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Coaching Tools 101: 5 Step Process to Create Supportive Daily Success Habits! | by Emma-Louise Elsey

Coach putting jigsaw Puzzle together

Coach putting jigsaw Puzzle togetherSmall Changes Make a Big Difference:

We tend to overlook the importance of daily habits in managing ourselves and our lives. But, it’s often small changes to daily routines that enable our clients to make BIG changes in their lives and careers.

This coaching exercise helps (you or) your clients come up with 5 new success habits – a simple personal framework around which the rest of the day’s activities fall into place. The idea is to create an infrastructure so that no matter what happens – your client feels calm and assured.

“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” Brian Tracy

When to use this Exercise/Process:

This is a great exercise to do early on in the coaching relationship to help your clients create a healthy and supportive framework in their lives and to support the coaching process.

5 Step Process to Create Supportive Daily Success Habits:

Success Habits Coaching ExerciseYou can give this exercise as homework (either using our success habits tool or give the questions in stages over multiple sessions). You can also guide clients through this process by asking the series of questions below in a session or workshop.

Make sure your client has a pen and paper to hand! Now, let’s begin!

STEP 1) Begin by Setting a Context for these New Daily Habits

Ask your clients to ponder and list their top priorities and stressors in life currently. This will help focus your client on what is most important, and what’s bothering them the most right now.

1a) List your Top 3 Priorities in life – as they are right now:

  1. ___________________
  2. ___________________
  3. ___________________

1b) List your Top 3 Stressors in life – as they are right now:

  1. ___________________
  2. ___________________
  3. ___________________

STEP 2) Brainstorm 5 (or more) Habits Your Client COULD Introduce

Ask your client to write out 5 (or more) daily habits that would support them in being happier, more relaxed, satisfied or content. These can include habits at home, in their personal or work life. One way to help your client reflect is to ask them to imagine a typical day from waking up to going to bed – and see what jumps out at them.

TIP: If they get stuck identifying supportive habits for themselves try asking questions like, “Where do you sabotage yourself regularly?” and “What ideas do you already (perhaps secretly) have?” And you may also like these 7 Insightful Coaching Questions to Identify Your Daily Success Habits!

IMPORTANT: These habits must be Specific and Measurable* so they know exactly what to do, and can clearly say when they have completed the activity.

What supportive daily habits – specific daily actions – could your client introduce?

  1. ___________________
  2. ___________________
  3. ___________________
  4. ___________________
  5. ___________________

* Sometimes it’s hard to know what is meant when by a “Specific and Measurable” habit. So consider sharing some examples of specific, measurable habits – for example:

  • Have 15 minutes of silence or alone time each day
  • Connect daily with partner/spouse (5 mins listening)
  • Write all appointments down – in one place
  • Be at my desk by 00am / leave by 6.00pm every day
  • Take 10 mins mid-morning and afternoon to recap where I am at
  • Drink 6 glasses of water a day
  • Eat lunch away from my desk

STEP 4) Identify the Benefit/s of the Habits

For each habit your client has identified, ask them to write down at least ONE benefit for each alongside. This reminds the client WHY they are creating the habitand how it helps them:

  1. ___________________ + Benefit/s
  2. ___________________ + Benefit/s
  3. ___________________ + Benefit/s
  4. ___________________ + Benefit/s
  5. ___________________ + Benefit/s

STEP 5) Commitment and Action-Setting

Ask your clients to pick 3 of the habits they’ve identified to COMMIT to. If they’re not sure which to choose, you could ask, “Which habit/s will most BENEFIT you?” or “Which habit/s are you most LIKELY to implement?”

Finally, it’s good to get your clients started on at least one habit right away – or at least by the next day to keep motivation high.

I will start ___________________ tomorrow (or right away)

I will start ___________________ by ________________

I will start ___________________ by ________________

Wrap-up

Finally, wrap-up by asking your clients, “WHO do you need to BE to implement these habits?”

Habits start simply as actions we choose. Gradually, as we do them regularly, they become habits.

It takes time – and a lot of practice and perseverance – to implement new habits. We will likely forget our new habits many, many times before they become a conscious habit. So remember that it can take weeks to to implement a new habit – and it can take months to cement a habit. And remind your clients to be kind to themselves on the days they don’t remember. They just need to start again the next day!

“If you fall off a horse, you get back up. I am not a quitter.” Olivia Wilde

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How to Use Poetry in Coaching: Inspirational Poem, “My Symphony” by William Ellery Channing

My Symphony by William Ellery Channing - Graphic by The Coaching Tools Company

Do you ever use poetry in your coaching? Poetry has a way of speaking to us, of connecting to something deeper inside us – closer to the heart or soul. Poetry can set us thinking, sometimes long after we have read something. It can be soothing too – and – can also be a coaching tool!

So, I have always loved this poem. It speaks of simplicity, learning and honesty, of bravery, worthiness – and beautiful slowness. It reminds me of my values, encourages me to stop work and contemplate, learn or simply get out in nature. It reminds me of what is important – awe, nature and an open heart. But perhaps it speaks differently to you?

My Symphony by William Ellery Channing
Click on this image to get a BRANDABLE .PDF you can use with your clients (for printing lettersize). Save to your computer, then add your branding!

An Idea for Using this Poem in Coaching:

For many of our clients, I think this poem could refocus people on having “enough”. I love the idea of being wealthy but not rich, of enjoying elegance (or beauty) rather than luxury. It speaks of enjoyment, rather than having or doing things for the sake of it – or for what others think. Even (especially) today, I believe this poem still rings true.

This poem is also great for your stressed out clients – who push themselves, who want life balance, who are perhaps attached to life being a certain way. There are other, much more satisfying ways to be…

ACTION IDEA: Give this poem to your clients, and simply ask them to ponder, reflect or journal around what it means for them. What do they take away from this poem? What one action do they feel inspired to take after reading it?

My Symphony

by William Ellery Channing

To live content with small means.
To seek elegance rather than luxury,
and refinement rather than fashion.
To be worthy not respectable,
and wealthy not rich.
To study hard, think quietly, talk gently,
act frankly, to listen to stars, birds, babes,
and sages with open heart, to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never.
In a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.

More information about William Ellery Channing (1818 – 1901)

William Ellery Channing was born in Boston, USA and attended Harvard – although he did not graduate.He was an American Transcendentalist poet, nephew of (and named after) the Unitarian preacher Dr. William Ellery Channing. Channing (the poet) was thought “brilliant but undisciplined” by many of his contemporaries and his family. However, may admired him too.  His contemporaries included Henry David Thoreau (with whom he was friends), Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

One of his housemates – the journalist Franklin Benjamin Sanborn – wrote of him, “His artist eye was constantly seeking out the finest landscapes, and his sauntering habit was to take his friends and introduce them to scenery they could hardly have found for themselves. He showed Thoreau the loveliest recesses of the Concord woods, and of the two rivers that came slowly through them…” You can learn more about him on Wikipedia here.

