Is There an “App” for That?

I have lots of projects going at any point in time, both to do with work and not. Being a bit of a geek, I usually look for software or applications to help me stay organized, focused and on top of things. Today, I decided I needed to try out a project management software. I searched online, which is always my first step to any point of curiosity, problem, or inquiry. I found a “free”, web-based, project management software that I could download to all of my computers in both Windows and OSX and on my phone and tablet via an app. The selling point was that it would integrate with several other web-based products I routinely use. I clicked the download button immediately, and voila! I’m a project manager.

Well, not so fast. I opened up the software and quickly assessed the user interface, which was very straightforward and easy to use. I wasted no time creating “folders” for areas of my life I wish to manage, as projects, then creating “tasks” within each of the folders. It seemed easy enough. I knew I should probably apply timeframes to my various tasks for each of my projects, and I knew there had to be some way to get an overview, sort of a “bird’s eye view” of what all was going on and what all was coming up. I saw a button that said “dashboard”, when I selected it a pop-up message appeared saying I’d just activated my “free” fifteen day trial for the “enhanced feature”. I’m smart enough to know that you usually get what you pay for and that a “free” project management software was not likely to be either a complete tool or completely free. I also know enough about the world to know that to get the most out of my new tool, I’m going to need to know more about the topic in general and the tools, specifically.

I’ve enrolled in a free webinar next week. I’m sure, to get the most out of the software and project management, as a whole, I am going to have to learn some new skills, and how organize my projects, tasks, timelines and information, then put it all to use and employ the tools as designed.

True, it sounds like a lot, just to get oneself organized, but I think it will be worth it. And that’s what’s important; that I think it will be worth it, that I am willing to undertake this a task, and that I know I will need to learn more about it and make a regular and concerted effort to get the desired result.

What are your desired results? Do you know what you need to do, or know, to achieve your desired results? In life, we all have some idea of what we want that we don’t already have. We don’t often know exactly how to go about getting there; what tools we may require, what skills we may need, how to apply reasonable timeframes and how to oversee or manage our progress. So many of us make very slow, or perhaps no, progress towards those desired results. Not unlike the project management software webinar I signed up for, sometimes we just need to find out what tools we have at our disposal and how, exactly, to use them. And that’s where life coaching may be the solution.

To find out more about life coaching and how it will benefit you, contact us for a free, no obligation consultation. Check us out online at Life Path Life Coaching, email us at info@lifepathlifecoaching.com, or fill out the contact form below. We might just be the “app” for that!

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Going the Distance

A Tough Run

I ran today. I’m not new to running. I’m not particularly good at running, but I enjoy running. I love the cardio aspect, I love being outdoors, I love challenging myself to become better, faster, to have more endurance and stamina. My favorite little run is a six mile rectangle. All flat. It begins at a “dog park” and loops past a neighborhood, along a major thoroughfare, up a frontage road along the famous Highway 29 in Napa, then back along a rural, vineyard lined road, down along the neighborhood, again, and to the park. It is truly, mostly, a lovely run.

Today, it was grueling. I can’t believe I went, first of all, and I can’t believe I ran the full six miles. I was up late last night, up early this morning, and spent the day conducting an eight-hour training session a la conference call via the web. I ate breakfast and lunch at my laptop on quick breaks during the call. And, somehow, I managed to lace up my shoes, walk out the front door to my car, and drive to the dog park and park. Then I ran, into a strong wind, which, somehow, always seemed to be a headwind, for six miles.

Normally, when I run, based on the coaching I’ve had over the past few years, I run for five minutes, walk for one minute, run for five more minutes, walk for another minute. Whether I’m running three miles and twenty-six point two miles, that’s how I do it. When I’m having a tough running day, I focus on making it just five more minutes, then I walk my minute, drink some water, kind of regroup, then make myself run another five minutes. Before long, I’ve run the entire distance I set out to run.

Today, the five minute increments were too much to fathom. I really didn’t want to give up on my goal of six miles, especially once I made it to the far edge of my route. Walking three miles back to the car was not something I was willing to do, I was determined to finish the six miles at close to my “usual” pace of about ten minutes per mile.

I read a book on running and mindfulness recently, “Zen and the Art of Running – The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace” by Larry Shapiro Phd . The book focused not only on running, but on mindfulness. I am a student of mindfulness, a proponent of mindfulness, and a practitioner of mindfulness. I truly believe that mindfulness is a large part of healing, health, and happiness. The author recommended several ways to be mindful while running. One way he suggested, I employ regularly. Rather than let my mind run amuck and focus on petty little thoughts and distractions, I count my steps. It may sound a little O.C.D., but it is a tool. For the first half of my run, I count when my right foot strikes, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then I begin at one again. Halfway through, I switch to my left foot. Why? Because I think I may also emphasize my cadence with a slightly exaggerated foot strike with the “counting” foot and I want to be sure that is balanced so as not to cause undue stress or injury to one foot or leg over the other. It’s just a method to ensure even distribution of exertion and energy. It works.

