Design Your Life Postcard

Henry Travel PostcardSince September 2010, my friend, Henry, and I have been exchanging postcards on a weekly basis.  No, we aren’t on the road traveling, only living life within commuting distance from our hometowns. Some weeks I receive just 1 postcard, and other weeks I might find 4-7 postcards in my mailbox.  The quantity depends on the weather and how many miles Henry wants to walk to drop these little slivers of life news into the post office mail slot.

If the number of postcards stacked in our dresser drawers were counted, in truth, Henry would win our contest started nearly 7 years ago.  Although Henry has been more faithful in writing, I still contend I have the neater penmanship.  In this contest, however, we are both winners by investing in our friendship through this thoughtful ritual.

You might say, “That’s a lot of writing!  What do you write about?”  Some postcards are from our worldly travels, but mostly they reflect words of what we are thinking, observing, struggling with, and celebrating.  It’s an opportunity for each of us in the peace of our day to stop, put pen to paper, and reflect on our lives, days, thoughts, and feelings.  For me, it is an opportunity to randomly select a postcard from my inventory from past travels and reminisce.  Many times, I find myself feeling grateful that I was able to travel to such a destination to buy that postcard.

Today, I received the above postcard sent by my friend of over 35 years.  On the back, Henry wrote, “This is the PERFECT POSTCARD for your life!  Or close to it!  I don’t know if you take cream in your coffee, and we might swap the hammock, invented in the Amazon Rainforest, with a mission group, and the NYC Union Square Street grid for Bogota!  But otherwise, good!” [Note: I used to take cream and sugar in my coffee, until I forced myself to drink it black to save calories.]

As I studied the postcard with all its items spread across the table, I did agree with Henry that this postcard reflected what I would want in my life and never tire.  Give me a camera, iPhone (Bible App, Facebook, LinkedIn and call connection), my coffee, my itineraries, and the postcards that are the markers of my life lived.  I ask you, “If you drew a postcard representing the life you dreamed of, what would be on it?”  I would then ask whether this postcard looked much different than a postcard drawn of your current life.  How big is the gap?  As a coach, I encourage you to create a postcard of your dream!  Make multiple copies of it!  Frame it! Tape it to your mirror and frig!  Talk about it!  And don’t forget to act on it!


HE21118Davis_07-medAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  She can be reached at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741.

Three Big Questions That Can Determine Your Future

Future NowPeople have a propensity to concentrate most of their thoughts and energy into either the past, present, or future, with their preferred time realm a result of a complicated set of personal circumstances and experiences.  Without having thought much about this concept and its implications, we tend to behave in ways that align with our preferred time perspective. The first BIG question we should ask ourselves: In what time dimension are the majority of my thoughts and conversations directed?

A disadvantage of focusing too much on the past is that it cannot be changed or rewritten.  The past is valuable and should be honored for the learnings it provides and how it shapes our current wisdom.  However, if not put in its proper perspective, the past can be like a thief who robs us of creating a future.  Our future is still unscripted, full of limitless possibilities, and may only lack a destination and path to get there.

Those who primarily focus their thoughts and decisions in the present tend to react to their immediate circumstances.  They may enjoy living in the present but be unsure of what tomorrow holds.  Thinking of and seriously planning for the future can feel both thrilling and unsettling with a heaviness of responsibility.  Because it seems so overwhelming, some shy away from this responsibility.  They fail to realize that their future will be created from both decision and indecision.  The second BIG question we should ask ourselves: What time realm am I committed to work in? 

As a coach, I encourage my clients to dream big about their future—get a vision—one that has color and builds excitement.  People need a clear vision, because the necessary ingredients of hard work and sacrifice to achieve that future do not come easy.  It is unlikely that anyone would deny pleasure in the present for an undefined greater reward in the future.  The third BIG question we should ask ourselves: What painful decision will I make today to have the reward of my dreamed tomorrow? 

