The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

The First Rule of Change: It’s Always Happening

“It is essential to follow your commitments 100% of the time—Do you have a clear and meaningful life compass.”  HBR May 22, 2012 Clay Christensen’s

As the world’s wisdom traditions teach and science is now verifying, our lives are in fact defined by constant change and ambiguity of constant change . Whether you’re looking to change a behavior, improve your health or other circumstances, or simply for a way to bring hope and resilience into your life as it is, The DRIVE 4 CHANGE MODEL will help you trust and coach yourself to discover your true strengths and motivations for personal development and change.

No Drive = No Change

DRIVE MODEL—Dealing with Motivation 4 Constant Change   

D = Development of “Life Purpose and Goals” through Self-awareness

R = Reality

I = Introduction of Solutions

V = Validate commitment for change and action plan for accomplishing desire results

E = Execute against plan and continuous improvement and change through feedback

Self-Coaching: Managing Your “Inner Critic” to Increase Positive Self-Talk and Focused Attention

Recently, I started to re-read the Inner Tennis book by Tim Gallwey then I came across  a great article on turning down your inner critic so as to improve performance in stressful situations. The a site I stumbled across is called The site and its programs are run by two thoughtful and inspiring women, Jane Shure, PhD. and Beth Weinstock, PhD.

Dr. Shure and Weinstock believe that we can learn how to “turn down” the voice of what they call our “inner critic,” and learn to “turn up” our positive and natural voice of  “inner coach.” Gallwey’s point of view was that people are vulnerable to negative shifts in mindset which can have drastic impact on one’s performance in many different situations that require focused attention.

Both Gallwey and Shure/ Weinstock are talking about the powerful unconscious and how the brain builds in patterns that are repeated through the process of self-talk that impact our performance  Self-talk is the inner dialogue between parts of our mind, and is influenced by these neural pathways from past behavior in similar situations. When we grow-up with negativity and criticism from inadequate parents, critical teachers or bad experiences, we internalize negative messages. Our brains literally develop dysfunctional pathways and patterns that blame ourselves not others for failure and mistakes. We build many obstacles that prevent us from access our natural abilities.

Some of the obstacles are anxiety about our ability to handle difficult people and situations. Others include fears of failure or success, resistance to new endeavors or situations, test taking, , doubt about our ability to perform , etc. Gallwey teaches performers, managers and athletes how to tap into natural and positive potential for learning, performance, and enjoyment. Any activity can become an opportunity to improve skills, increase joy and heighten awareness.  Our Inner Critic as described by  ( Shure and Weinstock) or Self 1 ( Gallwey’s) are the center for negativity and criticism and yet they can help you focus at the task at hand.  These voices are not the only source of input available to us. Self 1 or the inner critic are powerful internal voices that can overwhelm our natural strengths and  are always in battle for our attention. The more we listen to it, the more we strengthen it and subject ourselves to its negative impact on our performance whether it be tennis, golf, singing, doing math, taking tests serving for “match point, or  making presentations “ad infinitum”.

Many of us live with the constant “self-talk” of a harsh Inner Critic. The critic’s voice thwarts our spontaneity, holds us hostage to anxiety, dampens freedom of expression, keeps us feeling inadequate and can sabotage and undermine your performance.  

Self 1 has the unique ability to focus our attention and ought to be used that way to improve your concentration. Self 1 is not all bad and we need to pay attention to it so as to use its positive elements when appropriate.

In the next blog I will provide some proven tips for overcoming the negative inner voice and help you begin to practice how to access your positive Self 2 and the integrated Self 3 to conquer performance fears and reach your potential. Stay tuned.


Part II –Team Meetings: Focus and Understanding Individual Needs of Members

In Part I of this series on Meeting Effectiveness , I shared some ideas about how important it is to maintain and build the group as a whole by understanding the Maintenance Needs of the team. In this post, I want to review a different type of team need that can make or break your team’s effectiveness–Individual Needs of team members.  