Today, during my tough run, with the five minute increments seeming interminable, I decided to focus, instead, on the ten count as an increment. Every ten count completed was a minor triumph, an accomplishment, and ten whole strides closer to my goal. It worked. I ran the full six miles, my pace was close to my usual and I was so pleased with myself for managing the full run.

This is how we sometimes must manage our goals in life. We need to break them down into manageable chunks, measurable bits, that reinforce our efforts positively. My goal today was to run six miles. When that seemed unmanageable, I broke it down into five minute increments. When even those five minute increments seemed too much, I broke it down even further. The result? I met my goal. Success.

What are your goals? What goals are you struggling with? What goals seem unmanageable? Do you need some guidance in going the distance? Do you need some insight into managing your goals, perhaps breaking them down into manageable chunks? I understand, I’m sympathetic, I get it and I am here to help. It’s what I do. Life coaching. Going the distance.

To find out more about life coaching and how it may help you “go the distance”, check out our website – Life Path Life Coaching – or fill out the contact form below for a free, no obligation, consultation.

Who You Gonna Call?

If you are having trouble with a ghost, you’re probably going to call the Ghostbusters, right? If you’re having trouble with a ghost, you won’t get much help from an auto mechanic, or a gardener. If you are stuck, you’re going to call someone knowledgeable enough to get you unstuck, someone with some expertise in the matter.

A few folks still resort to the good, old, Yellow Pages when they need assistance with something, ghosts or gardens. Most of us now just Google it. Whichever way we are accustomed to finding help, we are provided with a list of nearby resources that have some expertise in the area we are troubled with. Piece of cake (call a bakery). We may call a few names off the list, or check out their website or acquaint ourselves with them in some manner. Ultimately, if we really need help, we are going to choose someone with a certain amount of expertise in the area to help us.

Who are you going to call when you really aren’t sure what the trouble is? Maybe life is good, but you’re feeling a little lost, like you’re not on track, or like you have no direction or focus, no goals, or maybe you have goals but don’t feel like you’ve made any progress towards them. The Ghostbusters aren’t going to be much help, and, again, neither are an auto mechanic or a gardener.

Many of us turn to family and friends when we need some consultation on direction, motivation and our lack of progress towards our goals. Usually, our friends and family are more than happy to provide advice, and sometimes we are even inclined to follow their advice. It is comforting to have someone familiar, someone we trust, advising us in such matters. But, when you think about it, what are the people closest to us really experts in? Ghostbusting? Automotive mechanics? Gardening? Or perhaps law, accounting, medicine, cooking, raising children, or raising hogs? While we trust them, their advice in matters of motivation, progress towards our goals, or even in establishing our goals, may not be the best. For us. Our loved ones are likely to tell us what worked for them, or what didn’t really work for them. Of course, they only have good intentions, they just aren’t experts in the area.

Who you gonna call?

There are experts! Well trained and highly experienced experts in the area of helping people identify their goals, their dreams and their desires in life. These experts can also help you plan the best way, for you, to make progress towards those goals, to stay motivated and accountable. Life coaches provide the expertise that well-meaning family and friends likely lack. A life coach may make the difference between you fulfilling your goals and dreams and you leaving for the afterworld with unfinished business!

Life coaching is a client driven process. Your coach will listen attentively and compassionately as you discuss your goals, your desires, your dreams. Your coach will help you plan a reasonable and workable method and timeline for accomplishing your goals, and, best of all, based on your needs and desires, your coach will help keep you accountable and on track.

Don’t remain stuck living a life you know can be more. Don’t get caught dead having not fulfilled your most meaningful goals and dreams. If you’re stuck in life, get unstuck, before it’s too late! Who you gonna call about life? A life coach!

Want to know more about life coaching and whether it’s right for you? Call US for a free, no obligation, consultation! Check us out online at Life Path Life Coaching or use the contact form below!

You Are Here

You are here.

Have you ever been in an unfamiliar locale and relied on one of those maps to find a simple route to where you wanted to go? Perhaps Disneyland? Or Manhattan? Or some other fantastic destination? How nice that those maps are posted in highly frequented places, with a big dot or star marking your current location. Of course, without such a guide, most of us have some other resource, maps on our smartphones, perhaps, a brochure provided by the concierge at the hotel, or a good, old-fashioned, impossible to re-fold “gas station” map. The trick with the old paper variety, though, was figuring out, on the map, where you are, then to locate where you want to be, then to try to figure out the best route to get there. Necessity being the mother of invention, the simplified “You Are Here” maps and the interactive smartphone apps provide a much easier and user-friendly option.

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

So, in the journey of your life; you are here. Where do you want to go? How will you get there? Are you looking for the most direct route? Or do you want to take the scenic route and take in some attractions along the way? Have you ever thought about your life in this manner? It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Or have you ever even questioned yourself, “Where do I want to go from here?”

