"TAKE TIME FOR YOUR LIFE" by Cheryl Richardson 

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Additional thoughts of Graham White in highlights

Coaching is action oriented, with a focus on a client's current life and plans for the future.  a well-trained, experienced coach should know when a client needs therapy instead of coaching.

Clients want a partner who will remind them of their greatness when they forget, give them the tools to get unstuck, and challenge them to take actions in spite of their fears.

A coaching relationship is a partnership between two equals.  Relationships with clients are based on the belief the client is intelligent, mature and capable people who want support in defining achieving their goals.

  • Coaches must ask provocative questions.  They need to rely on the inner wisdom of their clients to provide important insight into what is needed to plan the next step.
  • Coaches give direct advice and information.  Drawing on personal experience as well as work with others, coaches provide a variety of expertise and resources.  This helps clients to avoid the mistakes that others have made.
  • Coaches provide the focus and structure of ongoing support needed to stay in action.  They celebrate their clients success, hold their hands through difficult periods and act as a steward for the lives they most want.  Coaches are partners having only their client's success as their agenda.

A client will work towards achieving the following 7 steps:

1.  Put yourself at the top of the list.  Learn to make the practice of self-care your priority.  Build a strong relationship with yourself and connect to the inner voice of wisdom that reflects your true desires.

2.  Get your priorities straight.  Stop reacting to life and start taking control of what gets your attention and time.  Set new priorities that mirror what's really important to you and learn strategies to ensure that they are honored.

3.  Determine what's draining you.  Identify and eliminate what drains you, whether it's a disorganized office, a cluttered home or a friend that constantly complains and drains your energy.

4.  Invest in your financial health.  Learn specific ways to get your finances in order and build reserves so that you no longer feel like a victim of life.  Attract more money by practicing basic money management skills.

5.  Determine what motivates you.  Replace adrenaline with healthy forms of energy--like the company of good friends, fun exercise and activities that fulfill you.

6.  Build a supportive community.  Surround yourself with a community of high-quality relationships that will support, challenge and encourage you to be your best.

7.  Develop spiritual and mental well-being.  Take time for the most important relationship of all-the connection to your inner voice of wisdom.  Begin to work towards a habit of spending time every day connecting to the things that have deep relevance to you and what your contribution to the world is.

-Your life is not your work.  Work may be part of your life, but it is not your life.

-the "Myth of More":  search for happiness through the pursuit of more money, better jobs, nicer things and fancier vacations.

-reward yourself along the way as you complete various parts of your projects.


-your Absolute Yes list must be filled with things that are truly important to you.

If you're like most people, you probably find yourself saying yes to things that are not a priority to you.  For example, you may agree to have dinner with a coworker simply because they asked you several times and you feel obligated.  You might take on an extra project at work, adding to your stress level, because you want to be seen as a hard worker.  Or a family member calls in the middle of dinner and instead of telling them you'll call back and enjoying your meal, you stay on the phone and start to feel aggravated as the conversation drags on.  These kinds of choices, often made quickly without much thought, will rob you of your most precious gift of time.

Challenge yourself to put some space between a request for your time and the response.  Tell them that you'll get back to them with your answer and take time to think about it.

-Know where your time goes--how you spend your time reveals your priorities.

-Decide what you want!  Let your inner wisdom guide you to set the right priorities.

-Create an Absolute Yes list and let it inspire you to live a great life.

-Honor your priorities--bring them into your daily life, learn to say no and most of all, take time for you!



As you take care of the things that distract you and drain your energy, you'll create time and energy to apply to things you want to enjoy.



-Most of us have never received any basic training in the art of handling money.  It seems we go straight from independent, carefree childhood to the fiscal responsibilities of adulthood.  Feeling insecure about money, we rarely seek help until we find ourselves in debt, approaching middle age and struggling to save or coming up short at the end of the month.  The way we handle money may be based on the way our parents handled money and chances are, they didn't receive any training either.

Once you take full responsibility for your financial health, money stops being a source of frustration and starts to flow into your life naturally.  It's NOT a matter of making more money.  (Parable of the master and servants looking after the talents).  

Most people don't have an accurate account of what it costs to live each month or where their money goes.  Do you know how much it costs just to drive across town to visit a friend?  How about how much money you spend at the convenience store on snacks?  Any idea what you spend eating out?  

What's your attitude toward managing money?  Do you avoid thinking about it, expecting money to just take care of it yourself?  Do you obsess over every penny, trying to gain control over your worry and anxiety?  If you are someone who never balances you checkbook, pays your bills late or puts off filing your tax returns, then how can you trust yourself to handle more?

