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You really don’t need to be perfect to achieve your goals. It is a topic that I write about often…because it keeps needing to be said…sometimes one way will work for one person and sometimes another way…and then, one day…all of a sudden…a light dawns and they realize…that yes, there is no place for perfection in a goal setting plan.

“We’re all born under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.” ~Konrad Adenauer

What Does an Airplane Have to Do With Being Perfect?

I attended a seminar in 1992 with Dr. Tad James. One of the most amazing things that happened in that seminar was a metaphor…a story that he told us. He explained that if you took a flight from San Fransisco to Hawaii, with the goal being arriving in Hawaii safely,  that the airplane would be off course 70% to 99% of the time. Huh?

Yes, that seems to be a huge difference, doesn’t it. So, how does that happen? The plane gets hit and buffeted around by tail winds, head winds, storm fronts, heavy cloud cover and many, many more things…weather can be fickle. So, in order for the plane to reach Hawaii (or whatever its destination is), there needs to be many course corrections.

This would be true, even if the plane was on automatic pilot. Can you see how this can apply to your life? There are constant corrections that you need to make, some on a daily, some on a weekly, some on a monthly basis…just like that little plane going to Hawaii.

Be Willing to Be a Flexible Goals Setter Instead of a Perfect One


“No matter how hard the past…be willing to start again…” Buddha

Perhaps you are like me…we can get hit with really hard things…and still we keep going. I was faced with a divorce that wasn’t in my life plans. It was a big course correction and I had to change my goals. Other people have deaths that they need to cope with. Others have course corrections that might not seem big to others but are big to them.

The important thing to remember is that even if you do need to start over again, you can do it. Yes, it might be hard. In fact, it might be excruciatingly hard…and yet, you can do it…have faith in yourself and your ability to bounce back.

Remember that plane that is off course for most of the time. It keeps on going. Can you imagine what it would sound like in the cockpit if the pilot threw up his hands and started screaming every time the plane needed to be corrected?

The Secret to Letting the Idea of Perfect Go

When you have defined your goals, you have actually defined the obstacles that you will need to overcome. There is no waving of a magic wand to achieve goals. You actually need to do work towards them. You need to define them, have them be realistic and SMART goals. And then:

  • Expect that it will be imperfect.
  • Expect that there will be times nothing will go right.
  • Expect that there will be hard times.
  • Expect that you can handle whatever comes along (yes, you might need help and it is okay to ask for it).
  • Expect to do course corrections.

And then, when you get to that goal, you will be pleasantly surprised that it might even have been easier than you thought…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


What if I were to tell you that in all likelihood, you were neglecting the most important relationship in your life. You would probably get all defensive and say that you weren’t…and yet, if I asked you what the most important relationship in your life was…what would you say?

relationship key to ideal life

I was asked a question by a colleague this week. He asked me how I got into relationship coaching. This is how I answered him. Everything is relationship. I said to him that in my opinion, at the deepest core, everything in our lives is relationship. Whether we are in relationship with family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, food, money or ourselves, it is all relationship.

I mentioned that I had been studying NLP, hypnosis and time line since 1992 (with certifications being achieved in 1996 and 2011). Out of those studies, I had a dawning realization, as I saw the problems that people were encountering in their lives…that the relationship they had with themselves was the problem.

You Can’t Have a Great Relationship if Your Relationship with You Sucks

“The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Because no matter what happens, you will always be with yourself.” ― Diane Von Furstenberg

The answer is…the most important relationship you can have with another human being is yourself. I believe that if you don’t have an amazing relationship with yourself, you can’t have a great relationship with anyone…anyone…so you need to start here first. So let’s take a peek at the inside of one person’s relationship with themselves.

Let’s say there is a  “problem”…a person is a compulsive spender…so, you can give that person a plan…they track every penny they spend, they formulate a reasonable budget and make a plan to pay back their debt (if they are a compulsive spender, there usually is debt).

