Category Archive: Life Coaching

May 15

Review – The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough SuccessThe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Prithe Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success Nciples for Breakthrough Success by Carmine Gallo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this book, Carmine provides seven principles for unleashing innovation. The principles are supported by examples from various industries, which helps to understand how to apply the principles within different scenarios. I recommend the book to those seeking new perspectives about the concept of innovation.

View all my reviews

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Apr 12

Tip for Caregivers – Take Care of Yourself Too!

Caring for someone that is seriously ill is difficult and time-consuming work. For the new caregiver, absorbing the new responsibility into an already busy life can be overwhelming. This article provides some advice about taking care of yourself to enhance your effectiveness as a caregiver and serves to reduce your stress at the same time.

Focus on Your Own Health and Well-being

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving report, about 17% of the caregivers reported a decline in their own health since the start of the caregiving. Just eight months into my caregiving experience, I suffered a heart attack. The event served to remind me of the need to care for myself. I recovered quickly from the heart attack but the event reminded me that I could not perform my care giving responsibilities properly if my own heath suffered. Therefore, it is important to underscore the need for caregivers to find the time to take care of your own physical and mental wellbeing. Ensuring your own health and well-being prevents you from becoming ineffective as a caregiver.

Time with Family and Friends

The caregiving report also revealed that over half of caregivers stated that caregiving reduced the time they spent with their family and friends. Those who sacrificed that time with family and friends reported a higher stress level than those who maintained their time with family and friends (47% compared to 14%). It is easy to withdrawal from friends and family during the caregiving experience because of the new demands on one’s life. However, as this study reports, withdrawing or minimizing time with family and friends can lead to increased stress levels.

Prolonged Stress and Burnout

Prolonged stress can lead eventually to burnout. Burnout is often associated with overwhelming exhaustion, feelings of detachment, and a sense of becoming ineffective. Anxiety and depression are common side effects reported by caregivers. Learning about stress and burnout along with the effects on your personal well-being are necessary for early recognition and application of preventative techniques or treatments. The caregiver role often includes riding the emotional roller coaster that results from stress and uncertainty about the future. For me, one beneficial technique was listening to friends and family. They often recognized or sensed the stress that I felt before I did. Listening, followed by actions to face and address the stress were critical to managing my personal well-being.

Find Time for Yourself

Finding time to care for yourself is a critical step toward maintaining your own well-being as a caregiver. What works for one person might not work for another so it is important that you find what works for you. Some people share that exercising, meditating, or listening to music provides the alone time needed to help relieve stress. Others share that going to the movies, taking walks, hiking, or going for a coffee with a friend provided the time needed to reflect on themselves. The bottom line is that you must find what works for you. Find some time for yourself to allow your own body and mind to recuperate and re-energize.

Caring for your own health and well-being is not a selfish act. Some believe that focusing solely on the needs of the care recipient is the noble and correct thing to do. However, a need for balance exists, especially in a prolonged caregiving situation. Caring for yourself is actually a selfless endeavor since taking care of yourself enables you to take care of your loved one more effectively than you could if you allowed stress to dominate your life.


National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP (2009). Caregiving in the U.S. 2009). Retrieved from

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Mar 15

Suddenly a Caregiver – Available as Paperback

The book Suddenly a Caregiver, is now available in paperback. Order your copy from CreateSpace.

Suddenly a Caregiver

The book will also be available at Amazon in about one week.

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Mar 11

Suddenly a Caregiver – 25% off until 23 March 2013 at Smashwords

I am pleased to announce the release of Suddenly a Caregiver as an eBook on Smashwords.

Suddenly a Caregiver

The eBook is available in all popular eBook formats.

Promotion – 25% Off
Promotional price: $6.74
Coupon Code: YC69H
Expires: March 23, 2013

Sharing a family’s experience and lessons learned to help you through the unexpected responsibility of becoming a family caregiver. The lessons learned include advocacy, caregiver concerns, organizational helpers, grieving, and a variety of other topics while caring for my wife who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme – a stage 4 brain cancer.

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Nov 26

17 – The Law of Priorities

Leaders Understand that Activity is not Necessarily Accomplishment

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the law of priorities.

We all have 24 hours in our day. Yet, some people seem to accomplish so much more than others. For some, their accomplishment is at the expense of their families. Others recognize the importance of life-balance and accomplish much while ensuring that they do not forget the other important areas in their life. So how do those leaders complete this feat, while other people seem to wonder aimlessly through life?

Most leaders establish clear priorities for the next phase in their life. Creating a one-year plan is a good first step. Others with a clear vision of the future, may even create a five-year plan. Envisioning your future, creating your plan, and executing that plan is crucial for establishing the focus needed to create your success, regardless of your definition of success.

John suggests considering the following three questions during your planning phase.

Priority Planning Questions

  1. What is required?
  2. What gives the greatest return?
  3. What brings the greatest reward?

The first question addresses the areas of your life that are needed to fulfill your commitments and responsibilities. Maintaining one’s most important relationships comes to mind immediately. Far too many people push this area to the back burner as they pursue their definition of success, only to discover later that failing to maintain those important relationships results in relationships that are damaged beyond repair. I have met people that achieved their definition of success then looked around only to discover their spouse and children are no where to be found. They quickly learned that achieving success was much more costly than ever imagined. All of the perceived benefits of success were minimized because of failing to consider the necessary balance required for a fulfilling life.

The second question focuses on identifying those priority areas with the greatest return. Leaders recognize that Law of Prioritiesactivity is not a one-to-one correlation with results. People that prioritize their efforts to align with high-value returns often recognize greater levels of success than those that get lured into low-value activity. The 80/20 rule comes into play when setting priorities. The 80/20 rule implies that completing the top 20% of the activity returns 80% of the value. Consciously evaluating priorities and applying effort to the high-value items leads to higher levels of success.

The third question focuses on areas that return a high-level of personal satisfaction. Keep in mind that maintaining balance is necessary during the planning of priorities. Items that return a high-level of personal satisfaction energize you to tackle tasks leading to other accomplishments. Everyone needs a time to recharge. This area of planning ensures that your plans incorporate time to recharge. This might include something like golf or attending a seminar. Include whatever you find recharges you to face new challenges.

An important step is to write down the outcomes of your priority planning session because the urgent things in our daily lives tend to overwhelm what is truly important in life. I like to use mind maps to capture the outcomes of my personal planning sessions. Mind maps provide a good visual reminder for me and are easily shared across my electronic devices for referencing and review. The mind map also allows as much detail as necessary for your planning. One of my major goals this year is authoring a book about my family’s caregiving experience for a family member that battled brain cancer for nearly four years. My planning mind map contains an entry for that goal. A more detailed mind map contains the information and steps for completing that goal.

Creating a regular routine for reviewing your priorities and setting goals that align with your priorities is a critical step to maximizing the 24 hours you have in your day.

I would love to hear how you prioritize your goals to accomplish your definition of success.

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