Self Hypnosis

Hypnosis 

Self Hypnosis

When the word hypnosis is mentioned, a first thought might be that of entertainment on stage where people are being hypnotized and follow the instructions of the hypnotist to perform funny things such as jumping around like a rabbit or barking like a dog every time a certain keyword (like ‘talk’) is spoken!   

Hypnosis used as a therapy is a totally different and nothing like that used for entertainment purposes.  It has been practiced for thousands of years but only granted recognized in 1958 by the American Medical Association.  

We go into hypnosis many times in a day.  Have you ever been reading a paper or a book and someone is talking to you and you have not heard a word they have said?  That is because you have entered a stage of hypnosis, your conscious mind has been put on hold and your subconscious mind has become more alert.  We live with our conscious mind most of the time but it is the subconscious mind that stores all our lifetime data just like a computer’s hard drive stores all documents and images.  This is why under hypnosis we can go back in time and remember things from the past.   

Hypnotherapists, through hypnosis, have helped people overcome issues that were causing problems in their everyday life.     It can help with weight loss, career moves, confidence, and letting go of habits that are no longer needed or are causing anxiety.   These types of problems would be dealt with by suggestion hypnosis.   If someone’s problems are a result of the past regression hypnosis would be used to take that person back in time to find out what triggered their issue.

Hypnosis is not being in a sound sleep, it is being in a deeply relaxed state.  The person being hypnotized remains in control and will not divulge any secrets they have.  No one has ever been hurt under hypnosis.   It is a natural safe state of mind and is a focused consciousness. 

When someone is in a deeply relaxed state through hypnosis they will hear the voice of the hypnotherapist and will follow their instructions.   What happens is the hypnotherapist makes suggestions to the subconscious mind and those suggestions stay there as if they have been filed away in a cabinet.  

The conscious mind has four parts:

Rational – Analytical – Will Power – Temporary Memory

Rational – this is where we have to find an answer for things and justify them, such as we need a few alcoholic drinks before bed because it helps us to sleep.  In fact, we would fall asleep straight away but probably wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to get back to sleep again!  However,  even though it is not actually correct our rational mind is satisfied with this suggestion.  

Analyticalthis is the part that identifies things like a light bulb that needs replacing.

Willpower – Have you ever tried to give up something purely with willpower?  It is there helping for a short time only, then it disappears.  

Temporary Memory – this is what we use every day, to remember things like places and names.  It can only hold a certain amount of information at one time.  

The Subconscious Mind 

Imagination – Permanent Memory – Habits, feelings and emotions – Beliefs – Autonomic

Imagination it is not just about being creative, it’s how we view the world around us and of course, everyone’s view differs.  And everyone’s view is what they believe is true to them.   But that perception of their view is not reality; it is just a perception.  

Permanent Memory – All data that has been received from the five senses is stored in the subconscious mind.  Everything we feel, hear, see, taste and smell will leave an impression on us.  

Habits – Feelings and Emotions – these are all stored away in the cabinet of the subconscious mind and a database of information beings to develop of the person we are today.  

Automatic Nervous System – these are the things we do automatically such as breathing, eating,  our heartbeat and blood circulation.  The subconscious mind takes care of all these things.

Hypnosis can help people overcome obstacles where other attempts using different methods have failed.  The subconscious mind is a powerful tool and everyone can benefit from this deeply relaxed state, even if it is just simply to relax. 

©Jan, Life Coach You 

                                                                                                                               

 

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Habits and Addiction

What is a habit compared to an addiction?  There are good habits as well as bad. Cleaning our teeth in the morning and before bedtime is a good daily habit.  However, smoking is a bad habit because it can lead to cancer and other types of serious illness that could cause premature death. People become addicted to tobacco, gambling, alcohol, and drugs; including those drugs that are prescribed by a doctor. Others addictions include eating too many unhealthy foods and consuming fizzy drinks that pile on the pounds. Being obese can cause a stroke, heart attack, and depression.

How does the habit become an addiction?

Alcohol addiction

Alcohol is a good example.  When the person who has started drinking continues to consume alcohol daily, the need to feel at the point where that ‘good feeling’ kicks in, is when the amount of alcohol needs to be increased.  For example, one month ago two shots of whiskey or two glasses of wine were enough to satisfy that feeling, now it does not.   At the beginning, it was a drink after work.  However, a few months down the road the craving for a drink could be early afternoon as the drinking continues.   In some cases, it will be getting up in the morning and having a drink instead of coffee or tea.   Once this stage has been reached, the drinker would probably have lost their job and could have become separated or divorced from their spouse or partner.  Other areas of their life will be badly affected. There will come a time when there will be no money to buy the drink.

It is the same with drugs when someone decides to try a line of heroin and feels brilliant, they think they can handle anything and do anything until it wears off!  Gradually that person will not be able to live without their daily fix. This applies to all forms of drugs.  Taking drugs is a dangerous path to walk.  Drugs cost a lot of money and should someone start to owe the supplier money, it can progress to violence.

These addictions can have serious health problems and can lead to premature death just like smoking can. The difference between the alcoholic and the smoker is the smoker can function normally enough to keep their job and other areas of their life intact.

How to deal with an addiction

The need to admit there is a problem is the first step. The second step of recovery for those dependent on alcohol is to go and see their doctor.   The doctor will suggest going to a local AA group meeting and in some cases, medication will be prescribed.  The doctor will decide if a detoxification programme is necessary to gradually help the patient withdraw from the symptoms of the addiction.

The smoker can use the free NHS Smoke-Free site and other aids such as patches and inhalers to reduce cravings.

In the case of drug abuse, the doctor will conclude how serious the addiction is and will either administer treatment at the surgery or refer the person to a local drug treatment service.

Note:  Stop drinking alcohol and drugs altogether could cause serious problems, your doctor will advise, usually this is done by gradual withdrawal.  

The Use of CBT as an Alternative Form of Treatment

A therapist would use CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to help someone who is alcohol/drug/tobacco dependent. This means the person with the therapist would identify how their problematic thoughts, feelings, and behavior link together to keep their alcohol/drug/tobacco problem alive. CBT helps to contest negative thoughts and beliefs.

The use of CBT for alcohol/drug/smoking dependence looks into how a person’s thoughts influence their mood and behavior.  It will make a person more aware of how the role of their thoughts affects their behavior.  This can help someone to start changing those bad behaviors that are self-destructing.

