Life Coaching: Cheat Sheet for Resolution Losers!

2016Last year for our family resolution, Larry and I decided it would be great fun to write a book during the year. It would be a book that captured all the snippets of deep wisdom he and I share with the kids. (It would be treasured and passed down for generations.) We always say, “You can write that in the quote book” when we have a great thought. Now, we had a quote book! I found the perfect book and placed it in a prominent place. We each grabbed a pen and immediately the well dried up. The only quote that is in the book is my famous quote, “It is better to be late than dead!” What a colossal fail on last year’s great resolution to write a book full of quotes for our posterity!

I have to confess; I am a resolution loser! I have made and not kept more resolutions that I care to admit. I don’t just make resolutions on New Year. I use any opportunity as a “new start.” The first day of the month, the new school year, even Mondays twinkle bright for me as opportunities to “wipe the slate clean” and start over. I love Jon Acuff’s new book, Do Over. That is right up my ally.

The problem is that resolutions depend on my discipline and willpower. We have already addressed in my last blog that I don’t really have disciple. I can resolve to do things all day long, but that doesn’t get the job done. I don’t think I am alone. Only 8% of folks who set resolutions, actually accomplish them each year. EEK! That is a terrible statistic yet comforting all at the same time. I know, I am mental.

When we shift our thinking from setting resolutions to setting goals, we hit pay dirt! Goals are the things we wish and resolve to do….. put down on paper (or digital) and broken into actionable items. I heard Michael Hyatt say that a goal not written down is just a wish. Here are ways to move from resolution loser to goal completer:

  1. Limit your goals to just a few things. Remember…. most of us were losers last year…. Go slow! LOL
  2. Write your goals down. (Download my Goal Cheat Sheet here)
  3. Break your goals into quarters and write out a plan.
  4. Review your quarterly goal sheet every day before you start your day. It is easy to get caught up in the urgent and forget the important. (Download the Quarterly Goal Cheat Sheet here)
  5. Reflect at the end of each quarter and do a reset so that you can get back on track or raise your goals if you are ahead.

The absolute biggest game-changer for me was when I connected the WHY with the WHAT in my goals. For example, if I want to eat healthier I HAVE to remind myself why rice cakes should be my choice rather than Doritos at lunch. I would say to myself, I am eating rice cakes because I want to only put healthy food into my body so I can have more energy for my family. On the days I struggle, I remind myself of the emotional WHY behind my decision and I say out loud what I will be choosing if I don’t make the right choice. So in this case, I would say to myself, If I eat those Doritos today I am choosing to feel bad and not be able to spend quality time with the boys. I may even be choosing to shorten my life by not eating healthy.

You may think that is harsh but studies show that people who connect a VERY emotional reason for accomplishing a goal are 79% more likely to succeed. Some studies show an even higher percentage.

So here is an example of a goal sheet for 2016. These are not really my goals but they were good examples. I use way more paper and lots of exclamation points on my goal sheet. As a side note, goals are not optional at my house and everyone knows they have to get up early and have them done or I “help” them set goals! LOL

Goals Sheet Example 2016

Step one: I choose one goal for each area of my life. I think four or five goals are as many as I can handle. I break it into Personal, Spiritual, Relational and Vocational. (If you are in school, that’s your vocation right now.)

Step two: Write out the What, Why and a general How.

Quarterly Goals Example SheetStep Three: Print out four quarterly sheets and outline each goal in more detail. These are the steps you are going to take each quarter to reach the yearly goal. If you want to lose 12 lbs this year, the quarterly goal is 3 lbs. Get it?

If you wait until the end of the year to check on your progress, you will just have some great resolutions and no accomplished goals. It takes organization and purpose to accomplish the things you want to do this year. Don’t take your life lightly. Why be average? Does your family deserve an “average you?” Does God deserve us drifting along without a purpose? He tells us in Jeremiah that he has plans for our future and wants us to seek him with all our heart. Sounds like a worthy goal to me.


