Small Business Saturday – November 24, 2012

 

Now that I have gone completely off the rails nutritionally with my FAVORITE holiday of the year, I’m going to go off the rails financially for Small Business Saturday.

For those purchasing coaching packages for themselves, take a 25% discount off of any package.  If you want to give nutrition coaching as a gift, take a 50% discount off of any package.

This is meant to be a small ‘taste’ of coaching so I am perfectly willing to have potential clients commit to only one month.  Typically, I ask that clients commit to three months in order to reap sustained benefits, but I also want people who are hesitant to give it a try!  If you are wanting a more long-term coaching relationship, I am capping the discount at a three-month commitment.

Coaching Packages

For more information and arranging purchase, contact me at visioninaction.mdf@gmail.com or 541-729-9687.

Tell your friends!

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Food Is For Enjoying

Hello again everyone.  I have been silent here in the blogging world for a little while because I decided to prioritize my canning over blogging.  While I was canning and not blogging, I was also doing some thinking about the direction of my life coaching endeavors.  My business, Vision In Action, has only been open for 5 months so we are still in a growing and learning period.  I began this business because I have an incredibly strong skill set for helping others improve their lives.  I have always had a natural talent for this, but I improved upon it in college and truly honed my skills working in the social service world.  As I set out with life coaching, I thought that I would just hang my shingle out to offer my services to anyone who had any goal of any sort.  That’s a little general, don’t ya think?  I shortly received some advice from a much more experienced life coach that I should target my audience (a marketing friend of mine put it: “By trying to please everyone, you please no one.”)  It was at this point that I thought to myself, “I have worked with families with at-risk youth for 7 years, that is my niche.”  Turns out, I don’t want to do that either.  I am still very passionate about helping young people, but youth work is very intense work and I am beginning to feel that my journey in that field has concluded.  I did some amazing work, but I have skills to lend to other areas of service…and in order to offer the top-level of service, I need to be truly energized by what I am doing.

Then, one day recently, it hit me: FOOD!  I love food.  I spend the majority of my time dealing with food: growing it, tending it, preserving it, and cooking meals from scratch.  When I have conversations with friends and family, it so often turns to food and the ways that it can help us be healthier.  I am over-the-top passionate about food.  Food is what brings family and friends together to celebrate and discuss and share.  And often there is no greater kindness than giving food to someone who has none.  Food can bring people together, and tear people apart.  It can nourish your body and soul or it can irreparably damage your most vital organs.  Food is powerful.

I have also been on an incredible journey with food.  I am now at a place in my life where food is something that I use to show others that I care for them and a way I keep myself healthy.  I do have some food demons that I have struggled with and will likely struggle with my whole life.  I have suffered from anorexia and bulimia, and I have had many times where I could find nothing positive about my physical body.  This issue is so complex and my journey has been a wild one.  I do not have plans to share my entire journey with everyone, but do feel that sharing this small amount with you all can help to illustrate where my passion for food comes from.

Some might say that sharing my indecisiveness over my niche shows lack of vision or stability, but I believe it shows that I understand how goals may look black and white at the beginning, but end up neon green.  My goal has always been to use my unique skill set to help people do great things with their lives, it has just taken a bit to figure out in what way.  I want to help people stop seeing food as the enemy and to see themselves as beautiful people.  I am not setting out to help people stick to a specific diet.  I am not a weight loss guru, and will never pretend to be.  I want to inspire people to love food and be inspired by food, not to count every calorie and forget about the nutritional value that all foods have.  This is about long-term, lifestyle change, not about losing 10 pounds for your high school reunion.

I have been around a lot of food-related issues over my life and have seen people use food to improve their lives and to cope with negativity.  I know the healing power of food and have watched loved ones with cancer and multiple sclerosis use food for all of its positive benefits.  I hope that my passion about food, educational and professional background, as well as my personal journey can help you find your way to loving food and yourself.

I am interested to hear some feedback as I start re-branding my business.  I have no way of knowing if anyone is interested in this sort of service, but I have to follow my passion!  Stay-tuned for more food-related changes 🙂

The Power of Intention

How often do you think about intention?  I’m guessing not very often.  Intention is very powerful and something that we should not neglect when working to make things happen in our lives.  First, the definition of intention as provided by the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary:

intention, n. 1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. 2. the end or object intended; purpose.

There are two very important words in this definition: ‘determining’ and ‘purpose.’  If a person is to reach a goal, they must focus their intention by determining their purpose.  Certainly, I can have a goal of writing a book and becoming published, but why?  What is my purpose in working toward this goal?  Without the why I will have no motivation and no drive.  This will be evident to any who encounter my writing and will not provide positive results.

There are many who believe in the power of intention itself.  The idea is that one can influence results in their lives simply by putting their intentions out into the universe.  For some this is prayer, for others magick, and can even be as simple as writing the intention on a postcard on the fridge.  One cannot take a backseat to their goals; intention is everything.

I want to say only a small amount about this concept because I know that it is best understood when experienced rather than read.  I would like all that read this post to try using intention to manifest something in their lives.  There are many ways to do this, some of which rely heavily on spiritual belief systems, but others can be completely secular.  Those that come to mind immediately: prayer, candle lighting, meditation, posting “intention reminders” throughout the house, telling another person your intention and asking them to hold you accountable to it, and journaling.  Sometimes, just saying something out loud can make it that much more real.  By verbalizing our thoughts and feelings we give them life.

