When it comes to our health, general fitness and body image, it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into well-meaning, scientifically proven, yet utterly ineffective weight loss and fitness regimens promising washboard abs, Kardashian buns and Hemsworth biceps. There’s the latest fad diet, that sick new workout, the New Year’s fast, the wedding and reunion purge, the hot yoga sweat-off, the Keto this, the Paleo that, and on and on. There’s a bazillion hard-bodied Instagrammers and YouTube stars hustling the latest new 5-minute buns, guns and fun workout, not to be confused with the same star’s 45-minute butt, biceps and back routine. Lord, please deliver me!
On the whole, there’s a tremendous amount of quality information out there, not to be confused with all the total, utter shit (and downright dangerous) advice mixed in. Do we really need a calorie counter app to tell us: fettuccini bad, salmon good. Will another article on the health benefits of green tea over Diet Coke really stop us from guzzling the latter.
In my wellness coaching, I work on my client’s body image, their relationship with food, the way they talk to themselves, how they cope with stress and how they relieve it: in the real world, amidst their real life including a hectic family and work schedule. We explore all the cutting-edge science surrounding a healthy diet and proper fitness routines, but the concentration is always on little, practical, incremental changes that will result in the formation of life-changing habits that enable lasting results in the real world – where heavy work travel affects diet and exercise routines, where pizza luncheons and office candy bowls predominate, where there’s a coworker birthday with ice cream cake every damn week.
Our bodies don’t add unhealthy weight overnight and the self-harming coping mechanisms that we’ve developed over the years in response to increasingly complex life stressers took time to develop into the hardened patterns and routines that fail to serve our best interests. The tiny little changes that ignited our less desirable habits are the same little changes we will leverage to undo them, one mindful step at a time.
I use a balanced approach, combining bleeding-edge behavioral modification strategies culled from established journals with scientifically proven, peer-reviewed mindfulness exercises founded in thousand-year-old Eastern traditions. You won’t be gazing into a crystal ball, or placing 45 aromatherapy candles around your bathtub – although a couple couldn’t hurt – you’ll be given little routines that you can fit into the smallest cracks in your busy day. By giving you little doable exercises we will slowly chip away at those seemingly small things you do in a day that over time lead to larger, long-term changes in weight, health and overall life satisfaction.
One of the hardest truths to come to is that self-acceptance leads to change. Yes, the science has spoken and that self-pat on the back will go a lot further than that self-kick in the ass. You can leave the metaphorical ass-kicking to me. If self-loathing and toxic self-criticism led to formidable butts and cut pecs, well hell, we’d all have Kardashian asses and Hemsworth boobs. But we don’t. And we won’t. Because we’re not Kim, Chris, Chloe or Liam or the rest of that hard-bodied brood. We’re you and me. And we can have our own incredible Instagram ass or guns, if that’s our primary goal, or we can get into the best shape of our lives so that we can spend more time with our loved ones, our kids and grandkids, our selves. We can become healthy enough to travel more and go on hiking, cycling or kayaking adventures.
I work closely with my health and wellness clients, developing targeted, agile plans taking your personal and professional lives into account. I create personalized guided meditations of varying lengths that speak to and motivate you on a conscious and subconscious level, improving your relationship with food, eating, and exercise while also providing stress management, mindfulness techniques and self-reflection. We will work as a team to rewrite your self-dialogue into a helpful conversation that serves your ultimate narrative rather than punishing you for caloric misdeeds or gym routine lapses time and time again. Together we will discover your root causes of stress eating and dietary relapse and patiently design responsive behavioral and habit formation strategies to address them. The guided meditations will serve to underscore the coaching session discoveries we will make together and keep you on track – not just throughout the coaching process, but for the rest of your life.
Why Life Coaching Works
The best life coach will help you embrace your role as the sole cog able to set things in motion in your life and overcome difficulty and distraction to create the life you want to lead while also mitigating the effects of internal and outside criticism, doubt, derision or negativity. I am that coach.
Coaching empowers you to seek answers from within and take ownership of problems and challenges you may have consciously or subconsciously determined to be too overwhelming or difficult to access or act on with the consistency and effectiveness necessary to produce the desired long-term results. With the help of a coach you can realize your true potential in any number of areas through this “ownership” process. In this way, successful coaching results in your ability to extend what you learn throughout the process into your personal and professional life well beyond those initial 6 coaching sessions. It is truly the most important investment you can make.
