As the holidays come to an end, this is the time of year where the minds of many people begin evaluating the past year and turn their focus, sometimes with a mix of excitement and dread, toward the New Year. It’s late December and I can almost hear the voices of clients new and old who will begin arriving in the first week of January.
There are the clients who want to spend more time with family and friends. There are others who want to lose weight and work on their physical fitness. Others still would like to quit smoking or drinking, to learn to enjoy life more, to improve their mental health, to get out debt and learn something new. It’s not uncommon to hear people talking about doing something to help others, or finding a new job and getting organized.
Each year our coaches work with people to accomplish those goals. Our hands-on, action-oriented life coaching, career coaching and wellness coaching is results-oriented and goal-directed. It seeks to help clients to move from the stage of figuring out goals and preparing plans to actually acting on those efforts and following through until the goals are completed–or adjusted as desires and expectations change.
In the meantime, for those of you who are in the Washington, D.C. area and are looking for some do-it-yourself ideas, we’ve compiled a list of ideas below that will help get you jumpstarted:
1. More Time with Family and Friends. Washingtonians seem to be one of the few groups that do not take advantage of the Washington area. With its wealth of resources, museums and outdoor attractions, there are plenty of healthy activities to do with family and friends. Among our top suggestions are visiting the Smithsonian museums or the National Zoo, touring the national monuments and memorials, touring the three houses of government, taking a walk through Georgetown, walking or biking through the C&O Canal, or seeing a show at the Kennedy Center or a concert at Wolftrap. Exploring Mount Vernon, taking a hike through Great Falls Park, taking a walking tour of Old Town Alexandria or visiting the Northern Virginia RegionalAuthority parks are great options for spending time with friends or family.
2. Quitting Smoking and Drinking. Studies have shown that the best way to quit smoking involves a combination of medication, the patch and smoking cessation classes. The Inova Health System offers smoking cessation classes, personal quit coaches, smoking cessation seminars and a support group that meets the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in Fairfax. Our wellness coaches work to help people quit smoking, while our mental health coaches work to help people trying to quit drinking or manage other addictions.
3. Physical Fitness and Weight Loss. Goose Creek’s Wellness Coach, Sharon Craddock, and fitness consultant, Natalie Schneck, work with clients to help people improve their lives through health, fitness and other holistic wellness methods. Wellness coaches work as your encouraging partners in getting healthy, losing weight, coming up with and following through on a fitness program and other things that will improve your health.
4. Volunteering. Our work often involves connecting clients with opportunities to volunteer their time. Helping others can provide a great sense of satisfaction, boost your self-esteem and help provide meaningful contributions to others. We’ve recently worked to people obtain volunteer opportunities with the USO, a therapeutic horse riding school for children with special needs, the Loudoun County Salvation Army and a variety of other organizations. A great source for matching yourself with volunteer opportunities is the Washington, D.C. volunteermatch.org page. It provides interactive tools to help match your profile and interests with opportunities that are out there.
6. Improving Your (Or Your Child’s) Grades. Our coaches often work with people with learning disabilities, executive function problems and other academic problems to help improve their comprehension, absorption of knowledge, test-taking skills, structure, organization, prioritizing, routine, executive functioning, writing and other things that help improve grades.
This is not, obviously, an exhaustive list of the resources available out there or the services that we provide. We do wish you luck in your New Year and with accomplishing your goals. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you.