Dec 17 2012


If we are to live together in peace, we must come to know each other better.
~Lyndon Johnson


Christmas is a time when we all look forward to having a wonderful, perfect time together as a family, creating beautiful memories, right? How realistic is that?

Get along this Christmas with these tips

Lately, every day on the radio I hear them talking about ‘those family members’ that we dread seeing this time of year. I think every family has at least one of ‘those’. Why can’t we all get along? How can this year be different?

Start Accepting!

I started thinking about that and wondered if we can do more than just stay away from the relative who annoys us. It may be a stretch, but just play along with me. What would happen if you focused on something you like about that person – there has to be something! And what if you found something about what that person says that you can agree with? There must be something! And what if you stopped judging the person and started accepting them just the way they are? (I know – that one’s a real stretch!)

You may not appreciate their opinions, but they do have a right to them. You don’t have to agree with them; they don’t have to agree with yours. What if you listened with an open mind and tried to see it from the other person’s point of view? Instead of focusing on the annoying behaviour, what if you focused on the positive. If you don’t like the topic, change it. What if you asked them something about themselves?

Cover up?

If you’re like me, a person like that annoys me so much that I don’t even want to be near them, let alone have a conversation with them. But their annoying behaviour might just be a cover up for something else; possibly some pain in their lives, or a poor self-esteem. Do you think you can overlook the annoying behaviour in order to find a trickle of positive stuff? Many times, people don’t feel valued; they don’t think people really care about them. Maybe they feel misunderstood. Perhaps they’re doing it for attention. Who really knows?


Kill Them with Kindness! 

I asked my Facebook friends to weigh in with their opinions and here is what they said:

Kerry said: Years ago there was someone I had to interact with on a regular basis who was very objectionable. I tried everything I could think of and as a last resort I decided to adopt the motto “kill ‘em with kindness!” After their initial suspicion, it worked like a charm! And life was much more pleasant for everyone. I must point out that the kindness must be sincere and done in love.

 Christine said: Just been reminded a lot lately about how we should really look at others as through God’s eyes and with God’s heart. Set aside our opinions, judgements and rolling of the eyeballs and actually stop and listen to what they have to say …give compliments ….and humble ourselves before others ...random acts of kindness …smile and mean it. Definitely not always easy but it is possible.

Thanks, Kerry and Christine – I’m going to follow your example this year!


Kindness goes a long way in making another person feel valued and appreciated. Being kind is huge, especially for the person who isn’t used to being on the receiving end! Try it. This Christmas, let’s all vow to be more understanding, more accepting, less judging, more positive – and let’s do random and intentional acts of kindness!

Most of my clients take a break over the Christmas season, because they’re too busy. But one client booked a session specifically to talk about how to avoid stress by being prepared to handle the ‘annoying and difficult’ people on Christmas Day. If that’s the kind of session you need before the big day, contact me and I’ll give you a 50% discount. That 40 minutes just might save your day!

Do you have any other ideas or comments? Let’s hear them and help each other out here.


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but
it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
~Dale Carnegie


Have an annoying-free and kind Christmas!

Dec 06 2012


The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future
by merely changing his attitude.
–Oprah Winfrey

Change your attitude


I coach a group of immigrant women who are taking a course that is training them in a specific career, to help them get employment. 
Many of them have young children. They have all left families behind in their home countries. They’ve moved to Canada for a ‘better life’. The road to their better life is not an easy one! 
A few weeks ago we talked about ANTS – Automatic Negative ThoughtS – and how to change their negative thinking. 
Last week we talked about the value of gratitude and their homework was to start and keep a gratitude journal. They were to write down five things every day that they were thankful for. 
Yesterday I asked them how it had helped them since I’d been there last week. One woman instantly piped up and said, “ANTS to THANKS”. Don’t you just love it? I wrote it on the white board and told her I wanted to blog about it. She turned her Automatic Negative ThoughtS into thoughts of Thankfulness
It works. When we’re thankful, we’re positive, and it changes our outlook on life. Try it – let me know how it’s changing things for you. 
By the way – if you need more help to change your situation, hire a Life Coach. (hint, hint)



Nov 03 2012


Coaching versus Therapy

People often ask me the difference between coaching and counselling or therapy. When I took my training, the instructor changed her career from psychotherapist to life coach. I also have a friend who is a psychotherapist and a coach. She told me she prefers coaching over therapy and I asked her to explain the difference.


