Life and Spiritual Coaching

July 29, 2008

Write a Graditude Journal and Give your Problems to God

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 8:30 pm
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These are some of the questions I ask myself each morning as I try to be my authentic self.  The format that I use is a weekly self assessment and gratitude journal. Some things I keep private to myself and others I’ll publish. Try it yourself and you will find you can make great improvements.

·   What will I try to improve on next week? Did I hurt anyone? Do I need to make a call for forgiveness? You never know when your life will end, and I don’t want any regrets; in fact I try to make sure that I have none before I go to bed.

 

·   What was I most proud of this week? Can I keep doing that in the future? Did I make a difference in someone’s life? It is important to me to make this earth a better place each day.

 

·   What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week? Am I on track? I keep a daily planner to make sure I keep track of my day and see if I am meeting my goals.

 

·   What did I have a hard time with and why? Can I fix it? Have I prayed about it? Often the answer is to give it to God.

 

·   What was my biggest waste of time this week? This can be my tendency to not say “no” to people or get caught up in conversations or television.

 

·   What did I do this week that I didn’t feel good about? Can I do something about making it better? Again, this is a sign that I need to spend time with the Lord.

 

By answering these questions for myself in my writing journal, or blog, I force myself to take a hard look at myself.  At the end of the day, I take stab at the next day’s list, clean off my desk and am ready to start again fresh in the morning. I start each morning with some quiet time with God and then get to my planner and see if it needs to be updated.

I always make sure that I schedule in time for myself so that I can properly do things for others. Think of an airplane when oxygen masks come down; they always tell the adults to put their masks on first before putting them on their kids.

By recording things that made me proud and that I consider my biggest accomplishments, I can emulate them in the future. These go in my gratitude journal. I know good things happen when I let God be in charge. The benefit for me is that these are the things that make me feel good and are likely taking me towards my life goals. I give credit to God for these things. I record the activities that I’ve found to be hard during the week. Maybe it was a test, or a work out at the gym. I can then analyze where I went wrong, or right. A test being hard could mean that I wasn’t prepared enough, or it was meant to be a challenging critical thinking exam. A hard day at the gym could mean that I’ve let myself get out of shape, or I’m over working myself. I can make adjustments for the following week and plan accordingly.

Keeping touch with your daily activities, starting the day with quiet time and keeping time for yourself will get your goals done much quicker than if you didn’t take the time to reflect and give thanks!

 

 

 

 

These are some of the questions I ask myself each morning as I try to be my authentic self.  The format that I use is a weekly self assessment and gratitude journal. Some things I keep private to myself and others I’ll publish. Try it yourself and you will find you can make great improvements.

·   What will I try to improve on next week? Did I hurt anyone? Do I need to make a call for forgiveness? You never know when your life will end, and I don’t want any regrets; in fact I try to make sure that I have none before I go to bed.

 

·   What was I most proud of this week? Can I keep doing that in the future? Did I make a difference in someone’s life? It is important to me to make this earth a better place each day.

 

·   What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week? Am I on track? I keep a daily planner to make sure I keep track of my day and see if I am meeting my goals.

 

·   What did I have a hard time with and why? Can I fix it? Have I prayed about it? Often the answer is to give it to God.

 

·   What was my biggest waste of time this week? This can be my tendency to not say “no” to people or get caught up in conversations or television.

 

·   What did I do this week that I didn’t feel good about? Can I do something about making it better? Again, this is a sign that I need to spend time with the Lord.

 

By answering these questions for myself in my writing journal, or blog, I force myself to take a hard look at myself.  At the end of the day, I take stab at the next day’s list, clean off my desk and am ready to start again fresh in the morning. I start each morning with some quiet time with God and then get to my planner and see if it needs to be updated.

I always make sure that I schedule in time for myself so that I can properly do things for others. Think of an airplane when oxygen masks come down; they always tell the adults to put their masks on first before putting them on their kids.

By recording things that made me proud and that I consider my biggest accomplishments, I can emulate them in the future. These go in my gratitude journal. I know good things happen when I let God be in charge. The benefit for me is that these are the things that make me feel good and are likely taking me towards my life goals. I give credit to God for these things. I record the activities that I’ve found to be hard during the week. Maybe it was a test, or a work out at the gym. I can then analyze where I went wrong, or right. A test being hard could mean that I wasn’t prepared enough, or it was meant to be a challenging critical thinking exam. A hard day at the gym could mean that I’ve let myself get out of shape, or I’m over working myself. I can make adjustments for the following week and plan accordingly.

