The end of the year is always such an interesting time. While it’s full of festive activities, travel, friends, and family, there is a palpable wanting and waiting for the clean slate that comes with the New Year. Having a New Year’s resolution or goal is one thing, but the execution is an entirely different animal. This we know.
Life Advice from A Life Coach
A few years ago, I worked with a life coach, Annie Nogg. Annie and I met at a bachelorette party; her cousin is one of my closest friends! We bonded over late-night dancing, poolside drinking, and our shared love for the bride. After the weekend was over, she asked, “I think a lot of our clients have mutual interests and shared values. Do you know of anyone who may need my help?”
I said, “YAH, BISH. ME. I NEED A LIFE COACH!”
I knew the concept and knew people who had spoke about hiring a life coach before, but I didn’t truly know what it meant to work with one. After meeting Annie, I was curious.
The rest is history.
Annie helped me get my proverbial ducks in a row as I started to think about what it would look like to live a full-time life in the fitness industry. She guided me as I gained clarity on what I wanted from my transition out of the advertising life and into Barry’s, where I currently sit as a Founding Trainer at Barry’s Chicago, and Director of Marketing, Special Projects. TBH, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to leap had it not been for the work we did together. She’s gotta way about her…
Annie lives in San Francisco, so we did all our work over the phone. Her clients live across the WORLD. Annie supports curious, high-achieving adults in further aligning their work and personal lives with what is most important to them. She uses a challenging yet encouraging coaching style to help her clients find the answers they need, both now and in the future. Her outside-the-box tools help clients build lives that make them proud.
She and I reconnected recently and got to talk about how so many of the clients we engage with “want more” from their lives. So many of us can relate to that sentiment, right? We’re happy where we are and feel lucky to have the opportunities we have…and yet there’s the consistent feeling that we’re made for else…
The only problem is, we’re not sure what that next step looks like, or how to get there.
Can you relate?
I asked Annie, “When you’re looking for more from your life, but you don’t know exactly what, how can you gain clarity in your direction?”
Her answers blew me away!
Grab your coffee, and a blank piece of paper, you’re gonna want to get comfortable and write all this good good down. Seriously, go through these exercises. When you come out on the other end, I guarantee you’ll have a better idea of what you truly want and what you need to do to get from point A to point B. Consider it a consultation with the best life coach there is, on me.
For clarity: Annie’s direct quotes are in italics, and my words, experience, and advice are peppered throughout.
Without further delay, everyone, this is Annie her advice for taking the FIRST steps to get what you want.
Identify Your Core Values
Annie starts, “The answers you seek around the change you want are already within you – namely, in your values (what you care about most at your core). Do the work to discover them.”
How do you do it? It could be one or a combination of ways:
- Reflect and journal
- Hire a coach to help you unpack your priorities
- Read inspirational and educational books (or listen to podcasts) to identify what interests you the most and where your passions lie
When I went through this exercise, I wrote down ALL the values that come to my mind. Don’t self-edit until the very end when you’re ready to narrow down to a handful. If you need help, I found this master list to get your start. When I was identifying my core values, I combed through several prepopulated lists to jumpstart my brainstorming. You know you can really find ANYTHING you want on the internet. LOL
Annie claims, “Before you can figure out what you want, you have to figure out who you are. Only then can you make empowered, aligned life decisions.”
Wow. Read that again.
She believes, “Once you’re crystal clear on your core values, dream and make decisions from there!“
The bish has got a point, you know?!
The Key to Taking Risks
After working with Annie for the better part of a year, I can confidently say she helps her clients transform their lives. I saught out her services because I knew I wanted more out of my life. I didn’t know what, and I didn’t know how to make my next move. And I certainly didn’t know how to juggle the balancing act of moving forward while working two other jobs.
Straight from a life coach’s mouth, “Often, the clients I work with take one or more big leaps. It could be a cross-country move or a massive career change. And a lot of times, my client’s dream of starting their own business, but they don’t know how.”
She continues, “If you have an idea that lights you up and feels values-aligned, it’s strongly worth considering. My recommendation is to fully think out your idea and explore it from a variety of viewpoints before committing to it.”
When I was thinking about where I wanted to take this blog after several stagnant years, I took a sheet of paper and folded it lengthwise into three parts, so I had three columns.
The headers for each were as follows:
- Why I started The Four Percent
- The things I love about it
- My Future goals for the site
I already had my product, but I wasn’t inspired. I was overwhelmed and felt a little lost. That exercise alone reinvigorated my love for writing, blogging, and helping people. It wasn’t until I did that exercise that I decided to get SUPER specific on my vision – debunking the BS of fitness, and making the complicated shit simple. Voila. I felt confident to dive back into my platform and bring it back to life. Read about my re-introduction HERE.
