Posts Tagged ‘coach’

Save 15 Minutes in the Morning

January 30, 2009
Do you often find yourself rushed for time in the morning? Do you spend precious minutes looking for your keys or for that report you want to bring to work?  Most of us contend with daily morning hassles that leave us frazzled even before we’ve walked out the door.

Creating a “launch pad” in your front hallway can make all the difference — and easily shed 15 minutes off your morning routine.

Think of a launch pad as a designated area containing the essential items you always want to take with you when you leave the house.  To create a launch pad, all you need is a small table, a ceramic bowl, and a couple of wall hooks.  The bowl sits atop the table, and in it you keep your wallet, keys, cell phone, (sun)glasses, and any other small essentials (e.g. a makeup bag or work ID tag).  The hooks on the wall are for hanging a coat, hat, umbrella, and bag.  Voilà!  No more hunting for your keys on the way out the door…

Well, sort of…The real trick is making sure to off-load items onto the launch pad when you come in the door the night prior. This takes some amount of practice, but once you get used to hanging your bag on the wall and dropping your keys & wallet in the bowl, it becomes habit. …And, this simple evening habit leads to happier mornings.

Want to take it a step further? Place your cell phone charger next to the bowl on the small table…and always leave with a freshly charged phone in the morning.  Consider placing a waste basket beneath the table and an IN/OUT box on top for sorting mail.  Soon you’ll never forget to mail another letter on your way to work.

Let me know how this works for you. And, please don’t hesitate to share your own tricks for saving time in the morning!



Jen helps dynamic individuals achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.
Her personal & career coaching programs are custom-designed to help you meet your unique goals.  Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Smart Money,, Time Out New York, and on The Today Show.

To learn more about Jen’s private coaching services or to schedule an introductory session, please contact Jen directly:

Phone: 914-617-8283

Visit Jen on the Web at

It’s National Stress Øut Week

November 13, 2008
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You may think, “What will they come up with next?”  But, considering the challenging and uncertain times we live in, this one hits the mark:

It’s National Stress Øut Week! That’s right.  This week, The Anxiety Disorders Association of America invites every one of us who struggles with stress and anxiety to take a time out and learn more about ways to manage these “gremlins”.

This year, ADAA’s focus is on the benefits of physical activity in reducing stress.  We all know that exercise is good for us, but according to ADAA, studies suggest “a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout” and “even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”

In fact, exercise is a part of every treatment program recommended by ADAA President and CEO Jerilyn Ross, MA, LICSW. “It’s one of the first things I tell patients,” she says. “People may feel powerless in terms of home life, finances, or politics, but they’re in control when they exercise.”

To learn more about National Stress Øut Week and ADAA, visit here.

And, then let’s celebrate!


Jen helps people to set goals and then exceed their own expectations!

Her personal & career coaching programs are custom-designed for students and professionals.  Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, Smart Money,, Time Out New York, and on The Today Show.

To learn more about Jen’s private coaching services, or to schedule an introductory session, please contact Jen directly:


Visit Jen on the Web at

Don’t Put Your Dreams On Hold…

June 30, 2008
This week’s blog entry comes courtesy of a client (I’ll call Laurie) who gave me permission to share one piece of her inspiring story.

Laurie had a dream for more than a decade to own and operate her own vineyard. She had been putting her dream on hold, content rather to keep it in her mind as the perfect fantasy. This perfect fantasy would indeed “rescue” her sometimes when she’d think about it during especially tough days at the office. Laurie liked having this dream to turn to, but she’d been frustrated for a long time that she wasn’t taking steps to make it a reality. Instead, she realized she was stowing the dream away in her mind like an artifact in a museum, keeping the vision wrapped up perfectly in its exquisite detail (ripe with beautiful rows of magenta grapes beneath a golden sky).  She was worried to take it out and touch it, lest she ruin the dream or risk not being able to bring it to fruition in all its glory.

