Category Archives: Uncategorized

Go Complaint Free

The power of being complaint-free

Let’s try this one tiny experiment.
When’s the last time you complained about something?
Last week?
Yesterday?
Most likely, it was today.
Maybe even an hour ago…

It could be that the coffee was too hot, or too cold.

Maybe that receptionist was rude.

That salesperson inattentive.

Or, your husband did that thing he does that he KNOWS makes you crazy….

6 years ago, when I really started feeling dedicated to this work, I really resisted this piece.
It was Day One of a life coaching program, and we had to sign a contract, committing ourselves to being complaint free.
“Who does that?” I thought.
“WHY would they do that?”

I’d started the program because I was not just exhausted, I was also miserable.
Intensely miserable, controlling, angry, and pretty shitty to be around, especially for my young children.
I woke up every day, and my very first thought was: fuck. Not again.
Sleep was a refuge, a space where I didn’t have to pay attention to how miserable I was, how miserable I was making my kids, and how little my husband wanted to deal with my mood swings.

Not fun.

And first day of this program was going COMPLAINT FREE?

Nope.

I resisted.

In fact, I’ve gone through the program 3 or 4 more times, and every time, on day one, I feel resistance.

The fact is, though, that going complaint free was just step one.
It makes it easier to do all the other steps, and the core of that program and what I now teach my clients: Self-Awareness.
Particularly, of your thoughts.

Attempting to go Complaint Free means you have to pay attention not only to what you’re saying every day, but also to what you’re thinking.

I learned that the goal isn’t just to stop complaining, but the real goal, the real benefit is realizing how easy it is to default into complaints.
How habitual it is to focus on the negative.
How the negativity we swirl around in all day every day has a very real impact on how we feel.

Try this for a week.
Go Complaint Free.

Don’t judge yourself if you find yourself complaining. Allow yourself to notice how you feel while venting. Allow yourself to pay attention to the physical sensations of complaining:
Tense Muscles.
Furrowed brow.
Shallow breathing.

Then, switch it up.
Say to yourself: Even though this issue deserves all my negative thoughts and words about it, I don’t deserve to feel like this.
Move from the negativity to a neutral place.
Choose to feel better.
Choose to let it go, for now.

Then, notice how your body feels.

I promise, it is worth it to bring attention to this difference.
It won’t stop the crappy things you want to complain about from happening, but it will change how you deal with them.

Let me know if you give this a try at Lani@LaniHarmon.com

What’s In The Way???

You’ve got goals.
You’ve got big dreams.
You’ve got checklists and timelines and ideas and all the details you need…

But you’re not making progress very quickly.

Sometimes, figuring out what’s in the way is the hardest bit of all.

Certainly, life moves pretty fast.
It’s got a lot of moving parts.
There are responsibilities and commitments, and the ones we’ve made for others tend to take priority over the commitments we’ve made to ourselves.

It’s possible to shift that balance of focus back to your goals and feel good about it.

If it’s time for you to feel clear, every day, about where you spend your time, and what to do next to make progress on your goals, let’s chat.

Set up a FREE Office Hours appointment, and we will know by the end if this is the right next step for you to reach your goals faster than you imagine is possible.

Comfort Zone VS Courage Zone

There are always things we want.

New wants, desires and goals are born in us constantly.
It’s kinda one of the few things we can count on.

The trick is to be moving towards our goals, towards our desires, rather than away from them.

There is a lot of pretty language and lots of talk in the coaching and personal growth community that you can reach your goals and do it without challenges if you think positively.

Thinking positively is a big piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the whole thing.

The real truth of this is that you need to practice thinking positively while also being UNCOMFORTABLE.

Not scared.
Not powerless.
Not paralyzed.

Uncomfortable.

Here’s another little known correlation:
Creativity and discomfort are often bedfellows.
Creating is uncomfortable.
Creating takes courage.

When we take risks, we need to begin to practice tools and techniques that help to mitigate that feeling of discomfort. You don’t want to make it go away – but you do want to make it your friend.

When you are able to dance between your comfort zone and your courage zone more consistently, not staying in one zone or another for too long, you’ll begin to see real progress towards your goals.

What are you ready to do that takes courage?
What are you ready to do that’s creative?
Where are you willing to be uncomfortable?

Goal Planning

What’s your next big goal?
Is it business, or personal?
Is it something you’re working on ‘in your free time’?
Or have you incorporated it into your daily to-do list?

What makes the most sense for you to make progress?

Does it have a deadline? A due date?
Even though you might not have attached a specific day to have this goal finished, you’ve got a really clear idea of when you want it done, just kinda floating up there in your head.

