50% of 2018 is not going to feel great and that’s OK

prepared

I’m prepared for 2018. All 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days of it.

Here we go.

And here’s what I can count on.

50% of 2018 is not going to feel great.

I’m already planning on it. I’m totally prepared.

There are going to be moments, perhaps whole days or an entire week at a time, that I will feel some sort of yucky, terrible feeling.

It’s guaranteed.

I’m planning on feeling frustration, sadness, self-doubt, worry, resentment, fear, insecurity and loneliness.

I’m expecting to feel unsettled, nervous, scared, and embarrassed too.

This knowledge brings me such relief.

Why?

Because I’m planning on fully living my human life.

I’m also predicting that 50% of the time, I’m going to feel totally off-the-charts amazing.

I will feel happy, fulfilled, joyful, excited, motivated, inspired, curious, compassionate, loving, peaceful, open, calm, clear and focused.

I will feel strong, forgiving, kind, generous, and confident.

And this knowledge also brings me such relief.

I already know what to expect.

The 50% of 2018 that doesn’t feel great will not be a surprise to me.

It already doesn’t seem like such a big deal, because I’m prepared for it to happen.

I’m not resisting it. Or fighting it.

I’m not planning to feel awful because I don’t feel amazing all the time.

I have decided that I will not chase happiness at all costs because that would mean that I would be giving up the experience of living my whole human life.

It would mean that I would choose the comfortable, easy, feel-good option every time.

And that would guarantee that I would end 2018 in exactly the same place where I began it.

And there’s too much that I want to do in 2018.

Accomplishing my goals…fully living my life…being more of who I want to be…requires that I allow those “50% of the time negative feelings” to be with me.

I accept them as part of my experience. I feel them fully.

They are the indicators that I am on the right path.

They remind me that I am human.

Present. Conscious. Alive. Participating. Growing. Thriving. EVOLVING.

Let’s get prepared for 2018 and all the emotions that will be part of it!

What are you planning to accomplish in 2018?
What will you have to do to make this happen?
What emotions are going to come up for you in the process? List all the positive and negative ones.
Can you imagine allowing the negative emotions to be part of your experience so that you can achieve your goals?
How can you plan to handle that discomfort now?

Are you looking for some extra support getting prepared for 2018 and learning to live with ALL of your emotions?

Why not book a complimentary {no obligation} Breakthrough Session to see how understanding and allowing all your emotions can significantly improve your chances of achieving your goals in 2018!

 

The Importance of Reflection.

reflection

It is a perfect week to look back – to scan over the months and days of 2016 – a time for reflection.

To think about all the things that took place during the year.

To give our time and attention to the details of our life.

We worked hard to create every moment. To schedule every appointment. To accomplish every task.

Why not take some time to assess what it all meant and to reflect on the cumulative effect of all our hard work?

Take 30 minutes and sit down with your 2016 calendar and look back on the year.

Review each month carefully – noticing the doctor’s appointments, scheduled meetings, morning drop-offs, vacations, performances, family reunions, errands, date nights, work trips and house projects.

Think about the flow of money in and out of your life.
Think about your health throughout the year, the sick days and the well days.
Think about the love you gave and the love you received.
Think about the emotions you experienced throughout the year.

How did you feel most of the time?
Happy? Motivated? Excited? Confident? Focused? Content?
Or
Afraid? Worried? Detached? Sad? Guilty? Confused?

Make notes and observations about 2016 and then answer these questions:

  • What moments are you most proud of and why?
  • Where did you struggle and why?
  • What did you learn about yourself?
  • How did you grow and evolve?
  • Where did you hold yourself back?

Take responsibility and ownership of all of it. Every single moment was created by you.

It’s not just the events that fill the blocks of time on our calendars that matter – it is the effect of all of those events, combined with our physical and emotional well-being that determine the success of our lives.

