International Association for Professional Coaching & Mentoring
This helpful tool is designed to help clients strategise their goal-setting, breaking down the process into evaluating the past and present holistically, then planning for future, holistically.
I hope you enjoy it, and do share it with others you believe will find it useful!
All my free downloads, and payable downloads are available on the resources page of my website.
In 2016, I managed a web-app project targeted at 14-18 year olds. As part of our direct field research, I interviewed target audience members on their device usage and their time online. Here were some interesting statistics on the device usage and online habits of our 14-18 year olds during a typical school day:
During the weekend, the largest majority, which was one third, of the target audience spent between nine and twelve hours online in one day.
At the time, these statistics shocked me. However, recently, I have noticed how stressed my eyes were feeling. The major symptom of this was when my eyes struggled to focus between looking at my phone close up, and then looking up to a television three metres ahead of me. I decided to review my own device usage and online habits.
On a work day, I often spend between eight and twelve hours a day on a device, with nearly all of it being online. I’m a first wave millennial and grew up enjoying the outdoors as well as console gaming on a Nintendo SNES and Gameboy. It was definitely a better balance than the one I have now. It’s clear that I’ve lost that balance, so I set myself a challenge to turn off all devices for a good eighty hours between a Thursday night and a Monday mid-morning, away from home, to kick-start a more balanced screen routine. I had a great appreciation for what happened.
My screenless weekend became an unexpected wake-up call… literally. At home, my Lumie wakes me up. I didn’t have this whilst away. I would have used my phone as my alarm clock, but hadn’t thought about this when packing. Neither had I thought about how I’m going to tell the time! This revealed to me how much I rely on my phone for keeping schedule and to a degree, dictate my actions of the day. I was at the mercy of a friend to wake me up on time, and either had to measure the time by looking at the daylight outside the window, or finding a clock in the house. I found this to be an incredibly liberating experience. It reminded me that there is only so much in my life that I’m in control of, and that it has been a long time since I could simply ‘BE’ for a period of time longer than one hour, as opposed to ‘DO!’. It connected me to a deeper freedom that opened up the door to a beautiful perspective of life. Disciplining myself to turn phone, laptop, iPad and TV off restored an essence of clarity and openness to the world outside of myself, not to mention clarity of sight. So by the third day, not only had my physical eyes freshened up, but it appeared that my interior sense of sight (my perspective) had also received a ‘screenwash’. It’s something I’ll assess when putting together my personal 2020 goals during the month of December!
Clarity Club Newsletter
Dates: On Tuesdays from 7th January – 31st March 2020 @ 20:00 GMT (London time). Half term (18th February) is taken into consideration.
Location: LIVE online webinar (Presentations delivered live online) + Live community forum available for accountability and community support.
Presented by: Claz Gomez – Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Therapist and Accredited Life Coach.
Cost: £54 for the entire programme. Includes online forum support. Individual coaching is available at additional cost. No refunds permitted within 7 days of the start of the programme.
Format of the session: 20-30 min of webinar teaching. 10 min breakdown of weekly activities. 20 min live Q&A with coaching.
Format of the week: Each person will be challenged with a set of tasks or activities to strive toward throughout the week. One of these is to motivate and support each other on the Winter 2020 Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Programme online forum (only nicknamed the HEW crew).
Today, I was at the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce’s Health & Wellbeing event, which was great. I left feeling really inspired by the speakers and the products/services on offer; but most of all it occurred to me that I’ve got so many tips to share about employee wellbeing in an office environment.
As a holistic massage therapist, healthy eating & wellbeing adviser, and a professional accredited life coach, I’ll unleash a multitude of tips to improve your wellbeing if you sit at a desk 5 days a week to keep a roof over your head and food on your table. My philosophy on wellbeing is very much centred on the 8 principles, or ‘keys’, featured in this picture: spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual/psychological, occupational, financial, environmental & physical. These make the sense of wellbeing holistic. But what is wellbeing?
