Anne Kosem Life Coach

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Setting Boundaries

By October 7th, 2019 Uncategorized Comments Off on Setting Boundaries

If there is one thing we all need, it’s boundaries! Most of us are pretty good at setting physical boundaries. It’s the personal/emotional boundaries where we tend to struggle.

Are there people in your life that overpower you? Do you want to of stand up for yourself, but feel paralyzed to do so in the moment? Would you like to say NO without experiencing all the guilt later?

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to set up some personal boundaries! Setting internal limits can build your self-esteem, reduce fear and anxiety and actually improve your relationships. It will also empower you to be more confident in your interactions with others.

Below are a few helpful tips to get you started, but please keep in mind that boundaries are very personal. They are all about the practice of honoring yourself.  My goal is to empower you to make yourself a priority so you can experience how nourishing even a small amount of self-care can be.

1)  Practice Active Listening. 

Clarify as often as possible in the moment. “So you have the venue for the event picked out, but you’re out looking for entertainment?” Summarize and repeat it back throughout the conversation where possible. This will reduce any assumptions and ensure that all parties are clear about what is being asked. I do this regularly now, it has been especially helpful with my husband. It can be tedious, but it ensures we are on the same page and cuts down on miscommunication as well.

2)  Never say Yes in the moment. Make this a habit. 

Give yourself time to consider what is being asked of you. Don’t let anyone rush you or guilt you into saying yes right away. You’ll only end up resenting them and be mad at yourself later!  Pick a phrase and practice using it all the time. The more you say it, the easier it will get. “I’d love to help. Would you mind if I got back to you tomorrow?” No one has ever told me they minded, but that doesn’t mean they won’t keep pressing.  Don’t give in. Practice holding firm. “I understand you are in a time crunch, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”  You wouldn’t let someone physically push you. Don’t let someone emotionally push you around either.

3) Ask yourself a few questions.

Am I saying yes because I want to or out of obligation to someone else? 

What do I have to give up to make this commitment? 

4) Once you make up your mind, respond! 

Don’t put it off because you might lose your nerve. Make it short and to the point. You do not need to justify your decision. Doing so will only make you feel guilty.  You have the right to put your needs first. If you are more comfortable sending a text or email, that’s okay. If you only ever talk to this person in person or by phone, then call when you only have a few minutes to talk to avoid  justifying. 

We all have things we don’t want to do in life. For our family, for our boss, for our house… That’s why it’s so important for the yes that is in your control to be a yes for You!

Remember, personal boundaries start small. Consistency is the key. Little successes add up and will give you the confidence to establish those bigger boundaries down the road. Make it a practice and you will see results. My hope is that you begin to prioritize what you want and need in your life. Everyone deserves to love their life!

Hold That Stretch!

By September 9th, 2019 Uncategorized Comments Off on Hold That Stretch!

Recently, I started working out with a Soma Trainer as a means to restore my neck function after an injury. Soma Training uses corrective exercise to train the body to hold and support itself correctly again. Each week, he evaluates me and gives me stretches/exercises to complete at home.  That’s the easy part. What’s not so easy is holding each stretch for a full 30 seconds. I’ve come to understand that this is a critical part of the healing process. If I don’t hold it for at least 30 seconds, I won’t be transforming the muscle by giving the muscle fibers time to lengthen and realign. Basically, my efforts will only give me short term relief. I’ve had about all I can take of that…. so transformation it is!

Of course, at first, I didn’t think 30 seconds would be long at at all. In fact, I figured I could estimate it without a timer.  I tested myself to be sure.  Guess how long I made it before I looked at the timer?  Only 12 seconds! I was shocked. How could I be that off? Needless to say, the timer has become an integral part of the process. From time to time, I will test my estimation skills and I’ve yet to get it right!

When we put time and energy into self-improvement of any kind, we want results. The truth is even the smallest of shifts, in thinking or behavior, will yield a result. But for real transformation,  we need to “hold that stretch” a little longer.  28 days is the magic number. Maybe we should say 30 to be safe! Mark it on your calendars. If you estimate the time wrong, you will likely be disappointed with the results you receive. Disappointment is a heavy emotion that tends to linger and manifest into self-doubt. While achievement, on the other hand, infuses us with a boost of self-confidence and empowers even more positive growth.