There’s a lot of talk lately about back-engineering a project, creating the list of action items that flow backward from the deadline to the current time. Each smaller step has it’s own deadline associated with it. That’s really valuable and a great resource for making progress.

But what if you end up off track?
What if you’ve back-engineered the whole project, and then you miss some of those deadlines on the smaller project. Just a little, maybe a day or so… but as you approach the end of the project it all starts to snowball.

Then what?

What’s the story you tell when you get to that point?
Is it worth it to continue on?
Do you move the final deadline?
Is that even possible??

What if, prior to even really starting the project, you’ve analyzed the back-engineered steps and you’ve also included the possible distractions and pitfalls that will hinder the progress, throw off the smaller deadlines, and snowball into a panic toward the end?

What if, instead of seeing only one possible path, you have a couple? You’ve recognized the most likely things that will prevent you from completing the smaller steps by their deadline, you know what’s likely to get in your way, and you make a Plan B or Plan C that allows you to shift and flow in a way that a single plan of action really doesn’t allow.

This is my specialty – helping you map the multiple routes your progress might take, and create an awareness that acts as a guide instead of a straight jacket.

Free-flow planning takes into consideration the pitfalls, stops, blocks, distractions and intentions of the project, and creates clarity, focus, and a sense of peace about how things are most likely to roll out over the length of the project.

This same process can be applied to the plans you have for a month, or a quarter, or even a year.

If you’re curious, message me today with your interest or questions at Lani@LaniHarmon.com
If you’re ready, go here. 

Craft a Morning Routine

One of the most valuable pieces of my day is my morning routine.
When I don’t have a chance to do it, the impact throws off my whole day.
This isn’t about doing my hair, or personal grooming – this is about grooming my mind and spirit in a way that allows me to feel connected to source throughout the day – aligned with my goals and with my intentions on how I’m choosing to be in my life.

The three elements of my routine are so simple, and it allows for maximum flexibility.
That means that I don’t do the same thing every day, because that’s not something I can realistically maintain. It’s just not in me. You can set yours up that way, but I know myself well enough that I won’t follow through.

Here are my three elements:
Spiritual Connection
Intention setting
Movement

That’s it!

Now, each of those elements above has a rotating set of tools I use, like so:
Spiritual Connection – this is to reconnect with my Big Why – the reason I get out of bed in the morning. This is a relationship with Source, with my own Divine Guidance.
The tools I use are: : Quiet/Meditation/Tapping/Energy Clearing/Going outside
Intention setting – this is to powerfully create my day.
The tools I use are: Write it down/3 Priorities/Journaling/Tame Your To-Do List process
Movement – This is to wake up my body, be present with the physical pieces of me.
The tools I use are: Stretching/Yoga/Dance/Core work/Walking/Bodyweight/Movement techniques.

This handy little resource is going to help you craft your own morning routine based on these elements.

First, you need to choose:
Will your routine be variable?
Or are you looking for the ‘ideal best practice’ for you to follow in the same way every day?
Are you able to be flexible? Or does it need to be a system?

Once you know if there’s room for variation or not, you’ll need to decide if my 3 main elements are the same as yours.

And, what’s your toolkit? What are the things that create the actual action items of your morning routine?
Would you rather include a simple self-care breakfast? Would you rather add movement later in your day? What are the elements that bring you back into alignment with yourself and your goals that you’re willing to do every day?

Make a list of the things that bring you back into alignment. Write them out. They may be tools, concepts, actions, events… once you have a list of these things that bring you back to center, you’ll start to see that they fit into categories – they link together in certain ways.
As you link them together to the core reason you do them, the core piece that you get from the action or tool, you’ll have your elements!
Allow this to develop over time.
For now, it’s enough to know what actions and tools, concepts and events bring you back into alignment with yourself.

This is the list you’ll want to choose from to get started crafting your morning routine.

Other types of elemental tools:
Reading an inspirational text
Silence
Meditation (quiet or guided)
Spending time outside
Affirmations
Connecting with others/family
Healthy foods
Visualization
Tidying up
3 Priorities (link to blog post)
Journaling
Exercise/Movement

As you review your list of things that bring you back to center, allow yourself to be pulled towards 3 or 4 of them.
These are the things you’ll start with.

Trust your instincts here. You’ll be able to tweak this as you go along, but the important piece is to get started.

Once you have the 3 or 4 things that will feel good to do each day, consider the timing.
How do your mornings currently go?
Where will you make time?
Where does this fit?

(If this is making you panic – start small. Use a timer. You can do as much as 30 minutes, or as little as a single minute to begin the process of realigning each morning.)

Now you have a bit of a formula:
Tools/Elements that bring you back into alignment.
Timeframes.
Intention to get started.

Put this into practice tomorrow!

Join The Distillery on FB and share how this process worked for you!