 

Jeremiah 29:11-13

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

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Life Coaching: No Discipline? No Worries!

Life Hacks from Evona

RoosterI love to pretend that I am a country girl at heart. I love the thought of farming. I love the romantic idea of gently plucking vegetables that I have grown off the vine and nestling them in my “Little House on the Prairie” apron and serving them for dinner. The reality is that I don’t like bugs. I forget to water things and weeding is hard work. However, I get my fix every so often when Smelly Monster #3 and I “babysit” the chickens for our friends, Jim and Krista from Rugged Meats. (Really great, healthy snack option BTW!) Recently we were doing the chicken thing again but had some issues. When we showed up to their farm, the chickens were running around all over. Somehow the tribe (gaggle?, bunch?, school?) of chickies had escaped. For those of you not familiar with chicken raising (like me), it isn’t easy to get them back into their area once they escape. After many flying dives and lots of “shooing,” we only caught two hens. As a side note, both of those hens escaped while I was trying to catch a third! Smelly Monster #3 wasn’t much help due to the uncontrollable giggling that gripped him while watching me try to catch the wily animals.

We did notice that in addition to the hens, there was a proud rooster strutting around. This was a new development. Smelly Monster #3’s theory is that the rooster was a bad influence on the hens and encouraged them to give in to their natural tendencies and escape. I’m not sure if that is valid but it sounds reasonable.

Our natural tendency as humans is to give in and do what is easy. We don’t usually have a built in driver that gives us discipline and perseverance. These attributes take time and determination to develop. However, there are a few things you can do TODAY to make a huge difference in your life and they don’t depend on your discipline. (Or lack of discipline if you are like me!) These are Evona approved and tested and they work! I promise!

  1. Remove as many decisions as possible. In his book, The One Thing, Gary Keller says, “Willpower has a limited battery life.” This was a great read. If you want a book to read this year, try The One Thing from Gary Keller. If you know you have issues with motivation, remove any decision you have to make concerning that area. For example, I have to get the kids up and ready for school. After that, I really need to exercise. This is my window of opportunity. However, I don’t always do it because other things call my name…. social media, laundry, reading a book, a quiet bath, a second cup of coffee in a quiet house. The list could go on. To help me overcome my natural predisposition to be a couch potato, I set some things in motion. I get my exercise clothes on before I get the kids up. I put my sneakers on before they leave. I put my headset on and take my phone out with me on the porch to wave goodbye and then I start walking. I DO NOT go back into the house. This makes it a no-brainer. I am already dressed and outside. I might as well walk. This works for snacking at night. I have one small square of chocolate after dinner and don’t eat anything else. No decision. I don’t have to say no to the Oreo’s and ice cream. I have already made the decision.
  2. Plan your day the night before. I love notebooks. I know it is a digital world but something about having the paper in my hand helps me get things done. I write everything in notebooks. It doesn’t always make sense but it is written down. I write down the things I want to accomplish the next day. I write what we are having for dinner. I write any appointments, calls, errands or items that I want/need to accomplish. I then look back over it and decide what items are a must. Things like picking the kids up from school have to go to the top because I have found that the school frowns on leaving them overnight! You will be shocked how much more you get done if you wake up knowing what you need to do.

Life is about seasons. When you are fretting over all of the items on your list, spend the most time and energy on the things that only you can do. You are the only one who can be the mommy or daddy to your kids. You are the only one who can be the wife or husband to your spouse. Someone else can bake the homemade cookies for the school. Pick yours up at the store and spend those extra 30 minutes chasing chickens with your smelly monsters!

Are there any things you have found that help set you up for success even when your willpower and discipline are low? Share with the community and help us get off the couch!

Luke (Lucas) I am your Father!

