choice

One-Thing Thinking

The concept of choosing one thing, as in — one project, one focus, one goal — has shown up in two ways this week and it has me re-thinking my thinking.

First, I listened to a one-hour talk by author Jessica Abel in which she shared the concept of examining our “idea debt inventory” and choosing one project to give our focus. It hit home because I always have tons of ideas begging for my attention (aka “idea debt”) and the notion of choosing only one to focus on at a time brought on gut wrenching anxiety. I noticed that physical sensation, breathed into the near-panic happening inside my body, and continued listening to why choosing one thing makes sense.

The reason that struck me most is that when we choose just one single thing, our minds keep working on it even after we step away from the computer. This leads to getting that one chosen thing accomplished sooner than moving several ideas forward at a snail’s pace.

Second, I started listening to a book that’s been on my Audible.com wish list for several months -- The One Thing, The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. I haven’t finished the book yet, however I’m really enjoying it. I’m sure I’ll have more to share as I learn from it and use the material to help me in the process of choosing my one thing.

These two experiences felt like a one-two punch and it has my attention. It’s time for me to choose one overall focus for my business and, based on that choice, one project until it’s finished.

What’s the one thing that you want to give your focused attention?

In the spirit of learning,

Jalene


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Can you think of a business with a staff that would benefit by getting to know more about each other so they can communicate better, get the right work done, and enjoy themselves more? I work within organizations as a trainer, facilitator, and executive coach. Learn more here: Professional Development

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Practice Sparks Passion

This morning I delivered my very first speech at Toastmasters. I joined the group because I wanted to improve my public speaking skills. Pretty straight forward and kind of mundane, right? Maybe, but in the three short months between starting in January and speaking today, something big inside of me changed.

For several weeks, I’ve been struggling with exactly why I’m in this group.  Today, after being reminded once again to project, so that everyone can hear me, I know. I don’t need to simply speak louder. I realized that the real reason I joined the group is this: I'm ready to strengthen my voice and use it to join the many people who make positive contributions in our world. I found my real "why!" Even more importantly, I could feel the spark of my "why" in my heart.

The next ah-ha that flooded through me was that just like practicing yoga has strengthened my body, practicing speeches will strengthen my voice. And, the sweet, dark chocolate sauce drizzled on top of the whole experience was that I knew the feedback I received from my fellow Toastmasters was exactly what I needed to hear as I began my journey through this new doorway toward speaking publicly. Suddenly I thought, "How cool is this?! I don't need to find places to speak to practice. I can practice right here and receive constructive comments to boot!" 

Practice. It's not sexy, often not fun, almost always humbling and yet it's at the crux of expressing our passion from the core of our true selves.

What are you practicing?

Know that whatever you're practicing, that is what you're getting better at doing.

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

P.S. Thank you Yaquina Toastmasters!

I help individuals and small businesses clarify their vision, build stronger connections with themselves and others, reach the results they want, and find more joy and satisfaction along the way. 

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Giving Yourself a Break

How do you know when time away is the best way forward?

Many of us believe that getting on top of our To Do List means working harder on it, and working longer at it, even though our brains are fried, even though we’re mentally and physically exhausted. I’m practicing a new way of working, with surprising results.

Here’s the sparkling jewel I’ve discovered. When I take better care of myself, my work quality and production improves. What a revelation! Working harder and longer is not the answer. Here’s what it looks like for me these days, with it's little imperfections, of course.

Every day I write in my journal, get enough sleep, take breaks during the day for lunch and snacks, and eat well. Weekly (5-6 times) I do yoga or walk, and meditate. Every two months I get a massage. And here’s something new I just played with last week. I was in a funk. I wanted to get away from everything I was working on for a while so…I did. I gave myself a break, a mini retreat if you will, for a whole afternoon.

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My time away evolved into a 45-minute drive to Yachats where for $25 I could enjoy all the amenities of the Overleaf Spa & Resort for the day — hot tubs overlooking the ocean, dry & wet saunas, and luxuriously scented lotions. After I was a clean, wet noodle, I had a hankering for a treat from one of my favorite restaurants. A dessert called Boccone Dolce called to me. The air-light meringue dissolved on my tongue, while the tang of fresh berries and the richness of whipped cream and chocolate brought an audible “Mmmmm” from my joy-filled mouth. Nestled into a booth with sun pouring through the window, I sipped a decaf cappuccino and wrote in my trusty journal. Ahhhh…

Energy level raised, anxiety level lowered, I felt centered, nourished, and excited to dive back into my work.

