Tag Archive for: COVID19

How’s the new year/new decade going so far?

Did you set any new year’s goals or resolutions? How are those going?

You have probably heard some of the statistics around resolutions. Nielsen did a study a few years ago showing that only 64% of resolutions last longer than the first month, and 46% last longer than six months.

While some of these numbers are better than I thought, they also show that, basically, resolutions don’t work! However, I have something that may help your goals stay in place longer than the statistics show.

It starts with writing out a robust vision of the future.

Now, I’ve written about vision before Vision and Values and Achieving Career Goals with Vision and if you are a client, you know that I always begin with helping you to define the vision. Vision is so important because this becomes the foundation for setting your strategies and goals to attain that vision.

Vision can be around any aspect of your life…relationships/family, health, free time, vacations, etc. This article focuses on careers. As you set the vision, it’s important to dream big…very big. I like to think about it this way….if you could have, do, or be anything in your career, what would it be?

This is the first question you want to ask yourself in creating a vision.

The second question is, around what is important about that vision? What about the vision is compelling for you? What makes you think about this as a vision? Having the reason for your vision helps to inform the importance of the vision for you personally.

Example of a career vision: I see myself promoted to Assistant Vice President of Marketing. I have Directors reporting to me and we are focused on exceeding the goals of the corporation with effective metrics and Key Performance Indicators. Becoming a VP will fulfill my desire to achieve and be recognized in the corporation. It will also present me with the career challenges and financial compensation that I’m looking for in the future.

Another example: I see myself as an entrepreneur, running a successful bakery, and café. I have a passion for baking and love serving others so this would be an ideal situation for me to pursue.

The second is a simpler version of the vision but works equally as well.

The vision should be stated in terms that make it robust, compelling, personal, (although you can share), and truly paints a picture of the future that you want to have.

About 20 years ago, I was inspired to write a vision for my future based on listening to some Tony Robbins (amazing speaker and motivator) tapes. The vision I wrote was to go to Hawaii for the first time (Vacation vision). The second was a Career Vision to get promoted two levels above where I was…to Sr. Director.

As I wrote these visions, I didn’t know how I was going to achieve them, I only focused on what, and that’s important as you are visioning. Don’t get caught up in the practical wisdom. With my two visions, I had wanted to go to Hawaii for a while but had never declared it as a vision. For my career, I had been waiting for an overdue promotion to one level up…two levels seemed an amazing vision.

The wheels were set in motion once I defined the vision. I didn’t even write specific goals on each of these but thought about the visions daily. I started taking actions (very important) to achieve the vision…like researching more about Hawaii…where to stay, how much it would cost, etc. I also began to make it clear to my leadership that my goal was to be promoted, and began to act as if I were already at that level.

The result…my husband, son, and I vacationed in Hawaii that summer, and I was promoted that same year, right after I returned from Hawaii! I received the second promotion six months later!

This convinced me of the power of a vision, and while I don’t always practice it for myself, I was reminded of this powerful practice recently through a coach collaboration group I’m working with.

I kept my written vision in front of me every day and dedicated some time to think about it. This is one way to keep it before you. Another is a vision board that you can do physically or electronically as well. Anything that will help keep the vision before you is important.

Is it time to think about what you really want in the future? The beginning of a new year and new decade are perfect times to vision what areas of your career and life you would like to focus on. Start from a clean slate. Forget the past…this is all about you having the career and life you really want!


Consider your career. Where do you see yourself in the next year/five years? What is your vision? Write this down and be sure to include what’s important to you about achieving this. Then use a vision board or other reminders to inspire you daily.
I would love to hear some of your successes out there with setting a Vision!


Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.


For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com



Time management is always important, but even more so in this time of COVID 19.

The virus is all about disruption, and sometimes we forget that could also apply to our daily routines.

How long has it been now? It seems as though we have been in the pandemic quarantine for months, yet I can trace back to March 13th, 2020 as being the date when it officially started for me. That’s 4 weeks ago from today, as I write.

Time almost literally stopped. I found myself in the midst of the tsunami, having to hurriedly prepare for life under quarantine, and that became a problem for all of my regular work that still needed to get done.

As I finally caught up on email and daily to-do lists recently, I realized that they all stopped on that fateful Friday the 13th. It seems I’ve been a bit distracted since then, as have we all.

When the brain is in survival mode, it’s difficult to concentrate on anything else.

I had to re-invent how I tackle my daily/weekly/monthly to-do list. I set about to experiment with some different approaches. I actually made a game of it, trying different techniques every day.

  1. Set aside time on the calendar for strategic work
  2. Hold myself accountable with a partner
  3. Change how I listed items
  4. Tackle lower priority items at night after office hours

I was trying to find a new way to get it all done when an old way came to mind.