Live your Best Life…

When I ask potential clients what their Best Life looks like, it’s often full of ‘more money’, ‘more free time’, ‘more travel’, and other things that their current life is lacking.

That’s great stuff. I’m all for dreaming big and creating a big shift in how you show up in the world.

AND.

Here’s the thing I REALLY want potential clients to get: You have the option of living your best possible life, right now. This minute. With everything pretty much exactly the same.

You’ll still have dirty dishes.
You’ll still have laundry.
Your kids might not brush their teeth for days, even when you ask them to.
You might still be dealing with some sort of crisis.

AND.

It’s totally possible to not only be ok with all of that, it’s also totally possible for you to thrive in the middle of all of that.

Lottery winners statistically default back to their original income level, or worse. Statistics show that 70% of lottery winners end up bankrupt within 5 years.

Because change that happens without the inside shifts to support it don’t last.

If, however, you make the decision to love your life right now, dirty socks and all, something inside begins to grow and change and create a kind of safety net that no matter what the wind may blow at you, you’ll weather the storm.

Once that inner knowledge takes root, it requires just a little support to really make a difference in the way you approach life.

Things bother you less.
Life’s curveballs don’t knock you off the plate.
You might even find a kind of peace about doing dishes.

All of those smaller, incremental changes to how you think about the life you currently have begin to add up to real change. It adds up to real shifts, and those dreams that felt too big to be true originally suddenly feel not just possible, but inevitable.

I’ve seen it happen in my life, and I’ve watched it happen for my clients.

The internal support needed to navigate life feeling at peace even during challenges is cultivated over time, and the root is a kind of deep self-acceptance.

The tools needed to process old hurts, create new patterns and habits of thought, and rework your life to your liking – they all take time. There’s no magic pill, but the way it all starts to work when you work it starts to feel like magic.

If you allow yourself to get quiet, ask yourself:
What is the first step to radical self-acceptance?
Let the answer arrive. Don’t judge it.
Then, take a deep breath, and go do that.

You can create the kind of self-acceptance you need to love your life, right now, on your own.
All the tools you need are available to you.
And, if you’re ready for more support, you can message me here: Lani@LaniHarmon.com

COMMIT

If you are going to take time off, COMMIT.

I’ve had this conversation 3 times this week.

  1. We need downtime. For some (I would dare to say all) it’s of vital importance to our mental health and our ability to be kind to those we love.
  2. We will need (slightly) less downtime if we allow ourselves to have it.

That means, do not waste energy, thoughts or emotions on the long list of things you could be doing. Do not give in to guilt or pressure to ‘tough it out’.

Spending time (and more importantly, energy) on anything other than rest/decompressing is the actual waste, not the time off.

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Turning Fear into Excitement

Cat and title

There is something about a new year/fresh start that can trigger my automatic fear response.

My instincts are telling me to take it easy, to not make a decision until I’m sure.

If there is one thing that almost 10 years of having my own business has taught me it is that I’ll never be sure. Not ever.

There are so may lies in fear.

Unless I’m super clear about my next steps (and, honestly, even when I AM super clear) I feel the tension, overwhelm and inertia that signals me to pay attention to what I’m afraid of.

This time, there are a lot of thoughts about:
getting it wrong.
wasting my time.
going in the wrong direction.
not making progress.
putting in effort without seeing results.

Well. That’ll make you freeze and stop taking any action, won’t it?

One thing is sure though.
Let’s say I don’t take any action. Let’s say I allow myself to feel paralyzed, to be immobile, take the ‘safe route’ and just do what feels familiar and reduces my fear sensation.
Guess what I get then?
Wasting time.
Not making progress.

So, the fear is a self-fulfilling prophecy, isn’t it?

What’s the solution then?

First, for me, I acknowledge the fact that I’m stuck in fear, that I’m feeling resistance.
Then, I breath.
There is a quote that says: Fear is excitement without breath.
So, particularly when I’m feeling fear, I also find that I’m not breathing very deeply.
I think carefully about fear, and if I can pinpoint the exact fear I’m feeling, I focus on that and breath as deeply as possible.
This slowly starts to shift the fear into excitement…
It shifts ‘what if I get it wrong?’ Into “What if I get it right?”
It shifts ‘what if I waste my time?’ Into “What if people find it helpful?”
It shifts ‘it feels like I’m going in the wrong direction?’ Into “At least I’m moving forward, and this is like a create your own adventure story – I decide what the wrong direction is, and I trust myself to know when I’m going there.”

Listen, I know this sounds far too simplistic, but I challenge you to give it a try. Since there is no real lion chasing me, I know that the fear I feel is actually a lie, and that means I get to change the story I tell about it.
Breathing deeply helps me do that.