Delayed gratification is an important muscle to build.  Giving up something you really want for the sake of your financial health sends a very strong message to yourself that you're trustworthy with more.


A sound financial plan is the ONLY guarantee for a sound financial future.

  • From: I must work hard to make a lot of money.
  • To:     I make money by working smart.
  • From: I always have just enough to get by.
  • To:     I always have more than enough.
  • From: I can never really be debt free.
  • To:     I enjoy the freedom of living debt free.
  • From: If I make too much, people will want some.
  • To:     Abundance is my right, and I decide who I help.
  • From: I can't be spiritual and have lots of money.
  • To:     God wants to provide abundantly for me.

Don't Just Celebrate Achieving Your Goals, Enjoy the Journey!

Create a Grateful State of Mind

  • Focus on what you have in your life that makes you happy
  • Determine the things you have right now that you can contribute to the benefit of others
  • Instead of getting together to complain about your life, talk about what IS going well

Experiences cost little or no money, yet bring substantial joy.

  • Have dinner at your place or a friends.
  • Spend time with friends.
  • Read a good book.
  • Make love.
  • Take a long hot bath or shower.
  • Take a walk with a loved one, or by yourself.
  • Have a games night.


  • Coordinate the dates of when bills are due.  Most companies are happy to do this and it will make it easier to pay all your bills at the same time each month.
  • Use electronic home banking.  Most banks allow you to automate your bill payments directly from your account.
  • Pay all your bills first and put all the money aside for the rest of the months expenses before you spend money on entertainment, eating out, clothes, etc.


  • Make a list of all outstanding debt.
  • Pay off the debt with the highest rate of interest first.
  • When you eliminate one debt, have an inexpensive celebration


  • Buy your own home.  At a minimum, if you own a home with a basement suite you can rent, you shouldn't starve to death when you retire.
  • Aim to put aside a minimum of $100 for every member of your family a month.  You may need to start at $10/month, or even $1/month, but start and built your way over the course of a number of years of responsibility until you are saving $250/person in your household.  This will pay for retirement and your children's education.
  • Begin educating yourself on investing.  Read, hire a financial planner and know what is happening with your money.

Cheryl Richardson, a coach and previously a financial planner, did not have her own book keeping done.  After being challenged by her own coach, she spent 12 hours organizing her books onto Quicken.  The following year, she noticed her income had risen by 35%.  By eliminating the things that are holding us back, we begin to experience success in all the other areas of our life.


Walk through your home.  Take note of how each room makes you feel.  Do you feel relaxed and peaceful, or agitated and overwhelmed?  rite down the specific changes you need to make in each room in order to contribute to your feeling of relaxation and contentment:



Office _____________________________________________


Kitchen ____________________________________________


Living room _________________________________________


Bathroom __________________________________________


Storage Area ________________________________________


Garage ____________________________________________


Other Area _________________________________________


Car _______________________________________________


WHAT'S FUELING YOU pgs 153-155


Determine realistic steps you can take and maintain for the next 6-12 months, no matter what comes up.  Don't set up a plan that will only work if everything is perfect in your life, set up a plan that is easy.  Maybe you choose the first Saturday in the month to be the one day you do all the right things.  As you experience continued success with this, add on another day, then every Saturday, then every weekend etc.  Start with what you KNOW you can do, not what you HOPE you can do.


Remember how fun it was at Christmas to go through the Sears catalog and circle or cut out all of the things you want?  Cut out pictures from catalogs and magazines of the things you'd like to have in your life.  Glue them to a backing in a way that is appealing to you and add any affirmations or words that inspire you. 

BE OUTRAGEOUS.  Fuel yourself by doing something wild and extravagant every now and then.  Create a list of things that you'd love to do.  They can be free or extravagant.  Make sure you do one at least once every 3 months.

  • Is there a place you've always wanted to visit?
  • Are there people you'd like to spend more time with?
  • Is there a hobby you've wanted to begin or do more?
  • What would you do if you had a day to do whatever you want?
  • Is there a book you've always wanted to read, or reread?
  • Is there a sport or activity that you've wanted to try, but haven't, maybe because it scares you a little?
  • Is there a class or workshop you've wanted to take?
  • Is there a culture you've wanted to learn about?
  • Is there a new career direction you'd like to explore?

Pick one and take action within the next 24 hours.  You can choose a very small action, even just writing down a list of resources that will help you accomplish your goal.