I love the story from 1918 (ironically, the time of the last major pandemic in the world). Charles Schwab was the president of Bethlehem Steel. He was in search of better ways to get more done for himself and his team, and so he hired a management consultant named Ivy Lee.

Lee had a method for time management. He was so convinced that this method would work, that he told Charles Schwab to try it for 3 months, and then send him a check for whatever he thought the method was worth. So, Schwab and his executive staff tried it for 3 months. At the end of the time, Schwab wrote Ivy Lee a check for $25,000 (over $400,000 now).

The method is simple yet powerful. In my “corona confusion,” I remembered it and tried it out again:

  1. At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you start the next day, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every workday.

I can tell you this works! I think the basic premise of why is that it is so simple! It also forces you to focus on what is most important – your priorities for the day, one at a time. It helps you to ruthlessly prioritize the most important work. I’ve found that the things that didn’t make the priority may not have had to get done anyway. It also keeps you from multitasking which studies have shown is much less effective than a single focus.

Is it time to reinvent your daily work and priorities?

Please remember to be kind to yourself and others. You’ve been through a lot. We all have. Maybe there really are some things that don’t need to get done during this time.


Please try the Ivy Lee method above and see if it may bring more productivity to your day. Also, I am still offering a free coaching session to all of you through April, to talk about the impact of the pandemic, or anything else on your mind. Please schedule here https://calendly.com/upcoached/60min.


Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.


For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com



How do you adapt to change?

You go through so many changes in your career and life, and it should get easier as you continue to go through. Right?

Enter COVID 19, wherein a very short period of time we have all had to transition, dramatically, to staying and working from home, and possibly also supporting children through eLearning or homeschooling. We have also lost many of the privileges in our society that we took for granted in the past, and are living through tremendous uncertainty about the future.

Everything has changed, from our simple routines of shopping at the supermarket to having to wear masks and social distancing. The change is something that I don’t particularly want to embrace, but then I always think about Carl Jung’s expression, “What you resist persists.” Think about that statement, and let it inspire you to find ways to embrace the situation you are in at this time.

It starts with acknowledging this is a tremendous change for everyone. Period.

This change is global but is very personal in terms of your own adaptation. Consider a few thoughts to help you understand where you are in the change cycle and how to make that work for you:

1. Realize that you’re not alone in struggling to rapidly adapt to change. We are all in this together. It helps to talk this through with others and, with help from technology, there are so many ways to do this, other than a phone call. Keep communication going.

2. Communication at work is even more important at this time. As I mentioned in my article Suddenly Working From Home: 12 Tips to Support your Virtual Office and You, visibility and crafting your message are real priorities now. You want to ensure that leadership sees your participation and, where possible, innovation, and creativity while working from home. If you are a leader, your team needs accurate and timely communication from you.

3. Take care of yourself. If there was ever a time for self-care, this is definitely it. The trick is to figure out what that is for you. Clients, for example, have told me that they are postponing vacation time beyond the pandemic, whenever that is. But, the truth is, you could probably best use some time off right now, especially as summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere. Take a day off to relax at home, as best you can. Schedule activities throughout the day just for you.

4. Understand the models of change for yourself. There are stages of change and it can be helpful to understand where you are at. The Transition model by William Bridges presents three stages:

  • Endings/Letting Go – Realizing that you have to move away from what was. Everything is changing. Are you ready to let go of the past? In this case, the past is just a few months ago, before the pandemic began to spread.
  • The Neutral Zone – You’ve let go of the past, but are still vacillating between how it was and how it is right now. The present moment. And sometimes ready for new beginnings, only to fall back to neutral.
  • The New Beginnings – You’ve fully embraced a new routine, a new change, a new way of doing things.

5. Be patient…with yourself and others. Yes, I know many people are impatient to get out of their homes, go out and about shopping, eating at restaurants, back in the office, and maybe you are also. Consider the model above…it’s important to realize that these things have changed for now, and we in response must also change.

6. Be ready to pivot. There are great examples of this through the pandemic. A local whiskey distillery bar repurposed themselves to begin manufacturing hand sanitizer for the first responders in our community. Are there examples in your organization where you can rethink strategy and pivot? What are the priorities now in your organizations vs. what they were at the beginning of the year? What changes can and should be made?

7. Does your career need a pivot? Within all of the changes, is this a good time to think about making changes in your career? Are you in the ideal career? What’s your vision about the best career for you? Does staying in the same place move you closer to that vision?

8. Stop waiting for things to get back to normal…seize this time to create a new normal. The new normal will definitely be different than the past.