Happy habit breaking and building! Keep me posted with your progress….I’m always good for a dose of encouragement!




Finding the Courage to Trust

By April 5th, 2019 Uncategorized Comments Off on Finding the Courage to Trust

You know the saying ‘it’s better to give than receive?’ Sometimes it’s not better, it’s just Easier. This is especially true when what we are receiving is emotional support. Accepting help often makes us feel vulnerable. Trusting another person with a piece of ourselves, one we’ve likely kept hidden for quite some time, is scary. It could be a financial struggle. An illness or even a child with disabilities we want to shield from judgment. No matter the nature of the struggle, the fears are the same. What will they think of me? Who will they tell? Giving into these fears may save us from embarrassment in the moment, but in doing so we cast a shadow of shame over ourselves. This separates us from others and robs us of the enduring strength a genuine connection can provide.

If you are carrying a heavy burden and struggling in silence, I encourage you to share your pain. It’s part of the human condition and something we all experience. And yet, talking about it requires great courage! Choose someone who cares about you as a person. If you are unsure of who you can trust, I can provide a safe place for you to share your story, to conquer your shame and to learn how to move purposefully through the challenges you’re facing.

Spring Cleaning…on the Inside

By April 23rd, 2018 Uncategorized Comments Off on Spring Cleaning…on the Inside

Sunlight streams through the windows and immediately we feel different. Brighter. We are up on our feet stretching after a lengthy winter, when we notice that our space no longer reflects how we feel. There is dust on the bookshelf and clutter crowding our space …Time for spring cleaning!

But, is your physical space the only thing in your life craving a fresh perspective? What would happen if you shined that light inside yourself? Would you find areas that need your attention? Old junk standing in the way of progress? Passions laying dormant, wating to be inspired into action? Has the time come to acknowledge the emptiness, to explore ways to nourish and fill the empty places for a more fulfilling life?

Change begins with awareness so let’s start there and see where it leads us next!

Praise Please!

By April 16th, 2018 Uncategorized Comments Off on Praise Please!

Praise is a source of light we all have the power to give. There are just a few things to keep in mind when giving it:

  • Do it Often!
  • Make it Specific.
    • General praise can feel inauthentic.
  • Never Follow it with “But…”
    • The “But”cancels out the praise every time, regardless of how you deliver it. Even if you sandwich it with praise (praise-criticism-praise), they will only remember the criticism!
    • Give constructive criticism separately whenever possible.

This doesn’t only apply to our children and our employees. It applies to everyone around us. Friends, family, co-workers, servers, even spouses. Why? The simple answer is that we all need it. One negative comment carries the same weight as that of Five positive comments. And negativity has a way of spreading, fast. I think we can all agree, that’s something we don’t need! So, helping others actually helps us too.

Here’s the Challenge: In every conversation you have today, no matter the person or the subject matter, pretend they are asking you one overriding question: “Do you approve of me?” When they walk away, ask yourself if you answered it.


Enhancing Co-Worker Communication

By April 3rd, 2018 Uncategorized Comments Off on Enhancing Co-Worker Communication

How we communicate with others effects not only the quality of our interactions and our relationships, but the quality of our work environment. Here are some ways you can contribute to a positive, productive work environment.

1) Be Courteous to EVERYONE (president to parking attendent)

* Don’t reserve courtesy for those you want to impress. Do keep in mind that how you treat others makes an impression!

* Tips: Refer to people by name, make eye contact, signal acknowledgement whenever possible. Smile!

2) Respect Communication Preferences

* Learn who works best through which mode of communication (email, phone, instant messaging, or face to face communication) and utilize those preferences. If you’re not sure, ask them!

* If you are not getting what you need, after you have addressed the issue with them, ask your manager for assistance.

3) Respect People’s Time

* Unless it is a genuine emergency, resist the urge to hover.

