How the Art of Delegation Affects Health and Well-Being

How the Art of Delegation Affects Health and Well-Being

This month we’ve been exploring ways to maintain our physical and emotional well-being in 2023. As we close out the month, we turn our focus to what it can look like to live out healthy habits around work rhythms through the art of delegating. 

Our work rhythms become comfortable after a while. Even in the mundane day-to-day tasks that don’t necessarily bring us joy, it’s easy to live in the mindset of, “I’ll just do it. I can do it quicker.” But too often, that mindset leads to more stress and frustration. Why? Because we hold onto tasks that can be given to someone else (who may be able to do it better) in order to focus our attention on the things only we can do–move the vision and mission of our work forward. 

The art of delegation requires some practice, but it’s an important element in keeping our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in alignment. This applies to everyone–coaches, pastors and business owners all need to delegate some of their responsibilities in order to maintain healthy rhythms of life and not be overwhelmed by the tasks of every day.

If you’re finding that you don’t have the margin you need to move your vision forward, it’s time to explore how you can give away the tasks that are holding you back. I, too, have found myself in a situation where I needed to let certain responsibilities go so that I could move my coaching forward. Instead of building processes and delegating tasks, I had unintentionally allowed the tasks of the day to monopolize my time. Eventually, I found myself in a real bind. It left me near the end of my emotional bandwidth; I was tired, irritable and not enjoying life. Someone pointed the problem out to me and suggested I delegate some of my workload so I could concentrate on doing what only I could do. It was a simple suggestion that was more complicated to execute. 

3 Considerations When Delegating Tasks That are Holding You Back

  1. Pruning – deciding what tasks others can do and then allowing them to take them on 
  2. Releasing Control – delegating means you have to let go and empower others
  3. Grieving – you had a rhythm that worked for you; don’t be surprised when it’s hard to let that go

1. Pruning

Leaders don’t thrive when they are spread too thin, and the mission suffers for it. Warning signs include mental and emotional exhaustion and feeling spiritually dry. Readiness to prune is usually gauged by pain tolerance. When a leader hits a wall then she/he is probably ready to prune. Pruning away the tasks that are holding you back is the road to increased fruitfulness. Here is an exercise to assess what to prune. First, track how you spend your time and identify the top categories that are taking time. Second, ask the following questions:

  1. What can you delegate?
  2. What can you stop doing and no one would notice?
  3. What can you, and only you, do?

2. Releasing Control

There are a lot of motivations that influence a leader to want to control a situation or another person. The reality is that control is actually not an achievable goal. In very few circumstances can a leader control anything. Control is an illusion! And leaders who struggle with control are STRESSED. 

Parents who hover over their kids. Bosses who micromanage employees. Husbands or wives who gaslight their spouse. Coaches who penalize their players unnecessarily. Leaders who over work their team members. Struggling to surrender control is an emotional symptom to a spiritual problem.

Steps to Surrender Control:

1. Awareness
Control often has a firm grip on you before you are even aware of it. There is no recovery from control without an awareness that it is a problem. 

2. Forgiveness
Control is seeped in judgment and is often multifaceted, involving skewed views of yourself, of others, and even of God. To truly surrender control, it may be necessary to do an inventory of judgements you are holding onto and process through asking for, receiving, and maybe even extending forgiveness to relevant parties (including yourself). 

3. Change
Control will continue holding you back unless you change your relationship with it. And change is never easy. It’s best to have a solid delegation plan in place and then contingency plans to help you when control threatens to surface again.

Questions to Help Leaders Surrender Control:

  1. What is causing your stress?
  2. How are you compounding your stress?
  3. What is a more desirable outcome?
  4. What new behaviors can you adopt?
  5. What are some things that you can do to make things right?

