The Blog

How Well Do You Accelerate Through Transitions?

roadAmericans woke up today to a new world. Some of us are elated with the presidential outcome, while others are dismayed, paralyzed with disappointment, and perhaps even afraid. We are in transition indeed, and must each find a commonplace for ourselves despite our contrasting values. We must find ways to unify our nation, not divide it.

While I don’t ever talk personal politics, I am deeply struck with its impact and metaphors. Unfortunately, this election was arguably the most malicious in history but it is finally over. Rather than hyperfocusing on the analytics ad nauseum,  we can only hope the hatred exits with its jaw dropping results.  For the defeated, this is a hard day. Easier said than done, to suggest to just pick up the broken pieces and embrace the change. This clearly cannot happen in a day.

Just like Daylight saving time (DST) punctuated the end of one season and yet it marked the beginning of another, we are at the pinnacle of a more significant change in America.

Transition suggests movement.  It is not a stagnant block of time. We must propel forward and navigate our “next.”

The brilliant ruby reds and blood orange leaves are beginning to fade and shed, yet another reminder that time and seasonal change transforms all things.  With the shorter days and early darkness, these noticeable changes affect our mindset.  But on this post election day, the fallout changes are far more dramatic than nature could possibly draw, both literally and figuratively.

This pivotal moment requires tweaking and shifting. The need to  calibrate our body clock is far easier to adapt to than embracing the new political landscape.  This will take time. The country is broken and needs to heal. Acceptance is critical.

As individuals now, we may feel powerless to fix a country.  But perhaps we can use this transition to wake-up our own personal productivity.  Make it an opportunity to not only re-stock, but take stock of ourselves, and our own goals.

Last week we turned back our clocks, but let us not fall back on our personal locomotion. It’s time to get our heads straight and move forward. Shed the hatred and turn over a new leaf.  Embrace the season with opportunities for positive change in your physical, mental, and emotional state.

Think about how you navigate the changes in the air.  What next steps are you taking for a smoother transition?

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Life Lessons from Nature: We Change When We Are Ready

blog-1OK, call me sappy but I’m a sucker for seasonal change.  I can never get enough of summer sunsets and I’m totally intoxicated by the fall foliage.  Truth be told that on more than one occasion, I have stopped my car on the shoulder of the road and have been ever so bold as to make a complete 360, just to capture yet another pic of the magnificant turn of color.

It never ceases to amaze me how unique each and every tree changes from year to year.  No two are ever sun-kissed in exactly the same way.

I’ve written many blogs about seasonal change as influencers for personal change. As we recall, the bloom of spring usually activates a welcomed change from the previous cold harsh winter.  With each day, our lawns got greener and wiry branches became fuller and festooned with colorful flowers.  As the season launched, there seemed to be a very natural eagerness to crank up our productivity.

For me, the fall change alerts me in a different way.  It’s a two-fold influencer. For anyone in the northeast, the first transition is hard to ignore.  The spectacular autumnal colors can take our breath away and nudges us to notice nature’s magical beauty.  When we pay attention, and in that one small second that we stop and pause, I believe we all can feel an internal change.  It’s a poke of sorts, a reminder that time does not stand still and that change is in the air.  For most, this imagery could mean nothing more than a great Instagram post but for some, this shift can be felt more deeply. The air is fresh, the leaves are crisp, and the temps are cool. A profound setting for change, indeed. I like to think about it as a wake-up call for the soul. Time to embrace change, new opportunities, maybe even new beginnings.

Physical changes around us can have a strong impact on our mental state and spark mindfullness. In fact, it is the seasonal change that is likely the trigger that wakes us up, and perhaps evokes a personal change. 

But there’s a second part to this transition. As slowly and organically as this beauty unfolds, with just a couple of forceful gusts on a blustery windy day, the brilliant colors will soon vanish leaving our landscape bare and barren.  Like no other season do we feel this exit and disparity so suddenly.  And just like that, it’s over.

Each season reveals its own distinguished beauty and can exude a different personal change within.  Our perpective is altered because each season feels different to us, don’t you think?  It’s a notable change.  And we sense this physical change, it is likely to elicit an emotional response in our day-to-day lives.  These changes can easily affect our moods, behaviors and productivity.

Apparently, fall is so strong an influencer for me as it has compelled me to blog after a long imposed pause. Blogging has always been a very personal cathartic practice. I don’t write just for the sake of writing, and I never force a blog.  I need to be inspired. Today I felt this powerful influence. I was ready.

