What is a Belief Plan? And Do I Need One?


This week I finished a project that I was so excited about that I could hardly wait to wake up each morning and work on it!  I finished my 2022 Belief Plan.

My Belief Plan is a series of scriptures, quotes, “I Am Statements” and thoughts that I want to believe on purpose this year. The plan is a reminder of the lens that I want to see myself through in 2022.

Last year the most influential book that I read was “Soundtracks” by Jon Acuff. The main idea of the book is that we each have unconscious soundtracks playing in the back of our minds that influence our thoughts, feelings and actions ALL THE TIME and that we can be more intentional about the soundtracks that we want to play.

I practiced the suggested soundtracks from Jon’s book for several months last year and they worked beautifully for me. One of my favorite thoughts I practiced was “I take pride in my appearance”. That thought was single-handedly responsible for more makeup and fewer trips out into the world in sweatpants last year.

Once I practiced the thoughts from the book, it was time to create my own personal “soundtrack”. I gathered thoughts from a variety of sources. I’ve included “My Word For The Year”, favorite scriptures, a promise from my Patriarchal blessing, “I am Statements” that I already believe more than half way, and quotes that inspire me.

This soundtrack became my belief plan that supports the emotional, spiritual, physical, social and intellectual person I am working towards this year. Last year my belief plan was a series of sentences on an 8-½” by 11″ sheet of paper hanging inside my medicine cabinet. This year it is a large poster collage of pictures and words that will hang in my bedroom.

Either a piece of paper or a poster works beautifully. It is the practicing of the beliefs on the belief plan that helps shift the thoughts, feelings and actions from the me of today, to the me I want to be tomorrow.

One of my favorite quotes from President Gordon B. Hinckley was, “Try a little harder to be a little better”. That’s exactly what happens to me when I practice these new beliefs on purpose. I am more focused on what I want to do with my “wild and precious life”, who I want to love on more, what delights and inspires me, and what makes life a little more fun.

I would love to help you discover what lights you up and inspires you. I’ve set aside some time on my calendar to have a “Belief Plan date” with a few of my favorite people, like you!  Let’s get together for a “Belief Plan” date on Zoom and map out the beliefs that will inspire and motivate you this year.  It’s Free and Fun!

Click HERE to schedule our date.

How A Simple Word Changes Lives

One Little Word

In the spring, my sister asked me to stay with my parents while my Dad recovered from a mini-stroke. When I got there, my parents were really struggling. My mother had Parkinson’s’ and my Dad was her caretaker, and he was wrestling with his own health issues.

Our family realized that it wasn’t possible for our parents to live on their own anymore.  I stayed for several weeks while we made arrangements for them to be near more family members. I needed grace when working with my parents and my siblings, who all wanted what was best for our parents, but we didn’t all agree on what that was. I needed grace for myself and my own family. Our lives were turned upside down in an instant. I really needed the comfort that thinking about and asking for grace brought me.

By the end of 2014, I felt that I had been flattened by a steam roller. It was in that mood that I was listening to different versions of the hymn, “Amazing Grace”, and my daughter shared a version by The Piano Guys on YouTube. Theirs was a mix of Amazing Grace and Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”, and just like that, I found my word for 2015.  It was the word “fight” as in “I still have a lot of fight left in me”.

Both of my parents passed away in 2015, my Dad in January, and my mother in July. I needed every ounce of courage and strength I could muster to be OK that year, and it didn’t end after the funerals. In a large family of nine kids, there are a lot of decisions that must be made collectively after the death of your parents. It was challenging, to say the least.  Remembering that I still had a lot of fight left in me kept me going – literally and figuratively.  

I have discovered after years of choosing a word each year, that somehow the word I choose ends up being the perfect word to face the challenges of that year. 

I would love for you to join me for a FREE “One Little Word” workshop/webinar I am presenting this Friday.  I will get into more details about how one word can make a BIG difference. You will find that the process of choosing a word brings clarity to knowing what you want – that can last the entire year. 

In this webinar I will share some ways that I have found to choose your word, remember your word, and how to use prayer and meditation to let your word change you for the better, and finally, how to apply your word to real life events.