* Don’t hijack people in the hallways, nobody should ever dread running into you!

* Conduct business when it is convenient for all parties.

* Tell them how much time you need in advance and stick to it! If you routinely ask for 15 minutes and take 45 minutes, co-workers will resent it and be less likely to give you their full cooperation.

4) Help Yourself

* Make an effort to find the information before you ask. People appreciate legwork.

5) Proceed with caution on social media

* If you choose to connect with co-workers via social media, make sure the pictures, posts, comments they find there are professional.

* Ask yourself this – If you heard the president of your company was planning to check your Facebook page, would you freak out? What would you change?

6) Don’t Complain about Work at Work. Avoid Venting!

* Keep it outside the organization. Think of this as doing your part to keep the energy in your work environment clean. Don’t bring your drama to work.

* When you express your frustration, make it purposeful. Get your feelings out and then take action to improve the situation. If you’re not willing to take action yourself, it’s not worth discussing. Let it go.

7) Follow up 

* When you’ve completed a task for a co-worker, follow up with them.  “Hey, did I get you what you needed? This small act goes a long way to fostering positive co-worker relations.

8) Accountabiltiy is Essential

* I cannot stress this enough!

* Mistakes will be made, by everyone. Be accountable for yours and avoid casting blame. This encourages others to be accountable as well and promotes a more positive work enviroment.

NOTE: All of the above mentioned elements of communications are important, but without accountability, they lose the power to be impactful!

I hope you found this helpful.  I welcome you thoughts and send you my very best!

Transformative Change

By February 22nd, 2016 Uncategorized Comments Off on Transformative Change

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has to go through to achieve its beauty.”   ~ Maya Angelou

All of us have things we’d like to change about ourselves. We are usually willing to do the work as long the results come relatively quickly. The question is, how long can we maintain those results? How long until old habits creep in and our hard work starts to unravel? Change is not sustainable unless it is transformative.

There is a difference between eating healthy (following a meal plan) and Being healthy.  Between using positive affirmations to promote encouraging thoughts and cultivating a positive mindset that allows you to see the world differently.

You must Become the change you want. That’s transformative change and it should feel uncomfortable. If you are comfortable, then you’re still in your safe zone and you’re not breaking the mold. Dig Deeper!  Be willing to acknowledge and release those negative patterns and behaviors that have been standing in your way too long. Embrace a new beginning, and you will create it. And the results will be life-changing.


Mastering Email Communication

By December 15th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Mastering Email Communication

Face to face is still the most effective form of client communication overall. Verbal and non-verbal cues provide for a more accurate understanding of each other and an overall more productive exchange. This applies to virtual meetings as well. However, when emotions are high and conflict escalates, there is no “off “ button! This is one of the many reasons why email is the preferred form of business communication.

Email is a very efficient means of communicating. Information is transferred quickly and response times are shorter.  There is no lag time between voicemails or time wasted in idle conversation. However, this path of least resistance can also lead to misunderstandings that cost you more time to clear up in the end.

Email Pitfalls to Avoid:

  • Resist the temptation to vent! The anonymity email provides makes it an ideal vessel for venting frustration.  Once you hit send, there is no going back.E-mails are forever. is the worst way to communicate in times of stress! (after texting of course) Professionally or Personally.
  • Never use email to deliver negative feedback or anything that might be seen as contradictory.
  • Without vocal or facial expressions, emotional implications are all subject to interpretation. Make sure what you are saying does not require nonverbal support.
  • Messages have a built-in sense of urgency. This can lead to hasty responses and or poor execution.

Using Email Effectively:

Best Used For:

  • Specific questions and factual responses.
  • Follow-ups, reminders, confirmation, and team organization

Tips and Guidelines:

  • Take time to gather your thoughts. It’s always better to get it right than it is to get it done fast. The Save Draft folder is a great way to build on a message.
  • Begin with a pleasantry. Formal courtesy may not be required, but it is appreciated.
  • Make your requests and responses clear and concise. Bullets can be useful. Separate ideas by paragraphs to make them easier to read and relocate later.
  • Set clear expectations. Tell them what happens next. Include timeframes. (for them and for you)
  • Review and Edit! Errors are distracting and do not inspire confidence.
  • If needed, ask someone to review it – they won’t automatically fill in the gaps like you do.
  • Always close with a statement of gratitude.


