December 2009 Vol 2, Issue 12
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter


Jan feeling festive!
I thought it fitting, as I get deeper into my usual hectic December schedule, or "Grid" as I call it, to stop for a moment and reflect. Could it be possible for me to adapt my "Grid" and still get everything done? Were there ways that I could incorporate "being" into my "daily grid"? (See article below)
At this special time of year, I am filled with gratitude for the incredible people and gifts I have in my life.  That includes you, my readers, for supporting me and my work in the past year.  As I continue to build my coaching business, I realize, more than ever, not only how critical your support is to my business success, but also to me personally.  Thank you all.
I encourage you to join me and take a moment each day to give your "grid" a pause and simply reflect, give thanks, and "be". 
My best wishes to you and yours for a love, laughter and music-filled holiday season.
 jan signature
Jan Carley,
Certified Executive Coach and CEO of Creative Coaching Group
Feature Article:  5 Strategies for "BEING" while on the GRID  
Every December I put myself on what I call the "GRID".  The GRID is a technique I have developed for coping with an intense period of activity with a multitude of conflicting time demands that seem, on the surface, impossible to achieve. The GRID has been a very successful time-management technique and perhaps one day I will lead a course in "how to do more than humanly possible in less time". The basic principle of being on The GRID is simple - if something is not on the grid, you cannot spend time doing it as it will bump imperative things off your GRID.  

For instance, last December as I was mid-month on the GRID, my friend Cindy called me on the telephone. As she was happily (and leisurely) chatting about this and that, I had to cut her off mid-stream and say "Cindy, I am sorry, I can't talk right now,  this conversation is not on the GRID.  We will have to catch up at our scheduled social time 2 days hence.  And then I hung up the phone. I felt a bit mean, but the GRID is the GRID.  I had to do it.
As you can see, being on the GRID does have a downside.  Although you can get a superhuman amount of things accomplished while on the GRID, all spontaneity is eliminated and the concept of sitting and relaxing is non-existent. I feel pretty certain some choice moments are missed because of that.
So this year I vowed I would figure out a way to both "be on the GRID" and actually have some time to "BE" while on the GRID (I hope you catch the slight distinction!). I have outlined my 5 most successful strategies below.  
Five Strategies for BEING while on the GRID:
1/ Schedule time for BE - Sounds simple doesn't it?  Why didn't I think of that before? Schedule some "Being" time into your GRID and keep it as sacrosanct as your other non-negotiable obligations. I recommend scheduling one free night per week on your GRID. Call it a "BE NITE".
2/ Do it a new way - Do you always end up writing your Christmas cards at 3 am on the 21st and making a mad dash to the post office to get them delivered on time? Why not send out New Years cards instead? What a wonderful way to open the year - with your good wishes landing in someones mailbox in January. Creatively rethinking tasks that we jam into our December grid will free up more "being" time.
3/ Defer the Social: Create your January social calendar now. Who said that we have to get together for a Christmas drink with every single person we know? Make a list of everyone you would rather visit with in January when you both have more time and energy. Then, actually go ahead and schedule  time in January with that person. I guarantee they will be relieved as well - to have one less thing on their December GRID and the added bonus of a social engagement to look forward to in January.

4/ Stop, Look and Listen:  The GRID is a time to think carefully before taking on a new task or accepting another social invitation.  Before you say YES , 
STOP... your GRID and see how backed up you are
and LISTEN to your heart (do you really want to do that?)
5/ Give the perfectionist in you a holiday:  The GRID is no time to be mired in perfectionism. The GRID is about completion and coping with an extraordinary volume of activity. Every extra moment you spend re-arranging the Christmas dinner centrepiece so it looks just right, is time you take away from tobogganing with the kids, or watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special, or just sitting in your favourite armchair listening to holiday music.  The GRID does not allow for do-overs. Just getting it done is SUCCESS while on the GRID.  Once done, it is done. Time then to BE.
I hope you enjoy your extra "BEING" time...and you can look forward to receiving my Christmas Card in January!
Lightbulb of the Month
 blue bulb                       Overheard at the 2009 Evergreen District Men's Barbershop Competition:
A chorus begins singing "You are my Sunshine, my Only Sunshine".
A quite elderly gentleman sitting in front of me in the audience leans to his wife beside him, takes her hand and whispers to her "they are singing to you."  She smiles and squeezes his hand.
Harmony under the Christmas Tree - Jan's Gift Ideas
 Harmony from the Inside Out
Harmony in Writing *
The gift that keeps on giving.  My first book, Harmony from the Inside Out - Creating and Living your Performance Potential, is filled with concepts and exercises  that will add joy and possibility to anyone's life. Click here to order! 
With chapters such as: The "A" Game - Living in Possibility;  Why Not? Eliminating Your Limiting Beliefs; and Getting in Tune - Clearing your Inner Static, Harmony from the Inside Out will inspire you to create and live your best life.
"Jan is Canada's Ben Zander (The Art of Possibility). Read this book - your life will thank you!"                                           -Carollyne Conlinn, 2009 Canadian Coach of the Year
BULK RATES AVAILABLE: Stuck for the perfect gift for your staff, clients or colleagues? Bulk book discounts begin at 10 or more.  Contact for more information on how to order in bulk.
Harmony in Song Fandango Quartet    
Are you far away from your family or friends this Christmas?  My quartet, Fandango, has the answer for you.  Let us send your loved one a "Singing Holly-Gram".  We will call anywhere in the world between Dec. 20 - 23, and deliver your personalized greeting and sing the holiday song of our choice in a cappella 4 part harmony. We then will mail both you and the recipient an MP3 recording so you have the memory forever. 
Only $20.
   Order by emailing:


 Register now for this workshop, and then RELAX in January!   

Thursday, January 14, 2010    7:00 - 9:30 pm
Let 2010 be the year that you spend the first half of January without the frantic attempts to change everything in your life that you haven't managed to change for the past ten years.
Set yourself up for SUCCESS in 2010 by deciding to START YOUR NEW YEAR IN FEBRUARY.
Jan Carley Workshop Facilitator
How to do it:
1/ Register for this workshop and decide ON PURPOSE that you will START YOUR NEW YEAR IN FEBRUARY
2/ Relax and spend Dec 31 and the first part of January celebrating the year that was, and dreaming and visioning what you want your 2010 to look like
3/Turn those dreams into concrete action plans at the workshop and launch your new year in February
Do you know anyone with Parkinson's disease?  If so, check out the book my brother, Gord Carley, wrote called Surviving Adversity - Living with Parkinson's Disease. The book contains 28 profiles of individuals who share their inspiring stories of how they have adjusted to Parkinson's disease.  The book will provide readers with perspective and hope. It's a must read for people with PD, their family and friends.  50% of the proceeds go to Parkinson's research. click here for more information
If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog and newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up for her free ezine, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT, for creative articles and tips on giving your life and business the "inside edge." Creative Coaching Group,
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