The CBT sessions require the client and therapist to establish and breakdown down the problems and place them into sections.   These sections are; thoughts, physical feelings, and actions. These areas will be analyzed to see if they are unrealistic or unhelpful and to find out what effect they have on each other and on the client.  The therapist will then be able to help to change these obstructive thoughts and behaviors.

Once the changes needed have been identified, the therapist will ask the client to practice these changes in their everyday life. These will be discussed in follow-up sessions.

The Good and the Not So Good of CBT 

CBT is just as effective as medication in the treatment of various mental health issues.  But, the treatment is not successful in every case.  It may help where other types of medication alone have failed.  It takes a shorter period of time to complete than other talking therapies.  It can be used in a variety of formats because of the way it is structured.  These formats include group sessions, self-help books, and computer programs.  It is educational with useful and practical strategies that can be applied in everyday life and these new strategies can still be used after treatment comes to an end.

Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:

  • A total commitment from the person requiring treatment.   The therapist can help and advise but the client’s co-operation and determination are vital for it to be successful.
  • Turning up for the CBT sessions and completing the homework between; these can take up a lot of time.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy may not be an appropriate treatment for people with more complicated mental health problems or learning difficulties because it requires structured sessions.
  • This treatment means facing up to emotions and anxieties.  This in itself could cause some people to become anxious and/or emotionally uncomfortable especially in the early stages of the treatment.
  • It examines the individual’s capability to change themselves, their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
  • Willpower at the beginning is helpful as well as CBT to help conquer an addiction that has become a serious problem to someone’s well-being. However, willpower is only there as a temporary backup and will eventually disappear,  this is why other forms of help are needed.

Stop addiction from ruling your life, regain control and get your life back.  Imagine how wonderful that feeling will be when you finally lay the addiction to rest and you are content and at peace with yourself once more.

Jan, Life Coach You

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Struggling to Lose Weight?

Note:  If anyone has any concerns about their health before embarking on any kind of diet or exercise plan please go and see your doctor who will discuss what a suitable weight loss program is for you.

Trying to lose the pounds?  Tried all the diets, pills and shakes but none of them worked or you lost weight but put it all back on again once you stopped dieting.  There is no quick fix to losing weight and maintaining it.

weight

There could be many reasons why you struggle to lose weight.  For example, in the past when dieting you became fed up with a boring diet, or you lost motivation. You could have been stressed out over something and in some cases, this leads you to the biscuit tin!  There could be a health problem.   If you have been dieting and exercising and the weight does not come off, go and see your doctor.   Emotional feelings can sway the way we think about many things and this includes losing weight.

Set your goal to lose weight for yourself and not anyone else!

Like any goal you set for yourself, the first thing is you must really want to do it and do it for you, not for anyone else.  For example, someone has made an unpleasant comment about your weight and your thought is, “I must look really fat for them to say that.”  You may start a diet of some kind because of that comment and not because you yourself have decided you want to slim down.  Dieting to appease someone else is surely going to fail.  On the other hand, the comment could make you start eating more to compensate for the hurt you are feeling.  If you have been told you must diet by some medical professional,  you could go on the defensive and think, “don’t tell me what to do!”  Does any of this sound familiar?

What is a sensible weight loss on a weekly basis?

Lose the weight slowly, 2 to 3 pounds a week this is better than losing  7 or 8 pounds a week. Your system will cope better with a few pounds and you will gradually become used to the new way of eating.

Things you need to stop eating and drinking

Just imagine you have been eating fish and chips, chocolate bars, cakes, crisps etc during a normal week and a takeaway at the weekend washed down with wine or whatever alcoholic beverage you like. When you decide to go on a diet these things will not form part of your weekly food intake.  You must be strong and determined not to give in to them. It is no good dieting all week then consuming alcohol and takeaways at the weekend because you will simply put all the weight back on and be right back at the starting post caught up in a never-ending cycle.

How to stay motivated?

Think about how you want to look after losing your weight and be realistic about this, don’t think of the models you see in the media because some of them look gaunt and if they want to remain in the limelight they are constantly battling to keep thin and thin is not slim! 

Look through a magazine, newspaper or on the internet and see a shape that you really like, cut it out or print it off.  Find a photograph of yourself and cut off your head and place this on the body of your cut out. Put it where you can see it, the fridge or food cupboard are good places. That is your second step the first one was wanting to do this for yourself and no one else.  

Next, decide on a diet plan that you know you can live with and you decide.  This should be a decision to eat sensibly and healthy because you know that doing this will eventually enhance the way you look outside; such as your skin and hair and how nice your body will look in your new clothes. You will have more energy and feel more confident in all areas of your life;  as you can see emotional feelings all come into this. 
 
Diet plans don’t have to cost the earth or be boring.  Simple things like fresh or frozen vegetables, lean meat, and fish, fresh fruit.  Eat fruit for snacking rather than biscuits, chocolate or crisps.  Breakfast bars or cereals (not those covered in chocolate, sugar or yogurt etc).  Drink skimmed milk and make water part of your fluid intake.  Water is marvelous for the skin and gives you so much energy and mental awareness.  Baked potatoes, or plain boiled. You don’t have to go without your roast dinner; there is now the one cal spray oils and as long as you remove the skin from chicken and the fats from steak, lamb, pork, and beef this would be fine. Give yourself a little treat once a week but not something you became addicted to before dieting such as chocolate or crisps. Choose something nice but not too naughty!
Invent your Own Diet and Exercise Plan

Inventing your own diet and exercise plan is your own bespoke little gem.  For example, if this works out well, it could possibly lead to you teaching other people and starting your own weight loss business.   Now that’s motivation!  Keep a diary of your daily dieting and exercising for this purpose you will need your notes to refer back to if you decide to go into business.

Simply walking with a spring in your step will give you exercise.  There is no need for expensive gym fees or having to tie yourself up into a yearly subscription if finances don’t permit.  However, if you can afford this then go for it!  Swimming is another excellent source of exercise and so is dancing.

Note:  If you have a disability you will find some links at the bottom of this article for you to check out.

What if I give in to certain cravings?

Weight

Here is another way to look at what may stop you from reaching your weight loss goal.

Your goal (ideal weight) is inside a  building but the building is across the water and the water is infested with sharks.  Name the sharks that are going to stop you getting across the water so you can reach your goal. This could be alcohol, you like this at the weekend after a hectic week to relax,  can you give this up at least for the first month into your diet.  Another shark could be called chocolate it has been your snack time favorite for ages!    These are your sharks, alcohol and chocolate there could be others such as exercise, you haven’t done any since leaving school. How are you going to decide to deal with these hungry creatures so you can cross the water and reach your goal,  your ideal weight!

