How do you find your inner strength?

Catching a glimpse of your own greatness can be one of the most unsettling experiences imaginable” Steve Pavlina

According to WebMD ,”inner strength is the ability to cope with the stressful situations that life throws at us”.  Building on our inner strengths starts with simple actions or thoughts.  For example, I am working on a concerted effort to eat well, exercise, and just plain feel good about myself.  Walking is one way I build on my inner strength and cope with life challenges. It helps me to reduce stress, get fit, stay motivated on reaching my weight loss goals, and helps me keep out of my own way.  Another way I build on my inner strength is reminding myself of those eerie times in life when I found a way out of no way to survive painful emotional challenges.  These thoughts remind me not to underestimate my own resilience.  What about you?  What are some tips you can give others on building their inner strengths?  


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Blind Spot #3 – “We focus on a few details and we miss the big picture.”

How many of you have heard the phrase: “I can’t see the forest through the trees.”

Oftentimes we acknowledge that at ground level, we do see the trees, we just don’t see how they connect.

We only focus on certain details, for example.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one o...
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Jane Doe was job hunting and she received an offer from 2 prospective companies. The first company was in California and the second in Texas. Now Jane has always dreamed of living in California – sunshine, beaches, etc.

Jane’s core value is people. She is a people-person and loves to be around people. The company in California is not people-friendly, in fact, the company is pretty cut throat, no growth opportunities, and they discard people like old newspapers; whereas, the company in Texas, values its employees, policies for work-life balance, and pay is a little less.

Jane was coached to examine her heart, her head, and through spiritual wisdom she would make the right choice.   Coaching can help clients expand their vision through intelligent choices based on the 3H’s, as described by  Georgia Shaffer in Professional Life Coaching 201 Series through American Association of Christian Counselors (

  1. Heart – How do you feel about this possibility?
  2. Head – Have you looked at the core values?
  3. Holy SpiritWhat is God telling you?  Have you prayed about it:
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Attach a Timeframe to Your Goals and Make Them Happen


Have you ever heard of SMART goal planning? This stands for: Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented (or Achievable), Realistic, and Timely. The last is probably the most important. Your goals need a timeframe because without one, you can easily spin your wheels and never reach them. A timeframe adds a sense of urgency to your goals and that’s just what they need.

How to Set Deadlines

Creating a timeframe is based on setting deadlines. Just like a deadline for work or school, this is the day when you’ll reach that goal. The first step in creating deadlines is to define the overall timeframe. Will this goal take a few years, months, weeks, or days to reach? Choose a day in the future that you think is realistic and don’t worry, you can go back and change it later.

Once you’ve got your deadline, break your goal into small action steps that will get you closer to it. These should all be tasks that can be finished and clearly defined. In other words, you know exactly when they’re done. You’ll take these sub-goals and affix deadlines to them as well. These deadlines will gradually get you to your big one.

Example – Eating Better

For example, your goal might be to eat better. You’d first decide exactly what ‘eat better’ means – more veggies, less sugar, smaller portions of meat, etc. To do this, take your overall goal and break it into these smaller and more specific sub-goals.

You might choose to make one change per week. By Friday, you’ll be eating three portions of green vegetables per day (remember that it has to be specific). By the next Friday, you’ll be consuming half as much sugar per day. You’ve now got an action plan and a solid timeframe for it.

How to Make Your Deadlines More Efficient

There are several ways to make your deadlines more efficient. First of all, the key to success is to be realistic. Look at each of your sub-goals and ask yourself if you can really reach it in that time. How do you know if it’s realistic? At first, you don’t. But a safe way of guessing is to pad all of your deadlines. Give each an extra day in case things don’t work out as planned (and they rarely ever do).

You can also monitor along the way. Check your progress periodically and see if you’re still on target for reaching that goal. For example, if your goal is to save money, you should have a dollar amount and a deadline. Every week, check your stash to see if it’s piling up the way it should be. If it’s not, push your deadline back accordingly.

Stay Flexible

Do you see a common theme here? It’s flexibility. Deadlines help you get things done and your timeframe gives it all a sense of urgency. But you don’t want to put yourself in a perpetual state of panic. Flexibility means that you’re willing to change course and adjust if needed, but not stray from your overall dream. Life happens sometimes, so let it; but don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals.

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FIVE Tips to Tell if Your Goals are Realistic

You can make anything happen if you know how to set goals, but they need to be realistic. This might seem like a contradiction – sort of like saying dream big but not too big. When we talk about goals, being realistic simply means looking at the big picture. With enough commitment, planning and determination, you can achieve nearly anything.

1.  Be Specific

The first step in creating realistic goals is to be as specific as possible. There’s no way to reach a goal like ‘lose weight’ or ‘gain more self-confidence.’ It needs to be something concrete and measurable. What would work is something like, ‘Lose X pounds so that I can fit into the swimwear I wore five years ago’ or ‘Gain enough self-confidence to get up in front of a group and speak without losing my mind completely.’

