My baby woke me around 5:30 AM this morning.
This has been the case the past few mornings, and I’ve decided to just stay up and start working on my wake up time (new goal!).
I got him back in bed around 5:45 AM and went to go get a head start on my day.
You’d think I’d be excited? After all, my kids won’t be up til at least 6:45 AM, and I have all this time to myself, right?!
Perhaps. But I wasn’t thinking about it this way at the time.
I felt super sluggish.
And, I have to tell you something…
I have been slacking on doing my own self coaching ON PAPER lately. Sure, think about this stuff all the time and talk about it with anyone who will let me. And, I can often “see” myself as I’m playing out an unintentional model (though not interrupting it in the moment).
But, my friends, the magic happens when you get it all OUT of your head. It gives you some separation from your thoughts and allows you to digest it from the outside in.
But I digress. I went into my office and attempted to plan my day.
I literally spun in my head and stared at a blank piece of paper for the better part of 20 minutes.
So, I decided that wasn’t working. Ha!
I recognized that I’ve been slacking on self coaching and decided there’s no time better than the present.
My brain always resists at first, typically with time objections.
This is going to take forever.
I don’t have time for this.
To which I reminded myself that it doesn’t have to take more than 15 minutes, and it’s the most important thing I can be spending my time on right now.
Today, I started by asking myself, “What am I feeling right now?”
I knew it was negative, but I hadn’t actually labeled it.
Just naming an emotion can give me so much clarity and a sense of empowerment. Like, “Oh! That’s what I’m feeling!” It’s a simple thing that is surprisingly powerful.
At first, my brain likes to tell me, “Ugh, I don’t even know.” But I tell myself I’ve got to come up with something and I keep myself in a curious place as I work to label my current emotion.
As I sat with it, the first word that came to mind was restless. Then apathetic. Then resigned.
Bam. That was it. Resigned.
So I plugged that word into the F-line (AKA, Feelings line) of the Self Coaching Model on my half sheet of paper, and I looked up the definition via Google – cause I love to do that to really check the emotion for myself.
Resigned: having accepted something unpleasant that one can not do anything about.
Yep. That felt like it pretty much summed up how I was feeling. Ha!
Then, I asked myself, “Why am I feeling this way?”
And I sat there watching my brain, writing down the thoughts as they came up. Below are all the thoughts that I wrote down (within the context / circumstance of my day and the items on my to-do list):
I’ll never get it all done.
We need to get out more.
My life is revolving too much around basic dailies (sleeping, eating, cleaning…).
I don’t have enough time.
My time isn’t mine.
There’s nothing I can do about it.
No wonder I was feeling resigned. Ha! My emotions make so much more sense to me when I can see the thoughts creating them.
But I digress. All of these thoughts felt very true as I looked at them. Reading my list of empowering thoughts to “try and feel better” was not effective in that moment, because those thoughts weren’t believable to me at all right then. I could see, intellectually at least, that I was making myself a victim of my to-do list, my day, and motherhood in general. I put myself in a place of feeling like I had no personal power. And I could also tell I wasn’t ready to shift out of it yet (cause I was still very much believing it).
Nothing is wrong with that, though. The goal of coaching is not to “feel better” but to raise awareness around how our thinking is creating our results, and then to choose consciously how we want to think about our circumstances – knowing there is no right or wrong – just what we are thinking vs. what we want to be thinking. We can do models on the positive thoughts, too. 🙂
So, I kept building my model, from a place of curiosity, while being open to questioning my thoughts as the truth. I picked one thought that seemed to sum up the story I was telling myself (any thought will do!) and ran with it. In the A-line (AKA, Actions line), I put all the actions this feeling made we want to take, plus any actions I was taking. And then I populated my R-line (AKA, Results line).
Here’s the model I came up with for myself:
C – My Day
T – I don’t have enough time.
F – Resigned.
A – Dragging my feet. Acting sluggish / feeling like I’m moving at slow snail speed. Checking out mentally. Things taking longer to do (twenty minutes trying to plan my day and nothing to show for it). Sitting and thinking instead of actively doing. Wanting to give up. Wanting to quit. Feeling like I’m in “What’s the point?” energy. Letting time happen to me. Less proactive / intentional with my time. Not wanting to plan.
R – I have less time available to me to do what I want to do.
Notice the actions I take and the result I create for myself here totally provide evidence for my thought. If I’m spending more time spinning out in my head, I have less time available to me to do the other things I want to do – which effectively means I don’t have enough time to do other things I want to do.
Once I finish populating a model, I like to just look at it for a minute.
It feels so true. And in that moment, I can’t imagine not seeing that things that way. Sometimes I can’t come up with an intentional model or even what I would want right away. That was the case this morning. So I allowed myself to process feeling resigned for a little bit.
It’s okay to feel resigned.
I can feel this.
