I decided this weekend — after messing around with innumerable variations of coaching website designs — to just keep my Choosing Happiness site ridiculously simple and use the template from this website on that address. A new name, of course, and maybe a front page, rather than the main page being the blog, but as basic as possible, using a design I’m already familiar with. It turns out, however, that the theme for this blog is no longer included in the wordpress theme collection and so my “simple” plan immediately got complicated. I swear, that is the story of this career concept. If it is possible to overthink a word choice, I’ve been overthinking it. If it is possible to take a straightforward idea and turn it into a ridiculously complicated plan, done.

Last week, during my meeting with my accountability partner, I mentioned that I’d decided to make business cards with the job title, “Happiness Consultant.” The title amused me, mostly because breaking down the job descriptions of counselor (requires a license!) vs coach vs consultant sort of goes like this:

  • Counselors help clients develop a deeper understanding of their own history and how their past affects their present. Counselors aren’t supposed to offer advice or guidance; they should ask questions that lead clients to self-discovery, letting them find their own answers.
  • Coaches focus on supporting their clients as they make changes in the present to improve their futures. A coach can be like an extremely reliable accountability partner.
  • Consultants give advice. They listen, but their focus is on solutions to problems. They don’t assume that the client knows everything that they need to know in order to solve their problem or reach their goal.

Part of the appeal for me of coaching (and counseling, when I started graduate school eons ago,) is that good conversations fascinate me and I like talking to people. A job that involves me listening intently as people tell me their stories sounds great to me.

But I also very strongly want to say, hey, if you’re not sleeping 7-8 hours/day, that’s what you need to work on first. If you’re not eating a solid mix of vegetables and protein, we’re not going to talk about gratitude, we’re going to look at the ways food fuels mood and how before you can be happy, you have to have energy, and that means providing your system essential nutrients. If you’re not getting enough Vitamin D, preferably through sunshine, than trying to find a happiness boost by listening to music from your childhood is not going to do much.

All of that = advice. All of that = probably bad coaching. But probably good consulting.

Back to the point, I decide to call myself a Happiness Consultant.

Greg said, “you need a tag line or something succinct to explain that.”

Cue so, so, so many hours of over-thinking. Really, what I need is a website, a contact email, a course, and to start actually doing the WORK instead of thinking about the work. But maybe something like, “shaping habits for a happier today,”? Or “helping you shape habits for a happier now”? I don’t know… ugh.

Meanwhile, I am about to run late for this week’s accountability meeting, so quickly…

Yesterday was a delightful day: it included no work whatsoever, but a very nice trip to the beach.

beach view

My new beach umbrella was sadly ineffective — it kept blowing away — but I layered on the sunscreen, went in the water multiple times (always watching for sharks, yes, I’m paranoid) and appreciated my day.

Poor Sophie was less appreciative of her day.

I checked in on her through the blink camera regularly, and she was almost always lying in this exact spot, looking out that window. I was watching when we turned into the driveway coming home and her head went up in a flash, and she was off the bed and at the door before the car even stopped. So happy to see us!

But the good news for her is that my accountability meeting = her playdate with her best buddy, so today will be a much nicer day for her. Starting now!