Coach Janet’s Top 5 Procrastination-Busters

Procrastination eats away at our ability to achieve the success we want in our business and personal lives. It steals hours, days, months and years, and delays the benefits associated with completing our actions. Practice these five tips to start taking action today!

1.     Find Your Motivation

Think about the goals you are trying to attain. Spend a few moments visualizing what could be achieved and what you could gain if you take action. Then think about the consequences of NOT taking action. What fears could motivate you to take action today? Often the task that has the most negative consequences of NOT doing it is often the MOST important task to complete.

2.     Do The Worst First

Often the biggest, worst thing you need to accomplish will be the thing that causes you to procrastinate on it and everything else on your list. By procrastinating on the least enjoyable, most troublesome, or fearful activity you will only have it waiting there tomorrow, possibly even bigger and messier than it is today. Get the worst thing over with early so you free yourself mentally and emotionally to do other things more effectively.

3.     Start Small

Often just looking at a large task is enough to cause us to look in the other direction. The more apparent complexity there is to a task, the more likely we will procrastinate. Just as you would never try to drive across the country in one stretch, don’t try to take on all of a job from the start.

Sometimes the best way to stop procrastinating and complete a major task is to take a small slice and complete just that piece. In order to do this, you may first need to spend some time breaking down the larger project into smaller individual tasks so that you can see your progress and stay motivated. Completing one task motivates you to complete another. It’s a snowball effect. Commit to doing one thing today and you will find you will accomplish even more.

4.     Become Action-Oriented

Often once you take a step to complete a task, you find the momentum builds and you are able to continue. Get into the habit of not even having to think about getting started; build action into your routine every day so that you begin your day with the momentum needed to complete your tasks.

5.     Remove Distraction

We all have habits we revert to when we don’t want to begin a task: organizing our desks, going out for coffee, cleaning the house. If you know that you get distracted easily then schedule short burst of time, 30 to 60 minutes, to focus on an important task. Remove yourself from environments that pose distraction, shut your door, turn your phone off, turn off the TV/radio and focus for that short period of time.

“A journey of 1,000 leagues begins with a single step.’’ – Confucius

Janet Bonaguro is a Certified Business Coach with FocalPoint Coaching. She works with business owners and executives in order to improve revenue, profitability, productivity and teamwork. For more information please visit her website; for more of her coaching tips see her Merchant Profile
on LynnValleyLife.

LV Optometry employee plans Mexican aid trip

April showers bring May flowers, and for Krista Phillips at Lynn Valley Optometry, May is the month her dreamed-about non-profit endeavour will finally blossom.

Krista is part of a team of young people who are travelling to an impoverished area of Mexico to  work with small communities and help meet some of their needs. Krista is hoping people who are interested in promoting this kind of work will consider donating towards the group’s trip (donations must be collected by April 14). Read on to hear more about the project, in Krista’s words:


Tell us about the project!

For two weeks in May, I will be going to the Copper Canyon in Mexico with a team of young people from Coquitlam Alliance Church. While in the canyon, we will be spending time with the Tarahumara Indians and bringing food and supplies to them in their very small, impoverished communities. We will spend some time in the orphanage in Guacayvo, help to build a church, and be hiking into other remote areas of the canyon. We plan to bring food and clothes, and I’m hoping to bring some glasses as well.

What inspired you to get involved?

It broke my heart when I heard that the people had been collectively jumping off the cliffs as families in order to avoid dying from starvation. I really felt called to go do what I could to help, even if it’s only for a short time.

What is your biggest hope for the trip?

That’s a tough one, mostly because I really don’t know what to expect. I know it’s going to be a huge leap out of my comfort zone to be in a completely different country with different culture and way of life, but my hope is that I can make a difference to the people there.

What kind of support are you looking for? Be specific as you can.

Thoughts and prayers are a huge one. Mostly for health and safety while we’re away. I do have to raise funds for my portion of the trip as well, and donations would be immensely appreciated. We can offer tax receipts as well.

