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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.

Your Word of the Year: Why It Matters

The infamous word of the year. Are you “engaging,” “thriving,” “loving,” or “dreaming” this year? The word of the year concept became popular a few of years ago. The idea behind this is you pick a word that is going to define the coming year. Sometimes it is about a change you want to make or a specific way you want to live.

I personally love the concept. In fact, I myself picked a word of the year for 2102, 2103, 2014, and 2015. My word had real meaning the first three years. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t even remember what my word was for 2015 (it might have been priorities, since that is what I focused on, but your guess is as good as mine).

The word you choose for the year should not be a stand-alone concept. This becomes a meaningless word, almost like your New Years Resolution without the action steps to accomplish them.  Everything you do that is of importance should have this word, this concept, weaved into your actions. Your word should be a focal point for your year.

Want your word to be meaningful?

word priorities goal

Your Word of the Year

Some people say you don’t choose a word, a word chooses you. I don’t quite believe that. I do think our circumstances help us in choosing our word and how we want to move forward in the following year.

For example, in 2011, I was barely surviving. I worked full time, had a new baby, first time mom, and was in grad school. At the end of that year, my soul was tired. I decided I needed to make some changes in how I spent my time and that I would THRIVE in 2012. I made sure all of I did helped lead me in that direction, to thrive instead of simply surviving.

Your circumstances and who you want to become help you choose your word.

Your word can morph half way through the year as well. Circumstances change. Pick a word that is good for now, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Set Your Priorities

Your word should help shape and set your priorities. If you don’t know what your priorities are, I encourage you to check out this tool to help you discover them. Your priorities should dictate your calendar.

You choose a word to shape all of your experiences. This could mean you want to Thrive or Focus or Dream or Intentional. Your word should then set your priorities.  Your priorities should then dictate your calendar.

These Impact Your Goals

Your word and your priorities should directly support your goals. You have dreams and plans of books to write, people to spend time with, work to accomplish. As you look towards the year to come, your word and your priorities should directly impact your goals in a positive way.  As you set your priorities and goals, your calendar should be filled with actions to support your goals.

Your word should be weaved seamlessly into your world.

It really is simple.

When you don’t set it up this way, your word, the meaning and specific intentionality behind that word can get lost. It was important to you for a reason, so don’t forget why.

Say Yes

Remember, in all you do, make sure you say yes to the things that support your priorities and goals.

If your word doesn’t support your priorities and goals, you may have picked the wrong word.

Do you have a word for 2016? Share below!

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.

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.

Why You Won’t Succeed

The world we live in is all about instant gratification.

You want the food warmed fast so you put it in the microwave. You are hungry so you stop at that drive through. You send the text, email, or leave a voice message and you expect to hear back from the person in a short amount of time. This becomes even truer if you see that they have read the text message or email.

All around you see people succeeding. You see the fruits of their labor, but you never see their labor. You see the success that they have and you want it. When it doesn’t happen in the amount of time you think it should take, you give up.

Everyone is looking for success but no one is willing to put in the effort to succeed. Click To Tweet

That is why you won’t succeed.

It isn’t that you are not talented, smart, or capable. You most likely know that there is this thing inside of you that you must achieve. The reality is that you are more than capable but when you fail once or hit a bump in the road, you will most likely give up. Failing is tough. Failing, not learning from your mistakes, and giving up may seem easier in the short term. The reality is, it will lead to further dissatisfaction.

“We must believe that we are gifted for

When you find yourself in a place of discouragement and pending failure, remember these three things:

1. Your Why

You started out on this project, business, or weight loss journey for a reason. You had a very specific reason why you were going to put forth the effort. Placing your “why” in visible place will help you stay focused on the goal that you have established.

I have my “why” placed in a couple of places, one in my house and one in my car. This is a daily reminder of where I want to be and why I want to accomplish it.

If your “why” is not compelling enough, then you will give up on your goal. Your “why” needs to be motivating enough to keep going when the going gets tough.

2. Success takes effort

Success takes great effort, and sacrifice.

