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Become your very own life coach

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Simple techniques can put you in the right state of mind to achieve your goals

If you’ve got to make changes, there are techniques you can employ to help you achieve your personal or professional objectives.

Over the years that I have been coaching, I have come across a handful of helpful methods that have proved their worth time and time again. They are not exactly coaching techniques, but are things that you can do to move forward and get results.

For example, listening to the sound of your voice making suggestions for positive change is much more effective than hearing the same words spoken by a stranger.

In fact, when you record your affirmations or even just speak your goals out loud, your subconscious mind quickly recognises the authenticity and authority of your own voice and immediately goes to work on your behalf to help carry out your commands.

There are many ways to do this. Some people make up affirmations and repeat them regularly throughout the day. Or you could leave a message on your voicemail to remind yourself about a positive thought throughout the day.

You can also set yourself an “anchor”. This is something, such as a piece of music or an unusual smell, that makes you remember a happy time or makes you feel good about yourself. You can use this natural phenomenon to help move yourself into a more resourceful and confident state.

Start by thinking of an emotion you want to feel, for example, if you want to feel more determined, then focus on a time you felt that way in the past. Let that memory be as vivid and clear as possible. Recall all the sights, sounds and smells and how you felt. Let that memory build until it is really strong, almost as if you are experiencing it again, and then find some way of anchoring it, by clenching your fist or squeezing your hands together.

Then break away and do something completely different, and afterwards repeat the process but with a different memory. Do it several times with positive memories until that anchor is good and strong. Then test your anchor by doing that physical gesture and notice how these positive memories and feelings associated with them flood back into your mind.

Trying out different methods to increase your motivation and then using what works best for you is all part of coaching yourself, but it can take practice, so let go and have a try.

»This is an excerpt from The Health Factor: Coach Yourself to Better Health, available from

Anne Marshall has been a nurse and midwife for more than 20 years. She runs a clinical hypnosis practice in Dorset and offers wellness coaching seminars throughout the UK.

Suggestions for daily prompts

  • If you want to take up more physical exercise, keep your running shoes by the front door. Better still, put them on as soon as you get up - it’s harder to curl up on the sofa with them on
  • Write some supportive sticky notes and strategically place them where you will find them throughout the day to remind you of your goal
  • Send yourself an encouraging email or supportive text message
  • Join an online group to support you and enable you to tap into the enthusiasm of others
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