What do you do at Lynn Valley Optometry?

I get to be the one who helps people pick out a fabulous pair of frames and match the best type of lens for them to see. I love it. The patients and customers we have are the best I’ve ever worked with, and at Lynn Valley Optometry, we really are a work family, not just co-workers.

Have you been involved in community projects before?

Over the past two years, in the winter months, I’ve collected warm articles of clothing, blankets, socks, etc. for people in need in Vancouver, as well as the Coquitlam area. I am currently trying to get involved with Habitat for Humanity as well, but my schedule hasn’t co-ordinated with their orientations yet. I’d love to find other projects to get involved with though, because I am really discovering my passion for outreach!


Thank you, everyone, for your help. The support I’ve already received has been overwhelming!


Coach Janet’s Top Five Ways to Accomplish More

The most successful people place high value on their time and constantly strive to use it more efficiently and effectively.

As Brian Tracy says, “The starting point of developing good time management skills is for you to realize that time management is really life management. It is the way you take care of your most precious gift.”

1. Plan In Advance
Peter Drucker said, “Action without planning is the reason for every failure.”
The highest achievers are all persistent planners, continuously setting their goals, then analyzing and re-evaluating their plans on how to achieve those goals. The failure to plan carefully can be very expensive in terms of the time and money wasted on activities that don’t contribute towards your goals.

2. Focus on Important Tasks
It’s important to understand the distinction between urgent and important tasks. Important tasks contribute towards your goals, while urgent tasks simply impose a timeframe. Be wary of any task that is not important, regardless of urgency. Focus your time on important tasks first.

3. Apply the Law of Comparative Advantage to Your Work
In your work life, the Law of Comparative Advantage says that you should assign, delegate, outsource or have someone else do any job that can be done at an hourly rate less than you earn, or less than the rate you desire to earnYou cannot earn your desired rate per hour during the workday if you are getting your car washed, picking up your groceries, dropping off your dry cleaning, or surfing the net. No doubt there are other tasks on your plate that are not essential for you to personally perform.

4. Be Prepared to Cut Your Losses
When you make a decision, or a commitment of time, money or emotion, that is not successful, your ego often compels you to continue, resulting in throwing good time after bad. At this point you are now investing not only your valuable time and money but also your emotion. Learn to take control of your ego: walk away from your mistakes and use that time on something more valuable.

5. Just Say “No!”
Just because you are willing and capable to do something doesn’t mean that it aligns with your goals and should be a focus of your precious time. The greatest time saver of all is the word “No!”

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” (George Horace Lorimer)

Janet Bonaguro is a Certified Business Coach with FocalPoint Coaching. She works with business owners and executives in order to influence positive change in business. For more information please visit her website.

Lynn Valley tops Readers’ Choice Awards!

Breaking news! Consider this: if Vancouver is ranked amongst the Top 3 livable cities in the world, and Lynn Valley has just been picked as the North Shore’s best neighbourhood, does that mean we just might live in what may be the best community on earth?!? We think so!

Lots of people feel that way about their hometown, as they should. But we’re proud to point out that Lynn Valley came out on top in the North Shore News annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which were announced in that newspaper today.

This year over 4,000 North Shore residents cast their votes in the Readers’ Choice Award categories, via print and online ballots. We’d like to send our congratulations to the many Lynn Valley winners and finalists, and our thanks to our readers. Your support meant that was voted the North Shore’s Best Website!