What are your strongest influencers that call you to action?  What makes you ready for change?

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April Ahhs…How The Enchantment Drives Productivity

hikingAlthough the temps are still vacillating from unseasonably cold to mildly normal, I think it’s safe to say that Spring has finally sprung.  Gone are the forecasts of snow and sleet. As we gradually accept the warmth and sunshine of recent days, we can sense the internal shift within us.

I’m not suggesting that Spring has magical powers but one would have to admit that it does cause somewhat of a spellbound effect. Beyond its glorious bloom, it has a strong and compelling influence on our mental attitude. Most of us have been stuck inside this past winter, we are all yearning to get out and do.  Anything.  Even a mundane errand seems joyful.  So aside from the noticeably longer lines at the car wash, what does this all mean?

This might just be the kick in the butt we needed. Change is good.

We are so ready to shift into action and squelch procrastination.  I write often about weather as a strong influencer and this particular cycle seems to emit such powerful motivation.  Inclement weather is no longer sabotaging our to-do’s. The change in weather boosts our morale and more importantly, heightens our productivity.

Spring urges us to spring forward, with a more positive bounce to our step.  We feel inspired by the new landscape that’s shifting before our eyes.  Flowers will be blooming and lawns will be turning greener.  You can sense movement and shift with the obvious external changes.  This feeling can likely discourage the ‘lazy’ in us, don’t you think? Fewer of us will opt to sit on the couch inside when a gorgeous sunny day is begging for our attention.

The thought of putting away winter sweaters and buying ‘spring things’ is so enticing, isn’t it? Perhaps even swapping out your wardrobes will inspire you to re-organize your closets and ignite the spring cleaning process… everywhere. Embrace the endless opportunities and possibilities that this new season prompts.

Whether you feel inclined to bike, hike, or start a new project, this is the perfect setting and time to do so. Spring into action!

So are you tapping into the shift?  Are you ready to do?

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Appetite for Change: 5 Ways to Know You’re Hungry

It was less than a week ago that we were hammered with yet another blast of snow.  It seemed that winter would never fade away. Most of us felt disheartened with these poking questions:

snow melt

  • Tired of the cold?
  • Tired of pale, dry, and chaffed skin?
  • Tired of the dirty snow and barren landscape?
  • Tired of preferring “inside” to “outside”?
  • Tired of feeling lazy and just plain “tired”?

We all are.  Or at least, we were.  In a matter of 24 hours, and with a shift of just one measly hour, everything changed. We feel very different, don’t we? Daylight savings time and warmer temperatures swiftly wet our appetites for change.  

We’ve had enough, we are more than ready now.  While the snow is melting and diminishing, our spirits are simultaneously soaring. Everyone’s walking with a happier beat to their step. We are exhilarated by even the smallest physical change around us.

Ironically, for me, the “lost” hour is forgotten. The longer days diffuse it, and not only lift me up but also give me an opportunity to accomplish more. My productivity is impacted greatly.  In fact, because of the longer daylight, I’m still shocked at the late hour every time I glance at the time.  To me, this pleasant surprise is still a novelty so it feels like an extra hour gifted to me.

The landscape is changing one thaw at a time.  I can see emerging flower beds and old familiar lawn peeking through the melting charcoaled mounds of snow.  For me,  it was all that I needed to shift my thinking and motivate me to dig myself out of the winter blues.

I’m ready to embrace a new season. I’m starving for Spring’s bloom and hungry for change.  How about you?  Do you have an appetite for change?

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Weather is a True Influencer: Has it Changed Your Perspective?

seasons_opt-3I think we’ve all had enough of this deep freeze, but the harsh reality is that this brutal winter is far from over. The good news is that time does not stand still.  It marches on and so shall we. Nothing lasts forever; neither the good nor the bad.

Life’s guaranteed forecast is abundantly clear.  Time fleets and change is inevitable. 

So whether or not we can even imagine the possibility of warmer days,  let us remind ourselves that this is not a hopeless situation.  One thing is certain, this too shall pass and Spring will eventually get here.

For those of us that live in parts of the country that have four seasons, we understand that seasonal changes in weather impact both our physical landscape and our psychological mindset.

The diverse seasons punctuate the cycle of a full year through the changes in our activities, the clothing we wear, the places we go, etc.  But those are not the only things that change. Our perspective is altered because each season feels different to us.  It’s a noteworthy change.  When we sense the physical change, it is likely to elicit an emotional response in our day-to-day lives.  These changes can easily affect our moods, behaviors and productivity.

