Fun & Fulfillment in Work and in Life
When I think of New Year’s resolutions, I think ‘Ugh – I have to declare something hard.’ I think of failure. I think of unfulfilled promises to myself. I think of people talking about how long they lasted – a day, two days, a week. I just googled ‘new years resolutions broken’ and see that Time magazine listed the ‘Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year’s Resolutions.’ Here they are:
1. Lose weight and get fit
2. Quit smoking
3. Learn something new
4. Eat healthier and diet
5. Get out of debt and save money
6. Spend more time with family
7. Travel to new places
8. Be less stressed
10. Drink less
I love this slogan and I have for 25 years. As a staff auditor in public accounting just one year out of college, my supervisor had asked me several times if I had finished something. Despite picking it up, refreshing myself on the questions I needed to ask on some transactions and preparing to talk to the CFO, I had been unable to get in to see him several days in a row. She looked at me and said, ‘Kim – Just Do It!’ in other words make it happen.
It seems like everyone struggles with work‐life balance. What if it could be easy?
I worked in public accounting for 22 years ‐ a profession notorious for struggling with work‐life
balance. Over the years, companies have put in program after program to assist employees
with balancing ‐ child care programs, flex time, four day work weeks, telecommuting, hoteling,
elder care assistance ‐ you name it. Even with the programs in place, even when people take
advantage of the programs, work‐life balance still seems to elude most people.
First of all – I want to own the response I got to my last newsletter! Let me say that the title of my last newsletter, “Coaches Help Reduce Stress,” was a little tongue in cheek. The last point was that laughter and the ability to laugh at yourself was a simple, yet great, stress reducer.
Let's face it - we all encounter stress. There is good stress and bad stress - I'm talking about the bad kind. The kind that can affect your health, your happiness, and unfortunately those around you too. It seems to be everywhere these days:
I just got back from 7 days of intensive training towards a certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and I thought I would share a fun insight with you. The presenter referred to an interview of Oprah Winfrey. The interviewer asked Oprah, ‘Why do you work?’ Oprah replied something to the effect that she was pursuing her life’s work. It was her mission - her purpose in life. It was her calling. Then the interviewer asked her, ‘Why do you workout?’ to which she replied ‘to not have a fat butt.’
You've probably heard a lot about 'Personal Brand' lately. I spend about half my time working with executives in transition who need to really understand their Personal Brand to effectively market themselves. Their brand is less about what they have done and more about 'Who They Are as Leaders.'
Who is on your Board of Advisers? While BOD’s are typically a business concept, more and more people are realizing the advantages of a personal Board of Advisors. When people spent their whole careers in only one or two companies, mentors often emerged who played influential roles in the lives of career-minded individuals.
I went out for ice cream last night with my husband, and well yes, my dog (she likes vanilla!) I recalled a woman I met a couple of years ago at a weekend retreat for executive women. Towards the end, we were asked to draw a picture of our future. One woman, who was a jet-set, human resources executive, drew just an ice cream cone. She had been traveling extensively for work and the ice cream cone signified the simplicity of spending quality time with her 8-year old daughter and her husband.
Procrastination is defined as: 'To postpone doing something, especially as a regular practice.'
OK – so that last time you saw my monthly newsletter was in November 2009. I can cut myself a break for the holidays – but it is already March! And not only is it March, it is March 31st – the last day of my e-mail newsletter monthly billing cycle. My October / November newsletter came about because I missed October 31st. At that point I thought, well I will strive for getting it out at the beginning of the month so I am not always up against the deadline. We can all see how that worked!
Have you ever really thought about that word? Thought about the meaning? I am sure you have. We all have a lot to be thankful for.
Security is a word that seems to come up a lot as I work with clients these days. Particularly job security. People seem to fall into one of three categories. There are the 'It will never happen to me' folks that still seem to feel pretty secure. No network, nothing different - yet. There are the 'What if it happens to me?' folks that look at unemployment and think they may well be next. Many of these folks are fearful and paralyzed. Then there are the 'What the heck happened?' folks that never, ever expected to be in transition. Now financial security, relationship security and every other type of security is top of mind to them.
Allan Milham is a personal coach and co-author of the book, ‘Bold Moves – JUMP to Outstanding Self-Managed Action!’ When I began my coaching business, Allan challenged me with an exercise that comes from one of the concepts in his book. He had me reflect on ‘Who Am I When I am Big.’ ‘Big’ isn’t title or position, it’s who you are when you allow yourself to step into all that you are capable of being – when you are energized, engaged, at the 'Top of Your Game,' or as Allan would say, when you are jazzed or delighted.
If you are getting this newsletter, chances are you already understand the importance of professional excellence at work. You are likely relatively successful in your career and you didn't get there by being mediocre. In fact, you may well be of the generation that 'lives to work' as opposed to younger generations that 'work to live.' You may have a thirst for knowledge and personal growth that helped you get where you are today.
'Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your window on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while or the light won't come in.' - Alan Alda
Everyone seems to hate the word ‘Networking.’ It implies hard work and represents one of those things you know you just have to do (or should be doing.)
My dad, who is a little old school, said to me once, ‘Networking … you mean with computers?’ (Of course, he wasn’t referring to social networking!) I’m not sure he quite understood how that was going to help me grow my coaching business. ‘No dad,’ I said, ‘It’s getting out and meeting people and building relationships.’ He replied, ‘Well why the heck don’t you just call it ‘Socializing?’ I thought, ‘Oh – he SO doesn’t get it!’
How do you define yourself?
We all play a lot of roles in our lives – spouse / significant other, parent, son or daughter, sibling, friend, aunt / uncle, volunteer, etc. … and yes – the role we play at work. Which of these roles do you value the most? Which of these roles bring you the greatest sense of fulfillment in your life?