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Life Coach, NYC, Executive Leadership Coach, Personal Development Coach, New York - Coaching Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and Creatives to be more Confident, Productive, and Fulfilled.

Notes from Yourself

 

 

Filtering by Tag: personal development nyc

Do You Energize People or Deplete Them?

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, leadership coach, executive coach, personal development coach

Ahoy there! Happy September! As we round the corner into the last stretch of 2018, here is a simple tip for being your most energized and energizing self.

Interacting with others is an energy exchange and we have a huge amount of control over what type of energy we are bringing to the table.

Negative or unproductive energy can be depleting to yourself and others and is created by:

  • Thinking and talking about problems and drama

Positive or productive energy can be energizing to yourself and others and is created by:

  • Thinking and talking about opportunities and solutions

Of course, we have to think about and share our problems sometimes, but many of us go overboard, at which point it is unproductive and depleting to ourselves and others.

If you make a practice of steering your thoughts and conversation out of the problem and into the solution, you will find that you feel more energized about yourself and your life. As a result, you will bring more positive energy to your interactions, which will leave others feeling more energized as well.

Look at you! All positive n’ stuff.

Have a beautiful month! #redpill

John

Also published on Selfscription.com & Thrive Global

Whatever You Have - Just Own It

John Kalinowski

life coach, life coach nyc, executive leadership coach, personal development coach, new york

Hello! Happy August! This month I have a silly story to share. I may have shared it with some of you - it’s an oldie but a goodie! Several years ago I had a personal breakthrough. I was having a conversation with someone about the sitcom, “Friends,” and which characters we most resemble. My answer was obvious and immediate; I am Monica. Can you imagine how not excited I might have been to realize that? But the funny thing is, it was exciting, because the realization gave me permission to say, “I’m totally Monica…” an ambitious, demanding, particular, know-it-all. Though I would love to think I am (clearly) funnier and more dynamic than Monica, it’s fairly safe to say that she and I are cut from a similar cloth.

This is who I am - take it or leave it.

The thing is, this isn’t really news; I have always known about my quirks. What changed was my choice to own them. By owning who I am, a huge chunk of self-judgement that I had been holding onto for years simply evaporated. Along with that came the awareness of how beautiful those quirks really are. Yes, I’m demanding, and even though it can be annoying it has also helped me to not settle for less. Yes, I’m particular, and even though it can be annoying it has also helped me to be very detail-oriented. Yes, I’m a know-it-all, and even though it can be annoying it has also propelled me to create a successful and fulfilling career.

Every strength is a weakness; every weakness is a strength.

None of this means that you cannot work on, temper, or change certain qualities about yourself or your life. But it does mean that you will be more successful in changing those things if you start with a mindset of acknowledging and accepting them first. Simply look for the beauty. Each time you catch yourself judging yourself or your life, coach yourself to look for the beauty and see what you find. How do these “annoying” characteristics help you? How might they be endearing, attractive, and even sexy?

As you make a practice of looking for the beauty, you will find that you are kinder to yourself. As a result, you may find the outside world to be a little kinder as well.

Have a beautiful month! #redpill

John


Also published on Selfscription.com, ANewsCafe.com & ThriveGlobal


(For more on Self-Acceptance check out July’s post...)

What Are you Spending Your Energy On?

John Kalinowski

life coach nyc personal development work smarter

Not just "what" are you spending energy on, but also "who" are you spending your energy on? And what's the return you're getting on that investment (ROI)?  

Though everything good in our lives requires a certain energetic investment, it's super easy to get into a habit of spending energy without really thinking about whether it's generating any kind of return. Most of us have habits and relationships that have been sucking up our energy for years, inhibiting our ability to move other things forward. Unfortunately, there isn't any energy spent that doesn't have to be replenished.

Just like gas in your car, once the tank is empty, you're going to have to refill it. So take stock. Unless you've already mindfully combed through your life and optimized every inch of it, then there are probably still some areas that you could clean up to generate more energy. Here are the first 5 places to look:

  • Clean Up Your Thoughts: Most of us are wasting a massive amount of time and energy on indulging in unproductive thinking.

