#135 – Your New Habits are More Important than New Year’s Goals!

#135 – Your New Habits are More Important than New Year’s Goals!

One of My Teen Clients Inspired This Episode

I recently had a call with a teenage young man and he wanted help breaking old, bad, habits.

I’m restructuring how I do my 1:1 coaching calls to be less scripted and more conversational, so we basically just had this super powerful conversation about habits.

I really loved the insight that he brought to the coaching call, so I’m going to share what I remember with you and invite you to come join a transformational conversation with me to help you change how you approach habits in your life.

I’m super excited for this conversation because during this time of year, most people over focus on goals, which they usually forget about and fail, and they under focus on habits, which is what they really need to accomplish their New Year’s Goals.

I’m going to invite YOU to join me in a transformational conversation about goals in the future. I’ll tell you more at the end of this podcast,

What Makes Breaking Habits Hard for You?

This is a powerful question to explore for yourself.

Seriously, I invite you to ask yourself, literally say this to yourself out loud, “What makes breaking habits hard for me?”

Let you’re mind explore that.

Gain some serious awareness around that.

When I asked this young man that question he told me 3 things.

  1. How long I’ve been doing the habit.
    • Basically how many times the habit has been repeated.
    • Repetion is a powerful force when it comes to creating habits.
  2. Your will power.
    • Basically your desire and determination.
  3. Having too many steps needed to break the habit.
    • Basically making your new habit too complicated.

I loved those examples that he shared.

Here are the two that I added that we discussed:

  1. Identifying as your habit.
    • Basically seeing yourself as your habit (for example, “I’m a yeller,” or “I’m a smoker,” or “I’m lazy.”)
  2. The perceived benefit of the habit.
    • Drinking Diet Dr. Pepper tastes great. You get a dopamine hit.
    • Yelling at your kids used to get them to listen, respond, change.

As we talked about this he said it was helpful to understand why it can be hard to break habits.

What makes your habits hard to break could be different for you, so make sure to explore this for yourself.

Also, I don’t recommend focusing on breaking bad habits. Instead, I recommend building desired habits.

What Makes Breaking Habits Hard is The Secret To Creating Habits Easily

Now, I want to let you in on a little secret. Whatever it is that makes habits hard for you is the secret for making habits easy for you.

For example, if the amount of times that you’ve repeated a habit makes it harder to break, doing the new desired habit over and over, getting reps in, is the secret to creating a new habit to replace the old one.

You can go through your own list and find ways to apply the list of things making your habits hard to ways that you can make creating new habits easy.

Your Habits Create Your Results

One of the problems that I have with traditional coaching is that they are overly focused on individual actions.

I love the self-coaching model. It’s a powerful tool. But, it’s only focused on individual actions, not habits.

Your habits create your results.

If you want better results, you need better habits.

Learn how to intentionally create your desired habits, and you can learn how to intentionally create the life of your dreams.

Join Me for a Transformational Conversation

I’m going to be hosting two live Transformational Conversations, and I want YOU to join me.

If you have some New Year’s goals, and their mostly on repeat from last year, you need to better understand your habits and what it takes to create new habits.

Having a transformational conversation is more powerful than simply listening.

Conversations engage the mind. They help you take new thoughts and belief to a deeper level.

Come have a transformational conversation with me and other parents just like you, and lets create some new and powerful habits in your parenting in 2023.

These transformational conversations will be live over zoom, face to face, on Thursday, January 12th at 10 am MST and Tuesday, January 24th, at 10 am MST.

Click the button below to find out how to join the conversation.



Yelling is great for communicating with someone who is far away, but when you yell at someone who is close to you it only triggers their flight or fight response.

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
~ Robert Fulghum

If You Want to Stop Yelling At Your Teen, Stop Yelling at YOURSELF!

Okay, so this might be a stretch. You probably don’t “yell” at yourself out loud, but be honest, how do you speak to yourself on the inside?

How often do you “yell” at yourself in your head?

How often do you tell yourself that you’re “not good enough”, or that you “should have done better”?

The truth is, if you want to stop yelling at your teen, you have to stop yelling at YOU!

Start treating yourself with kindness, and it will be easier to treat your teen with kindness.

Why Do We Yell?

If you’re like most parents, you yell to be heard.

Maybe you yell out of anger, overwhelm, or fear.

If you’re like most parents, sometimes you yell because you believe, “that’s the only way my kids will listen.”

I want you to dig deeper.

Why do YOU yell?

My guess is that this is something that you saw your parents do. Maybe it’s a habitual response. Maybe it really does seem like it’s the only way your kids will listen.

The best way to start controlling the urge to yell is by understanding all the deeper reasons behind the why, with compassion!

No matter how much you have yelled in the past, remember that you have always done your best. Appreciate your constant effort as a parent to show up and do your best.

It’s hard being a parent.

