Goal Setting And Gratitude
Nicole Winkler: Welcome to Lift Your Future, a podcast that teaches you coping skills through stories, methods and proven techniques to improve relationships and outcomes in your personal and professional life. I'm Nicole Winkler, a licensed therapist and executive coach. On this podcast, we'll share a relatable life experiences designed to help you grow. I will provide easy, practical ways to develop thoughts, feelings and behaviors to impact your life, both personally and professionally. My goal is simple to help you lift your future. Welcome back to lift your future today, we're going to talk about goal setting gratitude and the difference between coaching and therapy. Our guest will be Todd Zimmerman. He is an executive coach and I can't wait for you to see what he has in store for you. Hi, Todd. Hey. I am so excited. You're here today. Thank you. Yes, yes. So I know we had kind of talked a little bit about what we want to talk about and touch on today. A little bit about the difference between coaching and therapy and what coaching actually is to give some the listeners a little bit of an idea about that. And then we're going to cover a really important topic that I think is super, super important goal setting, right?
Todd Zimbelman: Yes. Yeah, absolutely. I've been thinking a lot about this, and I'm happy to talk about that. Yeah.
Nicole Winkler: Yes. And any other ideas or thoughts that you might have. We are. I am. I should say I am so privileged to have you. Here you are a wealth of knowledge and experience. And so where would you like to start?
Todd Zimbelman: Well, I hope I can live up to the hype. Yeah, no. I think, you know, thinking back on our conversation was really, again, back to this idea of what's the difference between coaching and therapy, what what led for myself to really pursue this? And just the journey of that. So yeah, you know, I think it's just starting with that the nuance between coaching and therapy. And, you know, obviously you're a wealth of knowledge as well. So I'll lean into your expertise is, you know, in addition to my awareness and you know, one of the fundamental differences is really this looking forward, you know, in coaching, you know, particularly from my practice, one of the things that I seek to always leave my clients with is some form of action plan so that absolutely some of it's reflective. You know, we have to understand the why, what led us to that moment, what we're talking about, some of maybe the challenges or opportunities. And I, I tend to use those terms interchangeably. I love it. Yeah.
Nicole Winkler: The first episode is actually about failure being an opportunity of this podcast, so that ties right in.
Todd Zimbelman: That's perfect. Now I want to ask questions. And by the way, that is what I seek to do more than anything. So even this experience is is interesting because my objective is to always ask questions, talk less, ask more. Mm hmm. So it's it's, you know, again, a unique opportunity to be able to just really share and and reflect on the things that I have to offer or this practice has to offer, really. Ok, I'm already going off on tangents, which I have the ability to do as well.
Nicole Winkler: But really, when I have guardrails for
Todd Zimbelman: You, perfect, I'll take them. But yes, so it's this this this piece of really creating an action plan. And as a coach, I I don't create that action again. It's through the questions the the client really gets to define and create what that action plan is. And my questions are help to really help ensure that it resonates with them so that the action will come to fruition. And it is about, you know, well, I think we talked about this. I use a good model is what it's called. Do we talk about this? Yeah. And, you
Nicole Winkler: Know, explain to our listeners what that
Todd Zimbelman: Means. Yeah. Yeah, it's the it's the proven process, something I learned through my my coaching experience of receiving training and certification. It's always this. And even as I'm listening to clients, I'm in my mind thinking of the question to ask so that first of all, what do we both understand and is very clear the goal, the desired outcome? And that's the G and the good model. And then it's the question behind the question, which is another great book cube Q question behind the question and being very clear. And OK, so tell me why this goal? What's the importance of this, the significance of it for you and your life? And then what are the options, which is the first? Oh, and that of so let's explore how we might do that. And again, I seek to ask questions so that there's clarity around what those options are as far as achieving and then as the obstacles, which is the second. Oh, and that and the good model and what are all of the things that might get in the way good, stoic philosopher would say it's we need to have gratitude, and let's also be prepared in case something doesn't go the way that we intend or hope for it to go,
Nicole Winkler: Which is inevitable. That's life,
Todd Zimbelman: Right? Yeah. Thank you. Yes. And and then the last piece of that is the do, which is the action piece so that as we've been able to talk through and really get clear about what do I want, how might I do it, what might get in the way of it? Now what's the action? And generally by that point, there is already clarity around what they might do. And so I would offer that's a very clear process and maybe one of the differentiators between a therapist and a coach.
