FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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One of my favorite quotes from a favorite book.

As 2017 winds down to an end, I realize again how much I love this transition from the old to the new. Everything seems fresh and possible to me. A new year, a new day, a new hour. Everything that’s old is new again.

Honestly, the eve of the new year is one of my favorite days. Not because I like to go out to parties or even that I am likely to ring in the new year in any special way. Sometimes we don’t even stay up till midnight! It’s really because I am standing at the doorway to new beginnings.

I have a practice of choosing one word that will guide my actions, my thoughts and my behaviors during the year. Last year was “Simplicity.” I found that I purged, created better flow, looked for ways to let go of things, people and thoughts that were no longer serving me. The year before, my one little word was Brave, and I stretched myself out of my comfort zone time and time again, creating a sense that I just needed to honor that intention, and the rest would fall into place.

This year, my one little word is Create. In fact, I have a bit of a formula attached to it this year. So actually, it’s three little words:

Connect. Engage. Create.

The process, as I am envisioning it, begins with Connecting to my authentic self. The true longing of my soul. The inherent skills and talents I possess. My creative trio – mind, body and spirit.

Then, I Engage all of those aspects of myself as I connect to them. I call them to life. Summon all the best I have to offer in whatever it is I am designing.

Then the Creation begins – whether I have a plan of exactly what, why and how or whether there’s an end result I am looking for but have no idea how I will get there. For me, creating sometimes begins with knowing nothing. And sometimes, I have a clear sense of exactly what I am trying to achieve.

It’s hard for me to imagine what all I can accomplish with this word as my touchstone this year!

I encourage my clients to come up with one little word to guide their year as well. As a coach, I find that setting an intention for the year helps my clients move into the habits, opportunities and behaviors they are looking to practice or design.

Want to give it a try? It’s very simple. Just ask yourself – what’s your one little word for the year?

(Ali Edwards is a creative entrepreneur and has designed an entire course on the concept of creating One Little Word each year. You can find her work in this area here.)

 

 

Of all the times of the year, the holiday season can be one of the most busy and, therefore, stressful. We can take on a lot. We can have high expectations. We can encounter difficulties in relationships with others who are stressed and carrying high expectations.

One of the most joyful times of the year can often be fraught with sadness and disappointment.

Add in the fact that for some, the end of the year brings additional stresses at work as there can be more planning, more reporting, more covering for those who take time off and more.

So what can you do to prepare for the holiday season?

But today, I just want to take a moment to honor a woman I never met and to be grateful for all that she was to me. To say that she changed my life is also an understatement. My 4 Elements for Success are based on these principles that I learned and used to create my business. I wouldn’t be where I am today, sitting on my couch in a home that is perfect for me doing work that I love more than anything I’ve ever done, without the wisdom this woman shared with me and with the world. 

It is my deepest hope that you have benefitted from this program and will continually look at self care in a different way. Hopefully, practicing self care will become a daily habit for you. Maybe you have learned a lot about yourself and will continue to learn more as you engage in journaling and reflecting. Undoubtedly, you may have had difficulty practicing each prompt and that’s perfectly okay. One of the purposes of this month-long exercise was to create some regular self care time, but also some ideas for when you only have a moment to pop on a playlist or when you have an entire weekend that can be dedicated to a retreat.

If you are familiar with my work at all, you know that I have created what I believe are 4 Elements for Success in almost every area of life. While this generally applies to work, family or specific goals people have set, it can absolutely apply to self care as well.

So my first question is – do you have a goal for your self care practice? Many people tell me that they want self care to be a daily activity for them, rather than being the first thing that gets tossed off their plate.

On Day 6 of our Summer of Self Care series,  we talked about the value of Dance on our feeling of well being. Hopefully you took a Dance break that day and maybe a few days since.

Today, music takes the center of the stage in our mind as we learn about the value of incorporating music into your self care plan.

When we are sick, stressed or in the middle of a great change, the need for self care often intensifies. Yet this is the very time we are seemingly unable to put our needs in front of the ever changing landscape unfolding in front of our eyes.

In particular, self care often changes greatly when we are sick, especially if we are also trying to juggle child care, work, other caregiving for family and more.

What makes asking for help so difficult? Why does it take people so long to ask for help?

We’ll get to that in a moment but let me just say this.

Asking for help is Self Care – plain and simple.

Over the years, I have discovered the value of creating Retreat.

When I use this work with clients, sometimes they think creating retreat is impossible because it involves going away and planning a bunch of activities. But retreat is just about stepping back and creating some nurturing space and time for yourself. Retreat might be a couple of hours, a half-day or an entire week. 

I do believe that the words we hear often are the words we believe or that keep rattling around in our brain long enough that we take them in.

Words matter. Sometimes we speak to or about ourselves in ways that we would never speak to others.