Each one of us has dreams like Laurie’s — dreams we put ON HOLD because they seem too BIG…too SCARY…too CRAZY…too IMPOSSIBLE…or too PERFECT.

The visions we have in our mind’s eye are so resplendent that we have the feeling any steps we were to take in real life would fall far short, and perhaps, leave us disappointed. We effectively create our own hurdle, too high to cross.

The way out of this conundrum is by carving a messy path straight through our picture-perfect dream…and delighting in the process!

So how did Laurie carve her messy path?

She planted a garden in her backyard.

Once she recognized what was most appealing about her dream, she saw the chance to make that part a reality. What Laurie loves most is being outside, getting her hands dirty, tilling the soil, and watching life grow. She can do all of these things this very moment, everyday if she wants to, without moving to the wine country and without buying a vineyard. Owning that vineyard someday is still very much a goal of Laurie’s; she hasn’t relinquished the dream. Rather, she’s taken one step in its direction — one fairly messy step that tracks mud into her house and leaves a smile on her face. And that step, my friends, has made all the difference.

With joy!


P.S. I dedicate today’s ZoomLetter to all those who want to run a marathon…and sign up for their first 5K race; to all those who long to be published authors… and sit down to write their first blog entries; to all those who wish to be rock stars…and jam in their basements; to every one of us who has a dream…and doesn’t wait until tomorrow to enjoy it.

Jen helps dynamic individuals achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.
Her coaching programs are custom-designed to help you meet your unique goals.

To learn more about Jen’s private coaching services or to schedule an introductory session, please contact Jen directly:


Visit Jen on the Web at

2 Extra Tips to Stop Worry

April 30, 2008

Other handy distractions:

These are great when you’re driving or otherwise occupied and you can’t use traditional distractions like puzzles or sports to keep your mind from drifting to worried thoughts. Examples include: Counting backwards in three’s from 100 (ex. 100, 97, 94, 91….); Reciting to yourself boys’ names from A to Z (ex. Aaron, Brian, Carl, David….), and then reciting girls’ names A to Z; Naming cities from A to Z (ex. Austin, Boston, Chicago…); or Finding the alphabet in the letters of street signs (ex. finding letters A and B in the sign for The George Washington Bridge; finding letter C in the sign for the Cross Bronx Expressway, etc….Attention New Yorkers: signs for Queens really come in handy for Q’s and U’s). The object is to use these fun and easy mind-teasers to keep your mind OFF worry. They really work…I encourage you to try them next time you’re driving and fretting. Perfect for traffic jams!

A great way to quiet nerves when giving public speaking presentations:

One thing that works really well involves shifting your mind AWAY from thinking about how you’re doing. The more you can GET INVOLVED with the audience, the less nervous you’ll be. To quell nerves just BEFORE “show time,” think about the audience rather than focusing on yourself and your speech. Think about what the audience is eager to learn, why they might be interested in attending your talk, and what value you can provide to them. Better yet, greet and talk to attendees as they arrive, asking them these same types of questions. Again, place the focus squarely on them. If nerves strike DURING your presentation, again GET INVOLVED with the audience by looking different audience members in the eyes as you speak. You will find your nerves running higher if you direct your gaze over the audience as one large group. Rather, by looking at distinct individuals as you speak, your mind will interpret that you are having a series of individual conversations, and your nerves will calm themselves as a result. These techniques work great for office meetings, too!


4 Ways to Stop Worrying

(the full article from this week’s ZoomLetter…..To sign up for Jen’s newsletter, click here.)

Many years ago, a dear friend shared a powerful and liberating piece of advice with me. After I had “entertained” her with some worries on my mind — insignificant enough (when judged in hindsight) for me to have trouble recalling them now — she turned to me and said, “You know, you don’t have to believe every thought you have.”

She had lighted upon something important in the way I was worrying. She detected that I was granting my worried thoughts the authority of facts — as if they were sure to occur, or worse yet, as if they had already occurred.