If you would like some help finding your own word for 2022, please join me on Friday, December 31st at 10:00 AM PST

Learn how to find your word, the types of words that work best, and how something as simple as a word can make a BIG difference in your life.  

Sing Me UP!

Feel free to invite a friend to join in the fun.

One Little Word Changing Christmas For Me


At the beginning of 2021, I chose “wholehearted” as my word for the year. I didn’t really even know what being wholehearted meant…   However, after I looked up the synonyms and antonyms, I knew exactly what halfhearted meant and I knew that being wholehearted was the opposite.


I learned that being whole-hearted includes being softer-hearted, open-hearted and tender-hearted. These are feelings that I’ve spent 2021 trying to develop. I’ve been practicing knowing how to allow myself to show and share the feelings that I usually keep bottled inside of me.


Last Wednesday, my husband and I went to Utah for a big family get-together that my sister hosted. When I heard my brother was coming from California and my sister was coming from Idaho, I wanted to be there too. We got together on Friday night, brothers and sisters, spouses, and lots and lots of nieces and nephews.


Using my word of the year as a guide, I really thought about how I wanted to show up around my family. I imagined how I would feel, what smiling and talking and listening to everyone would feel like. I really wanted to be myself, but a tiny bit better, and softer hearted. I wanted to let the people I love know how much they mean to me. 


It was a great weekend and I left Utah with a peaceful, contented feeling, knowing that I was the best me I could be.  I did it with words, notes, and hugs.  I am truly becoming a whole-hearted woman, and it feels really good.


This week, my daughter’s family is coming for Christmas. This week I am looking forward to using my word again as a guide to being the best mother, mother-in-law and grandmother I can be, in a genuine Jennifer sort of way. I am looking forward to loving my favorite people without exhausting myself and being anxious about every word I say.  Without pressuring myself in a “what more can I do” way.  My word is teaching me how to do all of these things in ways that bring me and others true joy.


I would love for you to experience the joy I have from focusing on just one word each year. 
I am giving a FREE “One Little Word” webinar right after Christmas.

In just one hour, you can learn how to take one little word and improve your life in 2022.  I will share some ways that I have found to choose your word, remember your word, and how to use prayer and meditation to let your word change you for the better, and finally, how to apply what you learn to real life.

My Christmas Gift To You

Please join me on December 31st at 10:00 AM PST

Learn how to find your Word, the types of Words that work best, and how something as

simple as a Word can make a BIG difference in your life.

Sing Me UP!

Are We Having FUN Yet?

Are we having fun yet?

Every year since 2006 I’ve chosen a “word” for the year. Instead of choosing goals, I choose a word and then I let the whole year be shaped by the experiences that I have with the word. 

Usually my word just “finds” me or something will happen and a word will seem to appear over and over, and I sort of just know that this is the word for the next year. I found my word of the year yesterday and I wanted to share how it happened.

I noticed the word “fun” a few weeks ago and let it roll around in my brain. It popped up over and over, mostly because I wasn’t having fun. Sometimes I try on the word for a few days before I choose it and that’s what I did this year. I practiced trying it on.

We invited my daughter and grandson to dinner on Friday night. I wanted to make it special for my grandson, so he chose some Christmas music and he and I put some decorations on the tree. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed candlelight and relaxing.  It was fun.

The elementary school near our house was also having a Winterfest that evening and I asked Oliver (grandson) if he would like to go. I showed him the Facebook pictures of what would be happening, and he thought it looked like fun – I did too.  It was dark when it was time to walk up to the school, and a little cold. My husband and daughter weren’t getting ready to go outside fast enough, I don’t think they really wanted to go.  They were taking a long time to get ready, and so finally I said – pretty loudly,
“Get your coats and hats, we’re going up to the school and WE’RE ALL GOING TO HAVE FUN!!

Well, it turned out, we didn’t have much fun…  It was cold, windy, rainy and noisy. There were a lot of people and long lines for everything. I sent everyone out to find fun while I waited in line for mini doughnuts that Oliver thought would taste good. They couldn’t find anything fun so they all came back to stand in line with me. It took about 25 minutes waiting in line to get the doughnuts, and by the time we did get them, everyone was too cold and wet to enjoy them.