It doesn’t matter how much we accomplished (on the calendar) in 2016, if we spent a lot of the year feeling exhausted, lonely, stressed out and broke.

This reflection exercise is so important because it encourages us to look at the whole picture of 2016 and to be honest with ourselves about our results. And here is what is really important to understand – our results are always created by our own thinking. Seriously! All of our 2016 results began with our thoughts. So all of our positive results started with positive thoughts and all of our negative results started with negative thoughts.

It is so important to really grasp this concept before moving into any goal setting for 2017 because you have the opportunity to generate different results for yourself by changing your thoughts. But before you do any 2017 planning, I really encourage you to look back in detail at 2016 and reflect on the overall outcome. Be honest with yourself about your year. Be truthful. Own it. All of it. From this place, you will be able to be much more authentic in looking ahead to what you want to accomplish next year.

Next week, I will give you some specific exercises on how to create your 2017 goals, using your most valuable and sophisticated planning tool – your mind! Here’s the link to the exercises: http://katiepulsifercoaching.com/2017/01/06/success/

Until then – Happy New Year!

Do you want your future or your past?

past

Do you want your future or your past?

It’s an interesting question to consider. And here’s why.

One of the main causes of current problems in our lives is our programming from our past. Our past is where all of our current thinking was learned.

From the time you were young all the way until now, you have adopted beliefs and thought patterns mostly unconsciously. Now as an adult, you may be very skilled at thinking those thoughts without even realizing how they are affecting you.

In fact, some of your past programming is not only creating your current thinking, feeling and action patterns, but it is also controlling your focus.

Often, I will have clients who spend most of their sessions with me talking about their past. They will recall stories from their childhood, things they experienced as young adults, and in previous relationships, etc.

Their past-focused approach prevents them from moving forward. It perpetuates evidence for unconscious programming and doesn’t allow for deeper awareness or more deliberate present thinking.

These clients typically have a hard time dreaming and thinking about the future. Their past programming dominates and distracts any opportunity for exciting change and growth.

Here are some past-focused beliefs that my clients have shared with me:

I am just this kind of person
I’ve never been able to do that
This always happens to me
This is just the way life is
It’s what I’ve always known
It’s never going to change

Most of the time, my clients have no idea that they are so focused on the past.

The tricky part about being past-focused is that they are really good at it because they have been practicing it for many years. It’s such an ingrained way of thinking and they do not even realize that you are doing it.

Besides inhibiting growth, change and even dreaming – past-focused thinking prevents us from trying new things.

When we look to our past for confidence and for evidence we can succeed at something new, we will not be able to find it. We can only find confidence and evidence for the things we are already good at doing.

Confidence can come from new beliefs in new things, not from our past.

We need to tap into the energy of our present and our future in order to create momentum. We dream of something we want by imagining something in our future. Even if we want to recreate something we’ve had in our past, we need to remember it’s a new creation and not a repetition.

If we only look for evidence in the past for our confidence we need to move forward, we may not be able to see the potential for change. When we are in our past-focused loop, we can’t find the solutions.

The solutions are always found in the present by changing our minds about what is possible and what can be different.

When we are past-focused we are stuck in patterns that don’t serve our growth. When we are present and future-focused, we are taking control of our thinking and deciding how to think deliberately moving forward.

One of the best ways to focus your mind on the future is by setting goals and dreaming about you want in the future.

If you are ready to start choosing your future over your past, book a complimentary Breakthrough Session and I will show you how. Let’s talk about the past programming that you are ready to let go in pursuit of a future that you are really excited about.

a new month.

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Beginning of November.

A time to reflect on what we are working towards. A new month and a chance to re-evaluate what we want to accomplish. A chance to course-correct and to get back on track to end the year in a strong way. Or perhaps, an opportunity to create some priorities for ourselves for the first time, all year.

It doesn’t matter where we are at, whether we have been consistently working on our goals or we haven’t created any yet, there is still time to make the next 30 and 60 days really count!

