Creative Workshop Exercises: Easy and Engaging Workshop Activities #12 Coaching for Positive Wellbeing with Positive Action Cards

Positive Action Cards 


Impact:  Generate energy and ideas for a wellbeing improvement plan

Materials Needed: one pack of Positive Action Cards

Remember, should you decide to buy one or more packs of cards, you can get 10% off your first shop order with a newsletter subscription

You can download this blog here

Professional Use: 

Who is Coaching for Positive Wellbeing with Positive Action Cards for?

This exercise will be useful for coaches and therapists working with clients who are looking to positively affect their emotions or emotional state, psychological well-being, depression, anxiety, health, relationships, happiness, self-esteem, or beliefs. All sixty-four actions suggested by the pack are scientifically proven to have a positive impact on one or more of these areas of wellbeing. 

How does Coaching for Positive Wellbeing with Positive Action Cards help with Boosting Wellbeing?

The pack presents a range of positive action ideas under different areas such as activity or calming or self-nourishment that will have a positive impact on wellbeing. These offer inspiration for elements of a wellbeing improvement plan.


Take out the introduction and instruction leaflet

Sort the cards into the seven piles (Active, Calming, Thinking, Identity, Optimising, Nourishing, Social) indicated by the small symbol to the top left of the picture side of the card. Keep cards picture side up.

 Positive Action Cards

As you can see, these set names create the acronym ACTIONS. And you can use these terms in the exercise below, or find synonyms that work better with your particular coachee.

For example I might label the sets like this

Improved Relationships (set name Social)
Better Focus on Self-care (set name Nourishing)
Developing a better Future Orientation (set name Optimising)
Enhanced Sense of Self (set name Identity)
Improved ability to Self-Calm (set name Calming)
More Physical Exercise (set name Active)
Clearer Thinking (set name Thinking)


How to run the exercise

Once you have conducted the preliminaries of any coaching session e.g. you have established the ambition of the session and encouraged positive affect in your coachee by asking an initial fire-lighter question, you can ask your coachee ‘Of the seven possible areas we could focus on... 

Improved Relationships
Better Focus on Self-care
Developing a better Future Orientation
Enhanced Sense of Self
Improved ability to Self-Calm
More Physical Exercise
Clearer Thinking

 ...which do you feel might give you the biggest wellbeing boost for the smallest effort?’

Alternatively you can ask, ‘Which of these possible areas of intervention are you most attracted by or most interested in?’

It can help to make it clear that investment in all or any of these areas of life has been shown to enhance happiness and wellbeing, so its just a case of what, in this first instance, appeals to them. 

Let’s imagine our coachee selects Improved Relationships, Developing a better Future Orientation and Improved ability to Self-Calm 

Select these three piles of cards: Calming, Optimisation, Active


  Take one of the packs of cards, here Active, and spread them out picture side up.


Ask you coachee to choose which of the images or ideas most appeals to them. It may be that looking at the cards stimulates thoughts of another form of exercise they have often thought about doing but have never quite got to taking the first step to make happen. Or maybe they used to do but somehow, it’s got squeezed out of their life. Help them firm that up into a definite idea, say ‘swimming’ then just follow the same steps below for that activity.

 Let’s say they choose Tai Chi. Turn the card over to find a little more information, the recommended ‘dosage’ and lots about the benefits. And then a note at the bottom about its proven areas of impact.


Then switch into normal coaching mode to help them visual them doing this, anticipate the benefit, identify small first steps and generally to build energy, motivation and commitment to moving towards building this into their life.

Repeat for the other two areas they identified.

By the end of the session they should have three distinct positive actions they have identified that they want to incorporate into their life, with a plan for first steps.

A Variation of the exercise

Each of the cards in every set has a section identified areas of proven impact, for example Mindful Breathing from the calming set...


...has been shown to have a positive impact on emotional states, psychological wellbeing, anxiety, depression, psychological capital and health

 So an alternative approach to the exercise is to ask your coachee what current challenge they particularly want to positively impact, from the following selection 

Emotions, Psychological Well-being, Depression, Anxiety, Health, Positive Relationships, Happiness, Self-Esteem, Beliefs. Then find the cards that particularly highlight this as a benefit.

For example, if they particularly wanted to focus on health, then the activities that have a positive impact would be:

All in the calming set
Five from thinking
Two from identity
One from nourishing, and,
One from active

Take all these and spread them out and invite your coachee to pick a maximum of three positive actions they would like to explore further.

The Positive Action Cards packs featured here are all available at the Positive Psychology Shop. A discount of 10% is available to new newsletter subscribers 

If you have any queries about the exercises as described, please contact We will publish any queries and answers in the next newsletter to the benefit of all.

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Sarah Jane Lewis