This long frigid winter has been particularly challenging and isolating. The record-breaking big chill has kept more people indoors than ever before, as evident in fewer shoppers and less pedestrians on the street. As Northeasterners, one could even argue that we now have an even greater appreciation of nature’s changes. For us, warm sunny days and azure blue skies are not our typical year-round climate. Hence, our delight in spring’s bloom and the breathtaking autumnal changes of the fall are notable, and rarely taken for granted.

The extreme seasons, however,  tell a different story.  Our tolerance for severe cold winters and unbearably hot summers are increasingly low. Moreover, our memory is short.  Ironically, we not only have forgotten about whining over the steamy and humid days of summer, we actually yearn for them now.  And yet, as soon as summer’s heat wave escalates, we find ourselves itching for that first autumn day or the promise of an early snowfall.  We are indeed a fickle bunch.  Morphing from season to season very differently, our perspective is continually influenced by these changes.

The natural fleet of time urges us to propel forward.  We all move on, but not necessarily change.  But weather, undeniably, can be the powerful instigator.  In fact, it is the seasonal change that is the likely trigger that wakes us up, and perhaps evokes a personal change.

I wonder for those of you that live in a fixed climate where weather is not a strong influencer, what invites you to change?  I welcome you to share your perspective.  Come join in the conversation.

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Check Your Home Settings: Are You Running Out of Space ?

outside clutter_optWhether it be in our homes or on our smart phones, it seems that we are constantly vying for MORE space.  Our virtual space is easier to manage by merely increasing our megabyte storage to gigabyte, or even storing data to the Cloud. Ah, thank G-d for the cloud. There’s infinite space up there.  More importantly, there’s no pain and no heart wrenching decisions to make.

But the reality is that we do have finite spaces in our homes.  We live in an over-acquired society and without a practical exit strategy for our undesirables, we are in danger of running out of space.  We fill our attics, basements, and garages with overflow, and when those spaces are maxed out, many even resort to storage units to accommodate their overabundant spillover.

While purchasing storage units are certainly a vial option for specific situations, it’s not the ultimate fix.  If their sole purpose is the result of decisions not made on unused items, then there will be no end to the amount of units to manage. Entering dangerous territory, for sure.  More often than not, I’ve met many paying clients that have no idea what items are living in their storage facility, or have never needed to access their contents. Ever.

When we consider maintaining our things within the confines of our home, there is work to be done for sure. Busy households are crowded with multiple people and activities, and must accommodate many diverse possessions.  All the more reason that managing the incoming and outgoing be paramount. Failure to discard old, broken, or unused items will only result in untamable cluttered spaces.

You may not realize this right away, it accumulates very slowly. Suddenly, one day you look around and are overwhelmed and not quite sure how you lost control, right?

When lack of time marries procrastination, it’s a perilous combination.  All the while,  the unattended stuff  (that rarely returns to their home) accumulates.  The mounds of paper piles grow taller, and the new and preferred incoming items barricade the old.

But there is a bigger picture here.  The challenge is more about managing your spaces, not at all to do with the size of your home. When “busy” encounters “not today,”  you can run out of room very quickly even in the largest of homes.

Ultimately it’s rarely about the space at all, it’s more about the “relationship” with your things and the ability to let them go.

If you’re yearning for a more serene setting in your home, consider applying these very basic principles to your thought process.  It may evoke change.  Without this call to action, your personal spaces will potentially remain cluttered and be at risk for overwhelming your life.

No doubt, negotiating things and space will require some challenging decisions.  The hard-hearted may have an easier time; others may need to enlist help with these methods.  To reclaim your spaces, you’ll first need to clear space.  Here’s how:

  • One in, one out. (limit multiples)
  • Use it or lose it. (toss or donate what no longer provides you with value)
  • Keep only the items you use and love.
  • Identify the most active spaces in your home. Designate and discriminate what appropriate items and activities align with those spaces.
  • Consider the zones. Create specific homes for like categories.  Tame the clutter routinely.


We all aspire for a Home Sweet Home setting.  Making our home a place of sanctuary is very achievable.  We must remember that it’s an ongoing process and requires maintenance and family cooperation.

Look around.  What do your spaces look like?  No need for push notifications, reminders,  or alerts.  You will know.  If it feels crowded, then it probably is. This could be the wake-up call you needed to smack you in the face.

Now you’re ready to ask yourself,  is it time to change your settings?