I’ll be very honest and say that not much of what I’d learned in secondary school stuck. However, since I had the funniest Geography teacher, I happened to retain his teaching more than other subjects. I remember he taught us the difference between quality of life and standard of living. The definition of ‘quality of life’, which is complex when attempting to measure it in a scientific context, circumscribes a measure of the good-ness of multiple aspects of one’s life like (but not limited to) social, emotional, psychological state. Standard of living looks at the economic (financial) circumstances that may influence those aspects. The definition of ‘Wellbeing’ is very similar to that of ‘quality of life’ and could be considered as interchangeable in this day. When someone makes a personal assessment of their own life or of particular aspects of their life using measures of satisfaction, happiness, or other self-assessment scales, then solutions following the assessment are more often classed as ‘wellbeing’ than ‘quality of life’. So whilst wellbeing is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.”, I would argue that wellbeing is simply, “the state of one’s being”, which can be self-measured using the 8 wellbeing keys/principles above.
Your wellbeing is part of you, and you bring that everywhere you go… including your workplace. So, here’s some tips to help improve your wellbeing in the office environment!!
Spiritual wellbeing is the ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life through a person’s connectedness with self, with God or other higher power, others, elements of creation or creativity.
Sadly, our workplaces are more often not very supportive of talking about ‘spirit’ or ‘spirituality’. I’m a big believer in prayer. By law, employees in the UK are entitled to work breaks, and I encourage you to read your contract if you don’t know your entitlement. There is no reason why part of that break can’t be allocated personally to prayer or meditation. Meditation, coming from the Latin meditatus means ““to think or reflect upon, consider, design, purpose, intend”.
Affirmation cards are a great thing to have in your drawer. You don’t even have to buy them… you can make them yourself! Picking up a card that says “I believe in me” or “I am grateful for…” or “You are enough” or “I won’t let fear hold me back today” when you’re going through a tough moment may uplift your spirits. As well as having them in your drawer, you can opt to make yourself a little vulnerable by handing some to the colleagues in your team so that when they notice that you are someone else is feeling downhearted, they can give you (or the other person) a card of their choice.
Schedule a retreat into your diary at least once a year for at least 4 days. Make sure it has a spiritual element to it. I personally love the effects of 7 day silent retreats!
If you’ve ever heard of Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs, the 3rd and 4th segments, which span psychological & self-fulfillment needs cover social wellbeing, which is the extent you feel a sense of belonging and social inclusion. A connected person is a supported person in the workplace. Lifestyles, ways of working together, value systems, traditions and beliefs are all important to our social well being and quality of life. We want to know that we are accepted for who we are within our daily workplace relationships.
Often, employers believe that it is essential for team-building to spend lots of money on the next team-building fad. I would like to let you know that whilst they may be fun, the context is usually lacking in authenticity and reality. If you want your team to bond, do it over something real, where other people can benefit from that time. There is no better way to bond than over voluntary work at your local charity or community. It may be a foodbank, it may be a tiny charity that need their garden cleared out (or a new one planted and maintained), it may be clearing rubbish or even establishing and promoting an environment-friendly campaign.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced this… endless emails between co-workers who work just a few desks away through to a floor or two up! Would it be such a bad idea if the team ate one lunch-a-month together at a local cafe? After-work drinks are also an idea… but when I mean ‘after work’, I mean: if your normal working day finishes at 5pm, then stop working at 3:30, head to the pub, and pay them until 5pm.
Whilst I do believe that all employees would benefit from an employee assistance programme, the public and third sector organisations would most benefit from such a programme. The fact that these programmes offer trained counsellors and legal experts on the other end of the phone means that an employee doesn’t have to go through personal or work-related problems alone. Having an employee assistance programme ensures that employees will always have someone independent to talk to confidentially.
Not only does our working lives contribute a great deal to our emotional wellbeing, but that’s also the truth the other way round. Our emotional wellbeing contribute a great deal to our working lives – from how we handle pressure (resilience), to how well we perform. When we are not emotionally well, we may lack a sense of purpose and achievement. This then has a knock-on effect on self-esteem and confidence. A negative loop could then result from this. Although related to emotional wellbeing, stress will be covered under psychological/intellectual tips.
Anyone who has been through solid management training will know that praise and motivation is essential for the emotional wellbeing of their team. If you are a manager, please find creative ways of giving due recognition to your team and use the myriad of sites available on the internet to build creative motivation into your daily weekly work plan.
