The Thing About Goals

The Thing About Goals

Setting goals is the highest level of activity that we can do for ourselves.

When we create goals we are essentially giving ourselves the freedom to choose how we want to live. And, because we have so many choices available to us today, having goals help us to stay focused.

While ideally, most of us would like nothing more than to solely focus on accomplishing our goals, the reality is there are lots of moving parts in our lives like work, family, relationships…..etc.

If I asked you to close your eyes for a moment and picture a giraffe in your minds-eye, that would be pretty simple to do and if I asked you to picture your favorite car, it probably wouldn’t take much effort. Now, if I asked you to picture a vision for yourself of where you would like to be in 6 months, or a year from now, that might be a bit more challenging.

Maybe you’re thinking, how can I picture where I’m going to be in 6 months or even a year from now, when so many things are changing.

The truth is, having goals help us to stay focused. If you have a goal in your mind, then you have a vision, and with a clear vision comes the momentum you need to get after it.

Everything worth having in life, whether it’s mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually starts with having a goal.

The question you have to ask yourself before jumping in is: Are you positioned to reach your goal?

And since the road to success is through commitment, I’ve created a blueprint to help you successfully accomplish your goal.

Take a look at these 10 components towards mapping out your goals, and think about where you’re at right now, in this moment, and what it will take (and what you can do!) to get you across the finish line.

Remember if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.

Enrollment for my online MasterClass – The Ultimate Course in How to Confidently Design Your Goals, Stay on Track and Reach the Finish Line will be opening soon! Stay tuned for more details!

What’s Your Next Power Play?

What’s Your Next Power Play?

Definition of Power Play – “An action, stratagem, or maneuver as in politics or business, by which power is concentrated or manipulated in order to subdue a rival or gain control of a situation”

What does power play mean to you?

When I think about a power play, I think about moving obstacles out of the way, so I can move forward. I think about moving through challenges and getting to the other side. I think about what my daily inspiration needs to be, so I have the energy and the fortitude to keep moving.

My power play is being clear on what I need so I can execute my plan.

I’ve had the great opportunity to work with so many brilliant people throughout 2016, and working with so many powerhouses has helped me to realize that having a strategy and a plan are the requisite tools that are needed to step up and move to the next level. It’s not just coming up with a great idea for a business, a new service, or a new program. For me, it’s about creating an actionable plan in writing, complete with milestones and rewards and going after it.

It’s about not stopping and figuring out your strategy.

If you feel stuck and unsure about how to move forward here are two important questions to ask yourself right now.  Grab a pen and paper, or open up a word document on your computer.  This exercise will take just 10 minutes but can shine a focused light on what is blocking you.

2 Power Play Questions You Need To Ask

  1. What is the one thing that you know you need to gain control of so you can live the life you want on your terms?

You see, the thing is we already know what is blocking us from moving forward. Deep down you know what it is, it’s just that it can be a little bit scary to deal with sometimes. I’m inviting you now to spend a few minutes just pondering this question.  Perhaps at first nothing will come, but that’s okay. When answers do come write them all down without blocking yourself or questioning whether they are right or wrong.

  1. What’s the rival that gets in the way, and needs to be subdued for you?

Is it your mindset? Is it money (thinking that you don’t have enough)? Is it fear?  Is it feeling overwhelmed? Is it concern about what others will think of you? Or maybe, you just don’t know where to start.  What is it that is stopping you from overcoming the challenge you know you need to overcome in the last question?

This is the critical juncture where many of us freeze. And, it’s my sweet spot. I love working with people and partnering together, to help YOU figure out what your next power play is.

You might need one intensive conversation to gain momentum, or you might want multiple conversations to develop your strategy.

Wherever you are is perfect, and I would love to hear from you.

Click here to schedule a complimentary 30 minute conversation and let’s get this power play started. https://calendly.com/denise658

I would love to hear in the comments below what is your power play going to be for the next 90 days?


6 Steps To Achieving Your Money Objective

6 Steps To Achieving Your Money Objective

Many of us have money blocks. And if I’m honest, money is by no means my favorite topic to talk about. However, money is important to me and choosing to write about it is a part of my process to work on my own money objective.