Life is too short.  Our lives our made richer by the relationships that we share with each other.  When you come to the end of your life, what will you remember most?  Will you want others to know how much money you've made?  The successful careers you've had?  The education you received?  Of course not.  You'll want others to know how much you love them and how much you appreciated the opportunity to share your life with them.  You'll want to feel loved and connected in a way that leaves no room for regret.

Our busy lives keep us disconnected from each other (even the people we live with), and we miss out on opportunities to experience the kind of connection that touches your heart and makes you feel grateful for someone's presence in your life.  Community makes us whole.  It heals us, challenges us to be authentic, and most important, teaches us to love--ourselves and each other.

Begin to put yourself into a community of individuals who are committed to doing whatever it takes to create the life that they love.  It's extremely important to have a loving community that will support and encourage you as you change your life for the better.

It can be very painful to realize that you've outgrown a relationship and unsettling to those who feel like they've been left behind.  You must develop new relationships that support you, or you will be pulled back into the life you were trying to leave behind.

Avoid those who blame everything and everyone for their problems.  Avoid those who constantly complain about their situation.  Avoid those who are always asking for help to bail them out of the circumstances they've created.  Avoid those who criticize you and put you down.  Avoid those who "poo-poo" your new ideas and direction in life.  Avoid those who gossip about you or others behind their backs.


  • What friends build you up and motivate you?
  • Who do you trust to bare your soul to?
  • Who is in your professional community?
  • What experts do you have to do the tasks you aren't able to do yourself? (house and vehicle maintenance, lawyer, accountant, dentist, doctor etc.)
  • Who is in your emotional and spiritual community?
  • What relatives do you enjoy spending time with?
  • Who would you like to get to know better?
  • What experts do you need to develop? (This is more important than most people recognize.  The amount of time and stress you save by having a well developed professional team is substantial). 

It is risky to reach out to others.  You may be rejected or disappointed.  It feels incredibly vulnerable to admit that you'd like to develop new relationships, regardless of your age.  Since most of us long for a connection with others, the odds are in your favor.  Be willing to risk giving it a try.

Our lives are not pre-ordained.  God does not put the difficult circumstances or rewards in our life.  It is our ability to choose how we deal with any circumstance that makes us special.  God doesn't want good people to suffer or die or evil people to prosper any more than we do, but he has given us free will.  That free will is the gift that allows us the choice of how we respond to our circumstances.  We can make the right choice, or the wrong choice; we can make a loving choice or a selfish choice.  It's up to us.

You can't have a deep relationship with someone, not even yourself if you're overwhelmed by life.  If you don't know yourself, you don't know what your gifts are and have no idea what your "authentic self" actually is.  You must first begin to organize your life and look after the areas that are out of balance before you have the ability to know what it is you have to offer the world.

At one point or another, we long for more meaning in  our lives--a sense of purpose.  Trying to hear your inner wisdom beneath the roar of a busy life makes this an impossible task.  Once we're in the rat race, we quickly lose the ability to listen to our inner self, let alone maintain constant connection to a spiritual way of life.

In order to being identifying our most important goals again, we need to eliminate the things that stand in the way of living the fulfilled, authentic life we desire.  We need to live a life based on inner truth.


  • Walking down the sidewalk and having a profound sense of being loved and affirmed by God.
  • At a symphony feeling like you're one with the music.
  • Watching your child being born and understanding on a deep level what real love is.
  • Visiting church and connecting to God in a way that makes you feel connected.
  • Remember a time when you had a gut instinct about a direction you should have moved in.  Remember the regret about what happened when you didn't follow the directions.


  • Find a space that feels right to you.  It may be in the corner of a room, out on a walk or somewhere private.
  • Create the mood that facilitates meditation/ communication with your inner wisdom, God or sense of purpose and truth.


  1. Are you taking extremely good care of yourself?  Do you take time out of your schedule every week just for you?
  2. Have you updated your Absolute Yes list in the last 3-6 months and does your schedule reflect these priorities?
  3. Are you tolerating any person, place or thing that is draining your energy?
  4. Are you living within your means, saving consistently, and investing wisely?
  5. Are you fueling your body, mind and spirit with good sources of growth?
  6. Are you strengthening your soulful connections with the important people in your life?
  7. Are you consistent with your spiritual practice, listening and acting on the wisdom of your inner voice?


  • A willingness to take full responsibility for everything that happens.
  • A high level of integrity and a desire to continually raise the bar.
  • A belief that you are part of a greater whole and every action matters.
  • A strong commitment to serve others
  • An enormous capacity for love and compassion.