The Bridge Exercise

You need to build a bridge but the bridge needs to have steps you can take to get across.  Let’s look at a new, fun way of doing this.  I believe that on or before (you choose a date) that I (Rah Rah – you) will celebrate that I see an increase in my success and I have not drunk alcohol for *4 weeks into my diet because I see a difference in my measurable change (*the time limit you have given not to drink alcohol). I am guided to what I need to know (your diet and exercise plan)  and I engage the support of my imagination and intuition to work with meEvery time you beat a shark, pat yourself on the back and be proud you have got this far.

Take one step at a time, in this example alcohol has been the first shark to eliminate now we need to do the same with the chocolate and exercise.  Set small step goals, that way your cravings whatever they are will soon disappear and exercise will become apart of your weekly routine, it does not have to be every day.  Be excited by your goals and retain the excitement because you are getting nearer and nearer to the other end of the bridge and the building that holds your goal!

Going back to your cut-out look at this every morning and imagine you have achieved your ideal weight. Choose an aromatherapy scent, something like orange or lemon these smells are associated with healthy foods.  While you imagine,  find a word or phrase to associate with your image and scent, it could be something like healthy new me.  Look into a mirror and look deep into your eyes imagining, smelling and saying the phrase healthy new me as you see the new you staring back.   This will only take around 5 to 7 minutes of your time every morning and if you want you could repeat this in evening.

This may seem a bizarre way of coping with the things that can hold you back from achieving your weight loss but it can work.  There will be a nagging little voice inside you saying, ‘I’m going to protect you from those sharks you don’t really want to cross the bridge to your goal.’  But, you have to counter-attack and think, ‘Yes I do want to cross the bridge and achieve my goal and the sharks are not going to stop me!’  Let your entire thoughts be positive and don’t talk negatively to yourself.  Once the weight starts to melt away, your confidence will soar and you will start to feel energized.

Everyone deserves a treat now and again.  However, it is over-indulgence all the time that causes weight to pile back on.  Don’t let all your efforts go down the drain once you have reached your ideal weight.  You don’t have to survive on a boring diet for the rest of your life just eat sensibly and exercise a couple of times a week after you have achieved your goal.  Just imagine how fabulous you are going to look!

Let’s Talk Food!

Plain foods like chicken and poultry can be spiced up with garlic, lemon and ginger, rosemary and thyme and other herbs and spices. The same applies to fish such as plain cod or haddock. Salmon and trout are good healthy choices.  Spice up your fish with parsley and other herbs there are many recipes on the internet to make these delicious meals.

Note: There will be some links at the bottom of this article to help you find wholesome and filling foods for your new diet and new you!

If you don’t have a slow cooker invest in one they are cheap to buy and you can cook up delicious meals that are full of taste.  Just switch it on before going to work and your meal will be ready when you return home.

Here is a list of 5 Superfoods to help with losing weight:

Ginger – It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and regulates the insulin response.  It builds up the immune system and can reduce the symptoms of flu and colds by killing harmful virus and bacteria.  It regulates the digestive system.  Ginger is rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Folate. It will detox the body from harmful elements. It helps to reduce bloating because it improves the digestive system.    If consumed regularly it stimulates the metabolism and this helps the body to burn calories at a much faster pace.  If you are feeling stressed take a piece of ginger and sniff it for a few minutes.  The substance inhaled will reduce the stress levels and improve the mood. 

Blueberries – Rich in antioxidants and high levels of Vitamins K and C. There are only 40 calories in half a cup of blueberries making it an ideal snack if feeling peckish before a meal.  They help to eliminate constipation, essential for weight loss.  Blueberries also contain catechins which are fat-burning.  Include them in your cereal and porridge for extra health benefits!

Avocado  This is the beautifier!  Wonderful for the skin and body organs. Instead of using salad creams or oils replace them with sliced avocado and your health will be boosted ten-fold!  They strengthen the immune system with Vitamins K-C-B5-B6-E plus Potassium.  All these vitamins are essential for regulating the blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol.

Avocado does have high-calorie levels but they are still an important part of the weight loss diet.  They help to regulate insulin so when you consume foods made of simple carbs or sugar instead of your body becoming over-weight from these carbs, the body simply digests them as other normal foods and keeps your blood pressure under control.

Avocado has been shown to fight the cells of prostate cancer and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Just simply eating half of an avocado per day can be a weight reducer and immune booster.  Because they are rich in fibre you will feel fuller much sooner than if you decided to have a low-fat option.  They are best eaten raw rather than cooked.  Like many things, cooking can destroy the health benefits of some foods. 

Broccoli – This helps to prevent illness and eliminates bad bacteria plus it is a powerful immune booster. Research has shown that broccoli can reduce cancer cells specifically those found in the mouth, throat, and stomach and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease because it reduces bad cholesterol and bad fatty cells.  It contains Vitamins A-C-K-Calcium and is rich in antioxidants which are good for reducing stress levels.   Dark green vegetables are especially good for the body’s health.

Garlic – An immune booster, bacteria fighter, antioxidant which helps to lower bad cholesterol.  It regulates blood and sugar levels.  The ideal amount is around 2 cloves per day, squashing it releases the goodness in the garlic.  If you don’t fancy eating it alone spread some pure organic honey on a slice of bread and add the crushed garlic.  It also helps to battle against the common cold.  Do not overeat garlic because it can cause:

  • Bad breath and body odor
  • Heartburn – burning in your throat and mouth
  • Nausea, vomiting, gas, and diarrhea

This would happen if you consumed say anything from 3 raw cloves upwards.  Stay at the 2 and you will be fine.

Summary

If you have followed your diet and exercise plan you should start to see the results.  And, finally, you will have beaten all the sharks and reached your ……. drum roll …

weight

Well done, amazing and look at the new you!

Link for healthy recipes and health information click here. 

Link for healthy slow cooker meals click here

Link to NHS diet plan – online community – click here

Exercises for the disabled click here 

Exercises for the disabled click here

Chair Exercises click here

Jan, Life Coach You

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Stressed Out? Relax!

stressed

Modern day life has become a roundabout ride for most working families with school children and for those in high-profile careers where there is enormous pressure to meet targets and wear many different hats and juggle with time to get things done.  It is not surprising that being stressed out is a common problem.

Stress is a massive modern day issue and can cause all kinds of unpleasant feelings. Becoming stressed can lead to other serious medical problems if it becomes a continuous daily companion.  

How can we de-stress and feel calmer?  

