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 donít 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 ďWhy canít I be like them?Ē 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 thereís 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. Itís 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. Thatís a hard thing to do.
Everything around us suggests we become quicker, prettier and sleeker. You and I both know weíve 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 wonít ever reach my goals and objective. You may see me as wonderful but until I do, then itís 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
Donít be offended, Iím 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. Iím 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 ďspecific and positive,Ē 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 ďI want to be a better personÖ..Ē Me also!!! Thatís what I call a ďworld peaceĒ 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 youíd never been to before wouldnít 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.Ē John wants to lose 68 pounds by the December 15, 2011.Ē Thatís specific. It allows me to create a vision. I can see the calendar and I can see skinny John. Itís specific.
Is the goal meaningful to me? I love my son Paul, heís 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 5Kís, then some 10kís, 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. Heís been running them for close to ten years. To me it has no meaning, not today at least. Be careful that you donít get all caught up in someone elseís 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 didnít let his wife know he was upping his training regimen. Sheíd wake up mornings and find him gone. Early evenings found him in the gym or the pool. His family wasnít very happy. Itís not that they didnít want him to reach his goals, itís 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 Iím 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 weíd take a break heíd 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, thereís 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 donít allow you the challenge of tracking them. After a while you lose enthusiasm or motivation because you canít 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.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Iím good at many things. Being accountable to me isnít always one of them. I have the best of intentions and then something or someone gets in the way and I get derailed. I got up this morning and was trying to figure out a fun way to get myself back on track and stay there. Thatís when I read my Spark Mail. ď31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions.Ē I printed it out. Nothing new here, just a great calendar loaded with common sense.
Iím going to blog daily on each suggestion or topic. Itís going to help me stay focused and I am really hoping that some of you who have been successful will chime in with tips and suggestions of your own.
ďIf you haven't yet settled on your top goals for the year, do so today. Writing down your goals (in specific terms) means youíre more likely to achieve them.Ē
I joined the 28 Day Boot Camp which asked me to set some short term goals. I want to jazz up my exercise and use the time I have available to do meaningful exercise. Iím a bit burnt out right now and I want some spice in my exercise routine. Itís winter here in Kentucky and I canít run outside as much as Iíd like and some days the track and the dread mill are more than I can take. Our gym is having an open house today and they are offering mini sessions in a lot of things, from spinning to cycling, to throwing around kettle bells. They are offering 15 minute sessions in each new class. Iím going to check it out.
Iím committing to not going overboard. I know none of you have ever done that, putting ten pounds of sugar in a five pound sack , but I am going to be careful not to get healthy all at once. Iím going to track my food, be careful of my limits and make sure I balance my input with my output. I'm going to enjoy the journey and not worry too much about who is on my left or my right.
Joan is a very good money manager, I am not. I know how to pay bills and the like and we are not in danger of being evicted but I realized, with some of your help, that it was a control issue. As of this month, Joan is in charge of our finances and I had to promise to super glue my lips closed as they relate to that issue. So I took a deep breath and handed everything over to her. Itís one less thing for me to stress over and worry about and create an excuse to eat emotionally. It gives me the time and space to work on my health. She almost had a heart attack when I suggested she handle this, LOL
I hope you werenít looking for the glamorous. I been there and have done that and found it doesnít work. Just plain old meat and potatoes here.
See ya tommrow.
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