Keeping touch with your daily activities, starting the day with quiet time and keeping time for yourself will get your goals done much quicker than if you didn’t take the time to reflect and give thanks!

 

 

 

 

These are some of the questions I ask myself each morning as I try to be my authentic self.  The format that I use is a weekly self assessment and gratitude journal. Some things I keep private to myself and others I’ll publish. Try it yourself and you will find you can make great improvements.

·   What will I try to improve on next week? Did I hurt anyone? Do I need to make a call for forgiveness? You never know when your life will end, and I don’t want any regrets; in fact I try to make sure that I have none before I go to bed.

 

·   What was I most proud of this week? Can I keep doing that in the future? Did I make a difference in someone’s life? It is important to me to make this earth a better place each day.

 

·   What have I done to get closer to my life goals this week? Am I on track? I keep a daily planner to make sure I keep track of my day and see if I am meeting my goals.

 

·   What did I have a hard time with and why? Can I fix it? Have I prayed about it? Often the answer is to give it to God.

 

·   What was my biggest waste of time this week? This can be my tendency to not say “no” to people or get caught up in conversations or television.

 

·   What did I do this week that I didn’t feel good about? Can I do something about making it better? Again, this is a sign that I need to spend time with the Lord.

 

By answering these questions for myself in my writing journal, or blog, I force myself to take a hard look at myself.  At the end of the day, I take stab at the next day’s list, clean off my desk and am ready to start again fresh in the morning. I start each morning with some quiet time with God and then get to my planner and see if it needs to be updated.

I always make sure that I schedule in time for myself so that I can properly do things for others. Think of an airplane when oxygen masks come down; they always tell the adults to put their masks on first before putting them on their kids.

By recording things that made me proud and that I consider my biggest accomplishments, I can emulate them in the future. These go in my gratitude journal. I know good things happen when I let God be in charge. The benefit for me is that these are the things that make me feel good and are likely taking me towards my life goals. I give credit to God for these things. I record the activities that I’ve found to be hard during the week. Maybe it was a test, or a work out at the gym. I can then analyze where I went wrong, or right. A test being hard could mean that I wasn’t prepared enough, or it was meant to be a challenging critical thinking exam. A hard day at the gym could mean that I’ve let myself get out of shape, or I’m over working myself. I can make adjustments for the following week and plan accordingly.

Keeping touch with your daily activities, starting the day with quiet time and keeping time for yourself will get your goals done much quicker than if you didn’t take the time to reflect and give thanks!

 

 

 

 

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July 28, 2008

The First Time Death Knocks on your Door

Filed under: Family — by Donna Ritter @ 6:05 pm
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I had always dreamed of walking down the aisle at graduation with my Dad in his Harvard robes. When I was a senior in college, He was coming back from giving a paper and had a heart attack on the airplane. Even though they emergency landed the plane in Atlanta, he died. That night I had double dated with my sister to see a “Yes” concert, but went home earlier than she did since I had an 8:00 am Calculus class.

My Mom called me up and asked me to come over since my Dad was “sick”. I told her I needed to sleep and would be there after my class in the morning. My parents were divorced by then, so I thought it was a bit weird, but went back to sleep. Then she called back and told me I was dead. I rushed to her house at 3 in the morning n tears. My Dad was my best friend. My Mom wanted me to find my sister but I had no idea where she was and there were no cell phones back then. She gave me a stiff drink (which was the last thing I needed – but I took it anyway). We waited for Barby to show up and both broke down in tears again. My Mom asked me to go to my Dad’s apartment to look for a will (he was only 45) and she didn’t feel comfortable doing it. I was a basket case. Luckily my roommate was there to drive me.

Seeing my Dad’s most personal things was horrible to me. I found what I could and brought it back to my Mom.