And in doing that, I’m getting better with being comfortable with being uncomfortable around money. That’s the first step, acknowledgment and acceptance, only from that place can true change happen.

In today’s post I’m going to help you to identify your most important money objective and give you 6 steps to achieving it. But first, I’d like to give you a bit of context which will help you uncover some money blocks & help you understand your money mindset.

Identifying Your Money Mindset

I can remember as if it were yesterday my father saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees” and “God bless the child who has his own” or “You have to work hard if you want money” Maybe you can remember some of the sayings that you frequently heard as you were growing up.

Each and every message you heard about money when you were young is somewhere in your subconscious mind and is part of your money blueprint. Those same messages are also a part of your internal mapping system that has been running your financial life.

Our money mindset has a lot to do with how we view money, and often times, our money earning potential. John Demartini, author and human performance speaker says “Money goes and flows where it’s appreciated most”.

Identifying Your Money Objective

Having a clear money objective can help you gain the focus you need to accomplish your money goals. It is also helpful, as you move forward and make decisions on how you spend your money.

To create your money objective, start by thinking about what is most important to you from a financial perspective.

Do you want to be debt free?

Create personal wealth?

Take that dream vacation?

Or maybe, you want to start your own business.

It’s important that you just pick one money objective to focus on for now, once you have it please write it down.

6 Steps To Achieving Your Money Objective

  1.      Write your money objective down on an index card, a post-it or in your journal. Keep your money objective easily accessible, place it      somewhere you can see it frequently so you are consistently reinforcing the money objective in your mind.
  2.      Decide a time frame for your money objective. Is it reasonable to give yourself 6 months or 12 months to accomplish your objective? Remember success comes in a series of small wins. So, give yourself the time you need and evaluate your progress regularly and consistently.
  3.      Begin to align your values, your daily activities and the decisions you make around your money objective. For example, if your money objective is to pay off your Visa card, make sure your actions and behaviors reflect that. Begin by using the card less frequently. You may decide to reduce the number of times you eat out, and use the money saved to add to the amount you pay on your monthly statement, or you may decide to remove the card from your wallet completely so you’re less tempted to use it.
  4.      Create a list of action steps for yourself that you are willing to follow to accomplish your money objective and stick to it. Focus on the opportunities to accomplish your goal, and play to win.
  5.      Get support. You may need an accountability partner to help you stay on track. Developing willpower around changing old habits can be challenging but finding someone who is aligned with helping you achieve your goals, and who will help hold you accountable can make the experience much better.
  6.      Educate yourself on money and financial health. There are a ton of great books, articles, podcasts and many more resources to help you get smart about your dollars.

Need more support on this topic? I’ll help you gain clarity on understanding your money mindset and figuring out next steps to create your one money objective.

Click here to schedule your 30 minute complimentary session with me today https://calendly.com/denise658

Shifting your money minset starts right here, I’d love to know in the comments below if you can remember what you learned about money growing up.

Gratitude Changes Everything

Gratitude Changes Everything

One of the most important rituals that I have developed over time is my practice of gratitude. I start my morning by writing down the three things that I am grateful for and I do the same thing in the evening.

If you only add one new habit to your routine this year, it must be a gratitude practice, it’s changed my life.

Seven months ago, I made a big, hairy and audacious decision and walked away from all that I knew to be certain. And fear was right by my side, the whole time. I did it anyway. I summoned up all my courage and took the leap.

I now live my life with intention, listening with my heart and making choices with no regrets. My coach says that “Being an entrepreneur is the most intense form of personal development”, and that is so true.

My gratitude practice has been my constant and loving support and it has taught me so much. I’d like to share with you what I’ve learned, and encourage you to start your own practice.

What Gratitude Has Taught Me

The daily practice of gratitude has provided so much clarity for me in my life around what’s important and what brings me joy. It’s opened up the small and insular world that I had been managing my life in.

Knowing what I am grateful for has allowed me to embrace the abundant opportunities that have come my way.

I’m thankful for the now toned muscles of tenacity and resiliency that I am frequently using.

