Sunday, June 8, 2014

2014 Summer Edition

Welcome to the 4 Seasons of Change, Quarterly Blog, “Thyme for Change”.

It has proved to be a busy springtime. I will go ahead and provide you a status of my 9 Life Areas, as well as share some expectations that I am laying out for myself this summer. Although I feel like we haven’t spoke in a while, my hope is that we are becoming like old friends where we can get up to speed quickly without it being weird or uncomfortable at all.

As you recall, there are 9 Life Areas that I focus my coaching on. Each area is an important piece of our overall world. In order to achieve the balance that each of us seeks which is visible and felt through meaning, satisfaction, happiness and joy, all areas need attention and intentional care. I will not pretend that I do not neglect some areas here and there, but I will promise you that each remains in my roadmap that I navigate daily. As I tell my clients, I’m not perfect nor do I expect perfection; I give and want a deep-hearted try all of the time.

9 Life Areas
Spring Reflection
Personal Scoring, 1-10 (10 is totally fabulous)
Summer Focus
Wealth
I have increased my giving at church, Cornerstone Chandler, & my alumni school, Northern Arizona University
7
Keep all current commitments in this area.
Reputation
I continue to focus here on getting client referrals versus marketing. So far, so good.
7
Get a few new clients via referrals.
Marriage
My marriage has hit closure.
I am transitioning into a new chapter of life here.
5
Transition into a healthy, thriving relationship when honesty and acceptance of self is present.
Health
My health continues to be better than originally experienced early in 4SoC. Due to increase in time commitment with the kids, school and work, which includes travel, this is a constant battle. I have been proactive with acupuncture, new USANA vitamins (highly recommend), massages, resting when possible, training program and general stress management.
7
Don’t slack on progress made thus far in this area. Keep all health activities in check and a priority. Manage pain and stress with a naturopathic approach.
Grateful Heart Center
I am truly grateful each and every day at some point for my life. It’s like blessings are now an ordinary part of my day. I would never wish for anything more.
9
Create a new daily prayer specific to me and my needs; keep prayer that I say with kids.
Children
The kids had a busy and productive spring. Marcus continued with club basketball and worked with a trainer to increase speed and agility. He focused more on his schoolwork and his grades got a lot better. He was accepted to Payne Junior High School in Chandler District. He will be in the CATS Gifted Program. He is also a pre-teen PITA. Good news is that Marcus’s epilepsy remains under control. He has a new doctor at Phoenix Children’s Hospital that is helping us with that. Jaxon played baseball and did a great job as a teammate and player. He continues to excel in school and got straight As. He always struggled in handwriting but finally got it down. He is full of love and energy. He literally wears me out! Great news is that the boys graduated from therapy. Their counselor loves the progress they have made and sees them as smoothly into their two-parent world. That is most important to me that my kiddos seem well adjusted, productive and pretty happy with their little lives.
8
Have a fun, memorable summer. Include kids in my work schedule and travel as much as possible.  Ensure that they get lots of time with their friends and relatives. Prepare Jaxon for 2nd grade and Marcus for his movement to 7th grade (Junior High). Make sure boys remain active and lots of discussions about healthy lifestyles. Observe general happiness and be flexible with their needs.
Wisdom
I completed my 9th class in the PhD program. I just started my 10th one. It is Multivariate Statistics, and it might kill me. I feel so burdened by this program. It’s like a migraine that I have to deal with everyday without a break. I’m trying to leverage my persistence, but honestly it is a long, frustrating process.
Good news is that I did treat myself to my first MacBook Pro. I can’t say Apple Computer as I think my family had one in the 80sJ By the way, I am totally MacPro ignorant. Also, who knew that Apple is more compatible with my university studies than PC. Wish someone could have told me 3 years agoL
I have downloaded a ton of books. One of my favorite things about my clients is that they are always recommending books and articles for reading. Since we talk about their wisdom areas, I get a benefit from it. In addition, I’ve purchased a ton of magazines during the spring that are typical and out of the ordinary to get my creative juices flowing.
8
I need to finish class #10. This is the 1st big milestone…50% done with the PhD program!!! Then start class #11.
Basically, DON’T QUIT!
Career
4SoC continues to flourish. My clients are so diverse, it makes this fun, but even more important, challenging. I have learned even more about running my own business and what it takes to make it good for my family, my consultants and my clients.
8
I really want to focus on providing my clients an even better product and level of service. This requires more time researching needs and solutions. Now that many are settled into working with me, it’s time to kick it up a bit. This is actually the stuff I really like.
Spirituality
There has been a lot of travel over the spring. Marcus had a basketball tournament in LA, and Kennedy had a dance competition there as well. Different weekends of course. In addition, I traveled to Houston a few times, California and Tucson for work. Much of the travel was one the weekends, so church attendance has suffered. I continue to build my relationship with God through prayer, solo and with my kids, as well as my focus on gratitude. Also, my herb garden is another way for me to connect. I got my gardener to add a watering system. It’s now flourishing, although my cacti are drowning.
7
The travel plan is very nice for Summer Time. I am currently writing this blog on a flight to Hawaii. My parents surprised all of us with a trip for Christmas. So on the plane is Grandpa Bob, Grandma Deone, Sister Jaime, Cousin Kennedy, Baby Daddy Reggie, and Crazy 1 and 2, Marcus and Jaxon. Whoo Hoo!
I also have a handful of client trips to California, Del Mar and Newport Beach. I don’t want it to be too fun so apparently I may go to a place called Lancaster (in CA, who knew?). Also, I’m hoping to find myself up north in the mountains or something. I HATE AZ HEAT!!!
Although traditional worship through church will likely suffer, I’m happy to have new places and faces to find peace. Also, the client really likes a church in Costa Mesa, so hopefully I will be able to check it out.