I stayed there, but went to school because at the beginning of the semester, my professor had said there would be no exceptions to missing exams. I must have looked a mess, because one of my friends came up as I was waiting and said ”what happened to you, did someone die or something”? When he heard my story, he walked into the classroom and explained my situation to the professor and she was so nice, and told me of course I could make it up. Maybe it helped that my Dad was the Dean of the Graduate School – but he led me out of school to the next door college bar. Now this was about 8:30 am. My best friend said “Let’s have a few beers and celebrate his life”. We did and we laughed and cried at the same time. One old drunk came over and asked us what was going on. When we told him, he cried too! We all started laughing which sounds weird, but it was what I needed most.

It was then that I found out who your real friends are. Some that I thought were my friends looked the other way when I was coming. Some sat with me and let me talk, cry and cried with me. It was like my Dad’s death was contagious and some of my so called friends didn’t want to catch the “germ”.

Then the next shoe hit the floor. My Mom wanted me to decide where my Dad should be buried! His Dad was on vacation, but I refused to make any decisions until I could talk to my Grandfather. No parent should survive their children. I had never had death touch me, and I couldn’t handle it. I was floored that my Mom couldn’t see that.

We ended up sending the police after my grandfather. Thank God he took care of everything. We all flew up to Massachusetts were my first Grandmother was buried. My Dad was cremated and buried next to her. My Grandfather sent me the pictures he developed that my Dad had taken on that trip; they were of the same place where he was buried. It was fall, so I’m sure he was taking pictures of the changing leaves – but is was still creepy. My sister and I didn’t have much money, but we went to a florist and bought roses to lie on his grave.

When we got home, the money he had was to be left to any minor children (of which I was not) but there was an insurance policy with me as the beneficiary. I felt said because he had always wanted a boat. I think you should always make sure you experience your dreams.

My Mom said she and Barby would take me to court to get that money – so I gave it to them. Not worth fighting for. I almost quit college at the suggestion of my Mom, but my Dad’s professor friends rallied around me and got me through it (think goodness for those wonderful men).

I gave up the idea of graduate school and got a job in the computer industry where I have been for 30 years. My Mom and Scott moved up to New York before I graduated and no one I was related to came to the ceremony. Not even my sister.

My husband and I have an iron clad will so hopefully none of this business will happen. I grew up very fast during those years and still hear my Dad in my prayers. I made peace with my Mom before she died (at 72) and I am very glad I did. Family is what is most important and should never be taken for granted.

You never know when your time will be up so always tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them. Never go to bed with any anger in your heart. Forgive no matter what and live so you have no regrets on your deathbed. Live, Laugh and Love everyone! You never know when the last day will come – so no regrets!

Live your Authentic Self

Filed under: Self — by Donna Ritter @ 9:44 am
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Hello friends! You loyal readers know I often speak about living your authentic self. I am a true believer in living your life as authentically as possible. Some things you should always do are:

  • Never lie
  • Never compromise your integrity for anyone
  • Value diversity, but don’t try to become them
  • Treat yourself as the wonderful person you are
  • Enjoy the simple things
  • Take time out for yourself. You can’t take care of anyone else unless you are taken care of
  • Make your room (or home) your sanctuary and take time there to rejuvenate
  • Believe in yourself and don’t let anyone get you down
  • Live like there is no tomorrow and make sure you have no regrets

Take care of #1!

 

 

 

July 27, 2008

Conversation Starters

Filed under: People — by Donna Ritter @ 8:52 pm
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·         What is one of your most embarrassing moments?

·         If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

·         What was the worst date you’ve gone on?

·         Name five things you are thankful for?

·         What is your all time favorite song?

·         Do you believe true love can be found online?

·         If you could be anyone in the world past or present for one day, who would it be?

·         What was the best birthday present you have ever received?

July 26, 2008

Youthful Summers

Filed under: Family — by Donna Ritter @ 12:13 pm
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Every summer my family would travel to New England where my extended family lived. We lived in New Orleans. My Mom had 3 sisters (of which she was the youngest) and 2 brothers. One is only 5 years older than me and my Grandmother and my oldest Aunt were pregnant at the same time!

 

Since my Dad was a professor, he could not get away for a month, so my Mother and us kids went first and then my father joined us for the last 2 weeks. My Mom’s family was big and lived in New York and Connecticut. My Dad was an only child and lived in Massachusetts. His parents doted on us since we were the only of their grandchildren. They had a boat that they named Daba (D for the first letter of my name, A for the last letter of my name) and a dingy named Scotty for my brother who was 13 years younger than I was. We would take the boat out and catch fresh lobsters in traps and boil them on the boat.