Try this breathing exercise it can be done anywhere, it does not matter whether you are sitting, standing or lying down, and will only take a few minutes.

If you are lying down move your arms just a little bit away from your sides with your palms facing upwards. Your legs can either be straight or if more comfortable bend the knees and let your feet be flat on the floor or bed.

If you are sitting place your arms on the arms of the chair.

Should you be standing place your feet apart as if in line with the hips.

Loosen any restricting clothing; top button, tie etc.

1 – Breath into your stomach as deep down as you can without it causing any discomfort.

2 – Gently breathe in through your nose and gently out through your mouth.

3 – Keep on doing this until you find your rhyme.

4 – Now, don’t pause or hold your breath but let it all out slowly (tip: trying a count to 5 may help).

5 – Try and do this for around 2 to 5 minutes.

This will not solve your problems or stop the kids from playing up but you will be more in control of your stress levels.

Practice this at least once a day and you will gradually feel the benefits.

Another relaxation exercise you can practice when in bed either before going to sleep or when you wake up is this:

Stressed

Imagine you have a secret beach where you go to alone; you can give it a name if you want to.  It is a quiet, peaceful, warm and sunny haven. There is a gentle warm breeze caressing your face.   The sea is calm and the sun’s rays are making it sparkle. You are sitting in your deck chair relaxed without a care in the world as you listen to the sound of the waves gently splashing to shore then ebbing back out again.  You feel the sand between your toes soft and comfy.  See the image clearly in your mind, feel the breeze on your face and hear the sound of the sea, feel the sand between your toes, now do the relaxation exercises we did in the first exercise.  

Let your mind absorb the image and stay on your secret beach for as long as you want or can.

Instead of the beach, you can use a secret waterfall where you are standing beneath it and feel the warm water trickle over your body washing away your anxieties.

Remember this is your place only, where you escape to replenish your mental energy.

Teach yourself to become less stressed and enjoy your life more.

Jan, Life Coach You

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Feeling Anxious?

Being Anxious has its good and bad points.  For example, if you are anxious before sitting an exam this can help to keep your wits about you. It is when anxiety leads to severe panic attacks that the issue needs addressing.  

*Note: If you have a disability or an illness please consult with your doctor before trying the muscle tensing exercise below.

 Anxiety
What is Anxiety?

In simple terms, it is the opposite of being calm and tranquil. The feeling is unpleasant making the person extremely unsettled inside.  It triggers off negative emotions such as being unable to concentrate, fearful, tearful and irritable. Some people experience a feeling of doom and gloom without knowing why they feel this way.

Anxiety, partners along with nervousness and anxious people will bite their nails, pace back and forth and are unable to sit down for too long. Some of the physical signs are sweating, dizziness, feeling nauseous, headaches and shortness of breath, tiredness and finding it difficult to sleep.

What Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

Try this breathing exercise; it is better if you are sitting down but that may not always be possible if you are in a crowd etc.  Breathe in through your nose and hold your breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth over a few seconds, repeat this and gradually your anxiety levels will reduce.

*This next exercise will need to be done at home and takes about 15 minutes. It is an important muscle relaxation technique. Find your most comfortable position, sitting, standing or lying down. First identify a muscle group such as those in the calves of your legs, shoulders, arms, stomach, neck, and back. Tense or squeeze each muscle group for 5 seconds and exhale as you relax the tension. Leave a 12 to 15-second relaxed muscle group before going to tense the next set of muscles. Take care and don’t overdo the tension. If it starts to hurt STOP you don’t want to injure yourself. With practice, you will find your muscle groups easily. Mentally you need to feel the difference between a fully tensed muscle to a fully relaxed one.

Exercising is another way to reduce anxiety levels and panic attacks. Give these exercises a try and see if you start to feel less anxious.  Going for a brisk walk, swimming, dancing are great ways to reduce stress levels.

If you want to check your level of anxiousness there is a questionnaire you can fill out and your score will reveal your level with some advice on what to do.    This does require that you answer each question honestly for your correct level to be identified.  All you have to do is tick a box, then add up your score at the end.

Here is the link to view the Anxious Questionnaire.

Jan Horner, Life Coach You

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Negative Thinking can Lead to Troubled Times!

Negative thinking can have a huge effect on how we react to certain situations.  It can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety that could lead to a full-blown panic attack.  Negative thoughts can cause chaos, deep sorrow, regret and shame in some situations.  

Negative

Negative Thinking – here is a fictional relationship type scenario!

Julie and her boyfriend Luke have been together for eight years and have been living together for the past three.  They have a very loving, happy relationship and enjoy a nice lifestyle.    Julie can sometimes be a bit possessive where Luke is concerned but this has never caused any big issues between them.

Julie has been asked by her boss to go out and buy some groceries for the office.  She has just entered the high street when she sees Luke with another woman going into a coffee shop. They are laughing and chatting.

Julie’s first thoughts are, ‘He’s cheating on me, after all, this time we’ve been together, how could he!’

She starts to feel sick and feels her hands and legs begin to tremble.  Her mind blanks completely for a few minutes and then she becomes extremely angry.  At this point in time, Julie is unable to think rationally and is certainly out of control.  Her one thought of Luke ‘cheating was the trigger to her mental and physical feelings that lead to her forthcoming aggressive behavior.

This is how Julie finally reacted because of her negative thinking…  

Julie seething with anger storms into the coffee shop asking them both in a very loud voice what they thought they were up to!  Luke was totally surprised to see her and certainly taken aback by her aggressive approach, he tried to calm her down by introducing his friend but Julie was not listening to him.  In the end, the lady left embarrassed that people were looking at them.  Luke ushered Julie outside totally mortified and shocked by her over the top aggressive behavior.    An argument ensued on the street with Julie ending up in floods of tears and Luke storming off now really angry himself.  On returning to work everyone in the office could see Julie was upset and had been crying.  Julie did not speak to any of her colleagues for the rest of the day and this caused Chinese whispers around the office.

This was the true situation…  

Luke was on his way to the bank when he bumped into one of his old university friends from five years ago. The lady is now married and has just moved into the town because of her husband’s new job.  Luke had simply asked her if she had time for a quick catch up over a coffee.   He was just about to ask the lady if she and her husband would like to meet up with him and Julie for drinks sometime when Julie aggressively confronted them.

