Christmas is, for many, a time when relationships are foremost in their minds. But for some, it is a time of deception, when the printed words of peace and love are in direct opposition to what they really feel inside.

As a professional coach I am mindful, albeit sad that at this time of year, any relationships that are under strain may totally split asunder. As families gather together, old animosities and rivalries can bubble to the surface. The mature approach is to just let them go. It takes two people to have a disagreement. If one of them (you) decides that life is too short and makes a personal commitment to let the real happiness and peace that is Christmas become a reality, then there is no more argument. There is no point in winning a series of battles if you can simply end the war.

In a series one-hour conversations, I invite clients to review their relationships at home, at work and in the social environment. Together, we can create a strategy for repairing any that are suspect and for terminating the few that are beyond repair.

It is important to point out that the coach is simply the catalyst. It is the client who makes the decisions and the commitment. For a great many, the regular reporting back of progress is the spur that keeps them on target. For others, even small achievements can create their motivation. If you use your energy to perpetuate a feeling of grudge, envy or hurt, then you are using energy that could, and should be directed towards more positive things – like building yourself the life that you truly desire.

Coaching helps people from all walks of life to take control of their future. If relationships, either intimate or work-related, are a cause for concern, your regular coaching session can show you a clear way forward.

In coaching there is no blame, no right or wrong. There is simply an outcome or result that arises from an action. If you can learn the actions that create harmony and peace, then the joy of Christmas really will, as the cards say, stay with you throughout the rest of the year. It is true to say that, if you want to change somebody else, the only place you can begin is with changing yourself and the best time to start is right now.

Get in touch and find out more or tell me what you think.

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Some American motivational speakers have a phrase. They refer to their “warm fuzzy file”. This may seem a trifle unacceptable to our ears but the philosophy behind it is certainly sound.

As a professional coach I have learnt that it seems to be human nature to dwell on mistakes, failures and the negative aspects of life. This is really sad because we all, without exception, have some really good achievements for which it is worth rewarding ourselves.

In a few conversations, at regular intervals, I invite clients to review where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Together, we create a strategy for getting to where they want to be and define the actions that will produce the desired results. It is important to remember that the coach is simply the catalyst; it is the client who makes the decisions and the commitment. For a great many, the regular reporting back of progress is the spur that keeps them on target. For others, even small achievements can create their motivation to widen their personal goals and to aim higher.

It seems to be a natural reaction for many people to focus on what they have not done rather than on what they have done. This is enough to prevent some of them even attempting anything new if it is allowed to pass unchallenged.

I frequently get a laugh when you refer to an individual’s ‘warm, fuzzy file’. This is simply a list of all the good things that you have done since your last review. These may be as simple as having a daily ‘to do list’ and then actually doing everything that is on it. They can be as simple as spending some time with someone who is lonely – or smiling at a shop assistant. This approach doesn’t exclude the big things but, if you focus on these, it is all too easy to lose sight of those little things that make a big difference to someone else.

As this year draws to a close, I suggest that now is the ideal time to undertake your own ‘warm fuzzy list’. You will be surprised how helpful it can be when you are having a day when things seem out of kilter. If you maintain your list regularly, you will be amazed at what you have achieved and this will spur you on to do even more.

To learn more about the benefits of a coaching relationship get in touch.

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If you lead an active outdoor life, you will think of the September dusk as coming too early and making your evenings shorter.  If you spend much of your time indoors, you will see them as longer evenings.  The hours of darkness are the same for everyone.  It is only your perception of them that is different.

No two people see the world in exactly the same way.  The art of achieving success in life is to ensure that you see every challenge or opportunity in its most positive light – and this is a great time of year to start doing this.

It may be that many of us are too busy working at earning money to actually take time out for living fully, but what is it that you really want to do with this money ?  Why not ask this question of yourself: ‘What would you choose to do in your life if you could do absolutely anything with no limitations, no prospect of failure and no accountability to anyone ?’  More often than not this question is answered with a long list of what they do NOT want to do !  It is important to admit this to ourselves, and possibly for the first time, give yourself that opportunity of considering what it is that we really want to do and achieve in our lives.

