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Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (2/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 31, 2008

Question # 2: "What Do I Want?"

The quality of your life's experiences amounts to the sum of all the decisions you have ever made.
The power to make decisions is what gives you freedom. The more freedom you have, the more options you can entertain. The more options you have available, the more opportunities you can create for yourself and others.

Have you ever been told what to believe? Have you ever had someone tell you what you should do, how you should feel or behave? Why would you have someone else decide for you in your life? What is the cost of living that way? Life is short, and time is your most valuable resource. Letting anyone else decide for you is a waste of time! No one else knows you as well as you do. You are the expert of your own life.

Think of yourself as the majority shareholder in your life. What are some of the strategic decisions that will help you grow and flourish in the New Year? What will you vote "yes" for in your life? What will you vote "no" for? Recognizing that you have a choice does not mean that there will never be any uncomfortable consequences. But not making a decision is also a decision which could have consequences that are just as negative.

Peter Drucker once said that whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision! In what department of your life's organization - relationships, money, health, fun, recreation, personal growth - do you currently experience the most challenge? Where do you feel trapped?

Whatever you believe is missing, it is yours, waiting to be claimed. The first step is to make a conscious decision about the things you would like to have more of and the things you will need to let go off.

Some people get trapped in inaction. They have a hard time saying yes, because that would mean that they have to close off other possibilities. In economics, this is referred to as the 'opportunity cost'. The same principle is true in life. Saying yes to one thing often means saying no to many other possibilities.

Don't just dwell in possibility. Dwell in reality!

Choose, decide, take action, and make 2009 your best year ever!

"Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it.
Establish your priorities and go to work."  (H.L. Hunt)

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"
Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"
Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"
Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"
Question # 6: "Where Do I Focus My Attention?"
Question # 5: "How Am I Using My Talents?
Question # 4: "Who Do I spend My Time With?
Question # 3: "How Do I Honor My Core Values?"

Life and carreer coach based in St Louis

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (3/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 30, 2008

Question # 3: "How Do I Honor My Core Values?"

Your core values express the essence of who you are. Although you may share similar values with others, you have a unique set of values. Many of the important decisions that you make, and the actions you take, are based on the values that you hold. Your values, together with the beliefs that support them, are an energetic driving force and provide meaning and direction in your life.

If you commit time and energy to something that violates or neglects one of your core values, you will most likely feel resentful and frustrated. If your values are not respected at your job or in your relationships, you will feel that something is missing.

While it is enormously helpful to know your core values, it is not always easy to identify them.
Often these things are so much a part of who you are, that they become invisible to you.

Create a list for yourself by thinking about the ideas and questions below. Don’t worry about getting it right and capturing all of your values. Your list will be a work in progress. Also, your values don’t have to be a single word; they could be a string of words or sentences or themes. Find the words that work best for you.

Think about the following questions:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you really care about?
  • What do you really want in your life?
  • When do you feel happiest?
  • Select a time from your life when you felt particular fulfilled. There may have been challenges,but you were still on a roll. It may have been a few minutes, or hours or days. What was important about that experience? What values were you honoring?
  • What do you react negatively to? What makes you angry or frustrated?
    What value is being violated? What kinds of situations cause you to feel incongruent? When are you not being true to yourself?

For each of us, there are usually values that are so much a part of us that we don’t even think to put them on a list. These are often our most dearly held values. A teacher might fail to include learning; an artist might forget to write down creativity, a business owner might overlook financial success.

Generate a list of values. Next notice which of these in your life you are honoring, which "get lost" or are neglected, and which you sometimes violate through behaviors or choices.

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"

Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"

Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"

Question # 6: "Where Do I Focus My Attention?"

Question # 5: "How Am I Using My Talents?

Question # 4: "Who Do I spend My Time With?


Take a moment and write down the unique qualities that define you?
What are the qualities that are at the core of who you are?

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (4/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 30, 2008

Question # 4: "Who Do I Spend My Time With?

