Life and Spiritual Coaching

August 30, 2008

Life Coaching with Purpose

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 11:37 am

Do you know what your direction is in your life right now? Not the day to day family/career things; but your life’s purpose – what gives you passion. What makes you excited about the day and ready to do it again the next day? What do you dream of doing with your life? What do you want to be remembered for? Does your career give you this fulfillment or do you drag yourself to work each day.

Life Coaching is a personal and powerful relationship focused on knowing, having, doing and being what you want in life. These things are within you and we help to dig them out. A life coach provides a simple, yet effective structure of support to assist you in moving forward in significant areas of your life: career, health, romance, personal growth, education, spirituality, fun and recreation, physical environment, and friends and family. A life-coach will help you—

  • Design a life that fits who you are
  • Create compelling goals
  • Clear obstacles from your past
  • Break through stuck thinking and stuck places
  • Develop and implement action plans that move you forward
  • Hold you accountable week to week for your actions

Life Coaching works! Here’s why:

  1. Some of us don’t know where we’re going, what our lives are about, and what our values and goals are. Life Coaching helps us clarify our purpose, values, and goals.
  2. We may know where we’re going and what we need to do, but we forget or get stuck in our limiting belief systems, ineffective habits, or inability to focus. A life-coach gets us back on track by helping us identify limiting beliefs and ineffective habits and find more effective ways of being.
  3. Many times we resist change because it’s easier and more comfortable to stay the way we are. Any change we make causes resistance and backlash within ourselves as well as from other people in our lives. A life-coach helps us move beyond that resistance —with greater ease and flow. In the coaching relationship you may decide to work on all areas of your life at once or just focus on one. Life Coaching clients typically report :
    • More clarity, focus and direction
    • Enhanced and satisfying relationships
    • Less procrastination and fewer stops
    • A more balanced and fulfilling life
    • Faster and bigger results
    • Increase earnings and productivity
    • A new sense of passion, energy and enthusiasm


August 29, 2008

Life is a Journey

Filed under: Uncategorized — by Donna Ritter @ 10:52 am
Tags: ,

We all feel sadness from time to time. This is not a bad thing, but we want to remember how much we have to be grateful for. I keep my gratitude journal handy for this purpose. I found a very interesting poem about sadness that I think maybe was written by John Denver – but I’m not sure. Here it is:

“So you speak to me to me of sadness, and the coming of the winter, fear that is within you now it seems to never end. And the dreams that have escaped you and the hopes that you’ve forgotten and you tell me that you need me now. You want to be my friend. You wonder where you’re going, where’s the rhyme and where’s the reason, and it is you who cannot accept, it is here we must begin to seek the wisdom of the children, and the graceful way of flowers in the wind.

And the song that I am singing is a tale for non-believers; come and stand beside me and we will find a better way.”

This reminds me so much of what coaching is. It helps a person who has lost their way to find a better way. Sometimes we are in a place where we can’t see our purpose – but it’s always there to be found. We are all here for a purpose and that is so comforting to know. Life is a journey, not a destiny. Learn with me as we journey the world!

August 28, 2008

To Dream

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 7:08 pm
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Dreams are magical and can show you what is going on in you subconscious. Try keeping a Dream Journal by your bed and right your dream before you get up or you will forget it. Try this for 30 days and you will get better and better at it. You will find your writing to be scribbles but that’s ok. Dreams are one of our best gifts for finding our true selves.

Here is an example of a dream from a journal:

“Dreams, the gateway to worlds which bring forth pending mysteries. To go back to lost tomorrows and forgotten yesterdays, to find untold legends of unknown heroes, to live that which is only tangible in the misty night, to soar to lofty depths ad explore infinite worlds. To Dream”.

My dreams tend to be of flying and visions of heaven.

August 23, 2008

Nothing is Impossible When you try

Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 1:25 pm

Impossible is Just a Word.


Everyone, at some point of his or her life, has dreamed of being somebody special, somebody big. How many times have you dreamed of being rich, or successful, or happier with your relationships?

Often, we dream big dreams and have great aspirations. Unfortunately, our dreams remain just that – dreams. And our aspirations easily collect dust in our attic.

