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How can I grow as a person?

Joanne was feeling stagnant in her life but wasn’t sure what to do. I coached her through a process so that she could start making changes right away.

 Today’s assessment

We started by figuring out where she was the most stuck. I asked her to grade herself on the following major areas on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best.

• Physical health

• Emotional state

• Spiritual growth

• Diet

• Exercise

• Support network

• Sleep

• Career/business

• Top five relationships; score each separately.

 People who score 8 or above in most areas tend to be happier and healthier in general. If you scored below an 8 in any of these areas, read on.

We started with her two lowest scores. Joanne graded herself a 3 for physical health and a 4 for her relationship with her 17-year-old son.

 How do you want it to be?

If you use a GPS to go somewhere, you type in the address first. Create a vision of how you would like it to be and put it on paper. It is much easier to make changes if you know where you are going.

Joanne saw her vision of physical health as being someone who weighed 20 pounds less, had more energy, and whose diet included more vegetables and less pasta.

She saw a closer relationship with her son where they talked in a more loving way more often. She also envisioned having a few fun outings with him including a camping trip.

Next action step

Don’t take on the world; just take on the next week. I asked Joanne to commit to one step in each area that she could take in the next seven days (before our next meeting).

This made it easy for her because it didn’t feel overwhelming — just one step. She committed to walking twice in the morning for 45 minutes and to having dinner with her son, and finding out more about his life, concerns, and plans.

 Dedicate a specific time

I asked Joanne to be specific about where and when she was going to do these things. This made it much more real for her, and more likely that she would succeed.

 The results:

Things started to happen for Joanne that week because she had awareness, a vision and a simple action plan. Eight weeks in a row of small steps lead to huge changes.

“I have been stuck for so long, I had no idea how much change could happen in two months, it feels absolutely invigorating.”

Remember, change can happen if it’s done with awareness, and one step at a time.

Brooke Loening is a life coach in Sharon who works with individuals, and runs weekly coaching groups on achieving growth in career, health and relationships. To make column suggestions please email him at bloening@snet.net.

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