 

After my brother was born we moved to a larger house. In high school my best friend had a baby when she was 15 and we would walk the babies around. I pretended Scotty was mine and spent my allowance buying him cute clothes. He was actually born in California when my Dad was on sabbatical.

 

The only other vacations we took were to Destin Beach in Alabama and the panhandle of Florida – both of which had beautiful white sandy beaches.

 

In Hurricane Betsy, my parents house was flooded with 4 feet of water and we couldn’t live there for some time. Luckily, the church helped my parents rebuild.

 

One thing my Dad (the professor) was always strict about was the classes I took. I had to have 4 years each of Math, English, Social Studies and Science. This served me very well once I got to college. My parents had me tested and apparently I had a higher IQ than my Dad (which he never mentioned) so they tried to get me to go to a special college prep high school, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I would miss al my friends!

 

I grew up in the baby boomer years and was a big hippy. I dabbled in drugs, but was such a tight wad that I never bought my own things. To my Dad’s credit, he sat me down and explained that he didn’t necessarily think drugs were bad, but dealers cut them with rat poison to get a quick high. He said he knew about these things since he was on campus and helped college kids that had problems. He just wanted me to be careful.

That was the great thing about my Dad. He never yelled at me, but I knew if I disappointed him be his look and I avoided that at all cost. I made great grades and was always respectful to my parents. I would never want to be a teenager again!

July 24, 2008

Life Coaching

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 9:11 pm
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With the help of a life coach, you will learn how to take inventory of your life, then how to make some difficult choices.

If you’ve ever sat down and drafted New Year’s resolutions, you’ve probably listed everything you want to improve in your life. Life improvement is not about accomplishing all of your New Years resolutions, nor is it about reading more books, making more money, building a better body, or traveling to more places. So, what is life improvement, then?

First with the help of a life coach, you will learn how to take inventory of your life, then how to make some difficult choices. Many business leaders will tell you that it is nearly impossible to make more money if you have no idea how much you’re already making. The same is true for life improvement, if you do not know what areas of your life you want to improve, then how will you know what to improve. The problem however is with most individuals they are not objective enough to make proper assessment about them.

This is where a life improvement coach can help. They have the distance needed to analyze your individual situation objectively. Your life improvement coach may examine your marriage, personal relationships, job, and home, then make recommendations on the areas where he or she notices needs improvement. For instance if you have a tendency to become angry, aggressive, excitable, or analytical, then a persona ife coach can make suggestions to correct this behavior based on the observations they’ve noted.

Self-improvement is not black and white nor is it one size fits all. A plan, which has proven effective for one individual may not be the correct action for another individual. In order to devise a strategy, which is correct for you, first sit down with your life coach and take inventory. Your life coach can then help you improve the areas, which need improving and exploit the many excellent tools and resources you already have.

 

 

July 23, 2008

Say A Prayer for My Friend

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 10:50 pm
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So when…….
There’s work to do, deadlines to meet;
You’ve got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER In the midst of family chaos,
“Quality time” is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear.
Slow down and take a breather-
ASAP – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He’ll respond to all your needs
A.S.A.P. – ALWAYS SAY A PRAYER.

July 21, 2008

Negotiation

Filed under: PMP — by Donna Ritter @ 2:08 pm
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Negotaition is a great skill for anyone to have. On almost every project I’ve been involved with, there has come a time when I needed someone else to do something for the success of my project. The most important advice I can give you is to “seek first to understand” where the other person is coming from. To them, their project may be the most important thing on earth. If you first understand that, you can come up with some win-win scenarios where their project and yours both get done in a timeframe that is acceptable to both of you – and they will appreciate that you took the time to understand their constraits. In the end, you probably both work for the same person, so you both want that person to succeed. Going out of your way to ensure both projects work out is to the interest of both of you. Never come at someone with the attitude that what you are doing is more important than what they are doing. Honey wins over vinegar every time!
 
ttfn, Donna
Wink

July 18, 2008

The Bucket List

Filed under: Family,Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 9:52 am
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I recently watched the movie with Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson and Sean Hayes. It was great. It really got me to thinking about how I would want to treat my final 6 months if I had lived a full life. I definitely would have taken Edward up on his offer to fund global adventures if I was Carter!