Julie could have thought differently…  

I wonder who that is, perhaps a work colleague?  He’s bound to tell me later if he doesn’t I’ll ask him. We have a strong, loving relationship, I don’t think he would cheat on me, he is not that type he’s too honest about everything.   Although it has me thinking, I’m going to wait and see if he tells me, rather than me ask him.    Julie felt a bit concerned, she found it hard to concentrate on things at work but kept herself quiet and got on with her day.  There was no embarrassment, no argument, no one at work was any the wiser and no angry confrontation later when she went home to Luke.

Or Julie could have if, she had stopped to think rationally and stayed in control… 

Gone into the cafe, smiled and said, “I just caught sight of you when coming out of the shop.  I waved but you didn’t see me.”

Luke would have then have introduced his friend and why they were in the cafe etc.  Julie’s mind would have been put to rest because there simply was no situation.

If Julie had not immediately put two and two together and come up with five, she would still have her loving relationship intact.  She would not have embarrassed herself, Luke or his friend.  There would have been no gossip-mongering at her workplace and, she still had to face Luke later that day. The worst outcome is that Julie’s  relationship with Luke could be in serious jeopardy simply because of a negative thought.

This may seem a little elaborate but situations like this can happen.

Negative

1- Stop and step back.  Don’t act immediately!

2 – Pause.

3 – Take a breath, and notice your breath as you breathe slowly in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth.

4 – Observe! What am I thinking and feeling?

5 – Is this fact or opinion?

6 – Pull back – put in some perspective!

7 – See the situation as an outside observer.

8 – Is there another way of looking at it?

9 – Practice what works!

10 – Do what works and what helps.

11 – Will It be effective and appropriate?

Not every one of these suggestions will be utilized, it all depends on the situation, event or thought.

When we think about things differently, it allows issues to be seen through a clearer window and will change our reaction to dealing and coping with it. Remember stop, breathe then think rationally!

Jan, Life Coach You

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Be Kind to Yourself

We need to learn how to be kind to ourselves in some situations.  You have most likely heard and even used the phrase, “I could have kicked myself!” Sometimes this is used in a light-hearted manner if you have unintentionally put your foot right in it, or made a fool of yourself.  

Being Kind to Ourselves

Some people will harbor such incidents deep inside and this can sometimes turn into real anxiety and stress.

 Kind

For example, let us look at the ‘making a fool of yourself in front of someone or others.’  

You have just given a presentation to your team that went horribly wrong.  You had messed up the slide sequence on the power point and this caught you out when reading from your script.  You became tongue-tied and panicky.    You could see people trying not to laugh and others whispering to each other and to make matters worse your boss was none too pleased.  You were shaking inside and wanted the ground to open up and swallow you in. Within a few days, everyone has forgotten about it but you haven’t.

This has totally knocked your confidence and you feel it would be better to look for another job because you think people are still laughing at you thinking you are stupid.  You are fearful your boss will make you do the presentation again sometime in the near future. You break out in sweat just thinking about it.  The only option is to leave.

We all need to understand we will make mistakes as we walk through the rugged road of life, it is rarely one straight and happy pathway.  Beating ourselves up serves no purpose other than to ignite more stress and anxiety. Think about the situation and then write down how you can put matters right. Looking for another job is running away from the situation instead of dealing with it and it will always play on your mind.

Ask yourself these questions…
  • Was the situation so bad; embarrassing yes, but so bad that you are full of anxiety and thinking about leaving a job you really like?
  • Has anyone said anything about it to you?
  • Is anyone in your opinion that concerned about it?
  • Have you been ignored by your colleagues because of it?
  • Has your boss stopped talking to you?
  • Is the atmosphere in the office different now?

The answer to all these questions is probably no.  No one is 100% perfect all of the time, mistakes are made for example, in the workplace, at home, at school, and in social situations, they are part of life.

How can you get over this?

Go and ask your boss for a meeting with him and the people who attended. Explain that you should have looked at the slides before the presentation then you would not have made such a mess of it.  Apologize, saying you are going to redo it and this time it will be just fine and hope they will enjoy it.  Then you could say, to break the ice, “Would someone be kind enough to proofread my slides because two pairs of eyes are better than one.”  This will show you are serious about wanting your next presentation to be perfect and that you are being professional.

Most of the people will accept the apology and respect you for facing them and the boss to put matters right. You will now have peace of mind and get on with producing a brilliant presentation!

Afterward, reward yourself with something comforting like some chocolate, a glass of wine or piece of cake and give yourself a pat on the back for taking the bull by the horns and resolving your anxiety.

Jan, Life Coach You

 

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Who Were You?

Who were you?  When reaching a more mature age such as your forties onwards, most of us will see how differently we view life now that we are older compared to when we were a teenager. Our skills will be different and the various life experiences will have taught us many things on our journey through life.  You may find this an odd or amusing exercise but you will be surprised when you see the result.  

What kind of skills did you have as a younger person and how have they developed as you aged? What new skills have you learned since then? Did you consider yourself to have weaknesses and strengths as a teenager? Have they changed and if so what is the difference now? You may think this is an odd exercise but we tend to forget who we were in our younger days.

Let’s do a mind map of who were you!

whoLook at the mind map, this is just an example of what a mind map is if this is new to you.  In the center put ‘Me Young.’  Then put whatever you want in the bubbles; add at least two more with weaknesses and strengths then add others if needed.  For example, the bubbles could be:

 Family –  Friends – School – Hobbies – Weaknesses – Strengths.

Outside the bubbles put who your family consisted of at the time; mother, father, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents.  Friends could be Jayne, Shirley, Anna.  The school could be the last school you attended and what subjects interested you and those you did well in such as maths, English, geography etc.  Hobbies, football, cycling, tap dance lessons, swimming.

When you have filled out your mind map on who you were as a teenager, draw another identical mind map, put ‘Me Now’ in the middle and fill this in with what your life is like now.

Example: The Social interests as a teenager were football, cycling, swimming and tap dance lessons. What are they now?  The same applies to everything else.  Obviously, you left college many years ago, but do you still attend some type of college either online or evening lectures and what subjects are you into now to those as a teenager?   What are your strengths and weaknesses now?  How much have you learned growing up into an adult?  What has been the biggest improvement in your life?  Are there still things you want to achieve or change in your life?  Do you still have the same family members or have some of them passed away or you no longer see for whatever reasons? Have you kept in contact with your teenage friends?  What are your hobbies now?

Once you have recorded all this information you will see how much the years have changed you as a person.  Some things stay with us all our lives such as a love for animals or various types of sport or art.

Keep your mind maps and update your ‘Me Now’ as the years go by.  This will help you keep track of where you are at that moment in time and if you have changed since the last time you did this exercise!