Nicole Winkler: Mm hmm. Yes. And from a therapy or a therapeutic standpoint, I can say we normally would have treatment plans. So what is the problem that we're trying to solve here and what client lacks healthy boundaries would be the problem statement. And then we go into what are the objectives to treat that problem and when what homework assignments correlate with that and when are those due? And so it's a very different kind of process from coaching, and I'm glad that we both could kind of explain that because I get asked that a lot. Ok, so you were a therapist and now you're a coach is not the same thing. Like, well, there's some similar principles like that active listening and the open questions and being present and holding space and support. But aside from that, there are definitely differences.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. I mean, you touched on some important components and aspects, you know, even just hearing you say it, you know, as a coach, I said a few moments ago, I I I'm aware of when I'm talking, even in this moment, I'm aware of when I'm talking. And what I would offer is my voice is not the most important voice. It's the voice of the client. And you know, the this aha moment. I think whether they're therapy or a therapist or coach, you know, something that something I'm certainly listening for or if the client is aware of and to explain that if, if it's necessary, it's my my way of defining that is going from a place of knowing so that whether it's myself or the client that I'm, I'm certain to a place of not knowing. And then in that moment of not knowing that's where choice exists and then really getting to choose.
Nicole Winkler: Yes. Yeah. And it's empowering. Yeah. So I too am much more used to listening to people speak. And before you came today, I actually had to rerecord my introduction to this podcast because the first one was terrible because I don't like talking about myself. I don't do that very often, so it's very uncomfortable. I want to relate to that with you and also for the listeners to know that being a coach being in this space, we are typically asking questions instead of giving a lot of information or telling people what to do. It's not at all telling people what to do.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, no. You know, obviously I've we I have had the privilege of getting to know you, and I'm very thankful for you, which is another key component. Gratitude for me. You know, it makes me think about, you know, even the path to to again becoming a coach, which I know is something else that we talked about and in reflection to keep it succinct. You know what, I really think as far as this journey understood and appreciate from where I'm at to where it was is just how things were very conditional for myself, dare I say a level of judgment. And and I think as I moved into my adulthood, I was not aware, but certainly sensitive to my need to seek out approval because of maybe how conditional things were for me and my childhood. And ironically, that first led me to a career in acting and the very interesting correlation between that profession and this one is as an actor, you are challenged to ask questions based on a fictional character. But that's where we would start. We would always start with asking questions, and it lends itself nicely to because again, the fictional characters are grounded in truth of really getting to the right questions. And you know, again, that was just one of the the advantages of having that background. But, you know, as far as what led me to this moment, I think that as I helped really help develop and shape teams for organizations. And I evaluated where not only my eye was getting my energy from what my passion, my purpose it was by having a coach that actually presented the opportunity to ask the question, Have you ever thought about becoming a coach? And my response was, no, I never thought about becoming a coach. What? Yeah. Yeah, it seemed yes. But once I looked into it and and started to again pursue, well, how does someone go about really achieving it started to make sense. Started to make a lot of sense. And now that I'm here, I don't. I can't imagine. I just I can't imagine doing anything else. So, all right, I think that was
Nicole Winkler: Your calling,
Todd Zimbelman: You know? Yes. So I would label that as it's about being in a place of service and creating value and based on my skills and my, there's so many different components that I think make me well-suited for it. Yeah. Ok, you're your language is far more succinct. I found my calling. Yeah. So yeah, I love it.
Nicole Winkler: But I love thank you for sharing a little bit about the path that got you there. I love learning how people got to where they were or are now, and this doesn't mean that you won't still continue to grow and excel and add value to people's lives and many different ways. And thank you for sharing
Todd Zimbelman: That with us. Thank you. No, I mean, again, I'm I'm I'm very thankful to, you know, to want to be able to share. But you know, I think I'm in my coaching sessions. I'm very open about my experience, my life, things that I have struggled with, things that I still struggle with. And I believe that's a key component to what makes this work. You know, I'm asking for my clients to be in a space of authenticity and to be vulnerable. And if I myself am not able to do that well, it's going to be really hard for them to do that.