How will you take care of yourself & give yourself a break?

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

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Psst...have I told you about my business?

I help individuals and small businesses clarify their vision, build stronger connections with themselves and others, reach the results they want, and find more joy and satisfaction along the way. 

 

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Twenty Percent Easier Button

My friends, family, and colleagues will back me up on this admission: "I excel at making things more complicated than necessary."  And when I do that, I eventually end up stuck in a quagmire of self doubt that leads to asking myself something like, “Where, oh where is that darn easy button when we need it?!” To help myself during those exasperating times, I've developed ways to locate (and push!) the easy button.

One of my favorite benefits of aging is that we get to know ourselves better. As a side benefit, we've crafted tools & tricks for helping ourselves so we can continue blossoming as human beings. 

Here are some ways I've been making things 20% easier lately:

  • Ask for help.
    • It's often easy for the other person to help me, and if not I'm sometimes given sage wisdom that moves me forward.
  • Talk with someone about it.
    • Hearing the words come out of my mouth, being forced to organize my thoughts for others, being asked questions, or being offered ideas all help me to see the situation from a fresh view.
  • Stop trying so hard and take a break.
    • Working longer and harder, with scarce food and restroom breaks, does not guarantee excellent results. Stepping away, stretching, eating well, meditating, walking  these are the actions of a focused, creative, productive woman!

How could you find (and push!) the easy button in a situation that's frustrating you? Try it!

In the spirit of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

 

Consider hiring me as your coach if you're expanding into a new leadership role at work or transforming into the next version of you. Schedule a complimentary Curious about Coaching session to learn more.

 

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Living In Flow

When are you flowing with, versus pushing against, what's coming to you?

 My airplane's-eye view enroute from Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho this week.

My airplane's-eye view enroute from Portland, Oregon to Boise, Idaho this week.

I should have cancelled my trip to Boise this week because the primary purpose for it was postponed. But I didn't. I had just enough other things scheduled that I thought it might be worth my while.

There was an intuitive whisper that nudged me forward. Toward what? I didn't know the answer. I've been practicing focusing my awareness on times when I'm able to flow with circumstances that don't go as planned, and on times when I get frustrated and push against what's happening. As a result of my not cancelling, several serendipitous, meaningful scenarios played out that I couldn't have orchestrated in advance. I'm so happy that I flowed rather than resisted the changes, and didn't cancel the trip.

The photo above seemed like the perfect metaphor for living in the flow. We can't see the big picture of our life, of how experiences and people influence us and vice versa. However, we know they flow together (when we allow them!) to shape the landscape of our lives.

How might you practice living in flow?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

Helping curious individuals and teams who want to learn more about themselves so they can authentically lead, genuinely connect with others, and live satisfying personal and professional lives.

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Following Your Trail

Are you following your trail or someone else's?

This week, I felt like I was beginning to follow the sought-after guidance of other people too often. I was hiking their trail instead of mine. Every shiny new bit of guidance was appearing on my to do list, on my web page, and in my goals. 

Thinking about that, I remembered a trail I hiked in Honduras with fellow travelers that had all those qualities —surprising, bumpy, steep, muddy, wild, and peaceful. And, I realized, so does building my business.

It was time to recalibrate my internal GPS a bit to stay on my trail.

I'm reconnecting with my heart's voice, the thing that makes me, me. I'm consciously choosing — from all the ideas calling for my attention — what I will pursue and what I will let go of, for now.

I recognize that on the one hand I want to listen to the people whose wisdom I respect, but on the other I must honor my own wisdom. Balancing the two voices helps me have the guts to do it my way. When I notice a shift toward imbalance, I can make minor adjustments before I get lost charging down someone else's trail.

How will you recalibrate a bit to stay on your trail?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

 

Helping curious people who want to learn more about themselves so they can be potent leaders at work and at home.

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Take Your Seat At the Table

 

My theme for 2018 is:

Take my seat at the table. 

On January 20, 2018, at the ripe age of 54, I participated in my very first protest march. This Women's March took place in Newport, Oregon, the town of 10K in which I live. That's me on the far right with my friend Mary Kay.

What does it mean for you to take your seat at the table?

To me it means:

  • Unabashedly bringing my whole perfectly imperfect self to this new chapter of life I'm writing, professionally and personally.
  • Distinctly speaking up with truth, courage, and authenticity.
  • Boldly making decisions with my heart and head as allies. 
  • Knowing that because I've chosen to speak, my voice belongs at the table.
  • Bravely beginning again and again.

