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5 Life Coaching Tips for Success in 2019

January 2, 2019

As a personal life coach, here I share five super-effective ways to make 2019 an amazing year for you. May you achieve your dreams and goals, live a rich life and enjoy each experience.

1. Let go of old stories so you can move on to great things

 

If we keep running old stories in our mind, such as ‘he did this to me’ or ‘if only I had taken the other option’, we are not being present; we are living in the past.

 

Living in the past does not help us; we are wasting time and energy in the present moment dwelling on the past… which is unchangeable.

 

Letting go of these old stories may seem hard but is in fact a straightforward process. We can CHOOSE to keep running the program of such stories in our mind, or we can choose to stop or change the program.

 

An analogy here is when we watch TV. We flick through the channels and choose which station to watch. If we don’t like one channel, we change it. It’s the same with our mind stories; the program (channel) of an old bothersome story does not serve us, it eats up our brain space and stops us moving forward. We can change the program, the channel, to something that does serve us, such as how we are going to achieve a goal, how much we are looking forward to a gathering with friends at the weekend, how grateful we are for what we have today.

 

You are not the mind. You can choose what to focus on.

 

Another way to let go of old stories is to forgive. Read my article on forgiving others and your Self.

 

2. Know your needs and wants for the year ahead

 

I can’t stress how important this is. When you are clear in your mind on what you need and want in life, you can operate from a place of truth and make choices and decisions with clarity.

 

The difference between a want and a need is quite straightforward:

 

  • A need is something you have to have

  • A want is something you would like to have

 

Many would say that a need is something that is essential for you to survive, such as water, food, shelter. However, I will highlight another definition from the Oxford Dictionary:

 

  • A need  is something you require because it is essential or very important, rather than just desirable

  • A want is to have a desire to possess or do something

 

How we each determine essential is subjective.

 

In this context, I have a need for:

 

  • Respect

  • Human connection

  • Love

 

These are essential and very important to me.

 

A want requires energy and effort to make it a reality. By choosing to direct our energy and effort wisely, we can make a want happen for us.

 

I want:

 

  • To have enough money to live on (I know how much money I need and I have the choice to put effort into making it. If I don’t make it one way, I have the choice to put my effort into other ways to make the required money)

  • To feel loved by my partner (although he is not obligated to love me and if I don’t feel love, I have the choice to end the relationship and find someone who I do feel loved by)

  • To live in a hot climate (I can choose where I live)

  • To improve my French language (I can choose to put my energy into this learning process)

  • To enjoy life, have fun and laugh lots (I can choose who I spend my time with, what activities I do, where I go, knowing who/what/where I find enjoyment)

 

What are your needs and wants for 2019? Write them down for clarity. Make two columns on a piece of paper and write your needs on one side and your wants on the other. With each entry, revisit the definitions and ask yourself twice ‘Is this a need or a want?’ to be clear.

 

3. Stop saying ‘I should’ and ‘I can’t’

 

The way we talk – to our Self and to other people - has a huge impact on our mindset.

 

We often say ‘I should’; for example, ‘I should do X’ or ‘I should be more Y’. If we switch should to could, we stop punishing ourselves and we create choice. Everything becomes a choice with ‘could’ because the alternative to could is could not.

 

 ‘I should listen more’ becomes ‘I could listen more’

The alternative choice being I could not listen more; I choose not to listen more

 

‘I should apply for this new job’ becomes ‘I could apply for this new job’

Alternative is I could not apply for this new job; I choose not to apply for this new job

 

‘I should drink less wine’ becomes ‘I could drink less wine’

Alternative is I could not drink less wine; I choose not to drink less wine.

 

Know when you are CHOOSING. You always have the choice to do something or not, even if one option is much harder or carries some complications more than the other.

 

‘I can’t’ is another example. ‘I can’t’ says we have limitations, which are only in our mind. By changing ‘I can’t’ to ‘I don’t’ puts us back in control of our thoughts and actions because we are CHOOSING.

 

‘I can’t lose weight’ becomes ‘I don’t lose weight’ (I choose not to lose weight)

 

‘I can’t give up my job’ becomes ‘I don’t give up my job’ (I choose not to give up my job)

 

‘I can’t end this relationship’ becomes ‘I don’t end this relationship’ (I choose not to end this relationship)

 

Each time you hear yourself think or say out loud ‘I should’, say the sentence again with ‘I could’. Each time you hear yourself think or say out loud ‘I can’t’, say the sentence again with ‘I don’t’. Notice the impact this has on your mindset.

 

4. Get out of your own way

Our mind frequently creates hurdles to stop us moving towards something we want or need. There are classic mind tactics at play here:

 

  • Procrastination

  • Excuses

  • Fear

  • Invalid reasoning

  • Self doubt

 

Once we are able to spot these tactics and see how we are not moving forward because of them, we can challenge them into elimination.