 

Jan, Life Coach You

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Dyslexia

Dyslexia is something that at the moment cannot be cured but it can be managed so that the sufferer can lead a normal life and reach their full potential career wise.  People with dyslexia have the same IQ levels as non-dyslexic people.   For example, Tom Cruise and Steve Jobs are both dyslexic. However, the condition is not without challenges. 

This is what reading is like if you have dyslexia!

dyslexia

Dyslexia does not affect the eyes or optic nerves. If a person has good or bad vision this is not related to dyslexia.  In plain terms, dyslexia affects the way the brain processes the written word (reading) writing and speech, which is all related to language processing.

A sufferer has problems breaking down words and putting sounds together to pronounce or write words.   To explain this, dyslexics have problems transferring language into thoughts when listening or reading and thoughts into language when writing and speaking.  Therefore, they are not able to read with the speed, fluency or accuracy as a non-dyslexic person.

It can be difficult for someone who is not dyslexia to understand what it is like to have the condition. One way could be to think of the times when you have been in a foreign country and could not understand any road signs, restaurant menus, street names or read a paper.   Eventually, after a while, you would start picking up on the language but a dyslexic person would find this extremely hard to do.

Symptoms of Dyslexia in Young Children

Children aged 3 – 6 years may show problems with hearing and talking because dyslexia has difficulties with decoding and processing language. Speech development may be slow and problems pronouncing words and letter switching i.e. ‘busgetti’ instead of ‘spaghetti.’

Other symptoms could be:

  • Problems adding new vocabulary words
  • Unable to remember the right word
  • Issues with rhyming words
  • Problems learning numbers, colors, the alphabet, shapes, spell or write their name and days of the week
  • Finds it hard to interact with others
  • Cannot follow routines or directions

Fine motor skills take longer to develop using the small muscles in the hand (such as holding a pencil, coloring or creating something with Lego), using cutlery, cleaning teeth, brushing hair or using the toilet.

Modern Technology

In these modern times, there are assistive technologies that can greatly help dyslexic people and non-dyslexic people.  For example, most computers, tablets, mobile phones have speech recognition and speech can be turned into text on the screen.

The calculator is commonly used; although you still need to understand the formula you are entering to get the correct answer, especially if it is science related.

Spreadsheets, once the basics are understood, can be of great assistance for storing data such as household budgets and keeping on top of finances.

Other things such as checklists, and calendars (electronic or hard copy).

There are folders electronically and hard copy to keep things organized and in their proper place.

Other resources are online dictionaries, the spell check in word documents plus the old-fashioned hard copy! The Livescribe Smart Pen enables note-taking while a recording is taking place for instance of a meeting or lecture, the recording can then be played back.

What Can be Done to Help People With Dyslexia?

During school years creating dyslexia friendly classrooms would be a good start.  Of course, we still need to consider students who are non-dyslexic, all students whether they have learning disabilities or not need to be given the same fair attention to help them achieve their very best potential during their school years.

Creating a Friendly Dyslexic Classroom

Breaking down tasks and making them shorter for the dyslexic student is more comfortable for them to cope with.  There is often a problem with memory, for example, remembering when homework needs to be completed by.  A pre-made checklist is a good way for all students to keep themselves organized and aware of what tasks are to be completed and by when.   Other ways to keep students organized is the use of different colored folders, dividers, calendars and google docs.

Some dyslexic students have problems with metacognitive skills and can be compulsive without giving any forethought or advanced planning to the tasks ahead of them. Using a multi-sensory method that the students can relate to is a way of dealing with the issue.  Get the students to think about the day ahead and plan it, then ask them to explain how they managed to do it. This gives them no choice but to reflect on their thinking.  All students should be given this task whether dyslexic or not.  Any written material should also be explained in oral form.  Luckily we have audio books, text to speech and the teacher reading to the students.

Providing an outline of the day ahead will let the students know what is going to happen and what is expected.  A summary at the end of the day of what has been learned will help consolidate the information in long-term memory.  Ensuring the dyslexic students have written down their required homework tasks or providing a prepared assignment sheet will make sure they are aware of what they need to do and when it must be done by.

If there are any changes in the classroom schedule, this should be verbally conveyed to the students and not just put on a board.  Let dyslexia students sit near the front of the classroom so they can see the board better and have closer access to the teacher.  Use double spacing when writing on the board and underline each row of data with a different color or write each line of data with a different color.  And, make sure that every student is ready to move on before erasing any text.  It can be a good idea to buddy up a dyslexic student with a non-dyslexic student so that they can be given some further help.  But, this should only be done if the teacher has judged the considered candidate to have the personality, trait, and temperament.

Everyone deserves to be given a good sound education to help them on their way in life.

Jan, Life Coach You

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Let’s Talk Emotions!

Emotions are all about how we feel inside and these feelings can affect the way we behave. 

emotions

Here are some examples of the different types of emotions:

Angry – this emotion can get you into hot water if your behavior becomes violent. It all depends on why you are angry.

Love/Joy – showing and being loved is a nice feeling. It’s not just about romance and falling in love. Other loving emotions are those of your children, siblings, parents and other family members. Some people have a love for animals and nature. Some people will have a love for certain foods and drinks. Joy can be when you see someone who has been absent for a long time or achieving something you worked hard for.

Anxiety/Fear – this is the worry emotion, which can lead to stress and stress can lead to medical issues.

Sadness – we all feel sad many times in life. When loved ones or longtime friends die. When we read sad stories or hear bad news.

Disgust – is when we are appalled by something that has happened such as a scandal that has involved a  gruesome murder or sexual abuse.

Surprise! – Everyone loves a surprise such as your off-spring showing up unexpectedly after being on tour in the forces in a hostile country.  This would reflect surprise and joy together. Birthday surprise parties is another example.

Trust – this is a special one, knowing you can place your trust in someone whether family, friend or a professional person and know you can confide without any fear of that person betraying you.

Relief this is the emotion that can bring you down from being stressed and worried to a feeling you have just shifted a tone of weight off your shoulder.

People interpret emotions in different ways.  When thinking about emotions someone may think they felt hot when angry because of the saying ‘boiling with anger.’ However, being joyful and full of excitement can make you feel ‘light-headed!’

Let’s do an exercise

Get two pieces of paper and draw a body on each one. On the top of each head write a positive emotion and a negative one. Try to remember a time when you actually felt that emotion. The following list is referred to as sub-modalities:

Where about in your body is that emotion?
In your mind what does it look like?
Does it have a color?
Does the emotion travel about in your body and if it does draw the route it is taking around your body.
Is it traveling fast or slow?
Is the temperature of the emotion high or low?
Does the emotion have taste or smell?
If you compare emotions they are very different but we don’t actually think about them like this.

