Take Time for Your Life: A 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want

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Overview

America's #1 personal coach offers an inspiring, practical, seven-step program to help you create the life you want.

Step 1: If you think "selfish" is a dirty word, learn to practice extreme self-care—put yourself at the top of the list and everyone else will benefit!

Step 2: If your schedule doesn't reflect your priorities, stop reacting to life and take control of what gets...

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Take Time for Your Life: A 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want

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Overview

America's #1 personal coach offers an inspiring, practical, seven-step program to help you create the life you want.

Step 1: If you think "selfish" is a dirty word, learn to practice extreme self-care—put yourself at the top of the list and everyone else will benefit!

Step 2: If your schedule doesn't reflect your priorities, stop reacting to life and take control of what gets your time and attention.

Step 3: Identify the things that drain you and eliminate them—people, places, and things—once and for all.

Step 4: If you feel trapped by money, investing in your financial health will stop making you feel like a victim.

Step 5: Kick the adrenaline habit! Identify the things that fuel you and discover healthy, new sources of energy.

Step 6: If you feel lonely or isolated, learn how to surround yourself with high-quality relationships that support, challenge, and encourage you to be your best.

Step 7: Don't let life get in the way of your spiritual well-being—connect to your inner wisdom and create a personal practice.

Packed with useful exercises, checklists, personal stories, and a wealth of resources, Cheryl Richardson's program will show you how to step back, regain control, and make conscious decisions about the future you'd like to create. Take time for your life—and begin living a life that you love.

Imagine finding time to do all the things you want to do. Having plenty of energy for family and friends. Having control over your income and finances. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being. If you feel as though the life you're living doesn't reflect your true priorities and is leaving you stressed out and unfulfilled, you're not alone...Take Time For Your Life shows you how to step back, regain control, and make conscious decisions about the future you'd like to create.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cheryl Richardson's Take Time for Your Life shows you how to create a life you love where you have more fun, money and control."
—James O'Shaughnessy, author of How to Retire Rich

"Cheryl Richardson is a wise and loving woman. Her advice is as excellent as it is fun to read."
—Marianne Williamson, author of A Return to Love

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767902076
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 258
  • Sales rank: 232,667
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Cheryl Richardson was voted one of the top ten coaches in America in 1997 by readers of The Professional Coach magazine. She was the first president of the International Coach Federation and co-created the "Body and Soul" conferences sponsored by New Age magazine. Richardson is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the country.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: What Coaching Can Do for You

Would you like to change your life? Do you long for a sense of community? More time for yourself? Would you like to take better care of your health, reduce stress, and create more balance in your life? Well, you're not alone. More and more people are tired of the fast-paced, frenzied "information age" and are interested in higher-quality lives—lives in which they have more time for themselves and their relationships, more energy to invest in their emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Whether you're a corporate executive working sixty hours a week, a single parent trying to raise a family, or someone who's tired of feeling stressed out and pressed for time, you have a choice about how to live your life. You can step back, reevaluate your priorities, and make a conscious decision about the future you'd like to create. How do you make such a decision? Where do you turn when you decide to improve the quality of your life?

When your body is out of shape and you need help getting fit or losing weight, you hire a personal trainer. Wouldn't it be great if you could do this for all other parts of your life? Well, now you can. With the help of a "personal coach," you can shape up your life and overcome the obstacles that get in the way of living a life that you love. In a sense, you can hire a "personal trainer for your soul."

When people hear that I'm a coach, the first question they inevitably ask is: "What sport?" Once I tell them that I'm not an athletic coach and that I coach people to create lives that they love, they wonder how coaching is different from therapy. It's understandable that most people would confuse the two—therapy is the closest model we have to this new profession called coaching. But the two are very different.

Coaching is not about processing your emotional history or diagnosing and treating mental health issues. Coaching is action oriented, with a focus on a client's current life and plans for the future; although therapy deals with a client's current life, the focus is usually on the past and the healing of emotional wounds. There can be overlap between coaching and therapy, and a well-trained, experienced coach should know when a client needs therapy instead of coaching. Because of this, I've developed relationships with experienced, licensed professionals, and it's not uncommon for us to refer clients to each other.

