Wednesday, January 05, 2011
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Wednesday, January 05, 2011
The more I share, the more I grow. The more I grow the more capable I become. To me, it's never been about getting, it's been about giving. A month or so ago I completed a process that will allow me to be a professional Life Coach. Took the necessary classes, passed the tests, etc. I have one requirement left to fulfill and I believe it's a good one. I am required to do Life Coaching with three people for free. In return those people can write a testimonial. These three people should not be friends or family.
The process involves evaluating yourself in five key life areas, choosing up to three of those areas you'd like to improve in, having a vision statement created for you and then setting a series of goals and objectives to reach those improvements. This is not therapy. As one of my instructors said "Therapy looks backwards coaching looks forward."
It's a great time of year to do something like this. So, I am offering three people the opportunity to work with me for approximately 5 - 7 hours in accomplishing the above tasks. When you are finished you will have a pretty clear cut set of goals to move forward with and I'll complete my certification.
What's required of you?
You must have a sincere desire to improve yourself. I'm like a personal trainer only I deal with the mind, heart and soul, so to speak.
You will have to verbally communicate with me either on the telephone or through video chatting. I prefer to use Skype for video chatting so if you are interested and not in the USA its not a huge obstacle.
Anything you and I talk about remains confidential. You might be contacted by the certification group just to verify I went through the initial process. There are no strings attached to this and I'm not selling anything. You would be helping me as much as I might be helping you. Actually I can't take too much credit for this blog it was Joan's idea. She thought it would be a good way of giving back to all who have helped me.
If you are interested send me a Spark Mail and I'll give you further details.
Monday, January 03, 2011
Stop for a minute and ask yourself this question, how do I see myself? When I close my eyes and focus the picture, what do I see? Be honest. Most of us don’t have a very positive picture, do we? Oh we have a list of readymade wonderful things about ourselves that we tell people when they ask, but when we start to look closer, we start to see all the flaws and imperfections and then our shoulders start to sag a little bit. We see a coworker, or a next door neighbor or a really successful Spark friend and we begin to compare ourselves to them and our shoulders sag a bit more. Maybe we get a bit jealous. We hear ourselves say “Why can’t I be like them?” Did you ever think they are saying the same thing when they look at you.
Everyone is full of vim and vigor and gusto and oh my goodness my email inbox is exploding with people joining the 28 Day boot camp. We convince ourselves that if we pile enough activity on top of our current vision that somehow, some way it will become more positive. I have to work harder, be smarter, and push, push, push. How many times have I run out of steam and enthusiasm somewhere around January 15? How many times have I just given up or created a bunch of excuses because it all got to be just too much?
We are asked today to create a vision. We are asked to post our goals and objectives where we can view them. I think there’s something else we need to do. I think we need to ask ourselves how much worth and value we place on ourselves and what this journey is worth. I sat down yesterday and asked myself a question. If I never wrote another blog, lost another pound, ran another race, won another reward or was recognized for my accomplishments in life would I still believe I was loved, I was valuable and I a good human being? Honestly, I got scared when I saw my answer. I got a bit of a chill inside of me. It’s become a goal. The goal is to sit next to John and accept him and see him just as he is, a bit overweight, a bit clumsy at times, a bit awkward in his speech and writing and put my arm around him and embrace him and be his best friend, just as he is. It means I must learn to love him when he fails as well as when he succeeds. That’s a hard thing to do.
Everything around us suggests we become quicker, prettier and sleeker. You and I both know we’ve lost weight before, styled and profiled for the camera and our friends only to look up six months later and ask what went wrong. No amount of activity, no matter how healthy or well intentioned can make up for a negative perception I may have of me. Join all the Spark teams you want, hire all the personal trainers, and receive all the most popular blog awards God can imagine. Until I believe about me what you believe about me I won’t ever reach my goals and objective. You may see me as wonderful but until I do, then it’s all just an exercise in futility.
I was going to take a picture of my goals and objective hanging in my office and post them with this blog. But the more I though about it the more I decided this is what I'd post and print out.
When I can look at that picture and really believe I am whole, happy and loved, just as I am, then I KNOW I'll reach all my other goals.
Day 3.......... My vision.
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Don’t be offended, I’m not questioning your intelligence. Many years ago, when I worked for a Fortune Five I was lucky enough to teach an ongoing goal setting class. The method or process we used to teach people in setting goals was called the SMART process, which is Specific, Meaningful, Agreed Upon, Reachable and Trackable. I’m sure you have heard of this or a variation there of before. It crossed my mind when I looked at Day 2 of the thirty one days. We are asked to be “specific and positive,” in the goals we set.
When I begin working with a new coaching client I help them set goals. Most folks start with something like “I want to be a better person…..” Me also!!! That’s what I call a “world peace” goal. Everyone wants world peace. How the heck do you get it? I ask people this question: If you were taking a car trip to a place you’d never been to before wouldn’t you use some sort of map or GPS to navigate your way there or would you just hop in the car and drive? Be specific.” John wants to lose 68 pounds by the December 15, 2011.” That’s specific. It allows me to create a vision. I can see the calendar and I can see skinny John. It’s specific.
Is the goal meaningful to me? I love my son Paul, he’s my running coach, but his timetable for me is not realistic. I will not be running a half marathon by April 1, 2011. It sounds nice, but I need to run a few more 5K’s, then some 10k’s, etc. I need to train. Right now I am focused on running a 5K the end of February. The half marathon goal means a lot to Paul. He’s been running them for close to ten years. To me it has no meaning, not today at least. Be careful that you don’t get all caught up in someone else’s enthusiasm until you are ready to commit to it. Choose goals that will really MEAN something to you when you accomplish them. It will get you through the gray patches. This is where a healthy dose of high self-esteem helps. Remember they are YOUR goals and they make you valuable and worthwhile. Do not compare yourself to other folks.
Does everyone involved in you reaching your goal agree on your course of action? A good friend, who has several younger children, decided to train for a marathon. He neglected one small detail. He didn’t let his wife know he was upping his training regimen. She’d wake up mornings and find him gone. Early evenings found him in the gym or the pool. His family wasn’t very happy. It’s not that they didn’t want him to reach his goals, it’s just that he never shared them or got agreement from them. The kids had activities, his wife had her own goals and objectives and what he managed to accomplish was creating a lot of tension and ultimately not reach his goal. When you sit down to write out your goals ask yourself if the journey to reach them impacts anyone else in your life. If so, get agreement. The bonus is you may also get a good cheerleader to help you out and hold you accountable.
Can I reach my goals? This is my Achilles heel. I get all amped up about a goal early on and I see myself flying with the wind, wearing Armani suits, being ever so buff, and I’m like a puppy drooling all over the place aaaaaaaaaaaaaand I usually crash and burn. One of my clients recently left the military. He was stationed in Kuwait and had lots of time to exercise, so he started running. When he returned home he got out of the habit of running. When we started working together he told me one of his goals was to get back into running and ultimately run a marathon. I noticed every time we’d take a break he’d go outside and smoke a few cigarettes. As gently as I could I asked him if that habit might hold him back from reaching his ultimate goal. When he agreed with me I suggested that he first set a goal to quit smoking with the motivation being to run the marathon one day. He ultimately accomplished both goals!!!
Finally, can you track your progress? This goes back to wanting to be a better person. How do you track it? Weight loss is easy, there’s the scale. Exercise can be charted in time and distance. I want to lose 68 pounds by December 15, 2011. That is track able. I get on the scale, record my weight and look at the calendar. I want to run fifteen miles per week. I log my time and my distance. Be careful not to get caught up in goals that don’t allow you the challenge of tracking them. After a while you lose enthusiasm or motivation because you can’t see real and tangible progress. When you can look at the calendar and see that progress it motivates you to move forward. And you are a much happier person.
See ya tomorrow.
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