  • Plan Ahead: Planning tasks, meals, gym-visits, etc. for your days, weeks, and months helps to solidify your intention, productivity, and success.

  • Action Steps: It's much more motivating and manageable to break down projects into steps, then schedule time for each one.

  • Schedule It: Booking time on your calendar to take care of a particular Action Step makes you much more likely to achieve it.

  • Minimize Distractions: Your brain doesn't multitask - you'll radically improve productivity if you turn off your emails, flip your phone over and focus on the task you've scheduled. (Hint: you can also schedule time to respond to texts and emails.)

Lastly, don't forget to schedule in some guilt-free downtime. Firing on all cylinders also requires scheduling time for rest, exercise, friends, family, and even stepping outside for a 10-minute walk every couple hours of your workday. We also need to let our hair down sometimes. 

The whole "burning-the-candle-at-both-ends" thing is so 2005. 

#redpill

John

The Domino Effect

John Kalinowski

"Different" is a fertilizer for growth.

"Different" makes way for "different."

"Same" makes way for "same." 

It's a Domino Effect. 

"Different" can be uncomfortable.

Find comfort in discomfort.  

Your life will open up.

life coach, life coach nyc, mindset coach, leadership coach, personal development

#redpill

xJohn

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

5 Minutes To Accomplish Anything

John Kalinowski

The title of this piece is pretty much the whole enchilada. 

You can do anything with 5 minutes. Meditation, planning your day, working out, learning a language, or writing a book... If you just commit 5 minutes a day (or 5 minutes a week!) to a task, you will move it forward. You could feel calmer, healthier, more focused, more accomplished, all from 5 minutes a day. Who the hell doesn't have 5 minutes? 

I've seen myself (still see myself) procrastinate on a number of things I've wanted to accomplish because I didn't feel like I had an hour or more per day to work on it. So I did nothing. Funny how nothing creates more nothing. And everyone knows how amazing you feel when you procrastinate and don't do the things you want or need to do. It feels shitty, and it brings you down.

But through my coaching practice and understanding more about having a mindset of enoughness, I've come to realize that all we need is 5 minutes. Start there. And watch it accrue! There's a reason why billionaire Warren Buffett is obsessed with The Power of Compound Interest - because everything adds up. 5 minutes per day is 35 minutes per week, 2.25 hours per month and over 30 hours per year. Boom.

That's 30 hours spent on something that you would have spent zero hours on before. But there is one additional requirement - if you just show up to a task for 5 minutes then it is REQUIRED that you give yourself a gold star, i.e. a pat on the back, a "nice job!". That's the only way this works. Beating yourself up about how you should have done more will derail everything. 

So, what's one thing you want to accomplish? Write it down and commit to 5 minutes per day. If you go longer great, but start with 5 minutes and then sit back and watch it compound.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Also published on ANewsCafe.com 

"I'm SO Busy..." or Are You?

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

There’s something very gratifying about being able to tell people how busy you are. Somehow it serves as a badge indicating that you’re very important, very successful, and clearly an overachiever. I can’t tell you how many times I catch myself and the people I know saying, “I’m so busy.” That’s not to say that people don’t have a lot going on, because they do! Many people have careers and spouses and children and that can be a recipe for a very busy life! But, we make it even busier by always thinking and talking about how busy we are.

What if you just stopped telling people you’re busy? What if you just erased it from your vocabulary? What would happen? Would you lose a piece of your identity? Maybe it would feel like you’re cheating yourself out of a certain status that comes along with being “busy?” But, what about happiness? What about balance? Wouldn’t it be worth trading in the constant “I’m busy, I’m busy” for a mindset of “I’m getting everything done and feeling stable and balanced?”

Something I’ve realized is that I get a lot more done when I’m not constantly running through a mental laundry list of everything I have to do and telling myself how busy I am. Instead, I write things down in various places, I try to maintain a schedule/planner for when I’m going to do them, and I find myself doing most everything without thinking about the actual amount I have to accomplish. Without the “I’m so busy; I don’t have time for anything” feeling, I actually end up being more productive.