I’m not powerless.
I asked myself, “What does resigned feel like in my body?”
Throat constricted. Heart heavy and slow. Face long. Tension in my jaw and shoulders. Blue.
And I relaxed my body. My forehead. My shoulders. I leaned into the emotion and just allowed all of those sensations to be there. Slowed down my breath, and just breathed into them. I like to imagine that I’m sending oxygen to those particular areas of my body, one at a time, starting with the area where the feeling is most concentrated. And, in this case, that was my heart.
As I sat with it, I googled for articles to read. This can help me open my mind to other ways of thinking. I googled, “What to do when you feel resigned.”
This particular search didn’t yield much in terms of intriguing results, but I clicked on the most interesting article I saw. I got one thought from that article that felt believable to me.
I have the ability to change if I’m willing.
And I told myself I could stay in this place if I wanted…but did I really want to?
No. Not the result I want to create with my day.
And I allowed myself to brainstorm other thoughts that felt believable to me. Often I do this even just by questioning the unintentional thoughts I wrote down initially – asking myself, “Is this true? Is this really true?” And also, “Is this how I want to think about it? And, “How else could I think about this?” And, similar to above, I wrote down the thoughts.
My life is my responsibility.
I’m in control of my time.
I create my day.
I could have fun today.
We could have a fun day.
I can make that happen.
I have time.
The point is not to get it all done in one day.
I will get the most important things done – that is enough.
Nothing is hopeless.
And them I sat with those thoughts for a minute, exploring what resonated with me the most today, in the context of my day and to-dos.
I have time.
I love this one. It’s not the first time I’ve used it. Ha!
So, I stuck that thought in the T-line (AKA, Thought line) for my intentional model, and asked myself what emotion it created for me today.
My brain wanted to tell me it didn’t know via, “I’m not sure” – but I gave it some encouragement!
We can figure this out!
The feeling I came to was Empowered. And, again, I love to look up the definition on Google to reinforce it and check the emotion (even if I’ve looked up the definition a hundred times before).
Empowered: give (someone) the authority or power to do something; make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
And oh my goodness, I loved this definition so much!! Cause this is exactly what I felt like this thought was doing for me – what I was doing for me by doing this work. I could totally feel my energy shifting more and more as I went along.
Then, I finished out my model, considering what this thought and feeling made me want to do (or not do), and what result I would create if I stayed in it / kept coming back to it.
C – My Day
T – I have time.
F – Empowered.
A – Thinking about what I want to do with the time I have today. Not feeling like I have to fit it all in. Able to say no to certain tasks. Able to map out my day quickly and efficiently. Moving with more energy and excitement. Wanting to get things done. Not worried about it. like I was before.
R – I make a plan, use my time more intentionally, and have more time to do things I want to do.
Again, the actions I take and result I create provide evidence for my thinking. If I’m planning and following through on my plan, that is proof I had time to do things I wanted to do.
And, friends…remember how I said I was sitting there staring at my blank piece of paper getting nothing done for the better part of 20 minutes first thing this morning?
Once I shifted my energy, I got my plan for my day mapped out in 5 MINUTES.
And then, I genuinely felt excited to get up and get moving, and started getting things done, like there was no time to waste. The time I spent on this completely shifted the trajectory and energy of my entire day.
(And, I can say this confidently, because I DID NOT shift the trajectory of the last few days before today!)
This, my friends, is the magic of self coaching, and it is my absolute favorite tool for turning my day around – at any point in my day – and shifting my energy to an emotion that serves me better in creating the results I want. I simply have to make time to do it.
This is something you can do, too! Take a moment to think about your day and to-dos presented.
Ask yourself how you are feeling. Name the emotion. Then, ask yourself why you are feeling that way (always because of what you are thinking!). Consider what that feeling has you doing or not doing and the result that creates. These questions give you all the inputs for an unintentional Model.
Then, ask yourself questions for a more intentional Model. How do I want to feel? What thoughts would create that emotion? What would I do or not do if I felt that way? What result would that create?
Sit with it, and decide, on purpose, how you want to think about the given circumstances. And, know that this is a practice.
Time management isn’t about managing time. It’s about managing yourself within time. And managing yourself is all about managing your emotions. And coaching helps you do that!
If you want help with this, you know where to find me!! This quick guide I created may help you as well.
P.S. The pilot program I’ve been doing is coming to an end THIS week, and I have spots opening starting NEXT week. Intrigued by this work but not sure where to begin or how to apply it to your life? I got you! It’s not as hard as you think; our brains like to over complicate things. 🙂 I can help you understand where you are now and where you want to go, including any obstacles that are in your way. We can talk about what your problem is and how to solve it. I can help you take this information to the next level in your own life.
Click here to book now; and if none of the available spots work for you, message me with your availability and I’ll do my best to find a time that works for both of us!