When we finally got back to our warm, cozy home, I had to ask myself if in my desire to find fun, I had managed to spoil the evening. That’s when I knew that I had found my word. My first “fun” lessons included – if you have to insist that everyone have fun with you, it might be a warning that you are heading down the “anti-fun” path, and the most fun thing you can do sometimes is to stay where it’s warm and cozy, and not go searching for something better.

Do you ever spoil your fun by looking too hard for it?

First Sunday of Advent

First Advent

Last week was the first Sunday of Advent
Our family loves to have candles at Christmastime. I invited my husband, daughter and grandson to celebrate the advent with me, lighting candles and having a short devotional.  They were happy to participate. 

“Which one of us is going to break it to her?”
After lighting the candle, I read the devotional and asked them the question – how did what we just read help you to understand Christ’s mission? My daughter and husband looked at each other and then at me. They both have a great sense of humor and my daughter said to her Dad, “Which one of us is going to break it to her?” “Mom, none of us believe any of that”.

“Oh, yes, right of course.” We all laughed with each other, and my husband asked me the question and I answered it.

This is what it looks like in our mixed faith family at Christmas time.

My daughter and husband weren’t offended that I had asked them a question about their faith. My grandson got to light and blow out the candles, and I didn’t take it personally that they only want to participate in pieces of the Christmas celebration.

We all enjoyed our time together and felt peace together as we enjoyed the parts of a Christmas tradition that means different things to different family members.

It Can Be Hard To Let Go Of Family Traditions
It hasn’t always been like this. When members of my family stepped away from the church, I didn’t want to let go of years and years of family tradition. I thought there was a “right way” to celebrate the birth of Christ and I didn’t want to give up Christmas Eve nativities, finding ways to serve each other and others, reading scripture together and attending church Christmas functions together.  I thought that they “owed” it to me to stick with our family traditions.

Each Of Us Has Our Own Journey
Letting each other follow their own journey and celebrate privately or as a family is a concept that we had to work on together. It hasn’t been an easy transition, but differentiation is important for all of us to learn. Sometimes Mothers (or fathers) think that our identity is wrapped up in our children’s stories. We feel that if they reject our values that they are rejecting us.

I thought that members of my family weren’t doing their lives the right way and I felt compelled to help them understand that my way was the right way. It didn’t go very well. People really hate having other people tell them how they ‘should’ be living their lives. I didn’t much like everyone avoiding me because I was preaching at them either.

Developing New Christmas Practices
When we started just letting everyone take care of what they needed from our family celebration, our Christmas’ became better for everyone, especially me. I stopped taking on the role of Christmas magician and stopped being responsible for everyone else’s Christmas and started making sure that I had the spiritual parts of Christmas that I wanted to enjoy, either by myself or with others who wanted to be a part of what I was doing. There were lots of false starts and do overs and sometimes there still are, that’s where we have found that having a sense of humor helps us be together for holidays that we don’t all celebrate the same way. 

Over the next few weeks, I am going to share other ways I learned to integrate all the different beliefs of different members of my family.  It came down to love – and that’s what the season is all about, isn’t it?

Painful Lessons…


When “Small & Simple Things” Lead to Huge Disruptions and then to “Great Things”

I learned from Alma 37:6-7 that “small and simple things” often lead to “great things”, and so it was eight weeks ago when I was sitting on my yoga mat after finishing my morning routine of nourishing myself, body, mind and spirit, that I felt a small tweak in my back. I decided to get back in bed and rest for a few minutes.

After resting, when I stood up, I felt the most excruciating pain that I have EVER experienced and I could not find any standing, sitting or laying position, or way to escape the intense pain.  I started screaming for my husband to call 911, and the next thing I remember was some really nice, gentle firemen lifting me off the ground, getting me down my front stairs and into an ambulance. 

