• Unplug

    With the signs of the holidays all around us, gratitude and thoughts of pausing a bit seem to circulate. There's never a bad time to pause and reflect on the things that matter most in our lives. Our support systems, our abilities, our talents.

    About once a month I - Unplug. It’s usually on a Sunday. I don’t jump at my phone as quickly, I don’t hover around my keyboard, I don’t pause at my TV screen, or even sit for my favourite book. I unplug and I notice. I unplug with a long walk, a country drive or a quiet corner and most of all some silence. Why do I do this?

    After creating my goals and sub-tasks, and living daily in the Momentum Zone, I found myself resisting setting any deadlines.

    I just kept thinking, "Oh, I'll get to that by the end of the year."

    There was the little calendar icon staring right at me, but I just didn't click it and set any deadlines.

    Then, I realised how unproductive that was.

    If I don't set due dates, I won't complete the goals or tasks. I know this because we all know this...

    Without clear deadlines we just let our dreams fade into distant “somedays."

    I realised that if I, “Mr. Coach”, was resisting setting concrete dates for my goals and plans, then maybe others were too.

    I think it has to do with all the uncertainty of these times?

    Or maybe it's just that there's so much opportunity.

    Or that I'm so busy or overwhelmed, and I think I'll just "fit it in soon."

    But you and I both know that's not how success happens.

    No, success happens like this:

    Drive (aka Purpose or Motivation) + Goals + Deadlines + Discipline + Self-improvement until it gets done.

    Without the deadlines, there's no "psychological necessity" to activate our efforts. We'll just keep waiting until we hit a threshold of pain, consequences or regret.

    Or, we'll just forget the dang goal and settle for less than our real dreams or potential.

    But if we leave our growth to randomness, we'll forever be locked in mediocrity. We need goals and dates. So I Unplug and I set, review and focus on my goals – where I want to be. But then here is the crux, I set a date for when I want to be there.

    Yes, we need deadlines... especially if we want to push beyond our comfort zones and stretch for a remarkable future for ourselves and our families and teams.

    It's a funny thing about us Men: We need targets and we need to will ourselves to complete things, even easy things or things that we know we should do.

    And so I say, this is a good time to plan to end the year strong. Otherwise, we just limp across the finish line, directionless.

    Take away is this question: When was the last time you Unplugged? Click here and let’s take that answer and set some goals together effectively.

    #makeitso


  • Not Efficient but Effective

    We have been sharing the principles of our #Makeitso movement which is dedicated to helping you celebrate your ‘wins’, help you tackle your ‘woes’ and make your ‘wants’ something that becomes a met achievement. Check out the details on our blog

    Principle # 5 - Not Efficient but Effective

     

    The urgent vs. the important.

    We grapple with it every day in our work and our daily life.

    The urgent is staring us in the face: the email that demands to be answered or the Zoom call you’re already three minutes late for.

    The important is gentler and less insistent. It speaks with a still, small voice.

    It’s so very easy to let it languish.

    But if we do, we pay the price later in the form of missed opportunities.

    People who should have heard of you…haven’t. And invitations and contracts and job offers that should have gone to you…go to someone else.

    Should you be efficient? Yes, you should be. But like time management, eventually, you hit a wall.

    I’m all for efficiency when it matters, but to go one step further, some activities are by nature not inherently efficient but they are effective in the long term.

    Sometimes you need the gifts of space and time. You need uninterrupted, unhurried time to explore whatever you need to explore, relationally or otherwise.

    In all matters where you can be efficient, do it. An accounting system that cuts the time in half is probably worth whatever it costs. Ditto with email, routine meetings and so much of what occupies daily life.

    But as efficient as you may become, you only have so many hours in a day. And part of what you do will never be fully efficient.

    Stop asking yourself how to be more efficient. Start asking yourself how to be more effective. Becoming more effective might mean you cut 6 efficient things out of your life. Sure, you may be efficient at a lot of things, but being efficient at things that don’t matter isn’t a win. It’s a loss.