Finally, I’d love to know what you think!

Does this poem appeal to you? Do you, like me, think that if people could do this they would be happier? Do you use poetry in your coaching at all?

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4 Self-Love & Compassion Practices for You and Your Clients by Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC

 

At the heart of all transformational work is the need for self-love and compassion. As coaches, we must be committed to expand self-love and compassion within ourselves, in order to also help our clients to do the same.

“Find the love you seek by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place as that is your true home.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Why do Self-Love and Compassion Matter?

We cannot give to others what we do not have within ourselves. Growth, transformation and thriving occur in the presence of nurturing, kindness and care. And if we’re hard on ourselves, overly self-critical, engaged with negative self-talk, avoiding our own self-care and/or judging ourselves harshly, we use a lot of energy to navigate this harshness – and block the flow of love and kindness in and around us.

Self-love is in service to being a masterful coach. For in this energy we are kinder, less judgmental, more mindful and forgiving of both ourselves and others. Self-acceptance flourishes in the energy of self-love.

It’s part of the human condition to be plagued with a lack of self-love and compassion from time to time. Maybe we tell ourselves we should have tried harder, or we shouldn’t have made a certain mistake, or we aren’t good enough.

Compassion and self-kindness serve as a healing balm to such self-criticism – we can all strive for greater self-love. And as we open our hearts to a greater loving connection within ourselves, we are better able to extend love and kindness to others.

What does it take to Cultivate a Loving Relationship with Ourselves?

Just like any loving relationship, cultivating a loving relationship with the self takes time, effort, commitment and tools.

Many of us are already aware of mindfulness practice as a way of deepening self-love, compassion and kindness.

Expressive writing is also a powerful practice, supporting us to cultivate and expand these qualities and feelings in our lives and our transformational work with clients. I love to blend these two practices together for what I call “mindful expressive writing”.

What is Mindful Expressive Writing?

Mindful expressive writing invites us to get centered, present and aware of our breath in this one moment, and then go to the page and write. From this centered grounded place, you can engage in deep writing about your thoughts, feelings, experiences, inner dialogue and more.

“Deep writing emerges from the space between the inhalation and exhalation, that space in between the doing and the dreaming, our place of power, of mystery, and of authenticity.”  Laraine Herring

Here are 4 Self-Love & Compassion Practices for You and Your Clients, using Mindful Expressive Writing

The 4 activities below will help you write and cultivate self-love and compassion using mindful expressive writing:

1. Use “Loving Kindness” Meditation (Metta)

There is a Buddhist mindfulness practice called “Loving kindness” (metta) – where we wish ourselves safety, health, happiness and ease, then extend this same intention out to others, and then extend that wish out to all living things.

This activity involves reading the following loving kindness meditation. You can also listen to the 12 minute audio from Lynda embedded in this article below.

May I be safe.
May I be healthy.
May I be happy.
May I live with ease.  

May you be safe.
May you be healthy.
May you be happy.
May you live with ease.

May we be safe.
May we be healthy.
May we be happy.
May we live with ease.

12 Minute Loving Kindness Meditation with Lynda:

Then, after you’re finished, take 15 minutes to write in your journal about how this meditation made you feel. Write about whatever comes to mind as you reflect on your experience. What thoughts, feelings and sensations arose as you did this loving-kindness meditation?

2) Write your own Loving Kindness Meditation

This next mindful expressive writing activity involves writing your own loving kindness meditation. Write out and ask what you want and need for yourself, and then extend these intentions out to others.

3) Write a Love Letter to Yourself

Write a love letter to yourself, filled with kindness, compassion, care and gratitude for who you are, and all the things you do. Write this love letter to yourself, in the same way you would write to someone you really, really love!

4) Use Poetry as Inspiration for Journaling 1

Read the following quote by David Whyte, poet and author of “The Three Marriages: Re-imagining Work, Self and Relationships”.

“There are three kinds of marriages. Your marriage with another, with the people you have committed to love and respect through the big and the bad. Your husband (wife, partner), your children, your friends. Your marriage with your work. That thing you do that you commit to love and turn up for no matter how hard it is. Your marriage with yourself, the one you cannot leave.”

Journal writing prompts: Describe the type of marriage you have with yourself. What do you want to celebrate about this marriage? What areas of this marriage do you want to grow or nurture?

Wrap-up

There are many ways to generate feelings of self-love and compassion. Mindful expressive writing is a practice that helps us reflect on and get to know our own mind, our thoughts, feelings and needs. It helps bring us more fully present into the moment, where are all transformation and growth happens. This type of writing helps us cultivate wholeness, healing and wellness.

Louise DeSalvo, author of “Writing as a Way of Healing” says:

“What if writing were a simple, significant yet necessary way to achieve spiritual, emotional, and psychic wholeness?… What if writing were as important as a basic human function and as significant to maintaining and promoting our psychic and physical wellness as, say, exercise, healthful food, pure water, clean air, rest and repose, and some soul-satisfying practice?”

Yes! What if? What if writing helps us find our true home of self-love, self-acceptance, kindness and compassion?

It does. Word-by-word, story-by-story. Self-expression through personal writing is a form of showing up to love and accept ourselves – on the page, in our lives and in our important work as coaches.

1 You could also use another poem or quote you like about your relationship with yourself, and/or self-love.

Lynda Monk 2017 HeadshotContributing author: Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC is the Director of the International Association for Journal Writing (IAJW) – a learning and inspiration-community for journal and life writers, worldwide. She is the author of numerous articles, courses and coaching programs focused on the healing and transformational power of writing, including co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journaling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection. Access her free gift 7 Servings of Journal Juice for inspiration to juice up your journaling!

 

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How to Run an Awesome Workshop Using the Wheel of Life (in Under an Hour)!

How to Run a Workshop Using the Wheel of Life Image

Wheel of Life Template Exercise Page 1
Get Your Free Wheel of Life Template here

In this article I share a simple but powerful way to Run a Workshop Using the Wheel of Life Template. In this workshop outline, you will also get the chance to share who you are as a coach, how you can help your attendees, and any special offers you might have for attendees! And the outline provided includes what to do, when, questions to ask and a timed agenda.

If you haven’t run a workshop before, using the Wheel of Life Template (get yours free here) is an easy way to get started. I would encourage you to start here and build your experience with managing groups and running events. You can learn about your audience, practice, see what works and begin to discover your style.