Pain Is Never Convenient

Because of Covid, there were no hospital beds available within 20 miles. So, after about 8 hours in the emergency room, several rounds of pain injections, prescriptions for 3 days of narcotics, a walker and an appointment with a spine doctor in 10 days, we were released to go home. 

I am glad that I didn’t know it then, but I was experiencing a life disruption or “life quake” of great proportions. It just so happened that I was reading a book called, “Life is in the Transitions”. This book describes how to cope with life changes that are unexpected and unpleasant. It also mentions that these transitions occur regularly and that the average adult spends more than 50% of their life in them.  

Instantly, I went from a fully functioning adult to someone who needed help with every part of my life, from feeding to dressing to bathing to sitting, standing and walking. I was in constant pain. I was in trouble and needed help – and was unable to help myself. 

Life Quake Timing Is Always Challenging

My husband was only three weeks away from retiring and needed to finish some final projects, so his ability to provide help all day was limited. Our daughter, who lives in Oklahoma, recognized before we did that we needed help.  She left her family for 2 weeks and flew out to take care of me. I would have suffered a lot more if she hadn’t been there to start making sense of what I needed and put processes in place that helped us cope with our “new circumstances”. 

As a life coach, I get to talk with people who are coping with “life quakes” on an everyday basis. I knew that I had skills that would help me, but between the intense pain and the effects of the medication, I couldn’t apply anything to myself. I needed help, and that’s the marvelous thing. I got exactly the kind of help I needed.

Four Actions That Are Getting Me Through This Life Quake

1.  I Was Blessed To Notice Small Improvements

I requested a blessing. In my church, when we are sick or hurt, we can ask to be anointed with oil and given a healing blessing from the Elders, who are also our neighbors. I can’t remember much about what was said during the blessing, but I do remember that I was told that I would improve each day.

As I thought about it later, I decided to write down those small improvements my body was making, and I told everyone about them. Everyone, including my family, friends, and all the people I met at the doctor’s office and physical therapy.  They all joined in the search for my physical improvements.  I regularly asked myself what was something that I could do today that I was unable to do last week?  I wrote the improvements on my whiteboard and recited them to myself to keep my spirits up.

2.  Accepting Help

As my friends and neighbors started noticing I was missing, several called or dropped by and they all offered help.  I took them all up on it and asked everyone to walk with me to my mailbox (two houses away), and as I improved I asked them to walk me to the end of the block. I enjoyed all the walks and all the people who stayed to visit for a while. I got texts, flowers, magazines,balloons, visits and long talks on the phone. I looked forward to seeing new faces and my husband appreciated anyone who would distract me. 

3.  Looking For The Gifts

From coach training I learned there are compensatory gifts in every situation, but you have to look for them to find them.  These gifts don’t just show up on your doorstep. Eight weeks out I have discovered a handful of gifts.  One is a gift that I have been praying for for decades. I didn’t do anything special, no extra prayers, no working at it. It was totally a gift. All I had to do was notice it.

I have had two people ask me if I knew that I was going to receive this particular gift, would I go through this painful time all over again? That’s a hard question to answer, but eventually I said that yes, I would go through it all again if I knew that is what it took to get this gift. 

4.  Grateful And Blessed

Every day, I marvel at how intricate my body is and I stop to appreciate all the parts of my body that work just fine. I appreciate everything that I can see and I also appreciate everything that happens under the skin that I can’t see. I have never been so aware of my body or more appreciative of what it can do.

ALL my best!

How is a Dental Hygienist Like a Life Coach?

Dental Hygienist

Like you, I don’t always love going to the dentist.
But I do LOVE seeing Stacey, my dental hygienist.


Even though I brush and floss regularly, there are just some places that I can’t seem to reach.  I actually LOVE it when Stacey scrapes and cleans each of my teeth. They always feel so smooth and clean when she is done.

I think a coach can be like a hygienist for your brain.


You may want to make a change in your life, you feel committed, and you work your hardest.  You might even be mindful of your thoughts and work on mastering your emotions.  You are doing your very best – but sometimes you just cannot keep focus or something comes up.  As much as we desire to make changes in our lives – there are some that we cannot seem to reach.  