This is a sad turn of events in our life. Instead of experiencing exciting adventures in self actualization, we get caught up in the humdrum of living from day-to-day just barely existing.

But you know what? Life could be so much better, if only we learned to aim higher.

The most common problem to setting goals is the word impossible. Most people get hung up thinking I can’t do this. It’s too hard. It’s too impossible. No one can do this.

However, if everyone thought that, there would be no inventions, no innovations, and no breakthroughs in human accomplishment.

Remember that scientists were baffled when they took a look at the humble bumblebee. Theoretically, they said, it was impossible for the bumblebee to fly. Unfortunately for the bumble, bee no one has told it so. So fly it does.

On the other hand, some people suffer from dreaming totally outrageous dreams and not acting on them. The result? Broken dreams, and tattered aspirations.

If you limit yourself with self-doubt, and self-limiting assumptions, you will never be able to break past what you deem impossible. If you reach too far out into the sky without working towards your goal, you will find yourself clinging on to the impossible dream.

Try this exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down some goals in your life. Under one header, list down things ‘you know you can do’. Under another header, write the things ‘you might be able to do.’ And under one more, list the things that that are ‘impossible for you to do.’

Now look at all the headers strive every day to accomplish the goals that are under things ‘you know you can do’. Check them when you are able to accomplish them. As you slowly are able to check all of your goals under that heading, try accomplishing the goals under the other header-the one that reads ‘you might be able to do.’

As soon as any of the items you wrote under things I could do are accomplished, you can move the goals that are under things that are ‘impossible for you to do’ to the list of things ‘you might be able to do.’

As you go through this process, you will find out that the goals you thought were impossible become easier to accomplish. And the impossible begin to seem possible after all.

The technique here is not to limit your imagination. It is to aim high, and start working towards that goal little by little. However, it also is unwise to set a goal that is truly unrealistic.

Those who just dream towards a goal without working hard end up disappointed and disillusioned.

On the other hand, if you told someone a hundred years ago that it was possible for man to be on the moon, they would laugh at you. If you had told them that you could send mail from here to the other side of the world in a few seconds, they would say you were out of your mind. But, through sheer desire and perseverance, these impossible dreams are now realities. 

Thomas Edison once said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing could be truer. For one to accomplish his or her dreams, there has to be had work and discipline. But take note that that 1% has to be a think-big dream, and not some easily accomplished one.

Ask any gym rat and he or she will tell you that there can be no gains unless you are put out of your comfort zone. Remember the saying, “No pain, no gain”? That is as true as it can be.

So dream on, friend! Don’t get caught up with your perceived limitations. Think big and work hard to attain those dreams. As you step up the ladder of progress, you will just about find out that the impossible has just become a little bit more possible.


August 20, 2008

Minimum Expectations for a Project Manager

Filed under: PMP — by Donna Ritter @ 11:22 am

The purpose of any project methodology is to define a repeatable process that increases the probability of meeting or exceeding customer expectations of project scope, time, cost & quality.


Since all projects are different to some degree, the methodology should be flexible to meet projects of different size and complexity.  A “flexible” toolkit is needed with both required and optional tools that can be tailored as needed to deliver project results.


Regardless of the size and complexity, all projects should be managed to some minimum expectations.  The level of effort and document detail will vary, but the basic management expectations are consistent.


Leadership has agreed on the following minimum project management expectations:


  1. Define the scope of work, business requirements and project deliverables.
  2. Identify work required to achieve project deliverables.
  3. Prepare project timeline of project milestones and deliverables.
  4. Identify resources required to achieve project deliverables.
  5. Track project progress.
  6. Report project status.
  7. Plan and manage project resources.
  8. Plan and manage stakeholder communications.
  9. Plan and manage project risks and issues.
  10. Plan and manage project quality.
  11. Plan and manage changes to project scope, timeline and resources.
  12. Ensure project deliverables are transitioned.
  13. Close the project.


The level of effort and the documentation detail required for each of these expectations should be agreed upon between the Project Manager and the Project Sponsor at the outset of the project.  Multiple versions of some tools are included in the “flexible” toolkit to help the project manager adjust to project size and complexity.