Finally, if you’re just starting out, it can be hard to drum up interest in a workshop yourself. You could approach some local networking groups, companies, clubs or meet-up groups and see if they’re interested in you coming in to do an inspirational workshop on how to have more life balance.

When preparing to run a workshop using the Wheel of Life to talk about life balance, be sure to bring you – and your passion into it! Choose your key message about life balance, and then 3 sub points you want them to know. Then intersperse this information into the agenda below.

Learn everything you need to know about the ultimate coaching tool from The Complete Guide to the Wheel of Life.

How to Run a Workshop Using the Wheel of Life (Agenda with Timings and Outline):

INTRODUCTION:

  1. 5 mins – Introduce yourself, your business, and why you think balance is so important.
    • Start by welcoming attendees and introducing yourself and your business/business name.
    • Then share a personal “teaching story” about your own experience with life balance. Or, if you have a story of a client you helped to achieve more balance and the results, this is great too! NOTE: Be sure to have permission to share a client’s story, or create a “blended” story from several client experiences which has no identifying information.

MAIN BODY:

  1.  10 mins – Talk ABOUT Balance with your attendees.
    • Share your thoughts on why balance is so important – especially these days.
    • Ask attendees how they feel when they are not in balance.
    • Ask attendees what they think balance is, and how it might feel to be ‘in balance’.
    • Next ask attendees what balance might look like for them? How would they know when they are ‘in balance’? How does it feel?
    • It’s also fun/interesting to ask, “So, when was the last time you felt your life was in balance?”
    • Share that we don’t ‘achieve’ balance (or at least not for long). The key is to know whether you are moving towards or away from balance. Ask how this perspective could help them?
      Tip: It’s great if you have a whiteboard or flipchart where you can write down what people are saying. This helps with visual learners and makes people feel more involved.
  2. 5 mins – COMPLETE the Wheel of Life Template.
    • Explain that the “Wheel of Life” Exercise is a great tool to check-in with how balanced their life is, and where it might be out of balance.
    • Explain the 8 segments on the wheel and ask attendees to consider what satisfaction would feel like for each area, then to score their current level of satisfaction out of 10 for each area.
      Tip: It’s good to specifically show them how to draw the line and add each score to their wheel.
      Tip: Remind your attendees to follow their gut and write down the first number they think of (not to justify their score and increase it because they SHOULD feel better!)
  3. 15 mins – REVIEW the Wheel in small groups.

    • Start by asking your attendees to look at their completed wheels and say, “If this was your wheel of life, would it be a bumpy ride?”
    • Next ask your attendees to get into groups of 3-4 and review and discuss their results.
    • Give people 2-3 questions to consider, for example, “What surprises were there for you?”, “How do you feel about your life as you look at your Wheel?”, and “How would you like to be spending time in these areas?” (there are more questions you could ask included in the instructions on page 2 of our wheel of life coaching form).
  4. 10 mins – DISCUSS and SHARE learnings from the Wheel of Life as a larger group.
    • Some great questions to ask the group include:
      • So, what did you learn and notice as you reviewed your wheels with each other?
      • Which categories do you most want to improve?
      • What needs to change to bring more balance into your life?
      • What are the common themes we’re noticing in the room today?
      • What help and support might you need from others to make the necessary changes and be more in balance?

WRAP-UP

  1. 5 mins – Each person identifies an ACTION to create more balance
    • Ask each person to come up with ONE action they could take to move closer to balance in their lives, and write it next to the relevant category on their wheel.
    • A great question to ask is, “If there was one key action you could take that would begin to bring everything into balance, what would it be?”
      Tip: If anyone struggles to identify an action try asking, “What is the smallest or easiest thing you could commit to, to move towards balance?”
  2. 5 mins – SUMMARISE and wrap-up the session
    • Thank the attendees for being there and sharing!
    • Tip: If you have time, it’s nice to ask everyone to share their action with the room. Allow 30-45 seconds per person.
    • Share and summarise your main point and 3 sub-points about life balance. You could also share a powerful quote if you like – some examples include:
      • “Looking back at the times where I allowed my work to create stress and frustration in my life, I now realize what I thought was important really was not. I am not saying you should not take your work seriously; what I am saying is that we need to realize that life is all about balance.” Catherine Pulsifer
      • “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” Thomas Merton
      • “Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself.” Jessye Norman
    • Wrap-up the session by talk about what you offer, specifically how you could help them create more balance and fulfilment in life. (It’s particularly good if you have a special offer for your attendees for one-on-one coaching, and/or ongoing group coaching offer around creating a balanced and more fulfilled life!
    • Optionally, (which I recommend) you can also ask for feedback and get permission to send them your email newsletter!
  3. FINALLY, make sure no-one leaves empty-handed!
    • Mention the handouts on offer at the back of the room (branded with your details on) for them to take home. Examples could include a special report on coaching, articles you have written on life balance, a few branded coaching forms and exercises for attendees to take away – and your flyer listing your special offer (that can be given to friends etc)?

This workshop packs a powerful punch in a short space of time – helping people connect with how balanced their life is, how they feel about that, where the issues might be – and identifying one action to take away and improve things!

IMPORTANT: You don’t have to be perfect, especially if you’re offering a free workshop! I guarantee people will love what you have to say and appreciate this valuable window to meet and share with others, learn about themselves and improve their lives! Just get out there and start sharing you!

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12 Courageous Ways to be Kind to Yourself (Infographic)

Kindness is such an important and underrated quality! But it’s not always easy, especially finding ways to be kind to yourself…

Did you know that being kind often involves courage? It can mean standing up for yourself, taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone. When we live in a society that values logic, hard work, achievement and success – it can be hard to pay attention to our intuition, feelings, to step outside of cultural norms and do what we need to do to be (kind to) ourselves. We hope this infographic gives you some ideas for ways to be kind to yourself!

NOTE: Want to share JUST the infographic (and not the whole article)? Right-click (or Ctrl+Click on a Mac) to save the full-size infographic below to your device, then simply share the saved infographic direct from your device!

Following feedback, we also created a tall version for people on their cell phones! Just scroll down for an alternative tall version better suited to mobile phones.

Here are 12 Courageous Ways to Be Kind to Yourself:

12 Courageous Ways to Be Kind To Yourself Infographic

Here are the 12 Courageous Ways to Be Kind to Yourself:

  1. Be BOLD – live your life your way!
  2. Remember – your flaws give you style and personality!
  3. Ask yourself daily – what do I need to thrive today?
  4. Your feelings are signals, listen to them – always!
  5. Rejection proves you’re doing something courageous!
  6. Forgive yourself. Period.
  7. Stop tolerating – it’s not noble to allow things to drain you
  8. Life is too short to ‘should’ on yourself
  9. Rushing makes everyone miserable. Do less and take your time.
  10. Gather a ‘spark team’ of people who think you’re awesome!
  11. Stop worrying what others think. Instead ask, “What do I think?”
  12. Stand up for yourself – if not you, then who will?