 

To show you how this works I will share a personal example. When I wanted to leave my London career and move overseas to Thailand, all of these thoughts came up:

 

  • What if it doesn’t work out?

  • I’ve got so much on my plate right now; I’ll revisit the idea next month…

  • What if I don’t have enough money (without my nice monthly corporate salary)?

  • If I wait until February next year, I might get a bonus at work which would help…

  • Will I be lonely?

  • Maybe I should wait until the end of the year when I might be feel more confident about the idea…

  • Am I competent to run my own business, without the support of a boss, organisation, office space, deadlines? I’ve always worked for a company; have I got the balls to do this?

  • The weather in Thailand isn’t its best right now, I could wait until it’s hotter there…

  • London is so good in the summertime. I could have one last big summer here and then leave afterwards…

  • Do I REALLY want this? Maybe I am okay staying where I am

 

I know these are natural thoughts when one decides to up sticks and move to the other side of the world, but let me know show you how I challenged them all:

 

What if it doesn’t work out?

FEAR, SELF DOUBT

What if it does work out? What if it is incredible? There’s a 50/50 chance

 

I’ve got so much on my plate right now; I’ll revisit the idea next month

EXCUSE

This is a simple tactic of delaying a decision

 

What if I don’t have enough money (without my nice monthly corporate salary)?

EXCUSE, FEAR

Enough money, for what? Life, costs and frivolities will be different outside of London; Do some solid research on how much I will need each month to survive and live an enjoyable lifestyle; look at ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses; what can I sell before I go that I won’t need any more?

 

If I wait until February next year, I might get a bonus at work which would help

EXCUSE Even though more money would be handy, this is another delay tactic to avoid making a decision at the present time

 

Will I be lonely?

SELF DOUBT

Doubt in my abilities to meet people and make friends

 

Maybe I should wait until the end of the year when I might be feel more confident about the idea

EXCUSE, SELF DOUBT

How will I know when I am confident enough? What needs to happen in order for me to feel more confident about it… and what action can I take now to change this?

 

Am I competent to run my own (coaching) business, without the support of a boss, organisation, office space, framework? I’ve always worked for a company; have I got the balls to do this?

INVALID REASONING, SELF DOUBT, FEAR

How can I doubt my abilities after I have 1) trained and been certified as a coach b) have experience of running parts of organisations for years 3) have purposefully surrounded myself with and learnt from many entrepreneurs for the past year, absorbing their spirit, to make this transition happen

 

The weather in Thailand isn’t its best right now, I could wait until it’s hotter there…

EXCUSE, INVALID REASONING

Delay tactic. Plus, hang on a minute, the weather in Thailand is good nearly all year round, bar a short monsoon at a different time of the year

 

London is so good in the summertime. I could have one last big summer here and then leave afterwards

EXCUSE, INVALID REASONING

Delaying a decision yet again. London will always have a summer (of sorts) and I can come back at that time of year if I choose

 

Do I REALLY want this? Maybe I am okay staying where I am

PROCRASTINATION

This is just a way to either buy some more time or to eliminate the idea all together

 

When we can spot when we are getting in our own way – when our mind is creating hurdles that are holding us back – we can challenge the mind and push back.

 

Remember, you are not the mind.

 

A really great question to ask yourself if you think you’re holding yourself back is: ‘What will happen if I DON’T do this?’ Quite often, you will realise that nothing will change and you will continue to feel unsatisfied.

 

5. Protect how you spend your time

 

Our time is precious, and there is much to do in this lifetime. We can often find ourselves kicking ourselves and wishing we had done something sooner, or wondering if we would would be better off doing our own thing instead of being at a dinner out of obligation.

 

When clients share these thoughts with me, I suggest they write down what they do want to get out of life and then create 3-5 questions they can apply to situations.

 

For example, Lucy* frequently herself arranging coffee dates with people who always wanted her advice on their personal situations. She kept doing this because she felt she ‘should’ and it became a repetitive pattern. But it had become draining for her and she could see she was falling behind with her own mission.

 

When we totted it up, Lucy was spending around 10-12 hours a week on this, not just at the actual coffee dates but also to-ing and fro-ing on email trying to arrange diaries between herself and others. That’s half a day, which is a huge amount of time when you have three children, a busy job and you’d rather be doing something else.

 

I asked Lucy to share what she wanted to get out of life and how she would like to spend her time:

 

  1. To meet new, different people, and potentially a partner

  2. To learn new skills

  3. To have new experiences

  4. To have fun

 

Then, Lucy wrote three simple questions to ask herself each time she was asked to meet up. If she didn’t get at least one yes answer, she declined the invite:

 

  • Will I meet new people who are different?

  • Will I learn something new?

  • Will I have fun? Will I laugh?

 

How do you want to spend your time, and what questions can you ask yourself to protect how you spend your time?

 

* Name changed

 

    What can you do now?

     

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