2.  Evaluate Your Skills

Is your goal something that you’ve got the skills to achieve? For example, let’s say that your goal is to become an online entrepreneur. Can you build websites, do social media, create content, and network with other businesspeople? If you don’t have all the skills it needs, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. What it means is that you’ve got skills to learn. Learning these skills provide you with sub-goals that get you closer to reaching your main goal.

3.  The Resources Your Need

Along with skills, do you have the resources you need to reach the goal in question? If you want to get into better shape, you’re going to need a place to do that. You may have to find information resources on how to eat better if that’s what you want to do. First of all, brainstorm all the resources you’ll need and take stock of what’s available. If you don’t have access to what you need, make a plan for getting it.

4.  Time Considerations

When it comes to being realistic about goals, time is probably the biggest consideration. All goals take time to reach. Do you have the time it’ll take? A good way to figure this out is to read about it or talk to others who have done what you’re getting ready to do. Use this information to create a timeframe for yourself.

5.  Research Your Roadblocks

There’s a chance that you’ll come across a roadblock that, no matter how you try, you just can’t get over. It’s good to know about these before you invest lots of time in reaching your goal. The best way to avoid this is to do your homework before you get started. Learn from the experience of others that have done this before. For example, if you want to become a lawyer, educate yourself well on what it takes to become one. Talking to others who have done it before also helps you find out whether or not it’s a goal that’s worth pursuing.

Deciding whether or not a goal is realistic is a test for you. What you’re actually asking yourself is whether or not you’re able and willing to work for it. Identify your natural strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths will make it easier for you and your weaknesses will tell you what you need to work on. That’s what being realistic is all about.

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I talk about my father, my mother, my brothers, my sister, not to impress, not for notoriety; nor to hear myself talk.  I talk so I don’t forget.   I talk so my children will talk and my grandchildren will talk to continue the story.  

I talk because when I went astray, I listened when I was told I was more than a bottle.  I 100MEDIA_IMAG1235listened when I was told I came from the blood of ancestors that persevered during turbulent times.  Listening helped me to recapture the stamina I needed to survive.  I embraced hope – and hope lifted me up.   I rekindled my relationship with God who never left me –after all — I left God. I left to fit in and to feel accepted.  I knew the person I became was not the person I wanted to be.  Not me!  I listened and now it was time to act — Talking and Listening helped to redefine me. 

So I talk, so my children can listen.  They will know to rise up when times are tough.  I talk to show the importance of putting God first, helping others, and to continue to tell the story.   Always keeping it real!  Keeping it real will help to bring heart, love, and compassion back to our kids. 

Our kids need to know our story so they can add the chapters to their story.  We need to listen so they can heal and the pain they feel inside can subside.  We need to tell our rich histories to build one another up,  to bring compassion and love back to our neighborhoods.  -lshannon

I talk to tell my story so I can continue to stand up, speak up, and do whats right for our kids.  Lead by example!   Go back to basics!  Rekindle the Love —  but Keeping it real!

I talk because What Matters is Families!Jr and Tizel 2013

©L. Shannon 2014

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Since aging is a fact of life – Let’s Take the Stress Factor Out Of Aging

Do you experience that anxious feeling when your boss is breathing down your neck?

Does bumper to bumper traffic raise your stress level?Happy

Do you feel stressed when you think of all the things piling up at home or work?

Did your recent job promotion bring on stress or your son’s wedding announcement?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, then the stress you feel can have a negative impact on how well you age, especially if the stress is ongoing and not dealt with.

We all know stress can take a toll on your physical body, but to make matters worse, some studies suggest that continual stress hastens the aging of your brain as well.

Take regular vacations

Take Regular Vacations

What, then, can you do?  To help answer the question, listed below are a five ways to go from a stressed-state to a feel-good state as early and as often as you can.

  •  Exercise is a huge-stress reliever and anti-aging weapon that’s good to have in your cache.  Exercising can release endorphins that make you feel better.  Going for a brisk walk or hitting the gym also allows you to step away from your problems and perhaps come up with workable solutions.  Coming up with solutions helps you feel in control, rather than a victim.
  •  Laughter really is the best medicine.  Think about how you feel after you laugh – relieved and relaxed.  Laughing helps you put things in prospective, especially negative things you may have worried about to the point where they were blown up to a disproportionate level of stress.  Cracking jokes in the middle of an argument can diffuse the argument and the stress.
  •  Make it a habit to pamper yourself with what feels good as often as you can.  It might be a candlelit dinner, a night out on the town, a bubble bath, dancing with your honey, or a massage.
  •  Take regular vacations.  It may seem like you never have time for a vacation, but take one anyway.  You need time to recharge; this will actually make you more productive when you get back to work.  Maybe you don’t have a week to spare or can’t afford to go anywhere exotic, so take a weekend and get out of town to someplace relaxing.
  •  Eliminate long-term stress.  It may take a lot of courage to make any big changes that are required to get rid of ongoing stress so consider getting outside help.  Maybe you need a life coach, friend, counselor, attorney, financial adviser or real estate agent to see you through it.