Nicole Winkler: I agree. One hundred percent, I agree. I don't have all the answers. I don't know. I don't know some of those resources. I don't know, but I'll ask around. I'll see what I can find out for you. Maybe I don't even know myself yet. I don't. How am I supposed to help you? And I think that that's where the questions come in, because there's also this belief that a lot of the times our clients have the resources or the knowledge within themselves, they know they just need. We need to help them get there, facilitate that process of getting them there. And I love that part of it because I don't have to have traveled that path necessarily to get you there. And that's why I think coaching is so powerful, too.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, you know, so one of the tools and I know you're familiar, but I'll talk about it for a moment if it's OK, is this this dynamic that was profound for me is I went through my coaching experience of the DDT, the drama, the dreaded drama triangle and the empowerment dynamic. I'm not certain if you've talked about that already on one of your your shows, have you?
Nicole Winkler: And the interaction I did, I did. That was one of the topics I said, we're definitely going to hit on that on the triangle.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. Ok, so you've set it up, but maybe not set it up,
Nicole Winkler: But I haven't done an episode on it yet. So if you want to,
Todd Zimbelman: I'll leave it brief because I think that there's probably time and space to really expand on that. And in all honesty, I was thinking more about the empowerment dynamic. I think what's important to understand is that both dynamics dynamics exist. And, you know, I believe in the, you know, the principle of name entertainment so that, you know, if I have a handout from my clients and I can share this with them, they can look at it, they're able to name it, you know, whether it's the drama triangle or the DDT or but we can name it. And then through that process, with the awareness, we're able to really start to tame it. And in that taming, this is where we see the changes in our life. I mean, the emotional intelligence, it's, you know, the four primary components, it's the self-awareness. So now I'm aware it's the self management, right? Again, not to other awareness. Yeah, right. So social or others. And then the social influence, right? So again, I, you know, I hate to be redundant if I am, but I do think perfect, you know, understanding that right? The drama triangle. Again, just briefly, it proposes that at the central dynamic of that, there's the victim. And then there there is a mindset and qualities that go along with that, that victim role, and then they are persecuted in some way. And they seek to be rescued often,
Nicole Winkler: And the rescuers swoops in, fixes it for that minute, maybe.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, well, each of them have payoffs, right? I mean, they absolutely do.
Nicole Winkler: Yeah. That's why we keep doing them.
Todd Zimbelman: That's right. That's exactly right. And oftentimes without our own sense of awareness. Yeah, for sure. But bringing this full circle because of course, I have the ability to go off on tangents, too. It's that empowerment dynamic, and it's understanding that at all times, we are the creators and we've talked about this. Victor Frankel, right? Prime example. You know, here's a guy who is in, you know what, six concentration camps and his time during World War Two, Auschwitz, of which was the last one, I believe and understood that all times he had choice, if not, you know, his physical environment. But in his mind, he he always had the ability to choose how he viewed the situation.
Nicole Winkler: So Victor Frankl, just a little tidbit about him. He wrote a man's search for meaning a book I highly recommend everybody listen to at some point in their life, if not once or more than once. It is free on Audible. And he is the father of existential theory of psychology, so tying it back to the therapeutic side of it and it is very much it doesn't matter your circumstance, it matters your belief about your circumstance and the thoughts that are in your head. That is where you are. It is not necessarily here is where you are. And he watched everyone he loved die in the concentration camp and camps. Yeah, and believe his life was spared because he was a medical doctor. And that's really the only reason why
Todd Zimbelman: Just a profound understanding of mind and logo therapy, I think, is what it was right? And the therapy based on understanding your purpose and your meaning to things which I deeply seek to live into and have found results in my own life and certainly advocate that others do that for themselves as well. So, yeah, so now I've gone off way off in left field, and I'm not even sure where we started with that.
Nicole Winkler: We were talking about the empowerment dynamic of the drama triangle and how we have a choice at any given moment. We have a choice and as to how we're going to choose how to show up, respond and behave.
Todd Zimbelman: And so, so thank you for for bringing that back. You know, because the wonderful thing about that dynamic understanding that we're all creators and I should preface here, right? I mean these, whether it's the drama or the empowerment, we move between these different roles. You know, sometimes second to second, the other two roles in the empowerment than I am dynamic are the challenger, and the challenge are not seeking to be right or contentious, but simply to to challenge those ideas for the sake of health.
Nicole Winkler: Ask good questions
Todd Zimbelman: And the coach? Yes, which is the other role? Yes, right? And again, bringing this full circle in what led to this, this career opportunity, it's understanding that and having this choice and being creators that form for me in my journey, one of the best ways to really live into this healthy dynamic, you know, is even through this, this career is being mindful of that in all of my interactions. And now fortunately, I'm able to make a living doing that.
Nicole Winkler: And you're very good at it now.