In psychotherapy, the clients are in emotional pain and they need help to heal. People express their feelings about the past in the process. The sessions are held in controlled settings at a certain time, typically once weekly for 45-60 minutes. The psychotherapist is the mental health expert and makes treatment recommendations, unlike the coach who is a partner with the client.


In coaching, the clients are doing well and looking to make a change. In the initial phase of coaching the agenda is co-created and goals are established. The goals could include upgrading their job, starting or expanding a business, life transitions, re-inventing themselves, or changing a habit. In coaching it is not about the past, but about the present and future. It is about where they are now and where they want to be. The sessions are flexible – in person or by phone and the length of the sessions vary from 30 to 60 minutes. Clients really like the accountability factor to keep them on track as well.

When coaching, we stay future focused and solution focused. The conversation remains positive.


In my coaching practice, I adhere to the Five Erickson Principles (as established by Milton Erickson)

1. You’re okay.

2. People have all the resources within to be a success.

3. Change is inevitable.

4. People make the best decisions available in the moment.

5. Every behavior has a positive intention.

I believe that we are always in process; we’re constantly changing; we’re always at the beginning. Every behavior or decision has a positive intention – there is a need that is not being fulfilled and we’re doing our best to fill it.

Do you need a life coach to help you with your thinking?

I personally believe that my life would have been drastically different if I had had Life Coach during my years of struggle. I believe that my struggles would have been less, and the solutions would have been more obvious. Having someone to help me gain more clarity and focus on solutions instead of my problems would have been wonderful. You know what they say: “Better late than never!” It’s never too late to work on ourselves, set new goals, make positive changes.

If you have any questions or comments about coaching, please leave a comment. Let’s get a conversation started!


Sep 14 2012

What is SUCCESS?

The reason most people fail is because they don’t
plan to succeed.

When I read the above quote, a light came on and I had an ‘aha’ moment. I’ve started a lot of things in my life. In spite of doing a lot of good and making a difference in people’s lives, which I really want to do, I would not have called myself a successful person …until recently.You have a choice.

When I took my life coach training, I volunteered to be coached in a demo session in front of the class. I wanted to be coached around ‘succeeding’ in my coaching business.

Let me explain. I can’t tell you the number of careers and jobs I’ve had in my lifetime (wow, do I sound old!!!) In my own mind, I believed I hadn’t succeeded in any of them, except my teaching career. A client one time told me he wanted to be an ‘expert’ in something. I could identify with what he was saying! I felt the same way! To me, not being an expert meant I wasn’t successful.

Was I successful?

I keep in touch with the principal of a school where I start teaching when I was 21. He has known me for a long time. Shortly after I started my life coaching career, he told me that he thought I was a very successful person. I have always respected him and his opinions; he’s been a key player in my personal growth and confidence. (Thank you, Lester Fretz) His comment caused me to re-think my own self-analysis. I decided to redefine what being successful means for me.

I realize that I have the kind of personality that gets bored easily and needs challenges in my life. At the same time, I think I’ve been too hard on myself by thinking I haven’t been a success. I DO think that sometimes I quit too soon. I could have challenged myself in certain situations. I didn’t intentionally plan to succeed.

I AM successful!

Now I have a life coaching career and I have no desire to quit or change careers. All my life I’ve loved helping people and have tried to be a positive influence in the lives of others. With coaching, I’ve found the perfect avenue and I’m loving it. This time, I AM planning to succeed! I’m going to continue to challenge myself by finding out what my clients need and provide that. I’m getting lots of ideas and am excited to implement them. I enjoy seeing others be successful in their lives. I love helping others to be the best they can be. I AM successful and I plan to continue to be successful!

How do you define success?

How about you? How do YOU define success in your life? Don’t be hard on yourself – ask the opinion of a person you respect and trust. Maybe you need to challenge yourself. Perhaps you need to focus and plan. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

Do you have something you want to finish – or something you want to start? Let me help you. Read about the program I’m offering to help you become more successful. I found that I couldn’t do it myself – I needed the help of others. Do you?

Join me on my Question and Answer call on Tuesday evening
to find out all the information you need to help you make a wise decision.

Invest in yourself!

