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5 Tips For Having Both Career Success And Happiness

When we were young girls we were told that we could have it all – a husband, kids, career success and happiness. And we really believed that to be true.

And, while it can be hard work, it is possible to have it all.

Career success and happiness can go hand in hand. Here is how…

#1 – Don’t settle for a career you don’t love.

Unless your career is something that is just a means to an end and isn’t an important part of your self-worth there is NO WAY that you will find happiness in your life if you aren’t happy in your career.

If your career is important to your self worth then it’s essential that you don’t settle for a career that you don’t love.

Many of us start out in a job, any job, just so we can start to earn money. And many of us get trapped in that job, whether we like it or not, because the money is good or the prospect of going out and getting a new job is too daunting.

If you find yourself in that spot, in a career that you don’t love and that is causing your unhappiness, move heaven and earth to get out of that job and find one that you love.

Today, right now, think about what kind of career you would like to have if you were in charge of the world. Just think about it. And when you know GO FOR IT. (Let me know if I can help!)

#2 – Don’t neglect yourself.

Are you one of those people who works so hard at your career that you have stopped taking care of yourself?

Do you tell yourself that the lack of sleep or the weight gain or the hair loss (from stress) is a small price to pay for career success?

If this is you, I am guessing that your happiness level is pretty low, even if your career is going strong. Because you simply can’t be happy in your life if you aren’t taking care of yourself. You might think you are happy. But are you really?

So take the time to take care of yourself and work hard. Get some sleep, eat well, indulge yourself when you can. Taking care of you will ensure you a lot of happiness. I promise.

#3 – Don’t stop learning, both in your life and your career.

Many of us, as we settle into the grown up life of parent, spouse and career person, stop learning. We figured that we paid our dues in high school and college and that is that. No more learning required.

I would argue that learning is essential for growth and happiness and they say it keeps your brain young.

I am not saying that you need to go back to school full time but do make an effort to learn something new every day.

Are you given a project at work that you know nothing about? Dive in! Are you wondering just what is all this hype about apple cider vinegar? Get online and find out. Wondering what you can do to learn some marketing tools so that you can get that promotion? Take a seminar. Hoping for some guidance on love and relationships? Check out the 5 Love Languages.

My point is is that every day there is an opportunity to learn something new. Grab that opportunity. Use your brain. It will get you far.

#4 – Don’t lose touch with friends and family.

Are you the one who is always missing the family event because of work? Are you the one whose friends don’t invite you out for happy hour because they know that you will say no?

If you are this person I am going to plead with you to STOP.

Very old people say that at the end of their life they don’t wish that they had stayed for that one important meeting or that they could have climbed just a little higher on that corporate ladder. At the end of their lives, old people regret the times that they missed with loved ones, precious lost time that they can never get back.

So if you want career success and happiness work hard but not too hard. Your loved ones need you, and you need them for when the going gets rough.

#5 – Don’t prioritize your career over love.

This is one that I wish I would say over and over and over. I will say it one more time.

Don’t prioritize your career over love.

One career is incredibly important both for personal and financial reasons. But if you put it before your love then you will be setting yourself up for neither career success or happiness.

I have a client whose husband worked all the time, who was never home for dinner and who always missed dates with her. She tried to get him to let go of work a bit and be with her but his career was too important to him.

So she left him. And what happened next? He was alone, living in a small apartment. He had his kids every other week and that was stressful because he had to manage them and work. He didn’t have someone to come home to and support him. Everything suffered.

In the end, my client’s ex lost a promotion because of the chaos that was his life after his divorce.

On top of that, my client’s ex was lonely and sad and left wondering what he had done with this life.

So look up right now at the one you love and decide to make them a priority going forward.

Career success and happiness can definitely go hand in hand.

The key is making sure that you are doing work that you love, that you take care of yourself and that your priorities are on straight.

I love coaching more than any other career that I have had and it has brought me much personal happiness. But I know that I wouldn’t have that happiness without my health, the man sitting beside me and the kids on their way over for dinner.

So go for it. You can have it all too!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way

You know that woman you know? You know, the one who seems completely put together? She knows what she wants and who she is and she won’t let anyone or anything get her down?

Yes, her. Wouldn’t you like to be her?

You can be!

A woman like that most likely wasn’t always like that but had to work to become that way. And you can do it too!

Here is my latest – 5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way.

#1 – Take care of yourself.

At the most basic level, no one can be emotionally strong if they aren’t physically strong.