To carry on with the exercise change the speed and temperature and anything else you recorded about them and see how it made you feel. Sometimes you probably noticed the emotion became weaker or stronger.

You should now have the capability to understand and control your emotions better.

I hope you found this helpful and a bit of fun. It’s something you could do as an exercise with close friends or family and then compare results.

Jan, Life Coach You

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Anger Management

We all get angry and frustrated at times its part of human nature. Angry feelings can be those of frustration, annoyed with someone, about something, even angry at yourself for something you’ve done or said without thinking things through properly. Whatever the anger is about, in some situations it needs to be managed before it leads us into deep water.

anger

Controlling Anger

Let’s look at some ways we can control our angry feelings so we don’t cause emotional or physical harm to someone else or ourselves. It is better to try and change the way we react when angry so in the future, our response to it will be controlled rather than out of control.

We are responsible and must take ownership of our angry outbursts; we have a choice to be or not to be angry. Say to yourself, “I made myself angry.” Stop and think what caused the anger, was it something that could have been overlooked, after all, nobody is perfect we all make mistakes.  Ask yourself, “could I have let that go over my head rather than reacting angrily to it?”

Just walking away from the situation and staying away for at least half an hour can make all the difference to the final outcome. Distracting yourself from the anger such as counting backward from 20 or reciting some saying such as, “don’t look back in anger” can be helpful. Use a deep breathing exercise to calm you down.  Breathe in slowly through your nose and expel slowly through your mouth, it actually works!

Mind Reading
Don’t try to mind read. We can only guess what is going through someone’s mind but we cannot be 100% positive. For example, anticipating someone is thinking you are stupid.  Have you proof of that?

Not Every Argument Needs to be Won!
Not every argument needs to be won. We can compromise and disagree, both are acceptable responses and there is no need to be angry.  At the end of the day how important to you will the situation or issue be in a day, week or month’s time.

Thinking About Anger
Finally, be aware of the fear and hurt that is experienced once the anger has died down, it needs to be acknowledged!   Anger can sometimes be used as an alternative to feelings of sadness, hurt or fear. Some people are unable to cope with these emotions and use anger as a weapon to avoid looking deep into their true feelings.

Anger is a powerful weapon that can cause destruction and extreme hurt both physically and mentally.  Take a deep breath, stop, think and calm yourself down.   Control your anger, don’t let it control you!

Some Quotes on Anger
“A hand ready to hit may cause you great trouble.”- Maori

“A man in passion rides a mad horse.” – Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

“A quarrelsome man has no good neighbours.” –  Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

“Anger is a short madness.” – Horace (65-8 BC)

“Anger is one letter short of danger.” Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

“Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper.” – Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)

“The greatest remedy for anger is delay.”– Unknown source

Jan, Life Coach You

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The Wheel of Life

This is a truly an amazing way to see where you are standing at this moment of time in your life. The wheel of life will pinpoint the areas that need addressing and show key pointers of what you want or need to change. For example, it could be your career, your social life, bad health habits or your finances. There are so many ways you can use the wheel, so let’s give it a spin and get started!

wheel

 

If this is the first time you have seen a wheel of life, you will notice it is shaped into segments or pie slices and labeled, with each label representing a part of your life. You decide what the segments are going to be for you. Use the scale of 1 – 10 to score how happy you are with that part of your life at the moment with 10 being excellent and 1 being very unhappy.

Once you have all your scores ask yourself the following 12 questions for each segment and make a note of your answers on the wheel.

  • Have you ever reached a higher score than the one you have recorded?
  •  When you reached a higher score what was the difference in your life at that time?
  •  When you were higher up the scale what was happening in your life then?
  •  Has your score ever been lower than the number you have recorded?
  •  What action did you take to move up the scale?
  •  What has been your learning when you were previously lower on the scale?
  •  What is the number on the scale you want to reach?
  •  What plans have you put in place to move further up the scale?
  • Should you achieve reaching the number you want, what will be happening that will tell you, you have accomplished it?
  •  By this time next week, what would need to happen for you to reach one point further up the scale?
  •  Is there anything holding you back from moving up the scale?
  •  What actions can you take to overcome any obstacles standing in your way that is preventing you from moving up the scale, and how are you going to prepare for this?
Setting your Goals

This is the point where you need to decide how you are going to improve those areas in your life that you are not happy with.  For an example of setting a SMART, goal click here

 

Jan Horner, Life Coach You

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Goal Setting Errors

There are six common errors that some people make when deciding to set themselves a goal or goals. Setting goals require planning, especially if the target is a large project rather than a small one.

errors

Here are two examples of large and small goals:

1 – You have decided you will not bite your fingernails anymore.  This does not need a huge amount of planning.

2 – Your goal could be to climb Mount Everest within the next 3 years.  Big difference!  This would require a lot of planning.

The Errors

1 – Write it Down!

Whether your goal is nothing to shout about or something to tell the world and his wife about it still requires writing down. If you don’t see it in writing regularly you could become unmotivated and even forget about it altogether; like the saying, out of sight out of mind. 

2 – Too Many Goals

Too many goals all at once can become overwhelming.  If you have a ton of goals in mind prioritize the ones that mean the most to you so you have just one handful rather than two handfuls of goals.

3 – Not Setting Goals in Other Areas of Life

Too often people will totally focus on one area of their life when setting goals such as their career being a professional category.  But, what about your personal or spiritual goals.  You could action a career goal and then set yourself a personal goal to run alongside it.

4 – Not Setting Stretch Goals

Not setting stretch goals.  These goals are more difficult targets that move you out from your comfort zone and push you into meeting more challenging goals.

5 – Identify Your Next Step – Action!

You must identify your next action; the A in the SMART method.  Sometimes this is termed as achievable but my personal preference is actionable. 

Look at the following example:

You need to set steps, for example, you’ve decided to decorate your front room and want it done within two weeks time. Can the furniture inside the room be moved to the middle and covered over (if it’s a matter of just paint and papering) or will it need storing because there could be some plastering that needs doing and other similar jobs?  Where could you store it in the garage maybe or a spare room etc?   You need to visualize on how you want the room to look when finished and decide on what color scheme, paint, and wallpaper etc. Then you need to cost out the materials and how much of them you will need.  It’s a good idea to compare prices for materials to get the best price tag.  How much time can you put into the project if you are working or perhaps you can take a weeks holiday to get the job done. These are action steps, goals need action steps.

