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We have plans for many things in our life: what we will do for the next holiday, what we will do on Friday night, where we will go on our next get away or vacation and childcare plans. But what about your plans for learning and growing? I had never heard of a “growth plan” before I was introduced to the concept from John Maxwell, leadership speaker, author and coach. It has been said that If we are not learning and growing, we are stagnant and actually losing ground.

So, what is your plan for learning and growing both personally and professionally?

I imagine you do have some type of plan in place, you may not have thought about it the same way. Often, we are “forced” to learn something new for our job, our new phone or computer.

What have you learned and grown from this year that was your choice?

As I thought about my own plan for growth, I first thought about what I love to do. I love to learn, to read, listen to podcasts and go to trainings and conferences. I love to put those ideas, concepts, and suggestions into action for growth. In fact, learning is one of my key values and a value for my business, LifeStrategies. Learning new concepts gives me energy.

My goal is to learn and put into action, one new idea or action a day. It may be a brand-new idea, or I may be reigniting an idea or action that I have let slip by the wayside. My intent is to reasses, reflect and then move forward into action. Even if that action is one small step.

Here is a recap of a few trainings I have attended and experienced and what I have learned:

Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. This is a six week online intense health coaching certification which I completed in April. It was based on Prime Time Health, a focused look at lifestyle, exercise, attitude and diet. It was excellent. I am now a Certified Health Coach and excited about expanding that part of my business.

Motivational Interviewing online training program. I am signed up for this program to begin in a few weeks. The key to this training is that it is created and led by the originators of motivational interviewing Dr’s Bill Miller, Steve Rollnick and Terri Moyers. I can’t wait to stay current in my motivational interviewing knowledge and skills and pass this information on in my trainings.

Prayer. This was a 6 week class I attended with my husband at our church. Strengthened my knowledge about power and was given activities to strengthen my practice.

I am so thankful of each of these learning opportunities. What is amazing is that they came to me at just the right time. And, the key is that I jumped at the opportunity even though it may not have felt as though it was at the right time. Two of them had a cost attached although well worth the money. Two were also effective as the trainings were on line. It all just worked.

I have also read several wonderful books these past six months that have spurred my growth:

Prime-Time Health by William Sears MD. Great book exploring the science and actions for healthy-aging. I reviewed the book in my last blog post, Prime Time Health.

936 Pennies Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. This book by Eryn Lynum was given to me by my good friend and college roommate as I learned I was going to be a first time Grandmother. Eryn explores the concept of time. There are 936 weeks between your child’s birth and age 18. She writes and asks the question, how are you spending them? Learning to be intentional with our time.

Deep Work by Cal Newport. This is a book I am reading as being part of ASPIRE community. Cal explores rules for focused success in a distracted world. He provides many ideas on how to schedule and block out time for activities that need “deep work” both for personal and professional activity that we want to get done. There is more and more evidence on how distracted we are with our phone, computer, time on social media and message notices.

To say I love podcast is an understatement. I LOVE podcast and listen to several each day. I often listen while I walk, workout at the gym, drive or need a “pick me up in” the middle of the day. I listen to many different podcasts, and here are a few of my favorites:

The Dave Ramsey Show – my go to. Dave is the founder of Financial Peace, strategies for getting out of debt. My husband and son have been leading FP classes for years and we have come along side couples to help them get out of debt. This is been one of my husband’s life calling. Dave’s show is ¾ educational and ¼ entertainment. I find the stories inspirational.

EntreLeadership – facilitated by Ken Colman who works with Dave Ramsey and company. All things business wrapped up with personal growth take always. Newly released books are often discussed with the author during this podcast.

My two new favorites are:
RISE by Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Stop Apologizing. I get energized just by listening to and feeling Rachel’s energy as it come right through the phone.

The Next Right Thing by Emily Freeman. A podcast about making decisions and also about making a life. I listened to an interview with Emily and immediately bought her book and read it within a few days. Her writing and message are so impactful on making decisions and making a life. Her voice will calm your weary soul and reignite you to make the most of this life, not in turn of always looking for “fun” but of making an impact by doing the next right thing. I feel like I hit the goldmine finding Emily’s podcast.

