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7 Life Coaching Tips to Help You Follow Through on Your New Year’s Resolutions

by Dieter Pauwels January 5, 2009

1. Get excited

You have more options and thus more opportunities than ever before. This also means that you will have more choices to make. Take responsibility and get excited about the choices you will make now as they will determine your level of success and personal satisfaction in the future. Conversely, if you feel that you are "making do" or just settling for something, you can expect more of the same and set yourself up for possible failure.

2. Why versus how

One of the main reasons people fail in following through on their resolutions is because they have not developed enough compelling reasons why they should change. Once you are clear about what you want, whether it is a personal goal or business objective, create a strong "emotional awareness" for yourself. This means that you have to go beyond your thoughts and carry it over to your emotions. Fall in love with the process of reaching your goals.

3. Associate with the right people

Look for family, friends or co-workers who believe in you and support you. Seek the assistance from a personal coach who can give you the learning, strategies, motivation and accountability to achieve your goals.

4. Sweat the small stuff

Henry Ford once said that if you break a big job into small parts it will become easy. Ask yourself what activities are necessary each day and every week to move you in the direction of your goals.

5. Choose feedback versus failure

Many people don’t set goals because they are afraid they might fail. Remember that failure is a concept that only exists in your mind. When you don’t get immediate results, you have not failed, but you have only  produced a certain result. So whatever the results are, consider it feedback and not failure. Ask yourself:"What can I learn from the result I produced?" It is within the answer to this question that you will discover new opportunities and learn better ways of creating the results you seek. At all times remain flexible.

6. What you focus on expands

Focus on what reaching your goal will mean to you, your family, friends or colleagues. Create a mental picture in your mind of the new and improved you and let go of the limiting beliefs and thoughts of your current situation. When you focus on what you don’t have (yet) or focus on the voids in your life, you will only get more of it.

7. Teamwork makes the dream work

When you set goals, think how others will benefit as well. Selfish goals have little merit. Success in any endeavor can only be achieved with and through others.

Compelling goals will give you the ability to grow and stay focused in times of social and economic change. Goals will not only pull you in the direction where you want to go, but also influence the activities you get involved in and the people you meet along the way.  You will find that the path you take, the direction you choose is what is most rewarding. It’s not so much what you will get when you reach your destination or achieve your goal, it’s the person you will become when you get there that defines you for yourself and others.

To your success in 2009!

Ten Life Coaching Questions To Ask Yourself Into the New Year (1/10)

by Dieter Pauwels January 1, 2009

Question # 1: "How Am I Committed?"

Why is it that we tell ourselves we want certain things but we don’t take action? We might have the best of intentions to make certain changes in our lives, yet we do not follow through on our resolutions? Does that mean we are lazy or undisciplined? Are we afraid of failure? Are we holding on to limiting beliefs about ourselves? We get frustrated when we think and say we are committed to wanting something for ourselves, but no action follows that voice of commitment.

When you fully commit to something, action always follows thought. There is no question, no debate, no doubt or struggle. You don’t wonder whether or not you will take action or not. Commitment goes beyond making a choice. I have never met a mother who had to think about and decide whether or not to feed her baby. People gain a mysterious strength and resolve when they make a commitment.

Commitment is a unique personal experience. As a personal coach I can offer you many possible commitment strategies, yet the best personal style of commitment comes from a deep emotional awareness within yourself. Often our commitments are invisible to us and we don’t think about them as commitments, it is what we do naturally. And that’s the whole point.

Recall a time in your life when you were committed to something. You were so deeply committed that there was no doubt in your mind, and taking action was almost automatic and effortless. Take some time to answer the following questions to discover the underlying structure of your own personal commitment strategy.

  • When and where were you committed? Was it a commitment you made to yourself or others? Were there any external influences?
  • What were some of the actions you took?
  • How did you go about taking action? What was your strategy for taking action?  Did you write down your goal or commitment? Did you visualize your achievements? Did you call a friend or work with a personal life coach? What skills or capabilities did you use?
  • What were some of the emotional reasons why you were committed? Reflect on the values and beliefs that motivated you to take action and follow through on your commitment.
  • How did you benefit from taking action? What was the cost of not taking action at all?
  • How did you think and feel about yourself as a person? Maybe you felt like a successful individual or a compassionate person.
  • How did your commitment impact others?

Understanding and modeling your personal commitment strategy will help you create resolve to meet your New Year’s resolutions.

To your success in 2009!




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?"

Question # 2: "What Do I Want?"
Question # 1: "How Am I Committed?"


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 (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 (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.

Setting Goals for 2009: The Choice of Intention.

by Dieter Pauwels December 12, 2008

"Each decision we make, each action we take, is born out of an intention."
(Sharon Salzberg)

With the New Year getting closer, what choices will you make that will affect the direction of your life? In which area(s) of your life did you experience the most challenge in the past year? -relationships, money, health, personal growth or your career? 

Whatever you believe was missing in 2008, it is yours, waiting to be claimed in 2009!

The first step is to make a conscious choice about the things you would like to attract, create or change and the things you would like to let go off.  Consider all of your relationships, ways of being, beliefs, goals, attitudes, behaviors, perceptions, habits, and even material things. Identify the things in your life that are draining you, as well as the things that are nourishing you.

When we don't challenge ourselves to create or to grow, we get stuck in the present and feel anxious about the future. When we don't make a conscious choice, the past creates the future. That is also a choice!

When you set goals for 2009, the choice of intention is the most fundamental choice you will make. The experiences you attract into your life are determined more by your intentions than your actions.

One person may donate money to a foundation in order to obtain a tax deduction, while another may do so to further help the cause of that foundation. Their actions are the same, while their intentions are quite different.

Let's assume that your goal is to change careers. Possible intentions for this goal could be to make more money, to feel less stress, to make more time for your family or to use more of your creative talents.

It is the conscious decision of your intention that will determine the experiences you have, the results you create and the people you attract into your life. When your intentions are aligned with your core values and principles, you will experience more joy, success, balance and fulfillment in pursuit of your goals!

Take some time to reflect on the outcomes you would like to create for this upcoming year and feel what your real intention is for each of them.

Setting your intent is about directing your focus in the present moment toward a future outcome. Because of the constantly changing environment of your life, setting your intent is an ever renewing process.

Set your intentions deliberately and carefully! To your success in 2009!

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