Sunday, October 4, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 4 on Rest

31 Days of Life Coaching

Day 4 - Why Rest Is Important 

As a life coach, I'm interested in helping you live your best life. One of the things we look at is your Life Balance to help you see where your life is going well and where your life might be a little off kilter. Getting enough rest is an important part of balance. 

Here's why rest matters:

  1. God says the 7th Day is a holy day of rest - Even He rested after 6 days of laboring to create the earth (Gen 20:8).
  2. Rest is necessary for a healthy body and mind - It rejuvenates and refreshes. 
  3. Sleep is part of resting. Do you know how much sleep you need? Eight hours is an average that the majority of people between the ages of of 6 and 64 need to function at their best. 
  4. A lack of sleep can leave you feeling groggy, unable to fully concentrate, and there is evidence it actually slows down your metabolism. 
  5. We live in a society that values what you do more than who you are. This keeps us adding to a never-ending list of To Dos. So we're constantly in a state of catching up and striving to do more. The result is a constant flow of adrenaline and cortisol pumping through our bodies, that can lead to depression, anxiety, weight gain, and chronic fatigue. 

 What to do? In addition to getting enough sleep, there are ways to work rest into your daily routine. 

Here are a few simple ways to rest:

  1. Start the day out slowly, even it if means waking up 15 minutes earlier (as long as you're sleeping enough to begin with). Build in a few minutes of thinking time, a first thing in the am simple devo (I'm loving Proverbs 31 First 5 App), a few minutes of stretching. 
  2. Challenge yourself to keep Sunday as a day of rest. You get to determine what that really means. For me, it means church; a walk; writing what I want to write, not doing any of my work-related assignments; enjoying a leisurely meal; having friends over for a casual afternoon, but not putting pressure on myself to put out the red carpet. Chili anyone?
  3. Throughout the day, just breathe! As you start to feel stressed, in a chair, in the car, even standing up at the kitchen sink, take five deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose for the count of five, extending your abdomen, not raising your chest, and breathe out through your mouth for the count of seven. 
  4. Try a power nap. Many of us start to feel sleepy and worn out around 2-3 p.m. One of the ways to get a burst of energy and a sense of renewal is to take a nap for about 15-20 minutes. Click for an informative article from WebMD on napping. 
  5. Try the Pomodoro Technique. This is a great task management tool that helps you break down your tasks into 25 minute increments, followed by a five minute break. The break can be used for a quick social media fix (is there such a thing?), a short burst of exercise, a simple walk around the room, a few minutes to throw in a load of laundry, even a quick swipe of the bathroom. For more info, start here at Pomodoro Technique.  And for a simple timer, try this. 

Here’s a Coaching Question for You Today:

How can you build some rest into your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Let's Chat! Please leave a comment

Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 3

31 Days of Coaching - Day 3

What Coaching Isn't

So now we've established what coaching is. As a refresher: 

“Coaching is the art and practice of enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where they want to be.”  Gary R. Collins, Ph.D.

Let's talk about what coaching isn't. While there is certainly some overlap between coaching and counseling, mentoring, or consulting, there are important differences. Here are some points of distinction:

  • Coaching isn't counseling - If you're battling depression, anxiety, or anger that's rooted in the past, then a counselor is likely a better fit for you than a coach. A counselor's training is geared toward healing and usually involves expertise in psychology and therapeutic skills. A coach works with you from the perspective of where you are today, using active listening to help you determine where you want to be. 
  • Coaching isn't mentoring - When you work with a mentor, you're usually working with someone who has already been where you are and has gotten to where you want to be. Often this is a person who is older and more experienced in an area you want to grow or change. They can offer their experience to guide you. With coaching, the relationship is a partnership of equals, with the coach helping the client come to their own conclusions on the action steps they want to take toward reaching their goals. 
  • Coaching isn't consulting - Consulting presupposes that the consultant is an expert in the area  in which the client wants to grow or establish new skills. The consultant analyzes a situation and gives advice or prepares an action plan for the client. Here again, the coaching relationship is one of more equal footing. Yes, the coach has powerful assessment tools that can reveal and clarify, but from the results of those tools, the client determines their next steps with the coaching acting as an encourager, accountability partner, cheerleader, and sometimes a challenger. <==Click to Tweet
Next time I'm going to share with you a little about how I was able to move forward with the assistance of my life coach. 

In the meantime, Here’s a Coaching Question for You Today:
What is an area of your life where you could use a coach to move forward? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

And, as always, feel free to ask me your coaching question.

Let's Chat! Please leave a comment

Friday, October 2, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching - Day 2

31 Days of Life Coaching

Day 2 – What Is Life Coaching Anyway?

