5 Homework Ideas to Help Your Clients Celebrate Life! | By Inga Michaelsen

Happy Child wearing homemade aeroplane wings against sky

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'thank you', it will be enough. Meister Eckhart

Our lives can be an occasion for constant celebration. Yet people easily forget this while trying to figure out what they want in life and taking action to fulfill their desires.

Celebrating life is an important daily practice. No-one knows when they'll take their last breath in this lifetime, so it might be time to lighten up a little and start appreciating all that we already have.

As coaches, we can help our clients slow down and focus intentionally on appreciating what we already have - instead of being in a constant chase for something better than they already have in this very moment.

Of course, it's important to strive for goals. But when our clients spend most of their time focusing on what they don't have, or on what they want more of, they'll find themselves feeling unhappy and dissatisfied.

In contrast, when people practice appreciation and acceptance of "what is", the opposite becomes true. They start experiencing the great fullness of life. This state of being has a ripple effect on everything in life - relationships deepen, work becomes more satisfying and productive, and people find themselves generally in a more fulfilled state of mind.

It's a daily practice, and here are some great homework ideas to share with your clients that will bring more celebration into their lives:

1. Discover everyday pleasure

Help your clients find enjoyment in even the most mundane tasks. One way to do this is to purposely activate all of their senses. For example, when doing dishes they can sensually experience the warm water contacting their skin, the smell of food still lingering in the air. When they eat, they can close their eyes and taste the flavour and texture of every bite. They can smell their food, touch it, play with it.

Homework 1: Find the pleasure waiting to be enjoyed in the midst of everyday life.

2. Zoom out from your instant perspective

Do you remember situations that once seemed so upsetting and now seem humorous? We take ourselves so seriously! Help your clients practice laughing as soon as they catch themselves getting upset about something unimportant. Zoom out from the situation. If you are going to laugh at yourself then, why wait?

Homework 2: Gain perspective when you notice you're getting upset about something unimportant by asking, "How will I view this situation twelve months from now?"

3. Acknowledge yourself

People tend to be their own worst critics. It's time to stop that. Instead, they can become their own cheerleader. We can encourage people to switch to a more positive focus daily and notice the difference it makes to their wellbeing.

Homework 3: While looking at yourself in the mirror, complete the following sentence for 5 minutes at a time, "What I like best about myself is …."

4. Acknowledge others

Celebrating someone else is a powerful gift to others, and at the same time it's deeply fulfilling. It builds intimacy and trust and feels good to the receiver as well as the giver. It's easy to practice with anyone: a spouse, family member, friend, the teller at the bank. Simply pause a moment, allow yourself to be with the person and vocalize what you appreciate about them.

Note: Try to acknowledge them for their qualities and who they ARE (i.e. being kind, generous, bold, attentive…) as opposed to what they DO or how they look.

Homework 4: Try to give at least 10 acknowledgements a day. For a further step, people can challenge themselves to also acknowledge people they're in conflict with or who they find it challenging to be with.

5. Find a way to Celebrate everything

This is the most challenging homework! I believe that in every situation we can find something to celebrate if we look for it. And there is certainly no shortage of suffering in people's personal lives and in the world. How can anyone celebrate when there are horrific pictures on the news? Abuse? Injustice?

Well, maybe they can celebrate the compassion it evokes in them, or the anger it brings up that fuels action for change.

Homework 5: Whenever your client notices a challenging situation, what can they find within it to celebrate?

And what about you as the coach?

Celebrate with your clients at the beginning of each session, when they meet a goal, when they solve a problem AND when they fail. Celebrate their brilliance, your brilliance and the brilliance of others. Celebrate nature, your home, your family or your career. But whatever you do, do it often, authentically and with joy!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. I celebrate you and your commitment to learn and grow!

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Contributing Author:

Inga Michaelsen, CPCC, ACC purpose-driven leaders and their dispersed teams unlock their potential through Mental Fitness and customized virtual coaching programs. Check out her website and say hello on LinkedIn or Facebook.

Learn more about Inga & see all their articles here >>

Image of Happy child with homemade aeroplane wings by Sunny studio via Shutterstock

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