Try something listed here or develop your own way of focusing your intention.  There is no limit to this exercise.  Let us know what happens!

In the realm of interesting…

I’ve been posting now for a little while and hoping that I’m writing things that are interesting to you all.  I plan to keep doing this 😉 but I would like to know what you would like to read about.  I have particular expertise in the areas of parenting, teens, and health/wellness.  Are there other topics in the realm of life coaching you are interested in hearing about?  Leave a comment with a suggestion, and I will do my best to write something inspiring for you!

The Brighter Side of Dead Broccoli

Self-doubt seems to be a pretty common factor when it comes to people not living the lives they want to live.  I experience self-doubt from time-to-time.  My inner self-doubter sometimes says, “Who wants to listen to you?  You don’t have a perfect life.  You don’t have it all figured out.”  That’s when I have to stop, breathe, and remind myself of the following: no one has a perfect life, and no one has it all figured out.  Those two things are not the point of life coaching, and any life coach that portrays themselves as having it all figured out is probably a hack.  I am a normal, every day person just like everyone else.  I have goals and dreams.  I have obstacles to overcome and barriers to break down.  Some days I feel like Snow White singing while she cleans and all the woodland creatures are singing along.  Other days I am more like Ursula from The Little Mermaid when she puffs up really big and destroys everything in the sea.

A life coach must be committed to constantly building a better life for themselves as well as helping others to do so.  The tag line I have chosen for my business, Vision In Action, is: Co-creating the life you desire.  I was asked once if I am living the life I desire and I ecstatically responded, “Yes!”  Later in the day, I started to wonder if that were true.  After some thinking, I reminded myself that I was being ridiculous; of course its true.  I am living the life I desire, but there are aspects of it that I am always working to improve.  For instance, I envision having a year-round garden that literally pukes vegetables at my family.  Well, some years all of my broccoli dies and the slugs eat my cabbage.  My husband and I are constantly working together to find ways to improve the garden next year.  There are many missteps, but each trial brings us closer to our goal of year-round, homegrown nutrition.

Long story short, I did not begin life coaching because I believe that I am better at life than other people.  I began life coaching because I am skilled at helping others work through all the crap, that I have first-hand knowledge, life can throw at us.

Mission Possible

I finally completed the mission statement for Vision In Action.  It was a pretty enjoyable exercise to help me really clarify what my goals are for this business and to more easily describe what I do to potential clients.  I thought it would be even more helpful to break down my mission statement and provide further rationale to each piece.

Mission: To positively influence the world through creative, client-driven coaching partnerships that develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence by supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable to their vision of an ideal life.

“To positively influence the world…”

This is a pretty grandiose way to start a mission statement.  It’s a pretty grandiose way to start any statement, truth be told.  However, I really mean this.  I started off by using “community” instead of “world,” but felt that I needed to use a word with a more broad reach. This statement is meant to express a philosophical idea as well as a practical one.  Philosophically, I believe that every thing we do (be it positive or negative) affects the world, even in the most miniscule of ways.  Practically, I offer my services regardless of physical location and, therefore, I may have clients that live outside of my community or even my continent.

“…creative, client-driven coaching partnerships…”

Coaching is not a step-by-step program.  The growth and success that comes from coaching are brought about through the partnership developed with a skilled coach.  Every person and their goals are unique, requiring a unique plan to fulfill those dreams.  It is important to remember that the coach does not develop the plan FOR the client, but WITH the client.  The coach may suggest an avenue of approach, but it is the client’s role to accept, reject, or modify the suggestion.  If the client’s goals change or part of the plan isn’t working as intended, the plan changes to best suit the client.

  “…develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence…”

That is really the heart of most unfulfilled goals.  Every goal we set for ourselves or dream we create, is a challenge.  A major reason that people don’t master challenges is because they let fear and self-doubt get the best of them.  Everyone has the ability to meet challenges head-on, but we sometimes forget this or just need to learn a new tool.  If a person’s self-confidence is developed, they will be better prepared to seek out what they need to succeed.

“…supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable…”

This is the very key of what I do for my clients.  They have the dream, I help them make a plan, then I support, motivate, focus, and hold accountable.  Everyone needs support, but unbiased support can be hard to come by sometimes.  A coach’s only interest is that the client is happy and successful.  It doesn’t matter what makes them happy or what they are successful doing.  We often need some outside motivation, too.  No matter how important a goal is to you, some days it is REALLY hard to not just say, “screw it, I’m tired.”  That’s where your coach comes in.  I can be that little voice that reminds you of why you are working so hard (though I might remind you that it is O.K. to take a break).  Another piece to the puzzle is that big dreams have important smaller goals that must come first.  This can be overwhelming, and a coach helps to narrow the client’s focus and make sense of everything that is vying for attention.  Lastly, accountability is another important aspect of the coaching relationship.  It is the coach’s job to help the client realize when their actions are not matching up to what they say they want.  Perhaps your goal is to be more family oriented, but you continue working late into the evening.  It is my job to remind you that your actions are not in-line with your goal and help you find a way to address them.

“…vision of an ideal life.”

This might sound a little “pie-in-the-sky,” but this is important.  Most of us will likely never have our perfectly ideal life, but by working toward it, we can craft our current situations into the most ideal possible.  Even if all seems lost, there is always something that can be done to bring you one step closer to the life you most deeply desire.  As a coach, it is my job to hold this vision for you and to help inspire you to create it.

Now that you have a better idea about my vision for my business, what do you think?