Did You Do Your Homework?

Did You Do Your Homework? by Fabienne Swartz

{2:46 minutes read} Coaching is about moving forward and improving your life. If there’s something that could be working better in your life, the idea is to figure out how. In order for coaching to help you discover the how you have to work at it — and the more work you put into the search, the more benefits you will reap.

One method of reinforcing the ideas that we brainstorm together is to assign “homework” between sessions. What does this self-directed learning consist of? Finding that balance between what is possible and what can be a realistic best practice to help you achieve your goals. Let’s look at two case studies from my experience (all identifying information has been altered or removed).

Client Goal: To better understand the family finances

This is an excellent goal. Some people struggle to understand the cash flow of their households, either because they can’t get organized, they think they have a “math block,” or because someone else always takes care of it. Before this client could get educated, there were a number of documents she needed, like the deed to the house, mortgage-related documents, and the previous year’s tax returns. In addition to procuring those things, I recommended the following: 

  • start opening and reading the mail;
  • get access to online banking;
  • schedule a one-on-one meeting with the financial adviser; and
  • keep track of every single purchase. 

Client Goal: To simply be happier

Again, an excellent goal, and certainly one that we all share. In my experience, one of the ways that a person can feel happier is by being more grateful. When someone is grateful, they can see what is positive in life; what they have instead of what is missing.

So let’s say this client’s unhappiness stems from her relationship with her husband. In this case, the idea would be to look at the things about him that she loves. Part of her “homework” might be to make a list like this: 

  1. He’s a great provider.
  2. He cooks.
  3. He’s a feminist.
  4. The children love to spend time with him.
  5. He saves money out of every paycheck.
  6. He thinks of everything.
  7. He’s physically fit and handsome.
  8. He’s generous to others.
  9. We like the same music.
  10. He says he can’t live without me. 

Lastly, it’s important to understand that coaching sessions have a cumulative effect, just like exercise. Missing your coaching sessions is actually very much like missing your personal training sessions; we have to go back and cover some old ground before covering any new ground. That being said, I usually request to see my clients every 10 days as opposed to every week. This will give you enough time to practice your new, positive habits before you come back for more. 

What can you improve with coaching? 

To get started, contact me.

Fabienne Swartz JD (Belgium) CDFATM
Certified Divorce Financial AnalystTM
500 Mamaroneck Av.
Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
(914) 798-6940

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