Obviously, any group is made-up of two or more individual persons. These persons have their own individual needs. Your individual personality preferences, life experiences, genetic and neurological make-up and in particular positive and negative experience of  working in teams drive members behavior. These individual needs drive the type of communication,  interaction, and roles members play when the team comes together to work on tasks. These needs must be identified and satisfied before a productive and satisfying meeting can take place.  Most team members consciously or unconsciously require different needs to be met. These needs are recognition, status, control,  autonomy, security, belonging, affection, acceptance, etc. The list can go on and on. The nature of human circumstances  and life in general determine a person’s particular needs at any given moment in the life of the team. All of us at any given time might need more recognition, a sense of belonging or control.

Let’s say in a given team Bill will need many of these things. For many reasons, he may also need to a leader on a particular topic under discussion; he may need to liked and feel like he belongs; he may feel a need to impress one particular person in the group. The kind of needs he expresses are a direct result of his particular circumstance, brain functioning and  perception of gain or loss by being a member of this group. At this point you might being saying: ” I get it that everyone has needs but how do you use this information to improve team meetings and produce recommendations for the task we were assigned to work on? For part of my answer, I want to introduce you to an emerging field in behavioral and team management–cognitive brain research. This new research about how to apply brain research to improve human performance, develop effective teams and drive change is being conducted by Dr. David Rock and his associates at the NeroLeadership Institute.   In a recent interview, with the NY Times, Dr. Rock describes the importance of new brain research model called the SCARF theory by saying ” it is crucial for managers to make their employees feel they are on the same team.”  The SCARF model provides a structure for analyzing what motivates our social interaction and behavior at work. The SCARF  acronym stands for Status, Control, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.  To see more read about Dr. Rocks research click on this link to the NeuroLeadership Institute webpage.

Since, we have covered maintenance needs and individual needs in teams my next post will focus on task needs and roles people might play  and how to use this information to improve team meetings. Thanks Coach Mark

Want to see how Mentally Tough you are? Don’t miss Taking the Hardiness Test Today.

Following-up on this morning’s post on recent research on Mental Toughness  here is your opportunity to assess your mental toughness or what Dr. Jerabek President of Psychtests AIM Inc. calls the Hardiness Test. 

The study reports that hardiness impacts both physical and mental well being. For example, hardy individuals take fewer sick days, exercise more often, and have healthier diets. They are also more satisfied with their career, and tend to perform better at work than their less hardy counterparts. “The results for performance at work were actually quite staggering,” explains Dr. Jerabek. “Mentally tough individuals outscored their less tough counterparts by at least 20 points on a scale from 0 to 100. It seems that they are simply better able to channel stress at work, using it as a momentum to boost them rather than sidetrack them.”, one of the web’s foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments unveils results of a mental toughness study using their popular Hardiness Test. Their study results indicate that mental toughness is a key to success – and to getting through the ups and downs of life in one piece.

The study results clearly confirm the old dictum that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Much like optimists vs. pessimists, hardy individuals, when compared to less hardy ones, see the world very differently. Where the less hardy see obstacles, the hardy see a challenge to be overcome. While the less hardy find themselves totally overwhelmed and unable to function when under stress, the hardy ones use stress as an adrenaline boost. Hardy people go where angels fear to tread; less hardy people wish they could just crawl into the nearest corner, roll up into a fetal position, and wait until it’s safe to come out again.

Analyzing data from over 16,000 test-takers, Queendom’s study revealed that hardy individuals tend to possess three key traits:

  1. Commitment – they tackle every task in life, no matter how mundane, with 100% effort. They are able to look ahead to the future payback of their efforts rather than getting caught up in the daily grind t boredom that so many people experience.
  2. A sense of personal control – rather than sticking their head in the sand during difficult times, hardy individuals proactively search for solutions. They look for ways to improve their circumstances, even if it’s just to make them bearable.
  3. They view setbacks as challenges, rather than obstacles. This persevering attitude helps them view negative events in their life as less stressful, enables them to put things into perspective, and helps them stay motivated.