You might need a coach if you find yourself worrying a lot, feeling stuck and not being able to move forward, or feeling like you have thought tornadoes in your head. 


I can help you slow your thoughts, recognize the ones that you want to keep, and help you get rid of the thinking patterns that don’t work for you anymore.

As a life coach, I can help you put your thoughts in order and get them working for you and not against you.  (No dental tools required.)

I work with women who feel worried and stuck.

Just like a hygienist for your teeth, after working with a coach, your brain feels lighter, cleaner, and more focused.


If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life, please set up a time and Let’s Talk.

Jumping Squirrels


Earlier this week, I pulled up the blinds on my bedroom window and was instantly met with feelings of disappointment and then discouragement. A squirrel had attacked my sunflowers.  They were broken and lying on the lawn. I felt heavy-hearted and I thought, “I am so sad that this is the way my sunflower summer story ends.” Then I wanted to rush outside and chop everything down, clean it up and move on. Finally, I realized that I felt shame, like I had done something wrong by sharing my sunflowers all summer on Facebook and Instagram, and then I let them get broken by squirrels, and that I needed to run and hide.

Believing the Negative Voices in My Head

It’s so interesting when you stop and watch your thoughts in slow motion. My thoughts and feelings combined made me want to rip out all the flowers, throw them away and then run and hide. It all happened in an instant while I was staring out the window. This is how I would describe an onslaught by the adversary. With my thoughts in slow motion, I broke the entire process down. My “natural” self has a tendency to hear judgy voices in my head along with perfectionist voices, and what I call “stickler” voices that give me no allowance for doing anything less than perfectly. Once I entertain the voices of the judge, the perfectionist and the stickler, those voices get louder and more insistent. They all tell me that I’ve done something terribly wrong and now I need to hide and be ashamed. A lot of times I do listen to those voices.

They Were After The Seeds

Today, since I was thinking in slow motion, I was able to ask myself the questions that broke me free of those voices. I asked myself to STOP and look for the gift and the lessons.  All summer, as I worked outside physically with the flowers, mentally I was noticing life lessons I was learning from my plants. I believe those lessons came to me from God as I worked with my hands and quieted my head.  Today was just one more lesson.

I started with seeds, I planted them, watered and nourished them and watched them grow. I protected and supported them because I wanted the flowers. I love the flowers, but the plant wanted to produce seeds so they could continue to grow. That’s what the squirrel was after – the seed.

“Faith is Like a Little Seed, If Planted it Will Grow”

I have been working on developing an aspect of my faith this summer. I have been thinking about how Jesus supports me during my trials – He will not forsake me. I planted the seed and watered it by studying my scriptures and looking in them for evidence of how people were supported during their trials. The sunshine and fertilizer was prayer and meditation, followed by the support of worshipping in a community of believers. Gradually my faith grew and began to flower.

We All Have to Face Jumping Squirrels

Then came the jumping squirrels. They came just when my faith began to flower.  I had some challenges and I didn’t feel love or support from Christ the way I thought I would. I wondered if I had done something wrong or if I was wrong or what had gone wrong? Then, by listening to the still small voice of the spirit in my garden, I learned I am producing seeds. If I give up and run and hide – which for me would be to stop sharing the little lessons I learn from God. If I don’t share the seeds, they die within me.

Learning to slow my thoughts and feel the feelings, and recognize the gifts in my life is something that I have learned and practiced. I’m not perfect at it, but I am willing to share what I’ve learned.  I would love to speak with you and your friends in small groups, or in midweek Relief Society meetings. Reply to this email and we can figure out how to make that possible.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

Everyone Else’s Sunflowers Look Better Than Mine!

My Beautiful Sunflowers!

I’ve spent a lot of my free time this past 5 months growing sunflowers in my backyard. It was something I was so excited about. I grew them from seedlings, planted and protected, watched over and sang to them. (The neighbors really enjoy watching me sing to my plants!)  I felt like the sunflowers were my babies. In the past week or so, my daughter and brother-in-law shared photos of the sunflowers they had been growing. My brother-in-law has this huge field of sunflowers, my daughter grew hers up against the fence in her front yard. They are so tall and beautiful. 


