Beating Bad Habits

Jessi Haggerty, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Movement Instructor in Boston, MA recently asked me to guest blog about Beating Bad Habits on her website,   …and of course, stay tuned for more helpful ideas, insights, and encouragement right here at Inspired Life Coaching!

Trade Those Bad Habits in for Healthy, Productive Ones!

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Board Certified Life Coach. I work with clients of all ages, ethnicities, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and gender. Across the board, a common complaint among those in their 20′s and 30′s is a feeling of being left behind by their peers. Most enter adulthood with a road map of life goals and developmental milestones they expect to achieve. When they notice their peers speeding ahead of them, they feel lost in the dust, discouraged, and confused. What they forgot to consider from the get-go were the unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances life inevitably presents, and the accumulation of BAD HABITS. If you’re wondering how you got to the place where you are and why you haven’t gotten further, ask yourself these questions and answer them whole heartedly.

1. Where did I expect to be by now?

2. How does that differ from my current reality?

3. What would my life look like if it were more balanced?

4. What am I holding onto that is holding me back?

5. What gives me energy?

6. How do I get in my own way?

7. What does my ideal life look like?

8. How are the choices I’m making today getting me closer to my goals?

9. What skills or strengths do I wish to use more fully?

10. What three things can I do this week to move toward the future I want?

Often times, the bad habits that get in our way are fueled by an impulsive desire for immediate gratification, and a lack of focus. It can be easy to fall into the trap of overconsumption of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, socialization, and a lack of regular exercise and adequate sleep. These bad habits can have a negative effect on all areas of our lives. Consider the impact a bad habit can have on intimacy, health, spirituality, career, and family.

In order to begin the process of dumping the bad habits and embracing a more authentic and fulfilled you, begin a journal of your daily activities. Keep a log of what you’ve eaten, whether or not you’ve exercised, and if you’ve gotten adequate sleep. Where, with whom, and how have you spent your time? This will help you become more mindfully aware of your behaviors and allow you to act with intention. Is your goal to improve your career, build your social network, or meet a potential mate? Ask yourself, “How is this bad habit serving my personal goals?”. Allow time to reflect on your day and be thankful for at least one thing that’s happened today.

Keep a clear vision of the future you want, think positively, and act mindfully. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has evidenced that simply acknowledging the positives in your life can improve your thinking, feelings, and behavior. Be ready for change. Take charge of your life and your actions! Commit to one activity or behavior today that will move you forward and away from those BAD HABITS.

Bad habits won’t just go away. Each time you catch yourself tempted to engage in one, ask yourself what is motivating you. Is it anger, hunger, boredom, or exhaustion? Substitute that bad habit with a new healthier behavior. Do something different. The more often you replace a bad habit with a new and improved one, the easier it will be to drop it permanently and actualize your best intentions!

click here for insightful articles for healthy eating by Jessi…

Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem After A Toxic Relationship

It can be difficult to re-establish a healthy routine and empower yourself after a toxic relationship. Fortunately, coming to the realization that you need to let go is one of the most difficult steps.   If you have already gone this far then you have won half the battle and you’re almost there! Now you can finally concentrate on yourself and detoxify yourself from the relationship.


Pace Yourself: Give yourself time to heal.  We can be harder on ourselves than on any other person.  Realize that fully overcoming the issues you had to face during your relationship may take time, and that’s OKAY. Give yourself a break.  Don’t fall into the trap of pressuring yourself or bringing yourself down because the results aren’t immediate. Healing is a process.


Know yourself: Become aware of your emotions and allow yourself to feel them.  Mindfulness is the main goal here, and bottling up emotions won’t do any good. This is the time for emotional acknowledgement and purification. Find what helps you to release your emotions in a liberating way, such as meditation, writing in a journal, listening to music, or just talking with loved ones.