Todd Zimbelman: Well, thank
Nicole Winkler: You. Thank you. All right. Are you OK? Switching gears here a little bit to goal setting.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, let's do that
Nicole Winkler: Because I think this is fundamentally something that is so critical to what we do and how much we actually accomplish. Like research tells us. If we write down our goals, we are more likely to achieve our goals if we leave them up in our head. We're not as accountable. And then also a step further, if we tell other people about our goals, we're more likely to achieve our goals. So I want to kind of preface it with that. I know you've done a lot of thinking about goal setting, particularly for this episode, and I appreciate that. So where would you like to start with it?
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, I mean, you've already said several powerful things. You know, the power of declaration was the first thing I'll reflect back, right? And as part of our goals coming to fruition, this, you know, declaring to others. In fact, if I connect the two, if I Segway here right part of my journey. It didn't mean initially I wanted to be more entrepreneurial. And so I said, I'm going to start a business. And that was three years before I. Even really became a coach, and it was just this declaration of I'm going to start a business, I didn't know what that look like, but I knew it was something I wanted in my life. And so I started declaring it, and lo and behold, people started asking me about it. Other people are holding me accountable to it, which is a strong motivator to doing it. And now we're talking about James clear here a little bit with his atomic habits, right? And tying it to our identity. Mm hmm. So yes, not only for myself, the goal setting process, also for my clients. And you know, with this being the even the time of year, it's or any time of year really in setting our goals, it's a it's appropriate. But you know, there are different sources. And I'm even at this point this year, I continue to expand and test new things to see what works, what doesn't work for this year. What I've really identified are a series of buckets for my life, and we talked about this the the hedonic treadmill. Yes. And I'll lean into your expertise on this, too. But what I understand of it is really it was in the seventies. I think it was Brickman who did the study that or he proposed through this his research that we have this baseline of happiness and that we might see peaks and valleys based on like winning the lottery, for example, is one that's used as a peak and a valley. You know, the example he uses is like paralysis if somebody were to become paralyzed. And yes, the both of these events are life changing and polarized.
Nicole Winkler: Very polarized, very polarizing.
Todd Zimbelman: Yep. Over time, we return to this base level of happiness. And so I think there's probably something that could be comforting in that. And I think for myself, I tend to want to challenge those ideas in terms of, well, how would I continue to increase my happiness over time?
Nicole Winkler: The baseline, the baseline? Yeah. So you're saying, OK, if this is my baseline, how do I make it? So next year, my baseline is here? Mm hmm. And it just continues to increase.
Todd Zimbelman: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. So and then there was another study in two thousand thirteen, and I'm trying to remember the name of the gentleman, but that proposed that through simultaneous simultaneous stimuli that or, you know, again, tying this to my bucket's by a continued focus on multiple aspects or domains within our life that we can over time, the proposition is increase our baseline level of happiness. So for myself, part of that was, OK, well, let me evaluate, and traditionally I've always in a in a forum based shared at least three of my goals with my peers. Ask for them to keep me accountable to those goals. I report on those goals. I set milestones for those goals, all of the things that will also help the goals be achieved through action. And so for this year, it's really understanding family first, you know,
Nicole Winkler: Being a focused family and not to interrupt you. I just want to make sure I'm understanding because I know you and I have talked a little bit about this. I want to make sure our listeners also know. So when we're talking about buckets, we're talking about domains of our lives and having separate goals for each of those different domains, correct? And so family is one of your buckets one of your goals?
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. So thank you. And what I would offer is it's, yes, a bucket, and I've actually segmented it into three separate buckets. Even underneath that heading of family. I'm thinking of like how I have it mapped out, right? And yes, absolutely. Family unit is is a part of that. So what are we doing as a family unit to really focus on one another? You know, another component of that, our domain is being a father? And how am I specifically working with my son to continue to foster and develop our relationship? He's five. Yeah. And then my wife, of course. And what are we doing for the sake of our relationship, our friendship, our intimacy? And then, yes, clearly outlining. Well, and of course, they're a part of this. So I may have something in my mind that I will propose, but together we're working on achieving it. And then how might we do it? You know, for myself, I really have two different categories. It's it's this thing up here. What work am I doing on this muscle? How am I content my brain the most important, not my hair.
