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Take Time For Your Life
(Cheryl Richardson)

This book is a step by step self-coaching programme on significant aspects of life i.e. how you spend your time, quality of life, money, work, relationships.

I found this book truly inspirational, my motivation to becoming a coach. It provides very clear insight into what coaching can do, ample illustrations of where people get stuck in their lives and how working with a personal coach can make the difference in moving you on to a more fulfilled life.

Cheryl Richardson helps you understand that you are in control of your own life and have the choice about how you live your life and spend your time. Throughout the book you are guided through a challenging process of putting your current life ?under the microscope? to identify areas that don?t allow you to ?be? or ?achieve? what you want; and provided with clear instructions to help you improve your quality of life and make changes. It is very comprehensively written, with the author ?talking? to you?as if you were having a one to one dialogue. The author introduces many coaching methods in a gentle non-threatening way e.g. challenging beliefs, the power of positive thinking, affirmation work and mantras.

Although this book is not intended to be a training manual or reference book for coaches, I found it an excellent introduction to the subject, a rich source of anecdotal experience, giving valuable insight into the coach / client relationship and the key skills of a coach.

Cheryl Richardson's skill in enabling you to feel safe and open up to your innermost fears and concerns and then facilitating personal dialogue by asking provocative, challenging questions is so helpful. It helps all who read it to face issues holding them back in their life and to connect with themselves and address what they really want. Many issues drawn out can be revelational, need time to be absorbed, and can possibly leave you in a confused state, leading to inaction. Therefore at the same time as providing searching questions the author encourages and keeps the focus and momentum. She also helps make overwhelming tasks smaller and possible as demonstrated in the reprioritising tasks exercises.

The book is packed with coaching scenarios, all of them helpful for either self-coaching (you can identify with a lot of issues described!) or coaches starting out in training because it shows the breadth and depth of life situations that people experience and how people can change.

In conclusion, the book provides a framework, which is challenging yet unthreatening. Using a variety of means (written exercises, questionnaires, journal writing) the reader is taken on a soul-searching, revealing, motivating, personal journey: redefining priorities, identifying and eliminating the things that drain energy, and then given the tools to kick-start and rebuild their ?new life?.

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