Love Yourself: Rarely do toxic relationships allow for any time for self- love or appreciation.  This can exhaust your self esteem and leave you feeling less than decent. This is the time to rediscover yourself and remember just how remarkable you are. Be your own cheerleader.  Challenge yourself by participating in activities and new hobbies.  Give yourself the opportunity to recognize your strengths.  Join a gym, take up cooking, sign up for a marathon or take a class at a local university, do anything that you’ve wanted to do but felt as though you couldn’t. What you once dreamt of, you can still have. NOW is the time!


Free Yourself: Completely sever ties with the toxic individual. At the moment it may seem like an unbearable task and you may think you cannot picture your life without this relationship- but you can, and you will. You are strong! And letting go does not mean giving up- it means moving on. Allowing the individual to linger in your life will cause you to repeat the same toxic patterns that made you realize you needed to make a change in the first place. Think of it this way, you were fine before this and you’ll be fine after this. You can do it.


Help Yourself: If you feel as though you are unable to move on from a toxic relationship and are feeling depressed or unable to get your life back on track- seek help from a Licensed Mental Health professional. They will help you target your specific problems and help you come up with solutions that fit your situation. There is always a solution and someone willing to help. Don’t give up hope!




*Written by Michelle Avidon, a Clinical Psychology Graduate Student with a BA in Psychology. She mentored troubled youth at The Door in New York City and now works in Inpatient Mental Health in New Canaan, CT. *Edited by Heather Edwards, LMHC, NCC, BCC

7 Tips for Moving Forward

Are you ready for change but don’t know where to start?  Use these simple tips to get yourself out of the rut and on the road to achieving your dreams.

1.  Define your goals.  Get crystal clear on what you want.  Imagine your future-self.   Describe what you see.  What are the predominant features?    Put it in writing.  Establish long term and short term goals that are concrete, measurable, and achievable.  If they are vague ideas, they will be too difficult to accomplish.  

2.  Take the first step.  Choose a task to start your journey toward a better future.  Sometimes getting started is the most difficult part.  Once you get the ball rolling it’s likely to continue.  Nudge yourself to begin the momentum.  What one aspect of that future-self can you work on today, tomorrow, and/or next month?  Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”, Lao Tzu.

3.  Take responsibility for your successes, and failures.  Owning your part in your life is empowering.  Every time you blame someone or something else for your circumstances you are giving your power away. Growth and development happen through both successes and failures.  The only true failure is not trying at all.

4.  Embrace change.  Change is as certain as the sunrise.  Its irony is that it’s the one constant we can count on happening.  Get comfortable with it.  Let go of old notions about the way things are supposed to be.  You are only holding yourself back by clinging to how you’re used to doing things.  Take a class, learn a new skill, or join a professional networking group.  Stretch yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.

5.  Focus on what you can control.  The best recipe for frustration and disappointment is trying to control people and situations outside of your realm of control.  Adjust your attitude and expectations. What is right in front of you?  What can you do about it?  Where can you have a positive influence?  Identify achievable tasks that will move you closer to accomplishing your dreams.

6.  Notice and maximize your strengths.  Use your special skills to move forward.  What are you good at doing?  How can you use those strengths to inch closer to your dreams?  Give yourself credit for the small wins and larger victories.  Self criticism is a given.  Fight back by thinking positively and appreciating each of your talents and efforts.  The way you think about things effects the way you feel and behave and can effect your mood and outcomes.

7.  Let go of fear.  Fear can be a powerful stumbling block.  Acknowledge your fear and let it go.  Live in the present moment with intention.  Pause, breathe.  Ask yourself, “If my fear didn’t exist, what would I do differently?”.

Make Summertime Work for You

The official start of summer is almost here.  And unless you plan it well, in the blink of an eye, it’s gone! Here in the Northeast, we only get a few months of warmth, sunshine, and extended daylight hours. This has proven to improve mood, lower anxiety, and increase energy levels.   How can you be sure to maximize the energy boost you get from the glorious sunlight and vitamin D?

It’s easy if you stay organized.  Plan your summer from the start.   Name your priorities.  What do you want to accomplish?  Is it family time?  Taking a vacation?  Home improvement projects?  Building your career or business?  Enjoying the outdoors? Reconnecting with friends?