There are tons of options to keep yourself on track: there are To-Do apps for your phone, Daily Planners, notebooks, or you can even maintain your task list on a hanging white board. The simple act of extracting things from your head and parking them somewhere, and taking a moment each day to plan what you’re going to tackle, can help to quiet that constant mental laundry list and leave you feeling less busy and less stressed. Who doesn’t want that?

Have a beautiful week!

John

You CAN Have What You Want

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Every January I try to pick a word that will set my overall intention for the year. This year I chose the word, “flourish.” Surprisingly “flourish” wasn’t necessarily about money, but rather my entire life, from having more friends to being in better shape, and just feeling generally good about myself. And guess what? That’s what has been happening. The only real difference is how I’m managing my thoughts, and that I’ve been saying, “Yes,” especially to things that make me uncomfortable.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life feeling like I didn’t have enough. I remember years ago my friend Cyndi was visiting from California and I had been trying to find a full-time job for quite awhile, with no luck. Though I had a nice roof over my head, clothes to wear, and food to eat, I kept telling myself that I didn’t have any money. One day, toward the end of Cyndi’s visit, she said to me, ”All I keep hearing from you is, ‘I’m broke, I’m broke, I’m broke.’ If you’re constantly telling yourself you’re broke, how do you expect to see the opportunities when they present themselves?” Boom! Mindset shift.

That really landed for me. If we are constantly focused on what we don’t want, how can we expect to be open to attracting and seeing what we do want? Just think about how you feel when you’re having thoughts like, “I’m broke” or “I’m fat” or “I’m alone.” For me personally, those thoughts make me feel defeated and desperate and closed off. How do you respond when you encounter someone who seems defeated, desperate, and closed off? Do you want to be their friend? Do you want to hand them a great opportunity? Most people would probably say, “No.”

This year, I’m attracting more opportunities than I’ve ever had, I have more friends than I’ve had in a long time, and I’m the happiest I can remember being. It hasn't always been easy. It takes a lot of work. But, much of that work I can do anywhere at any time by diligently steering my thoughts away from the unproductive chatter, affirming myself in some way, and allowing myself to say, “Yes.” Yes to stepping outside of my comfort zone, yes flourishing, and yes to life.

Have a beautiful week!

John

5 Minutes to Find Happiness

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

We were all raised in a world where we place a huge amount of importance on what other people think of us. We are still “keeping up with the Jones’”, or maybe now it’s the Kardashians. Whether these people are actually neighbors at the end of your suburban cul-de-sac, or close friends or total strangers, we live in a culture obsessed with acquiring “stuff” and status and importance in the eyes of others, and none of it actually makes anybody “happy.”

For me, it’s so deeply programmed in my psyche that I don’t even realize I’m chasing after the Jones’ until I’m running so fast that I fall on my face. It’s then that I ask if this is just another thing outside of myself that I am hoping will fill me up and “make” me happy? More money, an impressive career, a hot body, a beach house… do any of these things actually help me learn how to be happy on a day-to-day basis? Nope. Happiness only stems from learning to love myself and others on a deeper level. But, I can’t always see that.

Each day I have to practice a mindset of detaching from my thoughts, so that I can see more clearly. My most important tool is meditation. Six years ago I began by taking just five minutes every morning to close my eyes and focus on my breath. When a thought passes through my head, I just keep coming back to the rhythm of my breathing. This practice helps me to listen to myself on a deeper level, which is where the real answers are, and the way in which I continue to gain a firmer grasp on what happiness really means.

Somewhere deep inside, we each know the answers. Happiness is nothing you can acquire, it comes from unearthing the calm peaceful loving core that exists in each one of us, and using it to navigate all of the challenges we face. It’s one challenge at a time, one day at a time. But, the more we practice even just five minutes per day, the easier it becomes.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Waiting For Life to Start

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

One of the biggest traps we fall into in this achievement-focused time is the idea that everything will be better when... Everything will be better when you meet that soul-mate, when you find or quit that job, when you fill up that bank account, when you buy that house, when you have that child, when you publish that book, when you catch your big break, or when you retire. The truth is whatever you’re waiting for will never bring the happiness you expect because you have to be able to be happy now in order to be happy when.