    Becoming more effective might mean you cut out six meetings you don’t need to be at or that someone else can represent you, so you can have a full day to ponder and think about the future, or to work on your message, company long term vision, or to handle those difficult personnel problems that never go away.

    It might mean you hire someone, or employ a consultant, to do a task so you can focus on the highest value activities that move your mission forward.

    Don’t ask yourself how you can be more efficient. Ask yourself how you can be more effective.Don’t ask yourself what is urgent, ask what is important.

    So Principle # 5’s take away is this question: What is one thing that occupies a great deal of your time? Click here and let’s take that answer and transform it effectively.

    #makeitso


  • Basics Produce Breakthroughs

    Over the past three weeks we have been sharing the principles of our #Makeitso movement which is dedicated to helping you celebrate your ‘wins’, help you tackle your ‘woes’ and make your ‘wants’ something that becomes a met achievement.

    Our first Principle was Everything is “figure-outable.” and our second was Momentum not Perfection. Principle # 3 was Fear is Free, Hope takes Work. Principle # 4 - Basics Produce Breakthroughs

    Not every road is a straight line. Journeys can be fluid. Creating opportunities to adapt and re invent are often needed in life. If you are a weekly client you know that from the start that I state “there is no magic bean”. It is not “one thing” that causes “wants” to become “wins”, it is keeping to the basics. As my Mom use to say “track your pennies, and watch them become dollars.”

    Our approach invites clients to begin looking at the Basics in order to produce Breakthroughs. We get that started by reviewing with our clients their values (we do a values assessment in our first session) and then we tackle putting together Goals and we write a Vision Script (like a personal Mission Statement). We then put together an Action Plan (road map) together which includes a 90 Day Plan and detailed SMART goals. These initial sessions are imperative for they form the basics you need to turn “wants” into “wins”.

    After that our sessions become about “checking in” and giving you the “tool box” to transform the basics into breakthroughs. Each session gives you momentum, a new progressive tool, accountability and within a few months, your tool box fine tunes your values, vision and action plan from basic steps into strides. These strides become Breakthroughs on the road map. Here again, an outside impartial voice of a coach is crucial.

    Coaching helps you see the steps, stomp the stumbles and seek the progress you desire. It helps you progress faster and further. Yes its an investment, but its an investment in you!

    So Principle # 4’s take away is this question: What basics are part of your daily routine. Are these set up to turn a ‘want’ into a ‘win’? Click here I would love to tell you more. #makeitso

     


  • Fear is Free, Hope takes Work

    Over the last couple of weeks we have been sharing the principles of our #Makeitso movement which is dedicated to helping you celebrate your ‘wins’, help you tackle your ‘woes’ and make your ‘wants’ something that becomes a met achievement.

    Check out the details on our blog of the first two: Everything is “figure-outable.” and Momentum not Perfection. We go into deeper detail on the blog and remember if you don’t have ‘a biggest fan’ in your personal goals -click here because its time to get one.

    Principle # 3 - Fear is Free, Hope takes Work
    Have you ever experienced the feelings of fear and hope in equal measure-- like in the moment of going on an interview for your dream job or the occasion of becoming a parent? Informed by a number of varying (and sometimes deeply personal) circumstances, Fear shows up in all facets of our lives. Sometimes it is meant to protect us or a powerful tool of personal insight. Fear can be a sign to explore the wisdom of an upcoming action, a relationship or a possible venture. Ask yourself, what is your Fear trying to tell you? That is the free part. Then there is Hope.

    You see, sometimes, Fear can also be a hurdle you need to overcome. Going for that dream job, means overcoming the Fear of not getting it, and in time, maybe even leaving the security of the one you have. Hope takes work. Hope is the call to see the potential, in spite of the Fear. When we go for that new job, there is Hope. When that new venture, new child, new relationship is on the way, there is Hope. Guaranteed there is Fear, but Hope, takes work to find. Hope is about boundaries, its about the time you need, and the space, to see insights and choose what best honours your needs. Here again, an outside impartial voice of a coach is crucial.

    Coaching helps you to see Fear and Hope for what they authentically are both meant to be. Sometimes without coaching, the free price of Fear halts us from work that Hope calls from us.

