Ignore your oppressive to-do list, life coach Kristen Glosserman says. Replace it with a shorter, more powerful and encouraging “do list” each day. Make one of the items on it your “commit”: If you accomplish nothing else, at the end of the day you’ll have completed this commitment. Make it something you’ve been avoiding, and the weight off your mind will be the reward.
“When you commit and actually follow through, you learn how to keep a promise to yourself,” she wrote in her book, “If It’s Not Right, Go Left” (2021).
The long road toward big goals is walked with small steps. Glosserman stays focused on her destination, especially when encountering obstacles along the way.
She has coached executives from Wall Street, Ralph Lauren, American Express, and Saks Fifth Avenue. She has paid close attention to how she overcomes obstacles in her own life and distilled in her book 11 life lessons.
“I wrote this book for me. I rely on these lessons. It’s my self-help playbook that I’m sharing,” Glosserman told The Epoch Times.
Each challenge in her life represents a type of challenge many people experience. For example, trauma. When Glosserman was 13, her little brother died in a skiing accident while they were on a family vacation.
She has experienced addiction in the form of smoking and successfully quit. She has made major career changes. She has been married for 15 years, has four children, and is a certified parent educator. She and her husband own a restaurant chain, and the pandemic has been as tough a time as any for their business.
Positivity is important for overcoming all of life’s challenges, according to Glosserman.
“When we approach life as a series of challenges, as obstacles we’re excited to overcome, we experience a shift toward possibility and positive change,” she said.
Glosserman’s parents were the picture-perfect couple in many ways. Their names were Barbie and Ken. Barbie was a cheerleader, Ken was a football player, and they were high school sweethearts.
“They had this sort of fairytale partnership,” Glosserman said. “At the same time, they were incredibly real. There was a lot of fighting and passion and fun and love. It was a really lively Italian household.
“When we lost my brother, it changed everything. It was such a heavy and sad time. As difficult as it was, I think that was the first time that I recognized the benefit of asking for help.”
She coped by joining friends’ families for their happy times–their Friday movie nights or holiday celebrations. She learned the importance of community and traditions.
“Your community is going to get you through the tough times,” Glosserman said. “It wasn’t sitting in my room alone, it was being with people who loved me that was going to help.”
Now, with her husband and children, she has established family traditions—including Sunday family day—that help them get through the hard times.
“Traditions give us purpose, connection,” Glosserman said. “They’re our framework. [You have] those things to look forward to, as challenging as your week is.”
One of her 11 lesson chapters is “Traditions: Honor Them, Create Them, Keep Them.”
“Tradition for me is a reminder of why life is worth celebrating,” Glosserman said.
The importance of family became clear to her when she was a teenager finding solace in the happy homes of her friends. That’s when she knew finding the right husband and having a big family would be a major goal in her life.
“I had this clear vision of what I wanted ahead,” Glosserman said.
Keeping that goal in mind made it easier for her to overcome obstacles along the way.
Love Is a Choice
Glosserman quit smoking while dating her now-husband, Marc. He was strongly opposed to smoking.
“Every day, I would reinforce my goals: I wanted to be healthy and I wanted to be with Marc. This was my mantra,” Glosserman said of quitting.
She stays goal-focused to overcome any frictions or would-be problems in her marriage. On that point, one of her lesson chapters is “It’s Only a Problem If You Make It a Problem.” She reminds herself why she wants to be with her husband, and that makes it easier to reach that greater goal, to look beyond the immediate challenges.
“I’m choosing this. This relationship serves me because he’s wonderful and he’s kind and he’s the father of my children,” Glosserman said. “This is something I want to be in. How do I move us in a better direction?”
One of her lessons is “Love Is a Choice.” That applies not only to relationships, but also to jobs.
“We can choose to harbor negativity or what we don’t like, or we can really remember why we took this position, why it’s serving us, why it’s helping us in our careers—putting some more emphasis on why it is we’re in the relationship, personally and professionally, that we’re in,” Glosserman said.
As she knows firsthand, a career path or life choice may turn out to be wrong when evaluated this way. Maybe it’s not serving you or helping you reach your career and life goals. The title lesson of her book is “If It’s Not Right, Go Left.”
Glosserman gave an example of a major career change she made. She worked with a motivational speaker and greatly enjoyed it. But she took a job at Xerox, in sales and management, for double the salary. After some time, she felt stuck and unfulfilled; she realized it was a job and not a calling.
One night, in a bout of depression, she was up watching pre-dawn infomercials. Motivational speaker and life coach Tony Robbins came on the TV and captured her interest. She started an online search using words such as motivation, teaching, and coaching.
“I set a small, achievable goal to get started and move me in that direction,” Glosserman wrote in her book. “And that was to apply for any job that was closer to my ultimate passion.”
She did so and worked at Equinox fitness company for some time. It showed her she could make a change (one of her lesson chapters is Change Is Hard and Change Is Good).
“It really did help me improve that risk-taking muscle,” Glosserman said.
The next step was starting her own consultancy.
Not all the changes are as huge as shifting one’s career path. Sometimes it’s about any little change that will make you feel better about yourself. It could be cutting back on late-night snacking or limiting wine intake (Glosserman has a whole lesson dedicated to setting a two-glass limit).
She wrote about her small decision to get up one hour earlier each day to have some time to herself: “By actually getting up one hour earlier, I proved to myself that I could set a goal and achieve it. I could have complained that I never had enough time for my clients or for me—I could have made this a problem. Instead, I chose not to. I added this small goal to my DO list, found a solution, and made it work for me, and it felt amazing. And, that feeling of accomplishment gave me momentum that I could use to build toward larger goals.”