I understand the need for compassion and connection with others, and the importance of having an open mind. I’m grateful for possibility and the freedom to start my day by asking myself “What if…”

It’s not that being grateful is a skill or something that you have to learn to do, but what I know for sure, is that not practicing gratitude is like riding a bike with only one wheel. It can be done, but it takes so much longer to find your balance.

I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be perfect, and that when I make a mistake, I get the chance to learn from it, and start all over again, without judgement or criticism.

And what’s more, “done is better than perfect.”

I’ve learned how important it is to keep learning, and to stay curious, because if you don’t pour back into yourself, you won’t have anything to give to others. I’ve learned that what I give my attention to grows and prospers.

So I encourage you, add a slot in your calendar for daily gratitude and spend a few minutes each day writing down what you are most grateful for and see the profound impact this simple exercise has on your life.

Let’s kick this off your gratitude practice right now, share with me in the comments what you are most grateful for in this moment.

There’s a Bit of Adventure In All Of Us – Find Yours!

There’s a Bit of Adventure In All Of Us – Find Yours!

Have you ever wondered why you don’t have it in you to do something different in your life? You may ask yourself: Why aren’t I more courageous? Why can’t I make a big change? Why can’t I take a leap of faith? The idea behind having a sense of adventure – the kind of adventure that helps you to work your way out of those valleys that come with life – doesn’t mean, you suddenly become infatuated with zip lining or white water rafting.  A sense of adventure is really about waking up every day not with a sense of trepidation but with a sense of possibility. Most of us, are extremely fearful about life. We often find ourselves being protective and defending ourselves. And yet there are people who have developed a different way of responding to the world. For them, they approach life always looking for the possibility of what lies ahead and the opportunities that are available.

Why is their outlook on life so different?

It may have something to do with the people who they surround themselves with. Have you ever noticed that positive people, surround themselves with other positive people? We often don’t realize how much the people who we are around influence our thoughts, our moods, and even our level of adventure. Business Philosopher, Jim Rohn says “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, if you are risk adverse, afraid to try new things or unwilling to do anything that makes you feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable, if the people around you are always zapping new ideas.  This isn’t to say that you should get rid of the people around you, but you might want to think about how your sense of who you are is being shaped by the people you are around the most.

What would it be like for you if you did something completely adventurous?

Author Robert Kolker said it best “Being adventurous, it turns out, is a little like being a good dancer: Most of us think we aren’t, and the more we’re convinced of this, the less hope we have of loosening up and getting better. But if we would open up a little- look at what we might do instead of what we’re certain we can’t- we’d discover something”

What’s your adventure?

Challenge yourself to try something you’ve never done before and to consider the possibilities.  

“Adventure isn’t about risk or thrill seeking or proving your mettle. It’s about going for something with all your heart” James B. Meigs

I would love it if you shared your new adventure with me. Write back and tell me about your experience. How did it go for you? Would you do it again? How did doing something totally different make you feel?

Can’t wait to hear from you!

What Would I Do, If I Had More Time?

What Would I Do, If I Had More Time?

What Would You Do if  You Had An Extra Hour In The Day?

Whenever I ask my clients that simple question their responses include, exercise, cook a gourmet meal, play, spend time with family, write a book, read more, meditate, take salsa lessons and the list goes on.  

What’s amusing is that, earlier this month, in regions that observe Daylight Savings Time, we all received that extra hour, but most of us, didn’t take advantage of the extra time.

In my opinion, it’s not so much that we need “extra” time, I think it’s more about, really being aware of how we spend our time, and how we make the best use of our time. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, the equivalent of 1,440 minutes, but how we value that time, and how we use that time is the main differentiator between those of us who make the most of every minute, and those of us, who don’t.

Learning how to use your time as a valuable resource, starts with taking a hard look at how you use your time now.  Keep a time log for a week, and track (by 30 minutes to an hour) all the things you do from the moment you wake up in the morning, until you hit the sack at night. At the end of the week, circle all the areas that you consider to be unproductive. You might want to go even further and categorize your time at work, home and personal time. Once you get really conscious about how you spend your time, you can make an effort to replace unproductive time, with activities that you enjoy the most. Remember that time is a tool. It can be manipulated, shared, divided and saved.