Coaching, when done effectively, works in different ways for different people. Some clients thrive when provided with the real accountability coaching provides – having to show up and report on the effectiveness of the exercises, assignments or tasks assigned in the previous session. I keep my clients engaged through a motivational text or email, making sure they stay on track. Most clients will be looking to achieve specific goals or overcome nagging obstacles, but may have alternate learning modes or respond completely differently to “tried and true” coaching techniques. I customize every behavioral tool, communication technique or habit formation strategy to each client, factoring in their learning style and comfort level. This client may perform better with a pat on the back, that client a metaphorical kick in the ass. Pats on the back and kicks in the ass provided as required. The reason coaching works, is that the best coaches treat each client individually, calculating their acceptance of or resistance to certain forms of learning or coaching and developing customized, responsive and creative solutions that factor in the individual’s personality, motivational needs, comfort level, potential pain points, persistent blocks and additional resources or skills required to break through. I am that coach.
Two Types of Coaching
There are two primary types of coaching: performance coaching where I hone in on sharpening a person’s execution of a given job or task, for example coaching someone’s sales performance, whereas development coaching concerns itself with developing the individual, improving the way they think and address different situations in their personal and professional realms. The two often overlap, but the distinctions are important. If we use the example above, I can coach someone to exceptional sales results using performance coaching techniques and also teach them to better handle rejection in a sales career through development coaching.
Clients I help
My life coaching clients come from all walks of life, seeking all kinds of different things. I coach high-performing Wall Streeters, entrepreneurs and C-level executives struggling through a plateau. My small business clients often need help with their marketing campaigns or web content. I’m a peerless copywriter, on par with the top “Big 6” ad agency scribes. I coach transitioning college grads, moms returning to work and nine-to-fivers seeking a more lucrative or meaningful career. I am a resume genius. I coach women, men and couples having relationship troubles. I coach busy professionals on how to achieve a better work / life balance. I help people of all ages find their dating confidence. I teach dating fundamentals and totally revamp online profiles. Other clients need help managing difficult family relationships. A number of my clients come to me for coaching that helps them lose weight, improve their body image and acquire a permanent physical fitness regimen. Some of my clients come to resolve stress, overeating or an addiction to cigarettes or alcohol. Many of my clients seek help with a number of things above – and many other issues too numerous to list.
How I help them
How did coaching help the clients mentioned above? Well listening is one hell of a start, for sure. I listen closely to the various goals and challenges my clients present, peeling back the onion, not in therapy terms of digging up the past, but tracing back the tangled roots that lead to underwhelming, problematic or unsuccessful outcomes. Often, the presenting problem or obstacle (in the path of continued progress or success) as conveyed in an initial session turns out to be a red herring, and the underlying issue is actually something quite different than the client may have imagined. In coaching, as in opposed to therapy, we focus our attention on the here and now, and the way forward. We may look backward to find a root cause that will inform a customized, responsive solution, but we don’t stay in the past, rummaging around back there. In my coaching practice, and in coaching in general, we do just enough backward investigation to find the most efficient and effective path to your desired end goal. There are times when therapy is a good supplementary option for a client and I have quality recommendations when applicable.
Once we work together to identify some of the obstacles or challenges presented on the path toward my clients’ ultimate goals, I design customized habit formation strategies and behavioral modification techniques tailored to strengthen their resolve, improve their confidence and empower them to acquire the precise skill sets necessary to thrive in their cherished personal and professional domains. I provide ongoing motivation, supplementing the findings we come to in our sessions with text message, email or phone support. My clients know that I’ve got their back while they expand their personal comfort zone to seek out and master pretty damn uncomfortable change in a number of areas.
Most importantly, I reinforce the key findings unearthed in our coaching sessions by writing and recording customized guided meditations that reach my clients on both a conscious and subconscious level. By listening to these recordings, a client can take in a wide range of beneficial information and alternate strategies tailored to promote ongoing momentum and positive change in a number of personal and professional areas.
