Hacks from a Life Coach to Help You Get It Together

Woman journaling outdoors looking pensive
It’s time to get in touch with your inner dialogue. Maybe it’s because Mercury is in retrograde. Or maybe you’ve been so busy that you’ve started neglecting certain aspects of your life. Whatever the case, one thing is clear: You don’t have it together. You’re staring blankly at your computer, rereading your boss’s email 50 times while trying to figure out what day of the week it is, and where, exactly, did that green smoothie stain come from? We’ve all been there. And there’s a way to get your sh*t together again (or for the first time). We chatted with Laurie Gerber, co-president of Handel Group Life Coaching, to get her essential life-coaching tips. “We think everybody is already designing their lives, just not very consciously,” she says. The two most important things for getting the results you want out of life are your actions and your inner dialogue, she explains. What she does for her clients is have them articulate their dream, analyze their inner dialogue, and make promises that they have to keep. So what does that look like?

5 Life Coaching Tips

1. IDentify the areas in your life that need some TLC.

You may think you already know what these areas are. But remember: You’re reading this because you want to get your sh*t together. So trust the process. Here’s what Gerber has her clients do:
  1. Write down every area in your life.
  2. Rate your satisfaction with each area between one and 10. Anything under an eight is fair game.
  3. Then, recognize the things that are sabotaging your attempts. Gerber lays them out as:
  • The weather report: This voice tells you it’s not the right time, or you can’t do something because of X, Y, and Z. It’s basically the voice making excuses.
  • The brat: This voice is the one saying you don’t want to put in the work. You don’t want to deal with it.
  • The chicken: This is the voice of fear. Gerber says it masquerades as intelligent and helpful, but really it’s not. It’s just more excuses.
Gerber says that we don’t think we’re being these people, but we are. Seriously, next time you come up with an excuse to not do something, consciously think about it. I bet you’ll be able to categorize it into one of the above categories.

2. write down and articulate your goals.

And you have to write it down, because it helps you create a visceral response. Ask yourself why you care, and dig deep. Gerber says that people say that they want certain things, but it’s not exactly what they mean. Often they want something much deeper, like the freedom to be themselves, to be madly in love, etc. When you can connect a goal to an emotion, that’s great.

3. argue with yourself.

Start by admitting all the negative thoughts in your inner dialogue. Then take each one and argue against it. Gerber calls this “playing lawyer.” Many of the reasons you think you can’t do something can be dispelled with a little bit of logic.

4. create specific promises.

You want them to be as clear and focused as possible. Gerber gives two examples: “I’ll work out for 30 minutes five times a week” or “I’ll go to bed at 10 p.m.”

5. ensure you keep those promises.

“The thing about the human brain is that we’re not nearly as interested in rewards as consequences,” says Gerber. “We respond potently to negative consequences.” The consequences for breaking your promise should be artificial, immediate, and annoying. For example: If you don’t work out on a day that you promised, you don’t get to watch TV that night. Check out Handel Group’s book, Maybe It’s You, available in April 2017.
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