3. Grieving

Can you grieve the loss of tasks? Absolutely. Every single change involves loss. Changing habits means losing the comfort of a familiar rhythm. You established that rhythm because it met a need and worked for you for a time. But that rhythm is now holding you back and needs to be changed. Delegating means letting go of processes that served you well and entrusting them to others. It means changing your relationship with processes and with people. That’s a lot of change that requires letting go of what has become comfortable and maybe even important to you. It is almost impossible to move on without processing through these losses.

Processing What is Lost

If you want delegation to stick, it is important to acknowledge your loss. Here are some questions to help:

  1. Which tasks or processes are you feeling uncomfortable delegating?
  2. In addition to the task, what else are you giving up by delegating it?
  3. How has that rhythm served you well in the past?
  4. In what ways is that rhythm holding you back from accomplishing your goals?
  5. How is passing on this task helping in the development of others?

What I’d love for you to take away from this is that delegating is necessary for strong physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It took me some time but once I started giving away tasks to others, I found myself in a much better place. Bottom line – I became more productive doing the things that only I can do, am gifted at, and enjoy doing. 

New Resources

Christian Coaching Essentials

We’re excited to announce the release of our latest book, Christian Coaching Essentials!

In this book you will discover the power of a comprehensive Christian coaching process. With the purchase of the book you also gain access to a self-led online course and resources! More to be shared in the upcoming weeks leading up to the release of the book, Christian Coaching Essentials!

This blog was adapted from “Drop The Tasks That Are Holding You Back
https://christiancoachingtools.com/articles/drop-the-tasks-that-are-holding-you-back/
January 11, 2023

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Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Spiritual Health 

Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Spiritual Health 

Today marks the final blog in our series on establishing and maintaining well-being as we enter the new year. The last two weeks we explored physical and emotional health; today we dive into our spiritual well-being. Of all the areas of personal well-being, our spiritual health can be the most difficult to understand and maintain. There are clear signs we are struggling with our physical and emotional health: our weight goes up, our depression and anxiety kick in, our body tells us when something is off. Spiritual signs of struggle, however, can be harder to detect.

Struggles with Spirituality

As Christians it is common to face struggles with faith. Our spirituality goes through phases, often aligning with the phases of our lives. During difficult times we may go through a period of anger towards God, or doubt our faith. When the world feels overwhelming and dark, we may feel hopeless in our spirits. Most often, we simply feel out of step and distant as we get caught up in our day-to-day lives, or like we have come up against a wall, unsure how to move forward in our faith. 

Here are some common causes of spiritual struggles:

  • Death or pain of a loved one
  • Health, financial, or relationship issues  
  • Major life changes 
  • Feeling bored by life’s routines 
  • Feeling overwhelmed or too busy
  • Comparing our spiritual journey with others 
  • Depression and anxiety

These moments are all difficult, and it is normal–even necessary–for our faith to be challenged by life’s trials. These difficulties provide us opportunities to grow closer to God and become aware of how the Holy Spirit works through us and around us. 

Here are some ways to reinvigorate your spiritual health: 

  • Make time daily for quiet reflection 
  • Read and meditate on Scripture 
  • Read new books, listen to podcasts or watch movies that will prompt new spiritual questions and probe your thinking
  • Join a small group
  • Make intentional time to help those around you
  • Find a spiritual director to talk through your struggles 
  • Confide in friends, family, and most importantly, the Lord

One of the best decisions I made in 2021 was to find a spiritual director to help me process the issues of the day. I did this through 2022 and now, in 2023, I am engaging in the Ignatian Exercises, meeting weekly with my spiritual director to process issues that the Lord has brought to my attention. The encouragement I want to give to you about your spiritual development is this: begin where you are! 

I am a big advocate for the Stop-Challenge-Choose tool, a very simple tool that was introduced by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, Co-Founder of OptaVia. Stop-Challenge-Choose allows us to reflect on specific actions and habits in our lives and consider how we can adapt for the better.

STOP: What do you need to stop doing?

CHALLENGE: What specific actions can you take to achieve different results?

