By: Ann Voli
Stress Management Coach, SPAIN
The Hamster Coaching Model has been developed to help people achieve more calmness and peace of mind in order to get clarity on what they really want to achieve in life.
In today´s world we are not only involved with professional life, but we also juggle family responsibilities, making ends meet, social life, concerns about health, exercising, keeping fit, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, personal growth, spirituality, continued education, and much, much more.
As a result, we end up feeling like a hamster on a wheel. We run in place, repeating the same thing day in and day out with the feeling that we are not getting anywhere, but we are too rushed to take a break and focus on what we really want or need.
To remedy this situation, the Hamster Model provides you with a simple but effective structure, with easy but powerful steps that will enable you to create a safe and clear space where you will first understand clearly what´s going on in the areas that really need attention and then will help you define your real and most important goals and the necessary actions to achieve them.
This structure is divided into 5 simple steps.
Step 1. Take a break! Breathe (2 minutes), meditate (2 minutes), be mindful (24/7)
Here you are, running so fast and feeling as though you aren´t getting anywhere: scurry, scurry, scurry, and then sleep. And wake up and do it again. You don´t have time for yourself, you don´t have time to focus on what is important, or even to understand what is important. So we start with this step, right here where you are, with three simple things that anyone can implement to slow down and take a break.
You will learn how to breathe and how to meditate in easy-to-do 2 minute increments, and how to integrate the relaxing practice of mindfulness into your life.
To achieve that, I will teach you a simple and unique 2 minute breathing technique, a 2 minute meditation, and guidelines for practicing mindfulness 24/7.
Quickly, easily and naturally these three simple techniques will bring your mind into the present moment. You will immediately feel more relaxed, rested, energized, more peaceful, and ready to step off the wheel.
Slowing down and taking a break provides a space to realize what is really happening in your life, where you are and where you are going. Now I will walk you through the following steps which will help you lay the foundation for a richer and more fulfilling life.
Step 2. Waking up: your story, (beliefs, values and attitudes)
We often tell ourselves stories that keep us running and rushing to achieve more. These stories keep us hooked into our hectic life-styles. We rarely stop to question if they are truly our own stories or someone else’s story that we have unwittingly adopted.
In this step, I will coach you with active listening and challenging questions to help you wake up and become aware of the stories that are causing you to scurry and scamper.
Having the opportunity to listen to yourself tell your story will allow you to gain a new awareness and perspective on your life. You will wake up to what you really want, how you want to feel, what new story you would like to create, and what attitudes, values and beliefs you already hold that will support you in this.
Step 3. Taking charge: responsibility, boundaries and choices
Conflicting demands can give us the uncomfortable feeling that we are being pulled in opposite directions. Undermined by shaky boundaries, uncertain about where personal responsibility ends and other´s responsibility begins, we tend to say “yes” when we mean “no”. We don’t realize that we have choices about the responsibility we take on.
Here we will explore together what healthy boundaries look and feel like and how to put them into practice with the challenging people and situations in your life. Together we will define what you are responsible for and for what you are not responsible. This new awareness will put in charge of your life. You will come to the empowering realization that you are the cause and not the effect of your life and relationships.
Step 4. Digging deeper: Discovering inner strength and managing emotions
When challenging situations confront us, we can feel weak and helpless. We get blown away by overpowering emotions and forget the strengths that helped us overcome similar situations in the past.
In this step I will encourage you to reflect on challenges you faced in the past, the strategies you used to overcome them, and the lessons you learned in the process. I will introduce you to simple methods for accepting and then releasing negative emotions, and freeing up your energy to find solutions.
Rediscovering strategies for handling challenges and viewing life experiences with the perspective that they are opportunities to learn and grow instead of potential disasters to be avoided, and knowing tools to manage the negative emotions will definitely boost your self-confidence.
Step 5. Moving ahead: setting goals and taking action.
At this point, you are feeling lighter, you are in control of how to face what happens in your life and you have the power to change what needs to be changed and to achieve your goals. You have stepped off the wheel. There is a smile on your face. Now you have the calmness and peace of mind to be clear about what you really want to achieve in life.
Supported by a clearer awareness of your stories, a balanced sense of responsibility, healthier boundaries, powerful tools and an affirming knowledge of your inner strengths and ability to manage your emotions under duress, you are ready to move ahead, choose where you want to go and plan on how to get there.
As we go through this process, I will be helping you to integrate the simple practice of breathing, meditating and being mindful into your daily life, with all the benefits of present moment awareness, feeling more relaxed, rested, energized, and more peaceful. And you will be confident that if you do accidentally jump back on the wheel, you now have these simple, easy to implement tools at hand to slow down, step off the wheel and back into Life with clarity and energy.
Each step supports the next step and reinforces the previous one in a continuous spiral of growing self-confidence and increasing self-awareness. In addition, the position of these steps in the model is interchangeable, creating a natural and spontaneous ebb and flow during the coaching process, optimally aligned with your personality and needs.
During this process, I will accompany you with the gift of a serene, warm, comforting and encouraging presence, enhanced with the wisdom gained over years of my own life experience and my experience helping others like you.