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10 Questions to Help You Thrive Through the Pandemic

Posted by Julia Stewart

ask the right questions

Ready to thrive through the pandemic? Read on...

If you're like most people, you've been thrown for a loop by the corona epidemic.

Up to a point, responding quickly to what's happening is vital, so you can't ignore the crisis. It's a scary disease we're all susceptible to and shutting down the economy creates even more problems to handle even though it's the right thing to do.

But we tend to have better outcomes when we focus more on the positive. You can switch easily to that focus by asking yourself better questions. Don't wait to explore the following. The sooner you start, the better outcomes you can create. You may want to return to them again as you get more clarity.

These 10 questions can change your life by expanding your awareness so you can thrive:

  1. What's already going well? Another way to ask this is: What are you grateful for right now? Make a list of three things, large or small, you're thankful for. Are you breathing? Put that on the list. Do you have a house to live in? You get the idea. Don't just answer this question; take the time to feel the gratitude. I know you are fortunate because you are able to access the internet. You can put that on the list, if you want. Take the time to ask this question and feel the gratitude at least once per day.
  2. What's the worst problem you have right now?... Okay, that sucks. I get it. But now I'm going to ask the real question: What's great about that problem? Think until you find something. Now find two more things. Do you get to spend more time with your kids? Do you have more time to plant your garden this spring? Have you always wanted to work from home? You don't negate other people's suffering by appreciating the goodness in your life. Quite the opposite. When you're happy, it's easier to be kind to others. Isn't that what really matters?
  3. How would you like it to be for the next two weeks (or eight, or twelve)? Imagine everything as if it went as well as it possibly could. How can you show up to create that? Who would you have to become? How could you become that?
  4. What's your purpose right now? If you live your life purpose, it makes everything more fulfilling. But even if you were living it before, it may have temporarily changed. What matters most in these current conditions? How can you bring that about?
  5. What strengths can help you through this? We all have our preferred ways to do things. It makes life easier and more fun. You always have permission to do it your way. But sometimes it helps to develop a new way. Challenges can help us grow.
  6. How can you grow through this? If you're complaining, blaming, or whining, you're playing victim. We all do that now and then but if you allow it to become habitual, you'll make everything worse for you and all those around you. Instead, think of yourself as the creator of your destiny. Make it a fun game. Tools that can help include spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, mindfulness, inspirational reading, and more. A positive psychology coach can help a lot, too.
  7. What positive habit/s could help you achieve the best outcomes? A daily workout? Video chats with positive friends? Enjoying your favorite books, movies, meals? Playtime with your pets?
  8. What do you need to learn right now? Do you need a new career? A new skill? A way to make a living from home? Online learning is plentiful and well worth the time and money.
  9. Who can help you? We're all in this together. You've got something that can help someone else and somebody else can help you. What do you need help with? It feels vulnerable to ask but people often get the most joy from helping others so go ahead and ask.
  10. What's your ultimate goal? Working toward goals is inherently rewarding when those goals are aligned with our values. If you have the gift of time, your ultimate goal may be where you need to focus. How will others benefit when you succeed? Are you willing to get started now?

 

These 10 questions are challenging. A great coach can help you with them.

 

If you'd love to help others by asking empowering questions, coaching is the ultimate work-from-home career. If you're ready to start your new future, consider joining us for online training:

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

 

Topics: coaching questions, Strengths, mindfulness, Values, questions, positive psychology coach

Manage Stress and Promote Mental Well-being with the Daily Seven

Posted by Julia Stewart

Mindsight Daily Seven

People seem even more stressed than usual.

Between the pandemic and economic meltdown, on top of the climate and refugee crises, plus the usual wars, famines, and fractious politics, it's only natural.

"If you can sit quietly after difficult news; if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm; if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy; if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate; you can fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill; if you can always find contentment just where you are: you are probably a dog." - Jack Kornfield

If you're a coach, you probably counsel your clients around the importance of self care, especially in times like these. But what types of self care help us flourish even under the most difficult circumstances? Here are seven activities, based on scientific research, that you can take like your daily vitamins to help you, and your clients, thrive through anything. They are crafted by Daniel Siegel, MD, and David Rock, PhD.