Very few people in the world would say that when they went to the beach, they had such a bad experience that just the thought of the sea provokes negative feelings and/or emotions. It may be too many miles away, but today’s technology can bring the sea to you! Stick your headphones on, open up youTube (if you can), type in ‘ocean sounds’, and pick from hundreds of videos of the ocean, listening to it whilst you close your eyes and imagine you are at the beach. LoungeV Films have a huge range of different nature sounds that you are bound to like one of! Our sense of hearing is extremely powerful… so give your ears a treat.
I absolutely love the private collection of home fragrances by the ethical Rituals company. I was in their flagship Covent Garden store the other day when a delightful young French sales assistant told me about their wonderful philosophy, which I absolutely connected with. Although it’s a home fragrance, as long as it doesn’t irritate neighbouring co-workers, you could spray one or two shots over your seat/desk. Choose a fragrance that you feel makes you feel positive and peaceful. It’ll be like bringing the spa to your workplace!
So here are the first set of tips for improved wellbeing for employees in a workplace, if the employees sit at a desk for the majority of their work day. There’s loads more tips to come!
Dates: On Wednesdays from 5th June – 18th September 2019 @ 21:00 BST (London time). There is a summer break on dates 7th-28th August, resuming back on 4th September.
Location: Online (Presentations delivered live online, and community forum available for accountability).
Presented by: Claz Gomez – Accredited Life Coach and Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Therapist.
Cost: £36 (+processing fees) for the entire programme + online forum support. Individual coaching is available at additional cost. No refunds permitted within 7 days of the start of the programme.
Format of the session: 20-25 min of webinar teaching. 10 min breakdown of weekly activities. 20 min live Q&A with coaching.
Format of the week: Each person will have a set of tasks of activities to strive for throughout the week. One of these is to motivate and support each other on the Summer 2019 Healthy Eating & Wellbeing Coaching Programme online forum.
10. Failure builds up our resilience. Resilience is widely recognised as an essential life skill. One that enables us to fulfil our potentials, despite setbacks, difficult circumstances and adversity.
9. Failure gives us an opportunity to reflect and reassess ourselves. Whether that’s about skillset, character, motives, mindset, heartset, or current circumstances. An action plan is then likely to come out of this reflection! A life coach can help you with this.
8. Failure invites us to creative challenge. Rarely is failing an excuse to move or change the goals set for ourselves. This means reassessing the journey toward the goal. We might have to be more creative about it, and think out of the box as to how we’ll reach that goal. Either way, it’s a great opportunity for inspiration to take root and innovation to make an appearance.
7. Failure teaches us about what works and what doesn’t! This valuable knowledge is transferrable into all arenas of our lives. We must use this experiential knowledge wisely.
6. Failure exposes us to the depths of human brokenness – not just our own, but others’ as well. If someone is delighting in our failure, there is a reason for it. What is this reason?
5. Failure calls others to empathy and compassion… for US. Yes, my friend. We are loved… and sometimes, that love is best expressed through someone’s compassion and kindness toward us. Believe it or not, that compassion may just benefit you far more than it benefits the giver. Welcome to the economy of kindness!
4. Failure reminds us to remain humble. Where others would argue that failure helps us develop skills and character, we ought to remember that failure helps us to grow in virtue too. Virtues are keys to our spiritual potential – especially if one is Christian. If ever there was a rocket propellant to maturity, it’s failure!
3. Failure turns us into natural problem-solvers. Thomas Edison famously failed nearly 10,000 times on creating a commercially viable electric lightbulb. He attempted to solve the problem that caused each failure, remembering them all. It took nearly 10,000 problem-solving attempts to reach his success.
2. Failure brings us extraordinary life experiences, borne out of pain. Think about that one for a moment.
1. Failure only exists because the goal to reach has not been abandoned. Every failure strengthens our resolve to reach the goal, the target, and empty ourselves in authentic love. This is the most noble and greatest definition of success – to give everything of ourselves. During the Stations of the Cross I am always struck so deeply on the third, seventh and ninth Stations, when Jesus falls. For Our Lord, the goal of this particular journey was the Cross. Not the Resurrection. For each time He fell, LOVE lifted Him up to continue to the end. He gave it His all. He gave US His all. Love is worth falling for.