Mastering Telephone Communication

By November 5th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on Mastering Telephone Communication

In a world where we have become so dependent on technology to communicate with one another, it is easy to underestimate the power of phone call. You can convey emotion, ephasis, urgency, humor, and compassion with the tone and infliction of your voice all while gauging your client’s response and changing tactics when necessary. Any time you need to address a sensitive matter or you are concerned that the tone of your message may be misinterpreted, you need to call!

Making an Effective Client Call. 

  • Prepare: What’s the purpose of your call? Do you have all the facts? If you’re giving bad news, anticipate their response. What tools or resources do you have at your disposal to make amends? Are you in the right frame of mind?
  • Focus all your attention on the call. Turn your screen off unless you need it.
  • Be outcome driven, but stay open to what the client brings to the conversation.
  • Tune in and empathize. It is better to have a moment of silence than to interject too quickly.
  • Manage your emotions. The calmer you are, the more influence you will have.
  • * BE READY to leave a message if you don’t reach them!

Voicemail Do’s and Don’ts. 

These may seem basic, but over time we can develop bad habits that get in the way of clear communication. If we are aware, we can make the necessary adjustments. Often small shifts in how we operate day to day, make the biggest impact.


  • Outline what you need to say before you call.
  • Put emotion in your voice to connect personally.
  • Limit your message to 100 words.
  • Provide a compelling reason to return your call.
  • Give available times when they can reach you.
  • Check your outgoing greeting.


  • Don’t use your speakerphone. Switch to your hand or headset before you dial.
  • Don’t be in a rush. Annunciate your words.
  • Never leave a negative message! Be patient and wait until you can talk personally.
  • Don’t forget to slow down when you say your number. In closing, give it a second time along with your name.



When you thought I wasn’t looking…

By September 20th, 2015 Uncategorized Comments Off on When you thought I wasn’t looking…

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I wanted to paint another. 

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.          

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake just for me, and I knew that little things are special things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I believed there is a God I could always talk to.     

When you thought I wasn’t

looking, I felt you kiss me goodnight, and I felt loved.                                                                     

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s all right to cry.   ~Unknown

I admit to getting a little misty reading this– thinking of my own children, of how vulnerable and impressionable they are, especially, in those early years. It got me thinking…What are my children learning from me? What aren’t they learning from me? What values am I telling them, but not showing them?”

We all want our children to know they are loved and to grow up to be responsible, caring adults.  We also want them to live happy, healthy, well-rounded lives. As a society, we strive to teach children to care for one another.  Share your toys, use nice words, be a good sport…  Most also put a high value of hard work and responsibility.  Where we fall short is in teaching the importance of self-care. This is a key ingredient in a fulfilling life and most of us aren’t modeling it well.

How often do you take time for yourself? Do you ever feel guilty afterward? That is how most mothers and a growing number of fathers feel.  Whether it is a natural or a learned response, it is also a habit. One that parents and care givers need to ban together and demolish for the sake of future generations! It doesn’t serve us or our children to deprive ourselves of our needs. Amen, right? Am I the only one cheering? All I know is that when I’m tired and depleted, I am not at my best for anyone let alone the most important people in my life.

It’s time to make a shift!  Since words are a call to action, please join me in continuing this poem in your own words…

This is what I wrote to get you started:

I saw you carving out little bits of time for yourself and I learned it’s important to do nice things for myself sometimes…                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

I saw you exploring your passions and I knew it was important for me to take pride in my interests…                                       

I saw you forgiving yourself, and I learned how to let go of my mistakes… 

SO…. the next time you do nice for yourself make sure to replace any lingering feelings of guilt with the knowledge that you are not only honoring yourself, but teaching others a valuable life lesson!

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