And here is the tall version for people on their cell phones:


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4 Ways Writing Retreats Offer Soulful Renewal & Inspiration | By Lynda Monk

woman-free-crop

While our transformative work as coaches is very rewarding and meaningful, at times it can also be stressful and overwhelming. We juggle a lot of responsibilities such as wholeheartedly serving our clients, engaging in transformational work while simultaneously growing our coaching businesses and reach in the world.

We know taking time to de-stress, replenish, self-reflect and tend to balance in our lives is not only good for us personally, but also makes us better coaches. And one great way to do this is through expressive writing.

Did you know expressive writing is proven to improve your emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual health? It also helps you gain clarity, make decisions, cultivate life balance, reduce stress and overwhelm, tap into your inner knowing and increase feelings of calm and joy.

“Our own mindfulness or contemplative practice reminds us that in the stillness of a quiet mind all things are possible.”
Janet Harvey, MCC, CMC

Self-care in the form of expressive writing and journaling is a proven antidote to stress, preventing burnout and cultivating balance in mind, body, and spirit. Writing retreats and journaling can offer us effective ways to pause, come home to ourselves and replenish from within.

“Writing asks us to settle into ourselves and be awake.” Natalie Goldberg

Writing or journaling retreats are one of my favourite ways to re-charge – whether self-guided or facilitated by others. As a coach, entrepreneur, mother, wife, daughter, friend, and creative human being I love taking mini-retreats, blocking off an hour or an afternoon to unplug and listen within. I wonder how writing is or could be part of your renewal and reflective practice as a coach?

Here are 4 Reasons to “Go” on a Writing Retreat:

  • Writing retreats are a break from your day-to-day routine – offering you time away from the ordinary. This can help us to create openings for new energy, creativity and ideas to emerge. And you don’t have to consider yourself a writer to benefit. Many of my clients have never written for themselves before, others are authors and are turning to personal, more expressive writing for their own self-care, growth and renewal.
  • Nourish your creativity and identity as a writer – writers are simply people who write. As coaches, many of us do a lot of writing for newsletters, blog posts, social media content, creating products, programs, ebooks and more! When we participate in a writing retreat we affirm ourselves as writers (whether we write for ourselves or others, or both). This invites an entire treasure chest of creative energy to unleash from within. Creativity loves to be honoured, validated, given time and space and support to unfurl onto the page and into the open.
  • Get inspired – writing (and being an entrepreneurial coach) are often solitary acts. A retreat offers connection, ideas, inspiration, prompts, perspective and energy for your writing – and for yourself! A writing retreat can leave you tapped into a whole new level of possibility for your writing, journaling and your life. There is an oasis of renewal gained through putting pen to paper where language, words and story ignite your vitality on and off the page.
  • Increase your coaching mastery – Janet Harvey, MCC, CMC says that coaching mastery requires “coaching from presence” which involves three key things: 1) be still, 2) be attentive and 3) be reflective. Journaling helps increase our confidence and competence with the “artful pause that generates professional mastery.”

Your Self-Care and Renewal Matters

Take time for yourself to relax, reflect and replenish offers you the opportunity to fill your own emotional cup. Your sense of balance, well-being and joy is the ground for helping your clients to tap into these qualities within themselves. Your self-care is not only an investment in yourself, but also in your transformative coaching work in the world. You can literally write your way into your deepest sense of fulfillment and success as a coach and beyond.

My Recommendations for a Soulful Writing Retreat?

Have the following on hand:

  • Your journal
  • Fast moving pens
  • Relaxing music
  • Candles
  • Essential oils infusing the space
  • Coloured markers
  • A large 18 x 24 sketchpad for big ideas to take shape

Then answer these 5 reflective journaling prompts:

  1. When I slow down and replenish, what do I notice?
  2. When I take time for myself, how do I feel?
  3. What fills my emotional cup?
  4. How do I balance caring for myself with caring for others?
  5. What creative ideas and possibilities could I honour, validate, explore or unleash in my life?

Lynda Monk photo-SQUAREContributing Author: Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC is the founder of Creative Wellness. She regularly speaks, coaches and teaches about the healing and transformational power of expressive writing. Lynda is the author of Life Source Writing™: A Reflective Journaling Practice for Self-Discovery, Self-Care, Wellness and Creativity, as well as co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion & Connection. Explore how writing can help you thrive!

And if you’re you drawn to take some time for yourself to create, write, reflect and replenish, nourish your mind, body and spirit on a guided “Renew You” Writing Retreat. Join Lynda on one of her many virtual retreats. Accessed by phone from the comfort of your own home you can wear your jammies, snuggle up with your favourite blanket, a cup of tea or coffee, your journal and favourite pen and be guided into the heart and art of transformational journaling and expressive writing: http://creativewellnessworks.com/workshops-and-retreats/

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Balance & Self-Care: Are We Doing Enough For Our Clients?

Stressed out Client in the Office with laptop and phone

Stressed out Client in the Office with laptop and phone

We live in societies that place great value on results – achievement, qualifications, status and success – often at great personal expense. Many people work themselves extremely hard – ignoring what their bodies and minds are telling them. But what’s the point of success, a great career – if you’re always stressed, overwhelmed, don’t see your family and friends (or are grumpy/tired when you do see them)?

What I find interesting is that whilst balance and self-care are central to many life coaches’ practices, it seems that in the corporate world these words are tiptoed around (even though we know people perform better when they take care of themselves).

Balance and Self-Care are Necessary, not “Nice to have”!

Although the concepts of “Life Balance” and “Self-care” have has been growing in popularity in the last decade, they are still seen as “soft” requirements. Something high achievers – and men especially – shouldn’t need. We get the message over and over that we should just be able to soldier on through illness and stress (just watch adverts for cold and flu medications). The message is that if we take a holiday, sleep-in on Sundays or have a bubble bath – all will magically be well again. A successful person should have this under control.

To make it worse, many of us are also given the message that life balance and self-care is not only a sign of weakness, but selfish too! And because so few people challenge it, these negative beliefs become “the norm”. It’s these cultural beliefs and expectations that make it hard for people to make the necessary changes for a more balanced and self-full life.

A huge thumbs-up to all you wonderful coaches who already focus on Balance & Self-Care in your practices!

Because coaching is important: As coaches we look at the whole person and the whole life. We know that without self-care and life balance we under-perform, we get sick, we risk damaging our most important relationships. As we soldier on, our lives become more and more lacklustre and joyless – days to be “got through” rather than lived. People get stuck on the hamster wheel – or worse, head towards burn-out.

Why isn’t more being done so that “Balance” and “Self-care” is taken seriously?

Balance and Self-care is important for EVERY field of Coaching:

Not just for life coaches, spiritual and health and wellness coaches, I believe balance and self-care is essential in corporate and left-brained fields like executive, leadership, career and business coaches. We owe it to our clients to ensure they’re in great condition mentally, emotionally and physically – so they can be at their best in their work and careers. And relationship, teen and parent coaches all need to ensure their clients are taking good care of themselves – so they don’t take their frustrations and stresses out on those around them!

“The calm and balanced mind is the strong and great mind;
the hurried and agitated mind is the weak one.” Wallace D. Wattles

Make Balance and Self-care a part of Your Coaching Agenda!

When we tiptoe around balance and self-care it reinforces limiting beliefs that needing self-care is weak or selfish. How different would the world be if EVERY coach had balance and self-care openly on their agenda? What if balance and self-care were non-negotiable? What if instead of paying lip-service to it, more coaches said, “Taking care of yourself, your relationships, your health is a priority!”

How well do you know your client’s inner needs? Where is their energy being drained? What gives them joy? Are your clients constantly pushing themselves so that “comfort” or “balance” seem unattainable? Where do they need to start saying no? What do they need to let go of? How could they take care of themselves, find more balance in life AND do a great job?

And what about you – do you take care of yourself?

As coaches we’re role models whether we like it or not. We must BE the change we wish to see in the world.

More balance and self-care would make the world a better place:

If people learned to take better care of themselves it would reduce stress, unhappiness, depression and anxiety in the world – and improve our relationships too.

A Balance & Self-Care Rallying Cry:

  • If you’re not already, make “Balance” and “Self-care” a priority with your clients – no matter what kind of coaching you do.
  • Help dispel the harmful myth in society (especially the business world) that taking care of ourselves is weak, selfish – or irrelevant to business.
  • Help your clients become the best they can be – on EVERY level – and I bet they’ll be happier and achieve more too…

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Coaching Tools 101: The Balance and Self-Care Toolkit – How and When to Use These Tools!

Relaxed Coach using Balance& Self-Care Tools on Sofa with Laptop

Relaxed Coach using Balance& Self-Care Tools on Sofa with Laptop

We live in a society that rewards us for achievement, qualifications, status and success. Many people work themselves extremely hard to get there – ignoring what their bodies and minds are telling them. But what’s the point of success, a great career – if you’re always stressed, overwhelmed, don’t see your family and friends (or are grumpy/tired when you do see them)?

This article about our Balance & Self-Care Tools and Toolkit was written in answer to a request for more information on how to use our toolkits more effectively. These articles are also helpful if you’re looking for a coaching process to follow, want to create a Coaching Program or workshop or perhaps simply want some new coaching tool ideas for your toolkit!

So, welcome to your Balance & Self-Care Toolkit Guide! We want you to LOVE your coaching tools, so this guide is part of a series to help you use our Toolkits more effectively. We describe each tool in the toolkit, its purpose, how and when to use it, give additional tips AND identify which tools work in coaching sessions, as homework, in workshops or teleseminars and group coaching!

NOTE: Please be aware this is a long article, jam-packed with information about the tools in the Goal-Setting Toolkit. And it’s also neatly structured with lots of headings so it’s easy to scan too.

SECTION 1: Assess Your Clients’ Current Balance & Self-Care

  • TOOL 1) The Wheel of Life Template
  • TOOL 2)  Self-Care Quiz
  • TOOL 3)  Are You Sitting TOO Comfortably?  Comfort Zone Exercise

SECTION 2: What Are Your Clients’ Specific Self-Care Needs?

  • TOOL 4)  My Energy Zappers Coaching Exercise
  • TOOL 5)  Detox Your Toxic Relationships Exercise!
  • TOOL 6)  Self-Care & Needs Review Exercise!

SECTION 3: Taking Action & Setting Boundaries

  • TOOL 7)  The Power of No! Workbook

SECTION 4: Wrapping Up

  • TOOL 8)  Letting Go Coaching Exercise

SECTION 1: Assess Your Clients’ Current  Balance & Self-Care Levels

Wheel of Life Template Exercise Page 1TOOL 1) *Free* The Wheel of Life Template

Especially Good For: All types of clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: The Wheel of Life gives a wonderful visual representation of how balanced a client’s life is across 8 key areas. Each segment on the wheel is scored according to how satisfied your client is in each segment/area of their life – raising awareness, and providing the opportunity to make change. In additions this exercise will help clarify priorities for goal-setting, allowing the client to plan so that their life is closer to their definition of balance.

Note: This tool is a bonus – included from our FREE Coaching Tools! To learn everything you need to know about this powerful coaching tool read: The Complete Guide to the Wheel of Life.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Ask your client to review the 8 areas on the Wheel of Life. Do they like the category labels? If not, they can rename them and/or split the categories below to make them more meaningful:
    i.    Family & Friends (can be split to give a score to each)
    ii.    Partner/Significant Other/Romance
    iii.    Career
    iv.    Finances
    v.    Health (can be split into emotional/mental and physical/fitness/nutrition)
    vi.    Physical Environment/Home (can be split into work and home environments)
    vii.    Fun/Recreation/Leisure
    viii.    Personal Growth/Learning/Self-development
    Other examples of areas your client might like to add to the wheel and score could include; spiritual wellbeing, service, leadership, integrity, achievement or community.
  2. Now ask your client to think about what success feels like for each area.
  3. Then ask them to rank their level of satisfaction with each area of their life by drawing a line across each segment, placing a value between 1 (very dissatisfied) and 10 (fully satisfied) against each area to show how satisfied they are currently with these elements in their life.
    Tip: Use the example wheel in the bottom right to show them how to score/draw the line.
  4. The new perimeter of the circle represents their “Wheel of Life”. A great question to start reviewing their wheel is to ask them, “So is your wheel of life a bumpy ride?”
  5. Now, looking at the wheel,  here are some questions to ask and take the exercise deeper:
    •    Are there any surprises for you?
    •    How do you feel about your life as you look at your Wheel?
    •    How do you currently spend time in these areas?
    •    How would you like to spend time in these areas?
    •    Which of these elements would you most like to improve?
    •    How could you make space for these changes?
    •    Can you effect the necessary changes on your own?
    •    What help and cooperation from others might you need?
    •    What would make that a score of 10?
    •    What would a score of 10 look like?