The Sponsor is accountable for ensuring these minimum expectations are being met through a “health check” process.  Frequency and level of detail of the “health check” will depend on the size and complexity of the project, but at a minimum will occur at the end of each project.


Management and Leadership is accountable for encouraging the use of the methodology and auditing its use through ad hoc project reviews.


The Project Management Group is accountable for day-to-day support, mentoring and training.  The Project Management Group will also provide performance metrics based on project “health checks”.

August 18, 2008

Personal Power

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 11:29 am
Living from the Inside Out

by Laura Belsten, PhD, MCC

Lao Tzu, famous Chinese philosopher living over 2500 years ago, stated that the biggest problem in the world is that individuals experience themselves as powerless. Powerless individuals feel helpless, negative, lethargic, frustrated, resentful, and often live in fear, enslaved by circumstances they perceive as beyond their control.

The opposite of powerless is an inner awareness, an internal state of being we refer to as “personal power” in the emotional intelligence field.

Personal power is an inner awareness that makes us feel in control of our lives. It is an inner knowing that we can achieve our goals, a calm conviction about who we are and our ability to get the things we want in life.

Quiet Confidence
People with a highly developed sense of personal power have a quiet self-confidence that they can set the direction of their lives, and they do. They are able to distinguish among circumstances over which they have some control and those they do not. They define themselves from the inside out (for example, their internal self talk includes messages like “I am a capable person, I can manage this setback, I’m good at managing conflict, I’m creative”).

The biggest barrier to success in almost any endeavor is powerlessness, negativity, helplessness and inertia. Mahatma Gandhi had no army, never held or accepted political office, never used violence. He was a small, frail man, yet he defeated the armed might of the British Empire, driving the British out of India without firing a single shot. How did he accomplish this?



August 16, 2008

Decision Trees

Filed under: PMP — by Donna Ritter @ 11:57 am
Tags: , ,

A decision tree is a popular tool to use to share information about risks using expected value. Every decision has an outcome and something will happen as a result of the decision. The decision “tree” helps us decide whether we can live with the choices we make; if we choose to eat lunch out or stay in for lunch, whether to build or buy, whether to pursue a line of business or not. These events are out outcomes of whatever decisions are made – not on probability.  However, the outcomes of events do have a probability associated with them. There is a chance they will occur, as well as a chance they will not. It’s important to acknowledge that the outcomes from a single event are mutually exclusive of one another. If outcome 1 happens; outcome 2 cannot. If outcome 2 happens, outcome 1 cannot. For that reason, we can determine their probabilities clearly. If there are only 2 outcomes, and there’s a 40% chance of outcome 1 occurring, then there is always a 60% chance of outcome 2 occurring. The multiple of the outcomes will always sum to 100%.

Here is an example. We have a decision called “where to eat lunch”. We have 3 possible choices which lead to an outcome. The outcome is either “keep customer” or “lose customer”. For this example, we are associating some probabilities and some values of the outcomes. These values are not “Expected values”, but simply values of the outcomes if they come to pass. The costs of the meals are also included. Costs associated with the outcomes represent lost business through negative word of mouth communication. Revenues associated with outcomes represent newly acquired business by virtue of the positive experiences associated with the meal.

So we have 1 Decision – Where do we eat? There are 3 choices, we can eat at a hot dog vendor for – $10, fast food for -$20, or Fine dining for -$150. If we eat at the hot dog vendor we stand a 10% chance of keeping the customer which leads to outcome 1 ($500). That gives us a 90% chance of losing the customer if we eat at the hot fog vendors place (-$600). Choice 2 is eating at a fast food place costing -$20. It leads to a 40% chance of keeping the customer valued at $750 and a 60% chance of losing the customer valued at -$300. The third choice is fine dining costing -$150 leading to a 60% chance of keeping the customer valued at $1000 and a 40% chance of losing the customer valued at -$100.

Now we have enough information to figure out the best outcomes for our company. If for example, we select a hot dog vendor for this client lunch and achieve a positive outcome, the total benefit for the company will be $490 (outcome of event – cost of lunch). If we choose last food and have a positive outcome with the customer, the net benefit to the customer is $730.

