I was at a client’s home yesterday when the word HOMEWORK came up. Every session, I have some sort of “homework” that I have my clients do in order to accomplish a goal. And I see the way their faces cringe and some of them even roll their eyes. Even though they know I’m not ever going to assign a monumental 100 question long division math project, or send them home with an egg to nurture for a week. 9 times out of 10, it’s a super fun and easy task – with reward at the end. They get results and move toward their goals and it’s so cool to be a part of that. I knew I needed to change the word homework to something else because of how it is perceived in a negative way. So I considered the following words; task, project, home stuff, assignment. There were more, but I can’t remember them. I have amazing clients, really I do. Here is an example; I said in passing that I needed to change the word homework to something else, due to it’s negative perception. The client suggested the word OBJECTIVE. I thought about it for a while, and you know what? It fits. Homework is now Objective. I like that word as it has a goal based connotation to it.
This was the catalyst to this blog and the perceptions we all have when it comes to words and their meanings. Earlier, I mentioned the homework project where our teachers sent us home with the egg. Some of you might have said, “What? I loved that homework!” whereas other’s said “Man, I hated that stupid egg!” I hated that egg. It was gross. I had to lug around this smelly egg for a week and pretend it was a baby. I hated babies. They were gross and loud and way cuter than me. LOL!!! I’m not a psychologist or a doctor – Dammit Jim! I’m a Life Coach, not a doctor! (Sorry – had to) Okay, where was I? Right, I’m not a psychologist or a doctor, but I do have some education with regards to how we think as well as word association and the like. And I know that if we change words – manipulate them even, we can change the outcome. Be mindful here – don’t lie about it. But changing the word homework to objective is brilliant. So thank you above mentioned client! What words can we change so that they become motivating or empowering or a positive thing, so that when we hear the word, we don’t roll our eyes or cringe.
Barriers. A question I love to ask my clients is, “What are the barriers that are keeping you from your goal?” Barriers are there to stop us. Barrier, obstacle, obstruction, etc. Those words are all things in the way of us completing our goal. Here is the thing – if I ask you, “What barriers…” it almost puts a negative or even “there is something in the way” line of thinking into your mind. That’s not what I want. I want you to be motivated by my questions and input. So, I came up with the word Projects instead. “What projects do you need to complete to get you to your goal?” This new word suggests that there is a beginning, middle and end – that it is not a permanent blockade in place to stop us. We will overcome this and we will move forward.
- The beginning – identifying what project you are about to complete
- The middle – coming up with ways to complete the project (brainstorming is key here)
- Put those into action (and now that you know what to do, you just have to do it)
- CELEBRATE!!!! Wooooh hoooo! You did it! Pat yourself on the back. Tell yourself that you did a good job.
Being creative and challenging myself to think in different ways is such a benefit for me. I feel like I have more to offer my clients. Whether it be a different approach, a different solution or a different word.
Thank you all for reading my blog!
P.S. I just wanted to take some time to thank all of the people that read my blog, like my posts, follow my page, share my posts and spread the word. I really want this world to be amazing for all of us. Not perfect, but better. Which is why I have chosen this profession. So thank you, thank you, thank you all so so so much! It is so appreciated and I love it. You are all encouraging me to continue. Even those who just like a post – it doesn’t go unnoticed. 🙂