When: Use at any time in a coaching relationship for a quick life satisfaction and balance tune-up. This is an especially good tool to use with prospects and new clients.

Use This Tool:

•    In Session*
•    Homework*
•    Workshops*
•    Teleseminars*
•    Group Coaching*

* This tool is a fabulous all-round exercise!

Tips:

  1. This is an excellent tool to use regularly to track your clients’ progress! Learn more about how to do this in our article: A Simple 3 Step Process to Measure Progress Towards ANY Coaching Goal!
  2. Once the initial scores have been given, 3 easy follow-on activities are:
    i.    Brainstorming and identifying actions to raise their satisfaction scores in each segment (or in the segments that score the lowest)
    ii.    Using the segment names and scores as a prompt to explore what a full and balanced life would look like – for each wheel segment.
    iii.    Using the scores which the client is most dissatisfied with – or would most like to improve – to brainstorm goals and next steps.

TOOL 2) Self-Care QuizSelf-Care Quiz

Especially Good For: All types of clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: This quiz is intended as a thought-starter around some very practical self-care measures – physical appearance, health, physical environment, time management, energy levels, emotional needs and more.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Review the instructions at the top of the form.
  2. Ask your client to complete the quiz and add up their answers to come up with a score.
  3. Then coach them around their results. How did it feel to complete the quiz? What did they notice? What surprised them? What have they learned about how they take care of themselves?
  4. Finally, what actions/next steps might they want to take?

When: This coaching tool can be completed at any time. If your client has come to you to improve their self-care and/or life-balance it can be a great tool to complete early on to help them get a quick overview as to how much care they are currently taking of themselves.

Use This Tool:

•    In Session         (Review results, but don’t waste time completing this quiz in session)
•    Homework*
•    Workshops*
•    Teleseminars
•    Group Coaching*

* This tool is great as an easy piece of fun homework, and in group coaching where clients can discuss and compare answers.

Tip: This may just seem a simple quiz – but it packs a punch! So be sure to dig deeper around any No’s the client may have ticked.

TOOL 3) Are You Sitting TOO Comfortably? Comfort Zone ExerciseComfort Zone Coaching Exercise

Especially Good For: All types of clients, but especially useful with unmotivated or workaholic/relentlessly busy clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: Where is your client on the “Comfort Continuum”? This tool provides an excellent springboard for your clients to slow down and do less, or speed up and take action – and for you to discuss discomfort being a necessary part of growth.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Review the instructions at the top of the form.
  2.  Ask your client to answer the questions and then use their gut-feeling or instinct to put an X and mark where they are on the “Comfort Continuum”.
  3.  The next step for your client is to ponder, “Is this where I want to be?”
  4.  And finally, this exercise wraps up with asking what action your client will take as a result of this new learning – including an action they could take now (or by the end of the day).

When: This coaching exercise can be used with a client at any time but, as with the Self-Care Quiz and Wheel of Life, it’s great to use at the start of a coaching relationship to give the client an overall awareness of how comfortable and stuck, or uncomfortable they might be.

Use This Tool:

•    In Session
•    Homework*  (This tool makes a great piece of contemplative homework)
•    Workshops*1
•    Teleseminars*
•    Group Coaching*1

*1 In Workshops or Group Coaching, you can draw the “Comfort Continuum” on a whiteboard or flipchart and ask workshop attendees to each put an X to mark where they are. Then discuss the similarities and differences and what they  mean for each of us, for our loved ones, for society.

Tip: This exercise can be very revealing for “Type A” personalities too. When I first completed this exercise I was in discomfort from rushing around, learning lots, doing too much. I realised I wanted to be MORE comfortable. Ironically being busy was my comfort zone! – and relaxing was uncomfortable for me…

SECTION 2: What Are Your Clients’ Specific Self-Care Needs?

In Section 1 your client got a feeling for how balanced their life is and whether they’re taking care of themselves or not. In Section 2, your clients can get specific about what and who is draining them – and what their specific self-care needs might be.

TOOL 4) My Energy Zappers Coaching ExerciseEnergy Zappers Coaching Exercise

Especially Good For: All types of clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: How can we love our life if we feel exhausted? So, what is zapping your clients’ energy? What one thing particularly zaps their energy? This exercise is also a great introduction to the idea that mental and emotional drains have an impact too.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Ask your client to read the instructions at the top – which also give examples of potential energy zappers.
  2. You may like to share that there are 3 key types of drains:
    1) PHYSICAL Drains eg. a lack of sleep or tired & aching muscles
    2) MENTAL Drains eg. incomplete tasks, clutter, unmade decisions, an outdated wardrobe etc.
    3) EMOTIONAL Drains eg. long-standing arguments or ‘situations’, ‘SHOULDS’, yours or other people’s behaviours.
  3. Now coach them around their results. How did it feel to write out their energy zappers? What did they notice? What surprised them? What did they learn from completing this exercise?
  4. Finally, ask them what actions/next steps might they want to take?

When: This coaching exercise can be used at any time. Whip it out if your clients complains of being tired or drained.

Use This Tool:

•    In Session*     (great to use in session or for homework when a client
•    Homework*    complains of being tired or drained)
•    Workshops*1
•    Teleseminars*1
•    Group Coaching*1

*1 Excellent exploration exercise in workshops, teleseminars and group coaching: 1) Get people to brainstorm in groups a list of things that zap people’s energy generally, 2) Then ask them to share these with the larger group (it’s good for people to hear others’ ideas and zappers!), 3)  Finally ask people to write down their own unique energy zappers on the worksheet.

Tip: You may like to offer that your clients’ energy zappers are things they might like to start saying “No” to in their lives.

TOOL 5) Detox Your Toxic Relationships Exercise!Detox Toxic Relationships Coaching Exercise

Especially Good For: All types of clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: WHO we spend our time with has a significant impact on our lives – some relationships uplift and inspire us and others are downright draining. This is about bringing awareness to, and being intentional with, whom we spend our time. It’s a great exercise to do with all our clients – and in our own lives too.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Review the instructions with your client.
  2. Ask your client to make a list of the 20 people you spend most of your time with.
  3. Now ask your client to give everyone on the list a score by asking: “How do I generally feel after spending time with this person?” Score each person on a scale from +5 to -5 (where a + leaves you feeling good and a – leaves you feeling somehow less).
  4. Now review the scores. Great questions to ask include:
    – Are there any surprises?
    – What are the scores for the people you spend most of your time with?
    – Are you generally spending more time with the “pluses” or “minuses”?
    – How much time are you spending with the high scoring +4s and +5s on your list?
    – What about the draining -4s or -5s?
    – What other patterns do you notice?
  5. Now decide on next steps:
  6. a) First, consider the “plus” relationships. How could your client spend more time with them? If you don’t have any +4s and +5s on your list, who can you think of who could fill that slot? How else could you find and develop +4 and +5 relationships?
    b) Then, consider the “minus” relationships. In theory, these are people to try and spend less time with – but any healthy relationship has rough patches and it’s not necessarily the right thing to discard someone simply because times get tough. You could ask if there a wound or grievance that needs to be brought into the open and discussed? Where are they giving their power away? Who has your client outgrown – is it time to let go and move on? And finally, for “minus” relationships your client may still want or need, how can your client change HOW they spend time with them so they still feel good about themselves?
    c) Lastly, consider your most important relationships. Does your client need to shift things around to spend more time with those who are most important?

