Create Your 19 for 2019!

Create Your 19 for 2019!

This activity is fun, and easier than the Annual Review for goal planning. I made a list of all the things I could do to bring more joy and greater satisfaction to my life. I then ordered the list so that one-time items were at then top. Since some of these items are easier to complete, I will have the satisfaction of marking them done sooner. Here’s my 19 for 2019:


  • Family meditation retreat in MN or CA
  • New professional bag
  • Complete an indoor triathlon
  • Organize basement
  • Donate Maya’s old toys
  • Take a class with Maya
  • Redecorate home office
  • KonMari my clothes or get rid of one clothing item for every new item
  • Take a girls trip
  • Vacation in a new city


  • Automate finances and reconcile weekly/monthly with Mint
  • Simplify filing and file weekly
  • Get another yoga mat and do yoga weekly
  • Bike to office April-October weekly when temps above 40F
  • Meet with at least 1 friend each month
  • Go to a new restaurant or venue every month
  • Quarterly museum or live theater visit
  • Read 1 book for pleasure 1 for development each quarter
  • Give 4 coaching talks

For some of these I did not set the bar very high because I really want this entire list to be achievable. My theme for the year is “Embrace” so there is an emphasis on relationships, enjoyable activities and simplifying.

I want to give credit to Gretchen Rubin for the idea of the “19 for 2019.” You can hear more about it on her Happier Podcast – Episode #203.

I’m wishing you a wonderful and satisfying 2019. Get in touch with me if you’d like some strategizing and accountability along the way!

Better than any resolution

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past and had trouble lasting through the first month or even first week, it’s time to try something new.

The top reasons why so many people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions are:
1) they don’t have a clear plan of action
2) they don’t assess their progress

When a colleague introduced me to the Annual Review almost a decade ago, it immediately made sense to me. Chris Guillebeau, entrepreneur and author of The Art of Non-Conformity, addresses these challenges in his Annual Review. While it sounds like a retrospective of what you’ve accomplished this year, this resource facilitates planning for success with clear and actionable steps.

A summary of the steps to complete your Annual Review:
1) Make a list of what went well and what did not go well
2) Choose categories to focus your plans on such as Business, Friends/Family, Health and Service
3) Identify “Actions Required for Each Goal”
4) Plan for monthly and quarterly assessments of your progress and add them to your calendar
5) Optional: Choose a theme for year
7) Optional: Metrics you want to track such as Income, Charitable Giving, Number of books read, Number of new cities visited etc.

For a spreadsheet and more details on how to make use of this framework, read Guillebeau’s original post:

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is! I am setting aside a few blocks of time to complete this process in late December. This is an investment of time that will provide great returns by helping you more successfully complete your personal and professional goals. Having an accountability partner can help. Reach out to someone in your inner circle and invite them to complete their own Annual Review.

If you’d like support in completing your first Annual Review, message me on the Optima Results Coaching Facebook page!

Giving Thanks

This is a season that many of us celebrate Thanksgiving and ponder what we are thankful for. Since this is my birth month I feel grateful for another year on the planet. I don’t say this lightly, especially since one of my close relatives was diagnosed with breast cancer just a few weeks ago.

I realize I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family and community of friends. My health is good. I have everything I need (not everything I want, but this is a season for GRATITUDE over greed).

Rather than having a big birthday party this year, I had several small gatherings. Some highlights of the month that I feel grateful for:

Family activities including Chinese dim sum brunch and being treated to homemade keto-friendly birthday cupcakes

Dancing with my girlfriends

Meeting to discuss identity and a Mixed Race Bill of Rights

Laughs at the comedy club with my sweetheart

Participating in the Wise Women leadership program

Connecting with a coaching client face-to-face for the first time after months of phone meetings together

Taking advantage of matching grants for my charitable contributions on Giving Tuesday (a solo activity that helps me feel more connected)

Visioning about what I want and creating my theme for 2019: Embrace!

Please take a moment to consider what you are grateful for. Are there ways you can cultivate an attitude of gratitude?

The point in life is to know what’s enough—
Why envy those otherworld immortals?
With the happiness held in one inch-square heart
You can fill the whole space between heaven and earth.