My challenge to you is to reflect on your learning and growth journey over the past 6 months. What have you learned? How have you grown? What new interested or passions have you ignited? Great. Keep it up.

If you feel like you are at a standstill, what is one thing you can begin to do? One podcast you can begin to listen to today. One book you have been interested in listening to or reading? What is your first step that you can do today?

Life is full of new and interesting things to learn, activities to engage in and conversations to have. I encourage you to start today.

If you know of others, perhaps your leadership team or a friend, who would be interested in learning more or receiving this and other blog posts, please feel free to forward to those individuals.

If you are interested in bringing me to your organization for a refresh training or coming to a public training, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a comment or email at beckylang@icloud.com.

If you want to follow me on Facebook go to LifeStrategies.

Tranform Conversations. Transform Lives.
Dr. Becky Lang

“Dr. Lang’s training provided me with a better understanding of the motivational interviewing process. The skills I learned from her training have helped me feel more engaged and thoughtful when listening and talking with those around me. Dr. Lang is energetic, knowledgeable, passionate and provides a great learning environment.”

Nancy AdrianseBSDH, Oral Health Manager, Iowa Primary Care Association

“The training I received in Becky’s motivational interviewing class was invaluable. It laid a wonderful foundation for me to effectively empower my patients to develop and implement positive changes for their health. Becky created such a nurturing, nonthreatening environment that allowed me to freely learn and practice. This is certainly a class I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn to assist others with behavior changes.”

Robin GeorgeRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“At the YMCA, we have worked with Dr. Becky Lang for over a decade now to help us shift and shape our culture. As an organization committed to strengthening our community, the coaching and training skills that Dr. Lang has provided have helped us immensely. With her education and guidance she has helped us establish a culture that focuses on building meaningful relationships with our members, focusing on their needs, and coaching them towards success in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Lang has trained all levels of our staff from our front line Wellness Coaches to our Executive Directors and Leadership Teams. Her on-going support has allowed the coaching-culture to come alive in our organization.”

Kim Stewart Kim Stewart Director of Operations, YMCA of Greater Des Moines

“The training Becky provided has been one of the most rewarding nursing experience I have had in 30 years. The style of interviewing and teaching patients is rewarding and positive. Her techniques drive the sessions to be more personal and patient-centered. Through Becky’s teaching, I was comfortable to practice and get familiar with the motivational interviewing process. Becky is an exceptional trainer and I recommend her training to all health coaches and educators.”

Sandy LovelessRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“The motivational interviewing techniques Becky teaches allow patients to set goals and work toward changes that are important to them. Patients feel in control of their own health and allow me to be in a more supportive roll. Becky has a positive and uplifting spirit that makes her classes extremely enjoyable.”

Tyra CarltonRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“Rebecca Lang was a respected colleague who diligently served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students over her long career at Grand View University. I had the distinct pleasure to work with Becky and regularly witness her vocation to Wellness education. She motivates those around her by a strong and genuine commitment to a lifestyle which promotes health and well-being.”

Katharina TumpekPhD, Professor and former Chair, Dept. of Health Promotions, Grand View University

“It has been a pleasure to work with Becky Lang over the last 25 years. Within a variety of contexts in the wellness arena, I have witnessed Dr. Lang’s mastery as a wellness educator, a health coach, a professor, and, most recently, as a health coaching trainer. I could go on at length about Dr. Lang’s passion, enthusiasm, high energy, wisdom, and deep knowledge in health promotion and behavior change. One of the attributes that impresses me most, though, is her ability to create a relaxed, fun, interactive, and content-rich training environment. Her refreshingly supportive, inviting, and empathic style of training and coaching allows learners to take risks, experiment, try on new skills, and participate authentically in role play exercises without feeling awkward and intimidated. Through Dr. Lang’s coaching and training, people learn–often more than they imagined.”

Jill NorrisRN, MPH, PCMH-CCE, Director, Care Management, University of Iowa Health Alliance