Here is the list of local luminaries, who work hard to make our neighbourhood #1:


  • Best Neighbourhood: Lynn Valley
  • Best North Shore Website:
  • Best Florist: Posy
  • Best Optical Store: Lynn Valley Optometry
  • Best Butcher: Westlynn Meats and Seafoods
  • Best Produce Store: Kin’s Farm Market, Lynn Valley Centre
  • Best Hair Salon: Zazou Salon & Spa
  • Best Yoga Studio: YYoga, Lynn Valley Village
  • Best Place for Cocktails: Browns Socialhouse, Lynn Valley
  • Best Patio: Browns Socialhouse, Lynn Valley
  • Best Business Lunch: Browns Socialhouse, Lynn Valley
  • Best Neighbourhood Pub: Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub
  • Best Coffee Bar: Delany’s Coffee House, Lynn Valley
  • Best Caterer: Tommy’s Catering
  • Best Biking Trail: Seymour Demonstration Forest
  • Best Bakery: Westlynn Bakery, LV Centre
  • Best Tourist Attraction: Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge & Ecology Centre


  • Best Garden Centre: Maple Leaf Garden Centre
  • Best Drug Store: Shoppers Drug Mart, LV Centre
  • Best Dressed Window: Posy
  • Best Home Improvement: Woodstop Building Suppplies (Irly)
  • Best Dry Cleaner: Courtesy Cleaners
  • Best Health Food Store: Lynn Valley Vitamin House
  • Best Seafood Store: Westlynn Meat and Seafood
  • Best Gift Store, owner-operated: The Red Tulip
  • Best Annual Festival: Lynn Valley Day
  • Best Retirement Home: Sunrise of Lynn Valley
  • Best Alternative Health/Therapy: LV Orthopaedic & Sports Physiotherapy
  • Best Community Fitness Facility: Karen Magnussen Rec Centre
  • Best Dance Studio: RNB Dance & Theatre Arts
  • Best Skincare Services: Zazou Salon & Spa
  • Best Spa Facility: Zazou Salon & Spa
  • Best Private Liquor Store: North Shore Liquor
  • Best Weekend Brunch: Browns Socialhouse, Lynn Valley
  • Best Breakfast Restaurant: Tommy’s Cafe
  • Best Hiking Trail: Baden Powell & the Lynn Loop
  • Best Place to Walk the Dog: Lynn Canyon

If you haven’t tried out the above merchants or attractions, maybe now’s the time – your neighbours know what they’re talking about!


Coach Janet’s Top Five Leadership Qualities

While there are several qualities inherent to good leadership, a handful stand out as being more impactful than others. The good news is that each of these qualities can be learned by practice and repetition.

Be Future-Oriented

“You become what you think about most of the time.” – Brian Tracy

Great leaders think about the future most of the time. They think about where they are going and the opportunities of tomorrow rather than where they have been and the problems of the past.

Average thinkers think only about the present, and about immediate gratification. But great leaders think about where they want to be in five and ten years, and then focus on what they have to do each hour of each day to make their desired futures a reality.

Keep a Positive Attitude

Great leaders inspire their colleagues, friends, customers, associates and even their children because they are inspired themselves.

Leaders see opportunities and possibilities in everything that happens. They look for the good in every situation and in every person. They never experience “failures” but see situations as “learning experiences”.

Take Personal Responsibility

One of the most important leadership qualities is the acceptance of personal responsibility. Leaders never complain, never explain.  They see themselves as victors over circumstances, rather than victims of circumstances. Instead of making excuses, they make progress.

Have Humility

Great leaders are those who are strong and decisive, but also humble. Humility doesn’t mean that you’re weak or unsure of yourself. It means that you have the self-confidence and self-awareness to recognize the value of others without feeling threatened. And it means that you give credit where credit is due.

Encourage Cooperation

People work harder for leaders they want to work for. Your ability to get everyone working together is essential to your success. Gain the cooperation of others by making a commitment to get along well with each key person every single day. This means developing meaningful relationships with the people you work with, at all levels.

As John Maxwell states in The 5 Levels of Leadership, “You can’t lead people until you like people”

The acceptance of leadership is a great responsibility. It is one of the most rewarding experiences in life and business. Take steps today to continue practicing each of these leadership qualities.

