Choosing a Word or Theme for Your New Year

Choosing a word or theme for your new year is a great way to keep focus on how you want the year to play out. Words are very powerful, as they can elicit emotions that feed drive and motivation. The more compelling the words are to you, the more connection you will feel.

The power of words are nothing new, as you can look at songs, poems. ad motivational quotes, which are all ways we feel an emotion which then creates an attachment to something o someone. The resulting emotions then lead to a behavior and taking action of some kind.

You can choose a word, phrase or a particular theme for areas of your life, such as:

  • for your home: purge, simplify, cleanse
  • for your relationships: love, honor, closeness, respect, boundaries
  • for your mental clarity: great ideas, peace, gratitude, confidence, honor myself, carpe diem (seize the day)
  • for your career/business: focus, money come easily to me, connections, workplace happiness
  • for your relationship with money: abundance, savings, no more debt, freedom
  • for your health: eat clean, no excuses, or you can borrow from Nike – just do it

I think you get the idea; see what you can expand on in these areas, which you may have more than I’ve listed. The point is, we need to find ways to keep motivated on the goals and outcomes we’ve set – choosing a word or theme is a great way to keep motivated and in achievement mode. As an add-on, make a picture or visual representation of what you came up with.

Keep your word or phrase in places where you will see it: as a screen saver on your fridge or bathroom mirror, or on a sticky note you keep by your computer screen. The more you see them, the more focus and motivation you will have to keep working towards your new-set goals and finish the year out strong.

If you feel stuck on finding your theme, or setting goals for more  achievement in the new year, let’s talk!

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or For more great tips, visit our other blog at

Membership Has Its Benefits (But You Need To Appreciate Them)

Membership has its benefits; being a member of a networking group, or a professional association, definitely has its benefits:

  • you can network with like-minded people, who have your same interests and experience
  • you can get educated on the latest and greatest that is happening in your field that will enhance your professional development
  • you can volunteer to serve in a leadership capacity of some type; this raises your profile and you become memorable to others
  • you can speak, or serve on a panel, so that others can see your expertise
  • you can find a job, not just through networking but these types of groups have job boards that list postings
  • you can find a mentor, either formally or informally, who can help you in your career path or can connect you to the ‘right’ people’
  • you can find potential clients, or referrals to them

But, while membership has its benefits, it also means you have to show up to meetings and participate. If not, why join (and to put it on your resume doesn’t count). Associations and groups rely on your participation in their meetings and offerings; these are for your benefit, as mentioned above. But you also have to see the benefit and truly be a member – an active member; if not, these will fail.

Recognizing that there can be some challenges from actively participating. i.e. work schedules, time of day, location, time of year, etc. that do get in the way. Another factor is balancing time for business activities, such as client meetings or working with them.  So adding your professional meetings into your calendar will become another appointment to fulfill.

Many connections and friendships can also ensure from going to meetings, which is what these are all about. How you capitalize on these opportunities is yours for the taking; but, from personal experience, they have led to:

  • speaking opportunities
  •  being a published author
  • leading a mentoring program
  • business leads that turned into clients
  • referral partners
  • friends

“Membership has its privileges,” as the saying goes, so take advantage of a great way to enhance your career by becoming a member of a group in your industry. Be committed to the group and the benefits you receive will come back to you in ways you cannot imagine. Most allow you to visit before joining, so go to several and see what they’re about to ensure a good ‘fit.’ Focus on the benefits you’ll receive and the decision will be an easy one to make.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or For more great tips, visit our other blog at



How the Pain/Gain Exercise Can Help You Take More Action

If you’re struggling with moving your career or business forward, you need to look internally to see what is actually going on. You may not realize it, but there are thoughts going on in the subconscious that are keeping you ‘stuck’ in a vortex that spirals nowhere.  The gain-pain exercise is a great tool to help you take more action by uncovering what is the root-cause of not going after your goals.

Essentially, you identify:

  • what is your current pain – this refers to the  pain of the problem or situation you are currently dealing with, such as wasting time or getting distracted
  • what is your future gain – this refers to what you will gain stopping the identified behavior, so wasting time becomes being more productive and achieving more, and getting distracted become being more focused
  • what is your current gain – this refers to what benefit you are getting from the behavior; whether you realize it or not, there is a benefit we get which does not mean it is positive. Going back to the examples, wasting time can mean you don’t have to worry about failing or disappointing someone; being distracted means you can avoid dealing with issues – both of these aren’t beneficial but you do know how to deal with them now
  • what is your future pain – this refers to what will happen if you keep in the same mode – getting nothing done; getting written up at work or, worse, losing your job; feeling anxious or depressed over self-disappointment, etc., and what needs those costs will lead to

Identifying your blocks, or what prevents you from moving forward, is critical to stopping those behaviors. Often, our past values and beliefs stand in the way of which we don’t realize how impactful they are.  Think of statements you may have heard when you were younger: children should be seen and not heard; money is the root of all evil; be respectful of your elders.  Determine how you feel about them now.