Effective change is nothing more than a new habit, and the way we create effective new habits is to overwrite the undesirable habits that have blazed distinct neural networks in our brain with little new habits that we tend and strengthen until they grow to subsume those old unwanted patterns. Forming a new habit is difficult because it requires a combination of executive brain functions to construct what will essentially become a shortcut key or hot button that is the habit. During the formation process you’re drawing on different areas, so you become more vulnerable to relapse as you construct this little programming cue, but if you stick with it, executing it time and time again, it effectively becomes solid state and overtakes that unwanted behavior. The problem is, some of your least desirable habits have also been wired into a solid state, efficient little process that can reemerge if not consistently trod upon by your newer, more desirable habit. I teach my clients the most effective methods to understand and take on their highly efficient, bossy brains, while trouncing bad habits and building more effective ones that serve their long-term interests.
Putting It All Together
I employ a compassionate mix of leading-edge brain research, proven behavioral science and customized goal setting, system-building and habit-forming methodologies to motivate clients from comfort to accomplishment, from procrastination to project completion, and perhaps most importantly, from “shit happens” to “I make shit happen.” I utilize the latest high-performance and development coaching techniques, but do so in an accessible way that resonates with clients looking for down-to-earth, relatable and scientifically proven methods to overcome personal and professional obstacles and break through. Whether you’re struggling to realize goals you’ve imagined for years or simply looking to reenergize and connect with yourself in the midst of “outward” professional success, I’m your coach.
The coaching community is filled with jargon like “never provide an answer – lead the client to their own answers to create lasting change.” Now there is truth in this statement, but it’s also total bullshit. It’s incredibly important for clients to take ownership of the process, or the tools I employ–the work we do together–may only work “in this or that instance”, or fail to work at all. But here’s the thing, life doesn’t conform to coaching jargon, some clients respond better to different techniques…ones that fly in the face of every coaching school maxim. Sometimes a client is so stuck in their present destructive habit loop, or incredibly successful yet afflicted with a nagging feeling of “something’s missing” that some immediate answers spur action, and action is the key to progress. So, hell yes, I have the answers after doing this for so many years, and damn right I’ll provide them…but I’ll also make you work your ass off to find your own way, so you not only achieve your desired results, but you develop a custom tool kit that will help you through your next challenge, and the one after that…indeed a lifetime of challenges.
Oh yeah, and if it’s not painfully obvious by now, I’m a New Yorker, whose specialty is helping small fish, big fish, old fish, new fish, all-frickin’ kinds of glorious fish swim with (and eventually dine on) the sharks in this big New York City pond…or your pond, wherever that is. Employing a patented mix of “loving pat on the back meets motivational kick in the ass,” my BS-free life coaching style was forged in Manhattan over two decades, helping turn an eclectic mix of international executives, salespeople, actors, the LBGT community, abuse survivors, artists, persons with disabilities and corporate professionals into high performers in their personal lives and fields of interest or expertise.
Financial gain and high performance don’t automatically equate to happiness or even satisfaction however, so I apply a holistic approach to coaching that focuses on creating client-specific work/life integration strategies, self-esteem boosters, procrastination remedies, fear-fighters, anxiety countermeasures, self-compassion techniques and mindfulness exercises that ensure personal success doesn’t come at the cost of personal well-being. Relying upon proven techniques and exercises derived from the latest developments in High Performance & Development Coaching, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as well as bleeding edge breakthroughs in Neuroplasticity, Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, I stir all that tasty alphabet soup up, adding a heaping dash of “whatever the hell works for you” to create a customized, personal program tailored to get you from where you are today to where you want to be tomorrow.
You’ve probably asked yourself at some point, “why do I get so freakin’ stressed over another bad date; why do I let this crap get to me” – and of course, you already know the answer: whom you choose to date leads directly to whom you choose to spend your precious life with – which is, without a doubt, the single most important decision you will ever make in your lifetime (every time you make it). To which you rightly respond: “Holy shit, Frank, are you trying to freak me out- cuz I’m frickin’ freakin’ out!”
Well, no, I’m not. I’m trying to bring into the hot glaring light of day the real stuff that may be lurking behind your understandable dating anxiety… the first step to calming all that negative (albeit legitimate) crap down. Yes, it is true, dating will determine your partner who will play a significant role in determining where you live, what you earn, whether you pursue that new career path, what you do in your free time, whether you travel or not, how you feel about yourself, whether you have children, the friends you keep, make or lose, whether you pursue an advanced certificate or degree, and so much more.
