How 5 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life (Planning Ahead is Awesome)

“Many people think that by having no plan, you are creating freedom, but in fact it is the plan that gives us freedom.”

Keysa Amaro and I talk about our experiences with using planning ahead as a tool for weight loss, how you can become a person who plans ahead, and answer some great listener questions at the end!

Are you a mental health professional looking for inexpensive and accessible self-care tools?  Join my Facebook Group called Self-coaching for Mental Health Professionals!

My 6 session program for mental health professionals looking to quit drinking or emotional eating is open!  Click here to get more info!

How to get in touch with Keysa:
Hire Keysa to coach you!
Check out her website here
Her Facebook here
Find her on Instagram!

Find Mary on:
Instagram or
Send an email.  I would love to hear from you!

Meal Planning Made Easy Handout

Weekly Meal Plan-Template

When Therapy is Unaffordable for Therapists



I’ve always been fascinated by how we, as therapists, do not put our own mental health as a priority.  I have watched helping professionals over the years become burnt out and bitter, I have seen how we help our clients create fabulous lives and let our physical and emotional health go down the shitter.  As a whole, mental health professionals, especially those working in non-profits, schools, government positions, and private practice often struggle with weight problems, have drinking and addiction problems, have migraines and stress headaches, get sick often, and have various illnesses related to stress.  

In researching why we don’t get help for ourselves, there seem to be two main barriers- time and money.  We don’t make nearly enough as therapists to pay for the very services we offer to others.  And time.  When you work a regular day and other therapists work a regular day, when are you supposed to find the time to see a therapist?  We are all working or have families and responsibilities to take care of after work.

This is not ok!

I ran into the idea of life coaching years ago, and was drawn to the work of Martha Beck and Byron Katie.  I love their work, but it didn’t seem accessible.  Last year I discovered Brooke Castillo and her podcast called The Life Coaching school.  I listened to a few episodes and discovered that her work distills many useful theories into a useful practice.  I highly recommend that you get yourself to her podcast and start listening from episode one, where she begins to break it all down.  In this video I’m going to share with you an introduction to her work, why you should check it out, how I use it, and how you can get started for free and without it taking too much of your precious time.