Janet Bonaguro is a Certified Business Coach with FocalPoint Coaching. She works with business owners and executives in order to influence positive change in business. For more information please visit her website.

What does future hold for the Black Bear Pub?

Ever since the Lynn Valley town planning process first got under way, queries and rumours have been floating around regarding the neighbourhood’s favourite ‘local.’

What, people wonder anxiously, will become of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub if redevelopment proposals for Lynn Valley mall and its parking lot are eventually approved?  It isn’t an idle question – the establishment commands a fiercely loyal following, and has been voted the North Shore’s favourite pub in the North Shore News Readers’ Choice Awards ever year since the watering hole opened its doors.

People are climbing the walls wanting to know what will happen to the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub if town centre redevelopment proposals go ahead.

Today we received another email asking us if it’s true that the Black Bear will be shutting down once its lease with Lynn Valley Centre (owned and operated by Bosa Developments*) is up. We thought we’d get the low-down straight from the horse’s mouth.

“I am often asked by people if the Bear will be closing when/if redevelopment of the centre goes through,” said pub comptroller Sue McMordie.  “The Bear is not going to close, and is firmly in support of these applications. If and when the redevelopment is for the land that the Bear is on, we have a relocation clause in our long-term lease that will move us to a new and just as good or better location within the new development.”

So there you have it! Rest easy, your place at the bar will be kept warm, and Monday Trivia Nights will continue unabated (psst! The answer is ‘Istanbul.’)


 * In the original edition of this story, we incorrectly stated the owner of the land was Safeway Canada. The Black Bear management corrected us and stated “We are tenants of Lynn Valley Centre, which is owned and operated by Bosa Development. We have no connection at all with the Safeway, their land or their development. Bosa has a proven track record of excellent community developments and we look forward to the plans for the future.”

Good Neighbour nominee: Patty Hopper of Vancity!

We are collecting nominations for Lynn Valley’s Good Neighbour Award until Dec. 19, 2012. We’d love to hear, and share, stories about good-hearted folks who have gone out of their way to help you or their community, in ways large or small. They don’t have to be your ‘next-door’ neighbour, just a fellow Lynn Valleyite. The winner of this year’s Good Neighbour prize package will be drawn at random, and announced on Dec. 23. Please send your submissions to


“We would like to nominate Patty Hopper for Lynn Valley’s 2012 Good Neighbour Award.  Patty is a beautiful person, an exceptional role model, a fun and loving friend, a powerful business woman and most importantly a wonderful daughter, sister, mother and wife. It must be really hard to be so exceptional at all those things, but Patty makes it seem effortless. She exceeds expectations in every category of life and gives back to the community she lives in every day! Patty sets the bar high and we could all learn from her and her success’  and positive outlook on life.”

Patty is Vancity’s local mobile mortgage specialist, who lives here in Lynn Valley. Her fans at our LV Village branch went on to share with us a PowerPoint they had created about a project Patty launched in memory of her best friend’s daughter, Ashley Lowey – a cause you can support this Christmas and all year ’round!

“During the times when her eldest daughter was hospitalized, Lori Lowey called on her friend, Patty Hopper.

As Ashley Lowey, Lori’s eldest daughter, bravely battled cancer during her teens, the illness often brought her and her mother to B.C. Children’s Hospital, often without warning, leaving her mother needing essentials.

When she visited Lori at her daughter’s bedside, Patty would pack her a bag of key items she might need: a hairbrush, comb, shampoo, make up, magazines, deodorant—supplies for an unexpected overnight stay, sometimes stretching out for days.

Patty would spend hours in the hospital with her friend, and saw parents come and go, often staying for days without any supplies.

“I would watch these parents coming out of showers…drying themselves with their  T-shirts,” she said.

In February 2009, Ashley Lowey lost her fight against cancer. Patty wanted to honour the teen’s memory and help other parents in need.