There is a growing need for more than what therapy provides. In therapy, clients may talk about the changes they'd like to make in their lives, but the "how to" and the resources are often missing. Yet such information is critical to my clients' success. Clients want someone to help them design a new life. They want a guide who can anticipate the obstacles on the path to this new life and help navigate around them. They 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 action in spite of their fears. This need is now being met by personal coaches.

The need for coaching became evident to me while I was working as a tax consultant more than fifteen years ago. The time spent with clients was often very personal, requiring an intimate look into their lives. Typically, we'd talk not only about their finances (income, spending habits, and debt) but also about their medical history, family goals, and career plans. The questions they asked often concerned decisions that needed to be made about relocation, relationship conflicts, business dilemmas, or the challenge of balancing work and family. This led to longer conversations about life in general.

Although tax consulting can be a straightforward, "just the facts, ma'am," kind of job, my practice developed in a different direction. Year after year, in addition to their tax folders, clients brought me their life stories, wanting my advice and support. They needed a sounding board, an objective listener who could provide a fresh perspective. I learned how to create an environment in which people could feel comfortable and safe enough to talk about their lives freely.

In private, they would share with me their fears and concerns. Business owners, afraid of losing clients if they raised their fees, would let their own well-being suffer instead. Corporate employees, needing to support their families, struggled with how to handle political issues at work or the insensitivity of bosses.

Together we found solutions to the problems that were causing them stress. Sometimes, simply hearing an objective perspective would make all the difference in the world. Other times, finding the right language to communicate their needs allowed them to get unstuck and take action. Most important, knowing that they were not alone and that others grappled with the same kind of issues provided them with comfort and much needed support.

Over time I became less interested in preparing people's tax returns and more interested in helping them prioritize their lives to spend more time with their families or fulfill a secret dream, like starting a business or having a child. I decided to stop providing my tax consulting services and start responding full-time to the greater concerns of my clients. I began to do this by holding workshops called "Secrets of Success" and speaking to groups about everything from goal setting to relationship-building strategies. People were relieved to find someone who could help them overcome obstacles to better their lives. One thing was clear—there was a need for "life planning" but there was no one to turn to. This need for objective guidance and support has spawned the profession of coaching.

Many people from all walks of life are turning to coaches to help them build better lives. The reasons may vary, but the bottom line is always the same—they want to improve the quality of their lives in some way. My client Shirley is a good example.

Shirley is the vice president of sales for a fast-growing biotech company. By most standards, she has reached a considerable level of success—she earns six figures, shares a beautiful lakeside home with her husband, and is a recognized leader in her field. But Shirley doesn't feel successful; she feels exhausted. Her day begins at 6 A.M. with a trip to the gym and continues nonstop until 8 or 9 at night. Most days—among the endless meetings, phone calls, and social engagements—she finds herself dreaming of a different life, a life that includes more time for herself, less stress, and a chance to express her creativity. Shirley's tired of living her best life in her head.

My client Joseph is a corporate employee who's already been the victim of downsizing and is afraid that he's headed in the same direction again. Joseph goes to work every day filled with anxiety, fearful that each day may be his last. After giving ten good years to his employer, an architectural firm, he knows that the marketplace has changed, and the company is now involved in restructuring. With mounting debt and one child headed for college, Joseph can't afford to miss a day of work, let alone lose his job.

And then there's my client Norman, the owner of a successful financial investment firm. Norman travels at least twice a month to visit clients scattered throughout the country. He has eight sales associates who call him at all hours of the day and night and a fiancée who complains that they never spend quality time together. Norman feels like life is rushing by at lightning speed, and he's starting to get nervous. He jokingly admits that he needs to stop and get a life, but he can't seem to slow down.

Joseph, Shirley, and Norman are caught in a trap. Each has come up against the kind of obstacles that prevent most people from taking control of their lives. For example, Shirley has no time for her life and feels frustrated by all the demands placed on her. She struggles to carve out time for the things she really wants to do—like taking a class and working in her garden. What's stopping her is an inability to put herself first. Shirley needs permission to make her self-care a top priority over anything else.