Marianne Williamson says, “the top of one mountain is just the bottom of the next.” There will always be a mountaintop we’re trying to reach, but the key to happiness is finding joy and fulfillment in the climb. Everything in the outside world is temporary. Happiness is simply a mindset. Marriage, parenthood, homeownership… all of them hold the allure of security. But, the reality is, security is a myth. The only thing we can truly control is how we respond to the constantly shifting terrain of life.

Sometimes I think about how happy I’ll be when I have reached a certain level of financial comfort, while other times I look in the mirror and think how much happier I’ll be when I can see the outline of those abs just a little more clearly. But, it’s not true. I can be just as happy anytime I want. I can choose to affirm and embrace my body or my life exactly as it is, while still working to improve it. “I love my life just as it is, and am working to make it even better.” That’s where confidence comes from. That’s where happiness comes from.

What if this whole adventure comes to a screeching halt tomorrow and you’ve just spent a lifetime waiting for all of the things that symbolize happiness? And all you had to do to be happy was be willing to look at it differently, to find the Gratitude where you didn’t see it before? Though it’s not always easy, it is simple. It’s about making it a daily practice of being your own life coach, showing up for the climb, being fulfilled by the journey, and allowing the triumphs to be beautiful moments to savor. 

Have a beautiful week!

John

Finding The One

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I’ve always heard that “The One,” is a special person with whom we fall madly in love and live happily ever after. It’s a beautiful idea for sure, but it’s also a very limiting idea and ends up feeling like a whole lot of pressure. I mean, what if you think you met The One, but years later they no longer feel like The One? Or what if you haven’t met The One yet and they’re nowhere in sight? What then? More importantly, what does The One even mean???

I subscribe to the idea that life is a series of learning experiences all geared to teach us how to grow into more loving people. “The One” is just a special person who has something that your soul needs to learn in order keep growing, and their soul has something to learn from you as well. Sometimes a relationship with The One may last for many years or even a lifetime, but it can also last a few months, or even a few hours. The point is that not every romantic partner is meant to be your partner forever. The One is just The One for as long as both parties are still growing.

A relationship is not a failure simply because it didn’t last a certain amount of time. The only failure is if you don’t learn what you need to learn from that relationship. But, the beauty of failure is that it’s just a steppingstone to success. By missing an important lesson in one relationship, you’ll be that much more available to learn it in the next. We have a lot to learn in a lifetime, and we have to give ourselves some grace along the way.

Life is not meant to be boxed up and topped with a perfect little bow; it’s an ongoing journey of self-discovery. It’s imperfect and uncertain, and the only real requirement is that you allow it to unfold in whatever way necessary for you to become the best, happiest, most loving person you can be.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Jumping The Gun

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Too many times in my life I’ve pigeon-holed myself into doing something a particular way because I couldn’t see beyond my own stress, fear, or impatience to take a more measured approach. Note to Self: I do not make the best decisions under stress. I might be able to get the job done and I might even make reasonably “good” decisions, but they are not going to be my best decisions. My best decisions come when I am grounded, centered, grateful, open, and I am giving myself permission to be exactly where I am, even if it’s not necessarily where I want to be.

A few years ago, when I took the leap into coaching full-time, I was convinced that the natural next step was to find an office. The problem was that when I left my part-time job I hadn’t yet built up my clientele to be able to pay my current bills, let alone take on another big expense. But, in my mind, I was convinced that if I was going to attract the right type of clients then I needed to have certain things in place, and that meant an office. So, that’s what I did, and I ended up taking on a bunch of unnecessary stress and debt.

I did eventually attract those clients and become financially stable, but in hindsight, it was probably a little too early in my career to have an office, assuming I ever even needed one at all. But sometimes we become overwhelmed by how we think things should look, or by our impatience with how slowly things are moving, instead of allowing ourselves to be where we are, especially if that means being a beginner. Sometimes we just need to wait until we have a clearer plan, a little more money, experience, or even confidence before we ascend to that next level.

