My name is Faith and I have an addiction. An addiction to planning. I can’t stop. Not just a casual, keep-things-orderly kind of planning, more serious planning.

How serious? Serious enough to count my planner among my most prized possessions. Serious enough to spend a decent amount of time contemplating which type of planner works best for me (I went back to paper three years ago after five plus years of using electronic.) Serious enough to plan almost every minute of every day (there’s a lot to do, don’t want to waste a single minute). Serious enough to schedule not only appointments in my personal planner, but exercise, meals, meal prep, and even nights at home.

(Let me explain that last one. Between my appointments with real estate and wellness clients, yoga teaching, and Grace’s skating practices and Girl Scout meetings, evenings at home are hard to come by. About six months ago, I took to writing “nothing” on one evening per week to ensure that we are able to spend at least one evening at home each week. It’s worked well. I highly recommend.)

I obviously enjoy planning. Planning is good. It makes me feel organized and in control. It helps me to make the most of my time–which, as a single mother who works full plus time, is a valuable commodity. And, it reduces stress. It makes me happy. Mostly.

While there is no question that planning improves the quality of my life, there is a point at which the planning leaves me feeling claustrophobic. And, sometimes just plain tired.

I recently read a blog post about what makes some people luckier, and by extension more successful, than others. It was guest written by Erik Calonius on one of my favorite blogs by Jonathan Fields.

Calonius referenced a study conducted at the University of Hertfordshire to determine behaviors of people who considered themselves lucky versus those who considered themselves unlucky. Both groups of people were given a newspaper and asked to look through it to determine how many photographs were inside. On average the unlucky people took two minutes to count  photographs, whereas the lucky ones had a photo total in just seconds.

Calonius explains: “How could the “lucky” people do this? Because they found a message on the second page that read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” So why didn’t the unlucky people see it? Because they were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.”

The researcher, Richard Wiseman summarized his findings in this way:

“Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner, and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through the newspaper determined to find certain job advertisements and, as a result, miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there, rather than just what they are looking for.”

The post got me thinking. And wondering how many opportunities I’ve missed because I’ve been so focused on my plan. How many amazing people have I missed meeting because I was rushing off to my next appointment. How many beautiful sights, heart-warming stories, and meaningful looks have I failed to notice?

So starting this week, I have a new plan! (You didn’t think I’d give it up, did you?) My new plan is to reduce my planning and to leave time and space for luck, opportunity, and magic. Clearly, this will involve not just less planning, but cutting back on some activities as well. And that’s okay. I’m ready. I’m ready to stop always working the plan and planning the work. I’m ready to be more open to chance and spontaneity.

Starting with today. This morning, I ended up with two hours between appointments on the other side of town from my home and office. In the past I would have either found a yoga or exercise class to fill the time, or driven back to the office (spending almost an hour in the car to get about an hour of work time). But not today. Instead, I parked myself at a coffee shop. Sure, I caught up on emails and blogged so it wasn’t like I was completely wasting time. But I also allowed myself time and space to be–just be–rather than focusing primarily on crossing items off my “to do” list.

Time to be. What a beautiful concept!

Be well!


Does someone on your holiday shopping list want to improve their health and well-being? Why not support them with the gift of health? (Or give yourself the gift of improved health and well-being.)

Purchase the well.well.well. coaching package before December 31 and save 20% ($200/month versus $250). Whether the goal is losing weight, improving nutrition and physical fitness, sleeping better, reducing or eliminating the need for medications, and/or reducing stress, this coaching package will help you design a comprehensive wellness program that will accomplish your goals and fit your lifestyle. Weekly coaching sessions and follow-ups will help you stay on track as you implement healthy nutrition, activity, and stress-management strategies.

Make 2011 the new of better health. Be well and happy holidays!

In the spirit of David Letterman:

10. It’s perfectly acceptable for me to wear yoga or running clothes to meet with my clients.

9.  I get to spend my days sharing my passion for health and wellness with others.

8. It is incredibly inspiring and satisfying to watch clients achieve their wellness goals.

7. I now have an excuse to do as much yoga as I want.

6. I love helping others find solutions to their health and fitness challenges.

5. Did I mention, I get to wear yoga pants to client appointments?

4. It’s really fun to watch clients’ attitudes and approaches to health and wellness evolve over time. I have commented to more than one that s/he has become lighter–literally and figuratively.

3. I feel as though I’m truly helping to improve the quality of the lives of others.

2. Did I mention how comfortable yoga pants are?

1. My clients are amazing individuals and I feel blessed to be part of their journey to wellness.

Be well!

Here I am. Turning my passion for health and wellness into a career as a wellness coach and consultant. Sharing what I’ve learned from my own struggles, breakthroughs and training, along with the experiences of my wellness clients. I welcome you to my journey and specifically to my blog.

I’m guessing that at some point each of my clients will recognize him/herself here (although wellness coaching is completely confidential and I would never share identifying details). In some cases, they will be correct. More often though, the experience or situation I’m describing could apply to any number of folks. The fact is we all struggle with many of the same challenges in our quest for health and wellness: time, money, lack of information, lack of energy, information overload, less than supportive partners and overall high stress to name just a few.

Much of what I’ve learned about wellness comes from my own experiences. Fortunately (and in some cases, unfortunately) I have a lot of experience in the area–from being a chubby middle-schooler to struggling with eating disorders in my teens and early 20s to getting healthy and fit only to lose  track of it after becoming a new mother. What I know is that I am happiest in ALL areas of my life when I am fit. I feel the least stressed when I am fit. I have better relationships with myself AND others when I am fit. I believe I do better work when I am fit. And, I believe that nobody can afford NOT to find the time to be healthy and fit. After all if you’re not healthy, nothing–job, money, house, family–can be fully enjoyed.

Through the years, I experimented with all kinds of diet and exercise programs before finding what works for me.  I believe finding what works for you is key. What works for me may not work for you. As a coach, my job is to help you determine what works best for you and support and motivate your implementation.

In addition to my own experiences in the area, I have read hundreds, perhaps thousands, of books on the subject, have participated in many workshops and seminars, am a RYT-200 yoga instructor, and recently completed training through the Wellcoach Institute. Despite my knowledge and experience, I continue to explore,  learn and evolve.

I welcome and thank you for joining me on my journey. I hope you enjoy the blog, learn something new from time to time, and progress on your path to wellness. I would love to know what you think, so please leave a comment. And, most importantly, be well!