Tag Archives: coaching

Setting A Goal

There is a difference between setting a goal and achieving that same goal.

The idea of setting a goal is to move you from one place (usually “stuck”) to another. If you don’t know the way, you may well get lost or easily sidetracked, but if you have a map, even a rudimentary one or an ancient one – well used, you will get there more easily.

You may need to adjust your journey according to the conditions at the time.

For me to set a goal, I also need to include some measure of flexibility. The first thing to think about when setting a goal is where do you want to go to or achieve?

To achieve your goal you need to follow some specific steps.

Seems simple enough, but let me share some steps that I use with coaching clients with you to make it easier. Traditional and specific ways of setting a goal that I have found useful are based on using the following prompts:

  • When – setting a date for when you want to achieve your goal
  • Whatwhat exactly do you want? State this in the present tense so that your subconscious mind registers the goal “as if” the goal has been achieved.
  • Where – if you are looking for a new house or a job, where do you want it to be?
  • Howhow will you achieve your goal?
  • Whodo you have anyone to help you achieve your goals? Who can you enlist to be accountable?
  • WhyWhat are the benefits to YOU for achieving your goals?

To be continued….

The Power of Metaphor

What is metaphor?

It’s a way of speaking that uses words or pictures to describe something in a symbolic way.

At the workshop I presented at today, I used both words and pictures as metaphors to bypass the conscious mind.  This was to get the participants thinking more deeply about their EQ or emotional intelligence in regard to how much balance (or not) is in their lives.

Without giving too much away…. and because I’m planning on repeating the workshop quite soon, I asked them to think about what tools that they might have on hand to apply in various situations.

Using a variety of photos, including that of my own toolbox, we segued into how they might successfully navigate situations or people using various Emotional Intelligence strategies.

My real toolbox contains a good selection of Homeopathic remedies. Many years ago I used to take it on home visits for some clients who had children diagnosed with ADHD. Much easier than having a bored and disruptive child confined in an office and a wonderful way to observe their behaviours in their natural habitat!

The metaphoric toolbox

This contains various tools that can be used to change perception of self or situations. These tools enable one to respond rapidly to changing situations or to be creative and innovative in an approach to new or novel ideas.

Setting life goals is much like having a garden. You’ve designed the garden beds, carefully planned where the trees have been placed and planted a variety of plants – perhaps even a lawn area. But the work doesn’t stop here. The lawn needs to be mowed on a regular basis. The plants need to be tended and occasionally, plants such as roses need to be pruned to produce the next seasons lush growth.

And so it is with life goals.  You’ve planned the goals, placed a few key elements to stand out. All this needs maintenance and constant action to keep the momentum to get the end result. Along the way you may encounter a prickly person or what you thought was a beautiful flower which turns out to be a weed and needs to be removed.

With no way of knowing their story, a metaphor can be transformative to many people as they apply and adapt it to their own life experience or goals and bring about an inner awareness of their own strengths or weaknesses.

Coaching vs Counselling

What suits you?

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but having received sessions in both, I feel that the coaching model is more effective.

With coaching you don’t need to stay stuck in our stories, in fact the coach often doesn’t even need to hear your story, just where and how you want to move forward. Combined with some NLP (neuro linguistic programming) techniques and a little Hypnotherapy, personally I have found that amazing changes can be made with a minimum of fuss (and no snotty tissues…… bonus!)

Athletes have been using coaches for decades to improve their performance and there is a growing number of people using coaching for various other pursuits. Many executives and business owners have a business coach, singers have a voice coach and there are other niches such as health coaching and of course, Emotional Intelligence coaching.

However, for certain people, counselling interventions such as CBT are really valuable in changing thoughts and behaviours over a longer period of time. Most importantly, the rapport you have with your coach or counsellor is the defining factor in the success of your session.

Anticipation

Support for women in small or microbusinesses to help them identify their strenths

Right on the cusp of the Winter Solstice, there is not a lot of sunshine around in the southern most part of Australia. The soft, mist like rain soaking into the ground means that the soil will retain the moisture longer and there is an anticipation of lush new growth.

The spring bulbs have already pushed forth their leaves and a few “early birds” have blossomed. These bulbs have no expectations except to blossom.  The jonquil never expects to become a rose, yet within the core of its bulb it has the knowledge and wisdom of when to begin sprouting from its dormancy.  It doesn’t waste time worrying about the bulb next to it…. whether it is a hyacinth or a tulip or even onion weed… it just gets on with what it has to do and turns its face up to the sunshine when it flowers.

