What Are You Reaching Toward this Year?

Wow, we’re already halfway through the first month of this new year! I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some stretch-goals that I plan to accomplish this year and it’s high time to get moving on them. Some of my goals are fun: my wife and I plan to go camping in the Grand Tetons with our children and grandchildren; I want to ride my bicycle over 100 miles in one day (and live to tell about it); and I want to begin building a wooden sailboat.

But I also have some more weighty goals that are sure to stretch my abilities, stamina and faith. Specifically, I’m asking God to increase His influence through me this year significantly. I don’t even know what all that means yet, but I believe it will entail writing and coaching among other things and I’ve already begun working on several new books. A primary goal of mine is to continue to aggressively pursue Jesus Christ daily, asking Him to keep transforming my life.

How about you? What is God doing in your life? How will you become more like Christ this year? What will you do differently? In what ways will your faith be stretched this year? What’s one thing in your life you’d like to shed—permanently? What’s one thing you’d like to add to your life—permanently?

Personally, I’ve found that when I engage a leadership coach I gain more clarity quicker; I’m able to remove difficult obstacles to reaching my goals; and I accomplish more. These are also some of the reasons I love coaching. Through coaching, I get to participate in seeing people’s lives changed. And what is so refreshing and rewarding about that is that coaching empowers them to rely on God and the gifts He has given them to continue bringing this about.

In his book, Leadership Coaching, author Tony Stolzfus provides what he calls the Top 5 Reasons to Coach and Be Coached:

  1. Experience More Transformation. Make radical changes in your own life and see more lasting changes in others.
  2. Grow Faster/Get More Done. Accelerate change and accomplish more without overload.
  3. Unleash People. Stop creating dependence and free up you r time by empowering others to take action.
  4. Develop Leaders. Invest more effectively and efficiently in leaders around you to multiply your impact.
  5. Improve Interpersonal Skills. Learn great tools for building deep relationships and having extraordinary conversations.

What would you like to accomplish this year? How about cultivating richer, more fulfilling relationships? Or launching that project you’ve dreamed of for years? How about ditching a habit you’re sick of lugging around with you? Or how about wowing your boss with the completion of a project that’s looming over your head?

Whatever your goal, I’d love to help you get there! Contact me and let’s set up a coaching schedule, roll up our sleeves and get going!

Rob Fischer

Dare Mighty Things!

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt 

There’s something about that quote that stirs me to the core of my being! Who wants to “rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat”?

The problem is that people get stuck. Behavioral patterns for a day, soon become those for a week, and then a month, and then a year, and so forth. Suddenly, a person wakes up one morning realizing they’re no further along than they were 10, 20, or 30 years before.

That’s tragic!

The definition of insanity: “doing what we’ve always done, yet expecting different results” has become merely a cliché. We glibly acknowledge its truth, but don’t act on it.

Stop! No, really! We cannot continue doing the same things we’ve always done and expect different results!

But we’re afraid. We’re cautious. We’re careful. We reason that our hesitations are prudent and wise, only to discover that perhaps we too “rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

As we embark on 2015, perhaps you find yourself living too much “in a gray twilight.” What characterizes your life, your relationships, and your pursuits? Do you find that you “neither enjoy nor suffer much?”

If so, coaching may be just the leverage and impetus you need to dare some mighty thing. This is one of the things I love about coaching; it leaves no one in that “gray twilight,” but challenges, empowers and equips to “dare mighty things.”

How about it? Give coaching a try in 2015. Call, text or email me to get started meeting with your personal coach.

Rob Fischer


What’s God Doing in Your Life?

Frequently, I ask the question of others and myself, “What’s God doing in your life?”

If that question immediately prompts guilt, I urge you, don’t even go there! When I ask this question, the purpose is not to incite guilt, but to promote love and prompt a sense of expectation and trust.

As followers of Christ, we daily look to Him to meet our needs, conform us to His image, and use us to serve others. Jesus described our life in Him like a living, fruit-producing branch on a grape vine (John 13). “In Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28).

He has equipped us with His Word, indwells us by His Spirit, and converses with us through prayer. He has given us everything we need for living a godly life and experiencing His presence (2 Peter 1:3-8).

In view of all this, what is God doing in your life? What are you trusting Him for right now? In what ways is He speaking to you? What does He want to change in you? What’s keeping you from enjoying Him fully?

Perhaps you’re suffering physically or emotionally right now. In what ways is God extending you comfort and encouragement? How is He making His presence known? What depths of His love have you explored more intimately through your suffering?