I am not saying you have to join Crossfit and do the Whole 30 and go to therapy every day. I do mean to take care of your body. Eat well, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, be kind to others, do what makes you smile.

Feeling healthy and strong will give you good strong roots at the base of your emotionally healthy tree. Roots that will make it so that you won’t blow over in a storm.

So do it. Take care of yourself. Create a healthy base on which to cultivate your emotional strength.

#2 – Challenge your thoughts.

You know those pesky thoughts that incessantly course through your head? You know the ones. The ones that tell you aren’t pretty enough, not smart enough, not successful enough.

Yes, those thoughts. The thoughts that are holding you back. They are keeping you emotionally weak.

It’s time to change those thoughts. It won’t be easy but with a little determination you can bring about big change.

One of my clients had spent a lifetime telling herself that she just wasn’t worthy of love. Her life experience had led her to believe this to be true and because her thoughts consistently reinforced this idea she just wasn’t emotionally capable to finding and keeping love.

I challenged her to challenge those thoughts. To talk back to the negative thoughts and provide evidence that they just weren’t true. I encouraged her to make a list of those who had loved her. Her various boyfriends, her parents, her friends, her kids, the barista guy who had flirted with her for years. Those people who liked and loved her.

She kept this list easily accessible and when those dreaded thoughts reared their ugly head she referred to the list. Gradually those thoughts, being starved of reasons why it was true, became much quieter.

And then, because she no longer felt emotionally weakened by her thoughts, she flirted back with that barista and it looks like she just might live happily ever after.

#3 – Don’t take things personally.

Taking things personally can be the death of emotional strength.

When something happens to us the only way that we can process it is through our own internal system. And that internal system only truly understands OUR experience. As a result we often times personalize things that have NOTHING to do with us.

I have a client who was in a dispute with her landlord about damage done to her apartment and she was very upset. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t enjoy her everyday life. She took the dispute personally.

She felt that the landlord was questioning who she was as a person in his pursuit of keeping the damage deposit. She felt less than because of this.

I suggested to her that a more likely explanation for his actions was that he wanted more money from her NOT that he didn’t like her as a person.

In that moment my client let go of everything that she had been holding on to. Of course it was about the money, not about how she was as a tenant or a person. It’s always about money.

In that moment she learned about the importance of not taking things personally and grew her emotional strength.

#4 – Give of yourself to others.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help build emotional strength more than doing something for someone else. Truly, nothing.

When I was going through my divorce my emotional strength was at it’s lowest.  I started volunteering weekly at the local food bank. Four hours a week of helping other people get food to eat, for themselves and their families, made me feel so good. And not because I felt lucky that I wasn’t in their position but because I knew that I had made a substantial, positive difference in their lives. It made my heart sing.

Many of us don’t have time to volunteer but we can make a difference in other ways. Hold the door open for someone, buy that homeless person sitting outside the grocery store a sandwich, reach out to a friend you know is going through a hard time, give up your seat on the subway.

There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a smile of gratitude to build up your emotional strength. So try it. Reach out and make a difference in someone’s life today

#5 – Do that thing you think you can not do.

There comes a time in one’s life when one is presented with an obstacle that seem insurmountable. For me that obstacle was rebuilding my life after my divorce.

I never wanted a divorce but it was forced upon me and I had to deal. I had to deal with no longer being a wife, greatly reduced financial stability and the prospect of being alone forever.

I DID NOT WANT TO DEAL.

But I had to. I had to pick myself and move forward. And I chose to pick myself and move forward in the strongest possible way. I wasn’t going to let this situation ruin my life so I didn’t.

How? I got into therapy. I surrounded myself with people who loved and supported me. I educated myself about the divorce process so that I could get what I needed to take care of myself and my children. I didn’t back down in the face of his anger and derision. I stopped taking his actions personally and realized they were his issues not mine.

In short, I came out on the other side of my divorce a different woman. I went into it a woman who was scared of her own shadow, as I had been at the end of my marriage. I emerged someone who knew that she could take care of herself and her children, who was no longer a wife but a woman and who didn’t give a damn about being alone because I was very happy with my own company.

The BEST way to ensure your emotional strength is to DO THAT THING YOU THINK YOU CAN NOT DO. By doing so you will truly see your own strength. Nothing and no one will be able to convince you otherwise.

So there you go – my 5 Ways The Most Emotionally Strong People Become That Way.

We are born into this world emotionally strong people. Life experience can drain that strength until we are left a shell of who we formerly were.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Take care of yourself, don’t take things personally, challenge your thoughts, give unto others and face challenges head on. Regaining your emotional strength is not only possible but probable with a little intention and effort.

