Sep 19

Ask and Listen! There are amazing people and stories all around us!

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

I was reminded recently that I should not only focus on myself and my needs, but keep others in mind on a continual basis. This is an obvious statement, and we do provide for so many needs in our lives. We support our spouse or significant other, our kids, our co-workers, etc. But how often are we intentional about truly placing the attention on another person? It is so much easier to focus on ourselves, talk about ourselves, and think of ourselves.

stories of others
Over the past year I have tried to shift my mindset about the conversations I engage in, and it has been amazing. I have learned so much about so many people that I would have never known if I did not intentionally ask. My husband and I meet up with his grandmother once a month for lunch. We take that time to catch up on life, but I have also started to ask questions about times gone by, times with her husband who is now diseased, how life was for her growing up, and the places she has traveled in her life. Her life and her stories are amazing! It brings great joy to her to share and reminisce about these times, and it brings me tremendous joy as I listen.

How often, in our daily conversations, do we really listen to people? How often do we put others first in our conversations? How often are we intentional about asking others about their past or present experiences? All of these things take some intentionality. For me, and I would guess for most of us, this does not come naturally. I have had to:

  • Prepare ahead of time by thinking if questions I can ask.
  • I take some time to think about the person I am getting ready to have a conversation with, who is important to them, and what is important to them.
  • I think about their hobbies and interests. If I don’t know of any, my first question is “what do you love to do for fun?”
  • I think of events that recently happened in their life and ask them about them.

What happens next is vital.


When we truly listen and are interested in the person the next question comes naturally. Yes, there is a chance that you will not be able to talk about yourself, but it is very rewarding to put someone else first. I have had some of the greatest lunches, car rides, and walks with others when I make it all about them. Be the bright spot in someone’s day, ask about them, listen and make it all about them.

What upcoming conversation can you be intentional about? It could be someone right in front of you.

Sep 12

Beauty in the place where NEW and NORMAL meet!

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

Today’s post may seem like a contradiction to my normal “go get-em” posts. But as I reflected on my week, I realized that even though it was great, it was pretty ordinary. At first I interpreted this as a bad thing, but I also knew deep down that it was a great week. How can something so ordinary be so great?

I believe it is important to continually grow in life. For me, I try to grow by reading and hearing other perspectives. I also like to try something new every once in a while. Ordinary, on the other hand, is defined as “with no special or distinctive features; normal.” This week, I found beauty in the place where NEW and NORMAL meet.

beauty in ordinary
My week probably looked a lot like yours. Laundry, house cleaning, lawn work, work work, errands, exercise, bathed the dog (or kids for many of you), paper work, and appointments. A pretty ordinary week. I did not come up with any great discoveries, nor scale a mighty mountain (with the exception of the laundry pile). But I did:

  • Meet a new and extraordinary person.
  • I was able to show generosity by giving a large tip to someone who works hard but makes little money.
  • I was able to move forward in getting UN-STUCK by learning some new exercises to help my aching back.
  • I was able to support and encourage those close, special people in my life.
  • I was able to make my home a comfortable place to be and live.
  • I exercised and had a medical procedure to improve my health.

All of these things are very ordinary because we do them all the time, no special or distinctive features, but they are wonderful!

Give yourself credit today for the little things!

  • Be proud of the fact that you kissed and loved your kids and significant others this morning.
  • Remember and acknowledge the new people that come into your life.
  • Realize the smile you gave someone, or the door you held for someone, made a difference.
  • Consider the work you do around the house to be a job well done and a job that improves the lives of those you love.

Give yourself credit! Yes, there is always more to do, more to learn, places to go, people to see. But embrace the ordinary in your life as well!

What did you do today or this week that seemed ordinary, but needs to be seen as extraordinary?

Sep 06

I’m Stuck! There’s No Way Out!

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

There are few feelings worse than feeling STUCK. It brings along with it the feeling of hopelessness, fear, and anxiety, which drain what little bit of energy we have left. It is a horrible place to be. When we feel STUCK, we look around and it seems like there is no way out, no life-preserver, no helping hand.

But there is hope! There are people and resources all around us to help us get UN-STUCK. The question is, are we willing to do what it takes to reach out for that helping hand?

boat in mucThis week I had two incidents of feeling overwhelmed to the point where my chest muscles tightened, I felt short of breath, and I had a hard time calming myself down. I wondered if I was having a heart attack, asthma, or possibly a mild anxiety attack. I reached out to a trusted friend who has dealt with similar symptoms in the past and she confirmed my suspicion, anxiety. She shared her story with me and we talked through what I needed to do to get better, how to feel less STUCK.

