Monday 19 December 2016

Make Your SMART Resolutions MEJMA® In 2017

“One sign of behaving as an adult is to know when you need help another is to find it.”

It’s time for those New Year resolutions that we often make following over-indulging from celebrations or for many looking back at 2016 happy that it is now over and done with. 

So what new resolutions are you going to make? The lose weight, drink less, be more active are the norm. Then we have get promotion, new job, start my own business, learn a foreign language, play a musical instrument and of course improve your love life. Those who are a bit more reflective may seek more time with family, improve financial situation or plan a wonderful holiday in the future; maybe write a book when I retire. 

As a life coach these same resolutions have been made by those people who now seek help because their life isn’t working out. They may have lost direction, motivation or the colour has simply gone from their life. The biggest challenge that I have found is that most people simply don’t know what they really want.

The majority of people have a mind-set of moving from rather than too. I want to get away from that job or my current partner or being broke all the time. Many of those that are in the moving too camp are held back by their past with feelings of guilt, anger, lack of belief in themselves or past disappointment.

One sign of behaving as an adult is to know when you need help another is to find it.

As part of the New Year resolution phase is the increased purchase of self-help books, audio programmes along with some pseudo-scientific belief publications. Those “Belief Solutions” may have some substance but often make extreme claims interpreted in such ways to sucker the gullible. Of course if it doesn’t work it’s because you are at fault because “you didn’t believe enough”! Another sad fact is that most self-help material is rarely fully read or listened too let alone acted upon.

The philosopher Socrates said “Know Yourself” which in my view is one of the wisest statements ever made. Knowing ourselves is a real challenge but only by doing so can we follow a path that reflects what is important to us today.

Those of us who have worked in companies or large organisations would have been given resolutions in the form of goal objectives. Typically these would be SMART objectives – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.

This approach it has a great deal of merit and is an effective way to get people to do what you want them to do in the work environment. Indeed it can also be useful in setting your own goals once you have identified what it is that you really want to achieve.

The problem using only SMART objectives is it ignores the fundamental of being human. That is we are all individuals, emotionally driven and complex. How we behave is the direct result of our knowledge, experience, our environment, the people around us and our feelings and emotions at the time. 

As a guiding principle for goal setting I created my own acronym - MEJMA®. This is for you when you find and commit to those important life goals. 

Make your dreams and your life MEJMA®: 
Ø Meaningful - having real importance and purpose
Ø Emotional - creating the feelings that support your beliefs and values
Ø Justifiable – the investment in time and effort reflects the benefit
Ø Motivational – the driver to take action
Ø Altruistic - a concern for the welfare of others
In 2017 you can change your life and begin that journey to your greater happiness and fulfilment. Take time to find out who you really are and what it is that you really want to achieve now and in the future. 

When you know where you are heading remember … as the Taoist monks have said “The journey is the reward”. It is up to you to decide on your destination.

Get SMART when it matters but always be MEJMA®.

Ian Marshall
Bringing your life to LIFE

As a life coach Ian specialises in helping people in middle years who find themselves at a crossroads in their life – sometimes over-whelmed, bored or simply lost, the colour has gone from their life. Helping individuals to find what it is that they really want in their life now and to explore pathways to achieve these new dreams. This is the point where Ian helps, helping people find the future they want and the happiness they

Monday 28 November 2016

Over 40 - No Longer Needed?

Over 40 - No Longer Needed?

“You can have a great and happy future – just sometimes life gets in the way!”

Ø Have you outgrown your job or your job outgrown you?
Ø Not coping with your lifestyle – I don’t fit any more?
Ø Are you one of the 1.6 million unemployed in the U.K.
Ø Had a failed marriage – typically over 100,000 couples get divorced each year?
Ø Retired without a purpose – no point in life?

However we say it we all become redundant – no longer needed. At various times in our lives we go through these periods being in the wrong place at the wrong time and for many this is a horrible experience.

“What, I no longer have value!” – well yes, at that moment in time what you have to offer is not what is needed or wanted.

Redundancy is most often the phrase we use when an employer doesn’t need us any more to do a particular job. We dress up the fact that it is the job that is no longer needed but in reality neither is the person who was doing that job.

In a relationship when your partner says “I’m leaving” you are redundant – such a cold and horrible thought but the reality is you are no longer needed by them.

Your children have grown up and making their own way in the world which is great. You have done your job but now you are not needed in the same way.

The sports team you belong to no longer chose you because of age, illness or just other better players have come along and you are no longer needed.

If you were an obsolete machine or old software no longer up to the job then making you redundant wouldn’t be a problem. But, you are human with all the feelings that come with it. Our pride, self-esteem, our security and beliefs, who we are, our place in society and where we fit in – our meaning and purpose.

Who we think we have been and who we have become can for many people be a traumatic time – our future thrown into dis-array, our values, our self-worth questioned. The fear of the unknown is very real, no longer knowing our place in our family or society. As time goes on and we get older we question “what future do I have”.

Too many people give up at this time or at least settle for someone or something just to fill the gap and no more. Dreams and ambitions dashed so often by people and events completely out of our control. Re-organisation at work, a health issue, a loss of someone close are just examples of life going wrong.

By now you may be feeling thoroughly depressed and this is the sad reality for so many people and the older we get the harder it is to fight back.

You can have a great and happy future – just sometimes life gets in the way!

Reality is that there is a new future for you, opportunities that can make you happy and fulfilled but there is a big obstacle in the way – the way you think and behave.

When something horrible happens to us if we are lucky there will be people around who can support us for a time, to help us get back on our feet. However, that support will disappear quickly as others have their lives to lead and being around someone who is miserable is unrewarding.

At some point you have to make the decision to move forward in life, take responsibility for your own future and to take action. Are you still feeling “not needed” then understand this is just how life is and we have to find the strength to re-invent ourselves. To become that person who is wanted, needed and valued and respected.

Leaving the bad past behind us is difficult but to move forward our memories must be managed. We need to find new positive things in the future, to find hope that things will be better. To find meaning in our life to take action and along the way to seek help for ourselves and offer help to others.

When you find yourself “no longer needed” just think of all the positive things that have happened to you in the past – the skills, knowledge and relationships you already have and those you will gain.

Finding the “new you” that you can believe in is a great adventure and the starting point to creating your new future happiness.

Ian Marshall
Bringing your life to LIFE

As a coach I specialise in helping people in middle years who find themselves at a crossroads in their life – sometimes over-whelmed, bored or simply lost. Helping individuals to find what it is that they really want in their life now and to explore pathways to achieve these new dreams. This is the point where I help, helping people find the future they want and the happiness they deserve.

Monday 10 October 2016

The Conversation - I understand that for most people taking that first step to talk to a coach can be very intimidating. What am I going to say, will I like him or her, how do I know if they are right for me and most importantly can they help? In a way it's the same for me receiving your call, am I able to help, is what is been asked for realistic, is this potential client going to be able to put in the time and effort necessary to achieve their goals?

My professional style is informal - it is my role to help you clarify what you want to overcome or achieve and then together create a pathway to your future. Sometimes the process of identifying your areas of concern or opportunity can soon be identified and maybe by looking at your world in a different way then that in itself can provide the direction you are looking for. Other times a number of steps need to be taken and possibly over a longer period of time.

Please have a look at my short video "the conversation" , my web-site and then contact me 01723 447377.

Talk soon.


Tuesday 4 October 2016

Free Character Strengths Survey

What are your strongest positive Character Strengths?

Play to your strengths" is a mantra we so often hear but so few actually understand what they are or how they can affect our lives. There are 24 character traits that we possess but which are your strongest at this time. You can find out here with this FREE survey provided by The VIA Institute on Character:
"When helping people to find ways forward in their lives I always work on finding the positives to develop and then how to manage any negatives - welcome to the world of "Positive Psychology". Ian