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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Six Steps to Help You Move Forward

The new year is a time for reflection, and for man, a time to make resolutions, a time to make plans to change unproductive behaviors and learn to make more beneficial choices. Life coach Carleen Sterner and visionary Lisa Thelen find a setof six steps to be very helpful, both in their own lives and when working with clients hoping to make positive change in their lives. The six steps can be used with anything from daily stressors to contemplating a career change. Thelen and Sterner say the top three issues people struggle with are: money, relationships, and time.

The six steps are:

1. Pause. When something is stressing you out, making you upset, or clearly not working, just take a break, pause. 2. Breathe. Remember to take some nice deep breaths. This offsets the effects of stress and enables you to think more clearly. 3. Look. Observe where things are, where you are. What are you doing and/or saying? How is that making you feel? What is it doing for you? Is it helpful? Thelen and Sterner emphasize that this step should be non-judgmental. This isn’t about deriding yourself; it’s about understanding whether a pattern or habit is bringing about the results you’d prefer. 4. Choose. Decide, specificall, what you can do differently that might have a better outcome. 5. Commit. Make the commitment to pursue this change. Don’t just say, “I’ll give it a try.” Actually change your patterns of behavior. We can change our neuropathways, but only when we actually DO something differently—not just think about doing it. 6. Celebrate. In big or small ways. When you do the new changed behavior, smile, make yourself a cup a tea, do a happy dance. Enjoy that you have made a positive change.

Sterner and Thelen recommend that you start with awareness, with being in the present. Intention is also key, and working through the six steps clarifiesintention and accountability. Realizing that you have a choice is a starting point, which leads to opportunity, which leads to growth.

Both Thelen and Sterner recognize that there can be some initial frustration with using the six steps. In those cases, they recommend starting with just one or two steps, and when you feel comfortable practicing them, add another step. You get to decide how much you want to work on at a time. They note that step 3, Look, often causes the most anxiety for people, because it is so important not to judge yourself but rather to learn to love yourself and look for each opportunity for growth.

If you would like some help in working through an issue using the six steps, contact Thelen or Sterner.Lisa Thelen, LLC,, 715-271-1371; Carleen Sterner, Creative Life Coaching, LLC,,

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