If you want to take the free Hardiness assessment go to this link 

Good Luck and have fun with the test,who knows it might be one of those AHA moments for you. Coach, Mark

Part 1: What does Research tell us about Mental Toughness (Hardiness) and Performance?

Some people make the mistake of thinking that MT is all about extorting or putting pressure on themselves (efforting) to perform up to their potential no matter what the circumstances. So let’s start with clarifying the key concepts and definition of MT.

Definition: Mental toughness is having the natural or developed ability that enables you to:
ƒ to access your strengths and skills on demand. It is a learned ability that provides a person with coping and thinking skills to handle stressful and demanding situations. As a performer it is seen when a performer can be more consistent and better than an opponent in remaining calm, focused, determined, confident, resilient, and in control under pressure.

Key psychological characteristics associated with mentally tough elite athletes Jones et al (2002) are:
” Self-Belief and self-efficacy:  
• Having an unshakable belief in your ability to achieve competition goals
• Unique qualities that make you better than your opponents.
• Having an insatiable desire and internalized motivation to succeed (you really got to want it)
• Ability to bounce back from performance setbacks with increased determination to succeed.
• Remain fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions
• Able to switch focus on and off as required
• Not being adversely affected by others performance or your own internal distractions (worry,
negative mind chatter)
• Composure/Handling Pressure:
• Able to regain psychological control following unexpected events or distractions
• Thriving on the pressure of competition (embracing pressure, stepping into the moment)
• Accept that anxiety is inevitable in competition and know you can cope with it
Key component of mental toughness is learning how to condition your mind to think confidently and be
able to overcome frustration/self-critical negativity (reframe self-talk into what it is you want to occur)”.

Lesson Learned created a new Wickism: Don’t allow frustration or being to self-critical undermine your confidence or mental toughness.”

Yet a recent study confirms that MT which is defined as being “hardy” is something different. The study results indicate that mental toughness is a key to success – and to getting through the ups and downs of  stressful events in life. The study results clearly confirm the old dictum that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Much like optimists vs. pessimists, hardy individuals, when compared to less hardy ones, perceive the world very differently. Where the less hardy see obstacles, the hardy see a challenge to be overcome. While the less hardy find themselves totally overwhelmed and unable to function when under stress, the hardy ones use stress as an adrenaline boost. Hardy people go where angels fear to tread; less hardy people are the types that play to lose by undermining their performance and wishing  they could just crawl into the nearest corner, roll up into a fetal position, and wait until it’s safe to come out again.

“Learning from experience helps build character and resilience, so it’s not surprising that mental toughness tends to increase with age,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of Psychtests AIM, company. “It’s not only a matter of developing better coping and problem solving skills. As we get older and have been knocked around in the school of life, we develop a stronger sense of perspective and self-efficacy; a greater belief that ‘I’ll get through this’. Think of  the pain of losing someone we love, for example. Regardless of age, everyone feels hurt after it happens. But with experience, we get to a point of acceptance more quickly, and move on more readily.”

Daily Quote and Reflection: Discovering your own Vision and Awake to Joy

Daily Quote: “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  Carl Jung

Reflection: How much time do you spend reflecting on your experiences? If you are like most people , you may resist and be reluctant to plan or reflect on your life. Many think this type of approach to living lacks the spontaneity and natural feeling of just letting life happen. Planning or reflecting seem to be too structured, controlled or artificial. Yet, I believe that assessing what worked or didn’t and what you would do differently in the future provides invaluable learning you can use to handle future events and situations. Reflecting on past experiences can help identify areas for improvement, overcome fears of change,  deal with bad habits and inadequacies.