“The bag (idea) originated because Lori is my friend and I was bringing her a bag, two or three times a week while her daughter was there,” she said “Once she passed away, I just felt there was such a need for these parents to have something, you know, when they show up unexpectedly. We just started collecting stuff. It’s kind of just gone from there.”

Hopper started having parties at her house, where she and her girlfriends would bring items to put in bags and prepare them together. Slowly word spread, and  the Vancity Credit Union in Lynn Valley and the branch on Pemberton and Marine donated many bags. A local fabric company donated material to make more.

Said Patty: “It  was interesting, because the first day I delivered a box, I walked into the hospital…There was a lady standing there in the middle, and she was on her cell phone and she was beside herself. And she was like, ‘I’ve been here for four days, I haven’t been home, I have nothing, I need someone to drop me off some stuff.’ I just thought, ‘This is why I’m doing this.’”

Would you like to contribute items or a cash donation towards an Ashley Comfort Kit? Staff in Lynn Valley’s Vancity would be very happy to accept your offering. Here are suggested gifts: 

Lynn Valley Optometry launches anniversary contest

Lynn Valley Optometry is celebrating its 20th anniversary!  And as part of the celebration, the shop is holding a Facebook sweepstakes with some prizes you won’t want to miss.

Available to be won are an iPad and ten Lynn Valley Optometry gift cards. Five of those gift cards are worth $100 and five are worth $50; they can be used towards glasses, contacts, sunglasses and other products sold at Lynn Valley Optometry.

To enter click here, or head to their facebook page and click ‘enter contest’ under the cover image.

Lynn Valley Optometry opened its doors in 1992 on the northwest side of the 1200 block of Lynn Valley Road. At this time Lynn Valley Optometry had three employees in what could definitely be called a ‘cozy’ office. In 2007, the office moved across the street into Lynn Valley Village. Currently, the office has 14 staff members, including two doctors and two vision therapists, and was voted favourite optical store by North Shore News readers for the past two years. During that time it were also voted best optical store by the North Shore Outlook readers.

Lynn Valley Optometry is very excited to be able to share its 20th anniversary celebrations with the community.

For more information about Lynn Valley Optometry, check out its website.

Black Bear Pub hosts weekly trivia nights

From the pen of Jeffry Huyghebaert, Assistant Manager, Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub

Every Monday night at the Black Bear we run a trivia game for our guests, with questions running the gamut of general knowledge and obscure facts.  There is no cost to play, and teams are encouraged; best to bring a few people with different interests and knowledge than yourself! The only real rule is that Google cannot be one of your teammates.

The game starts at 7:30 p.m., and usually runs until around 9:30 p.m. There are two rounds of fifteen questions per round, and the team with the highest score at the end of two rounds claims the victory, and has a choice between a plate of 24 hot wings or a pitcher of Molson Canadian to celebrate their win.

Besides general knowledge and obscure facts, we occasionally choose to run with a certain theme, which is usually based around a certain event; on Canada Day the theme was Canadiana, during the Olympics the questions were all about Olympic events and history, and around the time of the Oscars we did a night of Movie Quotes.

Next week will mark the 20th week of Black Bear Trivia, which means that our guests will have answered 800 questions since we started playing. The questions themselves come from the staff and managers of the Black Bear, rather than simply being pulled down from a website or lifted from Trivial Pursuit. It’s been a lot of research, a lot of fun, and a lot of being impressed by just how much our guests actually know about really, really random things.





Get framed at LV Optometry

If you’re looking for a new set of anti-squint-making optical devices (sometimes known as ‘glasses’), you’ll be glad to know that our local optometrist is having a big blow-out sale.

Lynn Valley Optometry is the recipient of the 2012 best optical store award as judged by readers of both the North Shore News and North Shore Outlook (plus, they have a marvellous nespresso machine for fancy customer coffees!)

Check out the store’s blog for all the details on the sale, which starts August 28.