    So Principle # 3’s take away is this question: What guides you more - Fear or Hope? - Click here I would love to tell you more

    So – let’s #Makeitso!

     


  • Momentum not Perfection

    Over 40 men in the past 12 months have been part of one to one coaching with us. They are "living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow." It has been humbling to witness and work within their success stories. Our goal is simply to give them the tools to #Makeitso. Last week we began looking at the Principles that are at the core of what we coach, and what I have learned in my almost 25 years of coaching and counseling.

    The first principle was - Everything is “figure-outable.” and the take away was this question - who is “coaching” or “mentoring you?” We all do need someone who will be our biggest fan, someone who will keep us accountable, someone who will authentically give us perspective. Someone who is already at tomorrow, and will help us live that way today. Having a coach is imperative to seeing things as “figure-outable”. If you don’t have ‘a biggest fan’ in your personal goals - click here because its time to get one.

    Principle # 2 - Momentum not Perfection
    Uncertainty and fear try to paralyze. It’s why, whenever I felt anxiety rise, I prayed for guidance, sent an email, made a call, took some action. Certainty feels good but can lull us to sleep. Uncertainty prompts you to get moving. I believe we often live in one of four zones: Preparation, Apathy, Chaos or Momentum. The goal is Momentum. Being in momentum, and not waiting for “the perfect” moment, keeps us in ‘motion’ toward our goals. Now, its not just motion for the sake of motion, its directed and goal based actions, but it’s momentum not perfection that will win the day.

    When we hit a road block, stumble on a steadback, or fall into a failure we are often moved out of the Momentum Zone into one of the other zones... we either kick back to the 'preparation' of starting to try to find a way out, we roll into 'apathy' with a desire to wait it out, or we jump into 'chaos' trying to just get out. But it is the steady 'momentum' that actually ensures the job is done. Now that is so easy to say, and yet such a mountain to do. Often, by the time we recongnize where we are, the momentum is a struggle. Again, its why one to one coaching is helpful. In one to one coaching you are able to have someone who instantly "knows the zone" and has the tools and the accountability that helps you 'get into the zone' that makes the difference.  

    So Principle # 2’s take away is this question: What zone are you in most often? Here is a good way to know. Do a simple "24 Hour Zone Time Challenge". Write down (or voice record), every ten minutes what you are doing. Of course when your sleeping you don't have to wake up everyday ten minutes to say your sleeping. Then next day, take a look. How much 'momentum" toward living in a way today so you can thrive tomorrow was involved? If you are finding that its not momentum, then with respect to your goals - what is it - apathy, chaos, preparation? If you do this challenge, honestly, it will change your perspective on your day. It will also authentically tell you if you are working toward your goals. If you want more details on the four zones, where you are at, and how to get into the Momentum Zone most often - click here I would love to tell you more.

    Do consider being part of the Phoenix Men who are daily succeding, and LIVING IN A WAY TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU THRIVE TOMORROW!  Everything "figure-outable", but you have to be totally focussed on Momentum not Perfection!

    So – let’s #Makeitso!


  • Everything is “figure-outable.”

    Over the past 12 months, here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada, we have been so humbled to successfully work 'one on one' with over 40 clients. When it comes to their goals we are laser focussed to #Makeitso. We are dedicated to helping you celebrate your ‘wins’, help you tackle your ‘woes’ and make your ‘wants’ something that becomes a met achievement. We are all about one purpose: to help you Start Living in a Way Today that will Help You Thrive Tomorrow.

    Our #Makeitso Movement is made up of five principles. Over the next few weeks lets look at these principles.

    Principle # 1 - Everything is “figure-outable.”
    I can’t remember where I heard this made-up word, but I do remember it came at a critical point in my own life. You see, if you’re not careful you can convince yourself that you’re not smart enough or talented enough by yourself to figure stuff out. And in some ways, that’s true. It’s why you need to surround yourself with people who can help you figure things out. I’m fortunate to have surrounded myself with incredible people who help me figure out things way beyond my skill set. As I often tell people, I have a very limited skill set. I can coach, people manage, speak and write, in that order. Together with some amazing mentors in my life, I have figured out all sorts of things that were seemingly not “figure-outable.” If you’re putting off a move because you’re convinced you couldn’t figure it out, let me give you some encouragement. If I can, you can. But let me also be transparent; you can't do it alone.