Self- Coaching Challenge: Few people receive the  education in the conscious applications of clear thinking for solving problems and creating a more positive outlook in life. Most of our learning in this type of reflective thought is by “trial and error”.  My challenge to you is to discover and realize the power of  your own thinking in determining  your behavior. So over the weekend I want you to choose enthusiasm for living rather than just loafing around. I want you to try this experiment, so as to increase your understanding and establishing more effective ways to identify your own ability to use optimism and positive thinking that may lay dormant within you. Start Saturday and Sunday right — Most of the research on developing more energy and enthusiasm says that in the first 15 minutes of thought and activity can determine whether you have a good or bad. Use Smart-steps to get going on the right path

1. Take a deep breath and think of all the good things you have in your life.

2. Then awake to see all the good people, good things and opportunities for fun.

3. Go out and get breakfast or donuts for everyone

4. Then do activity that others want to do.

5. Let the joy of the day flow to you.

6. Capture in your journal 5 joys of the day.

Connecting Mindfulness and Mental Toughness–Live in the Moment

Buddhist Definition: “Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience”.

This ability to be in the present-moment awareness increases your ability to let yourself awaken to the moment and be free and uninhibited by self-consciousness. Your natural self comes to the surface. Being in this natural and present moment increases your mental toughness through focus on the “here and now”. “Be right here right now and see the ball, hit the ball !” you hear tennis and other coaches implore. This encouragement to just let go and let yourself be in the moment is the essence of fully experiencing an activity from the point of view of mindfulness you are now awakening to being more mentally and physically tough.

Overcoming what I call “efforting” is the first critical principle for improving performance.  Thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually makes you do worse. If you’re in a situation that makes you anxious—giving a presentation or speech, meeting for a job interview, playing in a tennis tournament or dancing with a troupe —focusing on your anxiety, worries or trying too hard to do the activity perfectly tends to heighten negative thoughts and anxiety. Focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room or court, less on your mental self-talk and more on yourself as part of something.  To be at your best, you need to focus on positive things outside myself, like the music or the people around me. As the Buddhist monk might say  If you want to release positive energy ” try being one with everything” which to me translates as living and experiencing the joy of the “here and now” moment..

By reducing self-consciousness, mindfulness allows you to witness the passing drama of feelings, social pressures, even of being esteemed or disparaged by others without taking their evaluations personally, explain Richard Ryan and K. W. Brown of the University of Rochester. When you focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem, unpleasant events like audience rejection—or your so-called friends making fun of your performance —seem less threatening.

Focusing on the present moment also forces you to stop over thinking and getting out of our heads which releases positive brain endorphins and energy. “Being present-minded takes away some of that self-evaluation and getting lost in your mind—and in the mind is where we make the evaluations that are self-defeating. To paraphrase, Tim Gallwey from his fabulous book Inner Game of Life, instead of getting stuck in your head and worrying, you can let yourself go and hand over the performance to your positive and natural self 2 or self 3 and avoid the critical judgments of Self 1 which distract you from being in and enjoying the moment.

Daily Quote/ Reflection: Begin You Legacy Today by Leaving “footprints in the sand of time.”

Daily Quotes : “Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and departing leave behind us FOOTPRINTS on the sands of time”. Longfellow

“While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure you make choices that lead along the path in a direction that provides meaning and keeps you focused on your purpose for living. MWH


As I am about to turn 70 and I look at the world around us, I find hope in the young people.  Even though the world they face is more complex, confusing it is still  full of opportunity. The work place has changed dramatically and what they expect out of work has changed. As I continue my own learning, I have realized that I continue to come back to this notion of creating a ” life of meaning and living on purpose” And with fifty years of hindsight and hundreds of career counseling sessions for my sons, their friends and colleagues, I decided it was time to pass along some thoughts to the people entering one of the most intimidating but exciting decades of their lives.  And my hope is they will find some ideas here that will help them make good decisions and lay a foundation for the life of meaning they are seeking. Remember that daily life is made-up of choices and not just luck or chance. Sure there are events and things that happen to us which we are powerless to influence. In these situations the most we can do is hope that the hurricane, flood or accident misses us. Yet in many situations it is important to realize that we have  something to do with what happens to us, we have choices and make decisions. When we make choices we gain control and influence over our lives.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Stop Being the “victim” 

Write down 1 skill you’d like to improve that can help you take control of your career or family life. Create the Improvement Goal. Lay out the plan for achieving it step by step and commit to start implementing the plan tomorrow.

How to get going?

Think about your personal goals, you are now a college graduate and have been seeking a meaningful job in your field of study for 6-9 months. You have been frustrated, unlucky and even some days lazy about your search. You have now decide to be more accountability for finding a job.  Realizing that nothing happens without you having something to do with it.  What’s one thing you’d like to improve in order to pick-up your job hunting success? When thinking about this new approach what have you done or not done to create or allow the situation you now find yourself in? Write down your thoughts about these questions.

Why all this matters?

Too often we get into a rut, performing the same repetitive tasks and doing only what’s required like bar-tending to pay the bills until something better comes around. This sitting and waiting for inspiration or something better won’t work. TRUST ME. You need to something proactive if you want to move ahead – both professionally and personally – it’s important to step back. By thinking and reflecting about what you’re doing and how you can do it better, you open yourself up to new learning opportunities and experiences.

Goal 1. What Do I need to START DOING?


Goal 2 What Do I need to STOP DOING? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Goal 3. What do I need to CONTINUE DOING that is working ?


Daily Quote and Reflection:Leading others to Discover their Highest Potential

Daily Quote: Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching On Leadership:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”


This has always been one of my favorite quotes because it focuses on how we don’t accomplish anything with others support and effort. Like you I have worked with some egocentric bosses who take all the credit when things go well and look to blame others when things go bad. Of course this de-motivates and times infuriate the team but in addition it is selfish and not constructive in building loyalty and trust which are the keys to empowering others. Really, Lao-Tzu’s advice tells to be unselfish and in to this we become “servant leaders”. When leaders focus on developing the people around them they challenge people to perform and do things they never though they could do. This is the true job of leaders–developing and helping others discover and reach their full potential by encouraging the to take ownership of their lives at work. This adds a wonderful sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.

Challenge Activity: When was the last time you gave the credit away to others. If it has been awhile ago try in the next 24 hours surprise some with a sincere compliment about their self-initiative and job well done.   Doing nice things for other people makes you feel good too.

Daily Quote and Reflection: Power of Persistence and Practice


” They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient practice and application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.” Eric Hoffer, author, philosopher and longshoremen.

Reflection: Hoffer who was self-educate wrote many great books about social and political life. He is one of my favorite philosophers. His insights into mass movements and social change are still relevant today. He dicscovered through his own persistence and self-coaching why things happened in both a meaningful and/or purposeless life.

Among Hoffer’s insights about mass movements was that they are an outlet for people whose individual significance is meager in the eyes of the world and — more important — in their own eyes. He pointed out that the leaders of the Nazi movement were men whose artistic and intellectual aspirations were wholly frustrated. This could be said today about militias and radically haters of President Obama.  Hoffer said in the True Believer  : “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”

People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding,” Hoffer said. “When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”

What is amazing to me is that many of these frustrated zealots and “true believers,” who filled the ranks of ideological movements that created the totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th century are still alive and flourishing in the 21st century.

Make Better Choices and then Never…Never…Give-up

Daily Quote: ”

“No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back. – Sheryl Swoopes

 Never Never…Give-up”  Steve Jobs

Reflection: In order to live a less stressful and more productive life we need to take control of our negative self-talk by monitoring our thinking and emotions. We can put ourselves more in control of these “inner demons” by eliminating words that trigger negativity. You ask what are these words well the ones I struggle with are  the “shoulds…have to’s… that I tell myself. By being more attuned to these inner triggers you can replace them and focused on things we Want to do…in doing this you are ” playing to win”  in life rather than just “sleep walking” or being “stuck” in your daily routines and activities.  

What is it that motivates or drives us to do what we do? We tend to give more thought to our grocery list or shopping trips to the mall than we do to these important questions—of why we do what we do. Seldom do we reflect on what is the generating force behind our daily living itself—what fuels our movement toward personal development and growth?