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

And just like standing before that map on Main Street in Disneyland, sometimes you see the star, where you are, and your desired destination at another point on the map, but you question which route is best, most direct, most efficient. Often, in my travels, I have observed people collaborating over routes on maps, whether posted, on a smartphone, or even the good, old-fashioned, impossible to re-fold “gas station” maps. People often will consult with and take the advice of complete strangers on the optimal route from where they are to where they want to be. I have been to New York City a handful of times, for business, over the past few years. As I walk down the streets, I am often asked how to get to some site, attraction, or street. I can usually provide some assistance, being only an occasional visitor, and having only seen a sliver of the city. I may not be the best resource for directions in Manhattan, but I do my best. Buyer beware, I suppose. I do, usually, qualify my directions by prefacing my suggested route with the fact that I, too, am only a visitor.

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

As a frequent business traveler, I often rely on my Garmin Nuvi to guide me along highways, across the countryside and through cities to some location. More than once, this trusted device has led me on some pretty crazy routes through not so great areas, and I know there is a safer, more direct route, I just don’t know what that route is. I am at the mercy of this electronic device plugged into the cigarette lighter of my rental car to guide me, hopefully, to my destination, hopefully, safely and timely. This being the same device that, on one adventure I embarked on from my house, advised I turn right at the end of my street, which is, and always has been, a dead end. So, whom do we trust to give us directions? On the street, and in life?

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

I have a dear friend who is extremely directionally challenged. We’d been roommates for a few years during college, but we eventually moved away from each other, though we were in the same large, metropolitan area. I was to visit her one day and she provided me with directions to her house. I knew a bit about the general area she lived in and upon reviewing her directions, realized she was taking me about twenty blocks, on a one-way street, past her street, crossing over a block, then doubling back up on another one-way street twenty blocks to her house. I relied on my own navigational skills and saved myself the scenic tour. Is someone, perhaps even someone you love and trust, steering you wrong?

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

So whether you are visiting a directionally challenged friend, Disneyland, New York, or just going to the end of your street, knowing where you’re headed, who to rely on, and finding the best route to follow is sometimes a challenge. Your life and the path you choose to your goals and desires is no different.

Life Path Life Coaching

Life Path Life Coaching

If you are questioning your goals, your desires, where you are now, where you want to be, or how best to get there, life coaching may be the best navigational assistance you can rely on. Life coaching can help you identify where you are, where you want to go and the most beneficial path to lead you there, specifically based on your unique needs. Better than the GPS you plug into the cigarette lighter in your car, your life coach is there with you every step of the way to make sure your journey is everything you want it to be and to assure you reach your destination timely, safely and well-prepared.

Want to find your way? Contact us for a free, no obligation, consultation. Motor on!

Life Path Life Coaching

 

 

 

Setting Goals and Being Present

We are being given conflicting information.

We are told it is important to have goals, written, formal goals, preferably. We are told to have S.M.A.R.T.[1] goals, to measure our progress towards our various goals and to occasionally revisit and revise our goals so we always have something we are working towards. This is how we grow, this is how we develop, this is how we make progress towards becoming the person we want to become, to achieve our desires, to be fulfilled.

We are also being told, in order to realize true happiness, we must live in the present moment. If we are focusing on the past, past events, past hurts, even past accomplishments and glories, we are prone to feelings of sadness and even depression. If we are focused on the future, future events, hopes, dreams, desires, fears, and insecurities, we are likely to be anxious or suffer from symptoms of chronic anxiety. To achieve true happiness, we need to focus on and live in the present moment. The present is the only time in which we actually live and the only time in which we have any influence, control, or ability to take action.

Goals are set squarely in the future. By setting goals and focusing on them, on a daily basis, we are thinking ahead, we are not in the present. Some of us may even being employing techniques such as visualization[2] to make our goals more real, more tangible, and more attainable. How does this reconcile, then, with living in the present?

The key is to set our goals, and the S.M.A.R.T.er they are the better, to visualize our goals, to work towards our goals, and to revisit and revise our goals, occasionally, as needed, but to do this all in the present moment. What we need to do, is break our goals down into small, manageable bits that can be focused on and worked towards in the present, like on a daily basis. This is goal refinement; taking a large goal, our ultimate goal, and breaking it down into what can be accomplished in a year, then into what can be accomplished by month, by week, then by day. Then, each and every day, focus just on that refined bit of a goal.

Think about it, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m sure there was an overall vision of what Rome was to be before the first stone was laid. Brick by brick, board by board, stone by stone, Rome became the famed city we know of. Your goals are like Rome. Build them brick by brick, board by board, stone by stone.

Need help setting goals? Need help learning to be more present? Curious? Just want to learn more? We’d love to hear from you! Use the contact form below, email us at info@lifepathlifecoaching.com or visit our website for more information.

[1] S.M.A.R.T. – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound

[2] Visualization – visualizing or imagining your goals or desires as already complete