Or maybe you’re enjoying unprecedented blessing. How is this abundance stimulating you to worship and thank Him? Who are you blessing in your abundance? How do you stay focused on God? In what ways has He given you freedom to enjoy the things that He has freely given you?

If you were to ask me this question right now, I’d hardly know where to begin! God has recently humbled me to ask for prayer about an infected tooth that stubbornly refused to heal. Through the prayers of others, the tooth has finally prevailed!

He also revealed my impatience with others that I know He would never display toward me. I want to shed that and be like Him! He is also challenging me to ask Him to bless me in ways that I have been hesitant to ask Him for in the past.

God has also shown me lately the many ways in which He has favored me with my wife, children, grandchildren and friends. God is so good! I am pursuing Him and pressing into Him. He is changing me.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, however you’re feeling—what’s God doing in your life?

Clearing the Fog around Coaching

The term coaching is thrown around a lot these days, but with a wide variety of meanings. I’d like to generate a little wind to try to clear away the fog around coaching!

In order to look at coaching simply, let me suggest that there are three primary types of coaches: the skills coach, the mentor coach, and the professional coach. All three types of coaches are valid and helpful within the bounds of what they’re designed to do.

The Skills Coach

Sports coaches, personal trainers, voice coaches, and real estate coaches fall into this category. These coaches are generally trained in a specific skill in which an individual wishes to improve. The skills coach may or may not have had any training in coaching skills. Their singular expertise qualifies them as a coach. We can improve in any sport, or other highly skilled activity by engaging a skills coach.

Characteristics of skills coaching include:

  • Heavy instruction
  • Highly directive, coach-led
  • Narrow focus on a skill
  • The individual submits to the direction of their skills coach
  • Usually a formal arrangement

The skills coach says, “Do it like this…”

The Mentor Coach

Mentor coaches have generally built up years of experience and expertise in some field of work that qualifies them to coach. We find mentor coaches frequently in business in many different professions and disciplines. Mentor coaching is typically not a profession, but more of a service. Usually, a mentor coach is a veteran showing a junior person the ropes of their profession. A mentor coach may or may not have any training in coaching skills and requires no certification.

Characteristics of mentor coaching include:

  • Moderate instruction
  • Moderately to less directive, coach- and individual-led
  • Usually a targeted focus
  • The individual defers to the direction of their mentor coach
  • Can be either formal or informal arrangement

The mentor coach says, “Do what I have done…”

The Professional Coach

Professional coaches often refer to themselves as life coaches, executive coaches, leadership coaches and the like. These are professionals trained in the competencies of coaching and become certified when they demonstrate mastery of those competencies.[1] Professional coaches are unique among coaches in that their skills enable them to coach others proficiently in a wide variety of life and work issues.

Characteristics of professional coaching include:

  • Open-ended questioning
  • Non-directive, client-led
  • Focuses on the client’s agenda
  • The coach empowers the client to self-direct
  • Formal arrangement

The professional coach asks, “What would you like to achieve?”

The key difference between professional coaches and skills and mentor coaches, is that the professional coach prompts and empowers the individual to direct their coaching experience. This creates an entirely different experience for the individual.

With skills and mentor coaches, the individual is fairly dependent on them for direction and instruction. With a professional coach, the individual is challenged to delve into untapped personal resources.

Also, the skills and mentor coaches are usually interested only in what goes on in the individual’s life as it pertains to the skill or proficiency at hand. The professional coach is trained to uncover hidden obstacles to success in the client’s life.

For instance, a client may want to set and be held accountable for a lofty business goal. In the coaching process, the coach helps the client discover through questioning that there’s a rift in the client’s relationship with their spouse. The client realizes that this rift will undoubtedly impede the client’s progress toward their goal. So the coach assists the client in determining how to repair that relationship and meet their goal.

In this way, professional coaching is a holistic approach for empowering an individual to grow and develop in any area the individual desires.

I am excited to be among the ranks of certified coaches! I love coaching, because I enjoy helping people grow and excel at life.

My clients have included business owners, pastors, church planters, missionaries, entrepreneurs, and professionals in: real estate, engineering, finance, transportation, construction, property management, pharmaceuticals, sales, health care, information systems, telephony, and insurance.

How about you? What big goal would you like to set and hit? Where are you feeling stuck? What obstacles are you facing that are preventing you from reaching your goals? What transitions are you experiencing right now? What relationships would you like to significantly improve? Where are you in your walk with Jesus Christ? What’s tugging at your life that you’d like to change or improve?

Contact me. I offer a free, 30-minute, introductory coaching session with no strings attached. Try coaching out and see if it’s for you!

