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5 Steps to a Happier Healthier You in 2013

Most of us have already forgotten about their New Year’s Resolutions by the end of January. Perhaps it is because we lack the time or passion to continue or maybe it’s just too hard to build new habits into our already packed lives. Maybe it isn’t that at all, according to Columbus Life Coach Meagan O’Nan, who helps people achieve goals to live their best lives all year round.

O’Nan, 31, of Starkville has been a life coach for five years and has a bachelor’s degree in education, a master’s degree in counseling, both from Mississippi State University, and is a certified graduate of the life coaching program from the Success Unlimited Network. She has also published a book, “Creating Your Heaven on Earth, Unveiling the Truth that Was Always There,” published by Dreamriver press.

O’Nan recommends the following five steps for people who want to be happier and healthier in this new year.

Step One: Do something every day that makes you feel like anything is possible (i.e., taking a walk, meditating, praying, doing yoga, listening to your favorite song, etc.). Inspire yourself!

“People are always doing what they think they need to do,” she said, explaining that with all the obligations, people forget that they should do something for themselves. “The idea with coaching is really figuring out what makes you feel like anything is possible. You should do one thing for you.”

Step Two: Look at all the areas of your life (Health, Finances, Relationships, Support Network, Spirituality, etc.) and ask yourself what you are truly wanting this year. Not what others think you should do, but what you are truly wanting.

“If you don’t have a purpose in the things that you’re doing, it’s just meaningless action,” she said. “You end up just being here, instead of being here with a purpose.” She said that in her life coaching sessions, one of the first things she does with a client is to “break down all the areas of your life and figure out what (they) want in each area.”

Step Three: Make a vision board that lists all you want to see happen this year, and if it is something you can’t “see,” list it anyway!

While she admits that it may feel a bit silly to make an arts and crafts project, O’Nan says it’s important to constantly remind yourself what it is you want. “(A vision board) creates a visual memory in your mind,” she said. “You put it in a place you can actually see it every day, so when you go out in the world you are more likely to make choices that will lead you where you want to go. Plus, it’s fun, it’s creative.”

Step Four: Figure who you want to be this year in every area of your life. List all of the values and qualities (i.e., honesty, loyalty, cooperation, trust, etc.) that are important to you in others. Once you have the list, look for those qualities in you. Yes, you’re beautiful too!

“In coaching, I may ask (a client) what qualities (they) like in (their) best friend. (Their) responses will be what (they) think is important, what (they) need to be the best (them),” she said.

Step Five: When you are stressed or frustrated, let go. Remember, life is on your side and most things are out of your control. All you can control is who you are in the world. Be the change!

“The only thing you can really control is who you are in the world. When it gets down to it, when you break your life down into separate areas, you realize you don’t know what’s going on. Most people have no idea until they see it and that’s normal. If you aren’t taking the time to do it, how would you know?”

O’Nan works with individuals, couples, children in both singular sessions and on a continuing basis. She also hosts workshops, classes and works with sports teams, groups and businesses owners for empowerment and leadership training.

“I don’t give advice,” she said. “I help people find their own answers. That’s important to me.”

She describes life coaching as “basically a partnership between coach and client where the client comes to me with their goals and aspirations and I help develop a plan of action to make that happen, financial, health, relationship. I’m equipped to help with pretty much anything.”

O’Nan says she works with a lot of people who just want help working through a difficult situation. “A lot of times it’s relationship issues, crossroads type stuff,” she said.

O’Nan says she loves her job. “I think it’s in the small successes,” she said. “It’s not the big things like someone realizing they need to quit their job, it’s those little aha moments where people realize that they have the power to change their lives on their own and that they don’t need someone else to change or to give them something. I love that moment. That’s my favorite moment for everyone.

“I also love moments where people feel like there’s no solution to a situation they’ve brought to me. I love it when they realize they’re not stuck, that there are lots of possibilities.”

O’Nan has offices in Columbus and can be reached at 662-597-1003. She has a website and blog at www.meaganonan.org.



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