Some people are amazed at how liberated they feel when they realise that they can and should take control over their own lives.  Too many just go with the flow and respond to the pressures of what others think they should do.  Coaching help to change peoples’ behaviour from a ‘victim’ mentally to one of ‘victor’ thinking.  There is no time like the present and anyone can do it.

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Indians, we are told, do it more than any other nation. People with religious beliefs do it once a year. Captains of industry do it less often. Our Parliament does it as a routine. You can do it whenever you like.

For centuries, the practice of taking time out to do something different has been recognised as a sure-fire way of recharging your batteries, igniting your enthusiasm and solving problems. In commerce, it is sometimes called a sabbatical; others may call it going on retreat.

We could all benefit from this simple procedure; you don’t have to spend a week as a hermit on a mountain top, just one day will release amazing benefits and the best part is that it doesn’t cost anything.

Lots of my clients benefit from this simple change to their routine. When you put a little distance between yourself and your routine challenges or issues, you see them in a different light and from a different perspective. You may even create a few miracles for yourself as a result. These come as flashes of intuition that can lead you to take the action needed to resolve a problem.

If you look at something, say an apple, and hold it close to your face so that it is touching your nose, you will see a very small part of it. Hold it at arm’s length and you will see the whole apple, its texture and colours. Look at it from the other end of the room and you won’t see the detail but you will see it in the perspective of its surroundings and in true proportion. It is the same with issues or problems. You add distance and see them from a new angle.

The Summer is a great time to do this. Simply set a weekly date in you diary right now, when you will take off to the countryside, the hills or the beach. Go by car, bike, train or foot but go some space alone. Set off early and plan to be out all day. Leave your mobile phone at home and travel light. Then, just wander around for the day, thinking of nothing in particular, focusing on the ‘now’ experience.

Many coaching clients are amazed how easy this is. They are ‘off the leash’ and, just by being in a different place; they find that their thoughts turn to solutions and answers rather than problems and challenges. You create in life what you think about.

If you do the same thing, in the same way, you will get the same results. Your one-day summer retreat may be the one enjoyable change that you need to create those spectacular ‘miracle’ results that you know you deserve.

So make that date in your diary now. Look forward to it, keep it without guilt, enjoy it and return refreshed.

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Spring-clean ……. Your life

Spring-cleaning has its origins in ancient history.  Back then, with no labour saving devices or electricity, Spring marked the start of the season when the weather allowed a complete cleaning of the cave or house.

Since then, the tradition has been maintained, but now there is a new angle.  It is called coaching and it is, in effect, spring-cleaning for your life.

Coaching is one of the most effective ways of staying green and growing, instead of becoming ripe and rotten.  It is simply a way of looking at where you are now, where you want to be in the future and how you are going to get there.

A few people are able to do this for themselves, but the vast majority find that having an outsider to keep them on this journey is a vital ingredient in their life spring-clean.

In coaching, it is immaterial how people got to where they are now.  The only place that they can start to change their life is here and now.  So, in a coaching relationship we focus on this and on the future and in particular the actions that will lead to the positive results that you desire.

In the same way that our homes can become musty during the winter months and often look in need of new lick of paint, so our lives too can become a bit tattered and full of mental junk that no longer serves us well.

We all, without exception, carry a load of excess baggage in the form of worry, guilt, fears, and false beliefs or expectations.  The power of positive mental attitude is as strong as it is surprising.  Furthermore, it is said that very few of us ever achieve anything approaching our full potential.

In coaching, clients are shown how they can easily let go of this baggage to create room in their lives for new and exciting challenges.  Many people are amazed at the positive impact that even a small change or shift in attitude can produce.  This really is spring-cleaning for the mind. 

