Spring into something NEW?

We visited the Lake District last week, which gave lots of opportunity for getting out and about in the wonderful countryside and stunning scenery for which The lakes is famed.

I thought I’d share with you a few photos that I took while we were there of things which spoke to me. How about this one?

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks ago nothing like this would be showing. The very least that could be seen would be a tight little bud on a twig. At a glance the image would have been one of deadness or dormancy. But look now! LIFE! It’s shrugged off the effects of winter!

What about you? Have you been through a wintertime experience that seemed to do nothing but cause die back and dormancy?

Take heart that might have been part of the plan!

Look what can happen in what seems a flash! Are you ready to break forth from the tight little bud that kept you cosy and protected?

Go for it! You never know springtime & sunshine might be waiting for you!

Take courage my friend! Burst out of things that have held you! Experience LIFE!

Coaching might just empower and encourage you to do just that! Just do it!

GROWing into the PLANS & PURPOSES of GOD

It was a delight to work with delegates at Refuel 18, a Christian camp/conference for all the family held in Fochabers, Morayshire Scotland, last month. Through the seminar we considered how we could GROW into the plans and purposes of God, ‘scooping up’ what God had said to us individually  through the week, giving space to explore the wonders and intricacies of what that was about and planning the next step with confidence and inspiration.

I promised to write a blog post to include the questions, so here goes!

G – GOAL

What is is that God has said? What is He calling you into?
Think of a time in the future when you are doing or being what God is speaking to you about. Draw or write down the things that come to mind when you think of being there? When will you be there?
What will it be like?
What is good about that place?
What are you doing/saying/thinking?
Where are you now in terms of your goal out of 10?
What’s the first stage to getting to that place? Where will you be by mid September?

R – REALITY

What have you got going for you to get you there?
What skills/resources do you have?
What skills/resources have you used when you’ve done similar things before?
How have you overcome obstacles in your path?
What is important about getting this first stage in the bag?
If I don’t do this I’ll be……….

O – OPTIONS

What ideas do you have to get this in the bag?
What is God whispering/shouting?
What are you refusing to consider, ignoring or pushing away?
If you could have a 1:1 with any Refuel speaker what ideas would they give you?
The Bible is full of God telling people to do strange and wacky things to accomplish His plans and purposes, what wacky thing has sprung to your mind?
Look back at the resources you said you had in the previous section, how could you use those things?

W – WAY FORWARD

Look over your list….
Which option is jumping out at you?
What is the Holy Spirit highlighting?
Which can you start or accomplish within 24hrs of getting home?
Underline the ones you are going to do & tease out any stages that might be involved in completing that.

Busting the barriers

Looking at your action plan, what might stop you carrying out those things?
How are you going to overcome that barrier?
What are the consequences of giving up/giving in?
What will the rewards be of following through?
In completing these actions where will you be out of 10 in pursuit of your big goal?
How will you celebrate?
How will you keep yourself accountable/make sure you do these things?

So there it is! These questions and the GROW model can be used for anything you are wanting to move forward with. Let me know how you get on, that’s another way of keeping yourself accountable!

If you’d like a copy of the worksheet we used during the seminar drop me an email requesting it & I’ll happily oblige!

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Psalm 23 for Coaches

Some time ago I went to a workshop about the interface between work and faith. The guy leading it spoke about how David wrote Psalm 23 based on his knowledge of being a shepherd, hence the psalm begins with the familiar words, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd…’ One of the exercises he got us as delegates to do was re-write the psalm from our own work/job/professional experience. Here’s my attempt:

The Lord is my Coach,

I shall not be left to drift.
He fills my life with good things,
He quietly inspires my life.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though the journey is fraught with barriers and uncertainty,
I will fear no evil for you are journeying with me.
Your questions and encouragement will comfort and inspire me to continue.
When I reach my goal despite the barriers, people and things, you will celebrate with me!
The journey you equip me for will be exciting and challenging.
My reward, my ultimate destination will be an utter delight!
Eternity to celebrate with you!

What do you think?

It’s an interesting exercise. Give it a go and let me know!

 

Cheese please?!

I’ve recently re-read a little book ‘Who moved my cheese?’; let me share a morsel or two from it…..

It’s a parable – a story that relates and brings meaning to another part of life. Jesus was a good story teller who used parables to good effect, such as the Lost Coin or the Prodigal Son.

‘Who Moved My Cheese’ is about four characters who live in a maze and daily look for cheese to nourish them. The characters are Sniff and Scurry two mice-like creatures who sniff out change early and scurry into action; and Hem and Haw, little people, who deny and resist change. The story follows Haw and the lessons he learns when he comes to terms with the fact that the cheese is gone and action is required. ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ is ultimately about change and how different people react to or embrace change.

I’m not going to summarise the entire story, but rather pick out the lessons that resonated with me. If you want to know the whole story buy the book*; it is worth the money and the time (about an hour) it takes to read it!