CHOOSE: What new behavior, technique, or mindset changes will you adopt immediately?

Used with permission from Dr. A’s Habits of Health (pgs.133-137) by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen

It is important to remember that well-being is holistic; all areas of health affect all other areas of health. If your mental health is suffering and you are feeling depressed or anxious, those feelings can distract and distance us from the Lord and impact our spiritual well-being. Likewise, if you are in poor physical health, it can have a significant impact on your mental health. Taking care of yourself is a way to honor the Lord. 

Reflection Questions: 

  • Which moments have been difficult for your faith in this last year?
  • Who or what helped you through these moments? 
  • When were the moments you felt closest to God this year? 
  • What sparked these moments? 
  • What is your spiritual routine (prayer? Readings? Reflections?) 
  • What action can you take to grow spiritually this upcoming year?

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Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Emotional Health 

Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Emotional Health 

Today we turn toward emotional health in our series on establishing and maintaining health in the near year. Last week, we looked at the importance of our physical health and maintaining our physical well-being. Now, we turn inward. 

The last few years have been hard. Pandemics, politics, isolation, anxiety, depression, global crises. Many of us are still feeling some damage to our mental health, and the outcome can be felt in just about every area of our lives.

Here are some common signs that your mental health is not at its best:

  • Loss of sleep – Whether you have trouble falling asleep, waking in the night or waking too early, losing sleep is one of the most common signs of depression and anxiety.
  • Lack of motivation – You are less productive, have trouble concentrating and are reluctant to begin or finish tasks you know you need to do.
  • Irritation – You are more irritable with the people around you. Things that wouldn’t ordinarily have bothered you are now frustrating you, maybe even in the form of outbursts or snapping at others.
  • Loss of joy – things that once made you happy, like time with friends or a peaceful walk, no longer bring you joy. 
  • Low energy – You are often tired and feel sluggish.
  • Change in appetite/weight – You are eating more or less than normal and gaining or losing weight in a short amount of time.
  • Withdrawing – You don’t want to see friends, you don’t want to talk to your family, you have trouble asking for help.

Last year at this same time, I shared one of my favorite quotes on mental health along with these three observations: 

“Mismanaged emotions not only determine whether you will become sick but also whether you will be happy, fulfilled, and successful in your life”

Hopelessness And Progression Of Heart Disease, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology

Everson, S A. Kaplan, G A. Goldberg. D E. Salon,R. 17, (8) pages 1490-1495. 

Three Observations on Mental Agility

  1. What the authors of the above quote are not saying: if you manage your emotions well you will live a healthy, happy, fulfilling and successful life.  We all know people who do all the right things to manage their emotional health yet suffer the cruelest complexities of life. Yet there are things within our control that, if managed well, can mitigate the side effects that lead to some physical ailments. The things that are outside of our control–like DNA, pre-existing conditions, or certain pre-dispositions–we have to navigate as they come.
  2. Happiness is not the same as joyfulness! Happiness is a temporary state.  Joy comes from the ongoing, internal work of the Holy Spirit. You might not be happy at the moment–in fact, you might be suffering, grieving or feeling downright ornery–but you can maintain your joy in the experiential knowledge that God is always at work, knowing He can sustain you through the most difficult life and ministry challenges.
  3. Fulfillment and success are not the best gauge of well-managed emotions! Most–if not all–leaders who have led their churches well through difficult times have at some point questioned their judgment. This has led some leaders to new heights and others to greater depths than they have known before. Leading in this season is a wild roller coaster ride and not for the faint of heart.

Boosting Mental Health

Because mental well-being is so intrinsically linked to both physical and spiritual health, one way to boost mental health is to make sure you are caring for your body and soul well. If you take a look at the common symptoms above, you can see that many are related to physical health (low energy, appetite and weight changes, loss of sleep). Mental health is also connected to your spiritual health. Connecting with a deeper meaning can reinvigorate joy and motivation. 

