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Becoming the Best Version of You

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: These Orange County life coaches guide the way to self-improvement.

miwa-riichiro
Dr. Riichiro Miwa
COURTESY OF RIICHIRO MIWA

Find a Coach
Carlie Dearborn
:: athenawomencoaching.com
Kim Somers Egelsee
:: kimlifecoach.com
Donna Schilder
:: donnaschilder.com
Tanya Brown
:: tanyabrown.net
Dr. Riichiro Miwa
:: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com
/rms/name/Riichiro_Miwa_PsyD,Author,

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It’s not too late in the year for change. While the new year often brings with it talk of resolutions and new beginnings, self-improvement is a good thing no matter the season.

And when the time comes, a good place to start could be under the guidance of a trusted life coach. According to Carlie Dearborn, of Athena Personal Development and Coaching in Tustin, a life coach is someone who takes less than optimum circumstances and helps clients overcome them with a system of knowledge and skills. Life coaches work to establish goals and focus on creating an overall healthy and happy lifestyle for the client. They can help with a wide variety of issues, including financial problems and grieving from the loss of a loved one.

Life coaching is unique from other forms of therapy because it focuses not on disabilities, but rather on positive aspects of the person's life that can be used to overcome the negative, says Dearborn. Plus, life coaches offer their clients the tools and techniques they need to succeed immediately while assisting in lifelong change, says life coach Kim Somers Egelsee, of Huntington Beach, author of Getting Your Life to a Ten.

“[Life coaching] focuses on now and the future, not the past. It focuses on improving yourself, not healing. And, it focuses on determining what you want in life and creating and implementing a plan on how to get what you want in life,” says Master Certified Coach Donna Schilder, of Long Beach, creator of the LinkedIn Video E-Course “6 Weeks to More Success Through LinkedIn.”  

Life coach and speaker Tanya Brown, of Dana Point, suggests that we need to take a new approach to the age-old “New Year’s resolutions” by calling them “lifestyle changers.” Brown advises us to ask ourselves, “What am I going to do different to make my life better, healthier and more meaningful?” And, “What has not been working in my life that needs to change so I don’t repeat the same behaviors?”

Most commonly, people fail when using New Year’s resolutions because they are not specific enough, and the steps needed to achieve that goal are too vague. “If my client brings a New Year’s resolution to me to work on, I will help them clarify and refine the goals, make it more achievable and specific, create smaller steps toward it, set good rewards for each step, and examine all the resources and obstacles,” says Dr. Riichiro Miwa, of Irvine.

Remember that you are not alone if you are struggling to make changes in 2014. Even life coaches, who are human after all, set new goals for themselves that they struggle with. Dearborn wanted to cut back on her caffeine intake, so she started making her own juices. Brown wanted to reduce her reliance on technology, so she has sworn off using it when she is with her family and while driving. Schilder wanted to simply see the beauty in every day by taking a daily walk. Whatever your goal is, the key is not being afraid, says Brown, because fear is a major source of resistance.

Dearborn recommends taking baby steps and keeping yourself accountable to someone during the process, whether that is your life coach, friend or family member.

“A life coach will be your adviser, who helps you clarify and refine your goals. Your evaluator, who enhances your self-understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, resources, support system," says Miwa. "Your teacher, who helps you learn helpful knowledge and practical and applicable skills and techniques. Your cheerleader, who constantly keeps you motivated. And your admiring buddy, who will be celebrating your achievements and successes with you.”





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