  • Haw learned to laugh at himself.We can only laugh at ourselves when we’re being objective. Objectivity requires ‘out of the box thinking’ giving us a different perspective. For some of us this comes naturally, for others it’s something we must learn! Laughter has been shown to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies. It also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.Learning to laugh at ourselves is a lesson well learnt!
  • Imagining what he hoped to find helped Haw overcome his fears. He imagined life without his fears. Fear of the unknown keeps us in our comfort zones. Fear immobilises and robs us of so much pleasure and enjoyment of life, as Hem experienced. Haw learnt that the more he imagined finding new cheese the more convinced he became of finding it. He took his eye off the fear anf focussed on the future possibilities!
  • Haw learned that taking action and taking control brought freedom, giving him the motivation and strength to continue the search for more cheese.
  • When Haw looked back he recognised that there had been signs that change was happening. He realised that he could have chosen to read the signs, but didn’t. When the day came when no cheese appeared powerful and destructive forces such as anger, resentment, fear and disillusionment set in.
  • Change is part of everyday life. It’s best to be ready for it, be equipped for it, adapt to it and enjoy it.
  • Oh, and be ready to repeat the process all over again, time and time again! Haw never again put his running shoes in the cupboard but tied their laces together and hung them round his neck, just like Sniff and Scurry!

What’s this story got to do with coaching?

Coaching is about moving from where you are now to where you want to be. Often the first step is knowing where you want to be – for Haw this was the next cheese station. Coaching can help you work out the big picture but also where the next station is.

Haw learned to take things from his past that would help him embark on the journey to reach his goal.  A coach would help you realise and tap into your strengths and successes. Generally, people working with a coach achieve their ambitions quicker and more efficiently than if they were ‘going it alone’.

Another powerful role the coach would fulfil is as a cheerleader, the one to encourage along the way and help the celebrations of success. Haw often thought of his friend Hem, his journey often felt like a lonesome journey, with a coach there is always company on the journey!

Are you feeling:

  • The cheese has run out? The sparkle in your life, the things you once pursued or the things you enjoyed no longer hold the attraction?
  • The uncomfortableness of comfort zone?
  • Out of control in times of change?
  • Fearful of the prospect of yet more change?
  • The loneliness of the journey?

Do consider letting me be your coach! Coaching can make all the difference! I love helping people or groups move from where they are now to where they want to be.  Take a look at the testimonials on here and see what other people have found.

*‘Who Moved My Cheese’ Spencer Johnson ISBN0091816971

Photo taken at and used with the permission of The Courtyard Dairy, Settle North Yorkshire. A wonderful place for cheese lovers!

Follow George’s example?

Too many dragons?

I wonder….
are you under pressure?
are you feeling stressed?
are you feeling the heat?
Perhaps in honour of good old St George it’s time to slay a dragon or two, or three? But which one do you choose when you have more than one? Let me offer a few suggestions……
1. Choose the little ones….
St David is famed for urging his followers to do the small things. Another David – Sir Dave Brailsford pioneered a revolution in the British Cycling world by taking the Sky GB Olympic Cycling Team on a road to victory. His tactic was to encourage the team to make lots small changes to make a cumulative big difference. Small is beautiful! What are the small dragons, which together are bumping up the heat, but individually could be dealt with quickly and easily? Is it the layer of dust on the dressing table? Is it an email to that coaching contact? Is it the weeds showing up in the planter by the front door? The

The ugly one?

decision to be made about the next team meeting? Whatever it is, think about dealing with it!
2. Choose the ugly one…
Mark Twain encourages us that when we have more than one frog (dragon?) to contend with we’re best to look for the biggest and ugliest. That’ll be the one that we loath the most, fear the most or have watched grow the most. Imagine the sense of achievement when that one is lying at your feet! Which task have you procrastinated most about? Go for it, slay it today!
3. Choose the masquerading dragon….
Brian Tracy introduced the world to the KWINK model: Knowing What I Now Know. How many of us and how often do we find ourselves in situations and circumstances which at the outset looked wholesome and healthy to find that with time reality is something different? Tracy would argue that those are the things, people, or situations to pay attention to and ultimately to ditch. Make today the day that you rid yourself of the masquerading dragon!

Perhaps your dragon is a different kind? Whichever is in your mind what weapons and armoury will you use? Here’s a few to choose from…
COURAGE – courage isn’t about skills, intellect or experience; it’s a heart matter. If you believe in yourself and believe that you can slay a dragon, guess what? You’ll probably go on to slay a dragon!
HONESTY – someone has said that honesty is a liberating friend. Be truthful with yourself and the situation you find yourself in. Agree with yourself that NOW is the time to slay a dragon or two!
PEACE – ‘let quietness and trust be your strength’. Take time to find the place of peace because there you’ll find strength to face the challenges ahead.

When you’ve done the deed what will you do?
Mark the occasion! Celebrate! Allow it to be a defining moment. George was transformed from soldier to Saint by that one act! Walk tall!