Annie and I BOTH agree that the best time to start building your plan is while you’re still getting a paycheck from your company.
Acknowledge that it will be a bit of a grind. And balance doesn’t necessarily mean dedicating equal parts, focus, or energy every day. But it does mean sacrificing to prioritize. The key to all of the above is to keep your work separate. Your job is your bread and butter. Your side hustle is your dream. You shouldn’t be at work while working on your side hustle, and if you plan to work on your dreams in the evening, you have to leave your desk. When you’re at home, are you watching Netflix, or are you writing your business plan? You already know the answer.
Annie concludes, “Whatever your next step is, consider doing it while still getting a paycheck. You’ll never lose your sense of stability, and when you are ready to leave your 9-to-5 job, you’ll have an incredible foundation. You are fully capable of doing your own thing if it’s what you truly want to do.”
Reframing Anxiety, Intimidation, and the Fear of the Unknown through Life Coach Work
When I asked Annie, “How do you reframe anxiety, intimidation, and your fear of the unknown, so it’s not absolutely debilitating?”
She responded, “That is THE question.” And one she spends a lot of time answering with her life coach clients.
I’ll go ahead and do a direct copy and paste of our email conversation:
“Our frame of mind and perspective is at least 60% of any given equation when it comes to making moves and taking leaps. Our minds can play games with us and majorly hold us back. One tool I use with my clients to help them become more in touch with their inner workings is character identification. Though we often have a go-to way of operating, we humans are extremely and beautifully complex.
I guide clients through processes to identify 4-7 internal characters, all representing different parts of themselves that they love. For example, you may have an internal Superwoman who is bold, brave, and confident. You may also have an inner surfer who is incredibly chill and carefree. The idea- once you know their names, how they dress, what they say, etc.- is that you can invite different characters to “drive” when you need them. For example, Superwoman could help you take a big leap. She has a freaking cape, after all!”
You guys, I fahking LOVED identifying my cast of characters.
I’m not going to share my full roster, but one of the leading bishes I always looked to, Claire Underwood.
If you watched House of Cards, you know this bish is TOUGH. While her character was fictional, a tad (lol) manipulative and vindictive, she was bold, confident, fearless, and didn’t get a shit about what anyone thought of her. She was focused, knew what she wanted, and went after it without hesitation. I love that about her. I would channel her whenever I was worried about what other people would think of me as I posted to Instagram, before I spoke at a meeting, or applied to speak on panels or attend conferences. It seriously worked.
Annie also helps clients identify their saboteurs.
You know, the internal voices that hold you back by crippling you with fear. The voice in the back of your head saying things like “who the hell do you think you are?”, “you’re not enough” or “you’re a failure.” Per Annie, “We also make them three dimensional, so we can tell when they come up and practice getting them to go the heck away. This exercise is not particularly pleasant, but it’s SO powerful.”
Yah, it is. Go on, identify your cast, including the saboteurs. Once you name them it is SO easy to channel…or banish them.
The BIG Takeaway: A Life Coach’s number ONE tip for Turning Goals into Realities
“Once you’ve stated your goal clearly and broken it down into doable bite-size pieces, set up external accountability. External accountability is an absolute key to turning your goals into reality. Your calendar can be one form of accountability. An even stronger form of accountability will be a colleague, respected friend, and life coach. This person must be someone who holds a high vision of you and knows you’re capable of whatever you put your mind too. It should also be someone who isn’t scared to tell it to you straight and push you a little bit. It’s hard to do pursue our goals all on our own- particularly when they feel scary.
So, find that person who you can tell about your specific- and maybe terrifying- goal (the where, where, how, by when), and set up times to update them! Nothing is more important than living as fulfilling a life as possible. It benefits you, your loved ones, and the world around you when you’re living your purpose.”
I live and die by my calendar. And challenge myself to keep personal deadlines like I would my professional ones.
In Conclusion: Life Advice from a Life Coach
I hope you found this to be as helpful as I did. Working with Annie changed the course of my life. I am a firm believer if you want something and you’re unable to make it happen for yourself, OUTSOURCE. You don’t have to do everything alone, and with the right professionals in your corner, you can live the life you want. If you’ve ever considered working with a life coach, I promise the investment is a worthy one.
Learn more about Annie HERE. You’ll be glad you did, I promise.