Joseph, on the other hand, appears to need another job, fast, but a new job is only part of the solution. The source of Joseph's problem is his vulnerable financial state. His credit card balances are maxed out, his mortgage is too high, and his family spends more than they make. To truly be in charge of his career, Joseph needs to invest in his financial health.

As for Norman, he may need to learn new skills to manage his employees better, but the first order of business is for him to manage himself. He's running on adrenaline and must learn how to slow down and use healthier sources of fuel.

As a personal coach, it's my job to listen carefully, beneath the symptoms of a situation, for the source of the problem. If you're feeling exhausted, a better diet or exercise program will certainly help, but you may first need to identify and eliminate what's draining you. Or, if you're constantly undermined by people who criticize you or put you down, setting boundaries can make a difference, but sometimes you need to trade in those unsupportive relationships for more life-enhancing ones. If work has taken over your life, finding a way to manage your time won't solve the problem. Instead, you'll need to manage yourself, get your priorities straight, and focus your attention on what really matters. Most important, if you long to live a more authentic life, one that reflects your values and desires, then you must give your spiritual well-being a more prominent place in your daily life.

Over the last fifteen years I've coached hundreds of clients who have wanted to significantly change their lives. During weekly telephone meetings, I listen carefully as clients talk about what they want and don't want in their lives. Over time, I've identified seven common obstacles that consistently prevent people from living lives that they love:

You think "selfish" is a dirty word. You have a hard time putting your needs before others and often end up feeling frustrated and resentful about the commitments you make.
Your schedule does not reflect your  priorities. You find  yourself exhausted at the end of the day without enough time left for the things that are most important to you.
You feel drained by people, places, and things. Your life feels like one long list of things to do that never seem to get completed. Your office still needs organizing, your home may be full of clutter, or you may feel drained by a friend or family member's constant complaints.
You feel trapped by money. You're tired of not being able to make the choices you want because of financial constraints. You may be saddled with unwanted debt, struggling to make ends meet, or feeling unsatisfied with the way you spend your money.
Adrenaline has become your main source of fuel. You're constantly running from one appointment to the next. You'd like to relax but you can't seem to slow down. Peace of mind seems like an impossible goal.
You're missing a supportive community in your life. You feel isolated or disconnected from others and long to share a deeper connection with a community of like-minded people.
Your spiritual well-being gets last place in your busy life. You'd like to spend consistent time in meditation, prayer, practicing yoga, or other forms of spiritual self-care, but life keeps getting in the way.

These are the seven blocks that, when given time and attention, can easily be turned around. Overcoming these obstacles is the focus of this book. If you're willing to work hard and invest your time (which this book will help you find!) and energy in this process, I promise you, your life will change dramatically. You can make the shift and put yourself in charge of how you live your life.

You can live a life you love, and I'd like to show you how.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgment ..... ix
Introduction: What Coaching Can Do for you ..... 1
1: Put Yourself at the Top of the List ..... 1 7
2: Get Your Priorities Straight ..... 52
3: What's Draining You? ..... 79
4: Invest in Your Financial Health ..... 103
5: What's Fueling You? ..... 141
6: Build a Soulful Community ..... 182
7: Honor Your Spiritual Well-Being ...... 220
8: Your New Life ..... 245
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 17 of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2000

    The Power of Reviews!

    It is amazing how much you can gain from other people's book reviews. I had an interest in 'Take Time for Your Life' and didn't realize how much I could get out of it. I read the review from a 34 year old hotel owner from Germany whose review changed my life. I went right out and bought this book. Through reading this book, I became aware of how to make taking care of myself a top priority; to be in control of what I really want in my life; and to become more active, not letting my life just pass by. Go out and buy this book. It will give your life a boost in the right direction. Another book the hotel owner recommended is called 'Working on Yourself Doesn't Work' by Ariel & Shya Kane. This book showed me how to see my mechanical behaviors that were influencing the way my life was showing up. The authors introduced me to a reality that allows me to be who I am and to notice my greatness. Buy this book, too! It also changed my life, it could change yours too!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2006