You can do it. I did. And, let me tell you, it feels amazing!

Looking for more ways to get emotionally stronger? Contact me and I can help.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Cultivate An Iron Clad Self-Esteem – Even If You Never Could Before

Dictionary.com defines self esteem as “a realistic respect for or a favorable impression of oneself.” Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, not so much.

Many of us live with a self-esteem that does not serve us. We don’t believe that we are all that.  That we are beautiful or kind or smart or thoughtful or successful or worthy. Instead, many of us believe that we will never amount to much in this world and we question whether we will ever succeed at anything, be it at love, at work or at getting healthy.

Tragically, our self-esteem gets destroyed by a lifetime of experiences, negative experiences that gradually eat away at the healthy self-esteem we are born with.

Fortunately, there are ways to rebuild your self-esteem. Rebuild it stronger than ever so that you are not afraid to take on the world and make your world what you want it to be.

Here is my latest – 5 Ways to Cultivate An Iron Clad Self Esteem – Even If You Never Could Before.

#1 – Get out of that relationship that doesn’t serve you.

Are you in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself in any way? Does your partner make you feel less than for not making your bed or for how you dress? Do they go out and do things with their friends and leave you alone, lonely? Do they refuse to talk about your feelings when you need them most?

If you are with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself GET OUT.

I have a client who is at a turning point in her life and she needs some time by herself to figure things out. She still loves her man and she has tried to explain to him what she has been thinking. Not only does he not get it and not support her but he also told her that she is “out of her mind.”

And how did she react? She believed him. Because her self-esteem told her that he was right and that the way he was treating her was what she deserved.

I begged to disagree and worked with her as she distanced herself from the relationship. She set out doing her work, building her self-esteem, and eventually she was able to see clearly what she really deserved in a relationship – someone who respected and cherished her.

Not the man who told her she was “out of her mind.”

So ditch any partner who doesn’t make you feel 100%. There are plenty of people out there who can and will help you feel great!

#2 – Accomplish something BIG.

There is no better way to build a steely self-esteem than setting a goal and reaching it.

Now is the time to think of something that you have always wanted to accomplish and make it happen.

My client who was trying to find her place in the world had always longed to have a health and wellness program at her farm. She had grand ideas but had a hard time getting started on making the program happen. Working together with me, we created a step-by-step plan for her to have a Wellness Weekend at her farm. She reached out to a friend whose expertise complemented hers and together they worked to create a weekend retreat for 10 women, one where they learned about health and wellness and self care.

How did my client feel after accomplishing her goal? Like a million bucks. Not only did she inspire 10 women to live healthier lives but by taking the actions necessary to make her dreams come to fruition she knew that she could take on the world and conquer it.

Kind of like a superhero, right? Unvanquishable!

#3 – Get your swagger on.

I have a friend who always says that he loves it when I get my “swagger on.” I, like everyone else, have periods of time when I don’t feel so good about myself and I have learned that the best way to get through those times quickly is to make doing what makes me feel good a priority.

I always try to eat well, get enough sleep, walk and do yoga every day. By doing so my body feels strong and healthy and my mind relatively clear. For me, the next step to making myself feel good is to encase that strong body in a tight pair of jeans, put on some cowboys boots and take myself out onto the streets of New York City. Getting my swagger on.

What gets your swagger on? Is it having your hair done every month? Power walking in the afternoon while listening to the Hamilton soundtrack? Reading every book on the NYT bestseller list?

Whatever it takes to make you feel like you can step out of your front door and walk down the street with a bit of swagger.

Your self-esteem is built on swagger.

#4 – Give of yourself to others.

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can help build an iron clad self-esteem more than doing something for someone else. Truly, nothing.

When I was going through my divorce my self-esteem was at it’s lowest.  On the advice of a friend I started volunteering weekly at the local food bank. Four hours a week of helping other people get food to eat, for themselves and their families, made me feel so good. And not because I felt lucky because I wasn’t in their position but because I knew that I had made a substantial, positive difference in their lives. It made my heart sing.

Many of us don’t have time to volunteer but we can make a difference in other ways. Hold the door open for someone, buy that homeless person sitting outside the grocery store a sandwich, reach out to a friend you know is going through a hard time, give up your seat on the subway.

There is nothing like being on the receiving end of a smile of gratitude to wake up your self-esteem. And once it’s awake it will be hungry for more.

So try it. Reach out and make a difference in someone’s life today

#5 – Spend time with those who love you.