In life, we make decision after decision that slowly slides us towards this place of “BEING STUCK”. We spend too much $, we don’t discipline our children, we stay at work instead of going to our son’s baseball game, or daughters soccer game, we lay on the couch instead of going for a walk, we watch 4 plus hours of TV a night instead of investing time with those who love us. All of these decisions gradually build up to the point where we feel like we are at the point of no return. Over time we get STUCK. The good news is that, over time with right decisions, we can get UNSTUCK!

What decisions have you made to bring you to a place of being STUCK?

The answer to this question is very important, because one of the first steps in getting UN-STUCK is to take responsibility for your situation. It is time to swallow your pride and come to the realization that you should have done things differently in the past. It’s time to replace the bad habits with good habits, get on track and get UN-Stuck!

There are many resources you have available, but a great place to start is to ask someone for help. We are fed a lie in our lives that “we should be able to do it on our own”. Science, psychology and religion tell us that we are meant to do things together, to depend on one another, not to be alone. Stop believing the “Lone Wolf” lie and reach out for a helping hand. Reach out to:

  • Someone you can trust. Go to someone who will keep your conversations confidential.
  • Someone who can actually help you. If you go to someone who cannot help you, you have to ask yourself if you are just going to vent and really have no intention of getting UN-STUCK.
  • Someone who has experienced the same thing you have, and have worked their way out of that situation.
  • You may need to find an organization to help like Alcoholics Anonymous, Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Etc. There are organizations out there for you, you just have to make the effort to find them.
  • You may need to hire a Personal Life Coach to help you identify your next action steps and hold you accountable for following through on them.
  • You may need to hire a counselor, a lawyer, an accountant, whoever it takes to move you forward and get UN-STUCK!

It is a CHOICE. Your CHOICE. Are you willing to do what it takes to get to where you really want to be? If the answer is YES, what are you going to do today to move forward?


Aug 29

The Importance of Discovering Who You Are and “Being You”!

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

I have come to realize that life is a process of understanding ourselves, and then taking that information to live better in this world of ours. We are amazing, complex individuals that have been created, shaped and formed through our environment, the people in our lives, and our many experiences. I believe we will go into old age still discovering new things about ourselves. We truly are amazing.

Weathered Tree Rings








I will be honest, I have not been intentional about learning about myself. It has been through people in my life presenting various tools that I have helped me tap into who I am, what I am gifted in, what I am strong at, what I enjoy, why I respond to things the way I do, etc.  But through this process, going on for about 10 years now, I am a much more confident, happy, free person. And like so many great things, I want everyone to experience the same confidence, happiness and freedom.

Here are just of few things I have learned and discovered about myself:

  • I have an overall optimistic view of life, but I have to watch out for the negative things that I think about myself. I tend to be hard on myself.
  • I love to be active. I love to walk, play volleyball, and my latest discovery is that I enjoy working out punching a boxing bag.
  • I like being by myself. There is a time for me to be with people, and there is a time for me to be by myself. If I do not get my “me” time, I get cranky (just ask John).
  • I have experienced God’s presence in my life. I try to stay in tune with Him every day so I can learn to love Him and others better.
  • I LOVE sweets! I have realized over the past few years how bad sugar is for me, so I had to cut back. But I really enjoy sweet stuff!

Learning about yourself is not difficult, but it takes time and intentionality. You have to get away from the hustle and bustle of life to read, think, make observations, and utilize great tools. I believe the more we know ourselves and live our lives focused on our gifts, strengths, and amazing qualities, the better:

  • Spouse we will be.
  • Friend we will be.
  • Parent we will be.
  • The more fun we will have.
  • The more energized we will feel.
  • The better we will serve others.

…the list goes on and on! Each ring on a tree represents a year of growth. The year could be a year of great abundance, severe drought, fire, disease, or just getting by with what it needs. But the tree still grows! We have a choice, no matter what our current season looks like, to grow and learn. Join me on this quest to take time to learn about ourselves, feel more energized, and give back like we never thought possible.

If you would like to receive an email notification of my future blog posts, subscribe in the right column. A confirmation email will be sent to you, so don’t forget to confirm it in your email.