When we sit down to do this work, we need to distinguish between “priorities” and “to do lists”. I teach my private clients this concept and it really helps them to focus on what really matters in their lives – to help clear away the clutter of obligation and to minimize the distractions that inevitably arise.

I will share a story about my client who wants to bring more money into her life. When she hired me, she was struggling to pay her bills and everything related to her money situation is very stressful. At the beginning of our work together, she identified that she wanted to double her income in 2016. She knew that this would be a very serious stretch goal, it would take tremendous focus and accountability. She wanted to figure out how to do the hard work associated with achieving this money goal way more than she wanted to feel stress, pressure and anxiety about not having enough money to pay her bills. She was committed. So we began with creating her goal: Double income in 2016.

Next we created her “priorities” list – the things / tasks that she would prioritize because they were in alignment with her over-arching goal of doubling her income in 2016. Priorities support goals 100% of the time. Priorities become the road maps and create the structure behind the goal setting. Priorities help us to stay focused and to provide the necessary restraint to achieve what we most want.

My client created her 5 priorities that would support her goal of doubling her income in 2016. This included the specific ways that she would earn money and save money. The priorities were very straight-forward and clear. She had created her plan. And then she went to work on outlining the steps underneath each priority and learned that this is where she needed to direct her focus every month, every week, every day.

There have been moments when my client has gotten off-course with her money goal this year. Each time it has happened was because she allowed her “to-do list” to take over. She hadn’t meant to abandon her money goal and never forgot how important it was to her, it’s just that other things created moments of momentary distraction. Other things became temporarily more important.

And this happens to us all the time. Doesn’t it? Our lives are so full and there is so much going on in the world around us, that it is easy to lose track of what we say is important to us. We never intend to turn our back on our goals and yet we do it all the time. We want to stick to our plan and our priorities and yet finding the time can sometimes feel impossible – especially when we allow our “to-do lists” to take over our lives.

I want to explain exactly what I mean by “to-do lists”. I am referring to them as the task lists that we create every week. The lists that wake us up in the middle of the night. The impossibly long lists of errands, shopping, driving, dropping off, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, helping out….that run our day-to-day lives. These lists dictate our schedules, our free time and set a precedent for how we organize ourselves. If left unchecked, they can take over everything.

Now I am not suggesting that we can abandon these “to-do lists” all together – that would be impossible – we need to have clean laundry, food in the pantry, our cars inspected. We need to go to the dentist, pick up a birthday card and volunteer at school or in our communities. These are the realities of life. And they cannot become the excuse we use to not make time for what we say we really want. I know that when a client says they want something and yet they are spending time on other things, it is because they are caught up in their “to-do lists” and think that they have no other choice. They believe that there is no extra time to devote to working towards their goals.

I believe that you always have a choice. I believe that there is always more than enough time. I believe that when you identify your goals and the priorities that support it, you can look at your “to-do list” with a different perspective, that you can un-obligate yourself from all the extra and unnecessary items that are not in alignment with what you really want.

So, I know that my client with the money goal is starting today and this new month, revisiting her priorities. She is evaluating her progress and seeing where she needs to do to push harder, shift attention and focus. She has taught herself how to put her priorities first and fill her “to do list” around it. She is determined to reach her goal this year and she is very close!

What can you do today on this first day of the month, to check in on your priorities?

How do you want to finish this year?

What would you like to accomplish?

Where can you carve out time from your “to-do list” and work on your priorities?

There is still plenty of time – to prioritize what matters to you most. To work towards it and most importantly, to experience achieving it.

The Downside of Indecision.

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I can absolutely relate when someone says to me, “I have a decision to make but I’m just not making it and it’s driving me crazy!”

