Back to School
Focusing your vision, achieving results )
August 25, 2006
Contents In This Issue
  • Andrea Novakowski
    Master Certified Coach

    Coaching for Executives, Small
    Business Owners, Professionals
    and Managers


    "To freely bloom - that is my definition of success."

    -- Gerry Spence


    by Melanie Calitri Holden

    As we approach the end of summer, excitement over the coming school year is beginning to bubble up in conversation between the kids. I catch phrases like "I wonder if my teacher will be nice?" and "What are we going to learn this year?" Tara, my youngest, will enter first grade in only a few short weeks. She is filled with enthusiasm and openness, ready to learn and have fun!

    The beginning of a new school year has always been a special time for me. I loved the ritual of buying new shoes and notebooks. The smell of freshly sharpened pencils still takes me back to that feeling of excited anticipation. A new year. A fresh start. New friends, old friends.

    So at the end of each August, as the children gather their supplies, I reorganize my own pencil box, clean out my desk, and ask myself some of the same "new year" questions. Just because we are out of school, doesn't mean we stop learning! So, take a few moments to ask yourself the following questions and let them help you create a whole new framework for your very own "school year".

    "What will I learn this year?" Is there something you have always wanted to learn to do? Ride a horse, swim, play tennis? How about knitting, painting, playing the piano? What new skills would you like to integrate into your life? What do you need to learn to take the next big leap in your career? What interpersonal skills might you acquire to help improve your relationships? Write these goals down in a little notebook.

    "Who will my new teachers be?" Who will best provide you with the learning experiences you need to achieve your goals? Always be on the lookout for new mentors. This could be a friend or relative that has personality traits or skills you wish to adopt. It might be a famous author, speaker, or educator. It may even be your children. Choose someone to learn from this year and once a week, jot down what you have learned from your mentor.

    "What will my new friends be like?" What are you looking for in a new friend? Someone who laughs a lot, knows how to listen, and is careful with your feelings? Are you looking for a friend to walk with in the mornings, or to have lunch with now and then? What qualities will this friend have? How much time will you spend with him or her? Clearly understand your needs and wishes and you will attract the truest friends.

    "How will I stay in touch with my old friends?" There is nothing like the company of old friends - they have seen it all! They know your brilliance, your talents, and your generosity. They have witnessed your tantrums, your misjudgments, and your mistakes. They love you anyway. In fact, old friends see your weaknesses as a warm and wonderful part of your personality. Long-term friendships do not need a lot of attention to maintain, but they do need refreshing now and again. Which relationships do you wish to sustain, and how will you sustain them? A day at the beach, a dinner at a mutually favorite restaurant, frequent phone calls? Even though you aren't in the same "classroom" this year, your old friendships can thrive!

    "What kind of support do I need to succeed this year?" When the kids head off to school on August 30th, I will make sure they have a healthy breakfast and plenty of time to gather their things before the bus arrives. I will help them with their homework. I will love them and give them pep talks when they feel discouraged. I will help them access information for their reports.

    What do you need in order to succeed? Do you need someone to watch your children so you can take an evening class? Do you need better organization to keep on top? Do you need to get to bed earlier, exercise, eat a healthier diet? Think of all the kinds of support you will need to insure your success, and then put them into action.

    Take the time to ask yourself these questions, and any others that will be helpful. Write down all your answers. Make a plan and check in regularly to see if you are still on track with your goals. This year will be your best!

    (c) 2006 Melanie Calitri Holden,


    Who says goal setting only happens in January? Take time to answer Melanie's questions as we enter this new time of year. Answering the questions in your head is a good first step. Writing them down provides a higher likelihood of accomplishment. Choosing and using an accountability partner creates the highest probability of success. Who will support you on your Back To School goals?


    Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Executives, Small Business Owners, Professionals and Managers. Andrea is a professional coach who partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives.

    Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are serious about reaching your goals and living with greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at


    Please feel free to pass on Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week to your friends and colleagues. If you need to get in contact with us directly for any reason, send an e-mail to

    Coach Andrea
    Focusing your vision, achieving results

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