Aug 15

Now Open: Life Planning Class Registration – October 2013

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

Registration has begun for the October Life Planning Class at St. Charles Community College taught by our very own Coach Jen!

Click on this link to start the registration process. Read on for more details.

Life Planning Class








The summer semester of this class was a huge success and we are running it again to help you overcome the busyness of your life! Here’s what one of the participants from the summer semester had to say:

The Life Planning Class I took at the St. Charles Community College went above and beyond my expectations of the course. Jennifer Regan from Lead Thru Example worked with each one of us to develop a life plan tailored to our individual goals and dreams. She not only gave us the tools we needed to pull together our ideas but quiet time during class to disconnect from our current distractions to focus on life’s priorities. By the end of the course I had not only developed a realistic life plan but the ability to recognize some of the distractions keeping me from my goals!

Craig D.

As a participant of the class you can expect:

  • Weekly instruction on practical tools to help you succeed in all areas of your life.
  • Professional Materials to walk you through a systematic Life Planning Process.
  • Time each week to disconnect from your busy life and focus on yourself and what you want out of life.
  • Your own personal Life Plan, created by you with practical steps to move forward and make it happen!
  • The number of participants is limited and the session is filling up fast! Don’t delay, Jen would love to see you in October!

St. Charles Community College – Learn for Life
Life Planning: Creating a Road Map for Your Life
Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm
October 22 – November 12
Investment of: $75.00

Click on this link to start the registration process.

Aug 08


By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

Pre-goal-attainment positive affect…in other words, ENJOY NOW! I am enjoying reading Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. It is her story of defining happiness for herself and figuring out what that looks like in her life. The term pre-goal-attainment positive affect made me giggle. It sounds like the latest discovered disease. But as I continued to read, it was a great reminder for me. There is a fallacy called “arrival fallacy” which is the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. I love to obtain goals, to put a check-mark on the box, but so many times I forget to enjoy the journey (pre-goal-attainment positive affect).

dancing in puddles








This subject hits home right now. John and I are in the midst of some pretty hefty financial goals (debt reduction, savings, etc.). The goals we have set are the right ones for where we are in life and to get us to where we want to be in the long-term. But I WANT and I NEED! But I CAN’T HAVE right now and that makes me cranky at times. What I have to remember is: * We are doing the RIGHT thing * I will eventually get some of the things on my WANT list * Instead of being cranky about it, I need to find enjoyment in where I am right now. Are you working towards something that is hard, but worth it? If not, should you be? What should that goal be? If you set a goal, and you are willing to be uncomfortable for a short time, you will see dividends for the long-term. Find ways to have fun even when you are working hard on your goals! Treat yourself to some Pre-Goal-Attainment Positive Affect!

Side note: If you know you need to move forward in some areas of your life, but you are not sure where to start. I am teaching a great class at St. Charles Community College starting October 22nd for 4 weeks. It’s called Life Planning: Create A Road Map for Your Life. Here is the link for registration! I would love for you to join me! If you do not live in the St. Louis area, but would be interested in the class, let me know. We are developing the curriculum to bring the class as an interactive on-line webinar in the future!

-Coach Jen

Jul 25

I Can Do This: Getting Over the Hump

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized


We all have the greatest intentions to lose weight, to exercise more, to eat better, to quit smoking, etc. But actually doing it and sticking with it is downright hard. Others seem to succeed, why can’t I? When it comes down to it, I just can’t say no to that bowl of ice cream. I have the best intentions every night, but I just can’t get out of bed in the morning to exercise. I have had times of success in the past, why is it so hard for me to succeed right now? Why can’t I move forward in this one area of my life?

Man in Bed








Over the past month I have gained 5 pounds. I ask myself how in the world have I gained 5 pounds? Unfortunately/fortunately I track my weight, exercise and calorie intake, so I can look at my logs to see how it happened. I gained it 1 pound at a time, eating too much food. With summer here I have enjoyed more ice cream than normal, and I have rationalized it because I have been exercising a lot. I could rationalize it even more my saying that those 5 pounds are from the muscle I have gained. On days that I have not felt well, physically or emotionally, I have decided “I NEED” the ice cream. I have allowed my thoughts and feelings to take the driver seat. But the fact is, I am back up 5 pounds and I don’t want to be here, so I have to take control and make a change.

I have done it before, and I can do it again. Here is what has worked for me in the past, and what I am going to put into place again.