I know this so well because when I avoid making a decision or taking action – it constantly weighs on my thoughts, disrupts my sleep, depletes my energy and disconnects me from my personal power. I feel distracted and overwhelmed by the fact that I have a decision to make or action to take. I feel detached from the present moment, like I am just going through the motions and everything feels a little unsettled. The state of indecision or inaction does begin to drive me crazy.
A client of mine recently put off a decision about creating her dream career because she was afraid to make the wrong decision. This kept her blocked from doing what she really wanted and prevented her from spending time doing what she loves to do, all because she was afraid of making the wrong decision. Another client stayed in a relationship with someone she knew she was not right for her. She was focused on thoughts of, “I need to tell him” and then constantly worried about how and when to do it – all of which blocked her from pursuing other aspects of her life that she was really passionate about. Both of these clients referred to “driving themselves crazy” with the constant distraction of indecision and inaction.
In both of these cases, my clients allowed fear to create indecisiveness and it kept them from taking positive steps toward their goals. They both knew with 100% certainty that simply making their decision would make them feel better, but they didn’t trust that the correct answers were within them. If they had fully decided and responded, they would have been less stressed; less distracted and felt a whole lot better. A decision, followed by action would have allowed both of these women to spend more time doing what they love and less time worrying.
Being indecisive leads to procrastination, self-doubt and distraction.
The constant thinking about making a decision, drains and depletes your energy and only drives you further away from the success you want. Decision-making always feels better, creates empowerment, clears the way for new opportunities, and propels you towards everything that you want in your life.
Being an empowered woman means being the leader in your life. One of the most empowering skills a leader has is the ability to make a good decision.

So how do you move away from the fear of making the wrong decision?

Know that it is absolutely impossible to make a wrong decision. Ever. For every decision you make, you gain experience and knowledge for the future and you open up new opportunities. There is always something positive to be gained from the result of a decision, even it is not what you hoped for.
Step into your BEST SELF. When you are in a feel-good place, you will be more decisive and make quicker decisions. Connect to your best self through meditating, journaling, exercise, etc. Visualize your best self-making decisions that need to be made. Imagine exactly how your best self feels and what she thinks. Then, when it’s time to make decisions in life, ask how your best self would handle the situation. Would she procrastinate or take action?
Trust your intuition. Go with it, without question, otherwise things get confusing and unnecessarily complicated. Your answer on what to do, is already within you, it’s just a matter of connecting to what is true. Believe that your first choice is always the best. If you feel a little unsure about a specific decision, put a time frame on it. Tell yourself that within 24 hours you will make a decision and then do it.
One thing I know for sure is that avoiding decisions only brings you more of what you don’t want. Making choices can become easy and lead to more freedom when you do it from a place of calm and connection. You will experience some degree of fear in the process of making a decision or taking action – that is to be expected. Fear is just an uncomfortable emotion, not proof that things won’t work out.
As you look at your life this week, think about where you are stuck in indecision or inaction. What can you do today, to make a shift? Commit to making a decision or taking action within the next 24 hours and see how good you feel when you honor that commitment. Feel free to email me, if you want support in this process. I would love to help you stay committed and accountable during this process.

Investment.

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Our time. Our money. Our attention.
These are all ways that we make investments.

If you are trying to figure out what matters most in your life, then all you have to do is look at where you spend your time, money and attention. You invest in what is really important, right? Yes, most of the time this true. We spend time, money and give our attention to our home, job, education, family and volunteering. We devote hours, dollars and focus to these things. In doing so, we tell ourselves and those around us, that these things are important. They matter. These are investments that we are willing to make and they are worth it.

On the flip side, there are other investments that we make that I would consider to be indulgent investments – the giving of our time, money and attention, more out of habit, obligation or fear. We throw our time, our money and our attention at things for the wrong reasons – because we are disconnected from what we really want. We allow ourselves to be externally influenced, to follow a trend, to stick with tradition, afraid to say no or to disappoint – whatever the reason, we often end up squandering our investment for experiences and things that ultimately do not serve us.

So how can you tell the difference between indulging and investing?