Regardless of our faith, most people would agree that life is a finite gift which comes with no instructions and plenty of responsibility.  Whether we accept that responsibility or not, our decisions of today create our life of tomorrow. When we decide to focus more on our future, a coach can be a partner who helps us through that process.


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including leadership, life purpose/plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  She can be reached at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or 281.793.3741.

Don’t Let Limiting Beliefs Stand In Your Way!

The operating principle underlying the coaching relationship is the client has the ability to influence a desired outcome. Sometimes the first step may be to self-identify the limiting belief that stands in the way of action.Limiting Beliefs


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  

Life Purpose: A Tale of Three Trees

Have you ever bawled like a baby when reading a children’s fable?  I have!  Several years ago, as I was browsing the small bookstore at The Homestead Heritage in Waco, Texas, I picked up The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale.  I guarantee you this is no ordinary children’s story.   The tale tells of the dreams of three trees in the forest, who all long to grow into something that the world would value.  One wanted to be the most beautiful, the other the strongest, and the third the tallest.   After many years the woodcutters came to harvest these trees on the mountain.

Christ with CrossWhat these three trees wished themselves to be instead became how they were used to serve.   The purpose of each tree brought me to tears.  Can you guess how the tallest tree was used?  The third tree wanted to be the tallest tree in the land, and by some accounts this tree got what it wished for as it stood tall at Calvary with Jesus nailed to it.   This tree had one idea of its future, but God had another purpose and plan.  Despite the ugliness it endured as it co-labored with Jesus, the third tree had the opportunity to help bring Salvation to the world.  Now that’s worth first living and then dying for!

For those of you who identify with the Christian faith, I would ask you to think about  whether you are pursuing your own dream or seeking to know God’s dream for your life?  Sometimes God’s dream for your life will take you through ugliness, harshness, and cruelty such as what Jesus experienced on the cross?  Much of the time you will never be aware of the impact you are making and must maintain faith that God is using each faithful word and action for Kingdom impact.  On those rare occasions when I do get feedback, I find those are the fuel that keep me seeking the Lord’s will for my life.  My prayer for you is that God will clearly speak truth and purpose into your life!


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  

Your Answer to “What is Life Coaching?”

act-accordinglyMany people ask, “What is life coaching?” In the simplest terms, “Getting results!” A coach’s role is to help you assess what is going well in your life, decide what you want to change, and hold you accountable in achieving your defined goals. Financial well-being, relationships, work, parenting, spirituality, and marriage health are examples of life areas you may desire change. Everyone can benefit from a life coach, who can provide the needed structure, space, and time to figure out a life vision, direction, and goals to move toward that vision. A coach will also challenge your preconceived assumptions and help you navigate around roadblocks. A coach can make a difference in your thinking, beliefs, decisions, actions and ultimately your whole life.

Coaching Scenarios

Some clients enter a life coaching partnership clear on what goal(s) they want to achieve; whereas, others come to coaching with general discontent and indecision on how to move forward with their lives. A coach has the tools to help a client where s/he stands on the continuum of life satisfaction. Common issues that bring people to life coaching include:

  • My spouse and I are not getting along as well as we have in the past. We’re in a rut and need help getting back on track.
  • I’m a married wife and mother who is getting a divorce and need help transitioning to my role as a single working mother.
  • I’ve been unhappy in my job for years and need a change but am unsure whether my unhappiness is with my specific job, my career, or my company.
  • I’m stressed about not having a work-life balance.
  • I’m a recent empty-nester and do not know what to do next with my life now that my children don’t need me on a daily basis.
  • I’m a freshman in college with an undecided major and need to decide on my major and career direction.
  • I’ve been dating a woman for two years and getting pressured for a proposal. I don’t know whether she is the right one or if I want to get married.
  • How can I be a better leader for my family and the people I supervise at work?

What do these situations all have in common? Each person is struggling with a difficult situation or decision. A life coach can help one navigate through the decision-making and goal-setting process that results in greater empowerment and success.