You know those people who have known you forever and who love you completely and totally, no matter how many times you have screwed up and disappointed them. Yes, those people. Those people are the people who you want to spend time with.

My client who was trying to find herself and whose boyfriend wasn’t being supportive was really struggling to find the strength to do what she needed to do. She was prepared to settle back into the life she had. It wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. Right?

Lucky for her, one of her oldest friends was in town and a dinner was arranged for the two of them and a third member of their mommy posse. It was exactly what she needed.

Her friends did not hesitate to remind her of how awesome she was. They pointed to specific examples of where she had succeeded in the past, how loved and supported she was by others, how important she was to the world. By loving and supporting her so completely they gave steel to her self-esteem, allowing it to remind her that there was nothing that she couldn’t do because she had done it before.

Your posse is your self-esteem’s best friend!

So there you go – my 5 Ways to Cultivate An Iron Clad Self Esteem.

When we are born we are gifted with the belief that we can do anything. Without it we might never learn to walk or talk or read or sing or love. Unfortunately, life experience can gradually rip our self-esteem to shreds.

Luckily, YOU can rebuild it. Rebuild it so that it’s bigger and stronger than it ever was before. Spend time only with those who love you, take care of yourself and others and make something BIG happen. Your self-esteem will be iron clad in no time.

You can do it! We both know you can!

Need more help rebuilding your self-esteem? Contact me and I can help.

 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom – Even if it Feels Like You Are Going to be Stuck There Forever

Imagine how you would feel if everything that you have always had, wanted, longed for and dreamed of is suddenly gone. Gone.

You are overwhelmed with emotion. You are full of hopelessness and dread. You would much rather drive your car into a cliff than continue to live the life that you are living.

How can anyone expect you to live this way, with everything lost?

This is rock bottom. Also known as being down a rabbit hole.

It only happens a few times in a lifetime and when it comes, BAM, it sucks.

Rock bottom means it’s time to pay attention.

Here is my latest: 5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom – Even if it Feels Like You Are Going to be Stuck There Forever.

#1 – Notice where you are.

Many of us hit rock bottom and don’t even realize it.

We find ourselves in pain and drowning and it is so much easier to have 4 drinks or a box of Oreos or bike 50 miles than to recognize the truth of where one has found oneself: looking up from deep down in the rabbit hole, vanquished.

If you find yourself in a spot where the pain is worse than anything that you could ever have imagined, pause for a second before you reach for that bottle of wine. That pain is telling you something. It’s telling you that it’s time to pay attention. That things are really, really bad and that it’s time to start doing something about it.

I have a client whose husband left her the same week that their kids went off to college. In one fell swoop, after 23 years, she was no longer a wife and only a part time mother.

Down the rabbit hole she fell. And she hit the bottom. Hard.

#2 – Get the hell up, after a spell.

Being in a rabbit hole is scary as hell and very painful. But you also might find that it starts to feel comfortable. There is something cozy about wrapping yourself up in your negative, hopeless thoughts, taking comfort in the fact that your life sucks, that you are a horrible person and that what the hell does it all matter anyway.

And it’s okay to sink into that coziness for a bit. After all, you are going to have a bit of work to do to get out of it so resting up is okay. But sooner or later, preferably sooner, you are going to have to climb out of it.

For my client the rabbit hole was cozy for bit, and full of Oreos, but when she looked up and saw the light at the top she remembered where she was and knew that she was going to have to do whatever it took to get out of it. But, boy, were those walls steep – it took her a while to start the climb but start the climb she did.

#3 – Assess the situation and try something different.

Once you have spent some time in the rabbit hole with your thoughts and feelings you get to know them fairly well. Now is the time to take a good hard look at them. To figure out how you have gotten where you are and not only how to get out of there but to move forward towards the life that you have always wanted.

One of our primary human foibles is that we tend to approach a problem with the same perspective as the one with which we caused it. How can we expect to solve a problem that has dragged us down the rabbit hole with the same actions that brought us there in the first place?

We just can’t. It doesn’t work.

My client knew that one of the things that consistently came between her and her husband was her tendency to be manipulative. She always said that she used this skill for good but her husband didn’t always see it that way.

So what did she try to do to win her husband back? You got it. She manipulated him. She made him nice dinners. She instigated sex and watched Sunday night football. She changed who she was in an effort to manipulate her way back into his good graces.

And guess what. It didn’t work.

When presented with a rabbit hole quality issue it’s time to take a good hard look at a new way to address a problem. Don’t think “I have always done it this way so…” but rather think “What have I never tried before?”