  • Self-care is important for therapists-
    • We preach it to our clients and we know the value of it.  Self-care is important.  
    • When we practice self-care:
    • We are more centered in session
    • We are able to maintain boundaries
    • We are able to think clearly about what the client needs
    • We are an example for our clients
    • We are taking our own advice
    • We are able to separate our problems and needs from theirs
    • Less counter-transference
  • Therapy is expensive, self-coaching is affordable
    • It is a conundrum that therapists can’t afford therapy
    • We don’t get paid enough to utilize the very services we offer
    • Self-coaching is free, you can follow Brooke Castillo’s podcast called The Life Coach School Podcast, found on itunes, stitcher, etc, or on her website at
    • You can join my group where I will share free worksheets, videos and support
    • Group coaching is an affordable way to get some support in doing the work.  Check locally for any coaches near you or look online.  I did a search for “affordable group life coaching” and came up with several hits.  I am also creating a group coaching program especially for therapists.  It will be offered at my sliding fee scale of $50 per session for a total of $300, and will be available at the end of January.
    • Brooke Castillo also has a self-coaching scholars program that I am a part of that costs $300 dollars a month and it has been life changing for me.  I highly recommend it.
  • What it can be used for:
    • Self-coaching is not a replacement for therapy if you are experiencing symptoms that are limiting your function in everyday life. Follow your own advice and get thee to a therapist.  The cost is worth the benefit you will receive.
    • Self-coaching IS an effective practice that you can use in place of therapy if you want to:
      • Break a habit
      • Create a new habit
      • Explore counter-transference
      • Create strong boundaries
      • Live your life with more intention
      • Take a look at your money beliefs
      • Learn how to process emotions
      • Learn how to deal with negative emotions
      • Understand why you are getting the results in your life and intentionally create different results
  • The main theory of self-coaching
    • The Model- based on the work by Brooke Castillo
      • Circumstances- these are facts.  They are neutral.  You can prove them in a court of law, everyone in the world would agree.  The basic facts that are non-negotiable.  
      • Thoughts- Sentence in your mind that you have about the circumstance
      • Feelings- Vibrations in your body- emotions, angry, sad, happy, joyful, uncomfortable, frustrated, upset
      • Actions- Actions, re-actions, and non-actions that we take in order to feel or avoid feeling a certain way
      • Results- The effect of the action for you (it is always framed in regards to how it has affected you, not other people)
  • How coaching works, what to do with the model
    • Thought download- turn a timer on for 10 minutes and write all the thoughts that come to mind.  You may call it a brain dump or journaling.  
    • You may get some relief from this or maybe it’s a bit terrifying, either way we don’t stop there.  
    • Let’s use the example of a house with the lights off.  This is similar to a brain that we aren’t paying attention to. So we go inside the house and turn the lights on.  This is the equivalent of a thought download.
    • Turning the lights on doesn’t provide relief.  It just shows us the mess.  The same is true when we show ourselves our thinking.  It can be overwhelming and scary at first.  
    • Your brain will give you the advice to SHUT THE LIGHTS BACK OFF, in other words, stay unconscious, buffer to distract, and avoid looking at what is going on
    • Write down the letters, CTFAR
    • From your thought download, pick a thought and put it into the model
    • You will do two of these models every time- one is the model that shows you the results of your current thinking
    • The second is a model that you create with a more intentional thought, that is more likely to bring you the results you are looking for.
    • Practice that new thought throughout the day
  • You can get started today
    • This is the very basics of self-coaching.  There is a lot more to it, but you can get started today.  
    • Here is my practice that you can use to get you started:
      • Every morning do a thought download
      • Write one model on your current thinking
      • Write one model on your new, intentional thought
      • Practice that new thought throughout the day!  That’s it!
    • Join my facebook group to get help and feedback, ask any questions and let me know whether you like the idea of self-coaching or you hate it.  
    • I would love to hear from you!

In summary:

  • Your mental health is important for you and your clients
  • Therapy is, of course, amazing and you should get some if you can afford to!
  • Self-coaching is also amazing and FREE to learn and use.
  • Coaching is something you can make a habit of every day in the morning, and only takes a few minutes.
  • Join me at my facebook group, Self-coaching for Mental Health Professionals
  • I have a goal this year of helping 200 Mental Health Professionals get control of emotional eating and over-drinking.  These are two of the many problems that self-coaching is an amazing tool for.  Join the group, email me, or give me a call at 970-541-9534 if you are interested in being a part of this list!


Emotional Eating with Keysa Amaro

Any time you are eating for any reason other than hunger- eating for entertainment, because you’re bored, because you are sad, etc

The idea of weight loss is actually quite simple, right?  Eat less than your body needs and it will use the fat off of your body.  Eat more than you need and you will store fat.

The problem is that we are using food to solve problems other than hunger.  Every time we try to diet, restrict, eat “healthy” foods that we don’t enjoy, is that all of the emotions that we have been stuffing down show up.  That can feel incredibly scary when we don’t know how to feel our emotions.  We don’t like to feel negative emotions.  Fear, boredom, irritation, dissatisfaction, anger, worry, shame, disappointment, guilt.  It can all feel like too much.  So we eat.

Listen to our talk about what emotional eating is, what causes it, and how to start taking steps to stop using food to buffer your feelings.

How to get in touch with Keysa:
Hire Keysa to coach you!
Check out her website here
Her Facebook here
Find her on Instagram!

Find Mary on:
Instagram or
Send an email.  I would love to hear from you!

Resources from this episode:

Emotional Eating Worksheet

Emotions List

The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo- Listen to Episode 1 for sure!