Here are 6 tips on how I squeeze every second of time out of my day, I hope you find them helpful:

1.Take Time to Plan – I use the Self Journal, which is a daily planner to help optimize my day. I take 15 minutes in the morning to set my intention for the day, and 15 minutes every evening to set my goals for the next day and beyond if needed.

  1. Prioritize Your Daily Targets and Tackle the Hardest One First. By prioritizing the hardest one first, you are more likely to complete the rest and build the momentum you need for the day. I often use a Top Five list, where I list my top five priorities and as I complete one, I cross it off the list, and add another priority task. I never have more than five priorities on the list, at one time.
  2. Stay Focused. This can be difficult, because there are so many distractions. I recently turned off all of the alerts on my devices. I also let people know when I’m working on something important so I can eliminate unnecessary interruptions. I find a quiet space and I stay focused on the task at hand, until I complete it.
  3. I stay true to Stephen Covey’s #2 Habit, which is “Begin With the End in Mind”. I create the vision and outcome that I want to achieve. This always helps me to get my mindset ready and feel purposeful as I set out to accomplish my goals.
  4. Include Managing Your Energy With Managing Your Time. You can be the best planner and have all of the resources you need to get the job done, but if you don’t have the energy to do it, then it’s a bust. I typically start my day off with a long brisk walk, and 10 minutes of meditation before I get to work. It’s a true energy booster for me. Figure out what works for you, and make it a daily habit.
  5. Remember, There Are Always 1,440 Minutes in Each Day. They do not vary from day to day. If you get conscious about how you spend every minute of the day, you’ll find yourself using your time much more wisely, and wasting a lot less of it. Appreciate that some of these minutes will be used systematically (time at work, calls), others to service your physical requirements (eating, sleeping) and time for personal needs (relaxation, self-care). It’s really about what you do with the remaining time that makes a difference and can lead to you getting the most out of life, and enjoying every minute of it.


Some of my favorite audio books on this topic include:

-The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss

-I Know How She Does It, by Laura Vanderkam

-Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy

There’s No Magic In Making Decisions

There’s No Magic In Making Decisions

Whenever I would make big decisions in my life whether it was about a career transition, buying a new car, or moving from one place to another, I would find myself talking to several of my closest friends or family members to “validate” my thoughts and get buy-in on my big decision. I often felt as if I subconsciously needed permission to do the big hairy audacious things, that in the moment would seem scary or drum up feelings of uncertainty. Of course, fear would creep in, and my ego would insist that I play small, and stay safe.  I would always ask the proverbial question  “What do you think? or “Does that make sense to you?” which now, I realize for me was code for “Would YOU do that?” , or “Do YOU think it’s a good idea?”. You see, my ego would push me to find those voices that would essentially agree that I should just keep the boat steady at all times.

I’ve come to realize that possibility and magic, live outside of the comfort zone. So, I have to expect that making bold decisions is naturally going to cause some discomfort, and that’s okay.   

Here’s what I learned.

·       Trust yourself – if there’s something that you want to do, and you’ve given it thought and it feels good to you, then do it.

·       Don’t be afraid to fail – It’s okay to make a mistake. In fact, making mistakes is one of the ways that we learn.

·       Slow Yourself Down- Sometimes stepping away and finding a quiet space to sit and think can be helpful when you’re making a decision. Allow yourself to get quiet enough to hear your own voice.

·       It doesn’t have to be the greatest idea to move forward – We’re always in learning mode, so give yourself permission to explore an idea and develop it along the way. Sometimes the best idea starts out as a seed and grows with time and effort.

·       In the book, Big Magic, author, Elizabeth Gilbert says about fear “You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you’re not allowed to have a vote”


Now, More Than Ever, Take Time for Self – Love

Now, More Than Ever, Take Time for Self – Love

It goes without saying that this year, the campaign and the election results were troublesome in so many ways. Without getting too deep into the muck, many of us had a visceral response when the election results were announced on November 9th. Emotions ran the gamut from being elated, to completely distressed. As a coach, I get to peak underneath the hood and I have experienced that for many, practicing some good old fashion self-love, can make a huge difference.

There are those days in life, when you give yourself, total permission to lie out on your sofa and watch Netflix, eat Talenti caramel cookie crunch, guilt-free, and give yourself time to feel whatever it is you’re feeling.

