Wellness Coaching Australia's Blog

Tips to Dive Deep Into Creative Visioning


When you start a business, it’s important to understand what you’re aiming at…. And how that fits into the context of your own lifestyle. The same applies to your clients!

Sometimes it can be hard to build a vision….and there are some creative questions you can ask to get there.

Getting Clear on What You Want


Having a clear picture of where you’re heading (vision) allows you to work out the mid-term and immediate steps (goals) you need to do to get there. Those important planning steps are the things that guide you to action and actually make it HAPPEN!

Think of it like this – you’ve decided to go on a holiday and the thought excites you.

The first thing you do is visualise your destination and what it looks like.

Maybe you’re imagining yourself on a beach, on a tropical island, sipping cocktails. You’re looking amazing and tanned, and your partner is with you. You can feel a warm breeze and hear soft background music, both of which are lulling you into a relaxed, peaceful state. Just thinking about this, and feeling it, gives you a burst of happiness and sense of calm.

When you create a vision like this and get emotionally attached to it, it seems almost real. You feel the feelings of the environment and get a sense of how wonderful this holiday could be.

Then your logical brain kicks in to make it happen. You start thinking….

“I’ll need at least three weeks there to really soak up the sun, fully relax and unwind, and spend enough time looking around.”

“I’d better check with work to see when I can take time off.”

“Once I know that, I can check out some destinations that are going to be great at that time of year.”

“I’ll need to organise someone to look after the dog while we’re away.”

“OH! And hubby will need to get time off work, too. I’d better speak to him tonight.”

“We’d better start putting some money aside each week into a separate savings account so we can really have a good time and enjoy ourselves while we’re away.”

“And, there’s probably just enough time to get into an exercise routine so I look fabulous in my summer clothes….and “get fit enough to get involved in some water sports while we’re away.

This is pretty much how the vision leads into goal-setting.

Once you have a clear picture of where you want to go, you are able to identify the milestones you need to reach along the way, and some regular habits you need to get into to make it happen.

But…..what if you’re stuck working out where you want to go?

Here are 6 tips to help you get the creative juices flowing and craft an exciting, inspiring vision in 15 minutes:

  1. Think about some big picture goals (outcomes) you'd like to achieve in your life or business. Then flesh them out more specifically and ask yourself what excites you about them.
  2. Revisit your personal strengths survey and work out your top 5 strengths. How have you used them in the past? Then check in - how did you feel when you used them? Then ask, how could you see yourself using these in future, in an inspiring way?
  3. Writing a story about yourself – starting with a brief account of your life to date, followed by a continuation into how your business might start to evolve.
  4. Cut out magazine pictures of things you’d like to have or be doing in the future, that you’re not currently doing e.g. travel, house, having children, getting married, taking up a sport....? What is it about those things that you’re looking forward to?
  5. Think of someone that you look up to, and that you consider to be a role model because of the things they’ve achieved in life. What is it you admire? What have they achieved?
  6. Write down how you would like to spend your time on a day-to-day basis. What is it that you like about these things? How would you feel if you were able to do more of them…what might that lead to?

At the end of the day, visioning is a really important part of creating a successful business and a fulfilled life.

Getting the clarity you need up front makes success and happiness inevitable.

What helped you to create an inspiring vision? Let me know in the comments below.

A New Slant on Goal Setting


We always encourage coaches to work with clients to create positive goals that take them in the direction of what they want!  This fits with the idea of running towards, rather than away from things in life.  

I recently had an interesting conversation with someone who had been at a conference on death and dying, with one of the speakers raising the idea of having a “Reverse Bucket List”. A very strange notion I thought - where does that go?  

The “Reverse Bucket List” consists of things that a person no longer wants to do!! Now that might mean saying “no” to a number of onerous tasks that drain energy and take precious time away from doing what we do want to do.  

It also might encourage our clients to take a good hard look at what they spend their time on - believing that they enjoy it and yet we come to the realisation that we don’t enjoy it any more!  

This type of “bucket list” can actually be very empowering!  Yes, it might be more meaningful to us as we get older and realise the value of the years left to us, but I think it's worth considering and playing around with. It’s really no different from asking, “What do we want more of?”, and “What do we want less of?” Try asking it of yourself and see what comes up! 

Happy culling of unwanted and unrewarding activities!


When It's Time to Speak Out!



