365 Days of Intentional Focus and Personal Exploration: 2018 Coaching Summary
My theme, or personal guiding concept, for 2018 was to “slow down”.
I did my very best all year to move at a slower pace, take more time for myself and not rush through decisions. This theme certainly played out in my business activities as well as my personal life. This post is a summary of my annual reflections and specific measurements of my activities and contributions as a coach in 2018.
Due to resuming work full-time in a mentally intense job late in 2017, I had little bandwidth to dedicate to my small coaching practice in 2018. I knew that I needed to be intentional and deliberate with my coaching efforts. With pared back goals, my business activities focused on two activities: connecting and educating.
Business Focus 1: Connecting
Early in 2018 I connected with a wide variety of people through my Weekly Refresh opportunities. These virtual and in person conversations were times where we would slow down, connect with our values, goals and challenges and provide support to each other. Connecting with people on such personal and pertinent topics brought new energy to the start of my year for all of first quarter.
I launched a free community group using Meetup.com, which was the basis for my local coaching outreach efforts all year long. This group was a fantastic way to meet people as I got settled in to my new hometown (Vancouver, Washington). I hosted a variety of small but fruitful events at various places across town.
Thanks to connections I made early in the year I hosted a joint workshop as part of Vancouver’s Small Business month. This workshop was energizing and my co-facilitators were awesome partners! One direct result of this event for me was launching my Day Away Packages, which help people carve out time for intentional living, goal setting, rest and reflection. We all need a day away every now and then!
Participation in Leadership Clark County dramatically expanding my local connections as well. The program runs from September 2018- June 2019 so I will definitively continue to have ample opportunities to connect with others in 2019.
Business Focus 2: Educating
Through my full-time job, I was offered multiple opportunities to teach classes and lead training workshops for educators. This was another great opportunity to meet people interested in my coaching topics and work, especially on the power of time spent in green spaces.
I loved being back in the classroom this past year! The educator in me has been brought back to life and I look forward to more teaching opportunities in 2019.
In fact, earlier this week I taught the first session of my Coaching Skills for Managers class through Clark College. We’ve got a great group of managers ready to learn the powerful skill of coaching this winter!
On the personal side
Looking back, 2018 was also one of professional and personal exploration. With my move to Washington came new professional opportunities in the mental health field. My career as a coach started shortly after studying mental health and counseling in graduate school (back in 2005-2006). At that time I also did some personal education around the coaching model, which I love. It is powerful and effective, for sure, yet I’ve also missed being an active and direct advocate for mental health.
So after receiving my license by the state of Washington as a Mental Health Counselor Associate this summer, I decided it was time to return to my first professional love. I am now working full time as a mental health counselor at a behavioral health agency in Vancouver. It has been a life-giving opportunity and perfect chance to spread my wings professionally! This work pairs really well with my coaching work so I am excited to see what 2019 will bring!
Looking ahead to 2019
Last year was clearly focused on connecting with my community, my love for teaching, and my passion for mental health and counseling. Slowing down all year gave me a chance to deeply gain more life-clarity around my own personal and professional goals! I can tell that slowing down, connecting and educating will likely continue to weave through my 2019.
I’ve selected the song Great Are You Lord, a song by All Sons & Daughters, to guide me through 2019. Its messages of praise, hope and healing are exactly what I want to think about in the year to come. I love the way this song begins:
“You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are you, Lord”
May 2019 bring you life, love and light to your darkness. May it give you hope and restore what is broken!
2018 by the numbers:
22 free “Meetup” events in my local community (with 34 members)
14 coaching clients (group and individual)
9 blog posts on life-clarity, personal leadership and life management topics
7 Weekly Refresh sessions with others
5 Continuing Education classes offered through Clark college
2 Greenspace boost trainings for educators
1 day-long workshop for small business owners
1 new service launched: Day Away Planning Packages
1 new professional license obtained (Mental Health Counselor Associate)
Cherished words from activity participants:
Oh my gosh! What a wonderful experience I had. Jessica was easy to talk to and really helped me set some tangible and tactical strategies for my goals. So inspirational. Can’t wait until our next meet up! I hope more of you will come too. – D.
Thank you!!! I totally enjoyed the beautiful walk & meeting you..Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and I will most definitely be joining you again. – J.
My Day Away has been productive, restful and peaceful. I feel encouraged about what I am learning…especially about making time blocks. -J.