Suddenly, my sunflowers didn’t look so wonderful anymore. They fall over and break (thanks squirrels!), the Maya variety bloomed early and died back before everything else could bloom. They aren’t thick and bushy like my daughters. For a few days I was upset that “everyone” else had the secret to the “right” kind of sunflowers. I must have missed something when I was planning them. Perhaps I didn’t plant them the right way.  When I went outside, I didn’t see how beautiful they were, I only saw what they were lacking. 


Is this ever a story that you see pop up in your life? Do you look around and feel vaguely dissatisfied with yourself or your life? Did everyone else’s kids serve missions and get married in the temple, while yours made different choices? Perhaps your home isn’t as big or beautifully decorated as your friends and neighbors’ houses? Maybe it’s your health. You’ve got auto-immune illnesses and your sister-in-law runs marathons.  Do you ever find yourself comparing your life to others and coming up short?


This concept may be new to you, but these are all just stories that our brains offer us.  But guess what?  We don’t have to believe or accept them! 


My life coach recently gave me an assignment to make a spreadsheet of my daily activities, and then rank them each on a scale from 1-10, with one being things that I loathed doing and that drained me, and ten being things that really lit me up and made me feel energetic and enthusiastic. She called it the Joy scale – 1 is no Joy and 10 is full Joy.

After a few days, I observed some interesting things:

  • I became very thoughtful about assigning numbers to my activities. 
    I didn’t want to be miserable, so I examined each activity looking for ways that I could improve its score.
  • I started looking for 10’s and trying to collect more of them every day.
  • I looked for ways to improve my average score for the day.
  • If I had an activity that I didn’t like, I would try to find ways that I could turn the activity from a 4 to a 6. What would I have to do to bring these activity scores up?


I discovered that everything in my life is filtered through my “mind’s lenses” and when my lenses are focused on what everyone else has, that is better than what I have – I don’t like myself or my life as well.


Oh, by the way, I’ve forgiven myself and my sunflowers, and there was never really anything wrong with them – or me.  I am back telling them how beautiful, strong, and amazing they are everyday.  They like that – I can tell.


Mind lens cleaning is just one of the things we will learn in Becoming a Whole-Hearted Woman small group coaching. We will practice looking at ourselves with loving lenses.  In fact, the entire program is based on love as outlined in the three Great Commandments, loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please setup and time and Let’s Talk.

Sometimes You Just Need A Teepee!

Just Need A Teepee...

This morning my husband and I went on a date to a large community garden. We loved seeing so many plots and reflecting on many different garden styles and choices of plants.  There were small fruits, flowers, vegetables, even fruit trees. Each gardener fenced and protected their plot in their own way, and I loved seeing the variety of trellises the gardeners chose. There were garden gates, all kinds of recycled wood – both painted and natural, and stakes of all kinds and shapes. It was a delightful date, and my mind was brimming with possibilities when we left.


I have been thinking about support for weeks. We all need some kind of support. We seek support when things get heavy, and we can’t bear our own weight. We also seek support when we need something to hang on to that will help us balance. Another reason to seek support is when we are climbing up and things seem so unsteady far off the ground.

Support for women often comes from other women. We weren’t designed to flourish in isolation. We seek out others who are in a similar stage of life or someone who has moved through their own challenges and come out the other side. We are inspired by sharing other people’s experiences. 


If you are looking for support so you can keep climbing and you feel like you are higher than you can go by yourself, you might love being part of “Becoming A Whole-Hearted Woman” small group coaching program. This program is like a teepee trellis. It has three supports.

We start by learning to love ourselves, and then focus on how much God loves us and we love God, and finally, we turn our attention outward to love our adult children and other important relationships in our lives. In a small group we share our stories, get coached and learn from ourselves and other women in our circle how to distribute the weight we are carrying. We have a fresh perspective as we look at ways we self-sabotage and what we can do to stop it.

If you have any questions about this post, or want to discuss how coaching can work in your life please Contact Me and we can set up a time to chat.