The Mindsight Daily Seven:

  1. Focus Time. Spend some time each day concentrating on something you enjoy. Reading, dancing, practicing a skill. It can be your hobby or your profession, but engage in something you can lose yourself in. In other words, get into Flow. This is a peak mental state that will raise your positivity.
  2. Time In. Spend some time focusing within. This could be a few minutes of quiet contemplation, mindfulness, or formal meditation. Notice without judging. If you catch yourself judging, notice that and encourage yourself to judge less. Over time, your brain will become more integrated and that boosts mental health.
  3. Down Time. Do nothing productive for a little while each day. Goof off. Don't make plans. Set a part of each day aside for a mini-vacation.  Paradoxically, you'll become more productive, focused, and creative.
  4. Physical Time. Move your body. Exercise, walk more, or just get up from your chair at least once per hour. Everyone knows this is great for your physical health, but it's equally important for your brain health.
  5. Sleep Time. There's evidence that our brains clean themselves when we sleep so getting seven or more hours sleep per night keeps the brain healthy and may help prevent dementia.
  6. Play Time. This is different from competitive sports, which have their own benefits. With play, you might try new things. Look silly. Screw up; no judgement. Catch yourself laughing outloud. People who play are more innovative.
  7. Connecting Time. Connect on a heartfelt level with other people, pets, and planet. Spend time with nature. Get beyond your small self and feel your connection to others. You'll grow important relationships, develop perspective, and enjoy greater wisdom.

Which of these activities are you already doing daily? Which could you add without overwhelming yourself? Is there something you'd be willing to give up to make time for more well-being and relaxation?

How can you remember to do all the Daily Seven? Use this post as a checklist, if you like. Get a partner to work on it together. Or get a coach.

Interested in becoming a professional neuroscience coach?

Visit the Certified Neuroscience Coach Page Here

 

Topics: mindfulness, Neuroplasticity, Flow, wellbeing, self care, certified neuroscience coach

Mindfulness and the Corona Virus

Posted by Julia Stewart

mindfulness and the corona virus

You probably won't get the new corona virus.

If you do get it, there's a good chance you won't even get sick.

If you do get sick, there's a good chance it will be mild.

If you do get very sick, the odds are overwhelming that you will survive.

In the meantime, the media may keep you worried.

That's the bigger threat, but here's something that can help. A lot...

Living beings, like us, are designed to do two things: Thrive or Defend. Because we're complex, humans can do both, but it's a double demand that, over time, saps our resources.

Illness is somethings our bodies defend against. Most of the time, they do it extremely well. But we're not designed to worry all the time. In fact, chronic worry is something that saps resources and makes it hard to thrive.

The corona virus may never make you sick but worrying about it might.

What tool can help you stay well and even thrive during an epidemic? Yep, mindfulness. I know it's trendy and some folks claim it can do almost anything, but keeping you calm and focused is what it's really for.

  • How do you remember to avoid touching your face?
  • How do you remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds several times per day?
  • How do you remember to stay hydrated?

You could use fear and anxiety to help you remember but they will eventually make you sick even if you don't get the virus. If instead you make a commitment to yourself to to help everyone stay safer by practicing mindfulness throughout your day, you will feel calm and find yourself practicing new and safer ways of being in our crowded world.

Will you forget? Sure. And whenever you do, just begin again. Over time, you'll develop habits that will keep you safe and calm. You'll be better prepared for anything.

At times like this I am especially grateful that I am a coach who works from my home office. But even I leave the house pretty often. The first time I was in public and trying not to touch my face I noticed something I had barely been aware of before. I have little wispy hairs that tickle when they brush against my face and I unconsciously brush them aside. What to do about that?

Now I use that tickle as a trigger to remind me to be mindful about everything I touch. In other words, those mild sensations I was previously unaware of now remind me to stay mindful and calm while behaving a little differently. They help instead of hinder.

