Personal and Career Coaching


Low Stress 2014 New Year's Resolutions

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments ()

by Beatriz de Meirelles,  Cross-Cultural Coaching, Languages & Communication, NLP Trainer

The New Year is right around the corner, or at least the Western version, with other traditions following suit in the following weeks in other parts of the world .

New Year is a good time to take stock of things, of how one has fared in the last 12 months, for good and for worse, but it can be a specially apt time to project oneself into the future and to strive to make plans for the next year.

Why strive? Because most people have at one time or another, or even year after year, sat down to draft their plans for the new year, their “good resolutions”, or “good things I’ve decided to do”, and like most “to-do” lists, it ends up only partially done, or forgotten, or what’s worse, niggling at the back of one’s mind as a reminder of our lack of determination and consistency as we slip back into our comfortable habits that often don’t serve us well.

If you want to inject energy and enthusiasm into your life planning, the very first thing you can do is to indulge in a session (or various sessions) of looking inwards, dreaming, visioning and framing some sort of personal life vision statement. A real one, made up of what you really would like your life to be like 3, 5, 7, 10 years on.

That’s your framework for the coming year: what could you choose to do in the next few months to move in that direction? What would you really like to achieve?

If you’ve tackled the new year again and again with the same tools, the problem could simply be that you need to tackle your change-plans differently. Starting with the fact that planning is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different people plan differently, and while specific deadlined goal-setting can be inspiring for some, it can actually act as a deterrent and depressant for others.

Indeed, James Galvin ( ) has identified 4 major planning styles:

1 - Objective oriented, “in which you set goals, objectives, milestones”: this is the most “classic” style of planning, at least in terms of management, but if you’re talking about your personal life goals, you might find it dry, or limited or even stressful (think about it, put it down on paper, and be aware of how you body feels – if you feel a tightening, a discomfort at some level, this might not be a good idea for you)

2 - Domain and Direction planning “ in which you use strategic maps to move forward”: with your life-vision in mind, you move in the general direction of where you want to go, finding , identifying and setting up tasks or objectives only as you move along – which could strike some as a bit wishy -washy, with no clear push effect

3 - Task oriented based on a list of “to do”: it’s a breakdown of small steps, which can feel less daunting for some people than a big jump ahead, but maybe give others a feeling the planning isn’t sufficiently coherent and directed

4 - And present-oriented, “focused on what’s happening now”. Some people don’t actually plan, and though classic coaching generally emphasizes that without a plan you risk ending up where you didn’t plan to go  , moving along with trust in life, in the universe, in the inner flow can work for some people. Or can work in some situations where there are things you really have no control and unfolding circumstances could be future cues as to how to proceed.

What’s yours ? Or rather, which is the combination that works best for you? Which is the way ahead that brings a smile to your face and a desire to get started?




Check your Competencies, Design your Learning Plan

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM Comments comments ()


Check your competencies on a regular basis. Most of the time you are so busy working, doing this, finish projects, meeting deadlines......


Before you know it, a year has gone by and you've spent so much time fire-fighting that you haven't had a moment to look at your own professional development.


Stop and make an inventory of the competencies you are lacking and that would really help you to do your work better, or even progress in your career.


It may be as simple as mastering the new software packages that have been introduced in your company and which you are using at a bare minimum of their functionality, or it could a bigger challenge, such as learning a new language that will help you advance to a more interesting job.


Once you've made a list of the new competencies you need to acquire and the ones you need to improve on.


Once you've completed the list of your learning needs, make your own learning plan. Determine your learning objectives, when you will do it, what resources you need, and finally establish an action plan to get you going.


Employers sometimes have good training programmes, but if you sit back and wait on them to provide you with the learning opportunities you need, you may be waiting for a long time. Training budgets are constantly being reduced and besides, the course you are dreaming of may not be available in the company training programme.


After all, improving yourself for your career progression is your responsibility, and no one can work it better than you!


Make sure you get support from a close friend or family member to encourage and reward you in your learning efforts!


First, Imagine your Goal

Posted on September 15, 2013 at 7:35 PM Comments comments ()


Anything achieved or created by a person, first started in the imagination.

What do Marco Polo, Michelangelo, Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Pablo Picasso, Lee Iacocca, Muhammed Ali, Luis Pasteur, Ghandi and Stelios Haji-Ioannou have in common ?

They had a desired outcome, a dream, a vision - call it what you want - they imagined a clear goal in their mind, they determined to make it come true and they took action.


We can all think of at least one person in our entourage who had a fixed idea about something and sooner or later achieved that dream.


Any individual can determine goals and find the ways to achieve them.

People usually have a combination of big life-scale projects: a long desired career change, a move to a different country; or small objectives: organizing a party, re-decorating the house, re-organizing the office.

Whatever your goals may be, a systematic approach will help you towards their realization.

The first and most powerful thing to do is to use your imagination to explore what goals are most important to you. Once you’ve identified what you want to achieve, use your imagination again to visualise your goal in detail and anchor it in your mind so that it is a constant beacon, inspiring you to take action in order to reach it.


Exercising your imagination is far more important than trying to force yourself to have more willpower, working harder and harder or bracing yourself for a struggle.


Imagination is the essential starting point of goal achievement, however by itself it is not enough. Other steps are necessary so that you can bring your idea from imagination to reality. See our next posts for more !