To which you rightfully respond, “for the love of god, Frank, so now my life isn’t worth living without Princess Perfect or Captain Wonder Drawers?” To which I say “no, don’t buy into the fallacy that you must have a life partner to lead a happy and fulfilled existence – that kind of b.s. is propagated by plenty of people working on their umpteenth divorce preaching all kinds of shit their first, second and third spouse never listened to either.” In fact, I will tell you that the best way to attract an awesome match is to master the art of truly enjoying and thriving on your own first, getting to know your healthy boundaries and strengthening your sense of self – a process we will work together on as we totally revamp your dating approach enabling you to find the right mate who will complement and enhance your already-thriving life.
What I’m trying to get at is that if you seek out a partner that person will impact every major aspect of your life, irrespective of how independent, self-motivated and successful you are. The wrong partner can become an ankle weight in a raging, unpredictable sea, the right partner, a life preserver that gets you through the storm, enabling your next adventure. You want your significant other to positively impact the key phases of your life, not consume them. You don’t have to find your cheerleader necessarily, but you definitely want the person who will support you, believe in you, carry their own weight and catch you when you fall from time to time.
So yes, there’s a lot on the line, but no, my goal is not to make you even more stressed than you were on that shitty date with that narcissist who was 15 years older and 40 lbs. heavier than his/her solitary photo on Match.com. My goal is to empower you, despite what’s at stake, to successfully navigate the b.s. of online or speed dating (or even blind dating–god forbid), work through the understandable fatigue and disillusionment that sets in, and finally begin to thrive again, and have some fun for the love of god! You have to strike the right balance between your non-negotiables and your ideals while still opening yourself up to new experiences. You need to remain agile enough to move your fences to incorporate new landscapes – even though the process itself makes you want to electrify your borders and add razor wire. Dating can become so excruciating that we become jaded, closing ourselves off to a nice evening, a good laugh, an unexpected friendship, some good conversation, a networking opportunity or the rewarding long-term relationship that may come from extra effort, sometimes extraordinary effort.
Yes, dating is very difficult, but no matter whether you’re dating for fun, toward marriage, or recovering from a bad breakup, a long-term relationship or divorce, there are ways to build your confidence and attract the right partner for you, considering your current circumstances and your future life goals. Where you’re at right now will dictate the best approach that suits you. Being able to celebrate dating wins that aren’t necessarily relationship-worthy matchups can be crucial. Allowing yourself to have fun on a date with someone who clearly isn’t a life match is a skill and one you must acquire to get you through those lean dating periods before finally breaking through.
The first thing I work on with all my dating clients is bolstering their dating confidence and building a foundational knowledge of the process itself. Dating confidence is certainly related to your overall confidence, but it also factors in a strong grasp of the process: how to spot when a person has revealed themselves to be quite different than the avatar they’re presenting themselves to be in their profile, a text message or a phone call. You’ll also need to know what to put in your own profile (and of equal importance, what to leave out) and what to look for in someone else’s. You’ll want to know which dating site best fits your personality. How to date off-line, without a dating app. How to get the best out of a night of speed dating. How to network and find meetups or events, opening yourself to a more organic form of dating. When and if you should employ a professional matchmaker’s services. And that’s just for starters.
Beyond the strong foundational dating knowledge I will instill is the more crucial emotional resiliency that will get you through the ups and downs in the dating process, and of course by “ups and downs” I’m really referring to getting you through the “down, down, down, up down” process. Dating isn’t easy. You’ve got to celebrate those ups and let the hell go of all those downs, becoming an “agile dater.” Sometimes, the older and wiser we get the more likely we are to outthink our own best interests or over-protect ourselves from even the slightest possibility of rejection. But if you can gamify dating (not to be confused with treating it like some meaningless game) – honing in on the end goal while keeping your sense of self and sense of humor, you will retain your emotional footing and find the enjoyment creeping out between what seems like concrete misery at times. You can become more accepting of yourself so that you can attract a partner that also possesses the self-knowledge necessary to be emotionally present with you.
