ATD Blog

Coach’s Corner: Sam’s Journal

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It is amazing how much power your thoughts have over you. Your thoughts alone can determine how you live your life, how you respond to others, and how successful you are. When it comes to coaching, I find it essential to identify the thoughts of my clients. I use journaling to do this.

I ask each client to journal daily online, and when we have our weekly coaching call, it is unbelievable how much I have learned. Journaling gives me access to a client’s thinking patterns, beliefs, and perspectives—all of which I never could uncover through weekly calls alone.

I always interact with my clients’ journal entries and pose questions and comments that help them to see themselves in a different light. I’m passionate about demonstrating the importance of journaling in coaching.

Below is a sample client journal. Read the journal and try to understand the mindset and perspectives that are limiting the client. What would you say to help this client move forward? Use the guiding questions below to help you respond.


“I am tired—the kind of tired that makes it hard to open my eyes really wide. I've been going non-stop for the past week or two, and I can feel that I need a good night's sleep. The drama that has popped up related to my father and his care is something that is leaving me very disturbed. Today my family got into a fight about where to keep my father for the next few days. The camps are divided, and the claws are out. I feel disappointed that this is happening and sad that I have very little influence, being so far away from my father. My voice doesn't count for much. Even if I travel back and forth to see him, I still am considered the baby who just goes along with the decisions my siblings make. The question for me is: How do I manage myself within this environment?”

What beliefs are bringing this client down?


In what ways does she see herself that aren’t particularly useful?

What can help this client move forward?

What questions can you ask to learn more?

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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