What will your actions look like when you believe your voice belongs, when you take your seat at the table?

In the quest of knowing ourselves,

Jalene

I help leaders build stronger people connections, improve the results they're seeking, and find more joy and fulfillment in their work. 

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Step Up & Show Up

How do you want to step up?

Think about where you're playing small. Is there something at work that you want to do but you're afraid you might not be able to pull it off? Is there a dream that feels too big? Is there a challenge you want to rise to but you keep turning away instead?

One area in which I've stepped up is in naming specific goals. For example, in the past I've been comfortable writing that I will build my work with teams inside organizations. Given that vague target, how would I ever know when to do the happy dance? 

Stepping up means setting this kind of goal: Gain 10 business clients by 12/31/18 to produce a total of “X” amount of income. It scares me and excites me to declare this to myself, let alone to all of you! This is a step up. I can feel the buzz of excitement, mixed with fear, as I write this post, the tell-tell sign that I’m taking a step beyond my comfort zone.

How do you want to show up

Imagine the influence of what you wear, your body language, the atmosphere you create by vulnerably sharing your opinions, the way in which you're showing up in your everyday life. Take a meta-view of yourself. What do you look like? How are you behaving? Are you satisfied with it?

I've been experimenting with changing the way I dress when I'm going to anything remotely related to building my business. Rather than show up looking like I'm a work from home solopreneur, I'm dressing like the President/CEO that I also am. I look different. I behave different. I'm treated different. I'm showing up on the outside, as the woman I know I am on the inside. 

These are just a couple of ways I’m stepping up and showing up in a new way.

What does it look like when you step up and show up in a new way?

In the spirit learning,

Jalene

Helping individuals and teams know themselves so they can create lives they love living with coaching, professional development, and workshops.

Pick Myself Up Plan

What do you do to pick yourself up when you fall short of a goal, plan, or your brilliantly imagined scenario?

It’s bound to happen. When we attempt new feats outside our comfort zone, we’re going to fail at some point. I had a couple of experiences last week when something new I tried did not turn out the way I imagined it in my mind. Of course, I did it in public. Ugh.

I rebounded pretty quickly though, without spending too much time wallowing in my blunder. However, I realized that I needed a conscious Pick Myself Up Plan.

For me, it’s a combination of younger-Jalene and older-Jalene.

As a kid, I was quite the tomboy, climbing trees, playing all the sports a girl could play, and riding dirt bikes. Physically falling down meant brushing myself off, and continuing on with the fun. Older-Jalene knows that healing the emotional pain is done with kindness and laughter, and a reminder that the learning curve always includes, “Oh boy, I’m excited,” Oh-crap this is hard,” and, “Yes, I got this!”

Next time we’re trying something new and we fall, let’s help ourselves up with a Pick Myself Up Plan. I’m going to imagine brushing myself off with kid-like zeal then give myself a wise dose of kindness and a wee chuckle.

What will you do when you miss the mark and fall flat on your sweet face?


Do you want to get your spine-tingling ideas done and yet can't get out of your own way? Let's talk about how hiring me as your Coach can move the dial from "I want to do it." to "I've done it!"

Are the people in your organization struggling with their personal leadership skills such as communication and collaboration? I'd love to hear about it and then, discuss how I might help. Let's talk.

Hooray for you!

How do you celebrate

your accomplishments

no matter how big or small?

A few days ago, my journal was sitting out on our coffee table and my husband happened to notice the words, “Hooray for me!” that I had written with a hot pink colored marker. He said them out loud and I instantly felt silly. Then a switch flipped. I launched into an exuberant description of what it was all about.

I’ve been practicing celebrating, when I’ve done something I said I was going to do. Simple. Right?

This particular, “Hooray for me!” was related to a time when I stopped myself from spiraling down into unhelpful thoughts. It was a seemingly small thing. It wasn’t the accomplishment of a gigantic, audacious goal.

I'm celebrating more often because research shows that celebrating not only feels great; it trains our brain to repeat the behavior. That's big!

Think of a goal that’s meaningful to you.

What’s one, seemingly small, behavior

that would move you closer to it?

Now do it, and then enjoy celebrating in your style, appreciating that you are moving toward what's important to you.

Power-up your celebratory moment by embodying it. Strike a pose, a gesture, or do a full-on happy dance!

To go along with my, “Hooray for me!” moment, from the comfort of my couch, I raised my arms just like I’m doing in this photo.

In the spirit of celebration!

Jalene