That all brings up the issue of how much do you owe your loved ones if you know you are on your last leg. Is there anything wrong with taking off on an adventurous 8 week trip around the world? I think not. If you’ve give your self to your loved ones for 60 years and you are finding out you are facing keeping your life going for a few more months if you allow the doctors to make you throw up by taking chemotherapy or just leaving to have that last adventure – I’d go for the adventure. I’d love to hear your comments!

Team Building

Filed under: PMP — by Donna Ritter @ 9:31 am
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I have often found that the key to any endeavor, including Project Management or Coaching, lies around building a good relationship. Think back to the most effective teams or relationships you have ever had. Did it have characteristics such as?

· Mutual trust

· Honesty and integrity

· Confidentiality

· Valuing differences

· Having fun

· Being respected (I once worked on a team where everyone was given a ping pong gun. If they caught anyone disrespecting another, they were allowed to shoot them).

· Clearly defined “SMART: goals. (S = specific, M= measureable, A = attainable, R = realistic and T = time based)

· Responsibility that is expected in all the members of the team’s work – there is no such thing as “It’s not my job”

· Shared responsibility, accountability and rewards tied to performance

· Frequent celebrations when called for

· Ability to make decisions (the only way to learn is to take risks)

· Mutual support and mentoring

· AND the most important thing is a Leader who leads, sets a vision and allows sharing of ideas from all team members

Team Spirit is vital to the making of a team that works. It is the ability to work on ones’ own, feel free to ask for help and share the glory of your combined work. That is the reason why team communication and team building is so important.

When I first start a team, I have everyone take an assessment and share the results with each other. Everyone communicates differently and if you know the style of your team member it will go a long way in making that relationship successful. I also take the assessment and share it with the team. Pretty soon it gets to be fun when person A witnesses Person B reacting to Person C in a way that is uncomfortable for person C. If it is caught in the moment, people can laugh about it and not let it get in their way. Some teams I’ve worked on even go so far as wearing a badge that signifies their personality traits.

If a team is built with these suggestions in mind, they will work towards the goal of overall team success and not individual success. You may find a person or two who won’t follow this team building activity. If you run into this case, either remove the person from the team, or if this is not possible, give them a chance to see others make it work. People in general, want to do a good job and want their team to succeed.

On-going training for the team is essential and will keep the ideas fresh in their heads. It is also beneficial to have some bonding time like playing softball or some activity outside of work.

Another technique that is beneficial is to have a scoreboard that states how the team is doing towards making their goals. This should not be used to single out anyone, but to find areas where mentoring or training can help the overall team. Whenever the team beats its goals, the success should be celebrated. You’d be amazed how quickly the team will strive for high results.

There are two major types of teams: the ongoing team and the project team. We are going to concentrate on project teams since work that is of an ongoing nature is defined as an operation, not a project. The exception to this is in a matrix organization where the functional managers are in charge of the teams and loan them to the project manager for the duration of the project. IT team, the marketing-research team, and the accounts payable team.

Project teams are formed for a particular purpose; to complete the project. They usually disband when their mission is accomplished. The mission that binds them is the project’s mission and it falls upon the project manager to instill the leadership required to build followers of the project’s mission.

There are many benefits to be working on a project team. The social aspects as well as the opportunities for less experienced members to learn from the more experienced members along with the abilities for the more experienced members to mentor and learn from that experience. The synergy that the team provides allows them to make better decisions than if they were working in isolation. Everyone has a different skill set to bring to the table. As we all have learned “the whole is larger than the sum of its parts”.

I’d like to say a little bit about team leaders. Some schools of thought are that the subject matter experts should be the team leaders. As I said before, everyone has a different skill set to bring to the table and most people who concentrate on becoming the expert in a particular technology are usually introverts and aren’t the one you want to resolve conflict between team members, keep the team on track and keep them energized. These folks usually are better at people skills, negotiations and are typically extroverts. That’s why having a mixture of talent makes up the best team. I once heard a Vice President talk to me about his staff. He said he always looked for people that were not like him, giving him a well rounded staff that came out with better solutions than a bunch of “Yes” men would have.

Another possibility is to train people to take over in leadership positions. The fact is you are born with natural abilities and you can be trained, but in a crisis situation will usually revert back to what you were born with. It is also a very unique individual who is good at everything required to run the business.

In the end, have fun with what you do and do what fulfills you!

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