Reaching the top of the mountain can be really exciting, but so can the climb itself. These days I have plenty of goals, and as I work toward them I try to give myself permission to enjoy each stage of the process.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Gimme a Break... From Myself

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I think too much, and sometimes it’s nonstop: “There’s a blue Jaguar, it’s such a beautiful day, I need to cut my hair, look at the pants she’s wearing, why is she with that guy, I should call my mom tonight, I can’t believe how much work I have to do, when am I going to do my laundry…” and so on. Sometimes I’ll have entire conversations or arguments in my head, sometimes aloud, and yup, if somebody saw me I would look like a total nutjob. I’ve also become acutely aware of how this barrier of constant thoughts is keeping me from being my happiest, most productive self. So, I decided that it’s time to get it under control.

In the book, “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer, he says that when your mind starts chattering you just simply have to notice it. That’s it. You just say to yourself, “there’s the chatter again,” and the chatter immediately starts to fade. You don’t judge it, try to stop it, or get annoyed by it. You just acknowledge it, and suddenly your mind is a bit quieter. The trick is consistency. If you can consistently notice that stream of thoughts over the span of days and weeks then you will start to find that your mind is chattering a lot less often, giving you a lot more time to think about things you actually want to think about.

The other thing you’ll start to notice is that you say some really mean things about yourself and other people. Once you learn to take a step back from your thoughts, you’ll also see that the negative ones are just threads leading back to some old story or wound from your past which is requesting your attention and healing. Thoughts like, “You’re not good enough. You’re so fat, stupid, or selfish. Nobody will ever love you.” All of these stem from some old story or stories and it’s up to you to recognize it and let those stories go. All it takes is willingness to be your own life coach. Each time you catch yourself in your old story just notice the thoughts, take a step back, and affirm your willingness to let it go: “I’m willing to release this story so that I can heal.” Over time, your mind will be a little clearer, your heart a little lighter, and your life a little richer.

Have a beautiful week!

John

This piece was inspired by the book, “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael Singer.

When People Are "Wrong"

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Last week I gave a free consult to a prospective client and the next morning I had an angry, accusatory email in my inbox. What in the heck happened?! Well, I was honest and encouraging and supportive (for free), but I also conveyed that I didn’t feel like we were the right fit. Maybe there were hurt feelings? Maybe I really was the horrible coach she said I was? I’m not really sure, but I still had to coach myself by asking what I could learn from this situation. How is this happening FOR me instead of TO me? When I reflected back over the past several weeks I had quite a wake-up call.

I’ve been acting like a bit of a bully lately. No I haven’t been beating kids up on the playground or abusing anybody in my life. But in moments when I’ve been unhappy with a particular service or product that I’ve received or with the way somebody treated me, I’ve been very vocal and feeling very entitled about how wrong they were, how right I was, and how I expected them to fix it. Maybe that sounds fair to some people, and I agree that we need to be able to voice our dissatisfaction if someone or something disappoints us. However, it’s about HOW we go about doing it.

The key is to see every moment as an opportunity. Each experience, “good” and “bad,” is simply a means to teach us how to love ourselves and others in a more profound way. Loving ourselves and others doesn’t mean making anybody “wrong” simply because we’re disappointed. If I expect to live a loving, abundant life then I need to adopt of a mindset of trusting that I will always get what I need, even if I may not always get what I want. So, in those disappointing moments we can simply say, “What’s the most loving approach for myself and the other person(s)?” If you take a second to ask yourself that question on a regular basis, the most loving approach will also become the most natural one.

Have a beautiful week!

John

The Truth Can Hurt

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Most of my life I’ve been known for being too blunt. When I was younger, it was a way for me to shock people for attention and to take out some of my adolescent aggression. As I got a little older, it wasn’t quite as cute for me to act that way, so I had to learn to take it down a notch and become more aware of how people might receive my “honesty.” In other words I had to develop more compassion. But, ironically enough, as I’ve settled into adulthood, it’s become clear that compassion is not all about being sweet and accepting. Real compassion can actually require using some of the bluntness I’ve been working to tame.

