How to Test If Your ‘Why’ Is Compelling Enough

It’s still early enough in the year that we may have some ‘resolutions’ or goals that we haven’t given up on yet. If you are trying to come up with a ‘purpose’ for a Lifebook category or have a goal or two that you haven’t yet abandoned, here’s a quick exercise that might help you get closer to achieving it:

▶️ Grab 2 pens that are different colors. With the first color, list all the reasons why you haven’t yet achieved each goal. Jot down all the things as soon as they enter your head. (If you’re familiar with the Life Coach School and Brooke Castillo’s teachings, this is what is referred to as a ‘thought download.’)

▶️ Now, using the second color expand on step 1 and get really honest with yourself and answer these questions using your ‘higher brain.’ Get very specific about the exact circumstances, thoughts, beliefs, indulgent emotions, thought errors, self-judgements etc. that you can see when you take an objective look. (ex. I’m a perfectionist, there’s a pandemic, I don’t have time….) List ALL the potential obstacles.

▶️ Now come up with your HARD WHY–this is a sentence that is more important to you than quitting or giving up on your goal. This sentence is strong and sturdy enough that when your mind turns away temporarily, you will still turn back to this sentence and re-commit.

▶️ Check how compelling your sentence is by thinking it and checking in with how it feels in your body. Notice if this emotion is positive and if so, is it deep and long-lasting? Will this hard why withstand the negative emotions and discomfort that comes up at times? In other words, when you think this sentence when faced with an obstacle (either external circumstances or internal 🧠 stuff) are you able to go back to a place of commitment and determination? If so, then congratulations–your ‘why’ is compelling!

I challenge you to FAIL!

In coach training, we learned about failure and what we make it mean.  According to an online dictionary, failure is “the condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends.”  My interpretation of this definition is simply that something didn’t turn out the way we expected or we didn’t get the results we expected.  So, if you can buy into this definition, then perhaps you can buy into my argument that failure is something that is important and even necessary for us to grow and get the results that we desire.

Most people don’t achieve their dreams because they don’t want to fail.  They keep expectations low so that they never have to experience ‘failure.’ But why do most people want to avoid ‘failure’ if failure is simply just not taking required action to meet an expected outcome?

Well, it all has to do with what we make ‘failure’ mean and the thoughts that we attach to failure and the negative emotions that we feel as a result.  When we don’t meet our own expectations, the feelings we end up having are based on what we decide to think. This may seem a little strange so I want to illustrate what I’m talking about here.  What if we decide to ask somebody out on a date and they say ‘no?”  We have a choice here…we can think thoughts that result in us feeling rejected, disappointed, or unworthy or we can think thoughts that help us feel like we learned something new.  Maybe we learned that that person isn’t ‘our’ person, or that person may have reasons that they don’t want to go out on a date that we might not be aware of OR, what if we decide that we are PROUD for stepping outside of our comfort zone rather than failing ahead of time by not even asking???

You can even substitute the word ‘failure’ for ‘learning.’ What if in this case we learned that by asking more people on dates and risking more rejection we will actually reach our goal of a long term relationship sooner? That by putting ourselves outside of our comfort zone more often and increasing our rate of failure (and tolerance of failure) we will increase our chance of ultimately achieving success?

I also want to point out that confidence comes only after trying something over and over and failing often enough to realize it is possible to get better and better every time without having to give up.  In closing, I want to point out that shame and guilt are exhausting and not required to be successful. If you believed that you would be successful after 25 fails, you’d probably run out into the streets looking for failures instead of looking for ways to avoid them. 

Think about this…and go FAIL today, my friend! You will be one step closer to your goal!

Lifebook Canva Course Series

Just in case you have decided to do your own Wheel of Life exercise like I described in my October 2020 blog, I want to let you know that I created a video series for the Lifebook membership site with a tour of my Lifebook as well several classes showing step by step how I created my Lifebook using the free version of Canva.

Here’s the link if you’d like to check them out

Another Big Retirement Discovery

We thought long and hard about different aspects of retirement during the past year.  Of course, we first considered our finances but after that, we thought a lot about where and how we wanted to spend our time.  We talked about the household chores and who would do what…but I was certainly taken by surprise with a recent “situation” that came up.

It started with the new routine we had developed.  My husband is still a very early riser…he wakes up even before the sun rises.  He really likes his surroundings to be in order so he would begin his day by putting away the washed dishes (yay!) and making sure that everything in our combined kitchen/dining/family room was completely in order.  I’d come downstairs to a super clean space with my husband sitting at the table working on his computer sipping a cup of coffee.

So I’d pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down next to him with my computer to plan my day.  The kids make their eventual appearances to fix themselves breakfast and go about their day since they older and have different class schedules.  Then I notice that my husband starts getting agitated and even a bit ‘snappy’ at times when either me or one of our kids starts talking.  He mentions all of “the interruptions” and makes comments like “it’s SO hard to get things done around here.” Hmmm….something is definitely getting under his skin.

The next day I go downstairs and hand him a note that says, “I am requesting a 10 minute meeting to be scheduled at your convenience today.  Please let me know when you are available.”  That got his attention–he shut off his computer and told me we could meet right away.  I then asked him about what was causing him to get irritated and what we could do to help.

He thought about it for a minute and told me that he is used to going into work and being able to shut his office door and not be interrupted when trying to focus.  I told him that since our kitchen/dining area is community space for everyone, maybe it would be a good idea when he wants to focus and not be interrupted to go to another room and shut the door.  He agreed, but then declared that he also really needs to work on not getting irritated when we are talking and that he was going to work on that.

Wow…that was an easy fix but just something that I never anticipated happening.  Wonder how many more “unanticipated” situations we have ahead of us? One thing I know for sure is that I am getting lots and lots of self-coaching practice.

Lifebook Update

My husband and I have completed the Mindvalley Lifebook course.  We have individually gone through and written out our Premise, Vision, Purpose & Strategy for each of the following areas:

  1. Health & Fitness
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Character
  5. Spiritual
  6. Love Relationship
  7. Parenting
  8. Social
  9. Financial
  10. Career
  11. Quality of Life

After going through each area, we then wrote out a 2 page Life Vision that incorporated all of these categories.  This section is like a description of our’perfect day’  in which we noted what we were doing, where we were doing it and what our overall life would look like once we achieved our biggest goals.

After going creating our individual Lifebooks, we then sat down and shared them with each other.  It was very interesting to note that although we had many different individual goals, we had so many common threads.  Our life visions probably had about 80%+ in common and really no glaring contradictions.  Such a great exercise to bring us together and to ensure that we move forward in life together with purpose and intention!

I highly recommend going through this and creating your own ‘Wheel of Life’ book on your own or with your partner.  You can use the categories listed above or simply Google ‘Wheel of Life’ and you will see so many examples and other categories available to pick and choose from.

A Big Decision…

My husband and I have made a very big decision.  We have decided to…….NOT make a decision! If you go back to June and July posts, it will explain the details.

Just want to point out that this isn’t a ‘stuck in confusion’ or ‘I don’t know’ type of decision–this is an actual decision for my husband to sit back and relax for the first time in a very long time.  To take advantage of all of our kids being home during COVID and to try on ‘retirement.’

He has decided to give it until 2021 before even thinking about what his next step will be.  We will enjoy our kids being home finishing their studies here rather than on campus and will enjoy the holiday season together.

This is going to be…fun? Interesting? challenging? I’ll keep you posted…

Lifebook Program

I need to begin by letting you know that I am switching to monthly posts from here on out.  This is because I am getting involved creating content for a membership group that I am involved in.

The group is called Lifebook and it is offered by Mind Valley.  Just in case you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a self-paced program in which participants take a hard look and get crystal clear on their goals in 12 areas of their lives and end up with a succinct Life Vision after completing the course. 

Picture the ‘Wheel of Life’ that is used by many coaches…and Google it if necessary.  This is similar to the categories in the Lifebook program.  In each area we are taking a very close look at our premise (beliefs), vision (goals), purpose (compelling reasons) and strategies (habits to achieve our goals).  Perfect for a life coach and her husband who are navigating a new phase of life, don’t you think? 😉

Aspects of Retirement We Did Not Plan For

So, it’s only been a few weeks since my husband was “retired” (see 6/15/20 post for the whole story) but there are definitely a few things about retirement that we did not anticipate….

The biggest one has been that although we were aware that he would no longer be getting a paycheck once retired and we thought we were prepared for this, we discovered that my husband really wasn’t prepared for the thoughts that he is currently thinking and the feelings around these thoughts. 

It’s one thing to know that you are no longer getting a steady paycheck and are going to have to start living off of savings and investments but a whole different experience to realize that these accounts that have been slowly building up over the years are now going down, down, down.

Yes, it’s a big transition and one that fortunately we are navigating through together.  I’ll give you an update as soon as I can but let’s suffice it say that going from 35 years of earning a steady paycheck to an abrupt halt of incoming funds (we are still a few years away from Social Security) is a process involving DAILY self-coaching!

Retirement Has Begun

I specialize in coaching on long-term relationships but have a vested interest in coaching women with husbands who are approaching retirement.  This is because my husband and I are preparing for his retirement.

I’ve done a few blog posts on this subject in the past but it has all recently come to fruition.  He has RETIRED.  This was not according to our plan.  He was planning to work for another year to year and a half.  He was just starting to formulate his next step.  Would it be full retirement?  Would it be starting his own business and becoming an entrepreneur?  Would it be a part time or consulting job?

Well, before he even had a chance to figure it out, he was let go.  His company cut a huge number of positions, closed offices and gave severance packages to many long term employees citing COVID.  My husband found himself suddenly without a job but fortunately in a position to have some time and space to start thinking and planning.  Both because he has a severance package which buys us some time AND also because during this time of COVID he is thinking that very few companies are in a position to hire.

So here’s the fascinating thing.  His brain struggled at first.  Despite all of our discussions, previous planning and steps we had taken to think about our future, it offered up so many negative thoughts about this being a ‘bad’ thing.  About this being ‘not according to his plan.’  Part of him was relieved but another part of has been struggling with all the free time and willingness to make a decision about what to do next.  Yes, all of these are thoughts that I’m having but they are a synopsis of many words that have come directly from his mouth.

So, this should be the beginning of an interesting journey that I will be sharing with you. It will likely be infused with general posts about the coaching tools I have learned from Brooke Castillo and during my training at The Life Coach School.  It will also likely involve me doing lots of thought work and using different coaching tools on myself than I have utilized in the past.  Lots of new things coming up!

Tony Robbins Relationship Tool

I’ve been revisiting some Tony Robbins talks lately.  I think Tony Robbins is brilliant and has a Brooke Castillo-like ability to get right to the root of people’s issues.  However, to be perfectly honest, his ‘rah-rah’ enthusiasm can be a bit much for me after a while and these thoughts lead to me go for long stretches not following him or listening to him.

However, I recently was led to an on-line event that Tony Robbins hosted and he gave a talk about relationships in which he brought up a concept that I had never heard before.  It is called Ho’oponono which is a Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. He uses it in his relationship by saying the phrase, “I’m sorry. I love you. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

I immediately began to think about relationships and how to use this phrase.  It seems that it could be used whenever there is tension, an argument, a disagreement.  Could it be used at times to step back and admit that something has gone wrong but is doesn’t matter who is to blame here?  That perhaps both parties are to blame?

I have been thinking a lot about the use of this concept.  I will try to use it in my own relationships and will check back to report on the results.  I’d also love to hear from anyone who is willing to let me know your take on this and any experiences you have with it.  My e-mail address is: and I welcome any thoughts you are willing to share.