Here are some ways that you might boost your mental health: 

  • Exercise – Cardio is proven to lessen depression and anxiety. Working out actually gives us more energy and helps us regulate our sleep. 
  • Eating well – trade the chips and ice cream for veggies and hummus (or another healthy snack that you enjoy). Make sure you are getting proper nutrition- it will give you energy and help you focus!
  • Prayer and reflection – taking quiet time to talk to God and share your feelings can be a great release and give you time to think about the underlying reasons for how you’re feeling.
  • Talk to friends and family –  share how you are feeling and why. It will help those around you be patient and compassionate. 
  • Ask for help – finding a counselor to help you explore and resolve some feelings can help immensely. They can provide wisdom and a perspective that we cannot see for ourselves.

7 questions to help you grow your mental agility

  1. What insights about your mental agility can you glean as you have led over the past 12 months?
  2. How can you consolidate those into new behaviors to manage your emotions?
  3. Reflect on a real situation and consider how you can apply that learning in real-time?
  4. What difference will it make if you do this well?
  5. Is the benefit worth the effort?
  6. What will you do to move the learning from a theory to a practice?
  7. After you have taken a step of action, what new insight(s) do you have?

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Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Physical Health

Establishing and Maintaining Well-being in 2023: Focus on Physical Health

Together, we have journeyed through some of the strangest and most stressful years many of us have ever known, and while the year of 2022 brought back some semblance of “normal”, the world is still recovering from years of anxiety, sickness and division. One thing is for sure: our emotional, physical and spiritual health has been on a roller coaster ride. In the coming weeks, as we enter into a new year, I want to take some time to reflect on our well being, considering what 2023 may bring, and how we can support our emotional, physical and spiritual agility in the year to come. 

We are beginning this series on health in 2023 by focusing on maintaining and building physical health. The new year is always a good time to reflect and set some (realistic and achievable) goals. Also, after a busy month full of family gatherings, holiday parties and Christmas ham and eggnog, we might be feeling a little sluggish. 

Why do we struggle with maintaining physical health? 

Some people are really good at keeping commitments to themselves in this arena. Others struggle. In fact, over 70% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, with a population obesity rate of nearly 40 percent. Last year, I compiled a list of some of the reasons people struggle to prioritize their physical health:

  • Laziness
  • Negative experiences
  • Accountability
  • Pre-existing conditions 
  • Weather
  • Motivation
  • Accessibility
  • Vision

Why is physical health important? 

The advantages of being healthy from a purely physical standpoint are obvious: a healthy body lives longer, feels better and is capable of much more than a body that is not being cared for. A healthy body decreases the risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. 

However, the benefits of physical health extend to all areas of well-being:

Financial: Many of us have faced medical bills at some point in our lives, and we all know how shockingly expensive a trip to our physician can be. Health and Wellness Coach, Gina Reinecke, shares this statistic: “The average annual medical costs for those with obesity are over $1,400 higher compared to people in a normal weight range.”

Mental: Good physical health helps us to be more alert and less weary throughout our day. Our brain relies on healthy foods to stay sharp. 

Emotional: Exercise is a great natural way to combat stress, depression and anxiety. Building routines involving movement will alleviate more emotional negativity than you realize. 

Spiritual: God wants us to be the best versions of ourselves, and this includes our physical health. We become better friends, partners, co-workers and people in general when we are happy and healthy. It is also easier to focus on God’s mission for us when we are feeling our best. 

This is not to say we all need to become bodybuilders or runway models to experience well-rounded health, nor is it to shame anyone for skipping the gym or helping themselves to an extra slice of cake. Feeling good inside and out can help us live the lives that God wants for us. 