Yet some bulbs do better than others. They have the support of fertile, watered soil, adequate sunshine and good nutrients. Others may find themselves in a crowded position and could do with the support of a gentle gardener to place them in a less crowded place once in a while. Still others may find themselves overshadowed by a stronger shrub or bush and yet they still manage to put forth its leaves, even if this season they haven’t quite got the right conditions to flower.

And so it is, when starting out in your own business…..  There is an anticipation, a feeling of excitement as you begin your journey.  There is a delicate balance between anticipation and anxiety …. anticipation will allow you to let go of some of your expectations whilst anxiety binds you to them.  Wisdom is knowing  which is which.

Choose to be free of self imposed limitations by walking your talk and making wise decisions ……if you are having difficulty doing this look for support….you are not a failure if you ask for support and you will become stronger if you do so. The bulb needs the support of fertile soil, adequate water and sunshine, so too for you!

Are you in a crowded marketplace and need to move to more fertile soil?

Are you overshadowed by doubt or overpowered by others ?

You do have more control over your decisions than the bulb does. Acknowledge your personal power and reflect on your completeness. It may seem like hard work as you tend to your needs but the support of a coach or mentor will most often guide you to the path to your future.  Be open with them, they are not there to judge you, just as the rose does not judge the jonquil.  Check in with your feelings… if you are truly open to accepting support, then you will find that you are not defensive and effective communication will flow just like the winter creeks and rivers.

Take a moment to step out  of your own shadow and walk tall into the sunshine!

Spring Reflections

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you can now make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.

A Course in Miracles

How often do you audit your work life balance?

In business, one is encouraged to come up with  a plan which should be regularly reviewed …at least every 90 days. Achievable goals should be set and if they are not met , it’s OK to revise and tweak them so that a good outcome can be achieved. A good business plan will cover many areas, such as sales, marketing, networking and more. As the business evolves, so too does its needs. There is an ebb and flow of priorities in different areas.

For our personal lives too, we need to set goals so that we don’t just aimlessly drift into the sunset of dreams never fulfilled.  We may set a goal that  seems realistic at the time. Even setting what one networking person described to me as “a great big hairy audacious goal”.

All this is good,  but life will sometimes throw us a curve ball when we least expect it. The lessons to be learned when this happens are invaluable when we stop to reflect. Too much focus on a particular area will result in an imbalance in other areas unless we are diligent in maintaining a healthy work life balance. Many will be familiar with The Wheel of Life tool which is at the bottom of this post.

It’s important to have a positive mindset about any setbacks and ask ourselves the following questions.

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • What resources do I need to achieve the outcome I desire?
  • What goals do I need to set to achieve my outcome or vision?

Wheel of Life exercise

Enchantment

On a  recent visit to the retreat, I was enchanted with the spectre of a double rainbow over the labyrinth.  It was at the end of a hot and humid day and just as the sun was getting ready to slip over the horizon, the clouds parted and there was a most amazing light dancing on the tree tops. A shower in the distance provided the catalyst for a most amazing rainbow.

Did I manage to capture the image? Sadly no…. one of the rare occasions when I had neither camera or smartphone with me.

Earlier in the day, I had shrugged off the lethargy and done a New Moon meditation and vision book page. The next step was to take the vision book into the labyrinth and meditate further on what had come to me.

As I came out of the labyrinth, I was reminded of the benefit of journalling the experiences, many abridged versions appear here in this blog. I remembered a comment from a reader some time ago who suggested that I include video. With that in mind, I walked slowly back to the centre recording the journey, which I would share, except that it seems that the iphone video is not compatible with this platform. The act of mindfulness in walking slowly and holding the camera steadily made for a different experience. The focus was not on myself, but how could I best film the pathway so that viewers would not feel dizzy or sick and that they could really get a “feel” for the rustic nature of this labyrinth.

It cannot be compared to the  pictures of the labyrinths in North America and Europe that are either beautifully paved or have lush green turf….  This is country Victoria coming into summer.. the weeds and the grass have turned to straw brown, the soil is drying and cracking and the patches of gravel are rust red and need to be stepped on carefully.  The mounded soil of the rings allows some long grass and other small hardy plants to grow, but there is no sign of life in the outer ring where the garlic was planted, except for 2 sage plants and a lavender plant that has just flowered. As each step is taken, there is a crunching sound… the dried up plants…. the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere which had record snowfalls on that same weekend.

So whilst the intent has been to share the New Moon experience with you, I can only do so with words and not pictures…. perhaps some enchanted things are not to share……

Postscript….. If you would like to do a virtual walk of the labyrinth, click HERE

 

The Labyrinth

LabyrinthI still haven’t managed to get a full picture of the labyrinth, my son suggested putting a card in his remote control helicopter and taking a photo with that, but that’s for another day!