Some might think this question is too obvious to be worth asking. Others might think it a silly topic or too deep to worry about. Perhaps it is all three of these things. In any case, it is not an easy topic, but I know of no other one that is more important because we all have to make choices and decisions that shape who we are and our quality of life.  I believe that making choices  is the core driver for creating a meaningful and fulfilling life. It is often said that “where there is a choice, there are consequences.” And yet most of us spend most of our time reacting to what comes at us and very little time trying to understand the consequences of our choices and the why we do what we do.

New Research on Negative and Targeted Methods for Increasing Feedback Effectiveness

A balanced Feedback approach uses both positive and negative comments to encourage change and growth. The trick to this balanced method is to assess whether the person you are giving feedback to is an experienced pro or novice just starting out. Don’t miss this article by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson–I am promoting and summarizing it below because I totally agree with Dr. Heidi.

Heidi begins by saying how frustrated she feels because of the new wave”strengths” psychology books and posts about how it is a to provide  “critical” or “negative” feedback to an employee or colleague (or, for that matter, your significant other).  It’s incredibly frustrating to hear coaches say “here is an area for improvement rather than directly saying here is a weakness you need to fix or your going to jeopardize your shot at being a partner…  Positive advice called the 3 to 1 ratio by Dr. Fredrickson or the 5 to1 relationship cure by Dr. Gottman are fine and yet missed the point that to change a behavior people need to clearly hear and understanding where they are messing-up and the impact it is having on others and how these choices are supporting their values and goals in life or making life more difficult than it needs to be. This kind of advice is surely well-meant, and it intuitively sounds like the right thing to do…  After all, you probably don’t want to tell someone else what they are doing wrong or need to make improvements on or face bad consequences.
She goes on to say, ” But avoiding negative feedback is both wrong-headed and dangerous.  Wrong-headed because, when delivered the right way, at the right time, criticism is in fact highly motivating and appreciated.  Dangerous because without awareness of the mistakes he or she is making, no one can possibly improve or might do things that unwittingly hurt themselves or others.  Staying “positive” when doling out feedback will only get you so far.” Continue reading “New Research on Negative and Targeted Methods for Increasing Feedback Effectiveness”

Free Plus 1 Self-Coaching System–Are You Ready to Take First Step for Personal Change?

Plus One Self Coaching System—“Process with Structure”

 It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. -Jim Collins

  “Success requires well articulated and specific goals for change and development.  It is not a product of wishful thinking, talking or dreaming. The coaching process takes hard work, insight, courage, and purposeful action. ” Dr. Mark W. Hardwick

 I am offering this Plus-One Self-Coaching Process of Ten Modules for the next 10 weeks free to anyone who reads my blog thewick. Your only obligation is to provide feedback on what exercise or activity worked for you and if didn’t help you in supporting your decision for change how can I improve it. Thanks for participating in this free process and spread the word. The next ten weeks I hope will be as exciting for you as it has been for me to put it together for your use. Now all you have to do is commit to working the process. 

Coaching Defined:  Coaching is a dialogue and process that equips you with necessary interpersonal skills and knowledge to develop into an effective manager and leader. Coaching is all about you making choices and taking responsibility for results.

I. How do I create a Coaching Development Plan?

The answers to this question are varied.  For me, the broad answer is this:  I write down what I want, and I write down what I need and then how I plan to get there. I write down barriers to accomplishing what I want and need to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.

That’s the overarching purpose, but I’ll give you some specific examples of what to include in your coaching development plan. Many of these I developed through years of experience and feedback from coaching. An important thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules – your self-coaching and development plan are all about you, and what you want to accomplish in critical areas of your life. Let’s get started with the following personal audit of where you are now in your life:

Directions: A quick way to get a picture of where you are in your career and life development is to answer these questions by assigning a number from 1-10 for each of the 10 categories.  Score a one if you are unsatisfied and a ten if you are highly satisfied with your awareness, knowledge and comfort in these areas of your life. After completing the exercise review and reflect on your scores. Identify the three lowest scores and then identify the two areas you would most like to improve. Are you committed to change and improve these areas? If so what action can you take to improve or move forward in these areas of your life.