Nicole Winkler: I just talked about the brain and how important the brain is because we literally cannot do anything without our brain telling our body to do it. I can't move my arm without my brain sending. Messages. I can't speak without my brain sending the messages and computing the retrieving the correct wording and communicating it appropriately. And so I love that you're talking about the brain. I love the brain. So OK, back to your nose, to your muscle. You're using your muscle. Your brain. Yes.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, I know. Listen, we'll digress all day long on the brain. It's fantastic. We're in the same boat. And then, of course, the body, right? I mean, the body supports our brain and vice versa. So what you know, what measurement do I seek to put in place, whether it's a number of workouts or for weight or body body fat? I mean, really, it's I have found that the easier I can quantify it, the more attainable or action oriented I can make it professionally. I have a bucket for work, but I think the one that because I have a total of nine, the one that's probably the most interesting for me this year is fear. And then we talked about this and really having a bucket or a domain that I'm focused on related to fear and I say fear as an acknowledgement of growth and even the there's another tool comfort zone to growth zone, you know, in this place of comfort, which is so important. It is also an indicator that we're not in a state of growth. We're comfortable. And as soon as we leave this place of comfort, we move into this fear zone. And of course, you know, this is a place where we're affected by other people's opinions.
Todd Zimbelman: We experience our own self-doubt. And this is a decision point and this is what I've really been paying attention to, especially if, if, if I'm lacking awareness, then the target or the temptation rather may be to revert back into a place of comfort. Exactly. And so for myself, how I've been managing this is, you know, even if there's this idea that's presented or if I'm watching something or if I'm reading something and I find immediately that I'm uncomfortable by the idea, I write it down and then I start to explore, Is there value or what is it that's making me uncomfortable? Why am I experiencing some sort of self-doubt in this? And, you know, starting to become aware that if I move through this place of fear that next zone is a place of learning and in the place of learning, we take on challenges. We learn new skills. And what happens is we continue to learn and we overcome. We move into this place of growth. And in this place of growth, this is where we live into our vision. We create new visions, we have new aspirations and then all of this becomes comfort again.
Nicole Winkler: Yes. And then you expand again.
Todd Zimbelman: Mm hmm. Right. And so with that awareness and with that acknowledgement, it's important for me to be mindful of why is this making me afraid? What's the growth opportunity in this?
Nicole Winkler: I love that. I love the growth opportunity. And I also talked a little bit in the introductory for the podcast about fear being the gift of fear is protection. What am I trying to protect myself from? And assessing, is this real? Is this a real threat or a perceived threat? And there's a big difference between those two. If it's a real threat. Yes, I do need to protect myself. I do need to be afraid. But more than likely, it is not a bear chasing me in the woods or a tiger that's going to eat me right? Primarily like our primal fear that would have happened two thousand years ago. That's generally not the fear that we are experiencing in today's world.
Todd Zimbelman: Right. And you're really touching on. So again, just incredible value. You know, it's you know that the amygdala is what I really, you know, causes me to think or what occurs to me in this
Nicole Winkler: Little part of our brain really can cause some,
Todd Zimbelman: Right? Because, you know, to your point, you know, whether it was a lion or something that may have eaten us in the past, our brain is reacting in the same way. Yes. And we are
Nicole Winkler: Sort of caught or freeze or fight.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, right, exactly. And so, you know, and then of course, the objective is to get back into that prefrontal cortex,
Nicole Winkler: Which is the very front of our brain. It's like behind our foreheads. It's not fully developed till you're twenty five to thirty. Newer research is showing us more like 30 years old and it's your CEO of your brain. All of the processing happens there.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. Right. And so I think that's that's the work, right? And it's so much of that because it's going to happen. I mean, this is the way our brain is designed. And to your point, each part of the brain is there to protect us, to serve us. And so much of the danger that we face in our world now, it's it's not real, you know? Mark Twain was telling this quote to somebody just today or the other day, you know, he said, I'm not saying this exact, but he said that I've lived a great many tragedies in my life, most of which never happened.
Nicole Winkler: Yes.
Todd Zimbelman: And I think it's nice. It's just it's very
Nicole Winkler: True of that. And I told my clients have very, very active imaginations. I've told my clients, start writing a book. You're awful losing. Know I use that term. Awful thing is when it's just it's the worst case scenario that you can think of, but you play it out to complete completion in your mind. And when we off allies, yeah, we can come up with some very elaborate stories and things that happen to us. So that reminded me, I love that quote. And it did remind me of that. That's a that would be like something I would suggest a client tried to do. Get it out, like, play it out, let it go. That's a novel, though. That's a novel. Maybe you could write a novel. You might be a novel writer and you don't even know it.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. And so it's beautiful because the term that I will frequently use is story. We write stories.
