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Did You Know Resolutions Aren't Encouraging?

Message 1, January, 2021

Dear Guest,

Hello! Well, it’s officially 2021, so Happy New Year! And welcome to my “January Encouragement for Caregivers” series. I’m a family caregiver too, and honestly, I’m looking forward to this series too. We are in this together.

The definition of “encourage” is: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.” So I’m not going to suggest that either of us make a resolution, because I just don’t think they end up becoming encouraging, especially not for caregivers. There’s just a lot of guilt and shame implied when we let those resolutions fizzle away after a couple of weeks (or maybe even just a few days). As family caregivers, the last thing we need is more discouraging ideas in our heads.

But what I do want to suggest is that we can together learn to encourage ourselves so that our lives can open up and become a lot more fulfilling. And so that we can learn to see beyond our supposed limitations to what’s possible.

Instead of making a resolution with you, I’d like to use this email series to remind you and me to take a few minutes a day to think about who we are as humans with potential, not just who we are as caregivers. I’m not going to use this time with you to talk about your circumstances, and good gracious, I know how challenging circumstances can be when you are a caregiver, but I don’t think it’s helpful to choose to think only about our challenges!

I’d like to suggest that when you receive your daily email,* please use it as a cue to take a short pause, just for you. Ideally, you will pre-schedule your pause into your day - perhaps pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, or take a short walk. And during this time, focus your attention on YOU. If it helps, you can use the ideas I present in each message as a thought prompt, or if you prefer, you can listen to a recording of it [here]. And if you can't schedule this into your day in advance, don't let that stop you!

And, I’m going to promise you something I’ve learned through long years of coaching people of all ages: I am never, ever going to judge you for your thoughts, beliefs or feelings about yourself or someone else! I will never expect you to be perfect or even to agree with me about anything I say. In fact, I want you to challenge me if you disagree! Questioning the ideas other people tell you is absolutely vital to learning how to focus your thoughts on you and what you want. Please practice your questioning on me; trust me, since I believe caregivers don’t have any more limitations than anybody else, I’m accustomed to talking with people who disagree with me!

I’m going to be doing everything I write about, too, right alongside you. Please always remember that I am a caregiver too.

I believe very strongly that nobody is “perfect” (especially not me). That’s why what we’re going to do together this month is called a “practice.” We’re going to practice new ways of thinking about ourselves. Even though I’ve been doing this awareness work for years, and I coach caregivers so they can believe in themselves and live the life of their dreams, I’m hardly an enlightened being! I’m writing these messages because they will help me, too.

Thank you for being here with me and sharing this practice with me this month!

Until tomorrow,

Kay Coughlin

*I won’t publish emails on Sundays. That’s my day off. As a family caregiver, I have a ton of other things going on (I’m also a wife, mother and entrepreneur/coach). I think it’s critical to claim my time off and protect it so I can get some real rest!

The more the merrier! Forward this email to a caregiver you know or invite them to sign up any time here. If you missed an email, links to all daily messages can be found here.


Copyright 2020, Facilitator On Fire, Galena, OH, 43021, 614.426.8062

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