Try it. It can be a very tall ladder out of your very deep hole.

Have you hit rock bottom? Let me help!

#4 – Make a Plan.

Okay so now you know what you are dealing with and it’s time to make a plan.

It’s time to look at each item that you have assessed as needing addressing and see what needs to be done.

For my client it wasn’t about manipulating her way back into her husband’s good graces. It was about taking a good hard look at what had happened in her life and her marriage and to decide what she wanted to do about it.

I would like to pause here for a second and suggest that this might be the time to hire a life coach, namely me. I can help you assess what needs to be addressed and make a plan for you to do what needs to be done. Just sayin’.

#5 – Keep Going. Do Not Stop.

Winston Churchill said “If you are going through hell keep going.” Wise words to live by.

You have hit rock bottom. You have pulled yourself up and out of your hole. You have assessed the situation and made a plan to change things. You have taken a great big step and then you stop. And pick up that box of Oreos, take a few slugs from your bottle of wine and hop on your bike for a hard five hour ride.

Listen to me. You may have hit bottom but you have also scratched your way out of it, up to this spot in the light where you could get started on what needs to be done. You were brave. You ARE courageous. Don’t let fear get in your way.

Because is this what you truly want your life to look like? You had the strength to pull yourself out of that hole. Why would you let yourself sink back in there? It’s not fun in that hole.

And right in front of you, ready for the taking, is the life of your dreams.

Imagine just how having the life of your dreams would feel.

Pretty great, no?

So there you go… 5 Things To Do When You Hit Rock Bottom.

At some point in our lifetime we all hit rock bottom. We find ourselves in a spot where we never imagined we would be and can’t imagine getting out of.

But the resilient of us do. And YOU are one of the resilient ones.

Don’t let that rabbit hole suck you in and keep you there. Fight your way out, into the light and live the life of your dreams.

C’mon. You can do it!


Need more ideas for getting up off the bottom?

To welcome in 2017, I am offering one free session to the first 3 people who reach out.

So do so TODAY.Contact me here and I can help!


 

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day – Even If I Might Not Have Wanted to Hear Them

Marriage doesn’t come with a manual. I wish it did. Because after the vows have been said, the doves have been released and the dress has been put in dry storage, comes marriage.

And as much as we would like to believe it’s all happily ever after, it often isn’t.

But it CAN be. All you need is some awareness and a willingness to act.

Here is my latest – 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day – Even If I Might Not Have Wanted to Hear Them.

#1 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

One of the most disturbing aspects about many marriages is that after a while communication just stops.

Sure, there is lots of logistical stuff to discuss – when we are coming home for dinner, where the kids’ soccer games are, what time we are meeting the in-laws on Sunday.

But real communication, expressing of feelings, frustrations, hopes, dreams and longings, ceases.

Marriage is a 24/7 commitment. During those days, and years, lots of issues can arise, issues that can be hurtful and cause resentment. Instead of being addressed immediately, feelings are often left unsaid.  It can just seem too scary to go there, to share how we feel and not know what the response will be. So we don’t.

And then, before we know it, it’s easier to just not say anything, to do the dishes or spend longer at the office, doing anything to avoid difficult conversations. We do this assuming that the issues will be dealt with eventually. Like after Christmas, after Memorial Day or when the kids go off to college.

If you only take one thing away from this article it’s this: keep communicating. Your marriage, and your life, will be better if you do.

#2 – Have lots of sex.

I know newlyweds will laugh now at the prospect of no longer having sex with their partner. “That won’t be us,” they say.

But it very well could be.

We know that anger and resentment can build in a marriage because of unexpressed feelings. For a woman, there is no better libido killer than anger and resentment. And there is no better way to create anger and resentment in a man than the absence of sex.

Intimacy is key to maintaining closeness in a marriage. Touching, kissing, feeling loved and having orgasms are all a big part of this. Marriage without sex is simply a business arrangement.

So push past the anger and resentment and make love with your partner. Or, better yet, kill the anger and resentment with communication and happily make love every night.

You will be happy you did, both in the moment and long term.

#3 – Remember to respect each other.

There is a concept called the “contempt of the familiar.” This concept occurs when people get to know each other very well. Too well perhaps. We know how the other person looks when flossing their teeth, how they leave their pants hanging on the door, how they slurp their coffee or that they fart in bed.

Perhaps at one time you thought these things cute but now, as time has gone by, they drive you nuts. They might even repel you.

Mutual respect is a key to any successful marriage.  Your partner’s mannerisms or ways of doing things might not jibe with your own and this can lead to developing a dislike of who they are. And if you don’t like someone it’s hard to respect them.

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

Tell your partner that something they are doing is making it difficult for you to be with them. Don’t just write them off as a lost cause, thinking “if they loved me they would do this differently.” We are all human beings trying to do the best that we can and if you are honest with yourself you know that they aren’t doing any of those things to spite you. They just do them. And can change if asked. Nicely.

Give your partner a chance to keep your respect and allow them to keep respecting you in return.

And sex is way better when you respect your partner. In case you didn’t know.

#4 – Don’t let your extended family get in the way of your new one.

No matter how old we are when we get married, we have many years of experience and tradition with our extended families. Holidays spent just so, toilet paper rolls that roll out on top instead of under, sarcasm that is part of every family get together.

The extended family is wonderful and part of who we are but the priority now is the new family. The one we are creating with our partner.

Of course it’s important to respect our family traditions but if doing so is at the expense of the new relationship it needs to be addressed. If the birthday tradition on one side is the whole family gathered and lots of gifts exchanged and the birthday tradition on the other side involves quietly celebrating with friends then a conversation needs to be had.

Have I mentioned yet the importance of communication?

Both sides of the family need to be told, respectfully, that while all family traditions are important what is important now is how the new family wants to make their own traditions. Compromises might need to be made but it is important that both partners feel like their new life as a couple is their own.

#5 – Know that a baby is going to change everything.

I know! Having a baby is so exciting. From “starting to try,” to nine months of watching it grow, to baby showers and then childbirth (!!) it’s all so wonderful and new and partners are bound closer than ever.

And then the baby is born and all bets are off.

Like when we get married, no one hands us a manual when we become parents. This means that from day one we are flying by the seat of our pants. Women most often immediately change their focus from their husband to their child. Men are left wondering what happened to their life. Yes, the child is delightful, but dinners together, time with friends, free time for athletics, are all suddenly gone. Not to mention the sex.

It’s important to be aware that the baby is going to change everything and prepare and allow for it. Know that everyone is going to be exhausted, that things are going to be messy, that the next 18 years are going to be an evolution, and a revolution, like you have never been through before.

Commit to making it through those years together. Communicate like you did when you were first married, perhaps even more so, have as much sex as you can squeeze into your week and continue to love and respect each other even as life gets challenging.

It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

So there you go. My 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me on My Wedding Day.

I was married for 20 years and have been divorced for 5. I have spent a lot of time reflecting about what went wrong in my marriage. What I do know is that we, as a couple, got lost in our family. We gave up who WE were to please everyone else: our kids, our in-laws, our friends. We stopped looking at each other with love, talking about our feelings, hugging each other, respecting each other.

We were business partners. Our family was a successful business but our marriage fell apart.

I am madly in love with a new man now, one I very much hope to marry. And believe me, I won’t make the same mistakes twice.

Marriage is truly a wondrous thing and can be a big part of living the life of your dreams.

So do what I suggest. And don’t ever stop.

Looking for more ideas about how to keep your marriage strong? Contact me and I can help.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Change – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming

Change. You either love it or you hate it.

Many people hate it. The prospect of a new job, moving to a new house, leaving a relationship or buying a new car can make those who resist change want to run for the hills.

I love change.

I have spent much of my life changing things up. I have lived in San Francisco, Maine, Tokyo, Athens, Boulder, Vermont, Sydney and NYC. Since I graduated from college I have lived in 17 different homes and have worked in the hotel business, the food industry, retail management, real estate sales and now I am a life coach. I have been divorced and lived through my kids going off to college.

I am the person I am today because of opportunities for change that were presented to me throughout my life, ones I chose to pursue. And I love the person who I am today.

They say that people who choose change are happier for it. The process can be messy but once you get through it life just might be what you have always wanted it to be.

I am here today to help you get through that change, so that you can live the life of your dreams.

Here it is, my latest. 5 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Change – Even If You Just Want to Run Screaming.

#1 – Don’t forget to breathe.

When presented with the possibility of change many people freeze up. The prospect is so terrifying that their body actually reacts as it would if faced with the specter of death. And then they run, run for their lives, from that change.

This is when it’s important to remember to breathe. Without breath neither your brain nor your heart can function and making rational choices is impossible.

Think about when you drive by a tractor-trailer on the highway. It’s a scary prospect and you start thinking of all the things that can go wrong. And you hold your breath in anticipation of those things. Next time, try taking a deep breath right before you pass that truck. The breath will calm your body and clear your mind and you will pass it with ease.