Is it crazy to be so happy so much? If anyone would have told me that this is what my world could be like I would have never believed it. The day that Arthur Andersen shut it’s doors on my 8 month pregnant booty is the day I went from being totally quiet and conservative to a more bold risk taker. I now see what risk and hardwork versus just hardwork can bring me. I cherish that so much. If I can get my clients to feel even a portion of that, it is a job well done.

Are you wondering what types of work I really do? Are you in a rut? Are you looking for a change? Do you need growth that your current job just isn’t giving you? Are you simply a hot mess? Well, the three buckets of services that I can provide you include:

1.     Executive Coaching – Work one-on-one on your 9 Life Areas to get you on your most desired path.
2.     Business Coaching – Help you buy, sell, start or expand your business. Focus on revenue growth and strategic planning. Enable your people to rise to the level that you need to achieve goals.
3.     Leadership Development – Leverage The BLooM Project that 4SoC offers by Bringing the Leader out of Me! Or You! Or Everyone on your team!

Reach out anytime. Learn more at www.4seasonsofchange.com.

In closing, I would like to provide you with a lovely quote:

"Ho'onalu"

(This is the Hawaiian words for meditation. It means literally - 'to make like or be like a wave' more clearly it means 'to go with the flow'.)

Mahalo, 


Carli Ann McClure, CPA

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thyme for Change Blog - April 2014

Thyme for Change Blog - April 2014
Carli’s Program of Purpose Update

Well, it is time to check in with all of you. First quarter of the year has quickly slipped away from me. I will be posting quarterly going forward, as we now also have a quarterly newsletter on leadership put in place.

Where to even begin?

I have spent most of my time being a mother to Marcus and Jaxon. They continue to be spoiled with me taking them and picking them up from school the majority of the time. In addition, I have been working with my host of clients, all with various wants and needs. The diversity of projects keeps me always learning, as well as very intrigued. Of course school is like a thorn in my side. I have just completed my 8th course. I am officially 40% done. We will see if I really am the determined person I tend to be and keep moving forward. With all of that, I have refocused a lot of time and resources on my health. It still is better than I could hope for but sits in a valley most of the time. This is the piece that I am committed to for the next quarter, along with time with the boys on their finishing the school year and hopping into summer break. As for my clients, I am working on my spring and summer schedule with all of them and happy as a lamb to be able to continuing on creating great changes.