When I began training to become a coach, I wasn’t quite sure how to define it myself. But then I heard this concise statement that totally resonated with me and summed up life coaching perfectly.

“Coaching is the art and practice of enabling individuals and groups to move from where they are to where they want to be.”  Gary R. Collins, Ph.D.

It’s really quite simple isn’t it?
  • A coach comes alongside someone who wants to move forward in their lives; a person who wants to intentionally change or grow. <==Click to Tweet
  • A coach is an active listener, asking questions instead of telling the client what to do. This way the client is an active participant in assessing where they are, identifying changes they want to make, and formulating action steps that they are committed to taking.
  • As the process unfolds, and by utilizing powerful and revealing inventory tools, the coach helps the client recognize and understand the obstacles that stop him or her from moving forward or reaching the goals they’ve set.
  • Through regular sessions and accountability, momentum toward change continues forward, obstacles are overcome, and essentially the client reaches goals that allow him or her to live the life they want to live with purpose, passion, and intentionality.

Through regular sessions and accountability, momentum toward change continues forward, obstacles are overcome, and essentially the client reaches goals that allow him or her to live the life they want to live with purpose, passion, and intentionality.

Here’s a Coaching Question for You Today:

Where are you now and where do you want to be? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. 

And, as always, feel free to ask me your coaching question. 

Let's Chat! Please leave a comment

Thursday, October 1, 2015

31 Days of Life Coaching

31 Days of Life Coaching

Day 1 - My Story

Okay, so I said I was going to participate in 31 Days of Writing…and I’m going to. I thought I’d start at the very beginning. A little about who I am and how I’ve been led to coaching. It’s a bit organic.

You know those Kindergarten teachers…the ones who change our lives forever? Well, I had one of those. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

I remember her well. She was young and seemed cool, but also a little nerdy, the perfect combo from my five-year-old perspective. Long brown hair, cat-eye glasses. I remember a camel-colored A-line skirt, loafers. I loved her. Which is to say, she was probably really nice, seemed to care about me, notice me, and made me feel loved. I can’t say I remember, but I imagine, knowing me, this was the case.

Anyway, it turns out she did see me, notice me, and even called my mother to talk about me. I didn’t learn this till I was about 40 years old (I’m older now), when my mother shared this little story. It provided a lot of insight!

I think her name was Mrs. Logan. Apparently she called my mom one day, which must have been a bit of a shock since I was such a good little girl. What could be the problem?

“Hi Mrs. Daly, this is Mrs. Logan, Elise’s teacher.”

“Oh, yes, hello Mrs. Logan. Is everything alright?”

“Well, yes, everything is okay, but I’m a little concerned about Elise.”

I’m sure a bit of panic worked its way into my mother’s mind in that moment. I had only been at school a week.

“What are you concerned about?”

“Well, Elise acts like she’s older than the other kids. A little like she’s an adult and they’re the kids. She’s always offering a helping hand, or asking if they need assistance, showing them how to color, even wiping away a few tears, which of course is very nice. But the kids don’t like it. I’m afraid it’s separating her from the other kids.”

Well apparently, Mom and I had a little chat. And whatever she said seemed to affect me positively because I have no recollection of being corrected or shamed and there were no more phone calls. Only nods acknowledging that I had taken my rightful place as one of the kids in the classroom instead of a self-appointed aide.
When my mother told me this story, it made so much sense. 

I really was a born helper. I loved to come alongside others, listen to them, even more importantly I loved to hear them. To listen carefully, consider what someone was sharing, maybe ask some questions, and go deep pretty quickly.

I was also affectionately (well maybe not always affectionately) called “Junior Mommy” by my siblings, of which I have four, one older sister, two younger sisters, and a brother. I had the nurturing instinct of a mom, which I’m sure could get annoying!!

My father was in publishing, so we always had a lot of magazines. When I was 10, he brought home a new magazine, which quickly became my absolute favorite, Psychology Today. I love understanding human behavior. No surprise in college I was a double major in English and Psychology.

When I was in high school, with no cell phones or texting or Facebook or SnapChat or whatever, we took to letter writing and every night would spend hours writing notes folded tightly into paper footballs (we called them this, though really they were triangles!). This took at least a couple of hours every night as I had a wide circle of friends, so there were at least 10 football letters a night. Many of my notes sounded a little like they were from Dear Abby, the advice columnist. 

Friends were asking relationship and social advice all the time. 

And I’ve continued along this vein throughout my life. I’m a helper. A listener. A story lover. I’m tremendously interested in people, their stories, their struggles, and triumphs. And I’m a detail girl, which means I tend to ask questions, dig below the surface, and find meaning in seemingly small things.