Stress is not something you can erase from your life, and indeed it’s the body’s natural response to danger, but there are positive ways you can deal with stress so it doesn’t age you prematurely.

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5-Steps to Staying on Track with Your Goals – How to Measure Your Progress

Once you see a way to reach your goals, you must believe that you can get there.

Measuring your progress is one of the most important motivators of goal setting.   If you are becoming distracted, bored, or losing focus, ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I can do today, this moment, to move closer to my most important goal?”  This question is a great motivator to help you stick with it.

Here are five simple steps to consider when staying on track with your goals and measuring your progress.

  •   Facts and Figures

Find some way to quantify. If it’s hard to quantify, measure the time you spend working on it.

  •  Stay on Schedule

Create a schedule and chart your progress carefully while also remaining flexible.

  • Keep a Journal

Keep a journal and write about your progress as you work toward your goal.

  • Tick ItPenguins.jpg

Using a tick sheet is an even easier method for charting progress.

  • Ratings and Rankings

Each day, rate how you feel about how it’s going.


It takes time to measure your progress but it’s all worth it. Keep focused on the Prize!   It’s vitally important to keeping you on track.

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5-Steps To Make Your Goals Specific and Action-Oriented


In order to make achieving your goals possible, they must be specific. You can clarify by asking yourself  the what, when, who, why and how.

1.  What’s Your Goal?Image

Make a goal statement that specifies exactly what you want in the fullest detail possible

2.  When Will You Reach It?

Set a timeframe for achieving the goal as well as achieving each sub-goal along the way.

3.  Who Do You Need to Help You?

Nearly every goal requires the support, help, encouragement or skills of other people.

4.  How Are You Going to Get There?

Break up your goal into smaller sub-goals and specify each of these. Then, break them down into daily action plans.

5.  Why Do You Want It?

Always keep in mind your honest reason for wanting to attain your goal.



Be Persistent! Aspire!

You can answer these questions by visualizing what you see in your future after the goal is achieved.

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Are you having difficulties getting your coaching business off the ground?

A woman thinking5 Tips

I thought I would share an article I read in NAFE News.  Since I’m having a difficult time getting my coaching business off the ground and the competition appears to be fierce,  if you’re like me perhaps these tips will help you.  Enjoy!

5 Tips for Achieving Your Business Goals By Sharon Hadary and Laura Henderson

Sharon Hadary, co-author of this article, was one of the earliest members of NAFE. She fondly recalls, I joined NAFE in the mid-70’s when it was a new organization and a new concept. In those days, NAFE held events in major cities – and I remember how excited we all were every year when the Washington DC event was announced. I also remember what a sense of importance I felt when, through NAFE, companies marketed financial products to women. That was unheard of until NAFE came along! So NAFE has had a profound effect on my life. Keep reading to learn Sharons secrets for career and business success:

What are the ‘secrets of success highly accomplished women know? That’s what we set out to identify in our book, How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know. We combined our personal insights, research-based knowledge, and the real-life lessons from 14 highly successful women to identify proven, practical strategies that you can immediately use to achieve your goals. Here from our new book are the foundational five.

1. Lead Like a Woman: Have confidence in the leadership strengths innate to you as a woman and build on them. Women are collaborative, inclusive, and consultative — but know when to be decisive and make tough decisions. Do not imitate men.

2. Own Your Destiny: Define success in your own terms. Women’s definition of success is holistic, incorporating all aspects of their lives: professional, family, community and personal. Set high goals and build your career based on your values and passions.

3. Be the Architect of Your Career: Identify and pursue the opportunities and positions to gain the experience and visibility you need to advance. Create opportunities and fearlessly take on challenging jobs or assignments that can position you for success. Become knowledgeable about your company and its operations and understand how you can contribute to the organization’s financial and operational success.

4. Advocate Unabashedly for Yourself: Develop a personal brand based on your strengths and goals. Make a compelling business case for yourself when seeking a promotion, raise, or proposing new business opportunities. Build and nurture networks of mentors and sponsors inside and outside the company to advise and advocate for you.

5. Translate the Stories Numbers Tell to Drive Strategic Results: Financial acumen is a non-negotiable credential for getting ahead in business. Become savvy about the financial operations of your function and understand how it contributes to the organization’s financial success. Financials help you focus, establish milestones, make adjustments along the way, and measure success.

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