Friday, June 19, 2009

Coach Yourself to Success

Now that you have completed the wellness health assessments (congratulations to those who managed to get through them) it’s time to choose what you want to change first. If you have a physical problem you may want to start there, or you may decide to start in another holistic wellness dimension where you have more pain. Another way would be to choose something that is easy to change so you can see quick results.

Another decision will be whether you need help from a holistic practitioner. Even with professional guidance you will essentially be changing yourself so learning how to do that is a good way to start. Here are six steps you can use to coach yourself to success in any holistic wellness dimension

Step 1: Know What You Want

When you coach yourself to success you have to know what success is so you’ll know when you’ve reached it. Decide what you want to change first and what the end result will look like after the change.

If you are not sure what you want instead of the current situation, look at the opposite of what you don’t want. If you don’t want to weigh 200 pounds, how much do you want to weigh?

Step 2: Choose One Thing to Change

It’s important to take baby steps as you coach yourself to success. Initially choose one small thing to change. You are more likely to be successful and this will give you confidence and motivate you to continue.

Step 3: Set a Goal

To coach yourself to success, you must know what you want and keep the focus there, rather than on what you don’t want. Goals focus you on the end result and keep you moving in the right direction.

Your overall goal is holistic wellness, but getting there will require many smaller specific goals. Start by setting a goal for the one thing you are going to change first.

Your goal should be SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. For example, ‘I will weigh 120 pounds by September 1st 2009’ meets these criteria, provided it would be possible to achieve that weight by then.

Step 4: Take Action in Small Steps

Choose one action that will move you towards the goal, and raise your satisfaction level in the chosen holistic wellness dimension by just one point. Choosing an action that you can repeat for 21 to 30 days will develop a habit. Habits make actions effortless.

Step 5: Set Up Structures

In coaching, a structure is any device that reminds the client of their vision, goals, or actions that must be taken on a regular basis. Structures that remind you to take action might be: entries in your daily agenda; pop-ups or calendar reminders on your computer; messages you send yourself on voicemail or by e-mail, or putting your running shoes by the bed where they will remind you to go for a run before breakfast.

When coaching yourself to success, be sure to set up structures that will keep you acting until habit kicks in.

Step 6: Evaluate Regularly

Once a week hold a coach yourself to success meeting with yourself. Celebrate your successes in carrying out the planned actions or meeting your goal and decide what you will do in the week to come.

Do not beat yourself up if you were not successful.– instead find out what went wrong. Ask yourself questions like: What got in the way of me doing what I had planned? How will I do it differently next week? Be curious and gentle with yourself – commitment to holistic wellness requires you to become your own best friend. Set yourself a goal for the coming week that you think you can meet.

Keep going through the steps until you achieve your goals. Achieving holistic wellness may be a life-long process, but coaching yourself to successful change will become second-nature after a while.

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