    So Principle # 1’s take away is this question - who is “coaching” or “mentoring you?”. The Value of Coaching is clear: Increased self-awareness, better understanding of how to leverage strengths, the ability to recognize other people’s strengths, learning new ways of doing things, challenging existing bias and barriers, accountability to implement and take action. 

    Individual coaching typically happens in weekly 30- to 60-minute blocks of time via phone or video conference. Each week our clients continue to show up, they are ready, and are making it so! They show up every week! That is the key! The only participants are the coach and the client, and the coaching program is 100% customized to the individual's development needs. If you don’t have ‘a biggest fan’ in your personal goals, the momentum is slower. The reason is rather simple, "everything is "figure-outable", but only with a nudge from someone who sees a way, and helps you to make yours. A coach keeps you curious, accountable, vulnerable but most of all successful. We are often focussed on today, and we dream about tomorrow. A coach is already at tomorrow, and draws you there by helping you live that way today. 

    I would love to make you part of the Phoenix Men who are daily succeding, and LIVING IN A WAY TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU THRIVE TOMORROW !  Drop me an email today, let's discuss making everything "figure-outable", 

    So – let’s #Makeitso!


  • Do you know any Turkeys?

    Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for us to reflect. It is also a time to do some inventory, and to ask what we are grateful for? But Thanksgiving also tends to be a moment when we think about Turkeys. Yes, the turkey that might be on our table, but also often what comes to mind in our reflection is “The Turkeys of Life.”

    The Turkeys of Life… are the events which challenge us. The friendship which baffle us. The family which perturbs us. The workplace which discourages us.

    Isn’t it easy IN OUR LIVES to allow a traffic jam to all of a sudden ruin our day?

    Isn’t it easy to allow a rude comment to make the Sun look dimmer?

    Isn’t it easy to allow a phone call, a piece of mail, a wacky neighbour, an unfocused co worker, to just make us say - “You Turkey - you are killing me!”

    Thanksgiving is a time, yes for reflection, but also to refocus ourselves so that even when “the Turkey comes a calling”, we can instead focus on the essential people, the exact occasion, the intentional grace that we are meant to experience.

    Thanksgiving is a time of decision to say that “I won’t let the Turkey get to me” - or, maybe put this - “I won’t let the Turkey eat at me instead”.

    Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude, but also a time to make some decisions about those “Turkeys” we need to move on from, carry on from and strive on from.

    With our #Makeitso attitude - let’s make the decision to give thanks for all we have - and even be thankful for the Turkeys! It will make us more centred in true and lasting gratitude all year long.

    Happy Thanksgiving… and … remember you can #Makeitso!


  • Prompts to Get You Journaling (even when your mind is blank)

    So this is the third in our series on Journaling. It comes as a group of Phoenix Men are well into our Autumn Challenge (and they crushing it by the way). But sometimes its hard to know what to write, so here are some Prompts To Get You Started

    The most noticeable thought in my mind today is:

    One interesting part of my dreams of late is: 

    Today I could not live without:

    I enjoy myself the most when:

    When I imagine I have no problem to solve, here is what is left:

    A year from now I think I’d like to:

    I know my best characteristics are:

    If fear wasn’t a thing, my best day would look like this:

    Why do these help?  Well, as we have been demonstrating journalling is about tracking our "wins, woes and wants." We can do that by simply writing down, recording or in a point form way tracking the progress of our day. The reality is when we do that we grow in clairity because we can see progress, notice pitfalls, and acknwledge pivotol people, places or points in our journey. These help us to make better decisions, outline better pathways and determine better successes for ourselves.

    Sometimes though, after a long day or a blah day, we wonder what to write, so the above prompts get us started... and they get our minds racing toward our "wins, woes and wants."

    Journaling is widely recognized as a healthy practice. Research shows that writing down thoughts and feelings can decrease stress and increase empathy, focus and optimism.