Coaching is a wonderful way of relating, one on one with clients, and it can also be a great method of facilitating small groups who are working towards change together. But now and again, we need to take the stage and speak to a larger group of people, although it’s pretty hard to coach more than 12 at a time!

However, we can still follow the same principles which I will cover shortly.  But first, why would be put ourselves out there and do what many people would consider to be one of the most scary things imaginable...PUBLIC SPEAKING!?

Well public speaking literally gets us out there!

So:
  • If you want to let people know what you do;
  • If you want to attract new clients;
  • If you want to share your passion for living a better life;
  • If you want people to think about what they want and not keep looking for someone to give them the answers.

Get Out There and TALK!

If you follow the next set of guidelines, it will make the process a lot easier.

  1. Plan your talk.
    What five things do you want them to take away? Or, what journey do you want to take them on? I prefer the second approach as we can then structure our talk around the coaching model.

  2. Write the flow in key points from start to end. 
    Concise clear language of how one point will flow into the next

  3. Keep your slides brief and clear.  
    Let them be prompts for you to talk about an area you are familiar with and passionate about.

  4. Engage the audience – get them involved, sharing with the group or each other.  
    Make them think and you will open up their brains to new possibilities

  5. Leave them wanting more. 
    Don't give up everything.  Tease your group with what else they can learn (from you).

  6. Lighten up - use humour but don’t try too hard.
    Laughter relaxes you and relaxes them.

  7. End on an action.  
    What do they do next?  You don’t need to sell your services as the only option, but you can certainly offer support. 

  8. Practice.  
    In front of the mirror, in the car, to the dogs, with slides and notes, without notes. The more familiar you are with the content the more relaxed you will be. 

  9. Smile a lot, and never apologise... For anything!

  10. Make sure your materials are professional and clear to read. 
    Give them handouts with questions, not the whole talk.

If you would prefer to use a ready to go talk, we have a single seminar or series of four available. Called Journey to Change, it takes the group through a process of change to improve health and wellness. This can save you time and recorded slides can help you prepare. For more information click here.  

NEW Accelerated Wellness Coaching Program


We are thrilled to be launching a new delivery format of our Level 1 and 2 training courses that will be available next month, ideal for those short of time to attend our 2 day workshop but still want the benefit of presenter led training.

The Accelerated Wellness Coaching Program has you undertaking the Level 1 Foundations of Wellness Coaching & Level 2 Wellness Coaching Skills in Practice courses and receive both certificates however only requires 1 day attendance at a workshop! It fast tracks through these 2 foundation levels of training, allowing you to start implementing coaching skills with your clients sooner and also preparing you for our main Level 3 Professional Studies course. The program is delivered in 2 stages:

STAGE 1 - PRE WORKSHOP PREPARATION

Delivered to you when registering for the program, you'll be led through a series of videos presented by Wellness Coaching Australia Managing Director, Fiona Cosgrove, that will explain and demonstrate the fundamental skills and principles of wellness coaching covered in both training courses. The videos are carefully divided into sections that will build on each other, giving a clear and informative learning process for people who require this flexibility. Great examples of coaching segments are included so you can actually see and hear what you’re working towards.

You'll also be prompted to complete specific activities and worksheets as you work through the videos that will will give you a feel for the coaching model. These include some fun practical activities that you complete with a willing participant of your choice (friend or family member). 

You complete this as self paced learning in your own time in preparation for the one day workshop which will build upon this content.


STAGE 2 - ONE DAY WORKSHOP

The one day workshop, held in main capital cities throughout the year, provides an intensive experience of practical application of Wellness Coaching, with a full day of practical demonstrations and student participation. You will have an opportunity to watch real-time coaching segments and hands-on experiential learning with fellow students. Expect a highly interactive day where you'll learn to harness your coaching skills first hand with our trainers giving real time feedback, giving you the confidence needed to implement this when you return home and back to work with your clients.

 

Why complete the Accelerated format over the 2 day intensive?

  • Only need to commit to one day of face to face learning rather the two
  • Theoretical learning you complete at home in your own space and time that is best for you
  • With theory completed prior to the workshop, it allows us to make the most of a full day of practical demonstrations and student participation
  • No disadvantage to this format when it comes to gaining your certification and Professional Development / Continuing Education points. You will receive all the same as if you did it as a 2 day intensive workshop format. 