The people you spend most of your time with have a strong influence on you. When you are surrounded by negative or angry people, you will absorb some of their negativity or anger. When you spend time with people who inspire you, support you and believe in you, their positive energy will boost your motivation, self-confidence and inner strength. 

Do not underestimate the power of influence of the people you surround yourself with.
Make a mental note of the people in your personal and professional life with whom you most often associate and think of how they are influencing you, both positively and negatively.

Perhaps you've heard the story of the little bird. He had his wing over his eye and he was crying. The owl said to the bird, "You are crying." "Yes," said the little bird, and he pulled his wing away from his eye. "Oh, I see," said the owl. "You're crying because the big bird pecked out your eye." And the little bird said, "No, I'm not crying because the big bird pecked out my eye. I'm crying because I let him."

I believe that the quality of your life is greatly influenced by the quality of your associations and relationships. Be cautious of the people you allow yourself to associate with in your personal life and business.

Choose to surround yourself with people who will move you forward on your journey and let go of the negative influences that impede your progress.

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"

Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"

Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"

Question # 6: "Where Do I Focus My Attention?"

Question # 5: "How Am I Using My Talents?

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (5/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 29, 2008

Question # 5: "How Am I Using My Talents?

When you talk with people who have achieved a high level of success in their lives, you’ll find that they have found ways to incorporate their passions and talents into their daily activities. They also experience more fulfillment and balance because they intentionally played to their talents and strengths by developing the know-how and experience through continued focus and practice.

Your talents influence how you think and the way you respond to the situations in your life. Once you fully understand and acknowledge your natural abilities, you will develop a higher self awareness, which will lead to increased self confidence, a healthier self esteem, more success and personal satisfaction.

Talents by themselves are not that special, it is what you decide to do with them that make them special. All too often we deny our own talents, because to acknowledge them would mean we have to use them.

Why is it sometimes difficult to identify our own talents? First, it’s a question we don’t really ask ourselves. Second, our talents feel so natural to us that we tend to take them for granted. Third, we live in a culture where we tend to focus on improving our weaknesses rather than developing our talents into strengths.

Do you know what your talents are? How do you go about discovering some of your talents or natural abilities?

Answer the following questions and start to identify some of the common themes within your answers.

  • What are some activities or special interests you enjoyed growing up? What did you enjoy most about those moments and why?
  • What are some of the skills or abilities you developed over the years? What skills were easy for you to learn or develop?
  • What are some of your favorite activities or projects that give you the most satisfaction?  At home? At work? What are some activities that whenever you’re doing them, everything just flows because it just feels right.  It comes natural to you and you tend to lose track of time. What are some activities that you genuinely look forward to doing again? (.. .watching American Idol is not one of them!)
  • What would you enjoy doing even when you’re not getting paid for it?
  • What do other people regularly ask you to do?
  • What are some of the qualities that other people think you have?

Once you get a better understanding of your dominant innate talents and abilities, start looking for ways to incorporate them into your daily life. None of us have been dealt the perfect hand, but it is your responsibility and greatest joy to become the best you can with the cards you have been dealt.

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"

Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"

Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"

Question # 6: "Where Do I Focus My Attention?"

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (6/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 27, 2008

Question # 6: "Where Do I Focus My Attention?"

Your life becomes what you focus on. Your thought patterns create the texture of your everyday life.
You are always focusing on something. The experiences you create in this very moment, and the next, are based on where your focus lies.

What you see depends on what you look for. What you hear depends on what you listen for and what you feel depends on the experiences you seek. Your expectations, based on what you focus on, blossom into self-fulfilling prophecies.

The results you create are a result of your focus. If you're not getting the results you are looking for, it is time to re-examine what you focus on. If you keep focusing on the same things and keep doing what you’ve always done, sure enough, you’ll keep getting the same results.

Your mind cannot tell the difference between something you think about or focus on that you do want, and the stuff you think about that you don’t want. Your mind is a very effective goal seeking mechanism and seeks to create precisely what you focus on. The key is to direct your focus on the goals and experiences that you do want in your life.

Think of your focus as a sticky boomerang. What you focus on comes back to you, with more strength that it has gathered along the way. If you send out anger, fear, negativity or jealousy, you will invite the same thoughts manifold.

What you focus on expands.

Focus on what is going well in your life right now and what is good for you moving forward. Focus on your innate talents and capabilities. Focus on what you believe is possible and you will see opportunities rather than constraints.

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"
Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"
Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"
Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (7/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 26, 2008

Question # 7: "What Am I Tolerating?"

What are some of the things you have been putting up with in your life? What have you been tolerating at work, at home or in your social environment in the past year? What are the things you wish would resolve themselves somehow? 

Sometimes tolerations show up as minor inconveniences such as a messy desk, a squeaking door or a friend who always shows up late for appointments. Other tolerations are more serious, such as mental or physical abuse or a controlling or disrespectful boss.

Sometimes it is easier to ignore your 'tolerations' rather than to take the necessary action to clean them up. Allowing 'tolerations' to hang around in your life will drain your energy, try your patience and show up under the form of stress and anxiety. They can chip away at your self-esteem, confidence and enthusiasm.

Here are a few life coaching tips to help with the process:

  • Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with. Ask yourself what each is costing you in terms of energy, confidence and enthusiasm?
  • Resolve to take action. The decision to act on 'tolerations' is very liberating and will improve the quality of your life.
  • Set target dates and make time in your schedule to overcome your 'tolerations'.
  • Seek the support from friends, family or a personal coach to keep you focused and stay on track.

Living a life you want not only means choosing the things you want, but also eliminating the things that are hanging around in your life that you no longer want.

Now is the perfect time to do some personal housecleaning, and remove some of the clutter around your house, at work or in your relationships.

When you resolve to stop putting up, you will find a renewed sense of freedom and balance in your life.

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"
Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"
Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (8/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 25, 2008

Question # 8: "Who Am I becoming?"

How satisfied are you with the person you are becoming? What kind of person do you see yourself becoming in the New Year? Do you see someone who is becoming more stressed out or tired with an unsatisfying job or an unbalanced work/home life, or do you see someone who is enjoying a happy and fulfilling lifestyle? How do you feel about your future self?

"If you want to have more and experience more in life, you have to become more."

What are some of the personal qualities you would like to further develop in the New Year?
Perhaps you would like to become more skillful or competent. More honest, sincere, genuine or congruent.  More compassionate, accepting, forgiving or grateful.  More creative or expressive.  More courageous.  More generous, loving or happy. More responsible.

No matter how you feel about yourself right now, you can make a decision to become more of who you really are. The power to choose lies within your mind and how you think about yourself. You will become what you think about, most of the time.

Your thinking process determines how you feel, the choices you make and the results you create.
If you seek to attract new experiences in your life or you want to make certain changes, you need to begin the process in your mind. Focus on continuous personal development; with books, CD’s, seminars, personal coaching, studying, listening, practicing, and nourishing your mind.

Become the mental architect of your own personal transformation!

Change your mind and change your life in 2009!

Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"
Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"


Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (9/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 23, 2008

Question # 9: "What Would I Do If I Knew I Couldn’t Fail?"

What if failure was not an option? The fear of failure holds us back more than anything else in all our pursuits in life. Many people don’t even set goals because they are often so afraid of failing that they do not even try.

How many opportunities have you missed in the past because you lacked the courage to take a chance, to play full out, all because you were afraid you might fail? How much more pain and lost opportunities are you willing to endure by continuing to allow fear and procrastination to rule your life?

Failure is a concept that only exists in your ego’s mind. If your ego would have a favorite slogan, it would probably be “Playing It Safe.” Your ego operates in the emotional comfort zone of your mind and will do anything in its power to keep you there.  It is that little voice in the back of your head giving you all the reasons why you shouldn’t do this or try that …

The only way to create results in your life is by taking action. Realize that, succeed or fail, you will produce results from which you will learn.

Don’t be afraid of failure; be afraid of not taking action!

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (10/10)

by Dieter Pauwels December 23, 2008

Question # 10: "How am I spending my time?"

