ATD Blog

Coach’s Corner: Carrie’s Journal

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Journaling may seem like a thing of the past, but I assure you, it is a helpful and necessary activity of the present. Let me explain why and how.

I always have believed that as a coach, the only way to create lasting behavior change in a client is to understand and improve her thinking. Once you get inside a person’s head, it is easy to connect the dots and understand her unique beliefs, perspectives, and reactions that prevent her from reaching her greatest potential.

Do you see how journaling and coaching can go hand in hand? Once I identify the beliefs that are holding a client back, I can challenge those beliefs and teach the client how to trade unproductive thoughts for ones that are far more useful.

Let me show you how much you can learn from just one journal entry. Below is an excerpt from a real client’s journal. I invite you to read this entry and respond in the comment section with questions or thoughts that help you to access more data about this client’s outlook. The questions after the journal will focus your responses.

“Lately, my mind has been focused on the ‘why.’ There are so many things that I adore in life, yet I don't feel motivated to do them. I have self-doubt, lack self-acceptance and confidence, and sometimes I just get stuck in lazy habits. Sources all around me keep telling me, ‘If the why is big enough, the how will show up.’ I spent countless hours reading articles about discovering your purpose. I have tried to expand my idea of what is right and what is necessary. But I am getting nowhere, and I feel sad. Sad that my talents and dreams are going to waste. Sad that I can’t find the answer myself. Frustrated that there are so many people in the world who seem to know their ‘why’ and their purpose… but I am left out. Why is this happening to me?”


Pretend you are this client’s coach. What would you say to make an impact on the coaching process? You can use these questions for guidance:

What is the overwhelming feeling that you notice in this journal?


What is really going on for this client?

How can you help this client move forward?

About the Author

President and Founder, Frame of Mind Coaching Kim Ades is president and founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine Software. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mother of five, she is one of North America's foremost experts on performance through thought mastery and mental focus. By using her unique process of integrating online journaling into her coaching, Kim works with clients who are intelligent, driven, and ambitious, and helps them examine and shift their thinking in order to yield extraordinary results. Kim has been a featured speaker for dozens of organizations, including the Entrepreneurs' Organization, the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, RISMedia, the International Coach Federation, the Association for Talent Development, the Society for Human Resource Management, the National Association of Realtors, the World Business and Executive Coach Summit, the National Speakers Association, and the International Association of Coaches. She also trains hundreds of coaches and leaders annually in the art of incorporating journals into their coaching process, with a focus on the study of how thoughts and beliefs affect results. For an inside look at Kim’s unique coaching approach, go to

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