Living on Purpose: A new look at a new year |

Living on Purpose: A new look at a new year

Sheri Fisher
Eagle County CO, Colorado
Special to the DailySheri Fisher

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Kelley started our coaching session by saying, “Even though this year has been tough, I am optimistic that next year will be better. I should probably make some resolutions, but it has never worked before and I’m wondering why it would work now.”

It had been a tough year for Kelley. Her mother was moved into a nursing home; there was stress at work due to downsizing, and she had broken her leg in a hiking accident last summer.

“Let’s talk more specifically about things getting ‘better,'” I suggested. “In which area of your life would you like to begin?”

“There are several areas, but let’s start with my health,” Kelley said. “Since I broke my leg, I have realized how important my health is to me. Over the last six months, I’ve gained 12 pounds ” partly because I haven’t been able to work out and partly because I eat when I’m bored or stressed, and you know there’s been a lot of that lately.”

“So how can the health area of your life be ‘better’?” I asked.

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“I’d lose weight, eat better and workout more,” Kelley said.

“The words ‘health’ and ‘better’ can be nebulous. Let’s make them more tangible,” I suggested.

“I’d like to lose the 12 pounds I’ve gained,” Kelley said. “Is that what you mean by being tangible?”

“That’s a great start and will help with measuring your progress. Let’s make it even more specific. What will you actually see when you reach your weight loss goal of losing 12 pounds? For example, you might see yourself on the scale and have it register 12 pounds less than you are now.”

Kelley closed her eyes. “I see myself looking in the mirror wearing my ‘skinny’ jeans, and noticing that they are a bit baggy. I am pulling out the waistband and looking for a belt so my pants won’t fall down,” Kelley said.

“What do you HEAR yourself or other people saying about your health and weight loss?” I asked.

“I feel great! Look how wonderful my clothes fit me!” she said. “And other people are saying how healthy I look and how much energy I have. They wonder what my secret is.” Her face was radiating with excitement as she added each detail.

“How will it FEEL? You can start with feelings like excited, motivated, etc., but what I am really looking for is what it would feel like if you could touch what’s going on.

Would it feel smooth, bumpy, slick or something else? Does it have a color or temperature? If you could touch ‘better health,’ how would you describe it?”

“This is tough,” Kelley said, but she stuck with it. “It feels hot and electric. I think the color is bright red.”

We summarized Kelley’s description of what she will see hear and feel when she reaches her goal of “better health.”

We created a time frame, measurements, strategies and accountability to help her reach her goal of better health.

Kelley identified three additional areas of her life on which to concentrate and set her goals. As part of her action plan, she agreed to make each goal more tangible by identifying what she will see, hear and feel as she reaches her goal. Kelley also agreed to create time frames, measurements, strategies and accountability for each area to review at our next session.

“I like this approach better than making resolutions,” Kelley said as she turned to leave. “Resolutions often feel lofty and unrealistic. By making my goals more specific and tangible, it feels like they are within reach and possible. Next year already feels better … and it’ hasn’t even begun.”

Coaching Challenge: Which area(s) of your life would you like to focus on in the coming year? Set a goal describing how you’d like it to look. Get specific with your goal by describing what you will see, hear and feel once you reach your goal. Create a manageable timeframe with realistic goals and a way to measure your progress and stay accountable. Remember that big changes are created by knowing where you are going, taking small, specific steps to get there and celebrating along the way. Happy New Year!

Sheri Fisher is a Life Coach who lives in Grand Junction. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. If you have topic suggestions, e-mail or comment on Sheri’s blog. Sheri can be reached at or for more information, visit

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