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July 8, 2014
There are so many ways we can take charge of our individual lives, and there are several concrete examples listed in the article below. Yet, in thinking about taking charge of one's own life, I feel compelled to mention the gathering of some 2 million people here in Toronto last week to celebrate World Pride. Taking charge of one's life usually involves being fully who you are, and being allowed to be fully who you are. For the LGBT community, this requires legal rights and the protection of those rights. North America (at least some parts of it) has changed so much in the past few years by finally passing laws that grant gays and lesbians the same family and economic rights, freedoms and protections that straight people have had forever. The struggle for these rights and freedoms continues to be ongoing around the world, and I am grateful for the courage of the few who have fought for the many. As you read the article below and make choices about taking charge of your life, I hope you will also be mindful of your right to make those choices.

Featured Article
Top 10 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life

Too often we take care of other people's needs at the expense of our own, never getting to the activities that would have the most meaning for us. I'm not suggesting we abandon the needs of others, only that we also carve out the space for own priorities in life that help us thrive. Here are 10 ways to take charge of your life.

1. Create goals. Get clear on what you really want, write it down and start to take action toward your goals. A study conducted at the Dominican University of California confirmed that you are MUCH more likely to meet a goal if you write it down.

2. Commit to your own agenda. As much as possible, each day, complete at least one task that moves you toward your goals—and don't wait until you are tired at the end of the day to do it. Carve out time.

3. Set boundaries. When you heed your own agenda, you will likely need to set boundaries with the people in your life.

4. Say no when you want to. Respecting your own needs and desires sometimes conflicts with those of others. Saying no isn't easy, but if you want to stick to your plan and keep moving forward, it's an essential skill.

5. Do something you've always wanted to do. Fulfilling long-held dreams and wishes brings joy and empowerment.

6. Seek balance. Which of these aspects need attention: social/family, spiritual/creative, career or health?

7. Eat well and exercise. Take charge of your energy by treating your body well.

8. Clear clutter. Creating an orderly and beautiful physical environment positively affects our sense of internal order and makes space for the new.

9. Pursue completion. Avoiding unfinished tasks, things that remain unsaid, and relationships that need closure, hijacks our thoughts and emotions, and depletes our energy.

10. Get support/find allies. Get help processing uncomfortable feelings and seek friendships with people who appreciate and support your taking charge of your life.

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

On the Horizon
Individual Life Coaching:

If you (or someone you know) could benefit from the support of a life coach to help activate and stay on track with your life or work vision and goals, contact me at
Words to Ponder
"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
- Dale Carnegie

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of."
- Jim Rohn
With a background in education, social work, and psychology, I understand the various ways that people are motivated to change. Throughout my career, I have promoted growth and development, healing, and change. I have worked as an educator, a psychotherapist with individuals, couples, and groups, and have provided training, workshops, and professional development programs.

As a Life Coach, I work with professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs who get stuck in the routines and busyness of everyday life. They have postponed or been derailed from their personal or professional goals, but are motivated to reclaim their lives and live more in accordance with their core values. I help people envision their future and identify what they most want and need in order to thrive. I help them overcome their obstacles so that they can spend their time and energy more intentionally. By working together, my clients reach beyond what they thought was even possible and actively create more meaningful lives.

I live in Toronto with my wonderful partner and our two incredible and talented teenage children.

Paula Klein
Life Coach and Social Worker (MSW)

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