What Does Yelling Do?

Yelling triggers the Fight/Flight/Freeze response.

This is why yelling is a good idea when trying to protect a child from a dangerous situation. You yell “STOP” and a child is likely to freeze before running into a busy street.

However, when it comes to teaching something to your child or teen or punishing them, or disagreeing with them, yelling is not the best option.

Like I said, yelling triggers the fight/flight/or freeze response.

It actually puts your teen in survival mode. When getting yelled at, rather than listening to what’s being said you start focusing on the speaker because you perceive them as a threat. You start looking for an escape or you start getting angry in preparation to fight for your survival.

Think back to the last time you got yelled at. How did you feel, scared, defensive, embarrassed?

Because you go into survival mode, your primitive brain takes over and your prefrontal cortex takes a back seat.

Your ability to learn at a high level is greatly diminished. Instead, your primitive brain creates an emotional response that quickly turns into a habit.

I’ve taught about how “calm is contagious” as Rorke Denver says, and how humans are herd animals. The other thing that yelling does is escalate the emotional tension. It spreads to the person being yelled at, and they are likely to yell back.

This is the fight response.

How to Stop Yelling

  1. Explore the why behind your yelling (Remember, this also applies to your inner self-talk.)
  • When I explored this for me, I realized that a big reason why I yelled was that that was what I learned from my parents and other adults in my life.
  • I usually yell out of anger.
  • I yell because I want to control the situation.
  • I often yell because I want to control my teenager.

2. Have compassion for you and your teen.

  • It’s okay that you’ve yelled, and you’re probably going to yell again.
  • You want to be better, and that’s a powerful place to start!
  • You and your teen ARE DOING YOUR BEST!

3. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is easy.

  • It sounds weird, but try it!
  • When parenting is easy, intentionally practice how you want to speak to your teen when things are hard.
  • This will create a new way of BEing, which will create new habits.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, especially when it’s hard.

4. Practice who you want to BE when parenting is hard.

  • Obviously, this one is harder, but it’s powerful.
  • When parenting is hard, intentionally fall back into what you practiced when things were easy.
  • Practice getting anger and fear out of the driver’s seat.
  • Practice intentionally BEing the parent of your dreams, even though it’s hard.

5. Use Thought Downloads and the Model

  • Use the model to explore the thoughts and feelings that lead to yelling.
  • Use the model to explore the results that yelling creates in your life.
  • Use the model to practice intentional parenting.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! The price is getting ready to go up, and we’re making it better than ever!


#072 Horror Stories About Grades!

We have been conditioned to think that grades are THE MOST important, but this is just herd mentality thinking.

Grades Aren’t As Important As We’ve Been Taught

When I was getting close to graduating high school, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to go to college due to my poor high school GPA (2.0 something) and my poor ACT score (17).

For years leading up to my graduation, I was told that I would have to improve my grades if I ever wanted a job other than digging ditches or some other type of manual labor.

For years I was told horror stories about people who had so much potential, but poor grades in school completely derailed and ruined their lives.

This is an example of herd mentality.

Teachers and school counselors believe that good grades are the key to success.

So of course, they are going to share this belief with their students.

Unfortunately, with teachers, parents, and school counselors all telling the same horror stories when it comes to grades, most teens adopt the herd belief without even questioning it.

For a long time, I worked manual labor jobs because I believed I was doomed to that life because of my high school grades.

Your Teen Is the Key to Thier Success, Not Their Grades!

I believe this with all my heart!

I am an example of this. I barely graduated high school. I thought of dropping out. My grades were not great.

And yet, I am successful.

I became a phenomenal teacher. My students loved me!

I got my bachelor’s degree and graduated Summa Cum Laude. That means I did pretty darn good in college.

I became a high school principal at a failing charter school on the Ute Indian Reservation, (without a master’s degree I might add).

Within a few short years we had turned the school around.

My high school grades are definitely not the key to my success, I AM!

The same is true for your teen.

Grades, friends, a starting role on their high school football team, none of these are the key to their success.


If you believed this, how would you feel?

If you believed this, what would that change in the way you parent your teen?

If you believed that your teen was the key to their success, your teen would be more likely to believe that THEY are the key to their success.

Values and Grades

It’s 100% okay to value grades. It’s also 100% okay to NOT value grades.

If you’re like most parents who talk to me about their teen’s grades, you value grades more than your teenager does.

Maybe you expect your teen to get nothing lower than a B, but they have several F’s.

If you’re like most parents, this difference in you and your teen’s expectations and values is causing some friction in your relationship with them.

If you’re like most parents, this results in yelling, arguing, fighting, and often grounding.

What if, grades aren’t as important as you’ve been taught?

What if your teen’s grades are actually a reflection of their values, not yours?

What if your teen has different values than you?