We all have 24 hours each day. We cannot manage ‘time’, yet we can choose how we manage ourselves with the time we have. Time is your most valuable resource. You only have a limited supply.

What is your present relationship with time? Does it give you the satisfaction and fulfillment you seek?  Do you feel there are never enough hours in the day to achieve what you want? Do you sometimes feel that others are managing your time?

How you choose to spend your time is how you spend your life.

The way you spend your time tells you much about your priorities and what you value in life.
Do you know what your core values and priorities are? Have you decided what the top ten things are that you want to spend your time on in the New Year?

"If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got."  (Lee Iacocca)

Take some time to reflect on the larger areas in your life, such as your work/career, health, relationships, finances, personal growth, fun and recreation.

How can you manage yourself more effectively allowing you to spend more time in those areas that are most important in your life? What choices will you make? What will you say 'no' to in order to gain more balance and experience more fulfillment in life?

If you choose to live a more balanced life, you must redefine your relationship with time, to shift the emphasis from quantity to quality, from frustration to fulfillment, from lack to abundance, from pressure to peace.

Managing your time is a choice!

2009 New Years Resolutions: How To Build A Foundation For Success

by Dieter Pauwels December 16, 2008

It’s that time of year when many of us formulate our resolutions for the coming year. Whether it is getting in shape, reducing debt, finding a better job, finding our soul mate, we all vow to become and do better in the future. 

But how come so many of us fail to keep our well-intended New Year’s resolutions?

Most goal setting seminars teach you that the first thing you have to do is become absolutely clear about what it is you want, create a plan and work the plan. While these are important steps moving forward, why is it that within 30 days, most resolutions will be no more than a vague memory?

We get discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough or we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them. The main reason however is because we do not fully understand ourselves and we haven’t learned how to manage ourselves more effectively.

Before setting any personal, business or career goals, it’s important to get a better understanding of yourself, because unless you take control of all the stuff inside of you that is running your life, nothing you do or say on January 1st will help you get or achieve what you really want.

When you look at your life - from the inside out - as something you are creating, rather than having external circumstances or others create it for you, you can take full responsibility for your own life's experiences.

In order to follow through and successfully achieve your New Years resolutions, your goals must be aligned or congruent with your core values and beliefs; the stuff that matters most in your life. Without these things, you would not be the person you are today.

New Years Resolutions / Core ValuesValues are basically ideals and principles that are important to you. They are usually expressed in abstract terms such as respect, freedom, love, justice, health, integrity, success and so forth. Beliefs on the other hand are essentially assumptions, agreements or judgments you have made (mostly subconsciously) about yourself, others and the world you live in. Limiting beliefs will hold you back, while empowering or positive beliefs move you forward. Often your values and beliefs are so much a part of who you are that they become invisible to you and difficult to identify.

Values and beliefs provide the foundation upon which your level of personal commitment, motivation perseverance and courage is built. If you build your goals or New Years resolutions upon a weak foundation, or you have cracks in the foundation, such as conflicting values or limiting beliefs, it will be difficult to overcome challenges and personal setbacks in pursuit of your goals.

Ultimately, the successful achievement of your goals will be a tangible expression of your core values and beliefs. 

At a deeper level, what you value the most and believe gives you a sense of who you are – a sense of self worth. It is from this unique point of self reference that you see and perceive the world around you. Most people live their lives consistent with their self image and will do almost anything to operate within the boundaries they have created. 

Every positive act of change in your life is fostered by a change in self-perception. This means that what is standing between you and your goals and dreams, are not circumstances – like the state of the economy – but the assumptions you have made about yourself.

Know Thyself!

Whether you want to lose weight, get out of debt, improve your sales, get organized, enjoy life more, spend more quality time with your family, start a business, or build a new career, identifying and clarifying your core values and inner beliefs is an important and necessary step toward personal achievement, fulfillment and success.

For more information on how to easily identify and strengthen your core beliefs and values, set and follow through on your 2009 resolutions, contact me or schedule an introduction life coaching session today.

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