 Step 1 In Self-Coaching System–Questions for Reflection

1. Purpose and Personal vision—Why do I get up in the morning?  What do I want to accomplish in my life? Why are you here?

2. Strength and talent awareness

3. Values to work and life by and align

4. Career and work fulfillment fit with values—Where am I now and where do I want to be in 12-18 months?

5. Energy and vitality for life. Where do I get stuck or feel frustrated?

6. Relationships and Support systems

7. Health and Spirituality

8. Time and Stress Management

9. Fun

10 Financial resources and stability

List two areas you want to focus on for coaching

1. ________________________________________


A Process that could Change your Life –PLUS 1 strategy for Creating New Habits.

Self-Awareness + Strategy + Simple Action Steps (Plus 1 technique) = New Habits

Don’t ruminate and dwell on stopping something like smoking, drinking, or that your fat or that life has handed you a bad hand for your resolutions this year. Do not focus on stopping a bad habit reframe your thinking by focusing on something positive to do. That’s right try developing new habits by doing and starting to do something that will get more engaged in life.. If you think about where you are today in your life and where you would like to be these goals and personal changes will be obvious to you. This process approach to identifying gaps in your life works because you identify more long-range goals that can be turned into habits that put you on a path to succeed.

Using the Plus 1 technique keeps you focused and supports your motivation for change. You did not go to the gym every day last year only to wake up fat. And I did not  smoke cigars or drink a bourbon nightly to wake with a bad cough and other unhealthy side effects from these bad habits.  Our habits drive us towards a destination and chase out or replace the negative habits of our life.  So how do you build new and positive habits?

So instead of making New Year’s resolutions, ask yourself what direction you want to head in, then create a strategy, clear and concise goals that are measurable simple and specific actions to support it. You’ll be surprised by how far you get when you work on habits not on so-called resolutions– maybe not in a month, but over the long haul. After all, “life is to short” so it is not smart to under mind your own health and happiness 

Here is my new list:

    • Provide  more support and understanding for family members going through tough times.


    • Going to gym two times a week and playing tennis 5 times a week.


  •              Spending time to write a blog post every day.


  •              Convert blog poetry posts into a successful e-book.


  •              Create a new and simple package for on-line Self-coaching



  • I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I know each one will be in the direction I want to go, and the habits are easy to define. In fact, they’re great for using a checklist for how I am using my precious time during the New Year 2013 .


What are some of the habits you’re trying to develop this year?

Brainstorming why people don’t do what is expected? 28 Triggers and motives


Just Brainstorming on reasons for not doing what you say you will do. Add your thoughts and ideas 

1. Lack of clarity about task you are being asked to do

2, Complex activity that doesn’t explain the necessary steps  to do what u want them to do

3. Don’t read the directions to learn what to do

4. False assumptions- People expect they can do  it based on past experience in similar situations.

5. Situation doesn’t match your strengths or abilities

6. Fear of failure and looking bad so consciously decide not to take the risk

7. In particular situation you feel vulnerable or afraid to try–anticipate something bad will happen

8. Don’t trust other person’s motivates or intentions–No Trust

9. Don’t like what is being ask for you to do

10. Not involved in making decision on WHAT TO DO–Lack ownership

11. Based on past experience don’t like what you are being asked to do–don’t find activity enjoyable and assume it is too difficult and hard work