Find ways to help you maintain and prioritize health:

  • Find activities you enjoy
  • Take baby steps–like walking your block–and then increase gradually over time
  • Take a health assessment with a health coach
  • Find a buddy to do activities you both love to do together
  • Remove one thing in your diet you are confident is causing you trouble

I am also a big advocate for the Stop-Challenge-Choose tool. This is a very simple tool that was introduced by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen, Co-Founder of OptaVia. This allows us to reflect on specific actions and habits in our lives and consider how we can change for the better: 

STOP: What do you need to stop doing?

CHALLENGE: What specific actions can you take to achieve different results?

CHOOSE: What new behavior, technique, or mindset changes will you adopt immediately?

Used with permission from Dr. A’s Habits of Health (pgs.133-137) by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen

7 coaching questions to help guide a physical health journey:

It’s one thing to tell a person what they need to do–it’s quite another to help them discover it for themselves. Here are some coaching questions that can help:

  1. Can you describe “why” it is important for you to focus on your physical health? Your answer(s) might be:
    • play with your grandchildren
    • go on a hike
    • outlive a parent that died prematurely
  2. In what ways does your “why” compel you?
  3. What does success in your health look like?
  4. Identify your greatest challenges?
  5. What changes do you need to make in order to reach your goal?
  6. Who do you know that can help you on your journey?
  7. What is one simple thing you can do that will help you get started?

Do you have a goal related to your physical health in 2023? I would love to know what has worked for you in the past or what you may be doing differently this year!

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Establishing and Maintaining Well Being: Creating Healthy Habits in 2023

Establishing and Maintaining Well Being: Creating Healthy Habits in 2023

When it comes to health, we all face the tension between our ideal lives and our reality. Our ideal lives would allow room for the activities that make optimum well being possible. The pressures of life require that we make choices which challenge our resolve to make health a priority in 2023.
  • How is your health today compared to this time last year?
  • Did your plans get derailed (again!) by the demands of life and ministry?
  • Do you feel empowered or defeated, proud or ashamed of the state of your health?
  • Do you have a vague sense of what you wish to change, or do you have a solid plan in place for your physical, mental, and spiritual well being in 2022?

Putting a microscope to our own habits isn’t always an easy or comfortable task. But doing it in a safe space with other sojourners can take the edge off (and take us off the edge!). Creating a plan is the first order of business!

Here’s what one pastor recently shared about his health journey:

“If I am going to take care of people, the only way I can do that is if I am taking care of myself. Too many times pastors are at the beck and call of staff, congregants, and anyone who has a need, putting our own well being on the back burner.

When I began to give attention to my health I had so much more energy, my sleep was better, I was able to be more alert and present with people everyday.  

It took me from a place of feeling mentally oppressed, to feeling like I could make a difference in people’s lives.”  

Here are a few suggestions to create your own 2023 health plan:

  • Discover your “why.” Why do you even care to be healthy? What difference will it make to the quality of your life and ministry? What has God called you to, and how can you powerfully step into that with your mind, body, soul and strength?
  • Evaluate your current reality and discover some simple approaches to shore up areas that are holding you back and draining your energy.  If you would like to take a brief assessment and schedule a free follow-up conversation with my wife Gina Reinecke, certified health coach, you can contact her at ginareinecke@gmail.com.
  • Learn basic strategies to upgrade your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. There is ample information available at our fingertips via a quick search on the internet. Ultimately, this is a great way to kick off 2023!

Throughout the month of January, I invite you to do a thorough assessment of your physical, emotional, and spiritual goals so that you can make the most out of 2023.

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New Years Greetings from InFocus!

New Years Greetings from InFocus!

We are soon going to be ringing in the new year. Typically, this time is filled with sharing goals, hopes, dreams, and wishes. This week, let’s take time to reflect on all God has done in and through us this past year. What a blessing it is to be His children and his vessels to those around us!

“Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The LORD has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations.”

Psalm 98:1 (NIV)

As we enter into 2023, we pray that you are reminded of all God has done this last year and is still yet to do in this new year! Let’s welcome 2023 by putting Christ in the center of our celebration.

To all of you, we wish a very Happy New Year!


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