Check your emotional pulse and remember to take a break

Have you ever felt isolated and alone at your work or home? Are you missing a passion and zeal for your job or life that you once felt? Have become preoccupied with those you are helping that you think about them while you are away from work? Are you currently satisfied with your life’s work? Have you experienced a loss of energy lately? Do you find it difficult to separate your own feelings from the problems at work? Do you feel like you do not have many friends outside your family and work?

Those are a lot of vital questions. If you answered “yes” to more than one of those questions, you may be feeling like life is an emotional roller coaster. There are highs, lows, boredom, and continual demands in life. Is it any wonder that you feel emotionally drained at the end of a week? When you engage in this (highly stressful or emotional behavior) week-after-week, it takes its’ toll. Likely, the better you are at your job, the heavier the emotional burden. You are not alone. Others are struggling with this same balance. It is normal to feel this way. The question is, what are some practices that can provide you relief from emotional strain? You may need to give yourself permission to read a good book or take a walk in your break time. Sometimes knowing that you have a regularly scheduled break may get you through the day. Think about two or three things you can to do every week for their own personal downtime and emotional well-being.

Life is an unpredictable ride. A lot of emotional stress can be draining. Try a simple experiment this week. If you have either a watch or an electronic calendar on phone or computer that has an alarm built in, set it for 10:30 and 3:30 every day for a week. When the alarm goes off, take a quick Sabbatical. Even if it is only for a minute or two to take a few deep breathes of air and zone out from your work, give this strategy a try for one week.

Tips for completing your physical goals

If you work in a stressful profession, neglecting your  body makes you very vulnerable to that stress. The most obvious areas of care for one‘s body are diet and physical exercise. A first step towards improvement is becoming conscious of your reality. Take a piece of paper and describe how you are currently paying attention to your diet and getting your exercise. Are you pleased with the result? Also in this journal, describe a first step in improving your behavior for the next week. Reflect on the past, but look forward to the goal, make one simple action plan.
There is always a temptation for small indulgences. You may tell yourself, “I’ve been working hard, doing so much good” or “I deserve that candy bar or extra order of French fries.”  Another may be, “I’ve been so busy meeting the demands of my job that I have just been too busy or too tired to go exercise.” Not all indulgences are bad but they can easily get out of hand. Becoming conscious of them is a first step to keeping a balance in your life. On your paper, list a couple of small indulgences that you have given in to during the past month. I know for me, I enjoy fast food from Wendy’. This is both unhealthy and expensive. If I can cut this one bad habit out for a month, I will save money and realize that I can eat healthier.
If you do make a plan to do exercise, try to make a connection with other people. Some people play sports together, attend exercise classes with others, find a partner to walk with or run with, etc. When someone else expects you to participate, this builds accountability and support for changing your habits. Also making the event social makes it more fun and offers more of a motivation than just the pure physical exercise (which you may actually be dreading). 
These three simple exercises can be useful in helping you accomplish your physical goals this next year. First journal about your plan and then take one step to execute that plan. Second, consider any “indulgences” that are slowly taxing your health. Third, make the exercise (and even the diets too) social, adding a social element offer an alternative motivation to meet your goals. 

New Year, New Goals

The end of the year for me has always been a good time to reflect on the past year and to focus on some goals for the new year. Here is my reflections from 2013 and goals for 2014:

Reflections:
1. God has again blessed me with an amazing opportunity. I remember last year, this time freaking out about getting an internship to finish my degree and to become licensed. I had several interviews and nothing was working out. In 2013, during the summer, a Liberty University connection helped me get an internship that will has been vital in learning how to be a professional counselor, getting the hours I need and just a blessed place to work so far!
2. Starting my own business was an amazing dream come true as well! Talk about being blessed! And going from nothing to 4 clients and a lot of potential. 
3. Financially, it has been tough at times, but God has always provided for me this year!
4. I am thankful for the visions I have seen and the direction I am following! I am really blessed.
Goals for 2014:
1. Before the fall, I will finish Counseling internship, pass the NCE and become a Licensed  Professional Counselor (PC).

2. I would like to complete the Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach credential/training with the ICCA. To accomplish this I simply need to complete one extra course with the ICCA and then apply for the higher credential.

3. I would like to have a rough draft of my book completed within the next year. This is a matter of spending time each week, writing the book.

4. I would like to have at least five paid coach clients before the end of the year.

5. I would like to start paying off student loans.

Why men should see a coach

Men are a different breed from woman. This is not a new insight. God created women to have a 

great sense (and a better touch) with their emotions.
Women have better verbal and language skills, they
 tend to be more sensitive and offer more empathy
than men. Honestly, women simply have more
developed brain in a lot of ways. In general, men and
women compliment each other, each have a different
set of superior skills.

With this vast difference in gifts and skills, men often are turned off by the idea of seeing a “shrink” or counselor. Men often are not excited about the opportunity to share some of their deepest feelings, hurts and pains. This is also not surprising, although as a life coach and counselor,  some of the most gratifying work I done is with men. 
Often though it is coaching that is a comfortable fit for men. It’s less talking about feelings and more tools and strategies. So, in that regard, men will often consider coaching as an option when counseling isn’t really going to be their gig. This can be a life changing and helpful opportunity of gain and growth!

I always tell my guys, I don’t really care about their childhood or their past relationships. I am primarily concerned with their present, and their future. Men want tools. I can help them get solid relationship tools on board. It’s a straight to the point, no messing around process. So men, do not fear coaching. A coach can offer you accountability and a better life!