By Marc Shaffer
As a financial planner, I am an advocate for planning and coaching that helps you get the most out of life. For the first 35 years of my life, I steered my own ship toward my destinations of choice. I would call myself a driven individual with personal goals that I liked to achieve each year, and I always had the freedom to make those happen exactly how I chose.
When I got married, new life goals were developed, and I decided a life coach could really be beneficial into making the transition from individual to couple. I wanted to make sure I was as strong in my marriage as I was before.
I’d like to share with you my experience of working with a life coach.
Why a life coach?
I wanted someone to help not just with business, sales or career goals. I wanted to incorporate “whole person” thinking and concepts into my coaching requirements so a life coach seemed like the best fit. My life coach focused on (but didn’t limit me to) the following areas:
- Social Life
- Physical Activity
- Sex Life (Yup!)
- Home Environment
My coach stated the goal was to be highly satisfied in each of these areas of life, but this required a balance of focus. We worked on rounding out each area until it became equal with stronger areas. If you focus on one area over another, your life can be lacking.
A coach can help you level out your focus so you’re succeeding across the board.
I believe my life coach’s full-time job was to make me uncomfortable. (Note, this is a good thing!)
We started by identifying areas from the list that were good and ones that needed help. She was great at helping me identify ways to work towards more balance and/or reprioritize my time so strengthen certain areas.
My willingness to be uncomfortable and to be present with my discomfort led to huge successes in various areas of my life. I learned that my emotions and thoughts are directly correlated to my success and growth.
Because I love to spend my time “doing,” I can get caught up in the activities around me without focusing on the thoughts around them. I found the weekly calls helpful for staying focused and checking in with myself. Much like a personal trainer, the accountability on my personal goals was helpful and pushed me to regularly make small steps in the direction toward accomplishing larger goals.
Oftentimes, large goals just need to be broken down into smaller ones that are more manageable, so they don’t seem so overwhelming.
I’m reminded of the Simon Sinek quote “The hardest part is starting. Once you get that out of the way, you’ll find the rest of the journey much easier.” This couldn’t be truer in my experience working with a life coach. If I didn’t start on something I identified as a goal, I had to answer to her, which wasn’t easy.
Through the process, I became more aware and conscious of my thoughts and emotions.
When I encountered stress, I learned that stress was simply a result of my thoughts, which I could control. I was told that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” It has been wonderful to learn how to reduce stress, focus more on moving forward and to enjoy the journey towards my goals.
Over the course of my six month commitment, my coach would suggest books that enhanced our time together. The following list are some of the books I read and found helpful:
- The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines
- The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
- High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
- Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs by Hal Elrod
- The Alchemist by Paula Coehlo
Qualities I Sought in a Life Coach
Speaking of books, there’s a lot you can learn from them, but they will rarely ever replace a real person. Some of the qualities I sought when looking for a life coach included:
- Strategic Thinking
- Active Listening
- Goal Setting
- Pushing the Limits on Thoughts
The coach you choose should be someone you are comfortable opening up to, and also someone by which you feel challenged and motivated. I had established stretch annual goals with my coach in the first few months of working with her; some of which were accomplished prior to our coaching contract ending; a whole 9 months early. You can usually tell early on if your coach is the right fit for you. If you don’t feel the relationship is working out, talk with your coach about your feelings and don’t be afraid to move on.
Please remember that different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product made reference to directly or indirectly in this content, will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), or be suitable for you or your portfolio. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this newsletter (article) serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Searcy Financial Services, Inc.
The content of this letter does not constitute a tax or legal opinion. Always consult with a competent professional service provider for advice on tax or legal matters specific to your situation. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed in this content, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing.
Published for the blog on May 24, 2019 by Searcy Financial Services, your Overland Park, Kansas Fee-Only Financial Planner and Investment Manager.