Rob Fischer

[1] The International Coach Federation has identified 11 core coaching competencies that a professional coach must be able to demonstrate in order to be certified. See: http://coachfederation.org/credential/landing.cfm?ItemNumber=2206&navItemNumber=576.

What Does a Leadership Coach Do?


A couple I know raises draft horses. I was amazed when they explained to me that one draft horse can pull 3,000 pounds of dead weight. That’s a lot! But get this, when two draft horses are yoked together as a team, they can pull 8,000 pounds of dead weight! That’s the power of partnership!

King Solomon said it like this, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT) Why would we want to struggle through the issues of life alone when we can accomplish so much more in partnership with someone else? A partnership with a friend or a mentor is a huge step in the right direction, but they may not have the right skills to move us forward.

Professional coaching provides a strategic partnership with an individual to help them succeed. A professional coach has completed extensive training and practice and has demonstrated skill in coaching competencies. Coaching is a proven process for improvement!

As a leadership coach, I have the privilege of partnering with individuals for a variety of reasons. Some may feel “stuck” in a job or career; others recognize they’ve become “stagnant” in a job that they still enjoy; others may be launching and building a new church or business; others want to take their relationships to the next level; and many simply want to strategize and take their next steps toward accomplishing a major goal or project. They all have one thing in common: they want to move forward!

When I coach someone, I coach “the whole person.” What I mean by that is that we are integrated beings. What happens in one area of our lives impacts other areas as well. When we desire to move forward in one area of our life our movement forward will be influenced by factors in other areas. We can’t ignore those other factors, for they can either work for us or against us. All areas of our lives must work in concert.

As a Christian coach, I find this integrated approach not only effective, but very enjoyable. Coaching enables me to serve people in all areas of their lives including helping people move forward in their relationship with Christ. And as they draw closer to Christ, they win in their other relationships, and improve their skills, capacity and perspective on life. In the end, the one thing they set out to accomplish materializes in a succession of wins and real personal growth. Coaching really works!

©2013 Rob Fischer

Distance Life Coaching

If you’re considering engaging the services of a life coach, doing so by distance via telephone is a very effective option! While we might assume that face-to-face coaching could be better, being coached over the phone also has great advantages for the client.

First, being life coached over the phone is more time and cost effective. The phone call eliminates drive-time to and from a meeting place, saving time, fuel and any expenses associated with meeting in a coffee shop or restaurant.

Second, taking advantage of life coaching on the phone helps reduce distractions. Meeting with your life coach in person in a coffee bar or other public place might feel cozy, but noise, foot traffic, and whatever else is going on can greatly distract and diminish one’s experience. Phoning with your life coach can help you shut out all other distractions, giving full attention to your coaching session.

Finally, coaching sessions over the phone tend to be more focused and productive. Meeting in a coffee bar or other public place invariably involves other tasks like ordering a beverage, acknowledging an acquaintance who happens by, going to the restroom, cleaning up a spill, or a host of other little things. By contrast, when we meet with a life coach via telephone, we can more fully direct our focus on coaching and its great benefits.

Entering into a life coaching relationship by distance via telephone can save you time and money, reduce distractions, and provide a more focused and productive experience. Over the phone, you and your life coach can make every effort to maintain a warm, personable relationship that is both safe and courageous. Consider meeting with me as your life coach by phone no matter where you live!


©2013 Rob Fischer

Living by Vision

We tend to be a very goal-oriented, goal-driven culture. But I submit that we lack vision. Goals are good and necessary, but they must be anchored to a meaningful and lofty vision. Goal attainment apart from vision is like a husband and wife traveling in their car in a different state. The wife, studying the map, tells her husband, “Honey, we’re going the wrong way!” To which the husband replies, “Perhaps, but we are making good time.”

Management guru Peter Drucker explained, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Have you ever found yourself doing something very efficiently only to discover that you were doing the wrong thing? I fear that when it comes to our life purpose, many of us are entirely focused on setting and knocking down goals that ultimately may not matter. We may be efficient, but we’re not effective.

Vision in general expresses a desired future state or target. Our life vision defines our reason for being and who we wish to become. Our vision describes the legacy we wish to leave behind. Our life vision gives us meaning and purpose. Who are you? What do you stand for? Why do you exist? What difference will you make in the world? When you leave this world and your family and friends, in what ways will you have enriched their lives?

Our life  vision conveys our being. What we do springs from who we are. Unless our goals come from the life vision of who we are, they come from some place else. We may be “making good time,” but we’re headed in the wrong direction!

