Posts Tagged ‘Coaching’

Falling off the Goal Wagon

You may have read my November monthly meet up goal, and wondered how I fared, or what I was vowing to do in December and resolving to do in January.  Isn’t it funny how a decision made in January is a “resolution” but nothing decided the rest of the year is given such a lofty term?

I’m working on life coaching, which I know will be a partial source of income if I want to continue to pay my bills.  Blending with my current job works out well when my day job is not “busy.”  Busy can mean different things to different people – busy for me means overtime at unpredictable times.  Unpredictability is not something I want to embody when coaching someone to be accountable to that whatever they’re striving for, and quite inconvenient when I have an appointment.

Meanwhile, what I was striving towards was applying to grad school. In November, I needed to pick a program that fit what I wanted to learn and could qualify me to be a independent counselor.  Nothing fit.  Instead of hustling toward a goal I’m not even excited about during the honeymoon phase (the honeymoon phase is what I call the high after deciding on an action), I decided to throw on the brakes and focus on the moment I’m in now.  It may not be that fantastic or enviable, but I worked very, very hard to be where I am right now.  I spent a lot of time and effort and gave up some things in order to break into my industry, be trusted to work autonomously, to afford living a walkable distance to my office so I don’t show up with a short fuse from my nasty commute.  Its easy to look at people with cool jobs, and say what am I doing wrong that I’m not you?  But if I knew all the details of these admired strangers’ lives, I bet I’m doing quite a bit right that I’m not them.

Coaching, which is not counseling, fits everywhere but financially.  So, I’m keeping my day job.

This all sounds very relaxing as I write it down, but believe me: it isn’t.  It’s easy to just jump on a goal because it is an action.  Indecision is uncomfortable, so Indecision loves action because it feels like a decision, just without the buyer’s remorse.  Holding out for the right action is hard.

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Bucket List

I just encountered a website that made me smile, http://www.43things.com. I did and read a couple fun, quick things on my lunch break and copied them down for you, but what really tickled me was the tagged / word-clouded list of people’s goals.  “Get a dog” was the first one.  I know, I know – order doesn’t mean it was mentioned the most.  Just a nice reminder that I have checked a few important things off.

The site has some recommended rules for conquering the list, which are quite good, so I’ve copied them for you below.  But I’ve got a few recommendations for getting the most of this site and the community of people checking up on their goals.

1. Be public, but be anonymous.  Don’t use your real name and use a different name than you use on social networking sites, especially professional sites.  You don’t want your employer to know you have a long term goal of switching careers or your boyfriend of 2 weeks to know that you want kids, etc. Even if you don’t have a conflict now, don’t create a situation where you’ll need to limit your bucket list to goals that fit your image.

2. Let it all hang out.  It’s natural to want to be private about goal until you’ve made some progress at it. You’re among friends here.  Your anonymity allows you to keep something front of your mind without putting it in front of anyone else in your life.

3. Be general. If your goal is general, you can connect with people who are also pursuing (or have completed!) a similar goal. For instance, I want to teach my dog to fetch his leash so I don’t have to search for it when I take him for a walk.  (Hopefully, I can do the same with my keys).  I could write “Teach Waldo to fetch his leash,” which would be accurate, but I’ll miss out on the support I could get from the site unless Waldo is a more common dog name than I thought.  If I write “teach my dog tricks” my goal will link to anyone else who wrote “teach my dog tricks” on their list, and I can get tips or encouragement.

4. Get specific in the details section. That way, you’ll know when you’ve completed it.  You want to accountable to yourself, don’t you?

5. Don’t be afraid to cut a bad goal loose.   A couple reasons it could be a “bad” goal – it could be in conflict with another, bigger goal; you could find out that it was someone else’s goal all along.  This is better articulated below, but I wanted to point out these 2 scenarios where a goal go bad without repeating what’s been said.

43 Things’ Ten Rules for Creating and Conquering Your Life List

1. Make your list public. Making your goals public solidifies your commitment to them, holds you accountable, and helps you connect with others who share your interests. You’ll discover connections to social and professional networks that you didn’t know you had and gets lots of encouragement from the people who care most about you. So make sure to tell friends, family members, and coworkers about your list and post it on the Internet at 43Things.com.
2. Include serious and fun goals. Vary the scope of your goals and include some wild just-for-fun dreams. Also, don’t be afraid to complete less daunting goals first. Building momentum from these early successes helps you find the courage to tackle larger tasks.
3. Include undefined goals. Avoid overlooking a developing passion or interest by fearlessly adding goals even if you can’t totally articulate them. If you wake up one morning with the desire to create art, add it to the list. Let the idea simmer in your mind until something more specific emerges.
4. Document progress. While reviewing the list, record your progress and determine the next steps. Documenting progress allows you to identify behavior patterns or other obstacles keeping you from accomplishing goals-it can also show you how far you’ve come.
5. Make goals manageable but rewarding. Divide big goals into smaller tasks, but not so small that they become tedious. Taking incremental steps keeps you from getting overwhelmed by a monumental goal. For example, instead of vowing to “get organized” try listing “declutter the garage.”
6. Define the finish line. You’ll find it easier to complete certain tasks and track progress if you determine the duration, results, or final outcome you desire from achieving a specific goal. Revise vague goals such as “give back to my community” by specifying what kind of work you want to do. You may not be able to do this right away-as we said, undefined goals are good, too.
7. Prioritize goals. Arrange your goals to reflect what you want to begin working on right away. You may want to run a marathon and get a promotion at work, but rather than trying to find the time and energy to run thirty miles a week and put in long hours at the office, focus on the goal that’s more important to you.
8. Maintain a manageable list. Somewhere between twenty and forty-three is a sweet spot for many people. Limiting your life list to forty-three goals forces you to make some choices. Fewer than twenty goals doesn’t offer enough variety to keep you moving forward.
9. Review your list weekly. It sharpens your focus, keeps up your momentum, and reminds you of what’s important. As you review the list, ask yourself, “What have I done to achieve a particular goal this week?” If the answer is “nothing,” is this goal important enough to keep on your list?
10. Revise and remove goals. A life list should be constantly evolving-it should reflect what’s important to you right now, not what mattered in the past. Remember, there’s no penalty for changing your mind or tweaking a goal to better reflect your desired outcome or new circumstances. A short-lived passion for making pottery can be reborn as “find a creative outlet,” or ambitions to get straight A’s in chemistry can be tossed because sometimes a passing grade is enough of a victory.