Keto Treats – Cocoa Coco Nut

I was searching online for tasty nut butters when I decided to try to make my own creation instead. This is what I put together with what I had on hand. Deliciously low-carb and satisfying for 105 calories and 1 net carb.

Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons
Cocoa powder (unsweetened) – 1 teaspoon
Ground Hazelnuts (or pecans or almonds) – 1/4 cup
Cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
Nut butter (I used almond) – 1 tablespoon.
Almond meal (optional or equivalent amount of ground nuts) – 2 tablespoons
Truvia (optional) – 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon to taste
Whole nuts for garnish (optional) – 12-18 nuts

Blend hazelnuts in a coffee grinder or food processor and set aside. Heat coconut until it melts (a few minutes on the stove or 10-20 seconds in a microwave). Stir in the unsweetened cocoa powder with the coconut oil. Add the rest of the ingredients  including hazelnuts and stir. Pour into 6 cupcake liners (paper or silicone). Chill in fridge for 30-60 minutes and enjoy!

Nutritional information per serving (Serves 6)

Calories 105
Fat 10.5g
Saturated 4.5g
Polyunsaturated 0.3g
Monounsaturated 0.3g
Trans 0
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0.2mg
Potassium 23.3mg
Carbs 3.1g
Fiber 2g
Sugar 0.4g
Protein 1.9g

Seasons change and so can you!

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

The changing color of autumn leaves is a perfect example of impermanence. The reality is that most things change over time: our jobs, our lives and our bodies! Change is good but positive change takes intention and action.

What is one specific change you’d like to see in your life?

What is one action step you can commit to in order to get you there?

The Accountability Factor

Photo by Justyn Warner on Unsplash


Humans are creatures of habit and positive change is hard. One helpful strategy is accountability.

I cannot count the times clients have told me, “I know what to do, I just need to do it.” Knowledge does not create change without a plan of action. But for many people even having a plan is not enough.

Some people get the boost they need via apps and online challenges but many do best when they know someone is checking in on their progress and wants to see them succeed. If you are more likely to meet your exercise goals when you have a buddy to go to the gym with or lose weight when you go to a weekly weigh in, then you have experienced the benefits of accountability.

I’ve found this to be the case for myself this summer while seeing a physical therapist. As much as I want to heal my knee, it’s hard to do 30 minutes of PT exercises every day. When I don’t feel like doing my exercises or am not sure when I can fit them into my schedule, I imagine myself meeting with my PT again. I want to be able to tell him how consistent I was.

This is why accountability works and one of the many benefits of coaching. I will not be exercising at the gym with you or attend your weigh-ins but I can be that angel on your shoulder reminding you to make better choices. This way, when we meet again, you can feel proud that you’ve stuck with your goals and even prouder of the progress you are making.

I’m looking forward to partnering with you!


When is it time to give up?

Some coaches (in life, health or business) will tell you “never give up.” But sometimes it is important to know when to give up, or at least adjust your goals.
My annual goal is to run 500 miles. For the past few years I have put in my miles even while traveling for business or pleasure. I have run some weeks despite physical pain that slowed me down.
When I injured my knee this May in martial arts, I continued to push through it for weeks. After completing our annual belt ceremony, I put the martial arts training and running on hold to let my body heal and turned my focus to lower impact activities. Soon after, I had an accident while biking that sent me to urgent care. I realized the universe was telling me to take a break.
If you set a goal to train for an athletic event and then realize it’s not a good fit for your body or you simply don’t enjoy the training process, find another challenge that you do enjoy.
If you are at a job and realize you’re not passionate about the work you do, it may be time to change course.
For me, it was not worth continuing to push my body and risk being permanently sidelined. In the meantime, I have been focusing on walking to maintain my physical and mental health and slowly integrating swimming, yoga and kayaking. By doing what’s right for my body right now, I’m confident that I can count on my body to meet challenges in the future.
Sometimes obstacles will tell you this is not the right path for now. This doesn’t mean you give up, it just means that you must find another route to reach your destination or goal of better health, job satisfaction, etc.
How do you envision the life you want?
What are you next steps towards that goal?
How will you handle the obstacles you face?
I look forward to partnering with and supporting you in overcoming any obstacles along the way. My goal is to help you achieve Health, Wealth & Your Best Self!