As I said above, you see the success of others, especially now that we all consume so much information in a day through social media.

You think if you work out for a week you will drop twenty pounds. That you blog for a couple of months and you should have a large following. When you have that product developed it should “fly” off the shelf.

When you hear the stories behind the success, you will hear of the sacrifice of sleep. You will hear that the person got up at 5 am everyday and worked on their dream while everyone else slept. You will see the sacrifice of doing what was “fun” in the eyes of their family and friends, for a time. You will hear of the consistent sacrifices to achieve what they knew they were to achieve.

3. Personal Development

Success often depends on putting forth the resources and time for personal development in your specific area. If your goal is to lose weight, this could mean a financial cost and cost of time for a gym membership, or a workout program that you know can help you achieve the results you want. It may mean purchasing that course on how to become a freelance writer. It may mean reading up on all of the latest information on how to start a business or self-publish a book.

Make your personal development a priority.

In Conclusion…

Pursuing your dream and passion is noble and right. It is also extremely difficult and comes with ups and downs along the journey. When you know without a shadow of a doubt the thing you are to pursue, pursue it and don’t give up until you have become successful. As we have discussed before, success can look different to each person. Define what success means to you, establish your why, and don’t give up until you have reached success.

What is one of your big, audacious goals? Let me know below!

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.

Mini Goal Monday

Is there something in your life that you want to accomplish but you continue to push off?

You come up with excuse after excuse as to why you can’t accomplish the goal?

I have a list of things I want to accomplish. But they usually stay on that list unless I set aside time and put forth effort.

How about you?

It’s easy to get bogged down with all the things we want to do and then never accomplishing them.

Every Monday I want to help you take an action step to accomplish a goal that is important to you.

This could be as simple as cleaning out a closet that you have been putting off week after week. It could be a goal focusing on exercising (which is something I need to get back into doing!). It could be a goal to begin meal planning. It may be even be a goal to read a couple chapters in a book that you been putting off.

The goal has to be something that’s important to you, otherwise you will never work towards accomplishing that goal.

Nothing in your life will change unless you choose to change it.

Nothing in your life will change unless you choose to change it. Click To Tweet

The only way we change or accomplish anything is to state that goal and then have accountability.

That’s where I come in.

mini goal monday

Every Monday I want you to come up with an action step towards a goal you want to take. Something you want to accomplish.

Think about a S.M.A.R.T. goal. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is a goal that is

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Time specific

What does this really mean? It means establishing a goal that you can really accomplish!

Once you know what you want to accomplish, head on over to www.facebook.com/stephaniegerman, find the Mini Goal Monday post, and let me know what you want to accomplish for that week. I’ll check in with you periodically to see how you are doing.

Again, this doesn’t have to be a huge goal. Small victories lead to continued success.

I want to help you live a prioritized, purposeful life. And this is one small step in that direction.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

How Big is Your Dish? 3 Ways to Move Forward Once You Have Hit Your Limit

We all have responsibilities in our life. Jobs, chores, spouse, kids. The level of responsibility varies in each person’s life. How much each person can handle, both emotionally and physically, also varies.

687650583_126a1ae7f8Photo Credit: Mike Gogulski via Compfight cc

How Big Is Your Plate?
A great way to describe how much responsibility a person can handle is to describe them by the size and type of plate. Someone who can only handle a small amount of responsibility and cannot focus on too many tasks at once, may be a saucer. A person who can handle a bit more may be a salad plate. A person with a career, home to run, and kids may be a dinner plate. A person who can handle a high level of responsibility and many tasks may be described as a platter.

The size of plate you are does not matter.

It is knowing which plate you are that is important.

Determining what size plate you are is not easy. The more you can handle, the larger your plate is.

If you can handle a certain amount, it does not mean you are at maximum capacity all of the time. It means you are able to handle that much.

When You Have Reached Capacity

When your plate runs over, you can feel overwhelmed to the point of debilitation. Knowing the size of your plate will allow you to say no once you have hit your max. This takes a level of self-awareness that most do not have.