One of the key skills I help instill in my clients is the ability to rebuild their resilience and retain their sense of self despite the stress, negativity and disillusionment that can consume anyone trying to date. The hard truth is that the more beleaguered you become, the more likely you are overlook those imperceptible signals that indicate a person’s fundamental character early in the dating process – for good and bad. You may overlook some key character flaw that you just can’t abide or fail to notice some fundamental strengths of someone you didn’t take too seriously initially. With the behavioral exercises and resiliency tools we work on, you’ll be able to consistently summon your true self and convey your natural energy – despite the ups and downs in the process, which will make you far more efficient at spotting a potential match and quickly breezing past those mismatches.
Confidence is very similar to a habit, in fact it could be said that it’s little more than a good habit, and like all habits the way to acquire it is to start with little sticky habits that then turn into key “transformative” habits with repetition, over time. I will give you exercises that help you reevaluate negative self-perceptions, and gradually expand your comfort zones to include what may once have been massively uncomfortable… like the thought of asking that person out.
In addition to addressing the low self-esteem, self-sabotage and related stumbling blocks we all throw in front of ourselves while putting ourselves out there, I leverage my copywriting expertise to do a forensic analysis of how you’re representing yourself in the online dating community, what type of person your profile is likely to attract in its current state and how I can help you attract the person you actually want to share your precious life and love with. More importantly, I work tirelessly to come up with new and creative solutions and exercises to refresh self-confidence and combat the understandable fatigue and disillusionment that all forms of dating can instill in even the most optimistic and confident among us. Dating online (or otherwise) is a particularly bruising experience requiring a Kevlar-clad constitution, a high tolerance for some bad company and a healthy sense of humor. I’ll help you keep it real, providing upbeat motivation as you progress from swiping left, left, left, left again and again and again damn it, until, with a bit of hard-won positivity, motivation and guidance, you finally get it right.
A 31-Minute Guided Meditation
This long-form guided meditation is a personal development tool perfected over a three-month coaching period and serves to review and remedy several major issues and goals identified via the coaching process. In this sample meditation, our imaginary client needs to work through some self-defeating anger issues and counteract an old habit of underemployment.
A 17-Minute Guided Meditation
In this mid-length guided meditation sample, the client is preparing for a career move. This particular meditation would supplement strategic performance coaching focusing in on specific life elements in need of immediate attention. The meditation is geared toward the initial actions required to begin such a significant life transition: developing the precise mindset necessary to successfully switch jobs or even careers. Additional meditations would take a deeper dive into particular strategies involved in searching for work or interviewing effectively.
A 22-Minute Guided Meditation
In this performance coaching meditation sample, the client needs help overcoming a plateau, or period of personal or professional stagnation. The long-form guided meditation walks the client through the possible reasons behind this stagnant period and the actions necessary to break through the plateau. Additional recordings would be tailored to deep-dive into any additional blocks or pain-points that may prevent or stifle effective change.
In this mid-length development coaching meditation, the client has a nagging procrastination issue. The guided meditation addresses several potential causes and would be followed by another custom visualization drilling down in greater detail into the most effective remedy as determined through the coaching process.
A 9-Minute Guided Meditation
This short-length guided meditation sample can serve as both a development and performance coaching tool – in the first case helping a client who has difficulty getting started on a project and in the latter case, helping push a client toward action in a specific area in need of attention.
The Power of Guided Meditation
Every coaching client receives a customized guided meditation recording that directly addresses the immediate issues (or crises) affecting their day-to-day life as well as positive reinforcement of habits and behaviors that support their long-term goals that we identify together through the coaching process. These guided meditations or visualizations are similar to “normal” meditations in that you may close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing to put your body into a receptive state, but unlike meditations, the visualizations are loaded with specific remedial thought patterns and behavioral cues that work on our subconscious to affect positive action and change.
Leveraging over 20 years of professional copywriting expertise, I take the most critical information related to desirable new habits, positive steps forward, self-compassionate ways of thinking and problem areas or pain points that must be addressed – weaving them all together in an engaging guided mediation narrative that provides subconscious and conscious cues promoting immediate and continued action in the direction you want to take, the personal narrative you want your life to tell. These visualizations become cornerstones that not only serve to remind you of the actions most critical to your continued success, but motivational tools that will allow you to self-coach your way through challenges long after our sessions have ended. The client-specific, customized guided meditations are just one of the many tools that separate me from any other life coach out there… I give you the tools that will help you turn 3 months of coaching into a lifetime of positive change.