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April 2, 2015

Getting a Life Coach

It's so easy to get off track of wellness goals. All we need in life is a major distraction and the new habits we're trying to establish get side-lined. In my job, I act as a cheerleader, of sorts, in order to get patients to move so that they do not lose function. In my life, I found I needed a cheerleader or guide so that I too could accomplish goals. I'm actually pretty good at the practicalities of life: I am able to feed myself, clothe myself, work a job and pay my bills. But living life is about more than surviving. How do we make our life the stuff that our wildest dreams are made of. In the context of a major life transition, I found I'd forgotten how to dream about what I wanted my life to be.

My solution: George, a life coach. Why not? Even elite athletes need a coach to shape them toward their professional goals. It is no different for the rest of us. And for me to reach my full potential, I need to replace old, outdated coping mechanisms with new, updated skills for emotional regulation. George says, "you can't change habits, you can only replace them." Exercise is part of my prescription, along with meditation, mindfulness (living in the now), and gratitude. "If you can change your physiology, you can change your mind."

So, last week, when I was distracted with life chores: getting a job, preparing income taxes, and finding a car, I began to lose focus on my new habits. I'd say to myself, "meh, I don't feel like running today." or "I'll do the 7 minute workout or 5 minutes of meditation this afternoon." It wasn't long before I was dishing myself a heaping helping of "miserably overwhelmed!" I felt so terrible and discouraged for losing momentum in the right direction. But it was George who kicked my butt back into gear with the following statement: "You know this stuff works for you. If you don't stick with the program, then I can't help you."

It sounds amazingly similar to the messages I tell my patients: "you must do the work or nothing will improve." Thank you, George, for redirecting my focus. I know that it will take time, but once I can catch and redirect myself to use those new habits, I will no longer need a coach to remind me.



Posted by linda at April 2, 2015 11:21 AM

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