Katie Baird's Quick Coaching Moment: Reflective Journaling

Welcome to our Quick Coaching Moment series with Scout Guide Houston Volume 6 member, Katie Baird of Baird Coaching. Once a quarter, our Scouted Expert will check in to share tools + insight she employs with her clients every day. Intended for readers at every stage of their life and career, Katie’s Quick Coaching Moments will cover everything from reflective journaling to beating burnout, offering deeply impactful, industry-leading insight with a healthy dose of good humor along the way. Learn more about Katie and the services she offers here and keep an eye on Instagram for the latest updates on Quick Coaching Moments.

Today, we chat about reflective journaling. We’ll let Katie take it from here…

Many of my clients seek my expertise and services when going through significant change, so that I often find myself working with clients facing transitions such as pivoting careers or returning to work for the first time since having children. Together, through open-ended, exploratory questions, we begin to unpack or work through these major life transitions with intentionality, embracing their new life or career stage with clarity and confidence.

Often, I encourage my clients to use our coaching work as the starting point for practicing new skills. More specifically, I encourage clients to begin experimenting with protecting their time, incorporating intentionality and planning for mentally taxing work as a way to develop the skills that will help them make as seamless of a transition as possible.

However, I’m a firm believer that you can practice these skills and achieve a similar kind of self-exploration on your own through reflective journaling. Whether you’re facing a daunting transition, are attempting to discern what’s next for or simply want to uncover more about yourself, reflective journaling is an empowering place to start.

First, keep it simple. Start small and pick one of the following questions – I’ve included some of my favorites below. This is practicing intentionality. Second, find a time and place where you can noodle on the question for 15 uninterupted minutes. Here, you’re practicing the skill of protecting your time. Finally, make sure the time you have chosen to think reflectively and journal on the topic is one where you’re not exhausted physically or emotionally. This is planning for mentally taxing work. Now, find some paper, grab your favorite pen, set a timer and get started.

This doesn’t need to be a “one and done” exercise – nor should it be. Throughout the week, let your mind revist the question and add iteratively to your initial response. Ready for more questions to reflectively journal about? Check out the highlights at @bairdcoaching for an array of empowering questions – I frequently add to the list. These should get you started…

What’s now? What’s next?

What’s a new learning you’ve discovered?

What’s the real challenge for you?

How can others help you?

Why settle?

What’s a new way forward?

What’s the right next move?

The Isolation Journals

Ready for more resources? Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals is wonderful for creatives. I’ve seen journaling leveraged by my clients as a really powerful extension of our coaching sessions. It’s a ritual for many that encourages reflection – there’s no right answer they need to land on. By being mindful (but not consumed by) the past, clients demonstrate greater confidence and clarity as they make forward-looking choices.

If you’re interested in more tips, resources and support, reach out to Baird Coaching for future-focused, facilitated self-discovery and collaborative coaching. Don’t forget to tell her Scout sent you!