On the surface, this is a great plan. It is not the entire answer though, it is just a part of the answer. Underneath all of that behavior, is a belief…I don’t know what that belief would be (it can be different for everyone, can’t it?)…let’s guess and say that in this imaginary scenario, that it is an underlying belief that of “I am ashamed to be me. I have no worth.”

If that belief is not removed and replaced with a healthy belief such as “I deserve….”, no matter what plan or how good a plan is put in place, it won’t succeed long term. So, in this case, the person’s relationship with money will repeat itself, negatively, in the long term.

The same pattern can hold true in interpersonal relationships. As long as the cause of the behavior is still there, the behavior can change in the short term through the use of will power…but it rarely will stay changed…the negative belief has to be pulled out, like an evil weed…right by the root…

The person who has the problem behavior of compulsive spending…who doesn’t have a great relationship with themselves because of the underlying negative belief…does not have great interpersonal relationships…they might fool themselves into thinking that they do…but in the long run…no…they don’t…

When You Realize that You are the Most Important Relationship in Your Life

If you were to step back and honestly look at the relationship you have with yourself…what would it look like? Are you a scolding parent to yourself? Change that…and make it better…not perfect…better…how can you be happy in any of your relationships, if you aren’t happy in the one with you?

If you want to have these benefits:

  • Easing of stress, depression, anxiety, addictions, etc.
  • Confidence
  • Peace
  • Optimism
  • Increased creativity
  • Happier relationships with other people

Then…do this….

  • Learn to trust yourself by keeping your promises and your word to yourself. If you say you are going to do something good for yourself, do it. Don’t break promises to yourself
  • Be kind in how you speak to yourself
  • Have fun and laugh everyday. If you can’t find something to laugh at, force yourself to laugh for a minimum of 5 minutes per day. Your body and brain will still get the happy brain chemicals. If you act “as if” you are laughing, it will make you feel better. I know it might sound strange…but give it a try. Sooner, rather than later, you will find yourself being able to laugh again…
  • Visualize a wonderful movie in your mind of a positive, happy, successful life. Add in a fabulous soundtrack of your own voice, speaking kindly and lovingly…
  • Let go of all of those lies that you used to tell yourself…because you are worthy…and you do deserve…

And once you connect all those good feelings…and let go of the limiting beliefs…you will grow in that most important relationship with yourself…and once you allow that trust to blossom…that trust that you can find again…you will find that you ARE the key to that ideal life that you want…and you CAN have it.

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


Image credit: Darren Hester


As children, we all played an excuses game and were highly skilled at it…”he made me do it…” etc. “I had to eat it because it looked so good and there wasn’t much left…it was just a little bit”…or maybe you are familiar with this one…”it’s her fault that I yelled at her (hit her). If she didn’t act that way, I wouldn’t have to do it!” There are never good excuses for bad behavior.

What would happen if you did let all those excuses go


Bad Excuses and Good Excuses

There are all kinds of excuses. Some are good excuses. Some are bad excuses. For example, this week I had dental surgery and was told by my dentist to rest, among other things. So I had an excuse to not do housework or walk the dog. It was a legitimate excuse and one I would rather have not had! :)

Breaking a leg and being told to stay off of it for x number of weeks is a good excuse to stay on the couch. Sitting on the couch all day and eating chips in front of the television for x number of weeks “because I'm bored and can't think of anything else to do” is a bad excuse.

Do you remember when you were young and you asked your parents (usually your mother) if you could do something? And she asked “why?” and you said…”because all the other kids are doing it”…and she gave you that look and said to you “If all the other kids were jumping off a bridge, would you do it, too?” Maybe it was just my mom who said that…but I think not…that is a bad excuse.

There are lots of good excuses and there are lots of bad excuses.

Why Do We Continue to Make Bad Excuses

Because…on a certain level…it works…that is why we do everything…on a certain level, it works for us…we get something out of it, even if we aren’t aware of it. There is a desire to have or do something in our lives and yet…underneath that are the “justified reasons” or excuses that prevent us from accomplishing it.