You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
– Rumi

Aug 30 2012


Twenty years from now
 you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do.
~Mark Twain

 My Client’s DilemmaAn idea forming in your head

One of my clients hired me because she had an idea for her business, but just wasn’t making the time in her day to something about it. She had been procrastinating for more than a year! She knew what she wanted the end result to be and had some idea of how to get there. When she asked me to coach her, she was very specific: one call a month, e-mail support, hold her accountable.

I agreed and our journey began. She soon discovered that our coaching was helping her work on more than her project. She learned about why she didn’t always stick to her action plan. She realized that in order for her to reach her goal, she needed to make a few other changes that would empower her. She realized that with my support and being held accountable, she was making progress!

Disappointed in Myself

Since working with her, I started thinking that she’s probably quite average in this area. I can totally relate and identify with her. When I think of all the ideas I’ve had in the past and not acted on them, I’m disappointed in myself. In 2006 when I returned from Japan, after living there for four years, I had a plan to write a book about my life there. Without encouragement, support or accountability, my plan never materialized! Seeing how people here are consumed with Japanese culture now, it makes me mad that I didn’t write that book! That’s just one example. I don’t have time to tell you about all the other ideas I’ve had or things I’ve started (and never finished).

We all have good ideas. We have good intentions. We know what we would like to achieve. We keep thinking about it. But …for some reason … we just don’t get around to it. We tell ourselves, “Some day I’m going to do it.” Some day never comes. Or we’ve started and gotten distracted or side-tracked. We’re having a difficult time getting re-focused.

Does this sound like you?

As you were reading, did you start thinking about something in your life you want to do, but just can’t seem to get started? Were you thinking about something you started awhile ago and would like to get back at? Perhaps you haven’t found the motivation; perhaps all you need is a bit of encouragement, support and accountability.


Inspired by my client who is making progress with her idea/project, I’ve decided to create a program for other people like her – to help them get started. This is a group program, which will offer lots of support, encouragement and accountability. It will be set up for success. Are you ready to focus on your project this fall? Then this program will be for you! I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, start thinking about what YOU would like to achieve this fall. Do you have a friend or know someone else who would want to be in a group like this? If you have suggestions or recommendations for this program, please leave a comment or email me.



Aug 16 2012


You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

The secret of success is found in your daily routine.

~John Maxwell


create a change

I can’t tell you the number of times I decided to make a change, only to give up in a few days. …or not even get started. Can you identify? By the number of articles and books on the subject, I think it’s a common problem.

My motivation starts our great; my intentions are good. So, what’s my problem? I don’t stick with it. I lose interest and motivation. This is often a pattern for me, especially because of my personality. I get bored and distracted very easily.

The Compound Effect

I just finished reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, publisher of SUCCESS magazine. He emphasized the importance of routine. In the book he said that a daily routine built on good habits and disciplines separate the most successful among us from everyone else. A routine is exceptionally powerful. We need to bookend our days; have a routine for the morning and a routine for the evening. They are essential to your success of creating change.

 John Maxwell says “The secret of success is found in your daily routine.”

Create a Change

When thinking about how to create change, it’s good to start small in order to set yourself up for success. Think about some changes you’ve made in the past, that have become a habit. They have become routine for you. You’ve turned them into good habits. How did you do that?

Now, think of a change you want to create in your life now. What is one action you can start doing every day to affect that change? What are some ways you might work that action into your morning or evening routines?

When I had a full-time job downtown, I rode transit to and from work. I had a habit of reading on the train. A lot of people complained about taking the train to work, but I loved it because I got a lot of books read. (I love reading) Another habit I had was going for a walk on my noon hour – got exercise and spent time walking with a colleague!

When we want to create a change, we need to form a habit. The best way to do that is to work it into our routine – morning or evening is best.

When you build something into your routine, it becomes a habit – and your life changes.

What are some changes you want to create? Think about your long term goals and how you are going to achieve them. Probably with one little change at a time. It all starts with the first step. Sometimes we need help because it’s just too difficult to do on our own. Being accountable to someone is a great help. Hiring a life coach (hint) is another great way to help you create changes and make them stick.

Please leave a comment and tell us about the changes you are thinking about making. It doesn’t matter how big or small. The process is the same.

Take that first step now!




Jul 25 2012


No one will change until they see the price that they are paying by not changing.
–Brian Klemmer

This quote is so true. Change is hard. It means getting out of our comfort zone, which is not ‘comfortable’. We like to be comfortable. We prefer our comfort zone, even if it isn’t pleasant. Why? Getting out of our comfort zone means changing, and changing is not always easy. It means doing something that’s often hard – something that takes courage, energy, effort.