    Take Time To Read This Book

    This book is extremely helpful in identifying the things in your life that are holding you back. Her program is such a natural process that you don't realize how easy it is. I have a better understanding of myself and what I want out of my life. I have told several people about it. You won't go wrong.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    The 2 Best Life-Changing Books

    I have followed Cheryl Richardson's great advice and it has significantly improved my life. But when it came to finances I still needed a little more specifics. A book I had seen on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, called 'SIMPLE MONEY SOLUTIONS: 10 WAYS YOU CAN STOP FEELING OVERWHELMED BY MONEY AND START MAKING IT WORK FOR YOU,' by Nancy Lloyd has shown me everything I ever wanted to know about money -- and some things I didn't know I didn't know. It has shown me step-by-step how to become financially independent, as well as the hidden costs and hidden risks of debit cards, online bill-paying services, home-equity loans and 401(k) plans. It also has several great chapters on what we as parents need to tell our toddlers through teens about money and credit. The book is a quick read and the advice is very easy to follow. Both books will change your life!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2002

    Take the Time to Read this Book!

    In one word, Excellent. Okay two words, Powerful. Read this book today and create the life you want!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2001

    Great Inspiration

    This book shows how to switch from being stressed, unfulfilled, and overworked, to 'living a life you love' by using a seven-step process. First, it gives you permission to 'make the quality of your life your top priority' by honoring your self-care - a difficult choice for many of us, but essential. Putting yourself at the top of your 'to do' list will help you connect your head with your heart and increase your joy. Next, you define your priorities and revise your schedule so it reflects them. Then you figure out what actions and people are draining your energy and start to 'plug those drains.' The next step is getting your financial house in order. And so on, through seven strategies that free you to live a high-quality life, embracing your spiritual, emotional, and financial well-being.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2000

    Great Book

    Very helpful. This is on my list of favorite feel-good books, second to 'Encounter with a Prophet'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    A GREAT BOOK!!

    I found some great insights reading this book. I took Cheryl's advise to 'Chuck It' and found my home to be alot less cluttered and my energy level lifted after I threw out or gave away clothing and other belongings that needed mending or fixing but had been hanging around for way too long. I also like all the resource listings Cheryl provides, because it enables the reader a quick turn around time for action. A very valuable resource for me is a book called 'Working on Yourself Doesn't Work' by Ariel and Shya Kane. The Kanes' book is an easy to read guide to self discovery that has enabled many people including myself to create lives that they had only dreamed of. Since attending many of the Kanes' seminars, reading their book and listening to their inspiring audio tapes, (I highly suggest checking out the audio tape called Magical Relationships)my life has and continues to IMPROVED DRAMATICALLY on all level, be it in my job or relationships.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2000

    The 2 Best Personal Coaching Books

    Cheryl Richardson has made a huge difference in the way I look at life and manage my time. By following her suggestions I have been able to clearly see what's important to me and how to reach the goals I want. After reading this book cover to cover (twice), I realized that taking charge of my finances was the one last thing that was holding me back. I felt overwhelmed by financial issues because I didn't even know what I didn't know (pretty sad, huh). I recently bought a book that I saw on 'GOOD MORNING AMERICA.' It's called 'SIMPLE MONEY SOLUTIONS: 10 WAYS YOU CAN STOP FEELING OVERWHELMED BY MONEY AND START MAKING IT WORK FOR YOU,' by Nancy Lloyd. It has changed my outlook and boosted my bank account. Like Cheryl Richardson, Nancy Lloyd is a fantastic coach--a money coach. She motivates and boils down the information to such simple terms that even my 4th grade daughter was able to follow almost all of it. (I understood and could follow the entire book -- something I've never been able to do before with a money book.) Cheryl and Nancy's books are both blessings and have changed my life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    Tells it Straight

    I love the honest, no-holds barred approach to getting your life where you want it. I had some major relationship troubles and this book helped me take control again of my own destiny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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