One of the cardinal rules of coaching: For a commitment to be truly powerful, state where it is you want to go (your vision) rather than what you want to eliminate. My declaration for 2010 focuses on the theme of relationships.

In the past couple months, I’ve received valuable feedback (upon my request) from some terrific, honest coaching friends, regarding how I come across to others. I often feel rushed (and, likely as a result) tend to talk fast. I am the first to close out a conversation. I am usually only half-present; i.e. half-listening to my fiance, Bryan, tell me about his day while I half-finish up email. The result: Neither one gets my full attention and both suffer, particularly the one person I say I care most about but who I dishonor with each excuse of busyness. For the sake of my future and my business, this is no longer something I will tolerate.

To make my declaration to have more meaningful relationships actionable, this means I am committed to 3 specific goals:

1) I commit to look people in the eye, to listen more than I talk, to think before I speak and when I do speak to enunciate my words. I will be present to those around me, from service workers to clients to loved ones.

2) I commit to start each day in prayer and meditation, so as to connect more deeply with God.

3) Finally, I commit to end each day by journaling about my experience of the day’s events and my feelings, thus getting in better touch with myself.

How am I doing so far? It is amazing how clear-minded, calm, and connected I feel when I slow down and dedicate even a little bit of time to my chosen goals. And… some days I completely miss the mark. Just like life, commitments take concerted, consistent effort. I’ll keep you posted. After all, you’re in my life now, too.

And now, I hear my 98-year old grandmother (here for the holidays) talking with my mom and sister in the other room. I’d better go listen…