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Sleep Awareness Week – Taking Stock

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) National Sleep Awareness Week wraps up on Sunday.  While the irony for those that spring forward on Sunday lose an hour of sleep occurs on the last day of awareness week is not lost on me, the NSF did provide a great infographic on their page providing 7 tips for better sleep to help you prepare for better sleep despite the hour lost.  Sleep is one of the major self-care components of physiology we cover in high performance – and probably one of the first to be sacrificed when the going gets tough.  This sacrifice does not come without a price.  In a Business Insider article by Jacquelyn Smith, Peter Hames, cofounder and CEO Big Health, the creator of Sleepio, a digital sleep improvement program shared 9 signs you’re not sleeping well – and how it’s affecting your work success.  Beyond the impact to work, consider how it could impact your overarching success:  the impact on ALL interactions and decisions – this is far reaching.

In the physiology module of High Performance Coaching, sleep is a big focus.  One client recently made some very small changes towards achieving more productive sleep (some of which are mentioned in the infographic link above) and noted improvements their overall daily energy levels which they attributed to having more productive sleep.  This leads me to this weeks high performance tip:  take stock in your sleep.  Measure it, both qualitatively and quantitatively.   I recently started using the SleepCycle app to do just that.  If you’re fond of data/spreadsheets like I am, you will likely love this app.  In addition to analyzing your sleep and waking you up in your lightest sleep phase, some other reporting features it has and examples of the data it tracks are sleep cycles, a summary of how long you slept, and a quality of sleep factor.  It also has a premium sleep notes feature you can use before going to bed and upon waking to note and help track the qualitative factors impacting your sleep.  Alternatively, jot down the same information into your personal journal if the premium feature is not for you.  Armed with the data, you can then take action!  In future posts I’ll be sure to cover some ideas and thoughts on how to improve your sleep.  In the meantime, give SleepCycle a try.  Here’s to restful, rejuvenating sleep!

Two great tools for crafting your personal 2015 annual review and 2016 plan


With 2016 right around the corner, I imagine many people are nearing completion of the annual year-end ritual of corporate/business planning and goal setting.  Have you ever thought about taking a similar approach in the planning of your personal life, purpose, and goals on an annual basis?  Here are two, simple to use, free tools I’ve found that I love for creating your own personal annual plan.

Chris Guillebeau’s “The Art of Non Conformity” Annual Review

I have used Chris’s annual review since I stumbled upon it back in 2009.  It’s excel-based which makes it very easy to understand, use, and update.  How he has structured the plan is very powerful.  There are three sections to the plan starting high-level to detailed and specific:

1.     A description of what your life will be like in the upcoming year.

2.     Purpose (a summary of major achievements and goals), measureable outcomes based on your goals, and “theme of the year” which describes your most important outcome.

3.     Categorized goals, actions required for each goal, a deadline, and space for the ever-important quarterly review update

Along with the template, Chris describes the process he uses every year to craft his own annual plan which we could all learn something from AND he posts a summary of his own personal plan:  what went well, what did not go so well, and lessons from the journey.  Talk about amazing!

Nicole Antoinette’s 2016 Goal Setting Workbook

Nicole just recently released a 2016 Goal Setting Workbook in PDF format titled “Your Best Year Ever” in both color and black and white.  She breaks the planning process down for you into a 7-step process framework to help you go from big picture down to specifics, and includes a weekly planning template.  As an added bonus, if one of your goals for 2016 turns out to be “get your ass off the couch and onto the pavement and finish your first 5k” she’s kicking off a virtual training group, The No BS Run Club which is a “three-month, bullshit-free, beginner-friendly, how-to-actually-make-it-happen training program to get you from zero to the finish line of your first 5k.” which starts on January 4th.  I’m still recovering from my running injury earlier this year, but hope to get back to my own training in 2016.

As the year winds down, enjoy time with family and friends, and take the time to reflect on 2015 and to plan to make 2016 your best year ever.  No matter the tool you use, creating your own annual plan is time well spent to on your journey to unlock your highest levels of performance, enabling further clarity and focus as you turn the page from 2015 and head into 2016.


Snooze or Lose?

I don’t understand why performing under the conditions of lack of sufficient sleep seems to be considered to be something to be admired:  During the college days the bravado of pulling an all-nighter to complete a project or last-minute cram for an exam, in the medical profession with people working hours on end, in the corporate world burning the candles at both end, the list seems to go on and on.  Just moments ago someone was sitting next to me talking about how they are running on 4 hours of sleep.  Wow!

This notion of bravado around lack of sleep seems to be pretty pervasive in our culture.  While I’m no physician, I would imagine that we could agree that common sense tells us that the body is a machine.  It requires the proper care in order to perform.  It requires the utmost care in order to perform highly.  One of the components of care is sleep and rest.  Sleep and rest come up repeatedly in discussions that I have around high performance.  It is part of the physiology discussion, and part of the energy discussion.  If you want high performance, maintaining components of care must be a priority.

One of my clients made a commitment to help improve their sleep.  This week they told me about some of the things they did, how it helped to improve their sleep and ultimately noted a difference in energy levels and how they were performing throughout the day.  Amazing, even small changes work.  Just for fun, check out the Sleep deprivation challenge video below produced by Atena.  Perhaps snooze is the answer.

Interested in learning more about high performance?  Join me for a free, individual 60 minute high performance strategy session.  Download the high performance questionnaire, complete it and send it back to me at and we'll get started.

Happy Birthday to Me, My Gift to You


My birthday was yesterday.  While I love getting gifts, I love giving away gifts too.  So, to celebrate, I’m giving away 12-week coaching programs to two people.  If you are interested in coaching for high performance, go to, complete the contact information section and when you submit the coaching questionnaire, tell me why you are interested in high performance coaching and I’ll select two people to join my coaching program.  Submissions due by midnight PST Weds August 5th.