Along these lines, Proverbs 4:23-27 (NIV) challenges us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

There are several reasons people do not live by a life vision. First, many may not be conscious of their need for a life vision. Others simply don’t know how to discover what their life vision is. Third, finding and pursuing a life vision is hard work and takes time. A final reason people live without a vision for their life is that they don’t aspire to be or do anything great!

As a life coach, I cannot help someone in that last category who has no yearning to be and do their best. But I can greatly assist anyone who wants to explore their need for a life vision, how to discover it, and is willing and patient to put in the hard work. How about you? What is your life vision?

© 2013 Rob Fischer


The Top Five Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Beat Them!

There’s something about bringing in the New Year that causes many of us to reflect back over the previous year and look forward to the coming one with renewed hope. We long for change—good change. We recognize our shortcomings and failings and the results they have brought in the past and we strive for something better, so we make New Year’s resolutions. We mean well and we truly desire a better life. But unfortunately our attempts at following through with our resolutions usually fail.

Following are the top five reasons I’ve seen in my own life and others’ lives for our failure to follow through with New Year’s resolutions and how to beat those reasons.

The first reason our New Year’s resolutions fail is that we are fighting weakness with weakness. Let me explain what I mean. Nearly all resolutions have in some way or other to do with self-discipline. For example: we want to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more, get up earlier, go to bed earlier, speak less and listen more, not react in anger, improve our relationships, etc., etc. But if our problem is self-discipline to begin with, we end up trying to muster our weak self-discipline to tackle our weak self-discipline issue! We usually fail miserably.

The solution to this dilemma is to stop relying on ourselves and look to Christ for the strength for what we cannot accomplish in our flesh. Paul explained in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Jesus referred to this “living in Him” in John 15 when He compared our relationship with Him to that of a branch on a grape vine. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) We are totally and utterly dependent on Him!

In Galatians 5:22-23, we learn that self-discipline (among other virtues) is a “fruit” or by-product of living with Jesus Christ and allowing His Spirit to change us. We must look to and rely on Him for the change we desire.

The second reason our New Year’s resolutions fail rides closely on the heels of the previous one. Given that we know we don’t have the power to change by ourselves, we give lip-service to trusting God for help, but then we abdicate our responsibility to trust Him. We don’t trust God and His grace and power inour lives. This problem evidences itself with phrases like, “I’ve tried before and I just can’t change.” Or, “I want to trust God with this, but it just doesn’t seem to work.”

What we need here is not to try harder by applying our weak will! Instead, we need to cultivate desire–a passionate longing for Christ. In Philippians 3, Paul expressed that his life’s desire was “to know Christ.” There is no arm-twisting or grueling discipline when it comes to pursuing what we truly desire and long for. When Jesus Christ is our desire, that desire draws us into His presence. We want to be with Him, hang out with Him, be like Him. And in His presence we cannot remain unchanged! “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” (Psalm 63:1 NIV)

A third reason our New Year’s resolutions fail is that we are unwilling to make small changes that will lead to greater changes. If you’ve ever broken a little toe, you know how dramatically a very small member of our body affects our whole body. Often we fail to recognize that the small, everyday choices we make have a significant impact on our whole lives. We have all probably heard the definition of insanity as doing the same things, but expecting different results. That’s what we’re talking about here.

Paul gives us the remedy for this problem in Colossians 3. He tells us there to “put to death” and “rid ourselves of” all the things that are unholy and distract us from God and to “put on” or “clothe ourselves” with a whole new set of life choices. Again, this “putting off” and “putting on” are done in dependence on Christ, but the issue is we exchange old habits for new ones. Where there was anger, there’s now compassion; where there was sexual immorality, there’s now purity; where there was greed, there’s now generosity. (See Colossians 3:1-17.) In Christ, make those small choices daily!

A fourth reason our New Year’s resolutions fail is that we don’t know how to get from “here” to “there.” Up until now, we’ve been discussing sin issues and the weakness of our flesh to change, but some resolutions target issues like career change and development or fulfilling a life goal or purpose and don’t necessarily have anything to do with sin. The problem is that we simply don’t know where to start or what strategies to implement to get us from where we are to where we want to be.

The solution to this problem has a couple elements to it. First, pray and spend time with the Lord. As you do so, make sure that you are in sync with Him and that your goals are His goals. Then ask Him what simple steps you can take to move you closer to your goals. Express those small steps in terms of SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Goals that are ambiguous and open-ended have no “punch” to them.

A second element to solving this problem is to read great books on the subject you are trying to change and engage the help of a life coach. This is what life coaches do—helping you get from where you are to where you want to be. A life coach can help you clarify your purpose or life goals, help you develop strategies for getting there and help you overcome obstacles to reaching your desired purpose or goals.