Each of these examples can lead to behaviors, such as: not speaking up for yourself because children should be seen and not heard; holding yourself back from going after a high-paying job because if you get it, money is the root of all evil; feeling fearful around high-level executives because you need to be respectful of elders and you might say, or do something, that would look disrespectful.

The pain-gain method can help to get you out of the loop; once you uncover reasons for your thoughts and behaviors, you can now focus on future gains that would move you forward and lead to a more positive and achieved life.

Revisiting Christmas Random Acts of Kindness

Two years ago, I participated in a challenge so I’m revisiting Christmas random acts of kindness in the hopes you will do the same. This is the time of year that we need to be thinking of more than presents and parties. If I know anything, it’s that paying it forward leads to good things, for both the receiver and the giver.

I found study after study, along with many personal stories, of the impact that paying it forward has on both our brain and our body:

  • oxytocin is released which makes us feel better and more connected to to others; it leads to less anxiety and depression, and it increases self-satisfaction and confidence
  • it leads to less health problems, such as colds, as it strengthens our immune system; it also leads to less body aches, and having more energy for the tasks we need to complete
  • as less cortisol is released, the executive functions in the brain work more efficiently, leading to better thinking and decision making, to name a few; overall, performance improves
  • relationships are strengthened by bonding more with others; it also leads to having more empathy, which seems to be sorely lacking these days

The benefits of practicing random acts of kindness don’t just apply to adults – it leads to happier children, as well. Here are some ways s you can show kindness;  use them in your work, your family, and or yourself (we also need to be most kind to ourselves):

  • give compliments
  • send a card to a soldier or to someone in a nursing home
  • donate to charities, such as through money, clothes, books, food, or house goods – there are man people who are in need
  • take supplies to an animal shelter – blankets are needed, especially in the cold, but they can use food, shampoo, etc.
  • pay for the person in back of you in the drive-through; bring in bagels or other goodies to coworkers;
  • hold the door open for someone at the store or let someone out in traffic (or to merge)
  • help a coworker out
  • smile at everyone you see -it could make someone’s day

From my own experience, giving random acts of kindness works like gratitude – it takes the focus of of you and onto others, which spreads good karma.  I’m on day 850 of gratitude (from another challenge I did) and have found I’m able to deal with stress and any adversities easier and am happier, overall.  Now, I just need to work on being kind to when driving (lol).

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or For more great tips, visit our other blog at

How to Handle Layoffs More Effectively

I was talking to a friend of mine, the other day, who didn’t sound like themselves; upon further inquiry, they told me that they were just informed that their division was going to be closing. Merry Christmas – bah, humbug. Which begs the question: is there ever a good time when laying off employees? Are there ways to handle layoffs more effectively?

During our discussion, my friend related that they felt blindsided by the news; they denied having any suspicions that this was coming – no heads up, no ‘water cooler’ talk. Nothing. But my friend still has to go to work, and ‘show up,’ until the last day. I was the listening and supportive ear they needed.

But it begs the question: is there ever a good time when laying off employees? From the employee perspective -NO! But I think employers can do better at this- there are more effective ways to handle layoffs.

To start, being open and communicating would ease the ‘sting’ and leave employees feeling better about the organization; it would allow them to plan better for their next step while ensuring a smoother transition.

It also will sustain a positive environment; well, as happy as it can be, under the circumstances.  I worry for my friend, who already feels defeated, stressed and anxious about what the future holds; having to go to a workplace where everyone is feeling the same does not make for a productive environment.  I wonder how many will be using company time to work on their resumes or surf job boards for their next position.

I think there are ways that employers can do better at this. I’ve spoken with leaders who have said they didn’t want to let their workers know about a layoff ahead of time as they “didn’t want to worry or upset them.” Really? So how did they think their  workers would react upon the news? Letting workers know their may be possible layoffs, and the reasons why (fiscal, going in a different direction, etc.) could let workers understand that these decisions are good for the company.

They would not take it personally but see it from a business perspective, which creates buy-in to the  decision.  Managers should have one-on-one conversations with each worker to give feedback and let them know if there are any potential opportunities elsewhere in the company, or just to hear their thoughts. I also think employers should offer to help them to get their next job, which can be through: recommendations or referrals, offering a month or two of career coaching, or giving them some career planning to map out a strategy for their next steps (after all, manager know their progression and are great assets to have in this area).

Another steps to offer is through a severance package of some type so there is  a ‘bridge’ for workers, who then won’t feel kicked to the curb; it would show that they are thought of and valued. This can a win-win overall.

Layoffs are never fun but are often necessary for an organization to sustain and thrive. Workers should see them in this light so they can accept and move on. Leaders of these organizations can be more open, communicative, and offer helping ways to ensure workers survive after.

Committed to Your Success Coaching & Consulting focuses on workplace happiness and organizational success. If you need help gaining clarity on your business or career goals, why not get some help – stop the struggle and call today to get started! or For more great tips, visit our other blog at