    Typically journaling is considered “free” writing or a record of occurrences. On the surface, writing down whatever you’re thinking or experiencing appears simple. But people (especially men) tend to avoid journaling because it feels difficult, frustrating and confusing. 

    For those who struggle with self-confidence, performance anxiety and worry, journaling can feel like a nasty assignment to avoid. 

    So the Autumn Challenge

    Our Autumn Challenge invites you to commit to journaling for 30 days. If you quit a week into your journaling attempt, you won’t see results. But practice reflection for a month, and you will feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance and every day after will feel easier. 

    So why do the Autumn Challenge? You’ll gain perspective and live with gratitude. You’ll also supercharge your clarity and make better decisions. If you don’t think so then prove me wrong. Try reflecting on your wins, woes and wants for 30 days, write them down, consider then and tell me if you do or don’t have a better sense of your circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.

    Drop me an email if you need some more insights or “how to’s ”. I would love to make you part of the Phoenix Men who are journaling daily and LIVING IN A WAY TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU THRIVE TOMORROW !

    So – let’s #Makeitso!


  • Myths of Journaling

    Welcome to Part 2 of our series on Journaling. We have started this, our first series in our blog,  as many of our clients take part in our Autumn Challenge – a commitment to 30 Days of Journaling. We have seen transformative steps forward by our clients through this challenge - greater clairity, gratitude and goals. I will touch on the challenge shortly, but lets set forth with part two.

    Last week we tackled 4 Things We Need for Journaling and today let’s tackle the 4 Myths of Journaling:

    There is a 'right way" to Journal: Many people think that in order to journal the "right" way, you need some kind of special notebook, profound matter or even deeply accurate method. The key to journaling is actually only one thing – “to start & stick with it”. As we mentioned last week select a Style, Format, Time and Trigger, and then just start (in point form or full sentence, in picture or even voice reminder) and put down what you are pondering or paused by. It be might as simple as Wins, Woes and Wants (as we teach) or more fluid sentences on life.

    You don’t have anything deep to write about. Another mental barrier preventing many people from journaling is the belief you have nothing to write about. Unless you live in a bubble, you have some sort of interaction, and so you have something to write about. So again, the key ... “to start & stick with it.”

    Journaling is for narcissists. This is one of the odder myths out there. If you think about it, journaling is actually talking about others and other things first, and then how they touch your life. Journaling is for anyone who wants to ponder the future and even more so be their best selves in it. So in fact it is about a better you - not a selfish you. 

    Journaling takes a lot of time. This is a big myth. The method we teach takes 15 minutes. Here is how it works:

    Try reflecting on your Wins (the positive things that happened), Woes (the struggles of the day) and Wants (your hopes for the day). If your doing it in the morning then the previous day is what you ponder.

    Commit to 15 minutes, write them down, (point form, sentence, pictures, cartoons, Greek letters of the alphabet ) - what ever works for you …

    Pause and consider them and just simply get a ‘gut sense’ of your personal awareness of your circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for the day.

    Finish by writing a closing statement like - “I felt overall pretty positive today” or “today was a struggle” or “I couldn’t think clearly today” or “hope is in the air” … what ever it might be that best describes what the day (or the day before) was all about.

    So the Autumn Challenge

    For many, journaling can be painful. But it doesn’t have to be. Our Autumn Challenge invites you to commit to journaling for 30 days. If you quit a week into your journaling attempt, you won’t see results. But practice reflection for a month, and you will feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance and every day after will feel easier. 

    So why do the Autumn Challenge? You’ll gain perspective and live with gratitude. You’ll also supercharge your clarity and make better decisions. If you don’t think so then prove me wrong. Try reflecting on your wins, woes and wants for 30 days, write them down, consider then and tell me if you do or don’t have a better sense of your circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.

    Drop me an email if you need some more insights or “how to’s ”. I would love to make you part of the Phoenix Men who are journaling daily and LIVING IN A WAY TODAY THAT WILL HELP YOU THRIVE TOMORROW !

    So – let’s #Makeitso!

