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Life Coach: 2017 is the year for you. Ditch your old-but-comfy habits

2017 could be the year you make a new start, develop new habits, plan something new or just start thinking about options for the future, writes Derval Chambers Petit.

Derval Chambers Petit

SOPHIE FELT SHE was at a crossroads in her life. She felt that she was stuck in a rut and needed to shake things up a bit in her personal life. She didn’t mind the work she was doing but at the same time she felt she wanted to do something else but didn’t know what that was.

I find that many people, myself included seem to hit such a point at some stage in our lives where we feel that we need a change. We want to fix something, change it, improve it or shake it up.

The end of a year is a good time to mix things up

For some it is looking to change job, for others it is getting a better work life balance or looking to overcome a particular challenge or finding more meaning or fulfilment in daily life. For Sophie it was feeling stuck and at a crossroads in her life, a sense of feeling that things could be better, that she could be happier but not being sure exactly what it was that she wanted or how to go about it.

Coming to the end of a year this sentiment of looking for change can increase for many. We start reflecting on the year and we wonder what we have actually achieved or realise that something we wanted to work on or change during the year is still the same. Often our reason for not doing anything about it is that our daily life takes over or gets in the way. Sometimes it is fear of the unknown.

Intermittently throughout the year we may think about changing job, losing that weight, starting our own business, enrolling in a course or whatever it may be for us. But as the year draws to a close we resignedly realise that we missed the boat again and the cycle continues.

But we can break that cycle, we can decide that this time we are going to do something about it and stick with it.

Why do most of her clients first get in touch?

shutterstock_519958213 Source: Shutterstock/turgaygundogdu

Sophie was thinking about coaching on and off for months. She wasn’t sure if she really needed to go to one or what it really involved. What she did know was that she needed to do something, to take a first step at something because feeling the way she was, was bringing her down.

It wasn’t until she was talking with a colleague of hers one day and it came up that he had actually started going to a life coach himself and was really happy with the progress he was making that she made the decision to just go for it and she contacted me.

Sophie has had three coaching sessions so far. She said that the hardest part for her was taking this first step, and making contact with me. Now she is in the middle of the process and is getting the clarity in what she really wants in her life and is taking the steps to make the changes.

How does a life coach help you with all this?

During the first session, one of the exercises Sophie did was the “wheel of life”, where you rate your current level of satisfaction in the key areas of your life (career, family & friends, finances). This exercise shows where there are any imbalances in your life and as a consequence which area and direction you may want to focus on.

While we may be unhappy, unfilled or stressed in our lives and want to do something about it, often as I said before, daily life can “conveniently” get in the way. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” as the saying goes.

We may want things to change but at the same time we are uncomfortable with the unknown and what we may have to do to make the changes. Sophie said that was the case for her but now that she is taking control of her situation, of her life, she wonders why she didn’t get started sooner.

It can also be about making mini changes

For Sophie, her change was about feeling stuck in a rut and being at a crossroads. Your changes can be whatever you want them to be, big and small. Perhaps 2017 isn’t about one big goal but rather a series of mini changes you would like to bring into your life.

The little things can have a big impact on our lives too. Sometimes a starting point can be as simple as just asking yourself: “what one thing could I do today that would make me that bit happier or that bit less stressed?”

Change, any change, starts with taking the first step, whatever that step is for you. The question is, how ready are you to take your first step in 2017?

Derval Chambers Petit is a life and career coach.  She recently moved back to Ireland with her one-year-old son and French husband. See: www.dervalchamberspetit.ie 

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Derval Chambers Petit

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