Coaching Process

Although each client’s situation is unique, I typically take a client through all or a portion of the following:

  • Assess on a scale of 1-10 your satisfaction in several life dimensions
  • Discuss past and current background content relevant to focus areas
  • Suggest various exercises to discover strengths and weaknesses
  • Define a vision for your life and select specific areas of growth
  • Identify and define future goals that will move towards that vision
  • Brainstorm ways to achieve goals
  • Narrow solutions
  • Develop SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Aspirational and Agreed, Realistic/ Relevant and Time-bound)
  • Monitor and overcome obstacles in achieving goals
  • Provide accountability
  • Celebrate successes

Coaching Session

Coaches and clients are equal partners, who co-construct the coaching relationship through vulnerable and empowering conversation. Coaches can administer written assessments, sometimes suggest, and lead with challenging and powerful questions, so clients can then decide on specific plans to achieve their defined goals. Coaching is grounded in the present with a focus toward the future, enabling people to move from where they stand to a position of where they want to be.

In addition to the time spent in session, coaches typically provide written exercises, document action plans, and follow-up with their clients between sessions. Coaching can be done over the phone, via Skype, and face-to-face.  Coaching is for anyone who strives to be a better version of themselves in any area of life, and successful coaching is measured solely by the client achieving results. Everyone can benefit from having a coach, so let us further the conversation and find out how I may help you.


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.

What Voices Have Kept You From Reaching Your Dreams?

What is the difference beI can do ittween “Impossible” and “I’m Possible?”  Grammatically speaking, just one space and one well-placed apostrophe, but in practical terms the chasm may be deep and wide with long tentacles that reach back into your personal history.  What messages from the world have you absorbed in the 6-7 inches between your ears?  More importantly, what beliefs are holding you back with whispers of “I can’t,” when “you can!”  When you listen to Jeremy Cowart’s story brought to life through his creative artistry, I pray that you will challenge any limiting beliefs that are holding you back from achieving your life purpose. Jeremy Cowart – I’m Possible Story

After you watch Jeremy’s 20-minute video, I would ask you to think about these questions:

  1. What message resonated with you the most?
  2. What faulty thinking (lie) are you holding onto?
  3. What truth do you need to replace that lie with?
  4. What one next step could you take that would move you closer to your dream?

How I met Jeremy Cowart?

In November 2015 God brought Jeremy Cowart onto my radar screen in Nashville, TN.   My husband and I were on our annual Thanksgiving road-trip with a short visit touring Nashville.  While we were enjoying live music at Tin Roof on a Saturday night, my husband went to the restroom during one of the band breaks.  When Darin returned to our table, he asked what our itinerary was for the next day.  I replied we were leaving early for Louisville, KY.  Darin then asked me to rearrange our schedule for a noon departure, so we could attend service at Cross Point Church in the morning.  My expression must have been priceless?  Part disbelief? Part quizzical? Part annoyance?  Why Cross Point Church?  Darin explained that while he was impossiblerelieving himself at the urinal, he looked up to graffiti inviting him to Cross Point Church.  He then shared that God put it on his heart to go!  For those who have read our marriage mission statement,  you know that we “listen for God’s voice and act in obedience.”  Off to church we went the next morning!  The pastor was not preaching that Sunday, and a special guest, Jeremy Cowart, was sharing his testimony!  The message?  I’m Possible!  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).  God put us at Cross Point Church on that November Sunday, so we could continue to share Jeremy’s impactful message as we serve and encourage others across the globe!


144-2 - CopyAbout the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach, consultant, and mentor with an extensive background in business development, leadership, and ministry which provides her with the experience, relational skills, and proven processes to move individuals, couples, and leaders to higher levels of personal awareness, effectiveness, and goal achievement.  She coaches in a variety of areas including life purpose and plans, business, finances, and premarital/marriage.  Contact: sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com