Your Relationship With Your Teen

At the end of the day, I promise you, your relationship with your teen is far more important than their grades.

I get it!

You still believe that grades are important.

You want your teen to get good grades.

I want to invite you to shift your focus to two things:
1. Your relationship with your teen, and
2. Your relationship with their grades.

Of these two relationships, which one will benefit your teen the most in 1 year, 5 years, 20 years, and so on?

Why is your teen so important to you?

Why are their grades so important to you?

I want to invite you to connect with your teen, RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE!

Regardless of what their grades look like, they will benefit from having a parent who can connect with them no matter what.

Once you build this connection, you will better understand why they have they grades that they do. You’ll be able to determine whether their grades are a result of not being high on their priority list or the result of some serious struggles.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! The price is getting ready to go up, and we’re making it better than ever!


#029 How to shift your mindset: Goal Setting

Change your mindset and it’ll change who you are, change who you are and it’ll change what you do. How you think is the key to everything!

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
~ Albert Einstein

3 Simple Mindset Shifts

Towards the end of the year and through January, people start talking about goals and making changes in their lives.

Here are 3 common mindsets that hold most people back, along with 3 simple mindsets that will empower you in 2021.

Desire vs Shame

Do you have any New Year’s goals or resolutions?

This time of year, most people say things like, . . .

. . . “I need to lose weight,” or . . .

. . . “I should stop yelling at my kids,” . . .

Or, . . . “I would be better if . . . “

Sure, self-talk like this can be somewhat motivating. The only problem is, these thoughts create shame. Anytime shame is the emotion motivating our actions, we are limited by that emotion.

Instead of letting shame drive your goals, try harnessing the power of desire. Instead of, “I need,” or “I should,” try . . .

I WANT TO . . . !”

I want to lose weight”

I want to walk up the stares without losing my breath.”

I want to stop yelling at my teen.”

I want to appreciate my teen.”

Can you feel the difference?

Rather than doing it out of shame, you’re doing it for you, out of desire. When it comes to your goals or resolutions, drop the shame. Do it out of love. Do it out of desire for who you want to be.

This will be a powerful example for your teens. This will also help you change your mindset around what you and your teen “need” to do versus what you “want” them or you to do. This will help you drop the shame when parenting.

Who You Are vs What You Do

Most people in the world think in terms of, “What do I need to do to get . . . ?”

We think our desired result is dependent on our actions, which is true as evidenced by the model.

BUT . . .

Who we are determines what we do. So, rather than focusing on what you do, focus on who you are or who you want to become. This will help you think in terms of, “Who do I need to be to get . . . ?”

Have you ever seen people lose weight because they started a diet or exercise program? Most of them have already gained all the weight back.

Have you ever seen people lose weight because they found a pastime that they were passionate about? Now because they love to hike, or ride bikes, or ride horses, or because they got a medical diagnosis they are a completely different person.

Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, explore who you must be to do those things.

This will help you parent with a new perspective. Rather than focusing on what you’ve done “wrong,” you can focus on who you’ve become. Rather than focusing on your teen’s actions, you can better focus on who they are and who they are becoming.

Who you are is the driving force behind what you do.

Be the person that you want to be.

Achieve more in 2021 by doing LESS!

Seems like everyone has a list of things that they want to do in the upcoming year. From improving relationships to losing weight, to making more money.

There’s one problem . . .

We already spend all of our time doing things. Everything that you add to your “To-Do List” will compete for time with all things that you are already doing.

So, rather than focusing on all the new things that you want to do in 2021, rather than coming up with a list of “To Do’s” try identifying the things that you want to stop doing this year.

What are some areas that take up the most time, energy, resources or money? What if you stopped eating out? How much money, time, and health would that save you?

For example, most people focus adding things like going to the gym, starting a diet, or exercising every day. What if instead of adding any of those things, you found something that would accomplish similar or the same results by reducing the things that you do, like ending the practice of eating out.

Our time, energy, and resources are limited. When we try to achieve more by doing more, it often puts stress on one of those areas.

On the other hand, when we start freeing up time, energy, and resources, it empowers you to double your focus on the areas of your life that are most important.

Try it out this year. Here’s some ideas that I’ve done less of in the past:

  • Stop eating sugar, flour, and processed food.
    • I was able to lose 30 lbs in 5 months without dieting or exercising.
  • Stop arguing with others.
    • I was able to save time and feel better towards others.
  • Stop eating out.
    • This one was huge! It helped me lose weight, get healthier, spend better time with my family, and save money!!
  • Stop focusing on the negative/problems/obstacles.
    • This helped me be happier, empowered, and find the opportunities and the positives in the midst of the negative.

Call to ACTION!

January is the time to join my group coaching program!

I promise that this will help you become the parent of your dreams. You will develop the skills to be intentional, to turn struggles in to strengths, and to build a rock-solid relationship with your teen.

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