Come on into The Distillery and let me know if you tried it, and how it works for you.

 

The state of your physical space reflects the state of your inner space…

The state of my room = the state of my brain = the state of my life.

Right now, there are crazy layers of stress in my life.

There’s the fall-out from things last year: keeping up with Daniel, making sure I know if he’s having symptoms, etc.

There’s the fact that the house is a mess.

There’s my somewhat neglected business because of a busy schedule the last quarter of the year.

There’s the boys busy schedule, making it hard for me to find time for myself.

There’s some family stress as two members are going through some seriously stressful times.

There’s Christmas decorations still up that need put away.

Typically, I can keep my room to a state where it can be an oasis.
Right now, that’s not happening.
There are unfinished projects.
There are baskets of clean laundry.
There are remnants of old office spaces.
There are craft supplies that don’t currently have another home.

It’s a hot mess in there.

This is a circular, cause and effect happening.

The time I thought would be here, in January, for a nice reset, to get the house and oasis back in order, and bring peace and serenity back to my brain and life; simply hasn’t been available like I’d planned. My days off have been spent out of the house, or resting to offset the physical challenges that come from high levels of stress.

I can see the impact my stress is having on my physical spaces.
I can see the impact my physical space is having on my stress.
I can see how one impacts the other in a vortex of overwhelm.

The solution is to clean and organize.
Ideally, I would spend a whole day while the boys and Mark are at school or work, just going to town.
That’s not possible right now for a variety of reasons.

So, I’m using my tools, writing a huge, specific-to-my-physical-spaces brain dump, then using that to break the tasks into smaller and smaller steps.

That way, I can make progress in the limited time I have available right now, and schedule a real day of for cleaning in a few weeks.

I need to take this huge job and break it down into manageable steps, or the vortex will continue to suck me in to overwhelm.

Update:
While Matthew did his snowboarding lesson, I did the work needed to bring some clarity and peace to this process. It’s a huge job, BUT when I break it down into it’s smallest possible steps, everything falls into place. The order things need to happen in, things that need to be done so the rest of the work can be done.
Here’s a sample of what the process looks like. This is draft one. I created 3 full pages of tasks, and then I’ll go back and create the order of operations checklist that I’ll follow over the next few weeks.
I still desire a full day alone to really dig in, but if that doesn’t happen any time soon, this Plan B will work wonderfully.

Project planningWhich makes me ask:
Is there a project or goal you’re putting off because it’s too large?
Would you like to see if it’s possible to break it down into smaller pieces so you can get moving on the right direction?

Message me at Lani@laniharmon.com and we can take a look at new ways to approach your overwhelm.

Progress tracking

Years ago, long before my first coaching experience, I took about a year off work and stayed home with my two boys.

I’m good in corporate.
I’m excellent with tasks that are done when you complete them.
I’m good with clear roles, clear responsibilities.
I’m good with ending the day feeling clear about what I accomplished.

I sucked at being home all day with two small kids.
It was a totally new way to be in the world.
It was a challenge end the day with any kind of satisfaction.
Mostly, it was the story I told myself during that time, about being a productive member of society, what that looked like, and the role of woman’s work.
This post isn’t about that, though.
It’s about a simple tool that helped me change the story that I sucked at being home, sucked at getting things done in this new, distracting setting.

Being an entrepreneur feels a lot like being home with two small kids… except the distractions come from INSIDE instead of from toddlers.

When I finally had enough of beating myself up and feeling a deep sense of despair, I started this practice:

Each night, I wrote out what I did that day.

I made a big list of all the conversations, interactions, and connections I made with the boys.

I wrote about the tasks, chores, accomplishments I completed, even if I knew I’d have to do them again tomorrow.

I listed as efficiently as possible all the things I actually did all day.

After a time, I found the story had shifted from a victim story to one of empowerment. I could see the things that needed to change, the things I was actually good at, the parts I enjoyed.

I began to learn tools, talk more honestly with my husband, create more space for myself to be alone, and slowly shifted my story to one that created solid, happy, healthy relationships with those I love most in my life.

I write about this now, because I find that I’m at a similar place again, and I remembered this tool. I’ve been using it again for about 3 weeks, less consistently than that year – but the story I’m telling myself now isn’t as deeply rooted. Even with the inconsistent effort and the short time frame, I’m seeing the same shift take place – from a story I tell where I’m the victim, and need saved, need something or someone to fix something to make me feel better – to one where I’m empowered and powerful, and I get to choose.

This is possibly the first tool I developed for how to be in the world when you tell yourself shitty untrue stories and believe them. It’s also possibly the simplest.

I have more tools to change your story and change your life – and if you’re interested in working with me, you can find details for that right here.