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!

Best Kept Secret You Can’t Afford to not know about

Best Kept Secret You Can’t Afford to not know about

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
-Anais Nin

It’s possible that you’ve thought about coaching before.

Perhaps you haven’t found the right coach; or you just aren’t sure what to expect. What steps do you take?  What will it feel like? Will coaching really make a difference in your life? How do you find the right coach? If those thoughts resonate with you then keep reading. I wrote this with you in mind.

I would love to work with you to help you find the personal or professional success that may be eluding you right now.

Sometimes we can all use a little help in making important decisions and taking the next steps.

There are several ways that we can work together. Take a look at what I offer and schedule a 20-minute complimentary call so we can connect and you can learn more about how coaching can have an impact in your life.

Insight Strategy Planning Sessions:

This service is designed for professionals who need a full day or (half day) of accelerated coaching. It’s a laser focused strategic planning session to help you create your vision, establish goals and produce a sustainable plan that will help you be successful. An Insight Strategy Planning session is the perfect choice for the professional dealing with an immediate challenge or wanting to get in front of a major project quickly. Learn more

Executive Coaching One-on-One:

Working with you one-on-one provides the ability to meet your specific goals and address your particular circumstances. We build trust and honesty together. As a professional, you face complex situations both in the workplace and in your private life. Delving into these challenges and working together, you will find dynamic solutions to help you unravel the complexities and find the clarity and momentum you need to move forward.

My clients include professionals who are experiencing various challenges such as:

  • Working at companies that are going through considerable change.
  • Dealing with conflict and dysfunction at work.
  • Going through a personal or family crisis.
  • Considering or navigating through a career change.
  • Planning a specific goal.
  • Making a bold move & figuring out next steps

It does not matter if your goal is personal or professional, working together we will create manageable steps in the right order to accomplish your intentions and get you where you want to be.

Consider working with me if you:

  • Feel ready to make a decision & accomplish something that will change your life.
  • Need to prepare and create a career strategy that will help you land your next opportunity fast.
  • You are sure there is more to life than your present experience and you are ready to move forward and explore the possibilities.

Schedule a complimentary 20 minute call with me here

Give the gift of coaching. Know someone who’s stuck and could use support? I can help

The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back & How You Can Turn Them Around

The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back & How You Can Turn Them Around

Have you ever set goals that felt right when you created them, but somewhere along the way you lost track and couldn’t sustain enough momentum to get you across the finish line?

It’s extremely frustrating right?

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

Here are The 7 Biggest Lies That Hold You Back From Reaching Your Goals, and How You Can Turn Them Around:

  • It only takes one change in my life to reach my goals. Goals allow you to see a brighter vision for yourself. Reaching new goals requires you to grow. You may have to get uncomfortable with what you’re doing, and that’s okay. You have to be willing to stretch beyond any self-imposed limitations and consider different perspectives. Doing the same things over and over, won’t get you the results you want. You may have to develop new habits to achieve your goal or learn a new skill or take a few risks. Either way, make a commitment and stick to it.

        “Small shifts in your thinking, and small changes in your energy, can lead to     massive alterations of your end result.” ―                     Kevin Michel

  • You don’t need any support to reach your goals. Very rarely do we go far alone. Recognize that having people who support you on the journey can make the difference from you getting stuck out there and abandoning your goals vs crossing the finish line. Having a supportive community around you can help to keep you motivated. Finding common ground with others and sharing both positive and challenging experiences will help you to develop the mental toughness needed to stay in the race.
  1. Lack of action toward your goals will move you closer to the finish line. Often you can see the finish line, but because it’s so far off, it’s difficult to figure out how to get there. Self-doubt has a way of creeping in and before you know it, you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused and wondering why you created this goal in the first place. When that happens, you must stay in action. Keep moving. Small steps lead to bigger steps. Figure out what the one next move is and then do it. With clarity comes momentum.

        “Everything is within your power, and your power is within you.” ―Janice Trachtman

  1. You don’t need an action plan to measure your progress. I love the proverb “What gets measured gets managed.” This is a principle that is often used in business. Essentially it means that by examining an activity, it changes the activity by raising your awareness of where you stand. This is why charting your goals and establishing milestones is an essential factor in accomplishing your goals. By measuring your progress and knowing where to improve or make changes in your plan, you are more likely to achieve your milestones and put yourself right in front of obtaining your goal.
  2. You have to be able to see what doesn’t exist. The path to success isn’t always clear. There are twists and turns in places where you may have not anticipated them to be. Believing in yourself may sound like corny advice, but it works. There’s strength to be gained by believing what you put on the end of “I am.” Henry Ford said it best “Whether You Think You Can or think you can’t, You are Right.”

There are no guarantees when it comes to taking risks. But, you can feel proud knowing that you made a move outside of your           comfort zone. Reinvention is a slow process, but it will be worth it in the end.” -Germany Kent

  1. I should listen to my inner-critic and quit so I’m not at risk of failing. Being afraid to fail keeps you playing small and standing in place. When it comes to accomplishing your goals, If you’re not failing then you’re likely not learning anything new. If you’re not taking risks then you’re stuck on a treadmill going nowhere fast. Judgement and failure both come from a place of fear. The message here is clear and simple “Learn to dance with your fear.” It will encourage you to be afraid and do it anyway.

7.   You don’t have to be prepared to succeed. You create your own reality, no one else does. The great thought leader, Jim Rohn said “Your                level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”                      Focus on how to grow and get better every day. Prioritize self-development and leverage your strengths. Each goal that you accomplish                            positions you for the next level of success.

How to Outsmart Fear

How to Outsmart Fear

Breaking News:

Feeling afraid to step outside your comfort zone is normal. The trick is to be afraid and do it anyway.

Whenever we start something new, and push ourselves outside our comfort zone, something called imposter syndrome takes over. We start feeling like a fraud which leads to questioning ourselves, and we open the door for fear and self-doubt to creep in.

So, what do you do when self-doubt takes over and throws you into the grip?

You get moving and you stay in consistent action! Even if you’re afraid, you keep taking small steps towards your goals every day.

The inner voice in your head that’s telling you that you’re not good enough or that you don’t know what you’re doing loses its megaphone voice when you start taking action and doing the things you’re meant to do.

Here’s the tea: Whenever you start a new job, a side-hustle, a new business or anything unfamiliar, it’s normal to get butterflies in your stomach, and feel like your nerves are getting the best of you. But truth be told, these are actually good feelings and often show up when you’re in growth mode.

Learn to drill into your fear and understand where it’s coming from.

Our bodies are designed to protect us and keep us comfortable. So just know when you’re doing something that is outside of the normal routine and completely different, your body is going to push the alarm and expect you to get back in formation.

By taking consistent action, trusting yourself and having faith in what you cannot see, you are building your muscle of resiliency and your confidence will expand.

Connect with the part of you that is open to growing and daring to do things differently.

Dancing with fear and self-doubt is an art and takes practice. Keep doing it and before long you won’t even know they are there.

What is Mission North Star?

What is Mission North Star?

“If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never know how amazing you can be.”
-Maya Angelou

I hope you are thinking about joining Mission North Star!
But, maybe you don’t know enough about it, and you’re not quite sure what the experience will actually be like, what it will give you and how you’ll feel about it.

So, I asked Ruth, a current participant in Mission North Star to share her experience with you. Here, Ruth gives you a window into her personal experience; how she found her passion, determined the best strategy for herself, defined meaningful goals and discovered possibility.

How did you decide to sign up for Mission North Star?

I first met Denise while attending a two day career transition program that she was facilitating in Washington DC.
I realized what really energized me was when I talked about my desire to write a book, but I had no idea how or where to begin.
I was particularly struck with how Denise shared her own story of career transition and I carefully watched as she interacted with fellow participants. I really appreciated her direct nature, how in-tune she was with each person’s story, and how present she was during the entire class. She made time for everyone, even in a large group.

What convinced you that Mission North Star was right for you?

Denise shared her program with me and we scheduled time to connect for an informational session.  During that first session, Denise dove deep and helped me explore further what I was thinking and what stage in my goal setting I was in; she gave me direct feedback and offered different perspectives to consider. She also helped me assess if I was really ready to set goals and achieve them, and she helped me determine if I was ready to dig deep and work hard on finding my true self and figuring out what I really wanted to pursue.  Denise is about whether the timing is right for you to personally make a commitment to yourself, not a hard sell of her services.

What does Mission North Star mean to you?

Being ready to explore who you are and create goals
Being honest with yourself and stop making excuses
Being accountable to yourself
Wanting to find your authentic self
Creating a space for you to accomplish your goals
Being focused and creating achievable action plans

How has your life changed since you started the program?