I recently reached my maximum capacity. I would consider myself to be able to handle a variety of responsibilities, both personally and professionally, and to be able to handle a platter of responsibility. However, we have a lot going on and I am maxed out. Professionally, I started a new job recently, I am starting a business, I will be teaching as adjunct at one of our local universities in the fall, and I try to write daily. Personally, we our selling our house, looking for a new home, have two kids with extra-curricular activities, and we are dealing with a personal situation that leaves us scratching our heads as to what to do.

When I realized I was at my maximum, I had to take a step back and re-evaluate my situation.

Ways to Move Forward

What happens when you have reached your limit? Here are 3 ways you can ensure you can move forward once you have hit your limit:

  1. Make a List of your Responsibilities

List out everything that is on your plate. List out the big stuff and the small stuff. Besides, it takes up physical and emotional space on your plate. My list above shows the big issues in my life. Make sure to write down everything that you would say you “have to deal with.”

  1. Filter Through Your Priorities

Look over your list. Which of the items on your list would be considered part of your priorities? Which items on your list are you putting too much pressure on yourself to accomplish? Make a list of those responsibilities that fit into your priorities.

  1. Toss Out the Things that Don’t Matter

This is the hard part. If the responsibility that you feel for certain items on your plate does not line up with your priorities (or obligations that cannot be avoided), then throw them off of your plate. There is no point in putting in physical time and emotional effort into responsibilities that do not fit your priorities.

In Conclusion…

It really comes down to self-awareness. I knew when I came home from work a couple of weeks ago that I had reached my max when I sat numb on the couch. My brain and body could not physically handle the responsibility that was placed on me. I took part in the exercise above. You know what? I still have responsibilities, I still have stress, but I am back to a place that I can handle.

Do you know what type of plate you are and how much you can handle? Let me know below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

How to Get the Most Out of the Time you Have: 5 Steps to Maximize your Time

Time.

We all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds. Yet, some people seem to be accomplish way more than the rest of us.

Time
frankieleon via Compfight cc

What is the reason some people are able to accomplish more in a day? It’s simple.

Time management.

And a little organization.

Time Management

Time management is defined as the ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to effectively accomplish your goals.

As I too only have a certain amount of time in my day, I make sure to utilize every minute. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I have my time intentionally scheduled. Not every scheduled minute is what some may call “productive time.” I make sure to schedule times of rest and spending intentional time with my family. I make sure to plan out the things that are important, and non-urgent, into my day.

At work, I utilize my break and lunch time to maximize my time. I walk on my morning break, write during lunch, and read during my afternoon break.  The evenings are for family and once the kids go to bed, I set aside time to read, write or spend time with my husband.

I have many goals I would like to achieve in my life. We are never guaranteed a certain amount of time on this Earth. As the main character in the new Disney movie Tomorrowland says “With every second that ticks by, the future is running out.” Do you want to sit by and watch your future run out?

To make sure you do not sit on the sidelines watching others live the life they want, you must first look at how you are spending your time.

Here are 5 steps to maximize your time:

  1. Where do you spend your time?

Use this time blocking document to notate where you are spending your time. It is set up to be used in hour or half hour increments. This is a tool to help you, not to hinder you. If you forget to write something down, do not worry. Utilize this tool to the best of your ability. The more effort you put into the exercise, the better you can accurately determine where you spend your time.

  1.  Review the document

Look at your week.  Are there specific trends? Are there certain times of the day you check social media or watch tv?

  1. Decide what is a waste of time and what is important

What did you do in your week that you felt accomplished in doing and were proud of? What in your week can you not believe you spent time doing? Decide which activities you participated in are of importance and which are a waste of time.

  1. Think about your goals and priorities

Did the time you spent during the week help you move closer to your goals and keep your priorities in line? Often, I find myself zoning out with my phone in hand when I should be spending time with my kids. If I notice I am spending too much time on social media, I rethink how I want to spend my evenings and adjust accordingly.