When: This tool can be used at any time, but it’s probably best NOT used too early in the coaching relationship. There are other tools that are better used before this one to lay the path for the learning and action that may follow this exercise. It’s ideal to be used as part of a life balance and self-care assessment. Here your client gains an understanding of how they are currently taking care of their relationships – and how those relationships take care of them.

Uses For This Tool:

•    In Session         (This tool is probably best given as homework,
•    Homework*       then reviewed in depth in session)
•    Teleseminars

NOTE: Avoid this exercise in workshops/group coaching – as there may be people on your clients’ lists who are also present in the workshop and may be upset by how they are scored.

Tips:

  1. Remind your client that we can’t change others’ behaviour (only our own). So, how could they behave, spend less time or spend time differently with people to boost their relationships?
  2. I do hope you try this exercise out on yourself! It’s one of my favourite coaching tools and gives us an empowering way to review our relationships – including partners, colleagues, friends and family – and make conscious, powerful choices that leave us feeling better about ourselves and our lives.
  3. Finally, it may be worth mentioning that as we work on and change ourselves, we may notice people reacting to us differently, or that we see people differently. This is all a normal part of our growth. We may need to make a decision whether we still want these people in our lives – and if so, how.

TOOL 6) Self-Care & Needs Review Exercise!Self-Care and Needs Coaching Form

Especially Good For: All types of clients.

Description and Purpose of Tool: Knowing ourselves and our needs is essential to living a balanced life. This exercise asks people to give a score out of 10 to various universal needs and how we could raise our score. Where do your clients need to take better care of themselves? Use this exercise to get an insight into what’s preventing your client from feeling happy and at peace with themselves.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Review the instructions at the top of the form with your client.
  2. If in session, ask your client to complete the scoring first, noting that It’s important for your clients to give a first gut or instinctual score.
  3. Now ask your clients to write down what they need/could do to raise that score against each item.
  4. Then ask your clients to review and answer the questions at the bottom of the page.
  5. Coach them around their results. What surprises were there? You could also ask them some additional questions to go deeper following on from this exercise like:
    – How would I like to spend more time?
    – Where would I like to spend less time?
    – What is most important to me right now in life?
    – In the morning I want to look forward to:
    – In the evening I want to look forward to:
    – If I could have more fun in my life I would:

When: This coaching tool works well at any time – as a way of getting an overview of our clients’ needs and how/whether they are being met.

Uses For This Tool:

•    In Session
•    Homework*
•    Workshops*
•    Teleseminars*
•    Group Coaching*

Tip: Remind them to NOT think too much about their answers, but instead to write down whatever ‘pops’ into their mind for the best results.

SECTION 3: Taking Action & Setting Boundaries

TOOL 7) The Power of No! WorkbookLearn to Say No Coaching Exercise Page 1

Especially Good For: People who would like more time for themselves and their needs – or who would like to be more assertive.

Description and Purpose of Tool: This mini-workbook has 4 juicy pages. Until our clients learn to say “No” they will continue to be stressed and overwhelmed – and their goals and priorities will suffer! Use this workbook to help your clients understand where they need to say “No” more, how their beliefs could be getting in the way, what THEIR priorities are (so they can be clear on why they need to say “No”). Finally, they create a personalised 3 step action plan to say “No” when they need to!

Steps and How to Use:

  1. This workbook has been designed so your client simply works through the 7 sections in order.
  2. If using in session, pick just one of the 7 sections to work with at a time, then asking questions to delve deeper like, “What do you notice?”, “What could you do differently?”, “How does that make you feel?”, “What are you resisting?” and “What unique obstacles do you have?”
  3. If giving this as homework, give one page at a time. Be sure to include the Appendix with tips and techniques (page 4) when you give them page 3 (where they pick actions to move forwards with).
  4. Finally, review their actions! What steps will they take going forwards to say “No” more?

When: This tool can be used at any time, but it’s probably best used later in the coaching relationship – unless the client has specifically expressed a wish to learn this skill or build confidence and assertiveness.

Use This Tool:

•    In Session              (Pick just one of the seven sections at a time to avoid overwhelm)
•    Homework            (Give one page at a time to avoid overwhelm)
•    Workshops*1
•    Teleseminars*
•    Group Coaching*  (Pick just one of the seven sections at a time for group discussion)

*1  Use this FABULOUS tool “as is” to base a workshop or teleseminar around. Sections 1-3 are ideal for brainstorming out loud or in smaller groups of 3-4 people. Sections 4 and 5 can be completed alone. Each question in section 6 could be brainstormed before being individually completed. And finally each person completes the “taking action” in section 7 using the Appendix of Tips and Techniques to support them. An additional activity could be to brainstorm tips and techniques for saying “No” with the larger group BEFORE handing out the Appendix to help them.

SECTION 4: Wrapping Up

What better way to wrap up a Balance & Self-Care program than to look at what needs to be “let go”? Now it’s time for a cleansing “release”.

TOOL 8) Letting Go Coaching Exercise

Especially Good For: All types of clients. But especially where you may notice patterns of bearing grudges, holding onto the past, or resisting change.

Description and Purpose of Tool: People often hang onto things which cloud their minds and drain them of energy – preventing them from moving forwards. This coaching exercise also explores WHY they’re holding on and the benefits of NOT letting go.

Steps and How to Use:

  1. Review the instructions with your client.
  2. Then ask your client to make a list of 10 things they might need (or want) to let go of.
  3. Once they’ve done that, ask them to consider how they benefit by “holding on” to each item. This is what you may know as the “secondary gain” – what they gain by staying exactly as they are.
  4. Now review and discuss the client’s responses. Great questions to ask include:
    – Are there any surprises?
    – How do you feel as you review your list? How would it feel to let go of ALL of these items?
    – Which items are you ready to set free?
    – Where are you willing to loosen your grip?
    – What are you NOT ready to let go of yet?
    – If there was a pattern or theme that stopped you from letting go, what would it be?
  5. Finally, what actions or next steps will you take following your learnings from this exercise?

