Coach Jen Simplify

Week #1 of my “saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days”

Week number one of my “saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days” was a great success! Getting rid of seven items was not too hard. Here is what it looked like for me this week.

Vietnam Vet donation

Wednesday was the start of this great journey, and in order to start out on the right foot I gathered up all of the items I had already set aside to donate, called the Vietnam Veterans of America, and had them pick up two bags of goodies. Now I felt like I could start fresh.


Red sweater

Day #1: Wednesday I pulled a sweater out of my closet that I had not worn all winter. It’s one of those garments that had to be paired with just the right thing and it was way to high maintenance for me – it goes in the donation pile!

Read about the rest of the week’s items at Jen’s Blog: Click here to read more.

Coach Jen Simplify

Saying Goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days

I love my stuff! I love the things that I have purchased. They either have a wonderful usefulness to them or I simply love them and they fit my personality and style perfectly. I love my home and being surrounded by the things I love.

But I also love simplicity. I was raised with minimal possessions, even though we had plenty. But to this day, I still thrive when I have less stuff.

I am stuck between two worlds again! This seems to be a theme of mine lately. (I may want to pay attention to that!)

little boy

Starting Wednesday, March 5th, the Roman Catholic Church goes into a time of 40 days of preparation for Easter, and these 40 days are called Lent. I was raised Catholic and consider many of their rituals to be absolutely beautiful. One ritual that I was raised with was giving something up for those 40 days. As a child it was some sort of candy or sweets, but now that I am older, I ask myself each year if there is something I should give up during this time.

Catholic or not, I think that the idea of giving something up for a period of time has huge benefits. It certainly helps us to appreciate what we have in life a lot more.

A wonderful friend of mine mentioned a time that she heard a Benedictine Monk speak. Even though monks own a lot less than the average person, he shared the idea of giving away 40 possessions during the time of Lent. He said the first 20 days were pretty easy, but the last 20 days became very challenging. That is when true sacrifice had to be made.

My friend and I shook hands on it this past week. We have decided to give away 40 possession in the 40 days before Easter.

There are many reasons for doing this, but most important are:

  • I want to bless others during this time. I want to find items that others might love and pass it on to them.
  • I want to enjoy the wonderful side effect of clearing more clutter from my home.
  • I want to sacrifice. This is not something I have to do very often, but I believe it to be very healthy. As I get closer to Easter and the end of my 40 days, I want to be to the point where I am giving up things that I really love, so that I can pass them on to people who will love them as well.

If you want to follow my journey, I will keep you up to date on saying goodbye to 40 possessions in 40 days through this blog as well as share other fun stuff too.

Do you have 40 items you could and should part with? Join me and my friend! Let me know that you have made the commitment and keep me up to date on how it is going!

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What are you doing for yourself…yes, I’m talking to YOU!

One thing I hear more and more as I am in contact with amazing people is the lack of time we are able to hold aside just for ourselves. I hear feelings of guilt when we even consider “me time” because it would take away from what we can do for our kids, significant other, our home, work, projects, etc.

We all get significant value from contributing to something outside of ourselves, and because of this, we want to give more and more. Is it right to prioritize myself above all of this? Is it possible?

put up feet

The concept of setting aside and enjoying quality time for myself has been a process for me. I used to feel very guilty for taking a nap, for spending time on a hobby I enjoy, or for going out with friends. But once I started prioritizing “me” on a regular basis, I have seen the benefits it brings to me, to my work and to my relationships. I am simply a much more enjoyable person to be around when I get some “me” time.

You may ask, Jen, where do I start? The answer is going to be different for each person, but here are a few ideas to get you going.

Click here to read the rest of the article at Coach Jen’s blog at

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“Good Things Come To Those Who Wait!” or is that a thing of the past?

I do not enjoy waiting! And in the world we live in today, we don’t have to wait for much. One of the ladies in my Life Planning Class commented that “everyday is Christmas” and it’s true. So many of us get what we want, when we want it… I know I do. Waiting is really quite bad, right? What is the garbage about “good things come to those who wait”?

I have had some really bad experiences with waiting. There have been some things that I have wanted in my life and have waited, and waited, and waited, and they never came to pass. These experiences have made me very bitter about the whole concept of waiting. My experience certainly has not shown me that good comes out of waiting. Pain, sorrow and frustration come from waiting, right?

jens bass

I just bought something that I have waited for for about a year and a half… an upright bass! I love bluegrass music and I decided at the age of 40 that I was going to learn how to play the upright bass! Why not! But I decided this right about the same time my husband and I put together a financial plan to get out of debt and save some money in savings. Those two desires did not work together. The purchase of my bass simply had to be put on the back burner until we could pay off some of our current debt. For the first time in a long time, I have had to wait for something, and what do you know, a lot of good came from it!

