New Season

It’s a new season, and I’m ready to set powerful goals. But sometimes the first step forward is a step back. I recently took  a trip down memory lane to reflect on times past when God has graciously allowed simple truth to impact me in profound ways. Now I am ready to forge ahead toward the dreams and hopes He has placed in my heart for the future. What about you?

In spite of being married to a great guy, living in a great house on the ridge, developing great friends, even seeing great results in women’s ministry and our private practice, etc., I had stopped answering for myself the birthday question I reserved for everyone else, “What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year?” I guess this was my version of a mid-life crisis at age 50.

After living in the disillusionment of unrealized possibilities for far too long, I began to wonder what would bring me back to life.  What future was so compelling that I would move forward with passion?  God only knew but I was determined to find out.

When the First Step Forward is a Step Back

Sometimes the first step forward is a step back.  A necessary trip down memory lane reminded me of birthdays past when God had graciously allowed simple truth to impact me in profound ways.

  • As I looked into the little man’s face I had carefully sculpted out of clay, I remembered my delight in his creation and began to imagine the delight I may have brought to God who formed me and breathed His very life into me.
  • As I dusted off the box of framed works of art, I remembered the day I sat at my dining room table and cried while opening my friend’s gift and reading “God danced the day you were born!” perhaps believing it for the first time.
  • As I stood on my deck overlooking the mountains and enjoyed that evening’s sunset, I remembered being in Aruba and boldly asking God for a sunset for my birthday.  At first His answer to my prayer seemed quite unremarkable, a nice sunset, nothing to write home about but a short while later, when I was no longer expecting it, He blew me away with a sky that looked as though it were on fire! He was still in the business of doing above and beyond all I could ask or imagine, but not necessarily in my timing.

Powerful Goals for the New Season

As I approach my 60th birthday, having invested myself in coaching that is biblically based, Christ-centered, and bathed in prayer for the past ten years (in being coached myself, in being equipped to coach others, and training others to coach with excellence) I’m in an altogether new season. I love facilitating an insightful and creative process that makes a difference in people’s lives. It’s what I am motivated to do and an integral part of who God created me to be.

I am grateful but I am also very much aware of the need to reflect and set my mind on the Truth of what God says regardless of how I feel… something I never outgrow.

  • I am valued, loved, and accepted. It’s settled by God so I don’t have to earn it and no one else has to prove it. It is a grace gift I can choose to receive, unwrap, and share over and over again.
  • No one can keep me from being who God created me to be or doing what God calls me to do.
  • My hopes and dreams matter and I need to put them into action, as much as it’s up to me, in order to realize the possibilities.

So, what are my hopes and dreams for the coming year? I want to make time to…

  • Enjoy the simple things in life as well as the big things
  • Show more love to my family and friends in meaningful ways
  • Continue on this path of learning and growing in grace as God leads.

And since these are all up to me, they go beyond wishful thinking to become powerful goals!

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now how about you? Whatever your age, what Truth do you need to accept in order to be free to move forward?
  • What future would be so compelling for you that you could move forward with passion?
  • What hope or dream (vision) do you need to put into action to realize the possibilities?
  • What support do you need to actually do it?

Key Principle in Life Coaching: Vision + Action = Mission

Life Coaching helps you connect the dreaming to the doing. Here’s what that looks like in my life.

In Cape Town, South Africa just before the 2010 World Cup, I saw a banner that read “Let’s connect the dreaming to the doing!”

So simple, yet it captures a key principle in my life coaching. Vision + Action = Mission. You can have the clearest vision, the greatest idea, but, if you don’t put it into action, you will live in the disillusionment of unrealized possibilities. I may have missed the World Cup but I lived out my purpose as I facilitated a Coach-Approach to Leadership workshop for a team of international mission leaders that week… a win for me!

To borrow from last week’s nesting bowl analogy, you need all four bowls (vision, purpose, mission, and goals) in order to experience being fully alive! I promised to share my vision, purpose, mission, and goals with you. Here they are as a work in progress, a living-breathing-ever-changing “draft” in the making over the past ten years.