This is after I dug out the lines to redefine the path and added some garden gypsum to the mounds created. The idea behind this is that the channels created will hold the moisture and keep the soil nearby easier to work with. Most of the area is heavy clay, so the gypsum will help break that down.

Originally, I wanted to put some coarse grade gypsum, used for driveways or around cattle troughs on the path, but there are some persistent weeds that would simply grow through the gravel.  The metaphysical properties of gypsum are interesting and it  works on the Heart & Base Chakras as well as bringing clarity to the person using it. Ideal for a labyrinth walk! I will enquire more about the coarse grade gypsum at the Elmore Field Day coming up in October.

You can see in the photo where I started to take a fine layer of soil off the path, but still the onion grass came up.  A bonus was that the five pointed purple flowers  were pretty to look at as I walked the circuit! They have now been replaced by Capeweed, which has bright yellow petals and a black centre.  Ideas for the future development of the path range from sowing lawn seed and getting a mower to maintain it or waiting until the soil softens again and hiring a mechanical tiller and digging it up to weed it more vigorously.

The plinth in the centre has a small depression in it, which I fill with water for the birds. There is a nest of Blue Wrens nearby and lots of fast moving little birds that I have yet to identify. It is offset slightly and one corner is orientated North.

After the gypsum was applied, it was loosely worked into the soil mounds and I set about peeling 6 bulbs of Australian Garlic. Some of the cloves had already started to sprout and as they lay on the tray in the sunlight, seemed to grow a little more each time I glanced at them. Once peeled, they went into a bucket of water and I planted them in most of the outer ring of the labyrinth. It’s just an experiment – if they grow – they grow and should provide yet another purple flower to look at around New Year. The bonus will be a crop of garlic with the labyrinth energy. Rain was forecast for the next day and if the weather report was correct, the area got some 13mm of rain after we left – just enough to water in the gypsum and the garlic.

 

New Look

There must have been something in the air – certainly change……

I’ve changed my personal website as well as this business one and feel like I am starting to get the two more aligned. I’ve even imported all my old posts from a Blogger account that I started posting in …way back in 2008 … to this one and am thinking that towards the end of the year I might even migrate the blog here to my personal website. Not sure what Mr Google will think of that….

July has seen me reviewing old business plans and I was really surprised when I dug an old one up from 2009 and discovered that my plan back then was really ahead of its time. This time, as I review it, I have decided to run it past a person with a more positive outlook and entrepreneurial attitude than last time. In fact I might even listen to my own intuition and not give away my personal power…..

A dream is just a dream…. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline……

Needless to say, there has been some serious planning with 90 day goals set over the last few weeks, both business and personal. I’m happy to say that most of the goals I have set for July have been achieved and there’s still 3 more days to go!

GoalsUsing the SMART model makes it really simple to test whether the goal is realistic or not and of course that is the key. Set achievable goals and  not only the does the conscious mind do a “happy dance”, but the brain creates new pathways, the subconscious mind stores the positive experience to be applied to other future projects…..

Woman at Work

expandCoaching is underway and I have re-visited my values.

This time I approached it a little differently and have set the intent to break through old beliefs that no longer serve. Astounding really, how we can unconsciously hold  on to familiar patterns of thought and not realize how that no longer works if we want to make changes.

Coupled with the coaching, I’m doing a marketing course and apart from looking at the ideal client, re-visiting my niche and looking to get my message much clearer than in the past. I now realize that I have  been a “Jack of all trades” ( or should that be Jill?) and even though I LOVE  doing the Reiki, Polarity Therapy and Homeopathy, it is really the Hypnotherapy that is the passion. Seeing clients literally change in the chair as they access their subconscious and resolve long-term issues is the reward.

There is also the realization that these therapies are just tools to be used and can be applied as needed to empower clients. Less focus on naming the therapies and more on getting resolution for the client. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees… and even though I have done a coaching course and can self coach, a fresh set of eyes will reveal the obvious.

Managing time better is another priority as  I reduce the number of projects on the go. It’s all about planning and being more effective as well as setting goals for the future. This will be important as in a couple of weeks I will take possession of a 40 acre property in Northern Victoria. Scheduling the time to maintain it and develop it into a workable retreat will be a challenge, but one I’m up for!

Another project has come to a closure and this will result in a book which will be released in early December. I am a contributing author to a book about women’s health and wellness by some well known Australian identities. I look forward to sharing more news about that very shortly and of course if you want an idea for a Christmas present………..!!

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!