Category Archives: Coaching

Streak with Us!

What would it take for this holiday season to be the best one yet?

Chances are, your answer to that question has nothing to do with receiving the perfect gift, or hosting the best cookie exchange, or writing the world’s bragging-est Christmas letter.

If you’re like us, a good holiday season is one that is mindful, joyous, and brimming with simple pleasures. And if we’re honest, it would be nice to get to January 1 and not be exhausted, frazzled, and crashing from too much holiday indulgence.

That’s where the Healthy Holiday Streak comes in.

To “streak” in running means to run at least a mile a day, every day. (You may have heard another definition for “streaking”—hey, what people wear to run that mile is up to them 😉)

Many runners choose to streak as a way of staying accountable to moving at least a little bit each day. This holiday season, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, we’re creating our own twist on the streak. We’d love to have you join us.

How It Works:

You decide what your streak will be. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take part in some kind of exercise each day
  • Set a nutrition goal that allows you to enjoy the holidays while still making healthy choices
  • Spend at least a few minutes each day outside in the fresh air
  • Try to get a certain amount of sleep each night
  • Intentionally drink water throughout the day
  • Make contact with a friend each day
  • Let go of one task each day that drains you

Maybe your goal is more general—to be present and enjoy this often hectic season. Or maybe you mix it up and focus on a different goal each week. There’s no right or wrong way to streak! The ultimate goal is not deprivation, but a deeper sense of enjoyment—caring for oneself in body, mind and spirit.

Each morning from Monday, November 20 though New Year’s Day, streakers will receive a short email in their inbox, containing a brief reflection and a question to ponder. These reflections are designed to keep your streak on track with inspiration, tips, and suggestions.

The reflections are written by MaryAnn McKibben Dana of ZOOM! Coaching and Melissa Kennedy of Everyday Balance Health Coaching. We’ll be streaking too, so in addition to offering our best wisdom, we’ll be sharing our own successes and struggles along with you.

How Do I Sign Up?

Register here through MailChimp. Note: If you are signed up for MaryAnn’s Blue Room emails, you will NOT automatically be subscribed; you must opt in. Use the link to do this.

How Much Does It Cost?

Not a thing. Feel free to share the emails with others, and it’s easy to unsubscribe if it turns out not to be quite what you’re looking for.

What If I “Fail” at My Streak?

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Life happens, and sometimes the exercise just doesn’t happen, or that second (or third) cookie is just too tantalizing to ignore. Don’t stress about it. Melissa and MaryAnn believe that health and wellness come in the midst of baby steps, setbacks, recommitment, accountability, and grace. Let your goals and intentions be a North Star that guides you, not a destination you either succeed or fail to reach.

We look forward to streaking with you!

About Us

Melissa Kennedy is a physician, coach, and owner of Everyday Balance Health Coaching. She helps clients learn the lifestyle habits which maximize health and well-being, using a small-steps, habit-based approach. She lives in Albuquerque with her husband, daughter, and two crazy cats, and she loves hiking, cycling, cooking, reading, and playing the violin.


MaryAnn McKibben Dana is a writer, speaker, and owner of ZOOM! Coaching, which focuses on personal/professional coaching and running coaching. She is author of the forthcoming God, Improv, and the Art of Living, and numerous other works. She lives in the DC suburbs with her husband and three children, and also has two crazy cats. She is a muffin-maker, a haphazard knitter, and an occasional marathoner.




Image is from George Deputee on Flickr and used via Creative Commons Modify Non-Endorse License.

Put Me In, Coach!

The following was sent to my email newsletter. If you’d like to get posts like this delivered right to your inbox a couple times a month, subscribe.

I was an avid fan of the television show Friday Night Lights a few years back. I loved the affectionate yet realistic portrayal of Texas, my home state, and its near-pathological love of high school football. The characters are all well-drawn and authentic, but the nerve center of the show is Coach Tim Taylor, who led two different football teams to be the very best they could be. Fans of the show know his signature mantra, which offers wisdom for on the field and off:

Coach Taylor has been on my mind recently, as I work on my certification as a personal and professional coach through the International Coach Federation. I’ve attended sixty hours of training, will soon start a stint with a mentor coach, and am accumulating hours coaching clients. When the process is completed, I will be an Associate Certified Coach (ACC).

The kind of coaching I do is different from Coach Taylor in some important ways. An athletic coach is directive, calling the plays and demanding results. A personal or professional coach’s job is to help a client identify goals and develop a strategy for meeting those goals. Coaches draw out the wisdom, creativity, and resourcefulness of their clients, helping them break through resistance and map a way forward.

As a pastor in a new church several years ago, I worked with a ministry coach for several months. This person helped me figure out a plan for managing my new role, and kept me accountable to the hard work that we often find every excuse not to do. I was much more likely to do a tough task because I knew “Coach B” would ask about it when we met!

My job as a coach is to listen deeply, ask good questions, and help clients learn to manage the stuff that’s getting in the way of meeting a goal, whether that goal is to become more effective on the job, find better work-life balance, parent with greater intention, etc. Here’s an article about what coaching does.

In today’s newsletter, I am practicing what Amanda Palmer calls “the art of asking.” Most of us love to help others, and find it much harder to ask for help ourselves. And yet doesn’t it feel good to help someone? Why would we deprive others of that satisfaction?

In that humble spirit, here are my modest “asks”:
1. I invite you to like my Facebook page, ZOOM! Coaching, where you will receive periodic links, wisdom, announcements and challenges.
2. If you’re interested in receiving coaching—or you want to learn more about it—I invite you to schedule a trial appointment. Coaching appointments take place by phone or video conference and are usually 45-50 minutes. I offer the first one for free–this way, we get to know one another, try out the coaching relationship, and see if it’s a good fit. No obligation. If the client wishes to continue, we then talk about number of sessions, fees, etc. You can access my calendar at or email me at [email protected].
3. If you know someone who might be interested in or benefit from coaching, I invite you to forward this message to them and have them get in touch me.

I am excited to add “coach” to my roles as writer, author, and speaker. And as always, I thank you for being on the path with me.

Peace, joy and Yes,

P.S. Bonus links!

  1. I’m on the aijcast podcast this week, talking art, inspiration and justice with Marthame Sanders. Was an honor to be on his show!
  2. This blog post about body image and my own athletic journey got a big response.
  3. My latest Ten for Tuesday: an assortment of links, videos and other goodies.