The specific update on my 9 Life Areas is as follows:

9 Life Areas
Current Status
How I feel about this status on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being fabulous!
Wealth
Going swimmingly
Need to get tax return complete and all payments made
Meeting current financial obligations timely
Increasing giving to church for new building project
8
Reputation
Treat all of my clients like the VIPs that they are
Network with the organizations that people that make a difference
9
Marriage
Focused on having a respectful and co-parenting relationship
7
Health
Personal training 3x a week
Yoga 1-2x a week
Walking – when inspired to enjoy the outdoors
Personal maintenance – high priority
8-10 hours of sleep a day (I need LOTS of rest)
8
Grateful Heart Center
The Boys
My Family
My Friends
My Clients
Basically --- my crewJ
10
Children
Keep them focused on their responsibility chart & reward them for the great things & hold them accountable for the others
7
Wisdom
PhD land – figured out my potential dissertation topic.
Question: What is the impact on performance and career progression for professional, educated women with a minimum of 5 years of work experience of being mentored by women only, men only, or a combination of men and women?
7
Career
Loving the individual clients that I coach and the organizations that I work on leadership and change management
9
Spirituality
Feeling more connected to God on a daily basis
8

With an average of 8.11, that’s not too shabby.

To close it up I asked my niece, Kennedy age 13, what she would like for Easter. I usually pick her up a little something. She smiled and said, “The new Miley Cyrus CD.” I was kind of thinking she was joking, but I could tell she wasn’t. As Miley has been in the media quite a bit with her new image, I just laughed and said ok. I figure if this is something harmless that makes her happy, whatever. I’m sure we will have bigger issues to worry about later on. So based on that, I will use a quote from the she-devil herself:

“Life’s a climb. But the view is great.” – Miley Cyrus

 I actually do believe this this thought as well as love her older, cleaner song that discusses this concept. I continue to focus on my climb every day. I actually smile at the fact that I am moving my blog to quarterly for a bit. I am focused on enjoying the climb versus writing about it. Are you???

Until then, Carli

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Thyme for Change Blog - January 2013

Carli’s Program of Purpose Update

Happy New Year! As I am happy to be in a new year with a promise for more adventures; my 2013 was a very interesting one.

This month has been like water constantly in motion, waves high and low, some type of pattern and yet completely unpredictable. It's like you know the water is coming to the shore but when it hits your feet you react like it's shocking that you actually got wet. Knowing that this would be my December, I tried to take matters into my own hands.

This December I told myself that I would take an approach similar to the one I took for Thanksgiving. Due to this particular holiday, traveling is out of the question, but I could embrace a BOB (Bit of Brillance). I told myself and others that I would be holding this holiday based on a humorous holiday movie, Christmas with the Kranks i.e. Carli. As I have two small children, wonderful family and friends and amazing clients, it would be done in a different style, but mission completed none the less; 10 Missions to be exact!

Mission 1: I am holding a client appreciation party in January 2014. First, as a coach it makes sense to start the New Year off in the right direction, so it actually makes sense. Also, everyone is so busy in December. Lastly, I want it to be a celebration of gratitude and promise. It will be lovely.

Mission 2: I sent out an email to my family that I would not be purchasing thought provoked gifts this year due to the various circumstances and they had 48 hours to reply with their wish list of they were at my mercy or chance of nothing. This turned out to be a fabulous approach. All replied. They actually liked the directness of being asked. I did 90% of my shopping online in 24 hours. Awesome!

This turned out to not only be ingenious, but hilarious as well; it made me understand my age and that of my parents. I’ll start out by saying that I literally do have the best and coolest parents. They are 58 and 64; I am 37. So their response to my email was first off, shocking, but secondly insightful. Typically my mom always wants “more time to think about what she wants”, which leads to me just getting her whatever I want. As for my dad, he seriously never will give anyone any ideas. It’s a total crap shoot. Not this year. Mom asked for a heated mattress pad…I had to google that. Apparently they make them. When I purchased the unexciting gift, I called and asked if there was anything else. She said flannel sheets. Ok then, done. As for dad, he sent me an email asking for a pair of brown leather loafers. I was impressed. Nice, easy, functional. Ordered them, done. Then I get a second email from him. Apparently he thought I should get him a black pair as well. He hasn’t bought “dress” shoes since he left Motorola for retirement. FYI, I was a sophomore in college. He has worn the same shoes for about 25 years. Ordered them, done. Then the third and final email asking for a gold ASU zip up hooded sweatshirt and white leather Reeboks; I pawned that 1980 something request off to my sister. He’s too cute for that. We did the sweatshirt but updated the shoes to something a bit more current. What will they ask for at 70 and 80? I only hope I will get the chance to find out J

Mission 3: My kids are sitting in the midst of a divorce that is heartbreaking for all. In order to try and do the right thing, I coordinated with both my quasi-husband and Santa to provide my children a somewhat normal Christmas. We worked as a team on the gifts.