  • Remove the temptation: If something is too tempting to resist, remove it from your home and your life.
  • Replace it with a better alternative: Many people are using the smokeless cigarettes to help them quit smoking. Find better snacks to eat. Find exercise that is fun.
  • Be realistic about your time: If you are not a morning person, you are setting yourself up for failure if you plan to get up early to exercise. If you know that evenings are a time when you like a snack, set aside some calories (if you are counting calories) to allow for that snack. When we “WIN” at something it motivates us, so let’s set ourselves up to win!
  • Plan ahead: If I am at a family function: I cannot even look at the dessert table or it is all over. Know what you need to do to succeed in a situation and do not waiver. If I am going to a restaurant, I go on-line to look at their menu. I decide what is going to work for me, and I do not even look at the menu when I get to the restaurant.
  • Find what motivates you and use it to your advantage: I love rewards, so I have set a realistic goal to lose my 5 pounds by the end of August, and will reward myself when I meet my goal.
  • Realize so many of our battles are in our mind: We do have the authority to make right decisions for ourselves. Everything is a choice.

Join me as I change my thoughts from “I NEED” to “I CAN DO THIS!” and let’s get back on track!

Are you willing to take authority of your thoughts and your environment to accomplish the goals that are important to you?

-Coach Jen

Jul 19

Living Simpler in Complicated Times

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

The Desire for a Slower Pace

I have thought often that I would like to live in some period of the past, a simpler time. TV and Movies do such a great job of romanticizing those periods to make them look lovely.

I know the reality is that life has had it’s challenges at every stage of our world’s history, but I do know that life seems to be busier and more is expected of us then ever before. So it’s time to hop into our DeLorean Time Machine and jump back in time when life was simpler.

light bolb








I was fortunate to be raised in a great home, with a great family, in a small rural town in Illinois. My dad worked hard at his day job to provide for my mom, me and my six siblings. My mom stayed at home and took care of us kids and all that it takes to keep a household of nine running smooth. We spent important times together at every meal, doing chores and having fun. I remember meal times where me, my Dad, Mom and sister Angie would start giggling about something and could not stop for quite some time. I have great memories of times with my family. Life was about people, life was about working hard, life was full of joy and it all came down to a great gift we gave each other, time.

As I grew older, I bought into the notion of “that was then, this is now”. Life simply is not that way any more. But somehow, I still long for it. Why couldn’t I have that peace and joy now? I started to read about others who were longing for the same thing and starting to emerge victorious. They were describing the life I remembered with a slower pace, with more focus on friends and family and less focus on the stuff that makes us really busy.

My husband and I started to question everything we did and why we did it. We started to cut back in many different areas of our life. We started to challenge the notion that we are supposed to be running around with our heads cut off. Today, we ARE living a slower paced life that is filled with people, work, love, peace, passion, joy and a lot of fun.

I can’t help but think that there are many of you out there that long for the same thing. Here are some of the resources I have come across and things I have learned that I hope will benefit you as well.

  • Go through the process of creating a Life Plan. We only have 24 hours each day and we want to fill it with the BEST things. Many times our day is filled with decent, even a bunch of good things, but why settle for that? Let’s fill our days and lives with the BEST things. The Life Planning process helps us identify what the BEST things are in life so we can not only start to add those to our lives, but start to remove other less necessary things.
  • Identify anchors and start to remove them. We all have anchors, things that hold us down and hold us back. In the book Minimalism, the authors have an exercise that helped me evaluate my anchors and determine how to start removing them. I identified some unhealthy relationships and unhealthy habits that were taking up a lot of my time and energy and holding me back.
  • Make the necessary changes to live the life YOU want. This will be different for everyone. My husband and I have found that life works much better for us and simpler if I work from home Part Time with Lead Thru Example, and prioritize running and taking care of our household. When both of us worked full-time outside of the home we ate horribly, restaurants most of the time. I would go grocery shopping grabbing unhealthy convenient foods because I had no time to cook. I would grab the token fruit or vegetable to calm my guilt, but it would go bad before I ever had the chance to eat it. I would go shopping at one place, not caring about the price because I did not have the time to even think about going to more than one place. Our time at home was filled with catching up on yard work, laundry, mail, bills, and collapsing in front of the TV to try to have a little bit of down time. Does that sound familiar? Well…it does not need to be that way, but only you can choose to change it.

Are you willing to take time to plan your life, remove unnecessary things, stop settling for less, and make the changes necessary to live your BEST life?