When: This coaching tool works standalone and can be used any time, but is especially helpful with forgiveness issues (self and others) and to wrap-up a period of coaching.

Uses For This Tool:

•    In Session
•    Homework*
•    Workshops*
•    Teleseminars*
•    Group Coaching*      (When a client finds it challenging to let go, an established group with trust
– and different perspectives – may be more likely to succeed!)

Tip: This coaching exercise is also a perfect way to start a discussion around forgiveness – whether of self or others.

In Summary:

There are 8 Life Balance and Self-Care Tools in this toolkit and this guide was written to help you use this toolkit more effectively. The tools, tips and sequence above are suggestions only – it all depends on you and your client – so dance in the moment, have fun and play with your tools!

Get Your Balance & Self-Care Toolkit here >>

Life Balance and Self-Care Tools, Forms, Exercises, Templates in a Folder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also find these articles helpful for your client to find balance/self-care:

  1. De-Stress Series: 10 Easy Ways to Help Your Clients (and You!) Find The Calm You Need
  2. De-Stress Series: Relax Your Clients in Under 5 Minutes with these Guided Meditation Scripts
  3. Reflective Journaling Exercise for Stress Release & Authentic Wellbeing

And you may also find these tools helpful for your client to find balance/self-care:

  1. 3 Month Vision Worksheet – Use the life area headings in this exercise and ask your clients to write out what a balanced life would like in 3 months.
  2. *FREE* Tolerations – What is your client tolerating that is draining them of energy?
  3. Daily Success Habits – Set up daily habits that help your clients take better care of themselves so that they have more a more balanced life – and more energy.
  4. NOT To-Do List Exercise! – What could your client NOT do that would give them more balance?
  5. *FREE* The Effects of STRESS & Warning Signs! – A simple one page mini-poster to help your clients understand the biological effects of stress – and help them identify their warning signs.
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Your Summer Relaxation Quotes Challenge! (with 6 Relaxing Quotes)

child-dogMH900262829Quotes can be a powerful tool for personal development. And as most of our clients are taking it easier, why shouldn’t we? Well, if this sounds like something you’d like to do, you might like our “Summer Relaxation Quotes Challenge”!

Also, you may want to read this personal article from me about relaxing and letting go for some inspiration & encouragement…

So here is your “Summer Relaxation Quotes Challenge”

Comment below and let us know how you got on in September!

  1. Read the quotes about relaxation below.
  2. Put on your coach’s “Level 3” listening hat. Which quote
    i) most UNSETTLES you  &
    ii) most RESONATES with you?
  3. Write out these 2 quotes and put them somewhere you’ll see them often.
  4. Over the next 4 weeks, make an effort to notice the quotes – and each time you do, ask:
    i) “What is this quote teaching me today/now?”  &
    ii) “What WILL I do with this information?”

Here Are Your 6 Relaxation Quotes:

  1. “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese Proverb
  2. The harder you push yourself, the harder your self pushes back.” Anonymous
  3. “Problems arise in that one has to find a balance between what people need from you and what you need for yourself.” Jessye Norman
  4. “The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.” Anonymous
  5. “Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” Betsy Jacobson
  6. “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” Thomas Merton

Remember to comment below and let us know how you got on in September!

This article is also an example of how you can use quotes in your coaching practice. Click here for more ideas on how to use quotes – plus 21 great quotes about coaching!

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5 Free Coaching Exercises to Help Your Clients Relax & Recharge This Summer!

Summer is a time for relaxing and recharging our batteries. But whether it’s a “staycation”, a trip to the family cabin on the lake or a trip somewhere exotic our clients often find it difficult to make this transition. And sometimes people put so many expectations on the holidays that they end up disappointed.

Over the summer, most (non-tourism based!) businesses move to a slower pace. We go on vacations, take longer lunches, enjoy longer evenings, long weekends and lazy Sundays – and these all give people an opportunity to slow down, reflect and (potentially) enjoy life a little more.

In fact, did you know that National Relaxation Day falls on the 15th August each year? I like that!

Now, while people are in this slower space it’s a great time to not only recharge their batteries – but also to help them reflect on their needs, how they take care of themselves – and explore life balance. It’s a great way to help you stay connected to your existing clients – and also a great way to reach out to potential NEW clients in the upcoming months through a newsletter or social media.

So, how will YOU help your clients – and potential clients – relax and recharge their batteries? How will you help them have their best summer ever? Use these tools in session with clients, as homework and with prospective clients too!

Best Summer Ever Coaching Worksheet
10 Things For Your Best Summer Ever!

We Recommend the Following 5 FREE Coaching Exercises:

  1. Our Free “10 Things For Your Best Summer Ever” Worksheet (available June thru August ONLY). Get your clients to make a list of what would make this their best summer ever, then pick 3 actions to move them forwards. It sounds simple (and it is!), but it’s powerful too. Try it for yourself!
  2. Our Free “Wheel of Life” Template. Ask your clients to score their CURRENT satisfaction levels with each area. Then for each area, ask your clients to score what they would LIKE those scores to be for the summer ahead. From there you can brainstorm and identify 3 key actions that would help create those scores. To learn everything you need to know about this powerful coaching tool read: The Complete Guide to The Wheel of Life
  3. Our Free “The Effects of STRESS & Warning Signs!” Mini-Poster. Ask your client how many of the stress “warning signs” or symptoms they are currently experiencing. Then ask them how they would LIKE to feel over the summer? How could they use the summer season to slow down? What could they do differently? If there was just ONE thing that needed to change, what would it be?
  4. Our Free “Blank Coaching Wheel”. Simply ask your clients to label each of the 8 areas with something that would “Recharge their Batteries” this summer. Then ask them to identify an action for each one, or an action for the 3 areas they’re most excited about.
  5. Our Free “Tolerations” Clear Your Mind Coaching Exercise!  This exercise asks your clients to list out what they’re tolerating in their lives. These “Tolerations” drain us of energy and can subtly – and sometimes on a really big scale – suck the life right out of us. Step one is to identify these tolerations (and often just identifying them is enough to get things moving). Next, help your clients use the summer months to create a plan – and take action on some of these things – freeing up energy for a clean slate in the fall! You could help them work on 1) one toleration a week, 2) their top 3 to get cleared up before the summer ends, or 3) pick the one toleration that would have the biggest positive impact and spend the summer working on that.

Love Coaching Tools & Exercises? Learn more about what coaching tools are, when to use them and how they can help in our Complete Guide to Coaching Tools here >>

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