December’s darkness arrives at about 4:30 pm here in Colorado as we approach the longest night of the year later this month. It’s a time of hunkering down by a fireplace in the Northern Hemisphere and a good time to reflect on the past year with a hot cup of your favorite brew. It’s also a time when we yearn for the return of the light, and for me, I begin my “mid-winter fantasies”. These “fantasies” are the first stage in my planning for the year to come. I dream of what I hope to do not just with our business and my profession, but of what I want to experience during the coming year on both a recreational and personal growth level.
Personal growth results from all our experiences, professional, recreational, spiritual, interpersonal, and more. When you realize this it can give you more permission to consciously craft the kinds of experiences into your life that you will benefit from on all levels.
The wellness coach benefits in so many ways when they consciously work at their personal growth, as we wrote about in our last post (https://realbalancewellness.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/grow-in-order-to-be-great-the-personal-growth-of-the-wellness-coach/) . As we know from the effectiveness of the coaching process, people achieve what they want when they have a plan and make a commitment. What do you want to commit to in 2011 to grow personally? Here are four areas for you to consider.
1. Commit to the new.
2. Commit to better practice
3. Commit to living well
4. Commit to loving fearlessly
1. Commit to the new. Stretch yourself! Do what is “uncomfortable” because a lot of our growth happens out there at that uncomfortable and unfamiliar edge. What would that look like for you? Does it mean traveling to a new destination? Going to a country where the culture is very different from yours and the only things that look familiar are the universally found cola drinks? Does it mean plunging into the great outdoors if you are a “city mouse”, or diving into the urban landscape if you are a “woodsy owl”? Could it be taking up a new practice such as learning a musical instrument, Tai Chi, or meditation? Would it be a real stretch for you to do some research, find a personal growth retreat that stretches who you are and go for it? http://www.shambhalamountain.org/, http://www.contemplativeoutreach-co.org/6-Day.html,
2. Commit to better practice. Sometimes our personal growth comes on a path we are already familiar with, yet we have not followed well enough to receive maximum benefit from. Even though I’ve practiced Tai Chi for over twenty years, I still struggle with the regularity of my practice. If you consider yourself a meditation or Yoga practitioner, biker, writer, backpacker, swimmer, traveler, etc., how often are you doing it? How many days in a row, starting on January first, can you practice your art or craft? Perhaps December is the time to plan that summertime adventure.
3. Commit to living well. Craft your lifestyle to enhance your growth. Realize how much choice you really have. (“A coach’s job is to remind people that they have choices!” M. Arloski.) Engineer each day, each week to support your health, wellness, and your growth. Consciously calendarize. (see my book Wellness Coaching For Lasting Lifestyle Change, p. 165). Purposefully leave room for spontaneity! If you don’t have “blanks” in your schedule, you can’t jump on opportunities as they arise. Live your wellness plan, now, not next week, next month, next lifetime.
4. Commit to loving fearlessly. If you REALLY want to grow, allow yourself to love. Blow up all your rationalizations for not risking allowing love in your life. Do the healing that lets you do that. Perhaps that is your big commitment for 2011. That love can take many different expressions. Your growth challenge is again, to stretch.
What is one of your Personal Growth Commitments for 2011? Please leave a comment and start a conversation around this. Be well!