Another way to get started, if you don't have a handy trigger, is to set an intention at the start of each day to act in ways that keep you and everyone else safer. As you do, think of someone you love and feel that love in your heart for a few minutes. When you do that, oxytocin, the "love hormone", is released into your bloodstream. You know it's there when you notice that nice warm feeling of love in your heart. Oxytocin also has a calming effect that can reduce any fears you may have. Think of loved ones more often and stay calmer more often. Then do your best.

 

With this mindfulness practice, you'll be more focused, probably a bit happier, and you're less likely to get stressed or sick.

 

In other words, you will thrive.

 

Learn many more tools to help you thrive as you develop an exciting new profession, all without leaving your house. Become a coach. We'll teach you how to be a great coach with a great career. You may be working from home before long...

 

Check out upcoming coaching courses here:

 

Take a Coach Training Course Here

 

Topics: become a coach, mindfulness, love 2.0

How to Create Coaching Flow for More Ease, Fun, and Success

Posted by Mattison Grey

Mattison Grey

The following post is by Mattison Grey, MMC, master coach, trainer, speaker, and author of The Motivation Myth.

I have a saying…”connection wins.” 

While that might seem understated, it has been shown to be the case over and over in my coaching practice.  Have you ever noticed that coaching is more fun and effective when you have a strong connection with the client?  And that a close connection often leads to flow?  I think we can all agree flow is an awesome place to be with a client! It’s quite magical, sometimes elusive and often fragile. 

Have you ever been trucking along in flow with someone and then BAM, it goes away? 

Yeah, me too. Oops.  What the heck just happened?  Well, there’s a good chance judgment happened.  You see, connection requires trust. While that does seem obvious, and almost as obvious as judgment breaks trust, what is not as clear is that judgment breaks trust…all judgment.  Stay with me…Yes, even judgment that is “good.” 

Yep, judgment good or judgment bad, breaks trust.  So, when you accidentally (or intentionally) add judgment into flow, that flow is interrupted.  Judgment breaks trust, therefore, connection, therefor flow.  This is where the tool of acknowledgment comes in.

Acknowledgment, as I define it, eliminates judgment from our language and provides the opportunity to communicate and maintain flow. You can also use acknowledgment to create flow.  It sounds too simple to work, but it does - almost every time.  Flow seems elusive, but it’s not.  It just requires the coach to get out of and stay out of the way.  Simple yes, easy no. 

So, what is acknowledgment?  It’s probably not what you think. 

 

“Acknowledgement is saying what a person did (completed actions) or the results that the person produced, without judgment or opinion, and it is delivered with a tone of appreciation, curiosity, or surprise.”

The tone implies appreciation. “Wow, you really did something.”

Acknowledgement: “You completed the project on time.”

 

I can hear you now,  “I don’t judge people when I am coaching...”  I’d encourage you to revisit that idea and stay curious. Positive judgment is still judgment and any sort of judgment breaks trust. That is what makes learning and implementing acknowledgment into our coaching so tricky.  The tricky part of acknowledgement is that what you say must be delivered without your opinion or judgment (whether that is positive or negative).  If there is any opinion or judgment in your words or in your tone, whatever you say is no longer an acknowledgement.

Another key component to acknowledgement is that it is not about you. This is amazingly hard for people to get at first.  It sort-of scrambles the brain.  Even when I teach this tool to high-level coaches and “people” people, they struggle at first to take themselves out of the equation and to really make it only about the other person.  If the communication is in any way about you, then it is not acknowledgement, it is something else.

An easy way to begin to understand this distinction is to understand what acknowledgement is not.  It is not complimenting, appreciation, validation, affirmation, thanking, recognition, praise, championing or cheerleading.  There is a time and a place for all of these, and they are not acknowledgement (those things are all about you rather than the other person).

Here is what each of these sounds like:

  • Compliment: “The project is wonderful. You are so smart.”
  • Appreciation: “I really appreciate your completing this project on time.”
  • Validation: “I see that you have given this project a lot of effort and thought.”
  • Affirmation: “I think you deserve all the credit for this successful project.”
  • Thanking: “Thank you for putting all your time and effort into this project.”
  • Recognition: “It is clear you are a very talented project manager.”
  • Praise: “Awesome job.”
  • Championing: “I told the CEO that you were the right person for this project.”
  • Cheerleading: “I knew you could do it.”

