Tag: new year

11/25/12 “A Gift”

Good day, team.

I hope all my subscribers enjoyed a long holiday weekend. We work hard, and it is rare that we allow ourselves the luxury of true rest and relaxation. The holidays give us time to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and to ponder the coming new year and the opportunities it may bring.

Your challenge this week is to carve out some time for yourself in the next four weeks for reflection and gratitude. Think about the gifts that life has bestowed upon you in this past year and be thankful for the abundance that surrounds you. Consider the challenges that you’ve encountered and how you’ve learned from them, how you’ve grown in dealing with them and consider how you’ve changed. Revel in the love that others have bestowed upon you. And give yourself a gift for having lived another year that expanded your mind and opened your heart.

My gift to myself this holiday is a poem from the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Mary Oliver. I encourage you to find a gift that speaks to your heart, as Oliver’s poem does to mine.

Of Love

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway people beautiful to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some — now carry my revelation with you —
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of the makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world — its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself — I imagine
this is how it began.

~ Mary Oliver

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

1/3/11 “Beginnings & Intuition”

Good day, team,

There’s no better time for new beginnings than now. It’s the first of the year, the beginning of a new cycle, the root of the musical scale for the year or the “do” of the octave. However you see it, it’s a start, and with all new beginnings, comes energy. Sometimes I see it like running a foot race. I start off with lots of energy that bursts forth and propels me down the track. Along with this burst of energy, comes an increase in intuitive powers. My ability to see things in a new way is heightened, and my perspective is broader – so many more things are possible. This week’s challenge is about paying attention to your intuition in the midst of a new beginning.

For the new year, I moved my office into commercial space. It’s a big change for me. I’ve been working from a home office for many years. About a month ago, I looked up and suddenly realized it didn’t feel right any longer. This was a surprise because nothing had changed and I wasn’t at all sure where the thought came from, but I tend to pay attention when these things happen. Strangely, there was no intellectual basis for my intuitive experience, so I decided to just sit with it for a while and observe.

The next day, I walked into the bakery around the corner, and as I was waiting for my coffee, I saw a sign on the wall that said, “Office space for lease — contact Dan.” That’s interesting, I thought. I wonder who Dan is? I looked around the shop and saw a man sitting in the corner having a coffee and muffin, working on a computer. I walked up to him and asked, “Are you Dan?” and he replied, “Yes, I am.” The next thing I knew, we were ascending the stairs to the office spaces above the bakery. When we walked into the space for lease, it just felt right. My normal reaction in these situations is to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. But my mind cautioned me to think about this for a while and get more information. I thought I should talk to my husband, some other coaches, my accountant and my attorney before I made a final decision. Of course, none of that was going to change the initial intuitive message that it just felt right. However, I’ve learned over time that when it comes to business, doing your due diligence is important.

The real challenge came over the next two weeks as I went through the process of weighing all the positives and negatives, consulting others, negotiating with Dan the landlord and reviewing the lease agreement with my attorney. The more I looked into all the details and spent time analyzing whether this was a good decision or not, the farther away I got from that intuitive feeling and the more I doubted whether or not it actually happened to me.

In the end, I decided to lease the space. But I wonder what difference would it have made if I had taken the space in that first moment when I felt it was right, rather than two weeks later after all my information-gathering and analysis? You can make the case that by waiting and looking into all the details, I made sure that there would be no surprises and that everything was in good order. However, the more I looked into it, the more energy I lost. And I didn’t feel nearly as excited about my decision to rent the space as I did in those first few moments.

The lesson I learned is that sometimes, going with that strong intuitive feeling in the moment is important because it gives you a rare kind of energy and enthusiasm that cannot be created any other way. If you need to jump, that’s a good time to do it because you’ll have all the energy you need to jump high and wide. At other times, using that energy to check all the details and engage others in your decision makes the most sense, particularly when longer-term commitments are being made. Understanding which action is appropriate is the challenge.

This week, as you experience the beginning of the new year, pay close attention to your intuition. Take a look around you and sense whether things feel right. Do you need to do some adjusting to realign things? Maybe your desk at work needs to be moved or your team needs to be reorganized. Perhaps you need to change a process or approach to something at work or in your home. Whatever it is, spend this week observing people and processes around you. See if you can feel what needs to change and what the best way to make that change would be. Maybe you can jump in because the risk is minimal and the pay-off might be great. In other cases, analyzing and processing are the keys to making the right decision.

Most important, use the special energy of the first of the year to observe what needs changing and don’t be afraid to take action in whatever way is best. There’s nothing like new beginnings to revitalize us and renew our goals.

As Plato wrote, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.”

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

©Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.