Nicole Winkler: Yeah, our narrative. Our script. Yes.
Todd Zimbelman: And it's I mean, it's just so true. And so how do how do we start to become aware of it? You know, I'm writing a story and, you know, I was sharing with another client for him in particular, and I've experienced this as well. From time to time, I still will where I wake up at two o'clock in the morning. And then this thing immediately kicks in and I'll have a difficult time falling back to sleep.
Nicole Winkler: And this thing? You mean your mind? Yes.
Todd Zimbelman: Thank you. Thank you. Right? I'm going to put a word. No, no, that's perfect. Thank you. And it's this. At some point, I'll start to observe. I'm writing a story. Hmm. And you know, for myself and you know, my work with clients who maybe have a similar experience, we would talk through what action step they might be able to implement to help work through that for myself. What I have found is I get up and I go, write it out. And through, even though it's the middle of the night, I understand I could lay here for two hours or three hours and never fall back asleep. So I proactively I get up, I go, write it out for myself. And then several things happen for me. I'm able to look at it and say, Is this true
Nicole Winkler: Fact or fiction, right? Yes, I do. Fact or fiction? Is this a fact or is this fictional? Yeah.
Todd Zimbelman: And so it's exactly that. And if there is something that I see, I am. I am the creator. I get to choose, you know, and I say that while understanding, you know, there are the things that are within our control. And then there are the things that are outside of our control. Some of those automatic thoughts are definitely outside of our control. We can't prevent them from happening. My actions, my behavior, are absolutely within my control. And so through this evaluation evaluation, this process, I seek to understand what is within my control and then create an action, oftentimes just by putting it down in front of myself. That's enough that I can go back upstairs and fall right back asleep. Mm hmm.
Nicole Winkler: And thank you for sharing that I wanted to ask you, what do you do when your fear is overwhelming? And we all have strategies that we implement. I'm a writer, too. I like to get it out because if I let it continue in my brain, it just cycles and then I find that it loops. Yes, and I can't shut it off. Even if I try to do cognitive restructuring where I try to change, think about something else. And sometimes that works. But most of the time, especially in the middle of the night when it's quiet, it always happens in the middle of the night. Yes, I'm I'm a writer or I'm a processor. I'm a talker. So it's yes. Get it out, brain dump, get out of my head and then I can make sense of it and decide, OK, what do I want to give energy to? Yeah, it's kind of like the, you know, the the gratitude that you were speaking to earlier. It's our our brain is kind of this dark place. And wherever we shine, this flashlight is what's going to be seen. So if I want to shine the flashlight on things, I'm grateful for that I'm going to see things I'm grateful for. And if I'm mindful about that, I can really bring that into awareness. If I want to shine the flashlight onto things that I'm afraid of, then yeah, I can really get myself going and I'm going to see a lot of things that I'm afraid of. So there's kind of that mindfulness piece, too, that I hear you bringing into your process.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. And so thank you because it is, you know, part part of my journey. You know, there was a period in my life where I was extremely unhappy and I think. We definitely talked about this. You know, I had I had had an anxiety attack, I was very unhappy with where I was at in life. I felt like everything was just hanging by a thread. And it's a it's a very unsettling place to be. And I was extremely unhappy. I mean, and scared.
Nicole Winkler: I think there's a level of fear there as well.
Todd Zimbelman: Well, absolutely. So thank you because it's easy for me to maybe not acknowledge that. Yeah. I mean, it was to the point where I asked my wife to take me to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack and I did.
Nicole Winkler: I panic attacks can feel like heart attacks. Yeah, most people that go into the emergency room for that actually have a panic attack think that they have a heart attack. Mm hmm. That's why they're there.
Todd Zimbelman: I definitely did. Yes, yes.
Nicole Winkler: And so I just I wanted to say that you're not an outlier in that scenario, either. And so if anybody listening has ever experienced that or does experience that definitely go in but be open minded to the point where it absolutely could be anxiety, it could be panic.
Todd Zimbelman: Yes, and it was. And that was the first thing that they told me is they hooked me up to the monitors and they said, You're not having a heart attack. What do you mean? I'm not having a heart attack. You're having a panic attack. And I just I never thought it was possible. And so for me, it was a wake up call that I really needed to work on myself. And you mentioned the gratitude, which is what prompted me to to mention this experience. And one of one of the tools that I it's become religious for me is my gratitude journal. And it's something that I do every day. Every day I. I start my day with gratitude.
