Re-gifting revisited. . .

If you were a fan of the Seinfeld television sitcom you will remember the iconic episode where the term re-gifting was born. If you haven’t ever seen it – you should do some due diligence and find it. A classic!

Since then re-gifting has taken on a life-form of its own. Search the word and you will find an unlimited number of articles teaching us the rules of re-gifting.

Yes- there are rules! Even the articles have a comedic flair.  One of my favorites and most practical comes from Dave Ramsey’s blog post 10 Rules of Regifting.

I’ve been giving thought to this of late in terms of what it is we would choose to re-gift. Throughout this past year an area of focus for me has been letting go. In some cases, beliefs that were not serving my best life and work, in others habits that were comfort zones but not driving excellence. But it was also about things. Including things that had special meaning for me. Why let them go? Because letting them go to the right person at the right time allowed me to create a stronger bond and continue a legacy.

One particular item was a small statue I gifted to my Dad many years ago depicting the safety of a father’s arms. When he died, my Mom re-gifted back to each of us the things we had given him. It was a lovely thing for her to do as we could now have those as remembrances of special times with him. The thought occurred to me that those items could now be an incredible re-gifting opportunity. The statue went to one of my brothers who has borne a special mantle of protection for my nephew through cancer to the miracle of healing. I don’t know that I could have given him anything more meaningful.

There have been other opportunities as well and through all this the spirit of what gifting is all about was made fresh and new for me and, I believe, for the recipients.

My library has been another great source of gifts now in the libraries of others with my sincere hope that they learn from them and continue them on their way. Lives don’t change because of what sits on our shelves. They change because of what we allow into our hearts and minds and then share with others.

After a year of focus around this idea of finding new homes and owners for treasured gifts it has become more natural. What is most remarkable is the shift from it being about giving anything up to the joy of investing into others. When we do that, the dividends are endless. It is absolutely true that as we invest in others through our gifts, we find we in fact have more to give.

The idea of re-gifting revisited. Instead of it being about things we don’t need or want, let it be about things that have meaning and allow them to contribute to the lives of others. As we go into the new year, let’s focus on what we can contribute, what we can share with others and find significance there.

In the words of the incomparable Albert Einstein: “Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.”

Live (gift) today like you want tomorrow to be. Live (gift) well.

ABC’s of Coaching

In answer to a challenge to define what we do, a group of coaches got together and compiled a list of words that we thought represented the many facets of coaching.  Some words are about the process and some are about the result.  But they all “show up” somewhere in the coaching relationship.  When looking at our list, we realized that we were very close to covering the entire alphabet so we took it one step further and focused on the letters that were just missing their word to complete our version of the ABC’s of Coaching.

My favorites are Discover, Stretch, Understand and Yes.  Check out all of these amazing and valuable parts of the whole! Which resonate with you? Let’s talk!

Coaching ABCs

1,740,468 Steps of Purpose

hikingYes, you read it correctly. Today’s post is about steps: 1,740,468 of them! Sound overwhelming? If someone had told me on January 28th to take 1,740,468 steps of purpose I would certainly have thought it was a crazy notion. But on July 23rd, the number isn’t overwhelming to me at all. In fact, it is a celebratory achievement.

Each of us face challenges in our lives. They come in all shapes and sizes with different degrees of stress attached to them. The ones that are the most daunting are the ones where we feel disempowered by them. The good news is we don’t have to feel that way. We have another choice. There is always something we can do to respond to what is happening around us in a way that allows us to see the gift in it and to take positive, constructive action.

There are times when the best constructive action is massive. We need a bold change,  more leap than step. But other times, in fact most of the time, that is not the case. What we need in most cases is simple change. Simple steps. And over time, those simple steps add up to massive change. Today’s post is about one of those kinds of changes.

On January 28th, I embarked on a new segment of my life journey. My focus in life shifted. In part because of external forces and the need to adjust the sails but in part because of internal growth that had my sights adjusting as well. That is also the day I began to walk. It wasn’t a monumental accomplishment. After all, I’d been walking for close to 57 years. But this was different. These were steps of purpose. As of July 21st, steps of purpose have been part of my life for 24 weeks. In that time, I have seen massive change come from those daily steps. A step count that accumulated to 1,740,468 in 24 short weeks.

The first day, I could barely walk to the end of my driveway. But I did what I could.  For my personal best “walking” day over these past 24 weeks, my count was 14,494 steps! That would have seemed like climbing Mt. Everest on January 28th. Today, it sounds perfectly reasonable. My energy levels have sky-rocketed, my weight loss is consistent and safe for the first time in my life, and the boost to my self confidence from seeing real results creates renewable purpose to my steps everyday.  The overall value though has been far more than I would have anticipated.  Here is what steps of purpose look like to me now:

  • Being committed as a daily practice created a higher degree of self-awareness.  I had to really SEE my excuses for what they were: Excuses!
  • The daily time I have committed for walking created a space for reflection and thought. This resulted in a higher level of mental (and emotional) clarity.
  • My spiritual life has deepened from integrating my prayer life with my walks.  It has been wonderful to celebrate nature and to allow undistracted communion.
  • Sustainable energy, vitality, agility – all add up to a higher quality of life. Activities never attempted before don’t seem daunting anymore. Each step brought new opportunities.
  • The power of discipline in my daily life is crystal clear and has permeated other areas of personal practices.
  • The personal confidence that has deepened is the most powerful gift.  I can do and be whatever or whomever I choose to do and be. It’s just a matter of deciding and being willing to take the right steps.

When we look at our life, there are many opportunities to find steps of purpose beyond the literal ones I’m celebrating. But the principals are the same. For this level of achievement it takes incremental steps and progressive growth. Our most effective plans focus on a few small changes in our daily life that will, over time, produce amazing results. I started with my health. Your starting place may be different. But the plan is basically the same:

1) Identify the area of life where you want to see change
2) Define 1 or 2 changes you can make to your DAILY life that will support that change
3) Know your starting point
4) Track your progress
5) Check in at reasonable intervals to see how you’re doing
6) Celebrate results and adjust where needed!

It’s also important to set yourself up for success.  That means making sure you have the right tools & resources to stay on track.

For example, I invested in a Fitbit (pedometer/activity monitor) to help me track my steps and to serve as a mental “coach” to keep moving.  I also joined Fairly Fit Female, a great support community for women that are focused on the quality of their life while investing in their health. Accountability and community can serve all of us.

It’s a simple approach.  Simple steps.  Amazing results.

What is it you want? What steps are you willing to take?

Let’s get started!