Industry Accreditation for Professional Development and Continuing Education

  • An approved CCE course with International Coaching Federation (ICF) for 10 hours core competencies and 6 hours Resource Development
  • 20 CECs with Fitness Australia
  • 15 CPD's with ESSA
  • 5 PDPs with Physical Activity Australia
  • 8 CPD's with APNA
  • 8 CPEs with ANTA 
  • 20 CPE's with ATMS 
  • 10 CPE's with AAMT 
  • 5 CPD's with REPS NZ 
  • 6 CPDs with REPS UK
  • Also approved as ongoing professional education with AHHCA

Program Investment

$800 - Early Bird Rate (when registering more than 2 weeks prior to the scheduled one day workshop)
$850 - Regular Rate 

To find out dates of upcoming Accelerated Wellness Coaching Program nearest to you, click here to search our courses, workshop and webinars page or contact us at info@wellnesscoachingaustralia.com.au.

Motivation is not all equal



Here we go – 2017 is underway and we all love a fresh start. The new year can give us the opportunity to begin new projects, to make changes, to wipe out any of the less uplifting parts of the previous year.  But what do we need to actually make a change?

There’s no getting away from it – that overused term – “Motivation”!  And if you want to know more about it, there is no shortage of material, books, articles, speakers etc. to fill you in. But really what does it mean to be motivated? The essence of motivation is energy.  Energy to drive us forward to make that change.  Yet motivation can also come from many different areas – some more powerful than others.

Let’s keep it simple and look at two sources. Controlled motivation and autonomous motivation.  Both can be helpful but one more than the other.
Controlled motivation comes from outside.  Often from another person, who may well have the best interests in mind for the person they are pushing to make a change. Health professionals have traditionally been the people who provide “controlled motivation.” They provide all the facts, the dangers and the wisdom of their superior knowledge to convince their clients to make a change. When someone is influenced by this type of motivation, they tend to “comply” with someone else’s desires.  You may have heard this referred to as extrinsic motivation, but “controlled” suggests that there is a third party involved.  Frequently there is an element of fear inherent in the urge to change.

Autonomous motivation has quite a different feeling about it.  This is when a person is motivated by interest, desire and choice. They have a sense of control and value over the change they're about to make.  They are energised in a different way and often feel a sense of excitement about the challenge ahead.  Health and wellness coaches work in this space... Their job is to “unleash” their clients’ own motivation to change.

Why is the latter so much more powerful than the former?  As human beings, we have certain drives that are universal and one is the drive to control our own destiny to be “autonomous” and “self-determining”.  Although the support of a coach or other person may be of great help, ultimately we will become more flexible and creative, persistent and successful when we are driven from within.  

How we do tap into this type of motivation?  Simply by reflecting on the importance of the change we wish to make.  Time spent uncovering our real reasons to change is time well spent and an investment in the outcome of our efforts.  All too often, we rush in to do what others have propounded as being the “right” way to live.  Why not stop and ask yourself:
  • What will this change mean to me?
  • What will happen if I continue the way I am living?
  • What else might change if I am successful?
  • What does the change represent to me?
Then we’re armed with what we need to move forward.  But only then!

Two Words


The new year is well and truly on us and before we know it, we are into the swing of things and are now wondering where the holiday went. But most of us take some time, if only a moment or two, to ponder what lies ahead. What do we want for 2017?  Do we have new directions to travel in? New challenges to enjoy?  Notice I have not once said the word “goal”... Not that there is anything wrong with having goals, as long as we don’t get caught up in a mad rush to achieve them.  

What I prefer to do each year is to find two words that I can focus on that mean something significant to me at this point in time.  And I let those words “colour” my  plans and way of living.  So, for example, my two words for this year are, “Balance” and “Freedom”.  I won’t indulge myself by explaining what they mean to me, but I think you’ll get the general idea. 

So why am I sharing this?  Because I think it is just another creative way of working with clients at a time when most of them are busy, they've set new years’ resolutions (that often are broken by now) and planning to make major changes in their lives, which suggests that things are really not going well.  The reality is, we have all spent the last year growing, learning and experiencing a variety of things.  Hopefully, we have ended up with more information about what we want, what we don’t want and are feeling fairly clear after a nice rest and reset that Xmas and New Year can often give us.  Choosing two words keeps it nice and simple, creates a feeling of control and gives us clarity around what we need most. 