Parenting with Star Wars

I can’t resist, with all the hype goiLucas at the Hospitalng on about the new Star Wars movie, telling a great story. Cliff was a big-time Star Wars fan. He loved the movies and knew them word for word. When we were first married, Cliff had a friend who would come over and they would quote the lines of the movie before the actors could say them. It was VERY annoying! When the Prequel Trilogy came out, Cliff had tiny Micah and baby Caleb sitting for hours watching the movies. Star Wars is very sentimental to all of us. We are excited to see the new movie. I vetoed going opening night but I am dressing up with Lucas when we go this week. I guess that earns me the mother-of-the -week not mother-of-the-year award!

When we found out that we were expecting our third baby, Cliff called the baby “little sister” for the first 20 weeks or so. On the day we found out that “little sister” was going to be “smelly monster #3,” Cliff knew right away what we would name the new baby. He was so excited. All of our boys have Bible names. Micah Daniel, Caleb Nathanael and now we would have Lucas Samuel. Lucas is used as another version of Dr. Luke’s name in Philemon 1:24. Now, I should have been tipped off right away that Cliff was so quick on the name. Warning bells should have gone off, but sadly they didn’t.

Right after Lucas was born, the doctor gave the “fresh from the oven” baby to Cliff. Cliff was a great dad and loved being a dad. He was so tender and emotional about the boys that it didn’t surprise me that he wanted to hold our newest one right away. It was a touching moment until Cliff’s inner performer couldn’t be suppressed, and he turned to me and the doctor and nurses in our room. He used his best Darth Vader voice and the first words said to itty, bitty Lucas were “Luke, I am your father!” LOL! What a character. Not only did Cliff pass on an interest in Star Wars, he passed on a love of life and passionate joy to all three of my boys. I am sorry to all the teachers who have them. It is their dad’s fault!

This story makes me wonder what values and principles I am passing down to the boys. Here are a few principles that I think are major game-changers in raising kids who love God and are successful:

  1. Joy is a choice. This one came from Cliff. He loved life and even when times were difficult, he chose to be joyful. If we link our circumstances to our emotions, we limit what God can do through us. Cliff showed joy in our home, in our church and to our family and friends. He even displayed joy during his battle with cancer. Many of you remember the Look-a-Like contest he had when his hair fell out. You have to check out the graphic he had Angela Cofield make for him. You can find so many hilarious and joyful moments in his blogs captured in our book Choosing Faith against the Odds. It is so important that we teach our kids that joy is a choice. Psalm 16:11
  2. Do right because it is right to do right. This one is from my dad. My dad taught me to make the right choice, not because it felt right or because it gave me the best outcome, but because it was right. So many times, when I have to make hard choices, his voice rings in my ears. If we base our decisions on the situation, we will make wrong choices. We need to teach our kids to do right no matter the circumstances. Proverbs 12:28
  3. Work hard. This one is from Larry. My boys told him the other day that they think he can outwork anyone they know. What an awesome thing for them to think. A good work ethic will help you succeed and stand out among others. If you are going to have to do a job, you might as well do it to the best of your ability. It makes you do better work and you feel better when you are done. We should teach our kids that doing a job well is a principle we admire and model it for our kids. Ecclesiastes 9:10
  4. Be faithful to your commitments. This one I learned from Cliff’s mom, Mrs. Kay. A defining characteristic of Mrs. Kay is that if you ask her to do something, it will be done. I have watched her wake up and go to church even when she was heartbroken. I have seen her treat others with care and love, even when they have hurt her or one of us. She is faithful and acts this way, because she is committed to Jesus. We must teach our kids to follow through and fulfill their commitments even when it isn’t convenient. We serve because of what Jesus did for us. Our level of faithfulness in all areas (home, work and church) is a reflection of our love for Christ. Matthew 25:21

A new Star Wars movie is epic in the Frink household because of the sentiment attached. What an awesome thing it would be to leave an epic legacy for our kids by teaching them life-changing principles that will help them draw closer to God and live a life for others. Make today the day you start! May the Force be with you!

What kinds of things hold a sentimental value to you and your family? I’ll post a picture of the family when we go see the Star Wars movie. Share your memories with us.