Was there wasteful time (tv, social media, etc.) which you can turn into productive time? Everyone deserves to relax and veg out in front of the tv once in awhile. If this is your go-to every night, this might be getting in the way of you achieving your goals.

  1. Create a schedule

Create a schedule that includes tasks to be completed, people to be with, and the hobbies that are most important to you. This calendar is used as a guide. It includes the important and urgent, as well as the important and non-urgent. It is to help you maximize your time.

It is sad to say, but if I do not schedule family dates, the to-do list often gets in the way of being together as a family. As this is a priority, I put it on my schedule.

Scheduling ensures I have planned my time according to my priorities.

Scheduling ensures I have planned my time according to my priorities. Click To Tweet

In Conclusion…

Some may say by scheduling out my time I’m not leaving room for margin or spontaneity. There will always be certain things that trump my calendar. By scheduling out my day and week, I have a plan in place, and I get 85% of what I have scheduled accomplished.

And the other 15%?

Life happened.

Do you schedule out your time? If so, what do you normally put in your calendar?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

A Filter for Decision Making: 4 Questions to Ask When Making a Decision

I can’t not look at my life and evaluate it. From my marriage to my kids to my job to my personal development, I seem to constantly evaluate my life, where I am at and where I want it be in 1, 3, 5 years. This in and of itself is a great trait to have. But I used to make decisions and plans without the appropriate filter.

I didn’t understand my priorities.

I had not established, or identified, my core values.

This led to decisions that were not inherently bad in and of themselves, but did not move me in the direction I truly wanted to be moving in.

decisions 2

marlambie via Compfight cc

A great example is our last car purchase. I had a Honda Accord which we owned outright, but we didn’t have a SUV or truck as my husband had a car for work. Did we need to spend the money on the SUV at that moment? No, we probably could have waited a year or two and saved more money.  The decision wasn’t bad, as it is a great vehicle and has served us well, but it did not allow us to save the money we should have been saving.

How Often Do You…

How often do you make a decision based out of fear?

How about potential financial incentive without consideration of the time commitment involved?

What about what seems like the quick, easy fix?

I know I have.

A few years ago I changed how I made decisions. I came up with a filter based upon my priorities and core values.

What are Priorities and Core Values?

Priorities:

Your priorities are the people or things in your life that you find the most value in. What you deem most important in your life. Some people value money over relationships. Some value their family. My priorities are pretty simple. I place a high value on people and relationships. My people will always trump, well, pretty much anything.

Your priorities may include your spouse, kids, clean eating, exercise, margin, or personal development, to name a few.

Core values:

Your core values are the fundamental beliefs you hold. They are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Knowing your core values allows you to make quick, swift decisions with clear future direction.

Core values can include integrity, honest, hard work, commitment, and perseverance.

So how do you develop a filter for making decisions?

Here are 4 questions to ask when making a decision:

1. Do you have all the information you need to make the decision?

To be able to make the best decision possible, you must ask questions. You must have as many answers in front of you as possible. Having the concrete information will allow you to line it up to your priorities and values.

2. Does this opportunity keep my priorities in the correct order?

If you say yes to this opportunity in front of you, does it enable you to keep the most important people and things in your life the main thing?

3. Does this opportunity help me uphold my core values?

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. If a core value is integrity and the organization shows a lack of integrity from the beginning, it is best you pass on the opportunity. Most of the time, it isn’t as clear. If you know your core values, you can compare the opportunity before you and make the best decision.

If the opportunity before you goes against who you are, then your answer is clear. Click To Tweet

4. Does this help me in the next step in my…career, family, self-development?

If the answer is no to the question above, then the answer has to be no for the decision, or opportunity, before you.

In Conclusion

Since I started making decisions based upon my priorities and core values, I know almost immediately if the answer is yes or no. Professionally, if it does not help me move towards my short term and long term goals, then the answer has to be no, even if the opportunity is enticing. Even if it’s shiny. Because often the things we say yes to, even if it doesn’t fall into your priorities or core values, have some sort of appeal for the here and now that is hard to say no to.

What is a decision you made recently? Did you filter it through your priorities and core values?

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)