The fifth reason we fail at our New Year’s resolutions is tied to the previous one—we fail, because we try to go it alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 explains, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Too many of us see ourselves as “loners.” Contrary to what we may think, God did not design us that way. If we consider ourselves loners, it’s because of the choices and patterns that we’ve developed, not because of our design. We need other people. That’s how God designed us.

Partner with another follower of Christ who will dream with you, pray with you, challenge you in God’s Word, and hold you accountable. If you feel that you need someone with some expertise in a particular area like career transition or some other major life transition then hire a Christian life coach who will walk with you through those transitions or help you achieve your goals.

As the New Year approaches, perhaps this is the year to tackle some big changes in your life. I encourage you to look forward to the New Year with renewed hope. In Isaiah 43:18-19, the Lord says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”

©2012 Rob Fischer

Why Would I Need a Life Coach?

Obviously, no one needs a life coach in the same way we need air to breath, water to drink, or other basic requirements for existence. But we can say that a person needs a life coach from the perspective of having someone who is committed to their well-being, development and fulfillment of their life purpose. Much like a sports coach, a life coach can help us identify and capitalize on our strengths and skills to improve “our game.” The coach’s role is to help the “player” succeed.

A life coach can help us:
• Break out of patterns in which we’ve been stuck
• Transition gracefully through tough life changes
• Maximize our strengths even beyond what we thought we could do
• Excel in our relationships
• Craft a life purpose and build strategies for achieving it

The authors of Becoming a Professional Life Coach explain, “A powerful attraction of life coaching is having a partner who is committed to helping people develop and implement their ideal life. Life coaching also provides a sense of connection, belonging, and significance in a world that can sometimes seem isolating, overwhelming, or both. Coaches also keep people focused, challenged, and motivated for living their personal and professional lives on purpose.”*

Life coaching is becoming “the prevailing strategy for personal development—the most common way to learn to identify strengths and use them to overcome obstacles and challenges while pursuing possibilities. People today need connection with a mentor, coach, or guide more than ever before due to the rapid pace of change, the difficulty of sustaining relationships, and the desire to fulfill one’s life purpose.”

In their book, Co-Active Coaching, the authors marvel at the rate with which coaching is sweeping the world—growing exponentially. “It is as if there were an unmet need in the world, in every corner, and that unmet need is hungry for what coaching offers.”**

Rob Fischer, Life Coach

*Patrick Williams and Diane S. Menendez, Becoming a Professional Life Coach, (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2007), p. xxiii.
**Henry Kimsey-House, Karen Kimsey-House, Phillip Sandahl and Laura Whitworth, Co-Active Coaching, (Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011), p. x.

Why I Love Coaching!

“Fischer,” the drill sergeant barked, “I want you to coach Jansen over the next couple of months. Right now he can’t complete one bar of the 84 required to pass the test. Your job is to help him succeed!”

To my best recollection, this was my first coaching assignment. I was a young recruit in the US Army during the Viet Nam War. One of the major challenges of our physical training test was the horizontal bars. This was a “man-sized” jungle gym with 14 bars evenly spaced like a horizontal ladder. Our goal was to travel hand-over-hand down the length of the ladder and back six times within a specified time.

My new friend had just attempted to traverse the bars repeatedly, but couldn’t make it successfully off the first one. I watched Jansen and his technique as the drill sergeant gave me my coaching assignment. Although Jansen appeared overweight, uncoordinated and weak, I remember thinking how fortunate I was to have the privilege of coaching him. In my mind, I could already envision him sailing up and down the bars with speed and agility. This was going to be fun — challenging — but fun!

Every chance we got, Jansen and I would steal away to the horizontal bars. There, I would demonstrate the proper techniques. I discovered quickly that my friend had very little self-confidence, so I encouraged him and pumped him full of “can-dos”. Every time we went to the bars for practice, I acknowledged what he was doing right and corrected what was holding him back. Together, we set mini-goals and celebrated every time he achieved them.

On the day of the big PT test, I finished the 84 bars neatly, well within the allotted time. But my greatest joy came as I cheered on Jansen and watched him successfully complete all 84 bars with time to spare! The big grin on his face told me that his achievement and the journey he took getting there was about much more in his life than merely passing the PT test. That’s why I love coaching!

• Coaching is helping you achieve what you thought not possible.
• Coaching reveals your potential to help you maximize your performance.
• Coaching helps you articulate where you want to be and strategize how to get there.

©2012 Rob Fischer