Tag Archives : Coaching

New Year’s Resolutions

jugglingHow many of you have been in, or overheard conversations about New Year’s Resolutions, where some speak with great fervour and passion; whilst others say ‘I don’t believe in making resolutions’?  I have come to wonder how a simple date can cause many people to pause and reflect, pull over to the slow lane if you like, even if for 5 minutes; when the rest of the year, we stay in the fast lane.

So, what happens when you pull over to the slow lane or even stop? What do you become aware of?

It forces me to come up above the mental to-do list and juggling hats, as if I am looking down at myself from the canopy of the trees. From this viewpoint, I can see the roles I am playing in my life with detachment, and I can ponder over what is important to me in each of those roles. I actually dedicate time to reflect on questions similar to the ones I have listed below; as opposed to wonder if I have food in the fridge for the next couple of days, work organised, commitments on my radar so I don’t miss a vital playdate, thank you cards written etc etc!

When I get curious with people who say they are not making resolutions, 2 distinct themes emerge: ’I never keep them anyway’ and ‘I don’t even know what my resolution could be’.  Let’s tackle each in turn’.

I never keep them anyway:
Typically we don’t keep resolutions because the benefit of achieving them was not important enough to us in the first place. So, ask yourself, if I make this resolution happen, what will it give me? What will be different for me, both emotionally and practically? When you know it will have a positive impact on you, you can identify ways to keep motivated, be it through support of others, being held accountable, a reward, visions/images; whatever you know keeps you motivated. How do you know that? Press pause and ask yourself.

I don’t even know what my resolution could be:
It was quite refreshing to read the Wikipedia definition of a New Year’s Resolution: “a secular tradition,… in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day.” We can get caught up in resolutions needing to be these big statements or life changing goals. They don’t need to be (although it makes it more scary and exciting if they are sometimes!). Through answering the below questions and becoming more self-aware, you will find yourself creating resolutions and they may be just as above, an act of self-improvement.

  • What lessons did I learn in 2013?
  • What did I learn about myself, about what is important to me?
  • Where and how do I limit myself & what is the benefit of stopping?
  • What structures & supports do I need to put in place to help me remember these learnings?
  • What are my values?
  • What am I proud of in 2013?
  • What did I let go of/overcome?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What am I saying “yes to” in 2014?
  • What am I saying “no” to in 2014?

There is a quote “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements in life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about” (Charles Kingsley). Most of us parents are enthusiastic about our children (well, …most of the time!). But, what else are you enthusiastic about? What does that look like in 2014?


If you would like to become more self-aware so that it is easier to answer these questions and dedicate some time to ‘press pause’, then Debbie is running her next programme soon for Mums– “Start 2014 with a sense of purpose and clarity”.  Parents Club Members receive a 5% discount off the cost.

Momblog: reflecting on experiences the path to fulfillment

Top of La Barillette

Top of La Barillette

Last weekend I set off for my bike ride with a good friend, as we try to do every weekend but this one was different. We had decided to finally do a ride, which would involve a 1000m steep climb up La Barillette. We had talked about doing it for some time but it seemed such a stretch that we had put if off!

It’s a beautiful ride, as you come up from the lake, into the countryside and getting the most amazing views. Good job really as the views at least served as some kind of distraction from the burning sensation in my legs & lungs! It was a long, hard ride up however, and many times, I so wanted to simply cross to the other side of the road and cycle down. Getting to the top was such a great moment, we both felt truly elated and proud of ourselves. That feeling stayed all day and lasted into the week, being energised and “buoyed up”.

So, why am I telling you this? Simply taking some time to reflect on a “peak” experience and understanding why it has such a great influence on your well-being, gives you a great insight into what is important to you, about how you live your life. It identifies your “values”.

For me, I was honouring some of my key values:

  • Being challenged/stretching myself – many times I had a voice saying “ok, stop now, it hurts and there is no end in sight, you’ll never make it”. There was another voice though, the one that said “don’t give up Debbie, you can do this, just keep going, one step at a time”. It’s this latter voice that I knew I wanted to listen to, because I knew I would have a huge sense of achievement by not giving up… brings me nicely to my next value.
  • Achievement/proving myself – most times I go out for a run, ride or swim, I feel a sense of achievement, especially when all I wanted to do was to grab 20 minutes sleep! However, I know that the tougher the challenge, the greater the sense of achievement. It uplifts me.
  • Physical activity/sport – I was never sporty at school, often the last to be picked for a team with good reason – I was pretty useless! So, I went into adulthood with this belief “I’m not good at sport”. Luckily, whilst travelling in my early 20s, I discovered that “sports” can be many different things, climbing mountains, kayaking, hiking and …. I could do those things – not with great speed or grace but I could do them! Having collapsed the “I can’t do sports” belief, physical exercise is one of my biggest energisers, it transforms any negative thinking or lethargy I may have.
  • Being inspired by others – I’ve actually done this La Barillette route several times…. in the car, with our 2 daughters and a picnic packed, to meet my husband John at the top. He has typically completed another big climb and been cycling for a good few hours. This is all in training for two major physical events this year that he plans to do, which will hurt a lot but he won’t give up!

These are just some of my values and through coaching, I have a much greater awareness of the others. If you live your life in alignment with your values, you feel such a great satisfaction and ‘completeness’. You can make decisions with confidence and conviction, bringing you long term fulfillment.

My challenge to you, MiV readers, is this: remember one of your peak experiences from the past and discover what values you were honouring in that moment, maybe ‘connection with people’, ‘helping someone’, ‘learning’, ‘exploring’, ‘coordinating’, ’mentoring others’ – they are so personal to you alone.  Once you identify the values, reflect on the question: “how much am I honouring that value in my life today?”.  If the answer is very little, it may give you some clues as to why you may feel ‘empty’, or unfulfilled at times. So, make some conscious choices with this awareness and look at what you can do today/tomorrow to start living according to those values.

coachallianceIf fun/laughing is one of your values & it feels like it’s been a while for you (as opposed to your children!), you are also welcome to come along to a Reloc’coffee morning in Lausanne on 28 June 2013, where we will you will gain awareness in how ‘having fun and going with the flow’ creates emotional strength and opens new doors; which can be a springboard in your search for your purpose, identity or next job role, here in Switzerland!
This Momblog contributed by mother of two and Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, Debbie Croft.