 

While these communications sound normal and nice, they are all a judgment of the persons’ actions and are all opinions.  In the course of a normal conversation these types of communications are just fine, and often considered good manners.  However, when trying to create a high-performance environment and achieve and maintain flow, acknowledgment is essential.  

Want to learn more about how to incorporate this tool into your coaching practice?  Specifically, how to use it in conjunction with Active Constructive Response?  Join us for a free Webinar on Monday, February 24th, 2020.

 

Attend this free one-time-only master class with Mattison Grey and Julia Stewart on how to use acknowledgment to create Flow in your coaching. Register now:

 

Attend this Free Master Class on Coaching Flow

 

Topics: free coach training, webinar, acknowledgment, Flow, IAPPC

9 Ways to Coach Brilliantly with Silence

Posted by Julia Stewart

evocative silence

Have you ever heard someone describe coaching as "magical"? Good chance they were amazed by the impacts of a coaching session enhanced by silence.

Most coaches lack confidence with this tool. Read this post to master the art of coaching with silence!

Here are 9 steps to mastering the art of coaching with silence:

  1. Shut up. Sorry, just wanted to get your attention. But seriously, one of the surest ways to use silence is to ask an attention-getting question and then shut up. We teach the finer points of this approach, including how not to be rude, in the Certified Competent Coach Course. Read on for other ways to use silence...
  2. Add a pause. People think faster than they talk which explains why coaching sessions that include pauses at just the right moments often result in more insights for clients. I heard one of my students do this in class the other day and his client had insights seemingly out of nowhere. Magic? Or silence?
  3. Slow down. Before you get to silence, experiment with just slowing down. Most coaches mirror their clients' pace, which is good, but sometimes a slower pace is more helpful. Pay close attention to you clients when you do this so you get it just right.
  4. Acknowledge first. An acknowledgment followed by a pause can be more effective than the most powerful question. Theoretically, a coach who's mastered acknowledgment and silence might never need to ask any questions!
  5. Appreciate. When your relationship with the client is really solid, moments of shared warmth can boost the "magic" quotient higher. You co-create an environment where it's safe for anything to be said or to happen. Take time to enjoy your client immensely.
  6. Ask once. Sometimes a question comes out wrong. Resist the temptation to improve it and let that embarrassing mess hang in midair. Editing yourself confuses your client. Let them hear it, process it, and answer it before you speak again. Better yet, practice the art of crafting beautiful questions that never need editing. It takes time. You get that time in Master Coach Training.
  7. Breathe. One of the best ways to connect and focus is to take one deep delicious breath together. No talking, just focus on that breath. Ah. It's all much clearer now. Learn to perfect this in Neuroscience Tools and Practices.
  8. Visualize. Invite your client to walk through a visualization with you. Make sure at some point that you fall silent so your client can just focus on what they are visualizing. Encourage them to stay silent too.
  9. Put your phone on mute! The late great Ginger Cockerham once yelled at me while I was coaching in class because I'd asked a great question and the client was reorienting but I kept on talking. She said if all else fails, put your hand over your mouth or your thumb on the mute button because you can't be great if you're still talking. Give your clients room to think!

These are nine great ways to add space to your coaching sessions and help your clients get to the gold. They are perfect examples of what the International Association of Positive Psychology Coaching calls, Clear Communication.

 

Learn more about the IAPPC's Positive Psychology Coaching Skills and earn your certification. Join while it's free and attend live meetings to learn all the IAPPC PPCS:

 

Join the IAPPC Now and Save on Certification

 

Topics: coaching questions, acknowledgment, positive psychology coaching, positive psychology coaches, IAPPC

Get Coaching Clients and ICF Certification with this Tool

Posted by Julia Stewart

Get Coaching Clients and Certification

The questions I most often hear from coaches are: How do I get more clients? and How do I get ICF certification?

If you're wondering about either of those, we've got you covered and now there's a free video that explains the whole thing to you.

This video is part of our new Free Coach Training Program. Interested? Read on...

There are so many things you have to do to become a successful coach:

At School of Coaching Mastery, we've been working hard at solving these problems for our members, but here's the thing: We can give you the tools, but you have to do your own work. Wise coaches already know this and love diving in with well-crafted tools. Work is fun when you're learning, making progress, and succeeding at your goals.

Solve the problem of what to do first: Get the clients you need to be a real coach or get the certification you need to attract the clients. You can do both at the same time. We'll tell you how in this video.

Watch this informative video to find out how you can combine many of the above goals into one process that has worked for thousands of coaches:

Get the Video on How to Get Clients and ICF Certification

 

 

 

Topics: free coach training, ICF, Coach Certification, video, international coach federation, how to get coaching clients

The Future of Coaching: 4 Huge Trends

Posted by Julia Stewart

Future of Coaching Trends

It's often referred to life coaching or executive coaching, but truth is, all forms of coaching have a lot in common and all forms are evolving quickly.

If you are a coach, you need to stay ahead of the trends, so here goes...

Four Major Trends Impacting the Future of Coaching:

1. CLIMATE: 99% of scientists now agree our climate is changing dramatically and we are the cause of it. Woe to those who ignore what is the biggest mega-trend in human history because they will be left behind.

In 2017, Vice President Al Gore, at his Pittsburgh Climate Reality Leadership Training, said it's too late to stop the climate from changing. It's going to get worse and it won't return to "normal" in our lifetimes. Although there is still much we can do to slow it and eventually reverse it, we need to focus on resilience in the meantime. In other words, we need to make changes so we, and all life, can survive and thrive.

Resilience is the focus of positive psychology and coaches are uniquely skilled to help people of all types experience resilience despite challenges and to flourish under difficult conditions, but we only have about ten years before things get crazy worldwide.

It is said opportunity arises from chaos. Therefore more opportunity will arise within the next decade than ever before in human history, for both coaches and their clients.

What opportunities? Here are a couple of forms of coaching needed to mitigate the effects of the coming  catastrophes:

Pre-Traumatic Growth Coaching is really about inoculating people against PTSD before they experience trauma by shifting the stories they tell themselves. Can it really be that simple? Based on the research of positive psychology founding father, Martin Seligman, apparently it can. And there is value in it even if they never experience a trauma.

Then there is Post-Disaster Coaching, something I've specialized in. When a major disaster hits a community, whether it is a natural disaster, terrorism, war, or something else, the most insidious after-effects for those who were spared from direct impacts of the disaster are overwhelm, despair, and depression. These feelings steal people's optimism and motivation and cause some to give up on their most cherished dreams, which amplifies the disaster. Most people will bounce back if they are already resilient, but if they get coached within a few days of the disaster, before depression sets in, they may skip it altogether and quickly see through the chaos to the opportunities. Then they can be a positive force to those around them. (For those who are already traumatized or depressed, though, therapy is often the best choice.)

Does this sound awful? It's not. I lived in New York City during the 9/11 disaster and all my clients were directly or indirectly impacted. It was a gift and a joy to coach them through what could have been a lasting nightmare and help them find their way back to flourishing, instead.

Don't want to coach around trauma and disaster? No problem. But do be a leader in the field of resilience, both emotional and practical. On the emotional side, practice self care, personal development, and spiritual awareness, so your potential clients see a model they can emulate. These bolster inner-resilience. Do prepare yourself, your home, and your business to withstand anything. Install back-up systems for your back-up systems. Intelligent design combined with redundant systems are keys. And of course, changing your habits and energy sources matters. Get started now. For example, air travel is, by far, one of the worst things you can do to the climate. Whenever possible, opt for meetings via the web rather than constantly flying. We're all connected so there is no self care without caring for everyone.

Live, work, shop, and vote like everyone's life depends on it.

2. The End of Work: You've been hearing that artificial intelligence and robotics will eliminate most of today's jobs within the next couple of decades. The good news for coaches is that the skills of coaching appear harder to automate than those of medicine or law, which makes coaching relatively immune to this trend. However, your clients likely won't be immune.

The so-called, gig economy, has already arisen in response to the disappearance of jobs but many are discovering that working for others part-time just doesn't pay and they are starting their own businesses, instead. In a way, this is a return to an earlier time when most people didn't work for large corporations, but for themselves, often as farmers or shop owners. The real difference today is technology and what we sell: often services rather than goods.

What makes this trend scary, though, is that people have spent decades, and even generations, working for paychecks. The need for people to transition from "employee mentalities" to "self-employed mentalities" can be scary and confusing and that creates a big need for business coaching. Currently, in-house coaches who coach within large organizations, often corporations, is strong. With the end of work, coaching may shift away from corporate coaching toward more small-business coaching.

What if universal income catches on? Some say governments will have to pay people not to work. What will they do instead? That's a question for life coaches. What will happen to career coaches? The definition of "career" will change from vocation to avocation. Living one's values will become easier and more desired than ever.

Coaching has always tended to focus on clients who are going through transitions. Between the climate crisis and the end of work, everyone will be going through transitions, sometimes major ones, all of the time.

The end of work is really the rise of working for oneself and for what matters most.

3. Coaching Research: Research on coaching goes back decades but has increased to where it is fine-tuned enough to genuinely describe great coaching. And top researchers do seem to understand what great coaching is. Some of their findings simply confirm what coaches have been observing for decades. Some add surprising twists to what coaches have always done and help us target interventions more effectively. Some research contradicts what many coaches previously thought.

More research = more research-based coaching. Evidence-based coaching is booming. Whether your background is in positive psychology, emotional intelligence, neuroscience, or some other approach, you needed to point to your training and certifications and keep those up-to-date. At the same time, heightened intuition and advanced communication skills will be as important as ever.  To paraphrase Dan Siegel:

Coaching must be informed by science, but not constrained by it.

4. Personal and Cultural Evolution: The world is changing faster than ever before and that requires people to change themselves and the way their communities work.  Old values such as "short-term profits" are being replaced by newer values, such as "people, planet, and profits". More people expect to live their values but there's a need underlying rapid evolution: Because before we can thrive, we must survive.

Rapid change is hard but not changing will be much harder. That creates another need for coaches and perhaps a specialty in helping others evolve. Educate yourself on what is needed and stay ahead of the curve.

 

There is great pain in the world and there will be even more to come. Coaches can be a vital force for good. Please consider joining this profession.

 

School of Coaching Mastery is a climate-aware coaching school. We have only distance-learning classes because they are convenient and effective, but also because they reduce the amount of air travel our coaches engage in and prepare them for long-distance coaching. We also have an emphasis on preparing coaches to have their own successful business. All our trainings are evidence-based and include awareness of the ways humans are evolving and how coaches can assist them.

 

Want to learn more about evidence-based coaching? Download the free Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook.

 

Get the Become a Positive Psychology Coach eBook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: executive coaching, future of coaching, Life Coaching, free ebook, Climate Change, positive psychology coach, resilience

Create Your Ideal New Year With This Letter From the Future

Posted by Julia Stewart

Letter from the future

Here's an easy strategy tool that is a variation on the Ideal Self exercises popularized by positive psychology.

It's called the Letter from Your Ideal Future and I love sharing it with clients and using it, myself. Use the Letter whenever you or a coaching client has a big complex goal that will take some time, strategy, and focus to achieve.

Once the Letter is written, it can be returned to again and again for guidance and to see if you're on track, falling behind, or ahead of schedule. Having it down on paper helps make it seem real and doable and knowing which steps to take and when brings clarity and confidence. Seeing in black and white that your steps lead to success can stop you from second guessing yourself or believing naysayers who don't support your goals. (Pro tip: Identify any naysayers in your life and stop sharing your goals with them. ;-)

Ready? Grab some paper and a pen...

There is evidence that our brains change more when we write by hand rather than type so a handwritten Letter from Your Ideal Future may be more effective. But I've also typed Letters that were helpful so if you feel strongly resistant to writing longhand, go ahead and type.

Start with a strongly desired, heart-felt goal.

Your goal needs to be something you intrinsically value, not something you should want or that someone else wants. No one has to see or approve of your letter but you so choose a goal that makes your heart sing.

How to find a great goal? Take one deep delicious breath and close your eyes. Think about all the projects you could do and notice which one lights you up the most. That's the one. Trust it.

Now think realistically how long it may take for you to reach your goal. Literally pick a date. That's how you start your letter. Put that future date at the top of the page.

On the next line, write, "Dear Me..."

Paragraph 1: After Dear Me, write to yourself about your success. Write in detail as if it is already the date at the top of your page and you have fully achieved your heartfelt goal. Tell yourself what it is like now that you have achieved success and everything has gone as well as it possibly could. Focus especially on how good it feels now that you've reached this goal. This should be an enjoyable process. Really feel it. Feeling it will help you achieve it. Some questions to ask yourself might include: How I am different now that I've achieved this? What I have learned along the way? Who did I have to become? What's possible now? How will I celebrate my success? What do other people have to say and how do they treat me now? (Only include positives in this paragraph. If anything negative comes up, that's to be handled proactively in the months preceding the date you've achieved your goal, to help you succeed. More on that below. This way, your strategy writes itself.)

Paragraph 2: Tell yourself how you did it. Let's say your achievement date is one year from now. In this next paragraph, tell yourself what you did in the first six months. (If your achievement date is sooner or later, the amount of time will differ but I'll write these instructions based on a one-year goal.) List ten things you did in the first six months of working toward this goal. You can add details later. Include anything negative that came up in Paragraph 1. Decide how you will proactively handle those potential problems. Sometimes your steps will include getting training, or more information, or assistance from others. Sometimes it will include setting up systems and structures to make the rest of the project easier. Sometimes it will include better self care since no one can achieve their best goals when they aren't at their best. Sometimes it'll be about improving, repairing, or eliminating what could hold you back. Design your environment to support your success.

Paragraph 3: Now tell yourself what you did in the first three months. This is a slightly shorter list, maybe eight items long. Choose steps that will help set you up for the steps in Paragraph 2.

Paragraph 4: Next tell yourself what you did in the first month. This might be just six items. Again, choose steps that set you up for success with latter steps.

Paragraph 5: Tell yourself what you did in the first week. This will only be two or three steps. You're just getting started on your journey to success.

Paragraph 6: Now tell yourself the one step you need to take TODAY. Often, this will be clear after you've written all the other steps and sometimes it's surprising and surprisingly easy to start. Take that step. You're on your way now!

Paragraph 7: Finally, tell yourself how proud you are that you followed through, that you didn't anticipate everything that needed doing, but that was okay because you had a clear strategy that provided a framework for success. Add some details about your celebration here as well.

There you have it! Your roadmap to success!

This is a powerful tool that you can customize as needed. For instance, you can use it at the start of a new year to list a few high-value goals and track your progress throughout the year. I love going back to my letters and discovering I've already completed so many steps!

 

If you want more great tools, join the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program and/or find a coach here who will help you be your very best!

 

Explore the Certified Positive Psychology Coach Program

 

 

 

 

Topics: Positive Psychology, FIND A COACH, become a positive psychology coach

Four Surprising Ways Being Grateful Boosts Your Success

Posted by Julia Stewart

Thankful and grateful

 

This time of year, known collectively as "the holidays", is when you see lots of articles about giving thanks and being grateful.

I thought I'd share some of the lesser-known benefits of gratitude with you. Here goes...

  1. You probably already know that gratitude is one of the surest ways to boost positivity. Here's why that matters. Positivity leads to flourishing in pretty much all areas, even good health and long life! So when the New Year starts and you set goals to live healthier, be sure to add gratitude to you plan and enjoy greater happiness and health.
  2. Gratitude helps you stay present. Goal-oriented people tend to live for the future when they hope they will reach their goals but they miss their lives in the process! That's why mindfulness has become so popular lately, because there is no point to living if you miss experiencing life. Look around you right now. What do you see that makes your life good? Appreciate it. Repeat daily. Make that your new healthy habit.
  3. Gratitude strengthens your relationships with others. You probably were raised to say, "Thank you," because it's polite. How about elevating that into a Grateful Acknowledgment? Instead of, "Thanks for cooking dinner, Mom," try something like, "Mom, you worked hard on this meal and everything was delicious. Thanks for making it wonderful." Make a habit of sharing a Grateful Acknowledgment at least once each day. Watch how comments like these raise everyone's happiness and strengthen the bonds between you and your loved ones.
  4. Gratitude helps you succeed at your goals. We tend to think reaching our goals will make us happy. Actually, that's backwards. Happy people are more likely to reach their goals. And the goals themselves usually only boost happiness briefly. In fact, people who are already grateful for what they have tend to set more meaningful goals that they enjoy reaching more easily because they are already grateful. And when you practice gratitude, you have an opportunity to extend the happiness of reaching goals. So instead of spending your time striving and stressing over your goals or visualizing yourself reaching goals that seem forever out of reach. Appreciate what you have now and unhook yourself from the future. Works way better.

 

We're grateful that you read this blog and share it on social media so others can enjoy it.

 

To say, "Thanks!" Here's a free eCourse from the Founder of the Coaching Profession, Thomas Leonard.

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Topics: gratitude, Thomas Leonard, goals, positivity

Here are the Brand New ICF Core Coaching Competencies

Posted by Julia Stewart

New ICF Core Coaching Competencies

 

After over twenty years, the International Coach Federation (ICF) has released a brand-new version of its famous eleven Core Coaching Competencies and now there are only eight!

What did they leave out? Nothing. They actually added! Read on...

Today, the ICF publicly released it's new Core Coaching Competencies after two years of research, from an industrial psychology perspective, into what 1,300 coaches actually do with their clients.

The Competencies, on which the world's most recognized certifications are based (ICF ACC, PCC, and MCC) have guided the coaching of thousands of professional coaches for two decades. Now they have been streamlined and integrated with new material resulting in a shorter list that's packed with information.

When will the ICF begin certifying with the new Competencies?

Not before 2021 when ICF accredited coaching schools are required to include the new Competencies in their curricula instead of the old.

What do the ICF's new Competencies mean for coaches who want to get certified?

  • If you expect to apply for ICF certification by the end of 2020, you may want to stick with the old Competencies, although you may learn some useful nuances from the new Competencies that may assist you in passing ICF's rigorous certification process.
  • If you're planning to apply for ICF certification in 2021 or later, begin learning about the new ICF Competencies now. When you join an ICF accredited training program, be sure to ask whether they are teaching the new or old Competencies. This coach training program will begin translating the old Competencies into the new starting today for our current students and will begin training exclusively with the new Competencies in 2020.

Here's a handy table that will help you start translating the old Competencies into the new.

New ICF Core Coaching Competencies Old ICF Core Coaching Competencies
1.Demonstrates Ethical Practice - Understands and consistently applies coaching ethics and standards of coaching 1. Ethics and Standards
2. Embodies a Coaching Mindset - Develops and maintains a mindset that is open, curious, flexible and client-centered BRAND NEW
3. Establishes and Maintains Agreements - Partners with the client and relevant stakeholders to create clear agreements about the coaching relationship, process, plans and goals. Establishes agreements for the overall coaching
engagement as well as those for each coaching session
2. Establishes the Coaching Agreement
4. Cultivates Trust and Safety - Partners with the client to create a safe, supportive environment that allows the client to share freely. Maintains a relationship of mutual respect and trust 3. Establishing Trust and Intimacy with the Client
5. Maintains Presence - Is fully conscious and present with the client, employing a style that is open, flexible, grounded
and confident
4. Coaching Presence
6. Listens Actively - Focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being
communicated in the context of the client systems and to support client self-expression
5. Active Listening
7. Evokes Awareness - Facilitates client insight and learning by using tools and techniques such as powerful
questioning, silence, metaphor or analogy

6. Powerful Questioning

7. Direct Communication

8. Creating Awareness

8. Facilitates Client Growth - Partners with the client to transform learning and insight into action. Promotes client autonomy in the coaching process.

9. Designing Actions

10. Planning and Goal Setting

11. Managing Progress and Accountability

 

Download this competency table for free here.

 

Learn much more about the new Competencies...

 

Get instant access to the FREE webinar video here:

 

Watch this ICF Coaching Competency Webinar Video

Topics: ICF, Coach Certification, Competencies

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