Read more at Coach Jen’s blog:

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Change is Hard

Whether you believe in New Years Resolutions or not, the start of a new year brings with it the feeling of a fresh start and gives us the desire to make changes in our lives. After all we have eaten over the past few weeks, eating better, losing weight and starting an exercise program seem to be at the top of the list. But if you are like me, I have lived through 41 New Years days and I still have not made some needed changes.

catapillerWe had a great party this week celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday. Most of my family were in town for the occasion so we had some great times together as we prepared for the big party. During lunch my brother and I were talking about Coaching and the Social Work field he is in, and the subject of change came up. From across the room, my sister said what we all feel like saying “but change is HARD!” She hit the nail on the head!

Read more at Coach Jen’s blog:

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I Want It Back!

If you were to write down a list of what is most important to you in life, what would your list look like?

If I were to ask you to take a look at your calendar, and the things that fill your time day after day, what do you spend most of your time doing?

Are you giving your time and attention to those areas you listed as most important?

One of the worst feelings is to look back over a week, month, year or a life time and have regrets. Regret not spending time with someone special. Regret spending too much time on the wrong things. Regret the busy pace we allowed into our lives.


A few years back I lived at a pace that was too fast. I remember calling a trusted friend during that time because I was frustrated with my husband.

Click Here to read more on Coach Jen’s blog:

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One Loose End To Tie Up

As we say goodbye to November, I want to jump back real quick and make sure one piece of business was not left undone:

November is the month of being thankful. Some focus on it all month-long, others on Thanksgiving Day itself. But where ever you fall in your thankfulness practices, make sure you don’t forget to thank YOURSELF!

My blog is about us living our best life possible. Living your best life requires a ton of work! I have found it to be the most rewarding kind of work, but a lot of effort and energy is expended when living intentionally and living our best.

Coffee with lights

December tends to be the month we look back on our year to reflect on where we have come. I think that November’s thankfulness and December’s reflection on the past year go together quite nicely.

Click Here to read more at Coach Jen’s blog:

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Now Open: Life Planning Class – January 2014

Registration has begun for the January Life Planning Class at St. Charles Community College taught by our very own Coach Jen!

Click on this link to start the registration process. Read on for more details.


The summer semester of this class was a huge success and we are running it again to help you overcome the busyness of your life! Here’s what one of the participants from the summer semester had to say:

The Life Planning Class I took at the St. Charles Community College went above and beyond my expectations of the course.  Jennifer Regan from Lead Thru Example worked with each one of us to develop a life plan tailored to our individual goals and dreams.  She not only gave us the tools we needed to pull together our ideas but quiet time during class to disconnect from our current distractions to focus on life’s priorities.  By the end of the course I had not only developed a realistic life plan but the ability to recognize some of the distractions keeping me from my goals!

-Craig D.

As a participant of the class you can expect:

  • Weekly instruction on practical tools to help you succeed in all areas of your life.
  • Professional Materials to walk you through a systematic Life Planning Process.
  • Time each week to disconnect from your busy life and focus on yourself and what you want out of life.
  • Your own personal Life Plan, created by you with practical steps to move forward and make it happen!

The number of participants is limited and the session is filling up fast! Don’t delay, Jen would love to see you in October!

St. Charles Community College – Learn for Life
Life Planning: Creating a Road Map for Your Life
Tuesdays 6:30-8:30pm
January 21, 2014 through February 11, 2014
Investment of: $75.00

Click on this link to start the registration process.

Coach Jen

Better Today Than Yesterday

Continual growth is a core value of both myself and of our Personal Coaching and Leadership Development business, Lead Thru Example, LLC.

We define Continual Growth as:

We choose to be better today than we were yesterday by continuing to learn new things and look at new perspectives.

This is hard work at times, but life can be empty and frustrating without continual growth. I have heard the saying, if you are not growing, you are dying, and I think the saying really has a good point.

man reading

I have been learning new things in my life that are stretching for me. I have found that as I am stretched, I can really get discouraged. I joked with my Personal Coach that one moment I am high as a kite, the next I am as low as I can go. What is my deal? This week I have found myself on the roller coaster of life, and even though I couldn’t stop life in its tracks, there were some things I could change, some adjustments I could make, a fresh perspective I could consider.

Read more at click here.

Coach Jen

Ask and Listen

I was reminded recently that I should not only focus on myself and my needs, but keep others in mind on a continual basis. This is an obvious statement, and we do provide for so many needs in our lives. We support our spouse or significant other, our kids, our co-workers, etc. But how often are we intentional about truly placing the attention on another person? It is so much easier to focus on ourselves, talk about ourselves, and think of ourselves.

stories of others
Over the past year I have tried to shift my mindset about the conversations I engage in, and it has been amazing. I have learned so much about so many people that I would have never known if I did not intentionally ask.

Read more at click here.