Indulging
Here are some examples of what indulging looks and feels like.
Closets filled with clothes we never wear
Eating more food than we need to fuel our bodies
Eating to feel something or to suppress emotion
Not getting enough sleep because we over-commit our evenings
Debt or lack of money in the bank account
General daily overwhelm
Not enough time or money to do what we really want to do
Clutter
Saying “I don’t know” a lot

Investing
Here are some examples of what investing can look and feel like.
Organized and clutter-free spaces
Eating to satisfy the sensation of hunger
Getting consistent sleep
Knowing your money – what you have and how you invest
Alone time to re-charge
Daily routine that includes favorite exercise or activities
More than enough time and money to spend on what matters most
Knowing what you want
Having a future plan
Here’s how shift from indulging your time, money and attention towards investing your time, money and attention.

Ask yourself WHY? This is the most powerful question you can possibly ask yourself to begin to understand the patterns, habits and behaviors that you have developed. “Why” helps you uncover the thoughts that trigger all the results that you have in your life. “Why” will reveal your back-story, your reasons and show you what you think. This is the place to get to, in order to be able to make a shift towards investment. It can take some time and patience to uncover the deepest thoughts, but I promise that this investment will be very worth it!

Be compassionate. Once you are able to understand why you think what you think and therefore, indulge instead of invest, it’s time to be as compassionate with yourself as possible. Guilt, shame and rejecting yourself, will never inspire change towards investment. Compassion and self-love will always inspire change. If you want to move from indulging towards investing, then treat yourself like you would treat your best friend, with kindness, understanding and compassion for past decisions. Patience, support and love will move into a new way of thinking and acting – from indulging to investing.

Worry and Letting Go

Do you spend a lot of time wondering about what other people think?
Do you spend a lot of time trying to make the ‘right decision’?
Do you spend a lot of time reflecting on the past and wishing things had turned out differently?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are spending a lot of your time in worry. Worrying about the things from the past, future and things we can’t control, never provides a helpful solution or contributes productively to our goals and dreams. Worry is a distraction, holding us back and keeping us from taking conscious and meaningful action in our lives. Worry dampens our confidence and never brings us happiness.

To move from worry towards more confidence and happiness, try these three steps:

Enjoy every moment in life – even the difficult ones.
Being confident and letting go of worry means learning to savor every bit of life, even when things become challenging. It’s knowing that through challenge, there is growth. Allow yourself to move in the flow of things and let go of resistance that things are easier. This is key even when things are most challenging. It means looking for positive and creative solutions and staying connected to your good energy. It means letting go of critical or negative thoughts so you are able to find perfect opportunities in the challenging moments.

Find connection.
This is such an important step to letting go of worry. Connect with what matters to you most, whether it is yourself, others, nature, or experiences. Go to the places and people in your life that allow you to feel love, hope and opportunity. Spend time with the people whose opinion and perspective motivates and inspires you. Walk away from those that criticize, deplete and drain you, as that will always just will create more worry.

Decide to be present.
Worry about the past and fear of what could happen in the future, stop you from being authentic and truthful in your present. This fear and worry delays decision-making and often causes us to postpone having something we really want. We get so caught up in trying to make the right decision, that we make no decision at all. The past is over and we always have a choice in how we reflect on it. It doesn’t have to negatively influence our present, unless we choose to let it. The future hasn’t happened yet, so fearing what could happen also prevents us from seeing all the opportunity in our present. To be truly present is let go of worry – to trust that we have everything we need in the moment – to have the confidence to take action and make decisions. It is deliberate choice which allows us move closer to our happiness.

Distraction

We are all prone to a little distraction now and again. In truth, it is sometimes exactly what we need. We need to be able to do something a little mindless, blow off steam, relax and detach every once in a while. It’s good for us.

Especially when it is intentional and planned. Conscious distraction, is what I like to call it.

And then there is the other kind of distraction – otherwise known as unintentional distraction.