Vision…

I want to see people experience being fully alive as they live out their God-given design.

Purpose…

I am created to be a woman of integrity who lives in a way that my actions line up with who I am and what’s important to me… and to make a difference by facilitating that process for others.

Mission…

For this season of life, I put this into action through

  • Praying the Word
  • Life Coaching, Mentor Coaching, Retreat Coaching
  • Temperament and Strengths Assessments
  • Facilitating creative interactive group process
  • Writing (so others can take it and run with it)
  • Building strategic alliances

Goals…

  • Calendar regular weekly Blog postings and regular ongoing prayer team meetings for March-August 2012.
  • Facilitate Professional Development Summit for pastors and ministry directors in NC March 29-31, 2012.
  • Complete Myers-Briggs assessments and coaching sessions for all participants by two weeks prior to the Summit retreat.
  • Hire part-time admin help (VA) by the end of April 2012 to make room for new clients.
  • Coordinate with Maureen re: May ministry event by end of March 2012.
  • Teach Coaching Skills Development Practicum and Coaching Skills Mastery Practicum starting mid April 2012.
  • Teach/facilitate lesson on “Personality Type and the Art of Writing” for Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers on April 14, 2012.
  • Announce new ladies’ Bible study/life coaching group I will facilitate for my local church in April 2012.

My hope is that you will be inspired to persist in refining your own vision that fits how God has wired you and what He is inspiring you to do. I dare to believe “God danced the day you were born!” and He is able to make your  life count in ways that are above and beyond all you can ask or imagine.

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you? What legacy do you want to leave?
  • What is your part in bringing it about?
  • How will you put it into action so you can realize the possibilities?

Please feel free to share your thoughts to encourage others. Just click on the speech bubble at the top of this post to leave a comment.

Life on Purpose

Life coaches help people discover their life’s vision, purpose, mission, and goals. Use this self-coaching exercise to begin to uncover yours.

Since specific requests have come in for this to be in writing, here’s an analogy using simple kitchen nesting bowls as food for thought. May God use it to help you discover and refine your vision, your purpose, and your mission here on earth. Judy Santos, a mentor, colleague and close friend, first shared this with me nearly 10 years ago. Since then it has been a litmus test of what to say yes to when I remember to be intentional and a useful tool for many life coach training students. I don’t know its original source so I am passing it on to you in memory of Judy who I miss terribly.

VISION

This is a brief overall statement… all else needs to be compatible with it (Largest bowl).

  • A specific compelling image of the future that you hold
  • The big picture result you want to see
  • The legacy you want to leave

PURPOSE

This is a brief statement that captures who you are and your part in bringing your vision to life.

  • Your calling
  • The underlying reason for being that gives your life meaning
  • Your answer to the question “Why am I here on earth?”
  • Your “being”, the essence of who you are. (“Doing” then flows out of this.)

MISSION

Many things can be included as ways to operationalize what is important to you but they must all be compatible with your purpose and help make your vision possible.

  • The particular ways you choose to fulfill your purpose in any given season
  • Your “doing”
  • “How” you will live out your purpose

GOALS

What specific tasks need to be done and when they need to be done to actually accomplish your mission(s) in real life? Must be compatible with and contained within the mission, purpose, and vision. (Smallest bowl)

  • “Dreams with a timeline for putting them into action”
  • S.M.A.R.T.– specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive
  • Goals need to be “as much as it depends on you”, within your ability and right to control. Goals apart from serving your mission or contingent on circumstances and people beyond you will be just a to-do list… not powerful goals.

Check back next week when I’ll illustrate this exercise by sharing my life’s vision, purpose, mission, and goals.

*Nesting bowl image courtesy of J. King. Used with permission.

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you? What would “Life on Purpose” look like for you?
  • How would you benefit from prayerfully drafting your own vision, purpose and mission statements?
  • What support do you need to put in place to make it happen?