The Journey We’ll Take…

I want you to get the most out of this journey, so I have put together some notes for you that correspond to each phase of the journey.

These are prompts for you to reflect on, journal through or talk with a close friend about as you prepare for and build on each session we have. We will be covering some of what is here in our sessions, but in the time we have its unlikely we will cover it all; this way you still get to benefit from the increased self awareness that will come as you cover everything.

The other snazzy thing is that you can still make progress on your journey if for some reason there is a gap in our sessions… AND you can circle back to revist earlier stages if you would like to. 

So, this is your journey, do make the most of it! 

The Journey to a Fulfilled Life

 

I have crafted a journey that will help you go from where you are now to the life and experience you were made for, a life of deep fulfilment, not just for a month or two, but sustainable and life long. You can read below about what we will be doing in each of the five phases of our journey and how to prepare for each phase. 

 

Phase 1 of the journey

In this phase the key task is to clarify what you want to be working towards on your coaching journey. The fact that you are here means that you have decided not to maintain the status quo in your situation, you have a sense of how you would like things to be different. The task in this phase is to bring this into high definition focus. Unless you do this work your journey will be haphazard and lack focus. 

 

An added layer to the task is that it helpful to have 2 or 3 ‘layers’ of your purpose identified for example: 

 

Top Layer: Bring to mind – yourself 30 years from now, living the life you were made for, the person you are called to be… what are you doing? what’s life like for you? Who is with you?

Next Layer: with that in mind, where are you 10 years from now?

Next Layer: Where would you like to be 5 years from now?

… this is how to work on your goals from a timeline perspective. 

 

Another approach might work better for you, such as the themed approach

Top layer: What area of your life are you wanting to work on? Why is that?

Next Layer: Within that area what do you really want? What is your ideal?

Next Layer: What 2 or 3 things need to change or be addressed in order to move towards that idea?

 

To complete this phase well it’s important that you spend time paying particular attention to 

What the Lord is saying and indicating as you engage with the questions

What you are sensing, where/when you feel hope, excitement, energised 

Attending to, and using your hopes/dreams and imagination is also really important for this phase. 

Be creative in your exploration and how you record your progress, we often access and communicate different things when we use mediums such as art, music, poetry, form. 

 

All these things will not only help you prepare for our sessions, but also consolidate the work we do in our sessions.

Phase 2 of our journey

Many of the changes we make, like new year’s resolutions, don’t last more than a few weeks or months for the simple reason that we didn’t prepare sufficiently. Phases 2 and 3 are all about that preparation. Because for most of us we aren’t used to preparing well for change, these phases can feel quite laborious. Be patient, though, and you will reap the benefits in sustainable, genuine change. 

Some key questions to research and reflect on in this phase: 

Using the Change framework

  1. What are the benefits for staying as I am, ie not changing/achieving my goal? (You’re where you are now because it works at some level, it’s important to name that.)
  2. What are the costs of staying as I am (not changing/achieving my goal)? If nothing changes where do I end up?
  3. How do I feel about staying as I am? How do I feel about changing?
  4. How will I and those around me benefit from changing? What do we gain?
  5. What will it cost me, and those around me, to change? What do we lose?
  6. What are the obstacles to me changing? (Within me and external to me) What will make it difficult?
  7. What supports do I currently have and can I call upon to help me change?

Using the GROW framework

  1. What is my current context and reality?
  2. What relevant knowledge do I have that will help me move forward/change?
  3. What relevant experience and expertise do I have that will help me move forward/change?
  4. What external resources do I have at my disposal to help me move forward/change? 

These are all questions that it’s worth returning to throughout the journey. I would recommend that you keep a journal for your coaching journey; I would write each of questions 1-7 in the Change framework, at the top of a page or half page and write your answers underneath. But keep coming back to add to your answers, treat each one as a ‘working document’ that is being added to and fleshed out over time. 

Phase 3 of our journey

This is essentially part 2 of the preparation phase. Here we start looking at concrete options for moving forward.

 

The key in this phase is to break out of your normal patterns of thought; if you can think outside of the box, be innovative and creative, you’re much more likely to achieve the outcomes you are after and more. 

 

The easiest thing is to come up with a handful of obvious options and work with those; you’ll sell yourself short by doing that. So here are some tips on getting creative:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety; when we are stressed or anxious our capacity for creative thought is much less. So make sure that you are looking after yourself – healthy sleep, exercise, diet and social routines are key. Christian contemplative, breathing and meditation exercises are really helpful if they are part of your routine.
  • Spend time enjoying God and his creation; this is part of the practice of Sabbath. A discipline of rest and recuperation, delight and worship. 
  • Let go of the outcomes! Release your goals and the outcomes you’re after. Sounds counter-intuitive? Indeed! Especially in the context of a coaching journey that is focused on particular outcomes!! But yes this is actually really important – give your outcomes to the Lord, genuinely leave them with him, then have fun thinking of creative ways in which they could be reached. 

 

Do some research… google is your friend! Search ‘fun ways to xxxx’. Chat to friends/colleagues/family – kids and young people can be a great source of outlandish ideas!

 

Don’t worry, we will then do some work with your fabulous list of options and the outcome will be an utterly unique but realistic strategy tailor made for you! That’s Phase 4…

Phase 4 of the journey

In this phase we will finalise a realistic strategy that is unique to you. 

Some things that you need to think about are: 

  • How often do you want to take stock and measure your progress?
  • How will you celebrate/reward your wins? 
  • What are your no-go areas? The things that you need to avoid that tend to pull you into your past (still current) reality? (people, places, situations, atmospheres, activities, mindsets)
  • Who’s help are you going to enlist?
  • What have you learnt about yourself through this process that will be important to remember as you change?
  • How committed are you to passing the point of no return (phase 5)

The Final Phase.. 5

This is the action phase, the point of no return. 

There are a few things to keep front and centre in your heart and mind during this phase:

  1. The most important thing is to remember the benefit to yourself and others of this change. Remember the things you noted in the preparation phases, but also record all the additional things that you are noticing as you are taking action and implementing the changes. 
    1. Keep that journal going!
  2. The second important thing is don’t be a hero and try your resolve in the face of the things that you identified as needing to be avoided! Just avoid them, we’re talking for months and months, not for days or weeks! Some things you will need to avoid forever. Thats OK – thats a measure of how much you want this change to happen and to last. 
  3. Stay vigilant for the obstacles to your progress that you identified in the preparation phase, and identify any new ones that emerge. Remember this might be internal to you or external to you. Your self awareness and general awareness is one of your greatest assets during this phase. And don’t forget to ask for help and support with these; sooner rather than later – again don’t be a hero, the sooner to overcome the obstacle the better!

 

A word about Maintenance and Relapse

The main job once you have your change habituated, is to KEEP ON reinforcing your wins with rewards, and to mitigate relapse. 

Relapse has been seen to be associated with 

  1. Over confidence in the face of temptation (those things you said you needed to avoid). Your self awareness or your good friends will let you know if this is an issue for you; listen to them and stop being a hero!
  2. Being faced with temptation on a daily basis – even if you are trying to avoid it. IF you find yourself in this situation, then you might need to review your routines and take decisive action that will markedly reduce the frequency with which you are facing temptation. 
  3. Self blame when you slip up. This can turn into a self fulfilling prophecy and morph into an excuse for giving up. 
  4. New distressing or traumatic events. Obviously you can’t stop these happening but you can immediately put in extra support and be on alert as to the risk of your resolve for change weakening. 

It is such an honour to partner with you as coach on your journey to creating a deeply fulfilled and sustainable life!

Claire Bankole

Personal Coach