Do your goals scare you? It might be because they’re not clear enough. For example, a writer we’ll call Leonie signed up for coaching. Her goal was “to write a book.”
Writing a book’s a fair enough goal, but after Leonie completed her initial questionnaire, which we send out to all personal coaching students, and we chatted, she discovered that she wanted to write this: a memoir of her arranged marriage.
When I heard “arranged marriage”, I thought whoa! Although it’s common enough in parts of the world, it’s not common in the western, developed world. I was thrilled to help Leonie with this project. She’s almost completed a first draft. It’s good. I suggested that Leone not only self-publish, and but also look for a literary agent. She’s well on the way to achieving her initial goal, because she took the time to get clear on what she really wanted.
Get Clear: Listen to Yourself.
We’ve got several coaching questionnaires we send out. They’re all short, with eight or fewer questions. A student can opt to answer as many questions as he wants – the questionnaires are for us, but most of all, they’re for the student. They help him to get clear on what he wants from his coaching.
Consider your goals. Why not create your own questionnaire, so that you can get clear on them? Tackle one goal at a time. You may well find that once you’ve answered a few of your own questions, your goal changes. It becomes more clear, and isn’t scary any more.
Are You Excited?
If a goal scares you, allow yourself to sit with your feelings for a moment. Are you afraid, or excited? Sometimes excitement is scary. If your goal’s a big one, like writing a memoir was for Leonie, it can seem overwhelming too. Leone told herself she wanted to write a book for years. Getting coaching was the first step in achieving that goal.
All goals are achieved by taking one small step at a time. You can’t achieve them in any other way.
You Don’t Have to Achieve Your Goal in One Step. Take Baby Steps.
When Leonie settled on her memoir, we spent a few sessions talking about what she wanted to include in her book, and general planning. How would she fit writing into her life? We needed to take her daughter’s upcoming wedding into account, and Leonie’s work and other commitments.
We also needed to discuss what a memoir is. In basic terms: how long is a memoir? How many chapters? What’s the throughline (theme, if you like) of the book? Who are her readers?
By the time she was ready to write, Leonie couldn’t wait to get started. Her goal no longer frightened her: she knew exactly what she was doing. To achieve her goal, she just had to take baby steps.
When you get clear on a your goals, achieving them isn’t a struggle. It’s a process. You take baby steps, and before you know it, you’re well on the way to success.
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