Unintentional distracted is subtle, less obvious and usually not planned.

So what really happens when we spend time in unintentional distraction?

It means that we show up in life half paying attention, half focused, half checked-in to what is going on. Our bodies go through the motions while our minds are elsewhere. We say one thing but do something else. We eat even when we are not hungry. We say yes when we mean no. We stay up late when we are tired. We use being too busy to exercise as an excuse when we really want to be in better shape. We are prone to forgetting what is important to us, caught up in the moment instead of being grounded in our truth.

Being unintentionally distracted means that we are constantly leaking our own precious time – wasting it on stuff that is usually not very important. It means we deplete our creative resources, energy, health, love and money for instant gratification. We stop investing in our goals and dreams. And then when we do not get the results that we want, we like to blame others for the outcome.

Instead, we can look closely and discover when and where we slip into unintended distraction. We can notice where we are leaking time and moving further away from the goals and dreams. We can consciously and compassionately bring ourselves back to more presence and connection with what really matters – rewarding ourselves for our hard work with intentionally “taking a break” instead of constantly living in distraction and half commitment to everything.

Acceptance

What if you were to say that everything is exactly how it should be?

Could you accept it?

It takes a tremendous amount of emotional maturity to make a statement like that, especially when you are far away from realizing the dream life that you desire. However, when we take time to reflect and accept that we have all arrived at these current places in our lives because of all of our thoughts, feelings, actions and results, then we can accept total responsibility for creating the life that we have today.

Taking total responsibility is the first step. And it is counter-intuitive to what we habitually do, which is to give credit to others for our success, downplay our achievements by saying that we are just lucky or blaming our past and others for everything that hasn’t worked out.

The truth is always that life is playing out perfectly for us in every moment.

Life is always as it should be even when it is not great and perhaps even very difficult.

The challenging times always provide growth opportunities and infinite lessons, when we allow ourselves to accept them without judgment and blaming others – accepting that our negative thoughts create our negative results 100% of the time.

The amazing times remind us to celebrate our accomplishments with total confidence and ownership – accepting that our positive thoughts create our positive results 100% of the time.

To accept that everything is exactly as it should be, we take the first step by assuming responsibility for all of our thoughts and results,  proving that we are the creators of our current situation. We take the second step when we accept that we are the creators of our future, that anything is possible – that a new future begins in our mind with new thoughts and eventually becomes our new life.

Acceptance.

The Joy List

I love creating a Joy List. I love it because it feels good and reminds me of the things that I love that bring me joy.  The things that I love don’t just show up in my life by accident. I have to give what I love, my attention. I direct my thoughts towards what I love, so that I can have more of it. It’s that simple.

When we don’t give what we love our fullest attention, other things come in and take their place. All of a sudden, we find ourselves spending time on things that don’t mean anything, or are important to someone else, or waste our time. We fill our days with tasks and activities that keep us busy but lack joy producing effects. We trade what we love for Facebook, T.V., hanging out with negative people, eating because of boredom, over-spending, etc. This happens because we just forget to tap into what fuels our joy.

When was the last time that you created a Joy List?

Do you still know what brings you joy?

Do you know that you deserve to have a life filled with joy – things and experiences that you love?

Do yourself the biggest, most generous favor and create a Joy List today. Find out what you love. Reconnect with it. Write down what makes you happy and then find time in your day to give yourself the gift of something from your list. Let go of something from your day that doesn’t make you feel incredible and replace it with something from your Joy List. You will be amazed with the results.

My Joy List this week…

a juicy peach, solitude, an adventure to look forward to, peonies, my daughter whispering in my ear, hot baths, live dance performances, watching the waves, sun on my shoulders, restorative yoga, down pillows, belly laughter, puzzles, holding hands, 30,000+ feet in the air, flamenco music, sushi, gratitudes, paddle-boarding, facials, a fire, family, plan A.