Nicole Winkler: Can you tell us a little bit more about that process, how you use your gratitude journal? Just an idea.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah. Yes. So I use the an outline that I learned from the five minute journal. The five minute journal is a gratitude journal. It's fantastic. I highly recommend it at this point. I just use that outline and I capture it for myself in a for myself, in my own library. But it's it's simply this. And the nice thing about the five minute journal is it gives the science for for why each of these practices it's I start with, well, there's a quote every day there's a quote. Mark Twain one was one of those quotes at one point, and then it's writing down three things that I have gratitude for appreciation. It's called the five minute journal because it's meant to only take five minutes for the day, two to three minutes in the morning, two to three minutes in the evening. I usually spend about 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes a day, but it's the three things that I have gratitude for. And at this point, I learn a little bit more about those, those three things.
Nicole Winkler: So they're not just bullet points anymore. Not anymore. I'm just short statements. You elaborate on them.
Todd Zimbelman: I do. I really do. I at this point for myself because I get up early, I usually get up around four, 30 or five each day. And it's, you know, that first hour to hour and a half of my day is really working on me because that's the quiet time
Nicole Winkler: The five year old still sleeping.
Todd Zimbelman: That's it. And my wife is still sleeping. And yes, that's that's my work. It's the most important work that I do in the day. And so it's the three things that I have appreciation for. It's three things that I'll do today to make today. Great is the language the five minute journal uses. Or I now say what will make my day abundant and oh, I love that. Hmm. Yeah. So and then I really think about what are the things that I'll do today to make that happen? And then it's my affirmations and the affirmations. You know, some of mine, what they look like is, you know, I am love, I am peace, I am connection, I am energy, I am wisdom. I receive freely and easily. I'll just go make more. And you know, this is there are reminders for myself that I am those things and that I have the ability to go do those things. And I find that by the time I've gone through my affirmations, I'm usually feeling pretty energized and ready to go. And then in the evening, it's really three things that happened today that made today great. And it's a reflection on what happened throughout the day. And that also ends up being a pretty lengthy process for me because I tend to reflect on quite a bit for the day. Mm hmm. And then the last piece of this, which is not a part of the five minute journal, but since we're talking about this and something that I've also become a part of, my my practice is that the end of each week I will always ask myself, why am I better off this week than previously? And it's, you know, several things. One, it really causes me to go back and look at those reflections. But then, you know, it also helps me to evaluate, you know, am I doing the right things? What are the things that I need to be doing? And it's, you know, it's we must have intentions. Am I also taking action on those intentions to shift my life?
Nicole Winkler: Absolutely. And I hear all this tying into your baseline happiness. Yeah, I want my baseline happiness to elevate, and I'm taking the steps each and every day to make that happen and then reflecting each week about how that was, how it was a better week, how my level, my baseline of happiness is improved incrementally, so little by little. So drawing that full circle, coming back to that point, beautiful earlier.
Todd Zimbelman: Beautiful reflection. Yeah, thank you. Yeah, I mean, I don't know how to make it. It's it's perfect. It's exactly right.
Nicole Winkler: So nine buckets of goals for the year. And I heard family. I heard fear. I heard work
Todd Zimbelman: Contribution. Be another one. Ok, so what am I donating towards or how am I donating towards, you know, and I think Tony Robbins has been a big inspiration for me. They're just like what he's doing with feeding families, and I think he has a wonderful story. And then education is the other one. So what? Where am I going? Where am I? First of all, how much of my setting aside for the year to dedicate towards education, my continuous growth and learning? And then what? Because that's the other great thing about it is I'm at the end of the year looking into next year. What am I going to choose to invest my dollars in? And where where am I going to focus my growth on?
Nicole Winkler: Yeah. Yes. So for our listeners, I hear a values. Each of the buckets should be a value that you have in your life. I value time with or I value family. How do I break that into? Is that is that just my family of origin? Is that my, my immediate family, the family I've created? I hear, you know, work, I value work or I value learning, I value growing growth. And so what are your values? And when you can identify what your values are, then you can create your buckets and your goals in each of those buckets for the year.
Todd Zimbelman: Yeah, I mean, that's that's exactly it. And of course, along the way there's there's a number of questions that I'm asking myself and I've come, you know, at this point in my life, I've come to realize that sometimes what's maybe even more important than the answer is the question and the capacity to be able to ask questions of myself. Because even if I don't know exactly where the journey ends or what, you know what the exact answer is. So long as I'm continuing to ask the question, then I know that I'm I'm, you know, I'm going through this process, this refinement. And you know, the target is to be the best version of myself, which never ends, never ends.