Denise is very straightforward and goal-oriented. She is direct and not afraid to help you take risks and explore areas that are uncomfortable or deeply buried.  She is not a therapist, nor does she claim to be one, but her coaching helps to unblock areas where you may feel stuck, which then frees you up to continue moving forward on your path.
With Denise’s coaching, I was able to take my big goal of writing a book and break it into smaller action steps. Denise helped me prioritize and set milestones.  With her coaching and support, I wrote a magazine article to pitch and I submitted a TED talk application video.  She was with me, by my side the whole time—keeping me accountable, engaged, and focused.  By participating in Mission North Star I have opened my eyes to so many new opportunities. I am energized and jazzed by life and it’s unknown path. And, I am so much more open to new possibilities. ❤️

Ruth’s experience may resonate with you. Maybe, you have went through something very similar within your own life. You may be at your tipping point and ready for a big change in life. Mission North Star is an accelerated coaching program designed to help you create your own customized blueprint to move you forward. Sometimes we all need help in figuring out our next steps or the next big move to make. Executive coaching can be the game changer you’ve been searching for. 

Sometimes you just need to give yourself some attention and look at what’s possible.

Enroll today! Register here

Inspiration Is Everywhere

Inspiration Is Everywhere

From time to time, we all need inspiration. And truthfully, we never know where we might find it, because it could be anywhere. The magic is in being present enough to see it, no matter where you might be.

I found my inspiration somewhere in the middle of “The Everything Store” aka HomeGoods.

Full disclosure, it is the most wonderful place to aimlessly wander about while taking in random furniture displays and deciding between the pink Himalayan salt, the honey vanilla chai tea and yet another Rae Dunn coffee mug.

And as I continued walking down an isle lined with picture frames on one side, and random journals, planners and greeting cards on the other, I saw this magnificent book nestled within the clutter. Have you ever experienced a moment of pure glee, like finding a $20 bill in an old coat pocket? That’s what this particular moment felt like for me.

The title immediately caught my eye “In The Company of Women” Inspiration and Advice from over 100 Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs by Grace Bonney.

Funny how the universe sends you exactly what you need at the exact moment you need it. And so, for an undetermined amount of time I stood there flipping through the pages, reading incredible stories of diverse women who shared their uncompromising and unapologetic struggles and adventures of becoming entrepreneurs and business owners. Amazingly, talented women who took their ideas and their passion and created something phenomenal for themselves and for those who they serve. These success stories celebrated women and while their experiences are unique, their inspiring messages are universal. Here are a just a few of those messages that hopefully will inspire you today, as much as they have inspired me:

Success is contextual and fleeting, so when things are harmonious even for a moment, I try to savor it” – Ping Zhu, Illustrator, Artist. Brooklyn New York

Joy eclipses pain” – Alice Randall & Caroline Randall Williams. Writers, Food Activists. Morgantown, WV

Grow organically, don’t get ahead of yourself” – Eileen Fisher, Entrepreneur. Irvington, NY.

Nobody knows better what you’re capable of than you. Trust yourself. Trust your ideas.” – Tina Roth Eisenberg, Graphic Designer. Brooklyn NY

I admire women who are open and vulnerable about self-doubt that happens in the creative process and yet go forward and do it anyway” – Arti Sequiera. Chef, Television Host. Los Angeles, CA

I’ve learned that the word ‘no’ has many meanings and is not necessarily a negative thing” – Miko Branch. Beauty Entrepreneur. New York, NY

As long as my work continues to foster joy, celebration, community, generosity and simplicity, I’m on the road to success.” – Dana Tanamachi. Artist, Graphic Designer. Seattle, WA

If I want something, I don’t let busy stand in the way. I make the time to do it”  -Debbie Millman. Writer, Artist, Educator, Radio Host. New York, NY

In a world where so many are trying to be like the majority, it’s refreshing to see women courageously, own who they are.” – Carla Hall. Chef, Television Host. Washington DC

Wondering What’s Next?

Wondering What’s Next?

“The greatest gift that you can give yourself is a little bit of your own attention”

-Anthony J. D’Angelo


When you’re at a tipping point…

When the rug has been pulled from underneath you…

When you can’t seem to get rid of your inner critic…

When you’re overcome with self-doubt…

When you are in a self-sabotage cycle…


 Call Me

“I can take you to a deeper place than you can take yourself”

“I can provide the support you need to make your experiences, goals and thoughts actionable in a way that will help you move forward, feel better and become the person you want to be”

“I am well known for supporting clients in regaining resiliency, increasing self-awareness and reimagining the vision they have for themselves.”

Don’t stay stuck, unfulfilled and unsuccessful.

Schedule a 3o minute complimentary call with me. Let’s talk!


“The world rewards those who take responsibility for their own success” -Curt Gerrish


Denise Harris is a certified Executive and Leadership coach, who specializes in helping her clients get to the next level in their careers and personal lives.  Denise’s strategic knowledge, professional insight, approachability and candor allow her to equip + empower her clients with the tools to not only “successfully walk through the fire” but emerge on the other side as the best and highest version of themselves.

