It struck me as I was having my 6 monthly dental examination last week, literally as I was in the chair, that habits and consistency are vital when it comes to self care. It might have been the surge of guilt I felt when he (the dentist) asked me “you do floss everyday, don’t you?” that prompted a little voice in my head to say “bloody hell, yet another thing to add to the list of things to be mindful of!!”
No, I don’t floss everyday. There I’ve said it!! I know I need to but there are days when even the 2 minutes brushing with my electric toothbrush is hard to sustain. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it’s important and thankfully I have good teeth – but even so remembering all the stuff that I promise to do can be a stretch at times!! I could add flossing to the mental list of things that I have committed to doing in the spirit of self care;
- Running three times a week
- Weekly yoga
- Daily meditations
- Cutting down screen time at bedtime
- Journaling and practising gratitude
- Managing my boundaries and sticking to them
- Making healthy eating choices – tough one when you’re at the seaside for the bank holiday and there are chips aplenty!!
- And so it goes on….
Does that sound familiar??
So, this week, I decided that some self-coaching was in order. I was starting to feel overwhelmed with all the little bitty things that I wanted to do and was beating myself up for falling short on many of the standards that I’d set myself.
I set aside an hour in my calendar (If it ain’t in there it doesn’t get done!!) and agreed to have a ‘date with myself.’ I took an hour out of my evening to look at everything I was trying to achieve and really challenged myself to focus on the BIGGEST PRIORITY and identified three commitments that would be a stretch, but which I knew I could achieve. It was a really productive exercise – and I have to admit, I felt just a little smug when I realised that I’d saved a few quid coaching myself rather than calling anyone else for support!
What is interesting in many of my coaching relationships, is that when clients commit to doing something between sessions, they often say they’re more likely to do what they commit to, knowing we’re going to come back to it at the next session.
Just take a moment on that one!
Are you more likely to do what you commit to, if you have to report back to someone else? If someone else is going to ask, are you more likely to have done what was agreed?
It’s like we’re seeking some form of external validation i.e. from the coach or counsellor – when of course what we are working to build through coaching or counselling are the individuals internal validation processes.
Making a date with and for myself enabled me to have a good look at;
- What’s happening, or not? What am I happy with? What could be better?
- What is it that’s stopping me? What’s that about?
- What stories am I telling myself about my ‘failures’ are they accurate and valid?
- What are the biggest priorities? Pick one for now
- What three, small steps could I do change how I approach this?
If you don’t feel you have the time or the inclination to work with a coach, why not ‘make a date with yourself’ once a month. If you were paying a coach like me, to meet every month to discuss progress and how you want to change things – I’m pretty sure you’d carve the time out wouldn’t you? You’d make the time to meet, even though time is tight. You’d follow up on actions; knowing that we’ll discuss progress when we catch up. You’d turn up, be present and be prepared to be challenged? Wouldn’t you?
Why not make a regular ‘date with yourself’ and use your own inner coach to help you make the changes that you want….you don’t have to rely on anyone else for validation…you have what you need…and with a little time, I’m sure you could find a way forward through even your trickiest moments!!
Let me know how you get on!