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2008ůMaking it Great

2008, Wow! Seems like just yesterday we were focused on Y2k, and now 2010 is right around the corner. As I age, gracefully, I will add, there are a couple of adages that I am finding to be true. First, the older I get the more I realize I am like my mother, and for the record, I am grateful for that. Well, at least most of that! Second the older I get, the more quickly time seems to go by. Or perhaps the other adage comes into play, time flies when you are having fun. And perhaps it is both or all three contributing to my heightened sense of urgency to live my life more fully. Thus, my theme for 2008…making it great.

And just what will it take to make it great? I know I do not have all of the answers to that question, but I do have a few.

Be grateful. It is through being gracious, expressing gratitude and realizing grace that greatness will come.

Be generous. It is often in the giving that we receive. When we believe we cannot afford to give is actually the best time to do so, with the one caveat that we do so without any attached expectations of getting something in return. Doing so awakens our heart and charges our energy, and it returns to us more than we could have ever imagined.

Be courageous. Michael Bungay Stanier contrasts great with good by describing great as the place where the feelings of terror and exhilaration meet. It requires exercising our courage muscle. Stepping outside our comfort zone. Letting the exhilaration launch us forward.

Be care full.  Or put another way, being full of care. For those people and things around me, for the natural resources that we want to nurture and sustain, and for ourselves. Taking care of other people comes naturally for many and we are all learning more about the importance and benefit of taking care of our natural resources. For me, self-care remains a challenge for we couch it as selfish and uncaring. The paradox of self-care is that taking care of ourselves is essential if we want to live a full life caring for others, fully, with an open heart and mind.

It is that time of year where a common topic of conversation is New Year Resolutions. I swore off of them long ago as I wasn’t very good at keeping them because they would quickly become a reason I couldn’t do something rather than I could do it. I realize that to a great degree it was about how I chose to word them; yet, it was also because they were mostly out of context, unconnected to a greater dream, a greater vision and as a result, they did not tap into my internal motivating factors.     

A few years ago my coach introduced me to the concept of themes for the year, and I have found them to be much more effective in providing guidance and motivation to propel me forward. I toyed with many this year, thinking 2008…making it great was a little too slick, cheesy. Yet I found myself continually drawn to it, saying it several times a day and thinking it whenever I wrote 2008. It took giving additional thought to what virtues I would begin to honor in order to make 2008 great that I realized in its slickness there lay a lot of substance.

I encourage you to join me in selecting your own theme, or perhaps going with 2008…making it great, and adding your own dimensions and descriptors to it. All around us there are reasons not to embrace 2008…making it great. And all around us are reasons to. Please do, and a year from now we will all be able to look back and say, 2008…wasn’t it great!

Extra Ordinary

What is your theme for 2008? Write it down, post it around.

What have you done today, yesterday to take care of you? What can you do? What are the benefits?

Commit to acknowledging your blessings everyday, at least once a day. Let gratitude sink in, open your heart, and a waken your senses.

About Extra Ordinary Living

Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.

As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.

Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.

With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.

 Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email,, or visit the website,


Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach

Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.

Sustainable Living Tip:

Realize Your Influence

Living green is about honoring and caring for our environment, those natural resources that in our divine creation are essential to sustaining our life on this planet. I understand  that and yet sometimes struggle to see how what “little ol’ me” does is going to make that much of a difference, especially if it means I am inconvenienced. And then I remember Malcolm Gladwell’s explanation of the tipping point applied to social changes in his book The Tipping Point.  An epidemiological term, the tipping point means “that moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass” and it spreads rapidly. The irony is that the tipping point is usually relatively low on the percentage scale…15%. So yes what “little ol’ me” does matter, and what “little ol’ you” does matters. Big time. 

To get our world to a place where caring for and considering our environment is the norm requires all of us to just do something. To quote the Eagles in their new song Do Something,  “do something, do something, it’s too easy not to care….on your honor, for your pride-you’ll sleep better knowing you tried. Do something, do something. It’s not over, no, it’s never too late.”

Yes, we all have tremendous influence that is easy to discount, to diminish, to wither away. Own it. Realize it. Go out and do something.


"If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them."

– Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Goodness and Goodness of Nature, 1625

"Sometimes we hold on to our possessions because we fear we might run out - life seems scarce. But when we believe that giving is the way to live, we will produce more in the future - life seems abundant."

– John C. Maxwell

EOL Upcoming Events:


Leaping to YES,
a retreat for women

Be Care Full. Invest the extra day this year in yourself, and you will realize the benefit.

Held at Mariners Landing at Smith Mountain Lake, the retreat-to-advance promises to be a full weekend where you will learn practical tools; explore the virtues and values of your essential self; expand awareness of possibilities for increasing satisfaction with your life, and create a personal map for continued growth and fulfillment.

Go now to to sign up and receive the early bird registration benefit.

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