Get out your day planner and schedule your summer.  Give yourself deadlines for completing important tasks or planning a vacation.  Is there a concert you don’t want to miss?  Is there a friend you’re overdue to visit?  You’ll be surprised how quickly the weekends fill up!  There are tons of tools online for staying organized.  Here is one example…

Keep focused on career goals.  FInd a networking group to join on-line or in-person.   Commit to specific times and dates for important phone calls and meetings, personal goals for productivity,  and performance of your job.  Be creative in finding ways to enjoy your work while maintaining a healthy balance with fun.

Get outside.  There is evidence that suggests that not only sunshine, but soil improves mood and increases relaxation.  Take a walk in a park, do some gardening, connect with nature.  The bacteria in soil can actually make you feel better by effecting your serotonin levels.

Be in the moment.  Notice the beauty in your surroundings.  What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel?  Tune in to each of your five senses.  Appreciate them.  Now that you have your summer planned and on track, feel free to relax and enjoy each breath.

Better Time Management

How often has it felt like you would NEVER get everything done that needs to be done?  Your to-do list becomes overwhelming and downright stifling.  The more you think about it, the bigger and more impossible it seems.  You know that if you just start whittling away at it, it will be done before you know it.  But where and how do you start?  Follow these simple steps to tackle the unsurmountable with ease and grace. 

1.  Draft your to-do list – Write everything down. Yup, every single item no matter how big or small.  Put it on paper, in front of you. This stops the list from swirling in your head and stopping you.  Take charge!

2.  Prioritize the list using a letter system to designate daily, weekly, and monthly items.  – What has to be done today?  Give it an “A”.  What can be done by the end of the week?  Give it a “B”.  What doesn’t have a deadline but is an ongoing chore that you’d like to complete regularly?  Give it a “C”.   For example, can you tidy a room, make your bed, or sort laundry in between completing higher priority items?  Are there monthly items?  Give them a “D”.

3. Delegate – Is there anything that you can ask for help completing?  Can you enlist the help of your spouse/partner, roommate, or children?

4.  Use a planner – Schedule your time in a planner.  Your time is important. Structuring your day this way can keep you focused and industrious.

5.  Set a reminder – Set the alarm in your phone to remind you of important items or appointments.

6. Take breaks – Mental and physical breaks from the daily grind keep you fresh, motivated, and on task.  Allow 15 minutes to enjoy yourself.  Go for a walk, call a friend, or take a cat nap.

7.  Get back to work  – If you’ve completed the “A” items, move on to the “B”s.

8. Reward yourself – Check the completed items off your list.  Notice them.  Celebrate them! Enjoy your accomplishments.  You’ve worked hard.  The sense of accomplishment  you feel will keep you motivated, focused, and on-task the next day.

What Can Life Coaching Do For Me?

Washington Monument

Washington MonumentA Life Coach provides the support, encouragement, and extra push required to stretch you beyond your comfort zone.  She helps you prioritize, manage time, and maintain clarity needed for continued and new successes. Weekly check-ins keep you accountable to the goals you set.  You and your Coach celebrate victories and troubleshoot challenges.   Problems are faced head-on to develop strategies and solutions that work for you.

You and your Coach will notice the things that are going well!  After all, when was the last time you gave yourself credit for your accomplishments?  There are hundreds of tasks we complete everyday that we take for granted. Notice them, own them, and celebrate them!

It’s true that we all have a wealth of wisdom.  We have vibrant ideas about how we want things to be different in our lives, and perhaps the world. We know we want things to change but we don’t know how or where to start.  Many people have ideas about what to do to make change happen but, it just is not happening yet!

“What can a Life Coach do for me that I can’t do for myself?”.  First, you will spend 45 minutes per week focusing on YOU with your Life Coach.    You will complete an inventory of what gives you energy and determine ways to maximize the things in your life that motivate and inspire you.  You will identify what drains your energy and determine ways to minimize or eliminate the energy drainers that block your path to success.  You will tap into your imagination to envision the future you want.  Experiencing that future place and noticing what’s around you can give you clues to developing the next steps to get there, a.k.a. goals. Establishing weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals with your Coach will keep you motivated, focused, and moving forward.