Simple Living 365 – Add Margin

Simple living is my new passion. I am a complete failure but I am enjoying the journey.

Simplicity is a mindset. Simplicity takes commitment.

Busyness is a badge of honor for overachievers. I can’t imagine sitting around with all the other 4th grade moms and announcing that I have free time. I am sure I would be voted out of the “approved mom’s club.” It almost feels like we SHOULDN’T have free time. The opposite is true. Our families thrive in Suzy Calendarthe margin. Margin is the space on the side of the paper that is supposed to be left empty. It is the white space that gives definition and structure to a written document. We need to set boundaries to create free time so we can be flexible and  meet unexpected needs. Read a book to your child. Take a walk with your neighbor. Bake bread from scratch. Bounce on the trampoline. Drink coffee with your husband.

My new favorite verse is Isaiah 30:15. For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; and ye would not.

The Holy One says that in returning we will be saved or rescued. The word returning is the same thought as our word for “retirement.” Less activity! This verse says we need to have less activity. We have to sacrifice the good for the best. For us to have victory in our lives we have to choose the action of retirement! Leave more white space in your life and calendar so that God can use that margin to provide peace and strength.

I love Suzy Toronto’s calendar.  Check it out here! It is a yearly gift from Larry to me and hangs on our refrigerator. My goal this year is to leave more open spaces on our calendar so we can have the time to enjoy the blessings God sends our way.

Margin allows us to grow. Margin gives us the freedom to say yes. Margin gives God a place to write. Add margin and watch God bless.

Simple Living 365 – “Life is Great”

Save Me a Seat!

Introvert

Exodus 33

One major benefit of working in the business world has been that I have been encouraged (and many times required) to take strength and personality tests. It is important when you are working on a team that you know your own strengths and weaknesses and that others know them too so that you can work well together. One thing that I learned about eight years ago is that contrary to what I thought and probably what everyone who knows me thought….I am an introvert NOT an extrovert! There is a joke on my work team that I only last ¾ of a conference and then I pack up and go home. I couldn’t figure out why traveling for conferences and meetings were so draining. I love what I do but I was exhausted by the end of the day. Right about the time everyone is ready to go out and socialize, I am heading to the room. I have been nicknamed the “boring girl.” 🙂 My life coach helped me understand that for an introvert, it takes an enormous amount of emotional energy to be social and “on” all day. That is why I was so tired and spent by the end of the conferences.

This introverted part of my personality makes going to social events an effort, even things I really want to attend. I usually make sure that I know at least one person at the event and coordinate with that person to either ride with them or have them save me a seat. It makes these types of events so much easier. I recently attended a wedding where a group of people including me were assigned a table but the seats were not marked. One lady, who was attending the wedding alone, asked a younger woman she knew if the seat was taken beside her. The younger woman was so cruel and hurtful as she announced that she was sure that other people were going to be sitting there and there wasn’t room, even though the lady was assigned to the table. I couldn’t stand how hurt the woman looked and made sure I moved over and invited her to sit by me. I enjoyed the wedding so much more and made a really nice friend. The younger woman’s insensitivity was terrible but it brought to my attention my responsibility to help in the situation.

In my Bible reading this morning, something jumped out at me. God is talking to Moses and promising to go with him and give him rest. I spent some time meditating on Exodus 33:14. “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.” What a sweet verse when we are lonely and tired. God is with us and will give us rest. He understands that it takes a lot of emotional energy to survive each day. I continued to read and something I had never seen literally jumped off the page at me further down. Exodus 33:21 “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me…” Oh my word! The LORD is saving me a seat! What an awesome thought! As I go throughout my day, I am comforted that God knows I am an introvert viewed by others as an extrovert. God knows I need his support and rest and he is going to save me a seat!

  • Trust God to provide the rest you need. Don’t try to do things on your own.
  • Look for others to encourage. Since God is saving you a seat, reach out to someone else and save them a seat.
  • Realize that others struggle with insecurity and be quick to offer support NOT judgment.
  • Thank God for the “encouragers” in your life and strive to become an encourager for others.

