Kate Stevens

Kate Stevens, Life Coach

Slow down to Reflect NOW for 2023

2 minute read and free resource


I know that right now there’s a lot going on in the run up to Christmas holidays. Many of us will be looking forward to the break but feel the pressure of work – I’m one of them and I’ve heard similar this week with the people I coach. I’ve caught myself thinking at least 3 times this week that I‘ll use my Christmas break to catch up on work – HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

If we don’t take time to slow down now and reflect on what has happened in the past year, we will miss out on brilliant learning opportunities.  And a break – of course.

In other words, let’s take time to slow down and reflect now, to be even better in 2023!


Benefits of reflection time

Making time to reflect can feel onerous when we just want to ‘get on with it’. Yet it’s time well invested because it enables us to;

  • Learn from the past – you have invaluable insights and key information right in front of you to learn from and use constructively
  • Focus – ensuring what’s important to evaluate and reflect on can provide vital focus and direction for the future
  • Be more effective in the longer term  – if we spend our energy wisely we’ll have all that fantastic focus and save time and energy


Consequences of not reflecting now

Although using our Christmas break to get on top of things might sound like a great way to ensure productivity, doing more isn’t always doing better.

Possible consequences might be to our;
• Mental and physical health – are we caring for ourselves enough? A break is a break right?!
• Self-esteem – do we have a deeper need to be perceived as someone of value/importance to the organisation? Aren’t we good enough?
• Effectiveness at work – are we as effective as we’d like?
• Personal relationships – will they suffer if our focus is elsewhere?


Paying some attention now to what’s happened over the past 12 months might help us start 2023 with new focus and energy!


Golden autumn leaves on a sunny day  The long shadow of the photographer is visible
Get outdoors to feel inspired and think clearly

3 ways to slow down and reflect this Christmas


1.   Get outdoors – take in what’s around you to feel inspired and less stressed. The natural patterns in nature called fractals (think leaves, branches, snowflakes)  actually soothe our brains leaving us feeling rested or refreshed. Read more here

2.   Go for a walk to clear your mind. Ever noticed how you think more clearly on a walk? Gentle exercise and scenery – take in what’s around you

3.   Journal – to get your thoughts out on paper. Good for rumination because it provides perspective and exploring what’s going on at a deeper level


Spending time reflecting means you can learn from the past, be more effective in the longer term, and apply what you learn to future challenges. It will also help you notice the good in you – your strengths and positive traits that make you unique. And it can help you consider the wider impact of your actions, going forwards.

I’ll be planning some time to slow down and reflect more this Christmas – the good and the bad BUT with a focus on the good because that will keep it healthy and positive (I wrote about the Power of Positive Thinking here). And after this is posted, I wont be doing any more work until the New Year.

That's a promise to myself ❤️

Why not plan time to slow down and reflect now?


Coaching Questions to help you Reflect on 2022

What have I enjoyed this past year?

What I have achieved? Big and small

What does time well spent look like for me?


Want more?  Try this free download of Coaching Questions HERE.


The benefits of reflection time are huge and can be applied to all areas of your life. As we enter the Christmas break, reflect on what’s happened this year – with kindness. You might be surprised at how much you’ve learned.


Client agreement - ground rules.

1. Bring my whole self to this process; professionally and personally.

You cannot separate your professional and personal ‘lives’.

2. Be present in the moment and connected.

… to the coaching; what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing. And…to nature if and where we are outdoors. If we’re on headphones, I’ll invite you to be descriptive of your environment too.

3. Bring the agenda to each session and keep your overall objective alive.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Be goal and action orientated – bring what you want to discuss and achieve to the session; OR
  • Talk and see what lands – exploratory and intentional.

I will bring the process, tools, ideas, resources and best practice to best support you towards your goal/intention/objective. More in your pre-coaching questionnaire. 

4. Give feedback and be responsive.

Coaching is collaborative. Neither of us should guess where we stand. I ask you to give me feedback and respond – you can rely on me to give and do the same.

I aim to get back to you within 24 hours of you emailing me, even if it’s just to say ‘I received your message’ before I respond properly. If it’s over the weekend or holiday, this may take longer.

5. Do the work in the session and in between sessions.

…so that you get the best value, even when it’s challenging. I might suggest a piece of work based on what you brought to the session. Mainly you will decide your course of action.