When those feelings expire and you’re ready to get back in the game, consider the following ways to pour back into you and nourish yourself:

  • Take a meditation walk, spend time noticing the change in the seasons, check out the colors of the leaves, the flock of birds flying and the brisk air.
  • Visit family or close friends and just be with them. Enjoy the time being together, playing a card game, watching a movie, or sharing a good meal.
  • Notice where the stress may be in your body, and get a massage. What a great feeling it is to work out the tension in your muscles, and release the tightness in your shoulders or neck.
  • Sit back and listen to your favorite music. Play it loud and get up and dance as if no one were watching you, and you knew every step to the nay nay.
  • Find five people and give them all bear hugs. Studies show that human touch and closeness are therapeutic and can go a long way in making us feel better.

Don’t be afraid to love yourself and to practice being kind and gentle with yourself. Life can be tough at times, and the more we purposefully pour back into ourselves, the more ready we will be, to face the new day with open arms.

Surviving the Chrysalis Stage and Finding Your Wings on the Other Side

Surviving the Chrysalis Stage and Finding Your Wings on the Other Side

Change is like letting go of one trapeze in the air to catch another one, but right before you grip the bar, the transition begins.  In the book, Managing Transitions, by William Bridges, he states “Transition starts with an ending and finishes with a beginning”.

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about being in my own transition phase. I haven’t quite figured out if I’m completely out of it just yet, but what I know for sure is, I’m beginning to enjoy the process so much more . My story begins with being a very ambitious career oriented young woman, who graduated from college, moved from a suburb in New York to a suburb in Washington DC, got married, started a career, had two sons and basically continued to follow the already pre-determined template of a successful life.

And yes, there were a few detours and bumpy roads along the way, but for the most part, things went as planned. Fast forward, let’s just say, twenty plus years, and here I am, thinking about my “What’s Next” and not only am I thinking about my “What’s Next”, I’m realizing the corporate machine is no longer working for me. I am not feeling fulfilled, I’m not passionate about what I’m doing, and I have no idea what my purpose is supposed to be. So, “what’s next?”, I ask myself.  I suddenly realize, I am in the chrysalis stage of my life. You know, the chrysalis that forms that protected shell where the ugly caterpillar goes through this metamorphosis and comes out as a beautiful butterfly. It’s the perfect metaphor for what this experience is like.  I find myself wanting my life to be different, but not certain of what that “difference ” looks like, or what will be required of me, while I go out and search.  My thoughts are filled with knowing that there must be more joy, more fulfillment, more passion to my everyday life. This just can’t be the end of the yellow brick road. At first, being in the chrysalis is not fun, after all, it is the zone of the unknowm but it turns out to be the beginning of one of the most accelerated forms of self exploration and personal development. So, letting go of the trapeze for me, began with making some bold choices. And ultimately, it also included the realization that I had to stop asking everyone around me for permission to go live my dreams. I had to understand that if I wanted things to be different in my life, that I had to do things differently. Easier said than done, but armed with a high level of curiosity and the confidence in myself to forge ahead, I made some choices and set out on my journey. This past June, I left my corporate gig behind and I became a full-time entrepreneur. This was definitely and by no means an easy decision to make. However, I realized that my time in the chrysalis helped me to gain the clarity that I needed to take the steps necessary to get me closer to arriving at the next big thing for me and moving happily into my new season. Along the way, I developed new relationships, created new partnerships, and found new resources and tools to educate myself and became a personal development junkie. Oh, and most importantly, I hired and connected with a coach. I realized I needed support along the way, and I needed to tease out what I truly wanted from what I thought I needed. I had to move away from the monologue going on in my head, who’s sole mission was to keep me comfortable and at the same time playing small.  I spent some time really understanding what made me happy, beyond a bowl of ice cream. And at some point, I realized that it was time for me to not only challenge the old stories in my head, but to let many of them go so I could make room for new experiences and new opportunities. I wanted to connect with people who were having or had a similar experience to mine, and wanted to hear their stories too. I wanted to own my time, and make decisions about the direction of my life. I wanted to remove any perceived and real fences that got in my way from exploring my creative side and using my right brain. I wanted more courage in my life to do the things that brought me joy and simply to live without the template that I was so heavily reliant upon but no longer wanted to follow.