     


  • The Autumn Challenge: 30 Days of Journaling

    So, with this blog article, will begin our first “3 Part Series” and launch our Autumn Challenge (insert: Loud applause)! 

    On this first day of Autumn – lets commit to 30 days of Journaling (I will tell you why at the end of this article). This week we will explore 4 Things We Need For Journaling. And then we will tackle the Myths of Journaling, and the week after that we will launch into some Prompts to Get You Journaling (even when your mind is blank). So – let’s get going and #Makeitso!

    4 Things We Need For Journaling

    Keeping a journal. Marcus Aurelius had one. So did Mark Twain. Theodore Roosevelt wrote faithfully in his. Da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway (to name a few), great men have taken time to writing and reviewing their actions, thoughts, and (yikes yes) even our feelings. 

    But Journaling has become a lost art. As a society we seem less focussed on self-reflection, and more so on self-promotion. A “selfie” and even "tiktoking" our every move (not to mention every meal) has become the core of what we do. “To Tweet” is seen as a status update with more value, then to take a moment interiorily to ‘self update’ how we are really doing. And while there’s nothing wrong with “updating our followers”,  we also need to take time to “update ourselves” on how we really are.  Simply put, we need journals now more than ever.

    Many of our most excelling clients here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada, track the start of their success, to our process of encouraging them toward journaling as a valuable tool for personal reflection and growth. However, without the right tools, and a little guidance, it can be one of the most difficult habits to establish. Even with this resistance, there is a tremendous value that comes with daily reflection, and contrary to the usual perceived large hurdle, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Journaling can be daunting for any number of reasons. But you can change that. Here are four tips to get you started.

    Pick a Style. You don’t need a ‘book.’ You may prefer a legal pad, notebook, or journal you already have on hand.  Some people even use their laptop and keep it all in a word document. It can be whatever provides the space you need to write and whatever you are comfortable with. So first tip - pick a style you like  - and stick to it.

    Pick a Format. The blank page (or screen) is scary. It can be intimidating to know what to write and leads to wasted time. So find something that guides your daily reflection. Our Clients at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada start off with three questions:  “What was your ‘win’ today? What was your “woe” today? and “What is your "want" today?” In other words, something that went well, something that tanked, and something you wish. Just determine what prompts will encourage you to reflect, but give our three a try  - and stick to it.

    Pick a Time. Whether you decide to journal in the morning or evening, pick a time. You may have to rearrange part of your daily routine to fit journaling in, but you want it to become a natural rhythm in your day. If you are a 'morning person' well you will find it easier in the morning. If you are a 'night owl' same goes. If you are not sure, try either - and stick to it.

    Pick a Trigger. Like any habit, to start you will need a daily cue to prompt the intended action. This could be a calendar alert or alarm. You will also need to set a trigger when to stop. Some give up after 5 minutes, but we recommend a minimum of 15 minutes a day to write down your wins, woes and wants. Select your trigger - and stick to it.

    So the Autumn Challenge

    For many, journaling can be painful. But it doesn’t have to be. Our Autumn Challenge invites you to commit to journaling for 30 days (yep you probably caught on) - and stick to it. If you quit a week into your journaling attempt, you won’t see results. But practice reflection for a month, and you will feel the positive effects. Push through the resistance and every day after will feel easier the key is - stick to it.  

    So why do the Autumn Challenge? You’ll gain perspective and live with gratitude. You’ll also supercharge your clarity and make better decisions. If you don’t think so - then prove me wrong.

    So how do you take the Autumn Challenge? Go over the 4 tips and select a Style, Format, Time and Trigger. Then try reflecting on, and writing down (even in point form), your wins, woes and wants for 30 days. Commit to 15 minutes, write them down, consider them and just simply track your sense of your awareness of your circumstances, clarity of thought, and gratitude for life.

    Drop me an email if you need some more insights or “how to’s ” or you want some accompanyment and accountability in the challenge. If you get stuck along the way, or are having a hard time "sticking to it"; let me know. I would love to make you part of the Phoenix Men who are journaling daily, and living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow !

    So – let’s #Makeitso!