Good day, team,

Toward the end of last year, I asked some of my clients to answer three questions in preparation for 2010. Answering these questions is a useful exercise at the beginning of a new year, since they force us to focus on what we want to let go of and what we want more of in our professional and personal lives.

Here are the questions I posed:

1) What would you like to do differently this year (old habits you’d prefer not to repeat; dealing with something you avoided last year; creating an opportunity to innovate)?

2) What would you like more of in your professional life? What do you need to do to get it?

3) What would you like more of in your personal life? What do you need to do to get it?

I also recently read a Harvard Business Review blog (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/01/three_questions_executives_sho.html) that posed three other good questions:

1) If there was only one thing I could do to improve my business, what would it be and how would I make it happen?

2) If there was only one thing I could focus on to improve my personal performance, what would that be and how would I make it happen?

3) What messages am I not listening to or refusing to confront in my business and personal performance and how am I going to overcome that this year?

If we pause to reflect before embarking on a new beginning, we give ourselves a chance to make better, more intentional decisions about direction, goals and courses of action. We are often so busy with our day-to-day tasks that we don’t rise above the daily to-do list to get a broader viewpoint. These questions require us to think through what’s come before as a springboard for creating a road map for the future. We can review, compare, contrast and analyze possibilities to make important distinctions and, from that insight, better decisions about how to move forward.

If you haven’t done so already, this week ask yourself a few of the above-mentioned questions. The HBR blog encourages the following approach:

“I suggest real interaction with these questions. Don’t just think about them for a minute and then put them aside. Write out answers. Commit to what you’ve written down, and start the year off well.”

Writing your answers down is an excellent way to see if you’re being truthful with yourself. It also encourages more commitment to do what you say you want to do.

January is one of the few times we can demarcate a new start: It’s an opportunity to renew and refresh. Take advantage of this new beginning and ask yourself some good questions. You’ll have a chance to live the questions and the answers all year long.

Have a good week.


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2010 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.


Good day, team,

This will be the last challenge for 2009, and as I write it, I’ve been reflecting on the opportunities this year has presented. From small business owners to employees of large companies, no one was exempt from the huge challenges the poor economy created for us.

Many of my clients understood they could no longer do business as they had been used to doing for many years. Their management skills seemed to be sorely lacking when it came to motivating a workforce faced with layoffs and no promotions or bonuses, as well as their inability to hire new talent. The fear of losing their best people, who were now working overtime to cover multiple functions, continued to weigh heavily on them, and keeping sales up and expenses down was the order of the day.

In my case, the first six months of 2009 were the worst I’ve experienced in the 17 years I’ve been in business. Ironically, this circumstance forced me to think creatively, and I’m now seeing that by being more open-minded and venturesome, doors have opened for me that I had never considered. As human beings, we are extremely adaptable, and when it comes to figuring out what to do to survive, we can be very inventive.

Maybe this was the year in which you got a new job or went back to school to learn a new set of skills. I applaud you if this is the case. We generally hang on to our current jobs or stay in whatever our familiar situation is when times get tough, no matter how bad they are. Changing in the midst of insecure times is particularly difficult, but the rewards can be great if we have the courage to move in the right direction, even when it seems like the wrong time to do it.

It helps to remember that change is not just one thing, but actually three things: endings, transitions and beginnings. When we change, we always give something up. The loss is often painful, but it also creates space from which something new can emerge. Transitions are usually where the most opportunity arises for us, since we’ve let go of the past and are not yet quite in the future. It’s the scariest phase, but the most exciting! And beginnings are full of all those unknowns that we hoped or dreamed about as we moved through the transition phase. It’s important to remain aware in every stage, because each is distinct and evokes many different emotions and thoughts as conditions, demands and even people change around us.

As this year comes to a close, take some time to reflect on what it has required of you. Think about what you’ve learned and had to put into play. Perhaps you’ve refreshed some of your old ways of doing things. Maybe you’ve become more innovative and benefited by having to re-create your business model. I have a client who decided that the only way to drum up more business was to make many more cold calls. Like most of us, he hates this task, but his business is actually growing right now because of his extra effort.

Whatever the case may be, take time to reflect on what the challenges of this past year have been and how you’ve dealt with them. Give yourself credit for having done the best you could in difficult circumstances. Show your appreciation to the people you’ve worked with during these trying times and don’t forget to be grateful to your friends and family for being supportive when you needed them most. The holidays give all of us a much needed break and many chances to be with loved ones in positive surroundings. Take advantage of these moments and look to the new year with renewed hope that 2010 might bring all of us the peace and prosperity we seek.

Have a good week and Happy Holidays!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2009 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.