  • It’s a habit or pattern to make excuses that we have gotten into (and habits can be broken)
  • It helps us to avoid taking responsibility for our lives (it wasn’t my fault)
  • It helps us to cope with a life that is overwhelming (we can get new coping skills)
  • It prevents us from feeling pain or embarrassment in new situations (or so we think)
  • It stops us from dealing with any underlying negative beliefs (those can be changed)

Taking Responsibility: the Ultimate Excuses Killer

When we can understand that our behaviors all stem from CHOICE and we can take responsibility…those excuses all fall away.

Yet, taking responsibility can be one of the hardest things that we ever do. For some people, it is a gradual realization that the path to personal power starts with being at a position of assuming responsibility. For others, there is a sudden moment of realization, an epiphany, that if they want things to be different, they must be at choice…

There is no right or wrong way to arrive. You might be surprised at how quickly you can let go of making excuses…if you saw that you could…let go…just by making a choice to…how easy would that be?

And imagine all of the good things that can happen if you believe that you ARE at choice…that you hold that power in your life…it makes it all so much better…doesn’t it? Because when you know that you are the one who makes the choice, then you are the one who makes all of the choices…and you can have the life that you choose…when you let all of those bad excuses go…

"Drive your own life…you deserve to, don't you?"  Sherie Venner



For Mothers Day, I wrote a post about my favorite mothers day quotes. As this Fathers Day approaches, my heart turns to my own dad…a wonderful man…whose greatest gift to me was this…

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”- Jim Valvano

My dad is a quiet man who was raised in a time where men didn’t show their emotions readily. He was the one who rushed to the hospital on a bitterly, cold day when the wind whipped off of a cold Manitoba lake. He had been on the parade ground, at an Air Force base where he was stationed.

He arrived shortly after my birth and in spite of my battered and bruised appearance, loved me…right from the start…even though I had injuries from the birth, he fussed over me, carried me, fed me and nurtured both my mom and I as we both recovered.

And he believed in me and in fact, still does…and there is power in believing in someone…especially when it is your child. When you believe in your child, deep down inside, they know…even when times are tough…that someone important…someone besides themselves believes in them…

The Importance of Fathers

A good father is just as important as a good mother…neither parent is more important… they are equally important. Children need good mothers and children need good fathers, whether the parents live together or live separately…

What makes a father a good father?

An ability to listen without judging

An ability to have real fun

An ability to know when to help and when to step aside

An ability to love deeply and express that love in meaningful and appropriate ways, ways that are meaningful to his child

An ability to laugh at his own frailties and a willingness to admit them and change them

An ability to be there for his child without it being a hindrance to the child’s development (that is a fine line)

An ability to accept his child…even if the child chooses a different path than the one he would have wanted for him/her

An ability to see the magnificence in his child, that brilliant spark of life that has been put in his care

An ability to believe in your child, to see all those possibilities and do so without pressuring the child…just believe…

My other favorite Fathers Day quote is this one:

“When my father didn’t have my hand….he had my back.”- Linda Poindexter

It is critical for your child to know that you have their back…that they can come to you in a time of need…whether that need is emotional or not…can you imagine what it is like for a child to know that when they are in trouble, they can count on their father? Be there…let them know that they can always count on you…

Fathers…Don’t Be Afraid to Truly Love your Children

“I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn” ~Leo Buscaglia

Give a damn…let your children know that they are loved…even if it is hard for you to express it…find out what your children need in order to know that they are loved…

Do they need to be told that they are loved?

Do they need to be taken places, like the zoo or the movies or fishing or for a walk?

Do they need small gifts (usually when they are young children, this one works well)…like a small toy or a candy bar or a balloon?

Do they need a hug?

Do they need to have a story read to them at night and a reassurance that there are no monsters under the bed?

Ask them…they will let you know…and if your children are older, your role shifts in their life and they still need to know that you love them.

Your children are important and fathers are important. Be important together…and have an awesome Fathers Day…celebrate your fathers and if you are a father, celebrate being one…it is a great gift that you have been given…take care of it…thank you Dad, for believing in me and in having my back…I love you…and Happy Father’s Day!