-Coach Jen

Jul 15


By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

I Want Control

I think we can all say that we like control in our lives. Control at work, control of the future, control of our finances, control of our kids, the list goes on and on. But control is not something we often have. Things change, people move on, our dreams don’t become reality, your HVAC unit has to be replaced and it’s more money out-of-pocket that you were not expecting (I can speak from experience on that one). So what is within our control?

Remote controls








My husband and I were not able to have children. This was a real blow for me because I had always dreamed of staying home, being a homemaker and raising our kids. We discussed adoption, which is a wonderful way to go, but simply did not feel it was the direction we were supposed to take in life. It was a heartbreaking time, but as time went on we both knew we had to adjust and move on. That chapter of our life became final in 2012 when I had a hysterectomy, but with it behind us we ask ourselves, what do we have that is within our control and what can we do about it? We began to dream again, of things we had never thought of before and they are now starting to become a reality.

Where ever you are in life, I encourage you to take time to think about what is within your control. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want you body to look like? Finances? Spirituality? Work? Family? We do have so many things within our control to change. So, just as we plan a vacation or a menu for an upcoming gathering, lets take the time to start planning the changes we want to see in our lives. Take some time in the next few weeks to:

  • Dream about what you want the different areas in your life to look like.
  • Decide on what area(s) you want to change and choose one to start with.
  • Decide on your final goal and write it down. It is best if your goal is specific, measurable, starts with an action verb (run, lose, eliminate, complete), realistic, and has a time of completion/deadline.
  • Decide what small steps you can do TODAY to get started, and start moving!
  • Find someone you trust to hold you accountable and encourage you. You may want to set up a reward system for yourself at certain points of progress.
  • Continue to ask yourself, “What is the next thing I can do to move forward?” and keep moving forward.

We do have so many areas that we have control to change. Stop allowing the things you cannot change to drain you and put all that energy towards an amazing personal goal for yourself.

Are you up for the challenge?. Let us know what you are up to! We would love to hear your amazing story of change and love to help you in any way we can.

-Coach Jen

Jul 05

Scale the Walls: What’s Holding You Back?

By Jen Regan | Uncategorized

Don’t Let Life’s Walls Hold You Back

I am surrounded by amazing people! Individuals that have gone back to school as adults and are now working in jobs that they dreamed of. Individuals who felt stuck in a rut, but worked to get out of it. Individuals who are dreaming of what could be and making it happen!

But the reality for all of us, even those mentioned above, is that there are areas in our lives that we struggle with: areas that are down right hard to deal with. We want to make a change, but that wall in our life feels insurmountable.

Scale wall








Right out of college, my first job was as an Activity Director for a local Retirement Community. I worked with seniors who lived very independently, and it was my job to give them every opportunity to stay active and enjoy life. I had many who lived amazing, vibrant lives, and many who did not. I started to ask the questions, what is the difference between these two groups of people. I found that one group made the decision to prosper. They grew in relationships, continued to learn, continued to make adjustments and never stop improving their lives. And the others seemed to have thrown in the towel.

Our lives are filled with ups and downs, some say valleys and mountain top experiences, others describe life as a roller coaster ride. Whatever mental picture you decide on, it is filled with times of ease and time of challenge. There are many walls that we find in our lives. As we challenge ourselves and learn, we scale these walls, grow and move on.

Sometimes as we move through life we approach walls that are much bigger then those we previously experienced. They are much harder to scale, impossible it seems. Things like getting out of debt, losing the weight, quitting the bad habit we’ve had for years, getting a new job, have what appears to be a very large wall in the way of success.

The fact is, these walls that feel insurmountable do hold us back in life. We try to go on living our lives trying to ignore that wall, but we know it is there. The questions is, do you believe you can get over that wall, or have you thrown in the towel?

If you want to scale the walls in your life:
Treat it as a job. We put our whole heart and soul into the work we love. The large walls in our lives will require a large amount of time and energy. Any less will not do. Read about it, learn about it, talk about it, make it a main focus in life.
If one thing does not work, make a note of it and try something else. So many times we try something, fail and give up. That truly is failure. We have the opportunity to learn from your experience, good and bad, make adjustments and still move forward. Try something new until you find what works for you.
Remember you have succeeded many, many times before. You are an amazing capable person. You have done great things in the past, you can and will do great things in the future. Celebrate your victories and set your sights on many more.

What wall is staring you in the face? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to throw in the towel or use it as a victory flag when you reach the top?