Has this blog struck a chord? Do you need help to identify and deal with the dragon in your life or work? Coaching can empower and inspire you to do that. Allow me to play a part in your transformation from soldier to saint! Message or call me!

Happy St David’s Day

Happy St David’s Day!

I thought my blog this month would be in honour of St David whose ‘day’ is 1st March. St David is the patron saint of Wales. My father-in-law is Welsh, making my husband half Welsh & my sons quarter Welsh. Though I know a lot about Wales, sadly I knew nothing about St David. I turned to the wonderful World Wide Web to help fill the blanks in my knowledge. How easy it is these days to find ‘information’!

I discovered that he was born in Wales, in fact he is the only UK patron saint to be born on these shores, all the other patron saints are adopted from other lands! I read that many miracles happened through him and the dove is often a symbol associated with him. Apparently he led a simple life refraining from meat and alcohol and lived to be more than a 100 years old.
In his last speech before his death he urged his followers to ‘do the little things’; a statement worthy of consideration within the coaching context……
Here are my thoughts about what ‘doing the little things’ might involve:
• Dream the big dreams & set the big goals but break it down into the little things. Some might describe these as the milestone goals, but I often find in coaching sessions that I talk about big goals and little goals where the little goals feed into the big goals.
• In terms of the actions required to get you moving towards your goal do you need to do some little things? Little things might be the easy things to do that will set you on your way giving a sense of achievement and increasing motivation for the bigger or more adventurous things.
• Employ the ‘KIS’ principle! Sorry folks only one ‘S’ there! Keep it simple. We can sometimes dream up all sorts of solutions whilst overlooking the obvious!
• ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’ is an often quoted proverb relating to all things financial. Stephen Covey in ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ introduced us to the concept of an ‘emotional bank balance’ as a metaphor for the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship. He lists six major ways of making a deposits into that bank account, one of which is ‘attending to the little things’. He goes on to say, ‘In relationships, the little things are the big things.’ What can you do today that will boost someone else’s bank account? What can you do today that will boost your own? For in doing so you are investing and preparing for a world out there that so often withdraws to the point of bankruptcy.
So take some advice from St David and ‘do the little things’ and enjoy St David’s Day!

Ps You might also want to take his other advice and lay off the alcohol!

What is it time for?

I had a teacher many moons ago, a cheery Scotsman no less, who instructed the class that when we saw the snowdrops blooming it was time to start revising for the up and coming ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, as they were in those days. I must admit that I can’t remember now whether I took his advice or not, but I nonetheless remember his advice!

When I see the snowdrops are out I find myself asking again what is it time for? What do I need to start planning for now, today? More to the point what do I need to start doing that will position me for a brighter and better future?!

I guess the things that spring to mind are just like revision – things that I’d rather not do, things that require effort, but are things that in themselves are perhaps not inspiring but the result of which will bring us to a whole new world!

What is it that we want to achieve? Where do we want to get to? What’s important about that thing or place? These are the questions that will motivate us to start the doing  and keep going.

For me, it’s writing this blog! My goal is to increase my presence in the world out there; to reach potential clients both individuals and groups. Why is that important? Yes, to pay the bills, but even more so to satisfy my desire to make a difference, to help others find their way in life and to be pleasant company on the way.

So what does that mean to me today? It means I made myself sit down in front of the laptop and start to put my random thoughts onto ‘paper’. I’ve had to choose to do this and ignore the 101 other preferable things I’d rather do, or even not do the housework! How is that? When there’s something that you’d rather not do EVEN the housework can take precedence?! How do I feel now that I’m ‘penning’ the last few sentences? FABULOUS! Will next time be as difficult? Probably not!

My challenge to you is….

 

What is it time for?

What are you going to do today?

If not today, when?

Take that first step because after all the snowdrops are out!

 

New Year, New You?!

Are you planning on setting a New Year’s resolution?

What will it be this year?

Cut down on the chocolate?

Exercise more?

Address that work-life (in)balance?

Be more organised?

Get on better with the in-laws?

Or like me, write a blog post every month?

Or something entirely different?!

Allow me to dig…

How many times have you set out at the beginning of a New Year with similar aspirations? How long has your resolve lasted?

A month?

Two weeks?

A week?

2 days?

24 hours?

Where does that leave your longing to for things to be different? If someone were to offer you the chance to make the change there and then would you take it? Yes?! How much more exhilerating would it feel like to face the challenge, persevere and then savour the sweet taste of success?

So what would make the difference? Why not consider a block of coaching sessions? It’s been shown that people who work with a personal performance coach are more likely to achieve their goals/aspirations/resolutions and much quicker than if they’d done it alone. Why’s that?

A coach will help you to:

  • define and refine your aspirations; helping you to set yourself realistic and achievable goals;
  • harness all you strengths, skills, talents and resources to achieve success;
  • demolish any barriers or hindrances;
  •  measure and celebrate your success.

So are you going to make a choice to take a chance to make a change? Make 2017 the year!

Call me on 07534402608 and we can have a chat about how we take things forward!