It’s the same with change. Try it now. Inhale for 3 seconds, out for 5. Repeat as needed. Your heartbeat will slow and your mind will clear. Very helpful.

#2 – Remember change is GOOD.

Many people are so unaccustomed to change that the prospect seems unbearable. This new thing is going to come in and shake up their lives and they don’t think they can survive it.

But this just isn’t true. We can survive anything. And research shows that most people who make a big change are happier on the other side. Happier. Sounds pretty good, right?

Think about a time earlier in your life when you faced major change. Now think about how you went about it and what the end result was. Was your life ultimately a better place because of that change? Even if things were really messy along the way? Think carefully.

The process can be difficult, and we will address that, but picture yourself on the other side of that change. Life will be different, yes. But that is not necessarily a bad thing.

#3 – Gather information.

One of the most important pieces of thriving in the face of change is the gathering of information. It is impossible to make a smart move without the right information.

It’s time to make a list – a list of all of the positive things and all of the challenging things about your potential change.

If you are moving will it mean a bigger house? Better weather? A longer drive to school or work? An acre lawn to mow?

If it’s a new job will it be better hours or pay? Will the dress code be challenging? Will your boss be someone much younger than you?

Once you have your list of your perceived pluses and minuses address each minus individually.

A smaller house might seem a minus but really a smaller house means less house to clean which would give you more time to do something fun instead.

A younger boss might seem a minus but really a younger boss could teach you some new skills for the ever-evolving workplace. And the fact that you are older could mean built in respect because of the years of working experience you bring to the table.

For every one thing that seems like negative there is a corresponding positive. You just need to identify what those things are. Once you do you will feel ready to face real, substantial change.

#4 – No negative self talk.

We are our own worst enemies. In the face of change our brains tell us that we just can’t do it. That we aren’t smart enough or strong enough or that the change will destroy us.

Again, this just isn’t true.

I have a client who has been given an amazing job opportunity. It has been literally placed at her feet and is hers for the taking. And she is struggling to accept it.

She thinks two things:

  1. That people will judge her for changing jobs AGAIN after just two years in her current position.
  2. That she will fail.

I asked her what she would think if she heard of someone switching jobs after 2 years. She said she would think “Wow. That person is really moving up in the world. She is being recognized for her successes. Good for her.”

I asked her to list for me all the reasons that she would fail. Try as she might she couldn’t name one reason. Her brain had been telling her that she would but she couldn’t prove to me that what her brain was saying was true.

Again, our brains can make us our own worst enemies. Recognize that and talk back to that brain. Don’t let it and it’s pesky untruths hold you back.

#5 – Get excited about the possibilities.

Take a good look at that list that you made. Of all of the possibilities that your future holds.

Change is a scary thing but really it is also so exciting. You get a chance to do things differently, to re-invent yourself, to maybe experience things that you haven’t before.

The first steps will most likely be difficult, and scary, but once you get started the sky is the limit. It’s like starting out on a hiking trail and looking up. You wonder how the hell will you get up to the top. And then, when you do, after a fair amount of huffing and puffing, it’s just amazing. The sky is blue and you can see forever. And looking down you can see how far you have come and feel pretty damn proud of yourself.

So there you go. 5 Ways to Thrive in the Face of Change.

I am not saying that the prospect of change isn’t scary and overwhelming. It is scary and will be overwhelming. What I am saying is to embrace it, to look at it as a positive thing even if your first reaction is “not so much.”

In my last blog I wrote about getting divorced. A friend of mine said he was jealous. How lucky was I that I was getting a chance for a reboot at 46 years old. And that’s what I got. The reboot itself was rather painful but I was given a new beginning and my life is now amazing. Truly.

I wish this kind of happiness on everyone I know and love. Take a risk. It will be worth it!

Are you struggling with change in your life? Contact me. I can help!

Have you survived and thrived in the face of change? I would love to hear your story!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons that Divorce Can Make You Happier – Even If It’s Hard to Believe

I remember I would wake up in the morning, looking forward to my day, and then would roll over and see the still warm, empty space next to me in bed. My stomach would sink. My husband had gone to the gym and I was glad because that meant I wouldn’t have to see him.

As the day progressed we talked occasionally on the phone, mostly about bills and the kids’ schedules and whether he would make it home in time for dinner. Communications about the running of our family business. We were good at that.

