Taking action steps keeps life moving forward

My client, Deborah, had been married for nearly 20 years and had two children. Although she had known for more than two years that she wanted a divorce, she had only talked to Ted about it four months ago.

They were in counseling, but no matter what they did to keep their marriage together, divorce seemed inevitable.

Deborah sought life coaching to help her rebuild her life. She didn’t want to let life happen to her. She wanted to play an active part.

With her counselor, Deborah was sorting through her past. On her 50th birthday, she gave herself the gift of transcribing her nearly 30 years of journals onto her computer. The gift was not only the time and energy she’d invest into this project, but the emotions she was ready to face.

“Going through my journals is giving me the ability to relive important events,” she said. “I have more maturity and wisdom and can process the events differently. It’s giving me insights on moving forward.”

Her top priority now was to move through the steps of divorce. To Deborah, it seemed ominous.

She had been in limbo for more than two years, knowing divorce was imminent, but not willing to face it.

“We told the kids last weekend,” Deborah said. “They were sad, but not surprised, especially my older son. As much as we tried to keep things ‘normal,’ it must have been obvious to them what was happening.”

“What is your next step regarding the kids?” I asked.

“I’ve scheduled appointments for both of them with our counselor next week,” she said.

“How are you feeling?” I asked.

“Sad, but it feels good to not be in limbo,” she said. “One of the worst things has been knowing but not moving forward. That’s why life coaching is important. I don’t want to wallow in indecision. I must move forward.”

Deborah sounded determined, but she expressed concern over getting stuck in avoidance. Each of our sessions closed with a list of action steps and dates of completion to keep her moving forward.

“What steps would you like to tackle this week?” I asked.

“I’ve been avoiding my journal transcription for about a week,” Deborah said. “I’m stuck in my 1987 journal, probably because it was a very difficult time for me. I’ve been working on the issues with my counselor and feel it’s time to get through this.”

“Would it help to have an action step for this? I asked.

“Yes, it would help to have a deadline and accountability,” she said. “I’ll finish inputting my 1987 journal within the next two weeks and I’ll let you know in our next appointment.”

“Anything else?” I asked.

“Before their counseling session, I’d like to talk with each of the kids,” she said. “That should keep me moving forward. I can’t tell you how much it’s helped to have action steps. For some reason I couldn’t do this myself, but now I face things even when they get tough.”

Coaching challenge: When you find yourself in limbo, knowing that you “should” be doing something but are avoiding it, try setting action steps.

Make these steps simple and doable. Enlist an accountability partner, who will help you stay on track. Your accountability partner should be someone you trust, and who will apply gentle pressure and support to help you continue to move forward.
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Sheri Fisher is an intuitive life coach living in Grand Junction. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. For information and to access her blog, go to: http://www.coachwithsheri.com.


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