FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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I’ve said before that Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages (one of her tools from The Artist’s Way) have been so beneficial to me. The other day, while journaling, the idea of creating  a Summer of Self Care came to me out of the blue and I mentioned it on Facebook to see if it was something that resonates with my followers. Apparently, it does. So here we are! Day 1 of the Summer of Self Care! (Use #summerofselfcare2017 in sharing posts on social media, if you would please!)

I thought we’d start with defining self care and grounding this 30 days in something that is meaningful.

Self care is any act you incorporate in your moment or day or month or life that brings you joy, peace, well-being, healthy boundaries, a healthy body, a healthy sense of being – it’s anything you do for yourself, not for others or to make yourself better for someone else.

Acts of self care don’t have to be huge, but they can be life changing. For example, you may set a boundary with someone that creates a huge sense of peace in your life. You may read a book that changes your perspective on something. Or you may start a morning routine that makes you feel much more at peace with your day.

Whatever you choose to do, you don’t have to spend tons of time on self care, though you can do so if you’d like. Self care doesn’t have to be expensive, though I’m not judging if you decide to purchase a cruise because it falls under the “brings you joy” category. And self care doesn’t mean you’re being selfish or not caring for or about others. In fact, caregivers need an EXTRA measure of self care every single day.

When I hired my very first coach, I learned the value of self care very quickly. What it does for me is that it keeps me grounded in all aspects of my self – mind, body and spirit. And when I am grounded, I respond, rather than react. Self care practices keep me operating from a place of fullness rather than scarcity. When I feel cranky, angry, anxious, fearful or stressed to the max, I know it’s time to add some self care back into my daily routine.

So for your first prompt in the Summer of Self Care…..(drum roll…….here we go……)

Take out a piece of paper and a pen (or you might want to find a journal since you may be writing a lot this month).

Write down why you think you need to increase your daily self care habit.

Why do you think self care is important to you right now?

How do you hope to feel at the end of this month?

What do you want that you don’t have now?

And really take a moment to commit to this month of self care. Write down affirmations like, “I promise to take care of myself in some small way, every day, for AT LEAST the next 30 days.” “I am ALL IN for myself this month.” Whatever you need to say. If it’s a little prayer, write that down. If it’s a quote, write that down too. Whatever comes to your mind, journal it out.

Now breathe in. Breathe out. And acknowledge that you have just taken the first step in the care of the most important person you could take care of – YOU!!!

Because…

 

Today, you are you.

I’m going to be very transparent with you. We all have our quirks, right? So I’m going to be honest about one of mine.

When I am feeling really anxious or like things are out of control, I begin to hoard books. I do this in a couple of ways: I go to the library and check out two or three; I look at my own library of books and grab a few off the shelf, stacking them on my nightstand; or I pick up my tablet and start shopping for e-books and download a few.

But what it meant for me was getting my head in the game. Aligning my mind and my business goals with what I want to do, my vision, my why, my business philosophy. My values. Everything should be synced and pulling me forward.

My original hope of using these strategies to help clients was definitely realized. I use it when discussing team member roles, customer service, staying connected to mission, and creating a culture of empowered and respectful employees. These aren’t difficult lessons or strategies to implement – you can begin to put these ideas into practice while you are reading the book. And if you are working with a coach, it’s a way to marry the coaching and accountability piece with the tips and tactics you’re learning. I definitely introduce it to clients and invite them to bring the lessons into the coaching conversations.

When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for all your bookkeeping, accounting and tax documentation. If you’re like me and it’s your least favorite thing to do, it often doesn’t get done.

I am NOT great at handling an email once. I’m working on it, but I will still open an email, read it, decide I need to take action on it and then leave it in my inbox for me to handle later. Later turns into tomorrow or someday and I end up with…too many emails, clogging up my inbox, that are dated and no longer relevant.

I do meditate – probably more frequently than a lot of people do. I just have this sense that I would be better off if I meditated every single day. And as much as I love meditation, it does feel difficult to keep up a daily practice. I try to remember how I created dedicated time for my morning pages ritual all those years ago. What makes me automatically get up, make the coffee, and begin journaling every single day of my life, but stops me from moving into a few moments of meditation right after? How can this be so difficult for me when it seems so simple?

Don’t beat yourself up over what self care looks like. Just make it look like whatever you can manage today. Even if that’s just taking a shower.

Morning pages are definitely a habit for me now. But they take a good bit of effort, when I really think about it. I have to get up early sometimes to catch a flight or to drive to a client appointment. On vacation, I may want to get up early and have breakfast in whatever city we find ourselves visiting. But for some reason, morning pages are the way I operate now and they can’t be skipped. So I adjust my waking time to make sure that it happens – three pages, with my coffee, in the same seat every day.

Those of you who follow me regularly know that a strategic plan is one of my 4 Elements for Success! I think it’s pretty difficult to move forward if you don’t have a plan or roadmap for what you will do to accomplish your goals. It’s helps to keep you focused on what’s most important and eliminates your tendency to follow every bright, shiny object that will max out your time or capacity.