Coaching tips to make 2018 your best year


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

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So we are in the final days of 2017, and many of us already have great plans laid out for the New Year and need no more guidance. For the rest of us, we are gearing up for a planning session at our church or place of worship. Or perhaps you are going to do your New Year planning up in the Blue Mountains with a yoga guide and great food. Then there are some who just plan to watch You Tube or listen to a podcast to hear what's next for 2018.

However, the fact is that right now technology is forcing us to move faster and do more. Yet, many of us are lost as to how we can be more effective. And 2018 may look like this:

• We are stuck.

• We hate our job.

• We want to earn more.

• We want love.

• We want to lose weight.

• Life has changed and we are lost.

And here is where the real-life life coach steps in.

We polled a variety of life coaches in Jamaica to get their views on how they see life unfolding in 2018.

Now to be clear, according to Elizabeth Terry, neurolinguistic programming and transformational coach, we define a life coach as “someone who facilitates within the individual the required changes to meet personal and/or professional goals”.

In terms of what you can expect from a life coach, it depends on the type of life coach you require. Denise Robinson, creativity specialist, notes, “My specialty is in developing the innate creative abilities for greater purpose, productivity, profitability and personal transformation of individuals. I coach people into and through the creative process. Creativity is at the core of what we do and can become; however, most people see creativity through the narrow lens of the ability to paint and draw. My mission is to change/alter this perception to one that is broader and may affect lives positively.”

Dr Andrea Blackwood Harriet, personal transformation coach adds, “When through your life experience you begin to realise and reach for something different, you are already on the path to its realisation. My role is to bring this to your conscous attention and give you the keys to help you pivot from the point where you are living with all these questions to the point where the answers and transition to that which you are seeking become clearer and accessible.”

And so you may be wondering what someone should expect from a coaching session.

Dr Blackwood Harriot adds, “A single coaching session will help you unearth what is most in season for you right now, ie where to focus your attention such that a breakthrough in this area will catalyse breakthorughs in other areas of your life.”

Terry notes that, with a coaching session, “A person can expect greater clarity about what they really want for themselves and strategies that will help them manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviour to help them attain their desired state(s).”

Robinson adds, “In a workshop with me, people experience a range of strategies in creative thinking and doing by primarily but not exclusively using the arts as the driving force. No previous knowledge or skill is required, just the desire to make a shift and open the mind. People in managerial positions may learn strategies that may help in team building. Individuals usually uncover a talent /gift they never thought they had. Thinking creatively then becomes a more organic and authentic process, leading to better outcomes in unexpected ways. Who knows? Maybe a new career path could open up for some.”

To those who believe they shouldn't pay a coach and can go it alone and just watch YouTube to solve their problems, the coaches have an answer to that as well.

Terry starts off: “If that strategy really worked, the world would be filled with happy, successful people! A coach brings a level of expertise, objectivity and accountability to the process of analysing the issues and helping the individual to solve them. It's a two-way process which is impossible to experience when simply reading a self-help book or watching self-help videos. While these certainly have a place, it is important also to recognise that a lot of successful people have coaches to help them over the rough spots of life and to give them a 'leg up' to the next level of personal and professional fulfilment. People should also consider that if time equals money, then they can end up actually inadvertently 'losing' money over the medium to long-term since self-help alone is very much trial and error and rarely gets the desired results with the required speed!”

To that, Blackwood Harriot adds, “Maybe you could, if you are very disciplined and if the YouTube session was sufficiently detailed to tell you the what as well as the why and the how. Many video speeches etc will show the possibility, the before and the after, but not coach you through the exact steps and sequence, hold the guide rails and shine and light for your feet as you begin to walk your own path to transformation. Only a coaching relationship can do that for you.”

And Robinson rounds out with, “Yes, YouTube is very helpful in getting awareness going. But YouTube is limited to content that individuals choose to share. There is no 'go-to' person when challenges/questions arise, as they will. A coach has your back. Not only in the moment, but beyond. The client's success is paramount. YouTube, on the other hand, is informative but not a nurturing space. Many coaches will agree, the success of the client is also their success. It is about the team or the partnership.”

That said, here are the top take-aways that our coaches offer to prepare us for a great 2018. Each offers a different perspecitve.


• Dare yourself to move out of your comfort zone and try something that you may feel is 'not you'. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

• Don't wait for a need to arise. Make a promise to learn new skills.

• Creativity is not a hobby; it is a way of thinking and being.

Blackwood Harriot:

• Think about your biggest success in 2017 until you feel most powerful and inspired

• powerful energy, set your sights on the top 3-5 accomplishments that would make all the difference in your life for 2018

• For each of the potential accomplishments, write why you want this, which one resource you can access to help you get it, and which one a partner could help you to achieve.

And Terry adds:

• Let go of all excess baggage (physical and emotional) and toxicity in your life – travel light, forgive easily, and as the song says, 'Count your blessings' daily;

• Do an assessment of what is most important to you; make these a priority in your life and work towards goals that are in alignment with those priorities. Don't let anyone set goals and boundaries for you – get in the driver's seat of your life. To do that requires that you take responsibility for everything that happens in your life, and gives you the possibility to change it!

• Give back to others (family, friends, colleagues, communities) in whatever way you can; mentor someone – a child, a new employee, a youth that needs help; share your skills, your time and treasure, however or whenever you can. This will create a circle of flow in your life, distract you from any challenges you may be experiencing and do wonders for your self-esteem!

Have a thrilling New Year!

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