Mission 4: Holiday cards for one and all. First off, even with the business, I limited cards to about 120. This may sound like a lot but for me I used to do about 80 without a business. Although the cards didn't go out until between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I consider this a decent win.

Mission 5: Decorating the house into a winter wonderland. The Saturday night following Thanksgiving travels, I didn't have the boys. I wanted to get up all of the general decorations and the tree bases. Then the following day we would be doing our Thanksgiving dinner on 12/1 at the Melting Pot and Holiday Pictures. Post those events, we could do the ornaments, Jaxon loves that part. That Saturday was a bad one. Four stockings went down to three. I cried. Ornaments I've collected over 36 years are my life and I knew many would be lost to time and change. I kept all of those boxes closed. I turned into a minimalist. Anything that wasn't completely my taste or easy went into various giveaway boxes as charitable donations to the ex-husband, sister and those in need. Done...I made it. Well, except for when Jaxon asked about the pile of ornaments the following day that I didn't have the heart to hang. I told him that they make me sad. His response was that it made him sad that I didn't want to put them all up. At another moment he asked about the missing stocking. Some things make life too hard.

Mission 6: No Christmas Day Open House. I've hosted this Christmas evening for as long as I can remember. I simply can't do it.
 
Mission 7: Focus on work and pretend nothing else matters. I'm actually fairly good at this one.
 
Mission 8: December13th is my birthday, so I have that one to deal with also. Again, pretend that it isn't all that important. Spend most of the day with people that don't know. Try not to cry one time. Didn't that day at least, fabulous.

Mission 9: Making new traditions for me and the boys. We saw a play just the three of us. Movies at night in my apartment (i.e. huge bedroom suite area); this is a huge treat for them. Simple back rubs and comfort even when I feel as though I have nothing to offer makes those two little guys so happy and me the same.

Mission 10: Being ok with heartbreak in all areas of my life. Learning to be alone majority of the time has been a blessing and a curse. I’ve had time for work (i.e. clients), school (i.e. PhD Hell) and personal reflection. It’s a very hard lesson knowing that many love you and want to be with you, but it isn’t the right time. Better luck to me in 2014.

Unexpected Mission Derailing: 100% down with the flu the entire week of Christmas. God got me again. I said I wanted to miss it and he is like “ha” there you go little Missy! Technically, Little Miss Shit Pants! The best part of that was the trip to urgent care followed by the pickup of my prescriptions at Walgreens. That wouldn’t be a big deal except for the cutest and allegedly single pharmacist was working the holiday week. So not only does he know about all of my regular prescriptions, he now knows I pooed my pants the entire holiday season. Guessing that possibility is a bit awkward… I will say that the ex-husband did help take care of me and the boys during my down time, impressed.

9 Life Areas Summary:
Wealth = ok
Reputation = fine
Marriage = divorce still going; paperwork messed up, may never end
Health = lots of pain; working on this
Grateful Heart Center = Boys, Family, Friends, Clients (basically my people) and God of course keeps me company a lot
Children = Jaxon is an animal, Marcus goes up and down
Wisdom = 2 week school break; in class 7....
Career = fortunate to work with great people; lots of opportunities
Spirituality = remembering I am here for a reason and trying to live it daily

Group Blessing Request: 
A final prayer for Marcus’s Dr. Laura Sweetman, she was his pediatric neurologist that passed away this holiday season without a warning. She is a beautiful, single mother of three that truly made a difference in the world especially ours as Marcus has done with epilepsy. She will be truly missed. It is in this moment and many like these that I triumph on doing what I was here to do as we never know when our season may pass. For more information on this lovely woman see her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CBS5AZ/posts/783630718329001

Closing Quote:
"I heard a bird sing in the dark of December a magical thing and sweet to remember." 
- Oliver Herford 

January will be me beginning again with my goals for the New Year. It will be funny and uplifting. It will provide a synopsis on how I kicked off 2014.

Until then, Carli