It’s almost officially spring and a great time to start new habits. I hope you’ve heard me say this many times: Transformational Coaching starts with you paying attention to you. You working on yourself. You developing your self-awareness and skills. I can teach you lots of coaching sentence stems and strategies, but when you sit down for that coaching session, you are who you are. Who do you want to be? Who are you being?
Here are some suggestions for practices you might try (if they’re not already in your repertoire) that I promise will contribute to your development as a coach and leader:
- Begin your day with 12 minutes of meditation. There are so many ways to meditate – the main idea is to bring awareness to one anchor point – your breath, a sound, a sensation, a guided visualization. Two of my favorite resources for meditations are the 10% app, and the Waking Up app. And 12 minutes is the minimum that research has found has a substantive positive effect. And yeah, I am going to keep encouraging you to meditate every now and then.
- Set an intention in the morning. Write it down. With a pen, on paper. An intention is a statement about how you want to be. It’s important to be kind to yourself in your intention setting and in the reflection you do at the end of the day (or the following morning) on how you held your intention.
- Take in the good several times a day. We humans pay close attention to what’s not working, both in ourselves and in others. But it’s likely that you experience moments of love, gratitude, awe, meaning, connection, and so on – the pleasant states that we aspire to experience every day. Start noticing when those arise, and in those moments, stop. Close your eyes. Take five deep breaths. Let your body fill with these emotions. This process moves the experience from the implicit to the explicit mind, and the state will be remembered more regularly.
- Designate 10-15 minutes a day to worry. During this designated time, write down (paper and pen) the things you’re worried about. If you wake up worrying at night, tell yourself that you must wait until the designated worry time to go into it. When your writing time is up, tell your fear: thank you for sharing. I’m ok right now.
- End your day by forgiving yourself for the moments when you fell short. This podcast greatly impacted me (and this one, too). In it, Tara Brach (psychologist and meditation teacher) explains that we accumulate judgment of ourselves throughout the day. Before bed, she suggests we review the day and notice where we’ve held judgment of ourselves and say something to ourselves like, forgiven. Forgiven. With an attitude of kindness. I’ve been doing this practice at the end of the day for a few weeks, and it’s creating incredible self-compassion ripple effects.
We are a collection of habits. These practices, if they become habits, can profoundly impact your resilience and efficacy. Try one for 21 consecutive days before you evaluate it.