What are your two words?  How do they apply to your life?  How can you bring more of those two elements into your world?  Share this with your clients.  Have fun with them as you invite them to do the same. Spend time talking about what those words mean for your clients.  Coaching does not always have to be delving into the dark stuff.  There is always room for laughter and lightness; for fun and anticipation; for a sense of the unknown whilst feeling grounded in who we are and what we stand for. 

Go lightly into the rest of 2017 and make it a wonderful year. 

Looking back, Looking Forward and being in the here and now




The end of the year approaches and as we look forward to a break of some kind, (usually well-deserved), and wonder where that year went, it’s a great time to look back and take stock of what we actually did in those last 12 months. What did we achieve? What memories did we make? This brings to mind Dr. Martin Seligman’s description of how to have a healthy relationship with the three time dimensions – the past, the present and the future.  

It’s easy to get stuck in the past, ruminating over what went wrong or what we didn’t do, yet we can create some wonderful positivity in our lives if we observe two things – making sure we have let go of any grudges or resentments over things people have done – perceived injustices or hurts, in other words practice forgiveness, and the second thing is to be aware of all the good things that have happened to us – in other words, to express gratitude. We often dwell on the negative things that happen but if we take time to review  the last year, we can usually find some good stuff that happened. Make a list of all those things that went well, or that we achieved and give thanks for our good fortune and our accomplishments.

Then we have next year just around the corner. Already we are thinking of what has to be done, what we might do differently; will it be a good year or a bad year? At times it’s easy to get anxious about all we have to do and we can experience some concern about not knowing what the year might hold; yet if we follow Seligman’s advice we will make sure we have some pleasant plans to look forward.  Because our relationship with the future should include anticipation of what’s lies ahead.  So when we’re planning our work commitments, make sure to slot in those little breaks or special holidays or treats that you can feel warm and excited about!  We’re also frequently encouraged to set new goals for the coming year.   This can be a great motivator and help reset out direction and compass, if you like, but once again, an important point to remember - when we set goals we often focus on the outcomes.  How it will feel when we get whatever it is we’re aiming for.  But there’s something called the “progress principle” that we need to remember.  It has been shown that although achieving a goal can be satisfying, we get more pleasure and satisfaction from achieving the steps along the way - ie the journey, not the destination.  So make sure that the actions you need to take, are structured, maybe challenging, but certainly have some degree of pleasure inherent in them. 

And finally, let’s not forget that dimension that is of utmost importance. And that’s right now.  With the holiday season upon us, we often have many things to do.  And we get caught up in the preparations and task list that we have to accomplish by various deadlines.  How many people feel exhausted by the sheer complexity of the holiday?  Above all else, we need to remember to enjoy the moment - to practice mindfulness and to savour that time that may be take many forms – enjoying the company of friends and family, having a change in routine and time off work – whatever it is, be sure to focus on right now!  Remember the most valuable present we will get, and that we can give to ourselves,  is the present!  

So on that note, I would like to say a huge Thank You from the team at WCA for all your support over the last year.  I would like to share with you the satisfaction of all we have accomplished together in 2016 and wish you all a wonderful holiday time.  Finally, to express our excitement over what lies ahead in 2017 and which we hope to share with our students and readers.

Merry Xmas to you all.

Getting Your Blog Noticed




There are a few ‘internal' and 'external' ways to share blogs without feeling icky. There are forums you can tap into, like FB groups and discussion forums, but there are also many other ways to get your blog noticed and shared. 
Here are 10 broad ideas to share your blog! 

  1. If your ideal client includes entrepreneurs or business people, you can join one of the many FB business groups and share there. 
  2. Reach out to allied, non-competing businesses and ask if they are looking for joint venture partners who might welcome regular guest blogging or collaborative marketing (you need a formal arrangement for this). 
  3. Reach out to non-competing businesses for guest blogging, or who might be interested in linking to your blog. 
  4. There are online forums that allow you to share blogs, like https://www.quora.com 
  5. If your ideal client includes professionals, you can share your blog on Linked In. 
  6. Put a link to your latest blog into your newsletter and ask people to comment on it, and share it with anyone that might benefit from reading it. 
  7. Make sure your FB business page or group has a SIGN UP button that links to newsletter subscription, where you regularly share your blog. 
  8. About once per month, post an invitation on FB to SIGN UP to your newsletter (where you will share links to your blog).
  9. When you write a blog and share it on FB, make sure you ask a question in the post that invites people to comment on the post, so the blog link gets shared more. 
  10. Write something controversial - then you will stand out, attract YOUR tribe, and get shared much more than a 'safe' post.