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


The most important person that you will ever fall in love with is yourself…yes…the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with YOU…and often it is the relationship that most often gets put at the bottom of your to do list. Do you find it easy to love yourself first…not everyone does…

These two great quotes illustrate how important it is to love ourselves….and it is…you know…

"Love yourself, for if you don't, how can you expect anybody else to love you?" – Susan Lipsett and Liz Nelson

Have you ever fallen in love with someone because they treated you so well? It happens…and you know…it isn’t vain to fall in love with yourself, it is a necessary part of learning to nurture and take care of yourself.

Often, we put the needs of other people before our own needs and do it because we feel such strong bonds of love for the people we are in relationship with. What happens, though, is that we lose ourselves…and when you lose yourself…you don’t make a good relationship partner.

You end up stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed and fighting chronic tiredness and irritability. You become impatient with yourself and the others around you. The joy has gone out of your life…

"Wouldn’t it be powerful if you fell in love with yourself so deeply that you would do just about anything if you knew it would make you happy?"- Alan Cohen

These Simple Tips to Love Yourself First

Tip #1  When you get up in the morning, first thing…make your bed…before you do anything else. Take 5 minutes and clear out any clutter from around your bed, such as books, drinking glasses, any papers that are lying around or any garbage.

If you feel super energetic, wash those sheets (and then make the bed up)! Where you sleep should be treated with pride…like a sacred place…it is easier to fall asleep in a place that is clear and uncluttered…and you will feel SO good about yourself!

Tip #2  Smile at yourself in the mirror and say something great out loud…and mean it! I am talking about a huge, ear to ear smile that lights up that beautiful face of yours! Give yourself a big, self hug. Let that inner critic go…you can always get it back, if you want to…

Tip #3  Go for a walk, outside, and connect with the earth that we live on. Take a deep breath of fresh air and really, really look at that blue sky…notice the white clouds…and feel the breeze on your hair…if you are brave and the weather permits and you are in a safe place (like your backyard), take your shoes off and feel the grass between your toes!

There is an amazing connection to our inner selves when we connect with nature…In my city, there is a set of three pyramids, called the Muttart Conservatory…it is a wonderful place to go to and connect when the weather is bad or it is winter…there are so many places to do this…

Tip #4  Eat green foods…have a salad…make a smoothie…take care of your body…listen to it and give it what it needs…and floss your teeth…daily…if you have a hard time doing that, start with flossing one tooth…just do it every day…and soon…you will find yourself flossing all of the rest…just like that…

Tip #5 Spend 15 minutes alone, dreaming and visualizing what you want in life. In this busy, busy world we live in, 15 minutes alone can seem like a luxury that is out of reach.

It is critical to take this time for yourself. Let someone watch the kids (if you have small children at home) and take that time. Remember…put your own oxygen mask on first…then you can help others…

Tip #6  Spend 15 minutes doing something you love, like reading, writing, listening to music, playing a favorite game, or having a bubble bath…just for you…it will rejuvenate you…that taking care of you…when you learn to nurture yourself by doing those things that you love…even if it is only for a moment (and if you can’t find 15 minutes…find 5…)…it will make a difference. You need to remember who you really are….

Tip #7  Before you go to sleep at night, write down 5 aspects of your life that you are grateful for. There is nothing like feeling a sense of gratitude for your life to foster love in yourself…and if you can, take a minute to write down 5 things about yourself that you love…focus on those strengths…you do have them…you know…

Fall in Love With Yourself Every Day

You send a message to your unconscious mind of your concept of your worthiness when you take small steps to look after yourself. When you continuously put yourself last on a list of priorities, you deepen a belief of “not being worthy” and that isn’t good for you…and it certainly isn’t good for the people you are in relationship with…would you want to be in relationship with someone who thought so little of themselves?

Make yourself a priority and magical changes begin to happen. You feel happier, you have more energy and you become more filled with life…and the people around you begin to change…those who love you, love you more…those who don’t…quietly slip away…

So give yourself the gift of love and fall in love with yourself…love yourself first…so that you can give from a full cup…not an empty, hollow one…and see all of those changes begin to happen…you are SO worth it…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner