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6 secrets to really get “me-time”

As a mom with 2 young kids in school, working full-time, starting my own business, having a social life and trying to live healthy, I often loose sight of myself. I run between the different locations, activities and between the different roles I play in my own life. And I don’t manage to find one additional minute in my day to have “me-time” and recharge.

Does this sound familiar? You are not alone!

In today’s world, we always have something to do and usually that something is more important than taking time for yourself – or at least, that’s the impression that we have. We don’t allow ourselves to take time for ourselves as long as there is still something on our to-do-list – and there are always at least 5 things on it. And if we finally stop doing the things on our to-do-list, we probably crash in front of the television to binge-watch another series.

So, is there no way to actually get me-time? Of course there is! There are actually 6 secrets that I want to share with you, which will allow you to really get the me-time you want!

1.   Schedule “me-time”

It might sound strange, but it actually helps to schedule your me-time. What works best is to schedule something like a massage, a sports session, a music concert, or anything where you need an appointment. This way, you will be less tempted to cancel it last minute.

But you typically don’t need an appointment for other types of me-time activities like reading a book in your sofa. Even if that is true, you should actually book it in your agenda and honour it like if it were an actual appointment. What helps even more is to also book this in the ‘family agenda’, so that everyone in your family knows that you will not be available for any other activity.

2.  Announce “me-time”

The best way to ensure you will actually get the me-time you have planned, is to announce it. When will your me-time start? When will it end? What can your family expect of you or not expect of you during your me-time? Announce this and you would be amazed about the wonders this could do.

From my personal experience, I noticed that my kids are very understanding and respectful of those moments where I announce that I will take some me-time. It has even inspired them to do some reading of their own or create some crafts.

3. Have mini sessions of “me-time” every day

Try to find something in your daily routine that you can turn into me-time. It could be taking a shower, doing some sports, playing music, doing some yoga, journaling, knitting, reading, … You can turn about anything into a moment of me-time, as long as you can really enjoy it and as long as it gives you energy.

By introducing mini sessions of me-time, you build up a ritual that reinforces the message that you deserve me-time and that you can get me-time whenever you need it.

4. Do it NOW

Whenever you feel like you should have some me-time now, or you won’t make it till the end of the day, just take some me-time NOW! Go outside for a walk, take a bath, pour a cup of tea and read a book, take a nap in the sun, make a cross-word puzzle, … Do whatever you want, but do something small NOW! And then still book that spa, that sports session or those concert tickets, so that you have something to look forward to.

5.  Stop feeling guilty about having “me-time”

Feeling guilty about me-time is probably something that is stopping us from having me-time more often than we think. We think we should first still finish those 4 items that we had planned to do, or that we should probably spend the time with kids, friends or family before we deserve to get some me-time. But we forget about all the things we already did in the days and weeks before or about all the time we have already spent with kids, friends and family.

The best way to stop feeling guilty is to talk about your plans to get some me-time. As soon as you announce your plans, you will notice people start approving your plans and even start encouraging you to persist. They might even ask you about it next time you see each other, so you will be more inclined to actually do your planned activity.

6. Do something YOU are actually passionate about

This sounds like an open door, but might be more difficult than you think. In order to fully recharge, you have to do something that you are passionate about, not something that is expected of you, not something that you should still do and disguise as me-time. It should be something that you are so passionate and enthousiastic about that it fully re-energizes you.

If you follow these tips and actually get some me-time, you will find that you will become a better version of yourself. That you will have more energy to spend time and energy on the other important people and things in your life. That you can live more in harmony with yourself. That you can give to other people without feeling depleted. That you can live your life with passion.

What do you do to get your me-time? Let me know!

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Are you ready to promote your people?

Have you ever been in this situation? You want to promote someone in your team, because (s)he has really great potential. But the actual performance isn’t always up to expectations (yet). So, what do you do? To promote or not to promote?

You want to provide the people in your organisation with the right opportunities, you want them to grow professionally and you want them to live up to their potential. But how do you do that? And how do you make sure that once you have promoted them, they will not disappoint you in their new role?

 

The action plan…

Of course, you can make an action plan together, with concrete actions to perform, put in some milestones and metrics and try to follow up on them. But when push comes to shove, you know that time will be limited, everyone will be busy and that there will always be something that is more important than the items on the action plan. And even when you do succeed in following up on the action plan, there is a risk that the defined actions will not guarantee success in the new role.

So, if an action plan is not the solution, then what is?

 

Coaching to realise potential

Coaching for promotion readiness can help to ensure that the newly promoted employee will stand up to the challenges of their new role. During the coaching journey, the coach and the coachee will map out the necessary skills and capabilities for the new role and determine where the gaps are with the current situation. They will work through different sessions to bridge these gaps and ensure that the person is ready to take on the new role.

With this approach, you are able to provide your people with the career opportunities that they deserve. They will be able to develop new skills and capabilities and they will know that they are not alone on this journey. They will understand that their company believes in them and invests in them to make them grow both as a person and professionally. And it goes without saying that this will also benefit the future loyalty of your employees.

 

Rise up to the expectations

And of course, the newly developed skills and capabilities will also ensure that the promoted employee will rise up to the expectations of his/her new role. Win for the employee, win for the manager, win for the company!

So, are you ready to support and grow the future leaders of your company?

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Are you interested in joining a coaching program or starting a project together? Reach out for a free intake session!

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Employee rewards? Give the gift of personal growth and development!

Nowadays, reward packages at many companies look very similar. They include off course a competitive salary and in many cases a company car and smartphone, some health and pension plans and some allowances. In some cases, companies also include alternative compensation options from which employees can choose what interests them, like concert tickets, holiday trips, charity donations, music vouchers and many more.

While these common reward packages are usually appreciated by your employees, they are very similar between different companies and don’t convey any long-term message or commitment from the organisation. At the same time, organisations strive to increase employee engagement and retention. So, how can the reward package be used to build a long-term relationship between the company and the employee?

 

The gift of attention and continuous development

The answer is not so difficult: when you give your employees the gift of attention, continuous personal growth and development, you show them that you are investing in their future. When you help people to be successful, when you show them how to advance their career, when you provide them with the opportunities to learn and grow, you provide them with a sense of belonging to the company. That is how you build that long-term relationship.

This gift of attention, continuous personal growth and development can be offered through a combination of traditional training, in-house mentoring and business coaching. While traditional training is probably already part of your rewards packages, mentoring and business coaching are seen less frequently and usually in less formalised ways. Especially business coaching is typically offered to higher management only or in selective cases, while most employees would highly benefit from this opportunity.

 

Business coaching for personal growth

Business coaching will allow employees to self-reflect, learn and grow on aspects that are important to their jobs and their personal lives and personalities. This growth will then impact their productivity, engagement and loyalty, thus positively impacting the organisation in turn.

By adding business coaching to your reward package for your employees, you will be able to demonstrate that you are a truly people-centric organisation, committed to long-term relationships with your employees.

So, what are you waiting for? Will you make mentoring and business coaching a standard item in your reward package?

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Are you interested in joining a coaching program or starting a project together? Reach out for a free intake session!

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Group coaching: a new hype or something real?

Group coaching is not a concept that is widely spread (yet) in Belgium. But when you look at the UK and the US, you will be able to find plenty of group coaching programs. But what is group coaching about? It is gathering a group of people around a common goal or theme and have them work together to reach their individual goals – together.

But why would you consider group coaching instead of individual coaching? Actually, there are many reasons to do so:

 

1. you are not alone

An important item to realise when you are facing a challenge or want to achieve a goal, is the realisation that you are not the only one. The mere fact that there are other people who are striving to achieve the same or a similar goal, is comforting in itself. It can give you confidence that you are not alone in figuring out how to get there and that might be all you need to persevere.

 

2. benefit from the wisdom of the group

When you are embarking on a journey with a group of people, you can benefit from their experience and learn from their mistakes. It can be very comfortable to know that your choices and decisions have been preceded by the choices and decisions made by other people. It is great to learn about the pitfalls from other team members and understand how to overcome them.

 

3. extend your network

After going through an entire group trajectory together, you will automatically bond with the people in your group, as you are having similar experiences and help each other to navigate these experiences. This will build relationships that are much stronger and long-lasting, because they are rooted in the knowledge that you have gone through something together. As the other people in the group are people you might otherwise not meet, the group coaching sessions will expand your network, but not in the ‘add another linkedin connection’ way, but in a more profound way that is based on mutual respect and understanding.

 

4. hold each other accountable

Because you are working through a similar challenge with different people at the same time, buddies can be assigned who hold each other accountable for their progress. When there are tasks to be executed, actions to be taken, phone calls to be made, etc, the buddy will inform about your progress on these topics. Being held accountable largely increases the chances of actually executing the actions and therefore your success in actually achieving your goals.

 

5. learning to ask for help and to accept help

Something that many people struggle with is asking for help on the one hand, but also accepting help on the other hand. Being in a group coaching setting, allows you to do this in a safe environment. And it is even expected behaviour! Throughout the program, you will find that asking for help makes it much easier for you to get to certain insights and that accepting help is actually fun for the person offering the help. A win-win situation! And now you can even apply it in your daily life!

 

A group coaching program can take many forms and can use a mix of different formats, including one-to-one sessions, live group sessions, webinars, pre-recorded video’s or podcasts, an online forum for members to interact and share experiences, phone calls for Q&A, personal assignments or worksheet, an off-site inspiration/learning/sharing day and probably some more. Some of the programs are completely digital, while some others offer a mix of digital and face-to-face interactions.

So, would you be considering to participate in a group coaching program? And if so, what do you think could be the biggest benefits? What would you prefer for the format? And if not, what would be holding you back?

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Are you interested in joining a coaching program or starting a project together? Reach out for a free intake session!

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Are you interested in joining a coaching program or starting a project together? Reach out for a free intake session!

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What happy clients say

““I don’t do short-term” she told me once after we had recently met and started working together. And that quote always stuck. Birgit has an almost innate passion to make people grow, both professionally as well as personally, and she is excellent at it!”

Katy Willems

“Birgit is a very enthusiastic and competent coach who really listens and responds to the needs of the coachee. Her extensive experience in consulting and project management is of great added value. By asking the right questions at the right time, she supported me in doing critical self-reflection. I would definitely recommend her as a coach.”

Stéphanie Vets

“During her coachings, Birgit creates a ‘safe space’ and she knows how to build trust with a client. She always asks clarifying questions and her curiosity drives the question “what’s possible here?” She allowed me to discover what works for me and guided me through my journey. But she also shared information in a way that allows me to learn. For me, it was the perfect balance. Thanks a lot Birgit. Wishing you much luck on your coaching business!”

Leen Lievens

During her coaching, Birgit shows the coachee how and where to improve – not in a directive manner, but in a way that the coachee sees the gaps himself and can formulate his own path for improvement. Birgit will also continue to support you after the coaching session, informing about your progress and making corrective suggestions if and when necessary. In small steps, she helps the coachee to reach a common goal.

Malika Rahou

“I had the great opportunity to get advices from Birgit in an HEC leadership training. She provided me very relevant advices with regards to management of self and others. Birgit is great in listening to others and I had several to-the-point recommendations that were very useful in for improving my leadership style and making the decision making smoother in a complex environment (multi-cultural for instance). I would definitively recommend Birgit for coaching activities.”

Paul Bayle

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Hof van Delftlaan 60, 2180 Ekeren

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