One of the many reasons that clients hire a coach is to make dreams into reality. It’s easy to know that if nothing changes, nothing will change.
But, most often, what needs to change is “me”. And that’s the hardest change that has to happen.
We all know the definition of insanity – continuing to do things the same way and hoping for a different outcome. One way to instigate change – especially strategic change – is to have someone that works through the planning and execution, holding you accountable and making sure that change truly happens.
So, today, I want to take you through a quick look at strategic planning, SMART Goals and the mastery that can be achieved with the help of a life coach, in order to achieve success.
Are you willing to take a different approach?
Having a coach might initially seem like it is the easy way out. But the reality is that having a life coach is different from having a personal trainer. With a personal trainer, they will usually meet with you for each workout session and be there stretching you and guiding you through your exercise routine.
A life-coach, on the other hand, usually only meets with you every week or fortnight. With them, the client will identify their dreams and goals, but the rest of the week and fortnight, it’s entirely up to the client to choose how to spend their hours and days.
While a coaching session may help with scheduling and priorities, it’s entirely up to the client to follow through and implement what they have discussed doing with the coach. A coach can do no more for you than you are prepared to do for yourself.
Most of the lessons are learned between coaching sessions, and the coach simply draws the lessons from you – allowing you to see the full benefits and become aware of what is happening. They don’t teach you – life does.
But without their awareness and questions – you might not learn the depth of lessons that are available during a period of growth and transformation. The change happens when you bring awareness and focus to your decision-making process as well as your implementation, habits and subconscious beliefs that are affecting your actions.
So, when you speak with a coach about taking a different approach, know that you will be the one to change!
Nothing will change, if nothing changes.
To start with, your coach will probably want to discuss strategic planning. This is the plan or process you use to set your priorities. It will be a broader discussion of how you will focus your energy and resources, and choosing to work towards your goals.
At this stage of the process, you may work with your coach to identify your mission and vision on a very broad level, like many companies or company divisions do:
- Why do I exist?
- What is my purpose?
- What am I offering to the world and where am I headed?
It’s only once you have identified these big-picture answers that you can start to get more specific about goals and outcomes.
At other times, you might choose to work with a coach on one specific area or aspect of your life: such as a career move, a lifestyle change or even working through a difficult transition.
Once you know your goal and what you want to achieve, you can choose what specific outcomes you are working towards. This allows you to identify the resources you need to achieve your dreams.
Getting more specific: SMART Goals
Knowing what the big-picture of your goals looks like, you can narrow down the steps into milestones that might be achieved in three months, a semester or a year.
SMART goals are simply an acronym for the five criteria of goal setting:
- Time bound
These five criteria allow you to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts and use your time and resources more effectively. They answer the questions:
The role of mastery, focus and intention
Establishing the goal is all fine and well – but then comes the real test. Putting your money, mastery, focus and intention where your ideas are.
The reality is this: in order to achieve your dreams and goals, you will need to deliberately practice living with change.
Your daily schedule will need to reflect your priorities, rather than simply what happens to you. Your attention and awareness will need to be focused on ensuring that your resources are focused on the goals.
This is one of the roles of the coach – holding you accountable for following through consistently. Are your attention and intentions focused on your goals? Are you consistently living up to your word of making strides ahead on what you have specifically identified?
As you meet each week, fortnight or month with your coach, there might be specific milestones that you address or look at your results.
If you had to learn a new skill, what courses are you taking? Where and when are you practicing it? Who is mentoring or teaching you? Which exercises are you using to achieve mastery?
One of the toughest lessons is that the results are the only thing that matter, but the results don’t actually matter.
If you don’t have a good look at your results – you won’t know whether or not you are making progress. Your results will show what has changed or whether you are failing to move towards your goal and targets.
When your results show that progress is being made, great! You know the next steps to take.
When the results show that progress is not being made – GREAT! You know that changes and tweaks in the “how” and perhaps even in the plan need to be made. The goal does not need to change – but you may need to adjust the steps that you are taking to get there.
This is where self-mastery comes into play: Can you master yourself when the results fail to show what you wanted them to achieve?
Can you now adjust your sails to the circumstances and situation?
Ultimately, having a coach is about reaching success
Having a coach is all about learning a new way of approaching your challenges. It may be about learning a different approach to strategic planning, goal setting or even execution. It is certainly about personal mastery, focus and intentions.
But ultimately, it’s about changing yourself and the way you do things, so that you can change your results. So that you can achieve the results that alone you were not achieving.
A coach has been successful when you feel that you did it all yourself!