Nicole Winkler: And I need to. I need to piggyback on that. Asking yourself those questions, the hard questions, the good questions, all the questions, right? But I think also that takes a level of being honest with yourself. Mm hmm. And when you can be honest with yourself in answering those questions, whether you like it or not, I don't necessarily like this answer, but I know that there's I mean, that's that to me as like a red flag, like with internal red flag. Hey, OK, then this is an area I need to focus on, right? Or if I want to be just, oh, you know, I did do a good, a pretty good job of that working out last year. Eating healthy last year. Pretty good. Well, OK, am I going to be really honest with myself? Yeah, there was definitely room for improvement. So, OK, all right. I don't necessarily like that, but that's the truth. Yeah, and that's where I'm going to grow the most. Yeah. So I think when you have that kind of feeling come up like, I don't know, it's definitely worth assessing.
Todd Zimbelman: I mean, that is true. And I had mentioned that, you know, I have a forum that I lean into every year and I share my goals with them. And that's, you know, even part of our group and really challenging each other is, you know, how are we going to in a very detailed way, map out not just the goal, but our path to achieving the goal. And that's the accountability piece. Yes, for the self. Certainly, the power of declaration would tell me that as I'm declaring it, I will have people in my life who will hold me accountable to it to. And if not, why not?
Nicole Winkler: Why not? And if not, who? Or why not? If not, why not? I don't make any sense, but if not, here we go. If not, then who? And how can I find
Todd Zimbelman: People like that? And you're touching on something. I mentioned the. Question so I'll just say this, because I think there's clarity in what you're saying. I find that the why questions are really looking back. So why didn't something happen or why did it happen this way? The what and how questions really help us to shift looking forward? What will I do? How will I do it? And so even just by evaluating the word choice, it will, you know, and certainly for myself as I'm working with clients. Am I seeking to cause them to look back on something? Am I trying to get them to look forward and how we'll do it or what we can do? And it's the same, you know, tying all this together that that process is very refining so that, you know, I can come back and do it again because I've understood, you know, it's this idea of creating the conditions. Yes, right? You know, if I succeeded or if I failed again may not be the most important piece. It's the conditions that were created along the way so that if I did succeed, then I can choose because I understand those conditions to repeat them again. If I failed, I can choose not to repeat them again. And that's again what we're really that's a whole nother episode.
Nicole Winkler: I feel like we could do a whole nother episode on that. Would you come
Todd Zimbelman: Back?
Nicole Winkler: Of course. Ok. All right. Well, there was a long pause there. I don't know. We'll see. Well, thank you so much for coming on today. Talking about coaching. You're an executive coach. I'm an executive coach. I love that we were able to talk about the difference between coaching and therapy because there is definitely a difference. And then moving forward into goals and goal setting and how to do that differently. I love the different domains. The different compartments is kind of how I also will do it because I also goal set in that way. It's like, OK, I do have my my work and my job. I do have my family. I do have other goals outside goals. I have social goals and I have growth goals, and so I do compartmentalize those things as well. And so to hear you say that, I was like, Oh, that's a great idea. Thank you.
Todd Zimbelman: So sorry
Nicole Winkler: About that. Yeah.
Todd Zimbelman: Yes. Thank you. Thank you for having me here today. No, I probably do.
Nicole Winkler: Well, I really, really appreciate it. And I hope that we'll be able to have this conversation, not this conversation exactly again, but another conversation soon.
Todd Zimbelman: No, thank you. And I'm sorry about that. Something got in my throat and I tried not to cough so much. I totally did. No, thank you. Thank you for this today. Thank you for this opportunity to be able to share. I think the work that you're doing and the work that I'm very privileged and fortunate enough to be able to do is it's not only incredibly rewarding, but it's it's wonderful to be a part of that process and see how other people are seeing a change in their life. So thank you. Thank you for this.
Nicole Winkler: Yeah, thank you. We could just go on with gratitude. I like a long time because, yes, the work. I'm so, so grateful to be able to do in helping people change their lives and celebrating those successes with them like, Yeah, I'm so happy for you. Yeah, it makes it all worth it. So thank you all for tuning in and you can don't forget to like and subscribe. You can get the podcast and where you get your podcasts. Have a great day.
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