12. Lack energy to do what is requested.

13. Barriers and obstacles to difficult to overcome

14. Stuck in old ways of doing things

15. Don’t like you and the way you ask–personality conflict

16. Don’t have money, or resources time to do it.

17. Lack personal commitment or willingness to do it.

18. Don’t care to do it–feeling of so what–no consequences tied  to doing it or not

19. Framing of request is stop doing such and such not start doing such and such

20. Too dependent on what you do and say

21.  Task not specific enough or too vague as to what,where, how, how many and with whom

22. Bored because activity to repetitive and mundane

23. Activityhas no meaning or importance to them

24. Can’t make commitments because don’t want to assume responsibility or be blamed for failure if it happens

25. A mindset based on Disaster fantasy or worst case scenario

26. To big of a request  in terms of what is supposed to be done or in what time frame.

27. Activity goes against your values or ethical position in life.

28. Don’t have the ability or skills to do what is being requested.




Expectations and Payoffs Key to Changing Behavior in 2013

As we ponder setting goals and making resolutions for change in 2013, I thought it would be helpful to see what research and theory might provide support for finally making the changes you want to make in 2013. I think Dr.Julian Rotter,who developed a powerful theory of Social Learning in the 1950’s By the 1960 his ideas initiated an enormous amount of research on the power of control and choice. “In 1966, Rotter published his famous I-E scale in the journal “Psychological Monographs”, to assess internal and external locus of control. This scale has been widely used in the psychology of personality studies. Rotter  was astounded by how much attention this scale of Inner Directed and outer directed control generated… He himself believed that the scale was an adequate measure of just two concepts, achievement and motivation for change (which he took to be linked with internal locus of control) and outer-directedeness, or tendency to conform to others (which he took to be associated with external locus of control). There are  four main components to his social learning theory model for predicting behavior.”These are reviewed below: behavior potential, expectancy, reinforcement value, and the psychological situation.

Behavior Potential. Behavior potential is the likelihood of engaging in a particular behavior in a specific situation. In other words, what is the probability that the person will exhibit a particular behavior in a situation? In any given situation, there are multiple behaviors one can choose to engage in. For each possible behavior, there is a behavior potential. The individual will exhibit whichever behavior has the highest potential.

Expectancy. Expectancy is the probability that a given behavior will lead to a particular outcome, or reinforces change. How likely is it that the behavior will lead to the outcome? Having “high” or “strong” expectations means the individual is confident the behavior will result in the outcome. Having low expectations means the individual believes it is unlikely that his or her behavior will result in reinforcement. If the outcomes are equally desirable, we will engage in the behavior that has the greatest likelihood of paying off (i.e., has the highest expectancy). Expectations are formed based on past experience. The more often a behavior has led to reinforcement in the past, the stronger the person’s expectancy that the behavior will achieve that outcome now.

Reinforcement Value. Reinforcement is another name for the outcomes of our behavior. Reinforcement value refers to the desirability of these outcomes. Things we want to happen, that we are attracted to, have a high reinforcement value. Things we don’t want to happen, that we wish to avoid, have a low reinforcement value. If the likelihood of achieving reinforcement is the same, we will exhibit the behavior with the greatest reinforcement value (i.e., the one directed toward the outcome we prefer most).

Predictive Formula. Behavior Potential (BP) is a function of Expectancy (E) and Reinforcement Value (RV) can be combined into a predictive formula for behavior change:

Behavior Change = (Expectations + Reinforcement Value)

So back to my coach with Bill H. It would have come as a great shock to everyone except his few close friends, had they discovered, how deeply unhappy he was with work routine. He was really only happy in his music studio, were he can listen to his favorite songs and composers, and very few knew that his real dream was to own his own music shop and teach others to appreciate the beauty of classical music some day.

Joe C. was by nature very out going, and I suspect that he suffered from a mild form of grandiosity and depression. Working as automotive executive was a struggle for him that never eased. Not to disappoint his wife, parents and work, he resolved to stick with it until something changed. His inability to be more self-directed, goes to work –  living out a self-inflicted misery instead of a happy life.

There are actually many people pursuing careers and goals that they are ill-suited for, and they too will remain stressed and unhappy until they make a change. But many feel trapped by the need to keep up a certain lifestyle, family expectations, and accumulated financial responsibilities.

The only way out of this unhappy state is to make a change in line with your true nature, or what the Buddhists call one’s being or “suchness.” Your true temperament will never allow you to feel comfortable, happy, or content, when you are engaged in activities that are not a good fit with who you really are.  So I asked Bill C. how committed he was to make a life change that better fits his perception of himself and his natural strengths? Stay tuned he says he is pondering what that change would look like and how committed he is to do it 2013. Will you commit and make the choices need to find more joy and equilibrium in your life?