In the same way that the onset of Spring is often the catalyst that triggers a burst of domestic action, so a coach can be the catalyst that allows amazing and positive change to happen.

Many are surprised that conducting an emotional and mental spring-clean is like a weight being lifted from their shoulders.  The joy is that they do it all themselves; coaches are just there to show them how to make it happen !

Why not get in touch with someone that can help you do a ‘spring-clean’ today.

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The Promise of Spring and Easter

Easter is one of the most special public holidays of the year. Of course, there is a special significance for Christians but there is also something for everyone to consider.

As the mornings and evenings grow lighter and the last of the winter frosts disappear, there is a great feeling of a new beginning. Many trees are in blossom and others have green buds. The grass is starting to grow faster than even the most avid gardener can mow it.

This is a great time of the year to look back at those ‘New Year resolutions’, to review progress and to take any corrective action needed.

Unconsciously most have a real awareness of the way that the seasons can affect our feelings and attitudes. The chances are that you made those ‘January resolutions’ in the midst of a cold, grey and wet winter. That probably made your emotions and optimism pretty cold, grey and wet too. However, when the natural world is bursting with the promise of a glorious spring and the warmth of summer, this is an ideal time to decide that you too will rekindle and put right anything that you feel needs correction in your own life.

Unless humans interfere with nature, it has its own graceful balance. The old and used make way for the new and vibrant. Anyone can do the same with their own thoughts, attitudes and behaviours. Perhaps those fondly held beliefs that served you well in the past are due for an overhaul. Perhaps it is time to restore your own natural balance.

That balance means harmony rather than discord. He suggests that this should include a brief but thorough examination of all the areas of your life – relationships, career, health, finances, leisure and talents.

A series of coaching sessions can help restore the balance. Have you got a coach ?

You would have to be a very cold individual indeed to totally ignore the promise of Spring. So take some of that promise for yourself and then make sure that it is a promise that is delivered. You deserve nothing less.

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Approaching Mothering Sunday

As we approach ‘Mothering Sunday’, most of us remember our Mother on this special day.  Most also remember both our parents on their other special days.  However now it could be time to go beyond cards and flowers.

We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to our parents for creating us in the first place, then for giving us roots in a secure environment to progress from infancy to adolescence.  The best parents of all then give us wings so that we might explore the world and soar to the heights of our own huge potential.

Many of our attitudes to work, relationships and life in general are coloured by how close our childhood came to this ideal.   Couples can become parents without any training, lessons or experience.  So it is not surprising that many fall short of the perfection that we might have felt was our right.

The ‘anniversary’ of Mothering Sunday provides an ideal opportunity to address past, perceived injustices, one that a great many people fail to grasp.

The key to overcoming any resentment or regret is forgiveness.  After all, what has been done cannot be undone and you are what you are.  You are also what you think, so Mother’s day is a great time to eliminate any negative thinking about your parents.

We might say, excluding of course parents who wilfully mistreat their children, that they did the very best that they could with the knowledge that was available to them at the time.  Like you, they only discovered later what they didn’t know when they needed to know it most – so it is hardly surprising that they may have made a few mistakes along the way.  Children who have been mistreated will require greater effort for forgiveness, but it is an effort well-worth making. 

Some are held back in achieving great things in life because there is simply no room in their lives caused by too much “stuff” that need not be there.  If you harbour a grudge or resentment, it will fester and impact on everything else that you do – an analogy might be like trying to cycle up hill with the brakes on !  The way to release the breaks is to simply, let go.

If it becomes apparent that you are being held back by some imagined past injustice, ask yourself three simple questions: ‘Could you let that feeling go ?’, ‘Would you let it go ?’, ‘When ?’.”

In the final analysis we all have a choice.  We can carry negativity and bitterness with us to the grave or we can decide, right now, to let go and replace it with happiness and love.  Share that love with your parents (and others) before it is too late.

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