Now go ahead, get comfortable, imagine yourself in your future place.  Tell me what you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste.  What do you notice?  Who is there?  What is there?  How did you get there?  …Now let’s get to work!  Your dreams can come true!

How would your life be different if you had the focus, vision, and energy necessary to define and achieve your goals?

What if you had the reinforcement to strengthen and fortify your intentions to push harder and reach further?

What if you had the support of someone whose sole purpose is to make your dreams a reality?

Life Coaching is exactly that.    It is a partnership in which you and your Coach explore your ambitions, ideas, and vision for your future.   It is an acceleration of clearly defined steps to achieving your personal and/or professional goals.  It bolsters your commitment to be your best!   It actively “de-clutters” your current life to clear the pathway to success.

Through Coaching, you will identify what you really want out of life.  With the support of your Life Coach, you will develop a plan to get it.  Your Coach will hold you accountable to following through on each step while encouraging you to succeed. You will eliminate challenges.  You will celebrate victories.  You will be your best self.

Life Coaching

You and your Coach will define the path to success.

Be Brave. Be Inspired. Be Free.

Life/Business Coaching versus Psychotherapy

A popular question I’ve been asked is, “What is the difference between Life Coaching and Psychotherapy?”.  Here in the Big Apple, Psychotherapy is very popular.  People are comforted by having a Psychotherapist to lean on as a source of clarity and support.  But Psychotherapy is much more than that.  It is a treatment of psychological problems typically caused by past traumas and/or experiences, or a biological imbalance. Its main purpose is to improve mental health and an overall sense of well-being.  A diagnosis and treatment plan guide the course of therapy services.  Health Insurance will pay for Psychotherapy.

Those practicing Psychotherapy at the Licensure level, e.g. Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Clinical Social Workers, etc. have completed at least a Masters Degree and two years full time supervised clinical experience, in addition to passing a national clinical exam.  The focus in Psychotherapy is on healing past & present issues that are interfering with current functioning.  In a successful Therapeutic relationship, the client will have resolved those issues which are detrimental to optimal functioning and a positive sense of well-being.

Life Coaching is solely rooted in the here-and-now, and the future.  An assessment of current strengths, wishes, challenges, and energy drainers determine the direction of Coaching.  It is a dynamic, collaborative relationship in which the Coach and Coachee are equal partners in the process of change.  The Coach uses inquiry, visioning, open ended questions, and listening skills to stretch and empower the Coachee.  Exploration of values, preferences and unique perspectives leading to a new way of thinking and being are encouraged.  Through this experience, the Coachee identifies personal and/or business goals, and the pathway to achieving them.  The Coach keeps the Coachee accountable to staying on target and moving forward with weekly check-ins.  In a successful Coaching relationship, the Coachee will meet their goals and move forward to an improved way of being.

The Coaching profession has a variety of Certifications, but not Licensure.  Some argue that it began as an established profession sometime in the 1980’s.  In the mid-1990’s, organizations such as the International Coach Federation developed a code a ethics and standards of practice for Coaching.  The National Board of Certified Counselors recently established the Board Certified Coach credential.  It requires a Masters Degree in Counseling/Psychology and a National Board Certified Counselor credential to qualify.  Since there is no license for Coaching, anyone can call themselves a Coach.  Before you hire a Coach, be sure to check out their credentials and experience.  Coaching styles and expertise vary like the colors of Spring.

*For more information on Psychotherapy, visit my website



Welcome to my Life Coaching website!  You might be wondering how Life Coaching could benefit you.  I’ve been asked, “What is Life Coaching?”, “What can I expect from Life Coaching?”, “What is the difference between Life Coaching and Psychotherapy?”,  “How do I know if Life Coaching is right for me?”, and  “How long does Life Coaching take?”.

Stay tuned for answers to these questions, and more.  Feel free to post your own questions or comments.  I look forward to hearing your ideas.