Being in the chrysalis is uncomfortable, and it is filled with a tremendous amount of uncertainty and insecurity. It is that point of your life where you arrive at a crossroad, and it’s time to make a decision about which direction you will take. And, it doesn’t help that your inner critic is doing their best to keep you trapped, right where you are. It is that time, where if you choose to summon up all of your patience, courage and fortitude, and you crush any self-doubt that exists, the rewards waiting on the other side can offer up a life that is driven by purpose, reflects all that you want and has you being really clear about what’s next for you. And once you have that clarity about what you want, you will become unstoppable in the pursuit of getting it and making it happen.

Surviving the chrysalis, gets you through that transition time, and helps you catch the other bar of the trapeze, while you’re still in the air, and safely moves you to the other side. While everyone’s time spent in the chrysalis is different, and everyone’s experience is unique, it can be memorable and worth embracing.

I am a transition coach and I help people move through that challenging time in their life where they are looking for their next season and working on finding the answer to the question of what is next for me.

Check out my thoughtful coaching packages and find the one that meets your needs.



What Have You Done For You Lately

What Have You Done For You Lately

How satisfied are you with your life right now? And have you ever given any thought to what you would change, if anything, about your life? Have you ever pondered over what you want more of and what would you want less of in your life?  For me, I wanted more connection. I wanted to move away from feeling isolated in the routine of my life. Not that there weren’t plenty of people around me every day; after all, being the fourteenth person in line at a local Dunkin Donuts every day was a definite reminder that I was not alone. I simply craved more joy, and I wanted to feel like I had a purpose beyond getting up in the morning, sitting in traffic and going to my office for eight to twelve hours a day.

Wanting something to be different, means you have to invite change into your life. That’s where I got stuck. You see, in my heart I wanted things to be different; but in my head,  I liked the idea that I was comfortable.  And I wasn’t quite sure what the outcome would be if I started shaking things up and messed with the status quo. I was running on auto pilot. It was much easier to ignore the whispers in my ear that told me there is so much more out there to life, and so many opportunities to find something that would get me excited and ignite the passion that I felt when I graduated from college years ago, and anticipated that greatness awaited.

It goes right back to knowing what we all know, which is “If you want something to be different in your life, you have to do something differently”. Trust me, creating change is not as scary as it sounds. In fact, discovering new passions or getting reacquainted with old ones can make huge a difference. Let’s just say it’s the difference between a hot chocolate Sunday and a granola bar. Both have their positive attributes, but boy, are they different.

If this resonates with you, then I invite you to begin making moves to find whatever it is you would like to have more of in your life. Feel free to embrace possibility or just take a look around the bend and notice the positive things that are waiting for you. Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • With pen & pad, or your PC in front of you, write down all the things that you love doing. It doesn’t matter if they were things that you did when you were a kid, or when you were single, or when you were ten years younger. Just start making list of all the things that brought you joy. My list included, painting, traveling to new cities, learning a new language, discovering new book shops and finding more jazz festivals.
  • Now that you have your list, give yourself a moment to embrace this new perspective, and to get clear on what you want. Think about what serves you in the best way, and what doesn’t. What’s in it for you?
  • Get some support. Hire a coach. Hiring a coach can help you stay on track and create structures that keep you focused on pouring back into you. Creating positive change in your life can be challenging, whether you are choosing to lose twenty pounds or planning to run your first marathon. Having a good support structure in place will help you develop your plan, track your milestones and ultimately accomplish your goal.
  • Change your behaviors and get started making moves. Take a look at your list and determine what steps you can take to get closer to creating the life you want. Figure out what daily habits you need to develop so that you can get more out of your day. And, even if it’s listening to your favorite music, watching less TV, spending more time outdoors, joining a yoga class , going on a camping trip, or getting together with a group of your favorite people, the idea is to find more joy, any way you can and embrace the changes that lead you there.

My name is Denise Harris, and I’m a life coach, who helps people get out of their heads and into finding more fulfillment and joy in life.