It’s true that some of us worry more than others, but if one thing is true about human beings, it is that each of us worries at least some of the time. And unlike healthy and useful preparation, worry is unnecessary and wasteful “wringing” of the body and mind. Worry gets us nowhere, except for making us feel more upset. It’s no wonder that the dictionary definition of worry begins with the phrase “to torment oneself”.

So, if worrying is a waste, how can we stop doing it?

The following are 4 techniques to end worry.
(and they work pretty well on negative thoughts, too)

1) GET TURNED OFF: As soon as your mind brings up a worry or negative thought, dismiss it. When you catch yourself worrying, picture a bright red STOP sign in your mind. Use the image of the STOP sign to block giving the thought further time or notice. If a STOP sign doesn’t work, try keeping a rubber band on your wrist, and snap it every time you notice a worry or negative thought. The harmless sting will focus you outside your worry and will remind you to stop doing it.

2) GET ARGUMENTATIVE: If the worry or negative thought doesn’t take STOP for an answer, talk back to it. Be your own best defense attorney and line up evidence that runs counter to the invading worry. If it’s helpful, jot down a quick list of counter-arguments to the negative thought. No one has to see your list but you. Keep the list handy, because negative thoughts can be persistent and usually need a good thrashing on more than one occasion.

3) GET DISTRACTED: This technique is one reason why hobbies are so popular. If you’re having negative thoughts or worries, one of the very best things you can do is distract yourself. The human mind has a beautiful way of not being able to focus well on more than one thing at once. Take advantage of this. Occupy your mind with very tangible things that distract your attention. Some of the best distracters include: puzzles of all sorts, needlework, crafts, sports, and cooking. Keep in mind that if you really needed to do something about your worry, you’d be doing it. By the very fact that you are worrying (and not acting), it’s likely you are wasting energy and are better served by keeping your mind occupied in other ways.

4) GET INVOLVED: This one is all about taking the focus off oneself. Volunteering and helping others is a win-win all around. We feel great for two reasons: 1) we bring joy to others, and 2) we keep worry at bay because we shift our mind away from our own negative thoughts when we focus on others.

One thing I enjoy most about being a personal coach is helping clients quit torturing themselves. Clients often remark that through coaching, they get to trade worry for tangible action plans that get results. There are many more tricks where these came from. Learn more at

To borrow my friend’s line, here’s to not believing every thought we have!


The Exercise Quick Fix

March 28, 2008

It turns out there is a quick fix when it comes to exercise. That’s right — a short jolt of exercise is great for regaining focus and sharpening attention.

So what kind of exercise are we talking about here? Kids’ stuff — a handful of jumping jacks!

According to Dr. Edward Hallowell, world-renowned psychiatrist, educator, and author of Crazy Busy, when your mind starts to wander or you get drained mid-day at work, doing 25 jumping jacks can provide a short boost to the brain to help you get back on track and refocused (not to mention, the silly-fun factor).

A few less conspicuous “quick focus boosters” include: doing a set of push-ups, walking up and down 3 flights of stairs, or taking a 5-minute walk outside. (As with all exercise, make sure your doctor gives the okay first).

While exercise is great for our hearts and our waistlines, it’s equally good for our brains. And, we’re not just talking the familiar mood-boosting endorphins that come with lengthier and more intense exercise. Chemical changes in the brain, which result from even fairly quick exercises, have a profound effect on our executive functions — our abilities to focus, prioritize, memorize, and maintain alertness.

…And, heck, if you’re caught doing jumping jacks by co-workers who look at you funny, tell ’em this crazy coach you know suggested it.


P.S. There are so many more great tricks for boosting focus, attention, and memory! One of my areas of specialty as a personal coach is working with adults who have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) — helping them to make their lives easier and more fulfilling. If you’d like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to reach out. It would be a delight to talk with you…and it could make a real difference in your life or the life of someone you love.