8 Coach-Recommended Steps for Identifying and Achieving Your Goals
The new year is often a time to reflect on the things you want to be achieving in life. You may have some idea of your big aspirations, but maybe you’re stumped on the actionable steps to make them happen. Eight Business Coaches were asked how they help their new clients or organisations define goals and then create a framework to get there.
Start with Your Vision and Work Backwards
Get clear on your purpose. Then, create a vision for what it would feel, look and sound like if you were fulfilling that purpose. Once that is clear, align measurable, actionable and ambitious goals to that purpose and backwards plan. For example, create a vision for you, your life or your business five years from now. Then, set aligned goals for 2020. Break those goals down into smaller sub-goals for each quarter. And finally, translate those into monthly and weekly goals for next month.
Determine What You Need to Start and Stop Doing
As I work with my coaching clients in setting goals, I ask them two questions: First, what are the single most important things to start and stop doing to achieve your goals? And second, if everything could go as well as it possibly could, what would change?
Make Goals Visceral
Characterisations make goals real by making them visceral. Giving an aspiration a title, or bumper sticker, to get it out of the head and into the world, where the action always happens. The personal framework for each individual begins to fall into place from there. That’s my definition of keeping it real!
Figure Out What You Can Do Right Away to Start Working Toward Your Goals
Ask clients to imagine how they would like things to be. Ask questions to identify what they can do right away and some longer-term changes they can make. For the steps, they can make right away, ask for details about when and how they will do it. The more specific and concrete the plan, the easier it is to get started and work towards achieving your goals.
Understand What You Want and Prioritise Outcomes
Write or record yourself answering the question, “What do I want?” Then, read or play the recording and start narrowing down what you really want and write those down. Next, prioritise the outcomes and identify one to three actions that you will take by a specific date for each outcome.
Write All Your Ideas Down Then Reorganise Them
Lay it all out on paper, get it out in the open with space to breathe, mind-map style before reducing and reorganising your thoughts. Start white-boarding to piece together your blueprint and the steps to take on your yellow brick road towards home.
Establish an Action Plan
The framework for all meaningful coaching is the establishment of an action plan, with defined goals and deadlines, specific action steps and milestones. This framework is created by the client and the coach by determining where the client is professionally, and where they need to be, rather than want to be, by recognising the gap that needs to be bridged. Next, agree on the specific actions that need to be taken to build the necessary bridge, and then establish the ongoing accountability, for both client and coach, to ensure the appropriate actions are taken and the goals achieved.
Reflect on And Refine Your ‘Why’ Over Time
On an annual basis, take time to reflect and refine our overall purpose, our reason for doing what we are doing (as opposed to just doing it). Set three new actions that will help deliver the purpose (in the style of stop, start, continue/improve) and add them to the list to realign priorities. Then, plan out the priorities on a timeline, always finding a balance between what needs to be done with what we feel passionate about doing. Finally, find someone who will support you and keep you on track, and even challenge you.
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