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The Key to Finding Your Groove in the New Year

runnerHello 2015. Time to resume. Back to work, back to school, or just back to day-to-day, and perhaps our old routines. I don’t know about you, but it’s been a very long break and it feels so much harder to get back into a groove.

This got me thinking; are we still inclined to return back to our OLD routines in a NEW year just because it’s comfortable?  Or have we thought about changing it up? Indeed it’s a perfect opportunity to do so.

I would say that if your old routines are still working for you, there’s no reason to fix what’s not broke. But if you are slipping back to the same old routines that no longer inspire you to do better or be better, perhaps it’s time to implement a change.

If you find yourself trudging through the days more robotically, rather than sprinting through 2015 as you thought you would, here’s some encouraging thoughts to chew on.

Time.  Give yourself some time to get your mojo back.  It’s only the first week of January. It takes time to acknowledge what’s no longer working for you.  Personal change happens very slowly, so let it.   If you pay close attention, you will know if you are correctly aligned.  You will feel this.

Organize.  Engage yourself.  To channel your cognitive self,  simply start with organizing anything.  Any space, any drawer, any counter.  When you ask yourself  “how will I organize this?” or “how do I feel about that?” it invites self-discovery.  I always say that the process of organizing teaches you so much about yourself.  It can be very clarifying and eye-opening.

Shift.   Even one small realization can shift your thinking. No need to re-invent yourself.  Open yourself up and you will evolve naturally. Make small shifts, not monumental changes. Walk in those new shoes for awhile and find your rhythm.

There’s lots of pressure to live up to the “New Year, New You” campaign.  And while it is a highly motivating concept, there are those that suggest this implies there’s something wrong with the old you. To that I say with implicit conviction, just be “better,” not newer.


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Do You Listen to Your Inner Voice?

thinker_optEveryone has an inner voice, but not everyone pays attention to it. It’s yours and personal. You don’t have to even share it, but you can certainly learn from it. Possibly, the take-aways may even make you a better YOU.

Whether you’re in great place or in an overwhelming one, it’s still important to check in with yourself.  Consider these steps as a helpful exercise to activate your listening skills.

1. Stop. Make the time to pause from the daily busy and step away. Putting space between self and world can provide a fresh perspective.

2. Solitude. Being alone can be very cathartic and necessary to feel what you need to feel and think.  Solitude doesn’t necessarily have to mean quiet time, just alone time.  So feel free to ramp up the music if that ignites deeper thinking. Solitude is good for the soul, at least for me.

3. Truth. You know what you know. Be honest with yourself. Otherwise, who would you be fooling? Think about what’s going right with your life and address what is not. Identify and clarify.

4. The Whys. This could be the piece that could give you more trouble, for sure. We all have patterns that we may not be skilled in evaluating and repeating bad behaviors is often a common culprit. Self analysis is not so easy nor is it typically accurate.  Enlisting help from a friend or professional can often give you the objectivity you might need.  And if things are going great, acknowledge the whys too.  There are life lessons learned from both our failures and successes.

5. The Work. How can you make it better? What will motivate you to change? Are you ready? Life will inevitably change, but personal change won’t be actualized unless you’re part of the process. You need to do the work.

6.  The Reward.  Without question, listening to self is a very difficult skill to master. Practicing these steps is a very doable exercise and can help strengthen this muscle. It can be an eye-opening experience and a powerful motivator.

Asking the right questions can open up opportunities for positive personal change. Answering them will start the journey and make them a reality.

No need to share your inner voice with me,  just listen. Hope these tips help you hear yourself loud and clear.

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Assessing the Now: Have You Outgrown Your Clutter?

clutterLook around.  Room check.  Some of your spaces may be seemingly crowded. But imagine that there’s a chance that some of the clutter that’s hanging around just might be irrelevant to you now. Wouldn’t that make it easier to part with?

So let’s start there. It’s hard enough to manage and organize all the things that we are currently using, so let’s go the easy peasy route first.  Here’s the long and the short of it;

Assess the now. Time changes us and we continually evolve.  And so it would make sense that even the clutter should align with our current lifestyle and priorites.  Let go of those things that no longer provide value, any longer. Above all, don’t feel bad about it.  You can make space for new things to enjoy.

Recently inspired from a colleague’s interview with Erin Rooney Doland, author of Unclutter Your Life in One Week, I’ve realized that so many of us hold onto things we’ve outgrown. It’s simply there because, it just is.  Ignored, neglected, perhaps even invisible, but probably for good reason.  It’s just not that important to us anymore.