And now I’m a certified life coach. Which is where all the above comes together. Because as a life coach, I listen, hear, ask questions, nurture, care, and help people go from where they are to where they want to be. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">

Tomorrow we’ll talk about what coaching is and what it isn’t. Till then…

Any coaching-related questions...Ask me!

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Walk Alone Can Slow You Down

Today I Went for a Walk

You shall walk in all the way that the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. Deut 5:33 ESV

Now a walk might not seem like anything to write home about. I’m sure many of you went for a walk today too. But for me it was a bit of a reawakening to the world around me.

You see I’ve been busy! I’ve been going from work to fun activity to more work and more fun…in fact between my husband’s party to celebrate his doctorate and my birthday weekend, there have been weeks of awesome good times with friends and family mixed in with time spent juggling the many work hats I wear.

I confess…I’ve been rushing past, rushing through, going from thing to thing. 

Many of them good things. But I have missed some simple beauty along the way. And this morning’s walk reminded me of this.

I didn’t choose to walk today. I had to walk because there was no car to get me from my home to my bible study. Normally, I’m doing “something” (my husband refers to these as secret chores) up until the last minute before I rush into my car and rush off to a meeting, engagement, chore, activity. It could be straightening my room, loading the dishwasher, reading a quick devo.

But today, I needed to plan a little more. In order to walk to my destination and get there on time, I had to leave a few minutes earlier than normal. And for this always-running-late-and-trying-hard-not-to gal, that requires discipline and focus (Anybody??).

So I donned my sneakers and headed out the door with a very light load of my purse and book.

I felt like something was missing, a little unsettled. I felt funny…uncomfortable. It was so quiet. There was no one else out walking. Usually if I walk, I walk with my husband and occasionally a sister or friend. And if I’m not walking with someone, I am at least walking my dog. Today I was ALONE!

Should I put my earphones on and plug into my phone and make a phone call? Or maybe put on some music or a podcast? I know, I can pray. I can't just walk, can I, allowing my thoughts to drift? There must be something I can do along the way…something to make this walk count for something. Something INTENTIONAL. Something USEFUL. 

There must be something else I can do while walking. Something I can check off my To-Do list maybe?

I decided not to do anything but walk.

And that little walk became a gift. The gift of allowing my thoughts to turn to what was right in front of me. <==Click to Tweet

I noticed the many flowers along the way…the hydrangeas are in full bloom. I noticed some gardens are getting crowded with weeds. There were cardinals swooping past me, along with common sparrows, and a mocking bird. Some sidewalks were bumpy and in need of a little TLC. Some were brand spanking new. There were lawns trimmed with the utmost precision and others straggly and scattered with clover. A few construction workers dug a ditch deep into a front yard, sweat glistening in the morning heat. When I got to an intersection, there was a woman and her dog, a mama with her mama and a new baby in a carriage. Little slices of life all around me. They brought me joy in the quiet of paying attention.

My little walk may have seemed like an inconsequential means of getting from one place to another…but it was so much more!

It was a reminder that:
·       All my time does not have to be filled with conversation, learning, doing, purpose.
·       As I rush from thing to thing, I am missing the simple quiet pleasure of being in the moment.
·       My mind needs a break, a little space to just wander.
·       Even this extrovert needs a little time alone.

I have been to busy again. It’s a trap I can easily fall into. I’m thankful for my walk today. It woke me up to the beauty of simplicity that is right in front of me.

Are you missing the beauty that’s right in front of you?

Let's Chat! Please leave a comment

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Day We Saved $1000

How a Little Change 

Can Really Add Up!

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

So for pretty much the 30+ years my beloved and I have been married, we have been “working” on our finances. Initially, it was just a matter of trying to be responsible with our money and not get in over our heads with debt.

As the years went by and my hubby and I grew in faith and Biblical understanding, we committed to be good stewards of what God gave us. We tithed and put together a responsible budget, even meeting with a Crown Ministries finance counselor and following the principles of Larry Burkett’s book Debt-Free Living.  

Truth be told, our success was short term. Some of this was circumstantial – unanticipated life and salary changes threw us for a loop. But, really? We overspent.

Chris and I discussed our different theories of spending, saving, and giving.

The conversations often escalated when we actually sat down to go over our budget. But eventually, we would get through what we considered the grueling work of pulling together all our expenses, assets, and debts…and we would attempt a cash box. That’s literally a shoebox with dividers and envelopes for each category of expenditure. For example, Home is one envelope and Electric and Gas is another, Water bill is yet another, etc.

Each week we attempted to gather our cash weekly, but something would come up, like the busyness of raising our kids and handling all their schedules; the cash box would fall to the wayside.

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