to be teenagers. And I’m going to ask myself “when did that happen?”

With the end of the school year, people are posting pictures of their kids growing up. I saw pictures of kids that finished junior high or high school. Some were even pictures of kids graduating from kindergarten. And each person said “where did the time go?”

It is not as if each of these people had the thought “I am going to sit back and let time fly by.” I know many of these families personally and they live abundant lives. Yet in the busyness of life, even when they see their kids daily, time still seems to fly by.

What if I get so busy in the midst of life that I forget to look up? Did I forget to engage in a way that I should be engaging with my kids and my husband? Am I investing in what matters?

I’m really big on keeping my priority straight, but even then I feel like I fail miserably. I have my list of what’s important in my life and of course my relationship with God, my husband, and my kids are at the very top of the list.

I say that, yet I’m not sure of my life reflects that. Now it says in the Bible where your treasure (money) is there your heart is also. For me, it is where my calendar appointments are is where my heart is too. As I use my calendar for everything, and I need to be more intentional about investing in the things that truly matter.

Ways to be Intentional

We all have various areas of our life that we place a higher priority on. Here are 3 areas in which you could choose to be more intentional.

  1. Personal Development

Having a high level of self-awareness allows for you to see your flaws, recognize your strengths, and evaluate the areas in which you want to improve in yourself. This could be learning to be better with your finances, deciding to get healthy by exercising and changing your eating habits, or deciding to read a book a month, to name a few.  Be intentional about your personal development.

  1. Professional Development

You are most likely not the expert in your field or even at your office. Knowing where you want your career to end up allows for you to be intentional about professional development. Read articles and books on your career. Get hands on experience. One of the best ways I have developed professionally is by jumping in and offering to help with various projects. My knowledge has expanded as well as my experience. Be intentional about your professional development.

  1. Family/Relationships

The way you interacted with and loved others is how you will be remembered in this life. Your family, your spouse and kids, should be the most important people on this planet. You may have friends that are like family.  Be intentional in the time you spend with them. Plan date nights. Plan dates with your kids. Plan lunches and coffee with friends. Be intentional about the time you spend with your family and friends.

In Conclusion…

I hate the phrase YOLO. Usually that term is connected with temporary things, events. The reality is, you do only live once. This is why you need to be intentional. You need to be intentional about the story you live.

Looking at the orchard today was the best reminder I could have had about how I want to live this life.

What area of your life are you afraid time is going to fly by? What story do you want to live out? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)