What are you not willing to change, even though you want to? Hard to Change

Too Hard to Change

It’s really easier to stay put, even though we don’t like it where we are. It’s too hard to change. That’s why so many people are in a job they hate. People live in apartments that are too small, or houses that are too big, they stay in a relationship that’s draining, they settle for their present weight, they choose to stay where they are, even though they realize that there could be something better for them!

A few weeks ago, I had a consultation with a person who thought a life coach could help him. As we chatted, it was obvious that he had some issues to deal with; they were holding him back from achieving his goal. It would be more than difficult to deal with them on his own. After he heard the price of the sessions, he said he would get back to me. I haven’t heard back, and I doubt I will. It’s really too bad. I wonder if he is thinking about the price he is paying for NOT getting the help he needs to make the changes he needs. Unless he makes those changes, his goal will not be reached and his whole life will suffer. Change is hard and it’s often too hard to do it on our own.

Why we Don’t Change

We don’t change because it’s too hard. Life is hard – no one ever said it would be easy. But if we don’t make the effort to make the changes to make our lives better, we’re paying the price of staying the same, in the same situation, the same job (if we don’t get fired), the same relationship, the same house, etc. etc. etc.

What change do you want to make? Are you hesitating? Is it because it would be too hard? Do you want to stay in your comfort zone? Does it take too much energy to even think about it? I totally understand! I have stayed in situations that were not healthy for me simply because it was easier to stay than to change. But staying took its toll on me and in the long run, it was not healthy. It really wasn’t easier. Once I made the decision to make some changes in my life, I faced the challenges and grew though them. Life doesn’t always get easier, but it does get better. I felt better about myself and my choices. I was in control of my life and felt that my choices were good ones.

What changes are you afraid of making? What changes would make life better in the long run? Are you ready to move forward, even though change is hard? It may be too hard on your own. As a life coach, I can help you make those changes, move out of your comfort zone and into a ‘new and improved’ one. Even if you’re not quite ready, having a chat with me might provide some clarity for you. Contact me for a free chat. …no obligation!

The past is the future unless you change.

~Dan Rockwell


Jul 05 2012


If you stop feeding your feelings they’ll stop controlling you.
–Joyce Meyer

How often do we allow our feelings to control our decision making? In my previous post, I talk about making Swinging bridge - focusedsmart decisions. That means we have to get out of our emotional brain to see the big picture.


I had an incident almost two years ago that I still vividly remember. The details are not significant in the story; the way I handled the situation is extremely important. Needless to say, I did not handle it well. Needless to say, i did not focus on the solution! I focused on the problem.

A family member made a decision that affected me and I was offended. Instead of focusing on the solution, which is what I should have done – especially knowing what I do from my training – I focused on the problem! I allowed my emotions to control me and all I could see was the problem.

I learned a lot! I hurt people in the process. I allowed myself to have a pity party. I had ‘pitiful thoughts’, not ‘powerful thoughts’. My self-talk was negative and it drastically affected my mood. All I could think about was how hurt and offended I was. I was stuck in my emotional brain! I didn’t even stop to think about why the decision was made in the first place. It had nothing to do with me. But I made it all about me. How stupid!!! Definitely not smart.

The end result was that we all got hurt. I could have prevented the hurt feelings if I had changed my self-talk and tried to understand the other person and the reason for the decision. …if I had been solution focused!

Thank the Lord, after all was said and done, the issue was resolved by talking about it and understanding the other person’s point of view. Thank the Lord, the other family member was willing to listen to my point of view, even though we didn’t agree. Our love for each other won out. In the end, we did focus on a solution because our relationship was important to us.


I’m so ashamed of the way I acted. I learned some valuable lessons!

  • Get out of my emotional brain
  • Look at the big picture
  • Be Solution Focused
  • Focus on the solution – not on the problem
  • Don’t be offended
  • Change my self-talk
  • Think positive thoughts

I should have asked myself: Then what? If I had, my behaviour would have been quite different. It would have had a positive outcome. No one would have been hurt and I could have saved myself the heartache. ….next time!

Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.
–Anthony J. D’Angelo

What about you?