Whichever way, I’ll invite you to:

  • Reflect more; through walking, writing and whatever else fires you up, to help you achieve your objective.
  • Explore more; be curious and follow those trails of thought, intentionally
    Practice more; habits? Actions? Keep trying/tweaking.
  • Note what’s coming up that’s important or interesting to you in the session. I may share a few bullet points with you after, via Google Docs.

6. Session duration and timescale.

Generally a session is an hour but happy to shorten or increase session lengths, as and when we both can, that day. Where either of us thinks it appropriate, let’s say in the session. Timescale – let’s keep to the timescale agreed in the contract.

Additional information...

  • Coaching is a relationship designed to facilitate the development of personal or professional goals and develop a plan/strategy for achieving those goals.
  • It is comprehensive; it may involve other areas of your life beyond what you may have originally intended. It is your responsibility to choose and decide how to handle this, or even whether to.
  • It can be challenging; digging deep, creating better habits, becoming more self-aware, changing unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself to something more helpful. There will be ups and downs. You will gain new insights, learnings and perspectives to help you achieve your goal.
  • You – the Client, are solely responsible for creating and implementing your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of or resulting from the coaching relationship and your coaching calls and interactions with me – the Coach. As such, you agree that the Coach is not and will not be liable or responsible for any actions or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of any services provided by me – the Coach. 
  • You – the Client, understand that in order to enhance the coaching relationship, you agree to communicate honestly, be open to feedback and assistance and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program. I will do the same.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for counselling, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.  If you are in any kind of therapy, please tell me.  Tell your practitioner (medical or therapeutic) of you working with me.
  • I ask you to agree to commit to the coaching sessions to facilitate the required change.
  • I will treat you as the expert regarding the subject matter, which is…YOU.
  • I will allow time and space for you to explore your thoughts and think for yourself, no interruptions. There may be long pauses or silence sometimes to elicit more.
  • What goes on in your sessions is confidential. I do not discuss it with anyone. There may be occasion when it is my duty to break confidentiality:
    > If I feel you or I are at risk of harm.
    > Criminal / illegal activity.
    > A safeguarding concern or something else so serious that warrants concern.
  • I may talk to my coach or supervisor about issues arising in our sessions without ever naming or giving away you as the client. This is to ensure I am following professional and ethical guidelines and delivering my best. I subscribe to these by the ICF; https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics
  • Qualifications and CPD; I am an accredited coach. This means I have trained, practiced and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching (Nov 2020). I hold a ‘Diploma in Transformational Coaching’. This is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
    > I have my own coach and group supervision
    > My CPD includes –  Outdoor Intelligence for Online Coaching (Oct 2020) -Positive Psychology (Feb 2021

My accreditations


My story

I’d been trying to work out ‘what else’ I could do with my career and life.

After 20 years in HR and with the children getting older, I wanted to change careers, but into ‘what?’ And ‘how’ was that even possible? And…’who would take on a mid-40’s apprentice?’!

I took small steps to boost my confidence and mindset; a regular ‘walk and whinge’ with friends to offload, short courses to up-skill, more running, more netball.
I asked my workplace ‘what else’ they needed that I could help with – ‘job crafting’. 

I was trying to make changes but it wasn’t really working. I was still frustrated and now, more miserable. I needed a different approach to find a way forward and release the building pressure I felt.

Hiring an accredited coach with whom I knew I could work with, enabled me to take a good look at myself – at times, uncomfortably.

To be listened to without any interruption, or judgement was empowering and I started to recognise what made me, me – my personality, strengths, what energised me and made me happy. What if these things amounted to a job I would…love…?

I followed my curiosity and dabbled with ideas about potential jobs, tasks and environments that would suit me, with a new, growth mindset.

I started to shift perspective. When I finally realised the ‘what’, I felt an energy and sense of knowing that was powerful. And I laughed, because it had been right in front of me!

Coaching undoubtedly helped me get to know myself, to see my potential and what was possible. I wholeheartedly decided through those sessions, on what and how I wanted things to be.

It had taken me two years of feeling stuck and miserable and a number of hours to be liberated.

This is what I now do with my clients. I help them rediscover themselves so that they can play to their strengths and thrive.