Change can be embraced

The Bridges Transition phases are about moving forward to the new beginnings. Where are you on that change curve?


How are you getting through this COVID 19 transition? What lessons are you learning? Are any of the solutions above helpful in your situation? What else can you use to help your progress? It’s also helpful to write down “What’s Working/What’s Not” during this pandemic time. This can help you to see some options and lead to greater clarity.


Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a certified Career/Executive Coach. She coaches individuals and leaders to career fulfillment, transition, and advancement. She also consults for results with businesses and solopreneurs. Her background includes 12 years in senior leadership for a Fortune 100 corporation and 7 years as a coach, with a Master’s degree in Organizational Effectiveness and Executive Coaching.


For more information, please visit my website at www.upcoached.com



I’ve always envied tenured professors or any career that allows you to take a Sabbatical. A Sabbatical is a period of paid leave every 7 years to travel, explore, and get creative, as well as rest.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

Most of us have never had a Sabbatical in our school and working careers…until now, sort of. We are on a strange sort of a Sabbatical we’re not really allowed to travel, we are confined to our spaces, trying to work from home or between jobs. Hmmm…this just might not be what I had in mind!

That is until I met with one of my clients a few weeks ago. She is an amazingly accomplished individual. With two Master’s degrees, she has spent her career developing curriculum and educating nurses. She’s currently between assignments, so she’s busy looking for her next job during this time. I assumed I would be coaching her about frustration with the job market in the midst of a pandemic.

Pressing the pause button on life.

Instead, the first thing she said to me was how happy she was to press the Pause button at this time in her life. I was immediately struck by that word picture, of a giant red button saying “Pause.” When I asked her to tell me more, she said this was truly a time for her to hang out in sweats and enjoy the day. She felt she had never taken a pause in her job or life before. In addition to a busy and rewarding career, she has been a caretaker for several family members, but right now, she is responsible for caring only for herself and her husband, and it’s a great pause.

It really made me ask myself if I’m pausing during this pandemic

Is there any way to enjoy this time? How often do we all really get to pause?

Now I know you may have read articles or seen social media about what a great time it is to develop a new work out program, learn to bake bread or write the great American novel. None of these say pause to me, personally

Is there a hidden benefit to pressing the pause button?

My client inspired me around the ability to just take a break. I had to research this some more. I found a study on Doing Nothing and Nothing to Do: The Hidden Value of Empty Time and Boredom (Kets de Vries, 2014). The study basically proposes that introspection and reflection are not priorities for us in our day to day lives and that the balance between activity and inactivity is out of sync. The study revealed that doing nothing is a great way to bring out creativity and imagination. Think about the inspiration you may have gotten while driving in your car. While you are doing something very important, it’s one of those times that allows you to think. Similarly in the shower or first thing when you awaken, I find a lot of creative ideas then. These are times that we put the brain on the park and give it an opportunity to rest and recreate.

How can you pause effectively in your day?

In this time of the pandemic, that’s an amazing skill to master. Our brains are busy. There’s an information overload. There are worries, there are concerns. Or maybe you’re working from home and pausing just isn’t possible.

But there are times in the day when we can consciously pause. Here are a few ways to consider:

  1. Sleep a little longer
  2. Take an afternoon pause. Block your calendar out and do nothing.
  3. Think about what makes you happiest and take a pause to enjoy something about that.
  4. Just be. This means, not focusing on a big project (I know my clothing closet calls me daily) but just focusing on relaxing and doing things for you. And maybe cleaning a closet is something you would enjoy.
  5. Be grateful. If you’re working, be grateful. If you have a home, be grateful. If you have people who love you, be grateful. If you’re healthy, be grateful. Gratitude can certainly give us a pause as well as transform our thinking.
  6. Take time to laugh.
  7. Try to do absolutely nothing…come on, I dare you. What’s doing nothing all about for you?

Pressing the Pause button is a personal choice and experience, different for everyone, but so necessary.

My client really inspired me to think about taking a pause. Her story is an interesting one. Although she feels she is pausing, she has been applying to jobs, had several online interviews, and now a job offer she is considering. So while she’s pausing, there’s still a lot that gets done. This is a perfect advertisement for the power of pausing.


Can you find ways to hit the pause button this week? What could that look like for you?

I’m still offering a free coaching session with me through April, and now May. If you haven’t, please sign up at

Thanks, Stay well, Stay creative, and blessings to you all!

Up Coaching LLC.

Lupe S. Wood, MS, PCC, is a Career/Executive Coach, and Author of the Monday Morning Inspiration, published weekly on Linked-In, and to her followers. Her specialties are untangling career challenges and choices through coaching for courageous results-oriented clients who need solutions NOW.

Contact [email protected] for more information.