What about you? I’m sure you can think of incidents that you didn’t handle well. We can learn from the past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future. (Sometimes I’m a slow learner) Think ahead and plan how you will be solution focused in the next situation that comes along.  You want to have a positive outcome. Please leave a comment and tell me about the lessons you’ve learned along the way.



Jun 16 2012


Even though it runs counter to popular belief,
life’s critical decisions are usually made in the heart and only later ratified by the brain.
~Mardy Grothe

Making Decisions

I heard Dr. Amen speak on TV the other day and he was fascinating. Did you know that you can actually change your brain? I’m not going to tell you how to do that, but one thing he said really stuck with me:
Then what?

 Making Decisions

He was talking about making decisions. Before you make a decision, ask yourself, “Then what?” There is so much about the brain we don’t know. When we are in danger and have to make a quick decision, we operate from the reptilian brain – flight or flight. When we are emotionally involved in something, we use our emotional brain, the limbic brain. But when we take time to think about the big picture before making a decision, we use our neocortex. The neocortex is the part of the brain where we can imagine, dream and visualize.

 Emotional Brain

When we have a decision to make, the natural tendency is to use our emotional brain. That part of our brain doesn’t always serve us well. We may not make a smart decision when our emotions are involved. One way to get out of the emotional brain so we can make better decisions is to ask ourselves “Then what?” When we do that, we can take time to think about the answer. We can imagine our life after this decision.

Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. ~Keri Russell

 Smart Decision Making

If I make the decision that my emotions are demanding, then what? If I take time to actually ask “then what?”, how will my decision-making be different? What will help me to make a smarter decision? What do you want the outcome to be as the result of your decision? Get out of your emotional brain and think about the end result you’re looking for? What decision will bring you that result?

Think back to a poor decision you’ve made in the past. You know what the result was. How might your life have been different if, before you made that decision you had asked “then what?”

Try it! Next time you are about to make a decision, which will probably be sometime today, ask yourself, “then what?” Get out of your emotional brain and into your neocortex brain, into big sky thinking. Visualize the consequences resulting from your decision. Is that what aiming for? Now visualize the results you really want – how will you change your decision?

Think about the brain, how to improve it and you will be more effective in all you do.
~Dr. Daniel Amen

There are lots of times that you need help with decisions, especially difficult ones. I can’t tell you how often my clients have called on me to help them with the process. Asking the right questions to get clients out of their emotions and into thinking with more clarity and proper perspective has proven to be extremely valuable.

One client, Jeff, put it this way: Betty helps you make smart decisions and set reasonable goals in a short amount of time.

If you are having a difficult time with a decision, or if you find yourself making poor choices a lot, contact me to see how you can benefit from hiring a life coach. Go to my home page to learn how a life coach can help you.

Please leave a comment and let us know how this post helped you – or how you will make smarter decisions in the future.


Jun 08 2012


Little changes and little choices add up to be revolutionary changes in your life. 
-Sarah Ban Breathnach


One small change can impact your whole life!


How complicated and busy is your life? Do you need to make a change?

Simplify your life
The first weekend in May, two other life coaches and I facilitated a Search for Simplicity retreat. We hadn’t anticipated the huge success and impact it would have. The ironic thing about offering this retreat was that as the time got closer, my life got busy in a lot of areas!

The days following the Simplicity weekend were so busy for me and then I ended up getting a viral flu because I hadn’t been taking care of myself. Does this sound familiar?

When life gets busy, it gets complicated. When life gets complicated, we get frustrated. Eventually frustration will lead to anger. Not a nice way to live. We all need to simplify our lives. We all need to make some changes.

At the retreat, we did an exercise in which each person evaluated four different areas in her life. Then we asked the question: if you could improve one area, and it would affect the other three areas, what would it be? The next step was to create a strategy to make a change in that area.

As a result of that exercise, I determined to take more time for rest and relaxation. My action plan was to set aside 30 to 60 minutes a day to go for a walk and to journal more.

Are you ready to simplify your life? Are you ready to make one change in order to improve your life? You can do this exercise in the privacy of your own home – or in a coffee shop! You’ll be amazed at how spending time to simplify your life even a little can help you to enjoy your whole life!

I specialize in helping women make the changes they struggle with, so if you need some help, please contact me. I would love to chat with you!

Click on Simplify your Life to download the exercise.


Please leave a comment and tell us about your action step to start simplifying your life.

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