I remember every night seeing his car drive in the driveway and thinking “Ok. This is it. Tonight I am going to give him a hug and be happy to see him.” And he would walk in the door and go right to the stack of mail and rifle through it, something he knew I hated. There would be a perfunctory kiss, he would get a drink, or two, and we would spend the rest of the night operating in parallel, dealing with homework and bedtime.

My husband and I never fought but we were desperately unhappy. 18 years of a thousand little cuts, of unresolved conflicts, of the contempt of the familiar, had wrought serious damage.

And even though we were barely existing in the same space I really believed that somehow we would find our way back to each other. We had shared dreams for the future after all and how could we let those go?

One day he told me he wanted a divorce. He didn’t want to work on our marriage. He was done.

I was devastated.

What followed was one long year of divorce proceedings. It was horrible. And then it was all over. 18 years of marriage. Done.

In spite of all of that, or perhaps because of it, here I am, 5 years later, living a life that is happier than I ever could have imagined. Yes, it is different from the one that I thought I would be living with my husband but it is most notably different because I am happy. Truly happy.

Here is my latest blog – 5 Reasons that Divorce Can Make You Happier.

#1 – Your kids will thrive

The first thing that my son said to me when he learned we were separating was “Good. Because I hate coming home. There is always so much tension.” And this was true. Now, when he comes home, either to me or to his dad’s, his home is cleared of the anger that used to cloud it.

My kids also now have a much better relationship with their dad. Before the divorce I came between them. They spent more time with me and saw how unhappy I was and they distanced themselves from him. Now they see their dad separately from me and it has made them all closer. Which is a gift.

Because I talk to them more openly than I did before, and I have a good understanding of what went wrong with my marriage, my kids have a much clearer picture of what it takes to make a relationship to work. That is a something that I wish I had had when entering into my marriage.

My kids are doing great. In more ways than one. And that to me is the most important thing.

#2 – No more “thousand little cuts”

You know what I am talking about. Every day there was some kind of slight, big or small. The mail that was rifled through, the 3rd drink, the coming home late again, the snapping. We were constantly at each other, not overtly, but in ways that caused pain. We had unresolved issues and tons of resentment.  We struggled to stay calm in each others presence. We lived in the same house but were always lonely.

Now my days are filled with a happiness and contentment that I haven’t known in a long time. I wake up in the morning without that sinking feeling in my stomach. I spend my days working and being with the kids and living my life without the constant dread of that next little thing coming that would cause me pain.

This has made me a better person and a better mother. And have I mentioned? Happier.

3 – New friendships    

One of the most wonderful parts of my single life is the number of new friendships that I have developed.

When we are married we tend to insulate ourselves from the rest of the world because of our relationships. We might have friends who are other couples but really our primary relationship is with our spouse.

Now I have many, many friends, of all different stripes, who make my life fuller every day. And they say that the number one cause of sustained happiness is good friendships. How lucky am I?

#4 – Being your own person

For years I identified myself as someone’s wife. Yes, I was a successful mom, realtor and life coach but every decision that I made about my life was made in consideration of my relationship with my spouse.

Now I live life the way I want to. Yes, I have my obligations to my kids and my job and the US Treasury Department but I get to live in a way that makes my heart sing.

I recently moved from Vermont to New York City, have a thriving life coaching business and volunteer extensively with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. All things that I love.

The life that I am leading makes me happy every day.

#5 – A life full of hope

When I was married I was so lonely and sad that I never had any hope for the future. When you are living a life mired in unhappiness any positive thoughts for the future are impossible.

Now I know that the sky is the limit. I can have all of the personal success that I want as long as I am willing to go for it. I have my own business, of which I am proud, my kids are turning into amazing adults and I have a man who I love deeply with whom I hope to spend the rest of my life.

I have been through a lot but all of it makes me who I am today. And I love who I am today…

So there you go, my 5 Reason that Divorce Can Make You Happier.

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt today. Her lawyer stated that she “did it for the health of her family.” A reporter declared “Love is Dead.”

I would say that love is not dead but very much alive.  Angelina, recognizing that her marriage could not be salvaged, made the difficult decision to get out of it, for her own health and the health of her family. So that they all could have the chance to be happy again. It is the end of something that wasn’t working and the beginning of something that will. A true act of love.

I am not saying you should just walk out on your marriage but I do encourage you to consider the bigger picture…your happiness and the happiness of those around you. As I have said before, if you are living a life that makes your heart sing those you love will be better for it.

I am living proof that it happens. The photo at the top of this blog is me!

Are you living with a difficult relationship? Contact me and I can help!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!