When looking at risks, we need to also take the potential losses into consideration. Returning to the hot dog example, the negative impression generated may cost an additional $600 in lost business. That combined with the initial cost of the lunch would mean losses to the company on the order of -$610.


Stay tuned for part 2.




Filed under: Life Balance — by Donna Ritter @ 10:58 am
Tags: ,

When you wake up, what do you do? Do you take a few minutes to meditate or say a prayer? It makes all the difference in the world that you at least set your intentions for the day to be positive. Here is an example:


·         My day is easy and calm. 

·         My day includes loving kindness with friends and family.

·         My work will be easily accomplished today on time and with excellent results.

·         My new students will be eager to learn and easy to be with.

·         My drive to work is accomplished quickly and safely.

·         My health improves today and I can tell I feel better.

·         My family interactions are healthy and positive.

·         My house is cleaner and more organized each day.

·         Today, my business has significant success, including both an increase in income and more clients.

·         I discover what actions I will take to improve my health most effectively and most quickly.

·         I now know what actions to take to improve my business in order to meet my business goals.

·         I am alert and productive, easily completing what I start.

Start the day out with good intentions and if it feels like the day is slipping away into craziness, take a break and look your intentions again. Do a deep breathing exercise and you will be back on an even keel in no time!




August 15, 2008

Why Coaching is Worth It

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 11:27 am
Tags: , , ,

“Why Coaching is Worth the Investment… even in this economy!
By Shasta Nelson


When it comes to our finances we all know the value of investing.  When we invest our money we do it with the expectation of a profit at a later date.  We give now so that we can receive later–whether it’s for a financial purchase like a home or for retirement.

It makes sense that when our economy demands an increase in our day-to-day expenses (i.e. gas, groceries) and possibly a decrease in our income, our tendency is to often freeze our spending or go into hibernation mode from a fear of “not having enough.”  One of the most significant obstacles during these phases is that our personal tendency is to default to that fear. 

Fear looks different on each of us, but our decisions are then driven from whatever our “default mode” tends to be: indecision, lone ranger behavior, obsession, greed, tolerating, a willingness to sacrifice what’s most important, paralysis, procrastination, limiting beliefs, inability to say yes to life, an unwillingness to say no when needed, etc.  We all want to be people who aren’t motivated to make decisions from a place of fear, but from a place of purpose.

Use this “recession” to your advantage.  Rather than “buckle down” and hide– enter into this phase of life and grow.  Here are some ways:

  1. Prioritize by your Mission: Do you know your purpose?  What you contribute specifically?  What you offer? This can provide you parameters on how to say yes and no in courageous ways as you determine what is in line with your mission.  In corporate language– we call it streamlining. Reminding ourselves what we are really all about– what is the bottom line? This way you know where to cut and where to invest.
  2. Invest where it Matters: Some of your dreams may best launch in this time! You may find more time to write that book as you can’t afford to go to the movies as much. You may discover vendors will charge you less or barter so you can get started on the business idea you have. We don’t give up dreams in these times; we explore different strategies and use this space to creatively continue to pursue that which is most important.
  3. Know what Energizes you now: Despair, pain, depression and fear can be consuming.  A long term plan is crucial to your peace, but it’s hugely important to know how to maximize your current experience as well! How can you best infuse your life now with the things that energize you and make you strong? 

As the economy looms with uncertainty– we call on our clients to use this time to evaluate and clarify who they are and where they are headed. Empower yourself with the resources, support, inspiration and clarity to move forward in ways that will not only prove to be a valuable investment three months down the road, but one that will infuse you with more courage and hope in the present.

What can you do right now to “stake a claim” in your hope? What investment is before you that will help empower you to fuel your life in significant ways?  How can you invest in both your present fulfillment and your future mission?

August 14, 2008

The Seasons of Our Lives

Filed under: Life Coaching — by Donna Ritter @ 10:38 am

So, I want to hear from you? What season of life are you in? I am in my third season. My kids are going to college, I have quit my first career in corporate America where I was for 30 years, and now I am defining the parameters of my 3rd season; setting my goals and finally doing things for me! Where are the rest of you in your life? I want to hear – so write a comment and tell us!

ttfn, Coach Donna 



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