What’s been the most successful blog-sharing tactic you’ve used?

Why Measure Happiness?



We often use the terms wellbeing and life satisfaction in favour of the sometimes wrongly interpreted label of “happiness”, yet there is no getting away from the fact that happier people do better in life – on many fronts! But first, how do we measure happiness? There are two commons ways of measuring “happiness” – firstly, subjective wellbeing – people are asked about the degree of life satisfaction they experience and this is matched with a high level of positive emotions and a low level of negative emotions. This is more about a snapshot at any one time. The second way is of a more enduring measure – how much fulfillment we are getting from our relationships, how much meaning we are experiencing in our life and whether we feel we are developing as a person. 

So when we have this “score” what correlating relationships do we then look for?  Well, research has shown that happier people experience the following:

  • Greater productivity at work;
  • Greater creativity;
  • Higher earning and better jobs;
  • More likely to be leaders;
  • More satisfying relationships;
  • Better overall health;
  • More likely to be helpful and generous.
Sonja Lyubomirsky presented at a Coaching conference in September this year and emphasised that the research also showed that happier people tend to be more focused on others, and sadder people more focused on self.  We might question which comes first, for example, if we are not experiencing good health, then surely we will be unhappier.  However, Sonja described a study which exposed people to the cold virus (after measuring their happiness levels).  The virus was actually injected into their nasal passages. And guess what? The happier people were less likely to develop a cold. This gives weight to the notion that happiness is the cause rather than the effect of all these other positive factors.  

So we know that around 40% of our overall happiness can be influenced by the activities we do.  (The other 60% is either genetically determined – 50%, or linked to our circumstances.)  What are those activities?   Well there are many but here are a few tried and tested:

  • Express gratitude;
  • Be physically active;
  • Be mindful and savour experiences;
  • Practice forgiveness;
  • Set life goals;
  • Perform acts of kindness (make someone else happier).
The important thing also to note is that the activity needs to be a good “fit” for the individual. It needs to fit your personality, culture, and even strengths and what might work well for one person may not work for another. We need to remember this when working with clients and at times help them find the source of their unhappiness and come up with an activity that will counteract this.

Helping our Clients Define Success



Inevitably, our clients want to move forward - in a direction that they may have struggled with in the past. In fact they may even have failed in that area. So their drive is to succeed this time, which is why they have a Wellness Coach.

Our job as a Wellness Coach is to help them define exactly what it is they wish to achieve and of course to help them get there. But first, conversation around this concept of “success” is essential. Closely related to the idea of achievement is the notion of  ”ambition” and an exploration of both terms can reveal interesting insights for both ourselves and our clients. 

Some people describe themselves as ambitious and others may not relate to the term. The word is often associated with competition and succeeding at the expense of others, but if we accept that a better and more accurate definition is “a strong desire to do or achieve something", surely we would like our clients to become more “ambitious” around their goals? Words can do strange things to our interpretation of life. Success and ambition are really very personal constructs and relate purely to what a person truly wishes to obtain in their life. So to be motivated and enthusiastic about working towards goals is a great thing as it can lead to success, but in this sense, “success” is not about “winning”, neither is ambition.

The first question to ask a client is “what makes you fulfilled and happy in life?”  By doing this we can uncover a person’s core values.  So let’s take a look at a few examples. They may identify strongly with any of the following:

  • Imagination and creativity;
  • Kindness and compassion;
  • Lifelong learning;
  • Building relationships and connection with others.
These are all values and also strengths and if we can recognize what really drives us, we can then set goals accordingly and ensure that the steps along the way give us opportunities to incorporate these core values.

The next question is, “How do you measure success?” The answer to this could be anything, and you may hear responses such as:

  • How much fun I have in life;
  • How peaceful and calm I feel;
  • How much I can contribute to the world.
These bigger picture questions and answers can help shift someone’s mindset and help them identify changes they would like to make that may be somewhat different from what they thought they wanted, or at the very least affect the choice of the ways in which they choose to move forward. When we work with clients to help them define the steps they wish to take, we must never forget to explore their bigger world view first.



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