Here’s a great way to think about letting go of the insignificant. Erin refers to clutter like a bad book you don’t want to read anymore, it’s OK to let it go. Just because you bought it, that doesn’t mean you have to torture yourself to finish it. If it no longer interests you, no need to keep it. It’s just taking up unnecessary space and certainly not deserving of prime real-estate in your home.  Apply this simple thinking to all of your possessions.  Are they a good “match”?  Do they still “fit”?

My favorite depiction of how personal change impacts our values is in Erin’s claim that “one day, a pair of earrings can be your go-to piece of jewelry. You’re a little heartbroken if one earring goes missing from the pair. Two years later, the same pair of earrings is taking up space in your jewelry box and you wouldn’t even remember it was in there. The object hasn’t changed, but how you value it has.” How true. We are indeed capricious.

Time is the operative word for just about everything. Time can ‘manage’ us, time can ‘heal’ us, and time can also ‘change’ us. With the passage of time, we all evolve, and so our priorities shift along with us too. Hence, our clutter changes and so does its significance in our lives.

Have you checked your clutter lately? Ask yourself if it reflects who you are today.  We’ll talk about organizing it all another day, another blog 🙂

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A New Season Gives Reason to… Change?

Spring flowerAfter a brutal Winter, most of us are all too happy to embrace the Spring. We are ready to climb out of our ruts and spring forward into a new rhythm. As this warmer cycle unfolds, I think a revealing positive energy sprouts too. The days are longer and brighter and we sense the excitement of the warmer season yet ahead of us. Change is in the air.  Do you feel it?

I write frequently about seasonal change as a natural motivator for personal change because I’m continually struck with its powerful impression.  It wakes us up in a very organic way and pokes us to take another look at where we are.  For those who are “self-reflect-ers,” we feel this very deeply.

Spring is my favorite time of year because along with its glorious bloom, it is filled with hope and promise and opportunities not yet realized.  Every season has its unique beauty, but the contrast from bare naked trees to lush green lawns is as drastic as black and white is to color.  The delightful fragrances of spring flowers like lilacs, hyacinth, and freesia are intoxicating. It simply cannot go unnoticed.

In just a matter of weeks, we will open the windows again and allow the fresh air to revitalize our homes. Our senses will be heightened with the scent of freshly mowed lawns and the cacophony of children’s laughter playing outside once again. Outdoor activities will surge and we will notice more and more people biking, jogging as if it were an ordinary day.

But before you fail to notice these change any longer, and before we take it for granted, take that small window of time to stop. Acknowledge that a new season can open up new possibilities.

Spring cleaning can mean so much more than the “physical” clearing out of our dusty and cluttered spaces.

It can be a great opportunity to re-align ourselves once again.  With so many positive physical changes in the air, it may cause you to feel very different too.  Spring signifies a time of beauty, freshness, bloom, change, and growth. It is the ideal backdrop for inspiration to cultivate and perhaps instigate a shift in thinking about our own personal growth.

In general, any kind of change is hard, and changing bad habits even harder. But if there are but a few things you would care to change, consider the NOW.  The smallest change can make a significant difference;

    • Appearance:  You might think about changing your appearance; a new haircut or change of hair color.  Men have the opportunity to noticeably change their look by growing facial hair or shaving it off.  Modifying appearances can make a huge impact on how a person feels.  Changing up your wardrobe by buying something new can spruce up your look and boost your spirits.
    • Time-management & Productivity:  Adjust your routines and schedules and take advantage of the longer days and warmer nights. Consider the time-wasters. Energy is up and so it’s likely to impact your productivity as well.  In fact, you will probably notice you’ll want to do more.
    • Self-care: Spring may spike your health and fitness goals that may have been otherwise dormant. This is a great time to get fit and eat healthy.  Inspire to look good and feel good.
    • Spring Clean: Give your home a new make-over too. Assess the NOW.   Let go of those things that no longer provide value, any longer.  Start fresh.
    • Try Something “new”: Perhaps this spring will ignite a new passion.  Let it.  Try something new. Plant a garden or take a hike…the possibilities are endless. Challenging yourself promotes self-growth.
    • Gratitude:  Maximize your outdoor activity and embrace the splendor of Spring.  Unfortunately, it is short-lived. Enjoy the NOW. Time fleets from Memorial Day to Labor Day in a blink of the eye.


Ought we not “latch on” to this sense of spring awakening and “catch” the fever?

Will spring fever infuse a personal change in you? What kind of changes are you ready for?


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