Brené Brown says it best: “compassion cannot exist without boundaries and accountability.” So, even though it’s important to have compassion for someone else’s situation, it’s also important to be our own life coach by setting boundaries and accountability for the behavior we’re willing to accept from the people around us. In other words, real compassion can actually require having tough conversations from time to time. But, that’s part of loving somebody, to step up and lovingly share what you’re seeing when they might not be able to see a situation clearly for themselves.

Where I’ve been tripped up, and still am sometimes, is in thinking that I’m sharing something from a place of “honesty” when it might actually be tinged with judgment or nagging. One thing I’ve learned is that I should often ask permission before I launch into a tough conversation, and that the more I try to understand the other person’s position rather than blaming them for being in that position, the more likely it is that the conversation will have the desired impact. That said, if you avoid the tough conversations altogether, then you may actually be enabling bad behavior in the people around you, and maybe even enabling your own bad behavior as well. As Iyanla Vanzant says, “go out there and tell somebody the truth!”

Have a beautiful week!

John

It's OK To Be A Slacker

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

I have just not been feeling motivated to work out lately. Yes, it’s summer, and maybe I’m feeling lazy, but I’ve hit yet another breaking point with that place called “the gym.” And along with it comes the awkward feelings of “how can I be a life coach and not be fit and healthy and happy at all times?” Well, the reality is that whether it’s exercise, work, love, life… all of them operate on an ebb and flow, meaning they have periods of intense productivity and periods where things slow down. The crucial part about slowing down is that we don’t beat ourselves up for it, but rather use it as an opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture and maybe find a new approach that works even better than the old one.

One part of the bigger picture for me is that the gym feels like the epitome of what it means to “go through the motions,” and I am working diligently to insure that no part of my life is about going through the motions. So I canceled my gym membership. Another part of the bigger picture is that I want to be healthy without feeling like my body needs to fit into any particular mold. So, I’m starting to try some other avenues such as running outside, which has been beautiful in this amazing summer weather. I’ve also taken classes at a couple new yoga studios because I’d like to see what yoga could do for me if I give it a chance.

Though it’s crucial to be disciplined with exercise, it’s also crucial to adopt of mindset of trusting in life’s ebb and flow. Just as we have to take advantage of when things are fast-paced and productive, we also have to take advantage of the downtime. If we’re constantly resisting or resenting the slower, more uncertain periods then we’re actually closing ourselves off to opportunities that will either lead us back into flow, or even allow us to take care of another area of our lives that maybe we’ve been neglecting.

Trust… there is always an opportunity.

Have a beautiful week!

John

Riding the Wave

John Kalinowski

life coach personal development coach

Over the past week of being back from a beautiful, relaxing trip to Paris and Amsterdam, I have been feeling so cranky and agitated, and I have not been able to figure out why! I returned home completely refreshed with a relatively easy workweek and without encountering anything particularly upsetting. I’ve been meditating daily, going to the gym regularly, eating well, and getting plenty of sleep. But, the slightest inconvenience has been turning me completely inside out. So, what’s up?!

I thought maybe it was jetlag, but as the days pressed on it seemed like the longest jetlag in history. And then it occurred to me, what if nothing’s “up?” Maybe I’m just having a few days where my mind, body, and spirit are processing through some things beyond my understanding? Maybe that’s all there is to it? Maybe it’s ok to be doing everything “right” and still have a few days where I don’t feel amazing? Maybe I just need to chill out, stop trying to find the problem, keep doing what I’m doing, and just let this pass in it’s own time?

Whether it’s traffic, rude people, or just being in an inexplicably bad mood, so much of what comprises happiness is being able to ride the wave of the day-to-day bulls***. Many people think that happiness is about avoiding challenges, but it’s actually about coaching ourselves to navigate challenges from a more centered place. In order to do that, we sometimes have to allow ourselves a little more space and time to feel those feelings, let them go and get on with our lives.

For me, giving myself space this past week has meant journaling and meditating, allowing myself time to cry or be angry while also reminding myself of the things I’m grateful for, and spending a bit more time alone, so as not to inadvertently cuss out and offend the people I care about. I also keep reminding myself that everything is temporary, and all I have to do is successfully navigate this wave of unease because an easier wave is sure to be rolling along soon. It’s all about your mindset.

Have a beautiful week!

John