Coaching Chronicles: Caterina-Session #5

Caterina’s Goals Session #4

  • Breakfast prep: smoothie kits, Breakfast Bread and mini egg/veggie/sausage cups
  • Swim three times this week
  • Create a powerful Athlete Mission Statement

Caterina: Hello!


Jen: Hi, Caterina!  You look great!  So happy and filled with energy!  And maybe a bit mischievous?


Caterina: (Laughing) Me? 


Jen: Definitely you!  How are you? How was your week? 


Caterina: Even better than last week! I feel so energized and excited for life. And I’ve lost 4 lbs this month!  I don’t know how, but I did!


Jen: That’s so fun!  And rewarding!  And great feedback from your body that you’re on the right track!


Caterina: I’ve been incredibly productive too.  I’m still training my new people but they’ve already taken over some of my daily tasks so I have room in my schedule now.  Room for creativity, room for creating and improving systems, room for everything I want!  The biggest challenge now is which of my many projects to focus on each day.


Jen: It sounds like your energy level and focus are improving.


Caterina: In ways I couldn’t have imagined!  I even wake up in the morning feeling completely rested.  And before my alarm sometimes! I can’t remember the last time I felt this way!


Jen: Your sleep is probably a better quality from the consistent food and reduced stress.  And I see from your log that you made it the pool this week! Exercise always helps with sleep, especially when we first begin working out.


Caterina: I swam three times this week.  It took a lot of self-talk to get myself out of the changing room and into the pool, but I did it.  I wrote my mission statement on a piece of masking tape and taped it to the inside of my gym bag. 

Jen: That was so smart! Okay, let’s hear it!

Caterina: Jump into the deep end of your life.


Jen: (Smiling) I love it!


Caterina: I put a lot of thought into it and finally realized that I needed it to be an action, or a command.  I needed it to get my attention and remind me of why I was taking this step, especially when it was scary or uncomfortable.


Jen: It’s powerful, personal and motivating! You found a great way to remind yourself of why you’re taking new risks. But you also managed to make it playful and mischievous.  I think that’s what I was seeing in your face!  This new mission statement has become part of you!


Caterina: (Grinning) It made me sign up for ballroom dancing lessons.

Jen:  What!? That’s so fun!  I had no idea you wanted to learn how to ballroom dance! What a fun way to exercise!


Caterina: (Laughing) Well, I didn’t think of that!


Jen: Not only did you use your new mission statement to create a swimming habit, but you also thought like an athlete and found another way to get some exercise.


Caterina: I thought like an athlete! I didn’t even realize I did that! I just always wanted to learn and never had the courage to do it. But you’re so right, I found another way to move, another way to help me reach my weight loss goals. I think you might be brain washing me!


Jen: (Laughing) Don’t question the methods when you like the results!


Caterina: (Laughing)


Jen: So, people who jump in the deep end, what else do they do in their lives?


Caterina: I’m all signed up for a class to become certified as a Life Guard. Then I plan to become a swimming instructor. What better way to stay in shape then to teach others?


Jen: Wow! Yes!


Caterina: People who jump in the deep end also walk 10,000 steps each day. I bought myself a FitBit so I can track my steps.


Jen: (Grinning) Seeing all these changes, do you see a pattern?


Caterina: Commitment to a goal.  Ability to take action.


Jen: Courageous. Laser-focused. Dedicated. Mischievous.  Adventurous.


Caterina: Yes!


Jen: Pretty thrilling!


Caterina: I’m proud of myself for taking these steps.  Do you think I’m going to lose steam? It’s so easy to get excited but hard to maintain the momentum.


Jen: Great question!  You had a similar question in the beginning of our meetings. What I told you then was that we would create the energy, or momentum around the new thing and then solidify it with habits and accountability.  That’s why we make goals each week.


Caterina: True.  The third time I went swimming this week, I had to make myself go because I had other errands to do that day.  But I knew if I didn’t go, I would have to tell you why I didn’t make it.  Plus, once I got there and started swimming I was so glad that I stuck to my plan.


Jen: Goals plus accountability creates habits. It’s easy to focus on the To Do list sometimes, but I can tell you that you’ll never regret a workout. In fact, the only workout you’ll regret is the one you miss.


Caterina: That’s a good thing to remind myself of when I want to skip it.


Jen: Whatever gets you there!


Caterina: That’s true.  Some days it might be different, like a different excuse.


Jen: That part of our brain that wants to keep us safe and out of danger, the amygdala, is very creative and very clever.  It’ll offer all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t keep your commitment. But you can be aware of it, and as Martha Becksays, give your lizard brain a grape.


Caterina: Hmm, so excuses are more than just me being lazy?


Jen: You bet they are!  We make excuses because of a lack of habit or we don’t have a concrete why. Stress, fatigue, and loss of will power by end-of-the-day can play a part too. Plus, our brain love to remind us how comfortable it would be to eat ice cream on the couch and binge watch a new show.


Caterina: You are determined to make me be nice to myself, aren’t you?


Jen: If you can make peace with yourself, things will feel so much better in all areas of your life.


Caterina: Will that help me lose weight?


Jen: Losing weight is a pleasant side-effect of a great relationship with yourself, and a happy life.


Caterina: (Laughing) That’s a very different diet plan!


Jen: (Laughing) True!  But it also works forever, unlike any diet plan that exists.


Caterina: It feels distant, but I can imagine it being there.  I don’t think I’ve ever imagined being happy with myself, or satisfied with how I look.


Jen: You’ve already begun the shift. You took the first step when you decided you needed a coach to improve your life. You took the next step when you made the agreement to yourself to make the meetings and the homework a priority. You then trusted me to guide you. That isn’t easy! And now you continue to use the momentum to make progress. You are on your way, Caterina. This is how it happens. No On/Off button. It’s the little steps you take each day. It’s also the willingness to shift your perspective. And you have! Just think about your new mission statement!


Caterina: (Laughing) I really like it.


Jen: Me too.


Caterina: I also think I’d like to start creating my goals each week, and have you check them.


Jen: I’m happy to hear them. And it’s a big step forward for you to make them.


Caterina: My first goal is to maintain my breakfast prep. I’m happy with my system and feel that I can make small changes to keep it interesting.


Jen: Do you have it written out or in a file on your computer?


Caterina: I don’t but I can easily make that happen.


Jen: Good. It’ll help you to rotate ideas for breakfast to keep things interesting. You can keep recipes in that file as well.


Caterina: Good idea. Okay, for the second goal, it’s time to start working on lunch. Now that I’m swimming three times a week, I need to make sure I have enough to eat at lunch. I want to have salads because I know I need to eat more greens.  Plus, it’ll help me lose weight.


Jen: Salads are fantastic. I like to think of veggies as our source of engine, protein as our source of strength, and fat for greasing the wheel and helping with recovery.  It’s not scientific but it helps me to include each in all meals and snacks.


Caterina: That’s helpful!


Jen: Good.  Keeping that in mind, it’s important that your salads have enough protein and fat from clean sources like meats, eggs, nut and seeds.  Also, you can make your dressing in a few minutes to make sure it isn’t sabotaging you. I’ll send you a video to show you how. Also, skip the croutons. They are the opposite of a salad.


Caterina: Do you mind if I send you a few recipes that looked good? That way you can check them.


Jen: Please do! I’ll give you ideas for substitutions if we need to adjust them.


Caterina: Thank you. For my third goal, I’ll be swimming three times this week and beginning my dance class. I’ll also get 6,000 steps each day. The following week will be a little higher but this feels like an achievable place to start.


Jen: Fantastic! Do you need any accountability like texting me from the YMCA? I have clients who send me pictures from the gym each time.


Caterina: I might try that if I need some extra motivation that day. I think it would have helped me on the morning that I struggled.


Jen: I’ll send you a text as well if you’d like.


Caterina: That would be helpful this week, I think. Maybe next week too depending on how quickly I fall in love with swimming again.


Jen: Sounds good. Any goals for work?


Caterina: Lean on my assistant for more. She offers to help me many times a day, and I need to say yes more often.


Jen: What’s a concrete goal for that?


Caterina: Each day I must either ask or say yes to my assistant when there is a task I can delegate.


Jen: That’s a great goal.  Make sure to keep track of which tasks you delegate so they stay off your plate.


Caterina: Great idea!  I can log that into our training schedule.


Jen: Excellent.


Caterina: Thank you so much for all your help!


Jen: My pleasure! Have a wonderful week swimming in the deep end!


Caterina: You bet I will!