Life Coaching Week 8 – The Joyful Decision

Happiness is a choice!

 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice (Be happy) in time to come. Proverbs 31:21

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. Psalm 112:7 

I spoke to a client this week in Wyoming and she asked what the weather was like in Florida. I shared with her how beautiful it has been and how green and lush the landscape haPraying for Snows become. She in turned shared that it SNOWED there this week. You gotta love Florida!

 

 

  • The joyful decision can change your life. We are conditioned by society to respond to certain situation with frustration and anxiety. Events like traffic, busy stores and early mornings are used as staple stress examples in movies and on TV. The coffee industry has made millions by making us believe that we all are cranky in the morning and need coffee to wake up and function.
  • The Joyful Decision is the decision that has the most ability to impact our relationships and finances. Who do you want to be around? People who are negative and cranky or happy joyful people? Who would you hire if there were two equally qualified candidates? Would you hire the perky upbeat candidate or the grumpy negative applicant? See how having a joyful spirit can really impact your life?
  • It has been scientifically proven that laughter triggers an increase in endorphins, the brain chemicals known for their feel-good effect. (NY Times) People destroy their lives and become addicted to drugs to give them a high when all we need to do is laugh more! Don’t wait on laughter to find you. Plan triggers that help you stimulate the endorphins each and every day. Do pictures of your kids make you laugh? Do you enjoy a funny book? Do you like watching a comedian make fun of everyday things? Plan to incorporate those things into your daily routine.

 

  • Joyfulness is strengthened by a grateful spirit. Seeds of depression can’t take root in a grateful heart.

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:21

  • HW:Make a list of 100 things you are thankful for. List stresses and turn them into gratitude. My house needs a new roof but at least I have a house.  Like a fresh breeze thankfulness cleans away the cloud of despair and stress.

Last week, I was having a “Jesus Meeting” with Caleb. I was using all my best Life Coaching skills. I was inspiring him with great stories. I was using sports analogies that he could relate to. I was doing such a good job, I was inspiring myself. I halfway expected to hear the Rocky theme song at any point.  I stopped long enough to look over at Caleb to bask in his awe inspired look only to see the vacant stare of a 14-year-old boy. He had gone to his happy place and was only hearing the teacher’s voice on Charlie Brown. He then noticed I had taken a breath and decided it was time for his escape. Right at that moment, his dog ( An icky, smelly, VERY non inspiring mutt) appeared at the glass door. Caleb jumped up and started talking in a high pitch sweet voice to the dog telling him how cute he is and what a good boy he is. (Which for the record is a total lie!) Caleb escaped from my “inspiring” lecture and bolted out the door. I stood for 10 minutes watching the formerly comatose teenager run and jump and roll around in the yard with a DOG! It did however, teach me a lesson. Caleb’s response to my interaction with him was based on my ongoing campaign to inspire and change his behavior. Caleb’s response to the dog was based on the dog’s total acceptance and joy in Ca1335823136962leb. I don’t think I will stop trying to inspire but I might steal a few tactics from Rocky the dog.

  • People want to be greeted with joy.
  • People want to know they are loved.
  • People want to play and laugh.
  • People want to do things for others who make them feel happy.
  • People like to be licked in the face by their dogs. (I am NOT going to do this!)
  • People like to be accepted for who they are and inspired to be better when they know you love them anyway.

Go forth and live like Rocky the dog and see what new opportunities come your way!

 

Life Coaching – Week 7 – A Decided Heart

James 1:8 “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

FuelThis week’s decision talks about the fuel we need to actually apply all of the other decisions. A decided heart fuels all of the other 6 decisions. We know that our cars are wonderful machines …. IF… we have fuel. This past week, I inadvertently let my SUV get down to “0” miles to empty! Wow, it is amazing how much prayer goes on in a car with the gas gauge on empty! I had very good intentions to run all the errands on my list but my lack of fuel thwarted my good intentions.

The Decided Heart decision allows us to find God’s direction for our lives and then have the fuel we need to apply the Active Decision and all the rest. This single decision impacts how we make decisions and then how we conduct ourselves after we make the decision.

  • Analysis is to lead us to a decision. It shouldn’t be a perpetual position. We all know friends who analyze things to death. Perpetual analysis is just another name for procrastination!
  • James 1:8 tells us that we are unstable and ineffective if we do not have a decided heart. Cortez the conqueror led his men to the Yucatan Peninsula to obtain a treasure that had been unsuccessfully sought after for 600 years. He landed and commanded his leaders to burn the boats! Now their only options were success or death. They were successful! God grant us the courage to burn our boats. What “back-up” plan do you need to burn so that you can move forward without any other options? I had to quit my job several years ago. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she gave away all her “fat” clothes and has only a few outfits until she loses the weight she needs to lose for health reasons. What boat do you need to burn?

 The Process of a Decided Heart!Process for a decided heart

 

  • PROGRAMMING – What are you putting into your head and heart that supports your decision? Are you reading your Bible? Are you listening to good music and reading good books? Are you spending time with supportive, uplifting people? What you program into you head and heart impacts your THINKING.
  • THINKING – Your thoughts are very important to your personal success. What you think impacts the rest of the process. Satan sneaks in and feeds us lies that sound really close to the truth and that allows him to impact our thinking. We allow the world to impact our views. We allow our own insecurities to cause doubt. At the first sign of negative thinking or worldly thoughts, take a step back and reprogram. Go back to scripture. Check with a one of your “Board of Directors.” Pray and ask God to allow you to think on whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phil. 4:8
  • FEELING – Our thoughts evoke emotions and feelings that build beliefs. If you allow the world to make you think that their view of beauty is the warped examples we see on TV, you begin to feel ugly. Those feelings lead us to beliefs. We not only FEEL ugly, we truly believe we are not beautiful. If you feel slighted at work and dwell on those feelings you start to really believe that you are being mistreated. Those feelings become a “fact” or belief even if they are true because feelings were attached. This step is the KEY to success. We have to tap into our emotions to find our DRIVERS. What is going to build “facts” or “beliefs” that will allow us to succeed. One of the things I am most proud of accomplishing with God’s help is to gain my certification and advance in my career. I was able to accomplish this because I attached a deep emotion to the “belief” that I had to provide for my boys. The last thing that Cliff said to me was to take care of his boys. That deep emotion overcame any questions or doubts in my mind as I moved forward to support and take care of the boys. It is imperative that you move beyond your head to your heart to find your DRIVER. What emotion or belief can you base your decided heart on to accomplish the things God wants you to accomplish?
  • ACTIONS – Our feelings and beliefs are evidenced by our actions. If we feel fat, we become discouraged and unmotivated. That lack of motivation sends us to the couch with a bunch of chips and a good episode of CSI. If we find a DRIVER or feeling that supports the belief that we need to get healthy we ACT or respond differently. If I know that I have to get healthy and in shape to be a good example to my kids or to have a more active family life I respond to the discouragement with a determination to accomplish my goal because it is EMOTIONALLY important to me. I have allowed God to connect his goal to a feeling and therefore I take action.
  • RESULTS – If we are fueling our actions from feelings that are God honoring and from good programming we get good results. However, if we are not getting the results we want, go back and look at each step and see where the breakdown occurred. You have to ability to chose to change the results you are getting.

Allow GOD to establish your Decided Heart.

Proverbs 16:3

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established .
No Growth Group April 9th. I will be in Colorado. We will pick back up on April 16th.

Early Morning Challenge

Isaiah 45:3

And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel

Don't do MorningsThis week’s challenge is to get up early and spend time focused on YOU! Beat the rush at home and spend some quiet time letting God lead you this week. What ACTION does he want you to take to accomplish your Life Vision? We are accountable to each other so comment on this post each day you are able to take the Early Morning Challenge!.