When We Are At Our Best Selves, Anything Is Possible

When We Are At Our Best Selves, Anything Is Possible

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance” -Oscar Wilde

“One of the surprises that comes when you catch glimpses of your authentic self is the discovery that she’s such a positive, upbeat woman. She’s always smiling. She’s always calm. She’s always reassuring. She exudes confidence. Who is this woman, you might ask, and does she bear any resemblance to you?

Yes and no. This is who you are on the inside. The real you. If you don’t act this way all the time, it’s simply because you haven’t evolved to a higher plane of existence yet”

This is the opening paragraph from “Discovering Your Authentic Self” in the book Simple Abundance- A Daybook of Comfort & Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

What is life like for us on this higher plane?

I believe it shows up in moments, when we’re feeling free, when we’ve had good sleep, when we excel at an important project, when we get an offer from a job we really want, when we nail the presentation, when we look in the mirror and love who we see, when we meet someone for the first time and sparks fly, when our hearts are open, and we are not afraid to be vulnerable.

When these moments occur, we feel powerful and strong. As if, we can accomplish anything we want. Our tank is full, and we are unstoppable.

It is in these moments that we are completely centered, and the path ahead is clear.

How do we find more of these delicious moments that put us into the flow of life and loving?

Embracing change and being open to possibility helps. So do long walks, quiet moments, prayer, meditation, journaling, reading and learning to love yourself unconditionally.

I believe we are our best selves, when we trust our decisions without allowing self-doubt to creep in and when we are afraid, but move forward anyway.

When are you at your best self?



Want more of the good stuff in life? Expressing GRATITUDE is your currency

Want more of the good stuff in life? Expressing GRATITUDE is your currency

Don’t be afraid to CHANGE, you may lose something good, but you may gain something better.

-Jim Rohn


I left my corporate job sixteen months ago, and the positive changes in my life that have taken place, have been much more impactful than the last several years, I spent in corporate.

What I’ve learned, is that the experience of reinventing yourself is one of the most intense forms of personal development you can go through. When you take risks, you can become vulnerable and begin to question your decisions and the moves you make. It’s so important to not let saboteurs, like skepticism and self-doubt get in the way, of forward movement.

Expressing gratitude is one of the great ways to crush your inner-critic.

A ritual, I developed over time is to express my gratitude daily. I start my morning by writing down a few things that I am grateful for and I do the same thing in the evening.

This practice of gratitude has provided clarity for me on what’s important and helps me to bring joy to life everyday

It’s opened up the small and insular world I had been managing my life in.

I’m thankful for the now toned muscles of tenacity and resiliency I am frequently using. I understand the need for compassion and connection with others, and the importance of having an open mind, especially now, when things around us, are in flux. I’m grateful for possibility and the freedom to start my day by asking myself “What if…”

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

Now, I live my life with intention, listening with my heart and making choices with no regrets.

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

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.

It’s not that being grateful is a skill or something that you have to learn to do, but what I know, 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.

Change Begins Within…

Change Begins Within…

“If you aren’t in the moment you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret”

-Jim Carey


Like many of you, I am often left wondering about the state of affairs of our country, our communities and our lives. In today’s world, we’re constantly exposed to attacks, shootings, major tragedies and  political conflict. It’s almost impossible to ignore what’s going on. It’s everywhere- in the newspaper, on TV, and social media.

We are all living and breathing human beings, experiencing change and uncertainty every single day of our lives. We live with fear, self-doubt and judgement, and those emotions are often compounded by who and what we see, around us.

Yet, what we know for sure is that there are 24 hours in a day, and 365 days in a year. What we know is that we have the ability to make choices in our lives and decisions that affect us right now, and in our future. We can choose kindness over indifference, good instead of evil and love over hate.

As former President Obama said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”

We can choose to be angry, resentful and hurt over things and actions that we have no control over, or we can live our lives, embracing the beauty that surrounds us, and the possibilities ahead of us. We can take matters in to our own hands, and do our part to make the world a better place.

A question I often ask myself is “what can I do to make a difference today?”

We know that bad things will continue to happen in this world, in this country and in our communities.

We can react to these situations with the first impulse that comes to mind, or we can choose to live intentionally, embracing our differences, sending love to those who need it, and practicing compassion instead of judgement.

Simply put, what we need isn’t more division but instead greater connection to each other. Open the windows of your soul and let your curiosity flow. Practice replacing judgment with empathy.

And as Gandhi so eloquently said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…..We need not wait to see what others do”

Be the change you wish to see in the world.