When the Work is Done

When you have repainted the ceiling look at your achievement and feel pleased with yourself. Every time a wall has been decorated stand back and look at your creative handiwork.  And finally,  when you have finished and everything is back in place celebrate in some way because you have now achieved your goal!

 

Jan, Life Coach You

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Life is One Roller Coaster Ride!

SMART

 

 

 

 

Like the title implies, life is like a roller coaster ride.  Everything can be just fine one minute and the next something can happen out of the blue that changes the way we feel about certain parts of our life.  We will be using a SMART goal in this article.  

A few examples of this are:

Being made redundant or sacked from our job.

A marriage breakdown and divorce.

A life-changing accident.

Losing money invested when there is a financial crash.

Life can swing from sunny smiles to doom and gloom in a matter of a minute!  In this article, we are going to show a short example of setting goals!

How do we pick ourselves up!

The answer is to set ourselves goals to get back on track, even if sometimes it is a painful task.  Most people can sort themselves out without any help or guidance from anyone.  However, others may find this all too overwhelming if their life has been literally turned upside down from a seriously traumatic event.

We will use the SMART method and redundancy as the example for this exercise.

What does SMART  stand for?

S = a specific goal or goals, what we want to achieve.

M = the goal has to be measurable and has countable aspects that let you know you have achieved it.

A = the goal should be attainable/acceptable/actionable.

R = relevant/realistic the goal must be something needed and something achievable.

T = goals have to be timely or time-bound meaning how long will it take to achieve the goal.

Nick has been made redundant from a job as a graphic designer which he has done for over 25 years. Unfortunately, he has only worked for the company who made him redundant for two years and he will not receive any redundancy payment.

This is the example

Nick, is 48 years old and has a wife Lucy and one daughter Sarah who is going to start university in September. He has a mortgage which is around £800.00 per month.  His wife Lucy is a staff nurse and although she earns a reasonable salary, there will not be enough money to meet all the bills and allow Sarah to carry on with her plans to go to university this year at the very least.

He is in a state of shock and cannot think straight.  He has not gone straight home from his redundancy meeting but is sitting in his car wondering how he is going to tell his family.  He feels like a failure not only with regard to his job but being the main provider for his family.

Lucy and Sarah can see how badly this has affected Nick and have told him that things will work out eventually. Sarah has said she will get a job and take a gap year before going to university.  Lucy is going to do some extra shifts to help out with the finances.

Nick is grateful for their response but still feels a failure and thinks he will never get a good job like he had again because of the young competition he will have to compete against.

Lucy suggests he talks things over with a life coach who could probably guide him to regain his lost confidence and overcome his feelings of being a failure.

Nick finds a life coach in the form of Jayne who is going to give him his first session free.

Jayne and Nick meet for the first time

Jayne asks Nick how he is feeling at this very moment in time and Nick replies that he feels terrible that he has let his family down.  Jayne asks him why he thinks he has let his family down.  Nick, responds by saying losing his job has put tremendous pressure on their finances which has greatly affected their lifestyle and plans for the future and he does not want his wife working extra shifts and is disappointed his daughter has had to put off going to university this year.

Jayne can see instantly that Nick has convinced himself that he is indeed a complete failure.  She asks him what he is going to do about the situation. Nick says he does not know where to start.  Jayne decides to help Nick by setting a  SMART goal.

Jayne asks Nick where he wants to be in the future and he answers his first priority is to secure a new job.   He cannot see himself in his previous job because of all the young competition.  Jayne asks him how many years experience has he had and he tells her 25 years.

Jayne replies that 25 years experience is a very good work record and must be a plus bullet point for him. Although Nick does not see it, the experience is a huge strength in his favor.

She decides to get Nick to start thinking about how he is going to go about setting his goal.  And, to stop his negative thinking that he is a failure.

S = Specific  Jayne:  “What goal are you going to aim for?”

Nick: “Finding a new job.”

Jayne: “How do you propose to do that?”

Nick: “I will start an online search and look in the local papers.”

Jayne: “How many applications will you put in every week?”

Nick: “I will aim for at least six.”

Nick has committed to applying for 6 jobs each week.

Jayne: “Are there any other ideas you have about finding a job you have done for the past 25 years?”

Nick: “I was having thoughts of going freelance, but that is not secure because I could find myself without work sometimes… I’m not sure but will look into this as well.”

Note: Nick has put forward one option which is good because he is now thinking about his future more positively.

M = Measurable   Jayne: “When will you know you have reached your goal?”

Nick: “When I have a job offer and I have signed a contract or I have gone freelance and secured some contracts for at least 6 months ahead.”

Jayne: “How will this make you feel, see and hear?”

Nick: “I will feel relieved, see a promising future and hear myself thinking how lucky I am.”

A = Attainable/Acceptable  Jayne: “Do you feel your goal to find a job you have just been made redundant from is achievable?”

Nick: “I can only try and secure a job I have being doing.”

Jayne: “What else would you think about doing if this goal does not work out?”

Nick: “I will have to re-train myself and do something different, I like gardening and I have thought of this as a self-employed option.”

Note: The second option of a  gardening business to that of freelancing in his graphic designer role is another positive way of thinking.

R =Realistic  Jayne: “Do you feel your goal is realistic?”

Nick: “Yes, I know I am 48 and it is going to be hard to find a job like I have been doing but I would say it was not impossible.”

T= Timely  Jayne: “How much time have you given to achieve your goal?”

Nick: “I have worked out the finances and I must have a job by the end of October which is in three months time.  I am selling my car and we will use Lucy’s.  We have cut back on socializing and going out to dinner etc until I am working again.”

Jayne: “And, what will happen after three months and you have not secured a job?”

Nick: “I will consider going freelance or look into the gardening option.”

Note: Nick is more optimistic now instead of pessimistic.

Jayne: “Nick, how do you feel after going through this stage of discussion?”

Nick: “I feel more confident and talking to someone I have never met before has helped me see if I cannot work as a graphic designer either employed or freelance, I do have other options to consider.”

This is just a short example of setting goals.  There would, in reality, have been more sessions while Nick was going through the SMART way of setting his goals and  activities such  as homework where he would be asked to fill in charts on his feelings and a diary where he could keep track of his job applications, and not forgetting a mind map; a great way to see where you are going. However, anyone who is a bit stuck with their life at the moment now has a basic idea of how they can go about setting their own goals.

If anyone wants any templates for a chart,  diary or a mind map just email they are free!

Jan,  Life Coach You

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