There is a distinct difference between something (or someone) being good to us, and being good for us. Certainly, it won’t feel that occasions of failure are good to us, but certainly, good comes out of all these the things, that they are ultimately good for us. Although we do benefit, it is still important to keep our eyes fixed on the ultimate goal.
So… I’m a newly accredited Coach. I thought I’d put some coaching into practice on fellow Catholics through a series of blogposts on Lent titled ‘How to make the most of your LENT’! This particular post is about fasting preparation – and how to do it in a healthy and holistic way.
People fast for all sorts of reasons. On the medical side, we have 24 hour fasts from eating before blood tests. In the approach to the summer season, some of us feel that the best way to trim up is to go cold turkey on food. Some people decide to fast from things like social media because they’ve become concerned about the amount of time they spend on it or the habits developed as a result of using it. Whatever the reason is for the fast, whether those are positive or negative reasons, you are more than likely going to come away from the experience having achieved a list of positive things. The pre-condition to that reward, is of course your perseverance and endurance!
Tomorrow we begin Ash Wednesday – a time that Christians all over the world will be fasting for 40 days (excluding Sundays). The intention of this post is to coach you in your approach to a medium-term fast, like Lent. The idea is to help you enter into Lent with a healthy and holistic mindset.
Note: there is a difference between abstaining and fasting, and it’s worth finding a credible source on the internet to explain the difference… in case you’re wondering!
These self-coaching questions are not only applicable to fasting from food – they can be applied even to any sort of fasting! But the general consensus, at least among Catholics, is that we fast from food to different degrees throughout Lent. For this reason, there is specific mention of food. If you are in need of spiritual guidance (ex-coaching), then the footnote below contains helpful teachings to assist with particular questions.
This is the end of the questions! There are 30 questions to coach you into Lent both healthily and holistically! In Part II of this series, we’ll look at another aspect of the Lenten journey. I’m open to your suggestions!
* Basic nutrition information is readily available on the NHS… but if you would like healthy eating & wellbeing coaching, I am qualified to give this!
1. CCC 2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.
1. CCC 540 By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert.
2. CCC 1430 Jesus’ call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, “sackcloth and ashes,” fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion.
3. Joel 2:12;
4. Matthew 6:16;
10. CCC 1803 The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God. A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
CCC 1829 Love is itself the fulfillment of all our works. There is the goal; that is why we run: we run toward it, and once we reach it, in it we shall find rest.
CCC 1719 The Beatitudes reveal the goal of human existence, the ultimate end of human acts: God calls us to his own beatitude. This vocation is addressed to each individual personally, but also to the Church as a whole, the new people made up of those who have accepted the promise and live from it in faith.
11. CCC 2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.
2. CCC 1387 To prepare for worthy reception of this sacrament [the Eucharist], the faithful should observe the fast required in their Church. Bodily demeanor (gestures, clothing) ought to convey the respect, solemnity, and joy of this moment when Christ becomes our guest.
4. Acts 13:2;
5. CCC 1434 The interior penance of the Christian can be expressed in many and various ways. Scripture and the Fathers insist above all on three forms, fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, which express conversion in relation to oneself, to God, and to others.
6. CCC 1993 [On cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom] When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight.
7. CCC 2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.
8. Isaiah 58:6;
10. Gal 4:6;
11. CCC 1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.51 “Sacramental grace” is the grace of the Holy Spirit, given by Christ and proper to each sacrament. The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God. The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature52 by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.
Human touch is invaluable. It is an emotional language – and a powerful communicator of affirmation! Massage releases the hormone oxytocin, which encourages connection and stimulates well-being. Touch also increases levels of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters that naturally regulate and balance the effects of negative stress. It also increases white blood cell count – boosting our immunity. Touch of Clarity takes great care of clients and affirms their worth by applying only certified organic massage mediums to the body. I believe that purity of product ought to align beautifully with my clients’ purity of purpose in body, soul and spirit.
Here are just some of the benefits of massage on the body: