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Goal Setting For Coaches

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1
Glenn Livingston, Ph.D.
Goal
Setting for
Coaches Sharon Livingston, Ph.D.
c
Originally trained as a psychologist, Dr. Gl...
2
Contents
Introduction .....................................................................................................
3
DISCLAIMER: For education only, as per the terms and conditions on
www.CoachCertificationAcademy.com . Even though this ...
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Goal Setting For Coaches

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To most coaches, goal setting comes naturally. Identifying a goal and creating action steps is second nature to us. But because of this, it’s easy to forget most of our clients don't even have the slightest clue how to begin!

People seek out coaches to help determine what they really want in life. More importantly, they pay us to help them get there. Which means we’ve got to help them identify and articulate their very specific goals… and take clear and convincing steps to reach it.

In fact, an argument can be made that helping clients understand why goals are important, helping them to identify their own, and then creating a reasonable plan for action is your primary job as coach.

After all, how else will you help them realize their dreams?

To most coaches, goal setting comes naturally. Identifying a goal and creating action steps is second nature to us. But because of this, it’s easy to forget most of our clients don't even have the slightest clue how to begin!

People seek out coaches to help determine what they really want in life. More importantly, they pay us to help them get there. Which means we’ve got to help them identify and articulate their very specific goals… and take clear and convincing steps to reach it.

In fact, an argument can be made that helping clients understand why goals are important, helping them to identify their own, and then creating a reasonable plan for action is your primary job as coach.

After all, how else will you help them realize their dreams?

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Goal Setting For Coaches

  1. 1. 1 Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. Goal Setting for Coaches Sharon Livingston, Ph.D. c Originally trained as a psychologist, Dr. Glenn Livingston has helped literally thousands of clients. Along with his wife Sharon, he’s sold consulting, teambuilding, and workshops to big names like AT&T, Nextel, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Novartis, Lipton, Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, and Panasonic. Their work, research, and theories have been seen in major media publications like The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain’s NY Business, AdWeek, America West, and more! "According to Our Students We Run One of the Most Powerful Certification Programs for Coaches Who Want to Grow a Thriving Practice...And Now You Can TEST-DRIVE It for a $25 One Time Payment!”
  2. 2. 2 Contents Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 3 The importance of goal setting........................................................................................ 4 What is goal?............................................................................................................... 4 Why goals are important.............................................................................................. 5 Obstacles to overcome in goal setting............................................................................. 9 The blame game........................................................................................................ 10 They don't trust the process....................................................................................... 10 Unrealistic expectations............................................................................................. 11 They are afraid they can't do what they need to do ................................................... 12 They get distracted .................................................................................................... 13 Changing for life......................................................................................................... 15 They crave a bigger reward ....................................................................................... 16 Goal-setting techniques................................................................................................. 17 Creating a well thought-out goal ................................................................................ 17 Creating an action plan.............................................................................................. 18 Think baby steps.................................................................................................... 19 Start from the back and work forward .................................................................... 20 Point A to Point B................................................................................................... 20 Measuring success ................................................................................................ 20 Follow up ................................................................................................................... 21 Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 22
  3. 3. 3 DISCLAIMER: For education only, as per the terms and conditions on www.CoachCertificationAcademy.com . Even though this document is legally copyrighted by Psy Tech Inc. you may make copies and share it with others provided you change nothing within it and don’t charge anything for it. Introduction To most coaches, goal setting comes naturally. Identifying a goal and creating action steps is second nature to us. But because of this, it’s easy to forget most of our clients don't even have the slightest clue how to begin! People seek out coaches to help determine what they really want in life. More importantly, they pay us to help them get there. Which means we’ve got to help them identify and articulate their very specific goals… and take clear and convincing steps to reach it. In fact, an argument can be made that helping clients understand why goals are important, helping them to identify their own, and then creating a reasonable plan for action is your primary job as coach. After all, how else will you help them realize their dreams? Coaches who choose to serve a niche market—(Note: you can download the free book “101 Coaching Niches” at www.101CoachingNiches.com if you haven’t chosen a nice yet)—have a particular goal setting responsibility with clients. Because regardless of whether you help clients with weight loss, personal finance, copywriting, or just about anything else, you’ve achieved—or are on your way to achieving—something clients desperately want for themselves… And they’ll feel MUCH more confident once you help them define a clear goal and a realistic plan to get there! It's also a good idea to evaluate your own goals periodically. Even coaches acutely aware of the importance of goals and action plans often find they’ve put their own needs on the back burner. Coaches are people who help others, and most people in the helping professions are in danger of giving too much of themselves. So resolve right now to review your own goals and action plans at least once a quarter to be sure you’re still on the road to fulfilling your own dreams. As you work with your clients to set goals and create action plans, you'll find the process helps keep you on track to reaching your own goals too. Great coaches know modeling successful behaviors for clients to emulate is important. So while you’re helping clients
  4. 4. 4 articulate their goals and create road maps but you haven't done so yourself for a while, maybe it's time you did! The importance of goal setting A lot of people get through life flying by the seat of their pants. They either lack planning skills, can't focus, or may not want to work as hard as required to obtain what they really desire. Part of your job as a coach is to convince them goal-setting and action-taking are the only realistic options if they want to grow. Most people want to achieve. They have dreams to fulfill. But it takes work. And it's easy to get side-tracked with the daily grind and not move steadily forward—even in small ways—towards your strongest desires. It's easy to daydream about where you want to be in five years, but it takes a road map to get there. Sometimes I feel overwhelmingly sad when I think about all the big ideas which never came to fruition just because no one ever bothered to put together a plan  What is goal? So what exactly is a goal? A goal is an end result of a series of actions performed in a specific period of time. It might sound stupid-simple, but hardly anyone takes the time to think this through. For example, your goal may be to get in 30 minutes of walking today. The result is 30 minutes of walking. Your action is to find the time to do it and then perform the exercise. Your time period is 30 minutes sometime in the next 24 hours. A goal is always very specific. Everybody has dreams, but unless they’ve gone through a process to think through a specific, realistic, targeted result to be accomplished in a specific period of time, they don't have a goal they can achieve. (I forget who said “A dream is a goal without a deadline”, but I find it largely true and priceless) People who don't set goals typically don't achieve, or not nearly as quickly as they could. They live life on a day-to-day basis and things rarely change for them. Clients may have busy lives filled with lots of things to do, but those tasks probably aren’t bringing them any closer to what they really desire. Setting goals gives people something to work toward. Creating action steps gives them what they need to stay focused on achieving their goal.
  5. 5. 5 Why goals are important Here are several reasons setting goals is crucial in a coaching environment: Clients fine-tune their dreams to reflect what they really want Maybe a particular client of yours chose to be a lawyer because he wanted the financial stability. But secretly he dreams of being a chef and owning his own restaurant. Maybe a middle-aged woman has always dreamed of getting married but really just wants to be in a committed relationship because she thinks it will give her financial security – security she could really create for herself. Clients sometimes come to a coach with a goal that isn't their own – it's what their spouse or parents want for them. Or maybe they want to achieve a goal for the wrong reasons. (Like our financial security seeking client above.) Setting goals gives clients the ability to explore ideas to determine what they really want to achieve. More importantly, it dares them to believe that they can do it! But sometimes clients have dreams which actually aren't realistic. In these cases you still want to help your client maximize their accomplishments in the direction of their dream… but you also need to help them fine tune it to deal with reality. For example, a person who has no musical ability or stage presence most likely won't ever be a rock star. But she could certainly hone her musical ability and improve the impression she makes on people. Maybe she can get some local gigs in some coffee shops, or take up karaoke as a hobby. Better yet, perhaps she can use her management skills to work with entertainment acts and get at least a small taste of the rock-and-roll lifestyle she craves. Your clients often won’t have thoroughly thought through their dreams. Setting a specific goal gives them the opportunity to see the pros and cons in full detail… and adjust the goal towards something they not only want to achieve—but something they’re willing to pay the price to achieve. For example, maybe your client's goal is to save enough money to buy a private tropical island. It's nice to dream about having space all to yourself without annoying neighbors. But your client probably doesn’t yet realize everything he'll need to build on a private island will have to be shipped. He may not have thought through the costs of insurance against hurricanes… or even whether he can find an underwriter willing to sell it to him.
  6. 6. 6 So maybe he ditches the tropics and decides to buy an island home off the East Coast with bridge access. A big part of your job as a coach is helping clients determine REALLY want before they set and commit to a goal. It's one of the most important parts of the coaching process and usually takes several sessions to think through. Getting the goal right will inspire the client to work to reach it. And who wants to work hard to achieve a dream and realize when they get there that they didn't really want it after all? (As the late great Stephen Covey said “How sad to climb the ladder of success only to realize it was leaning against the wrong wall all along”) Goals help set priorities Many people feel like they live their lives just putting out one fire after another. They don't feel like they even have the time to determine what is important to them in the first place, let alone to pursue it. These people usually have many things they dream of, but don’t realize they’ll never achieve them if they keep reacting to everything with equal priority… Please write this on the inside of your eyelids so you’ll remember to tell your clients: “Everything is NOT the Most Important Thing” (DISCLAIMER: Don’t really write it inside your eyelids. My lawyer will get mad!) Everything can’t be the most important thing… by definition. But when you look around you even a little bit, you’ll see SO many people living like everything is a priority… Because they haven't given any thought to what really is most important. Most people say that their family is their top priority, and rightfully so. But what does that mean? Does it mean that you need to work on your relationship with your children? Does it mean that you save more money for retirement? Or maybe it means that you need to take care of yourself physically so that you'll live a longer life to be with your family well into your old age. Even the top priority that most people have, their family, requires that we look at what each person thinks is the most important thing to keeping a family happy, healthy, and secure. Fifty years ago, it was generally accepted that men provided financially for the family while women kept the home and family going. Most women didn't work unless they had to support the family financially, especially after they had children. Men were not expected to cook or do laundry, and many men in that era never changed a diaper.
  7. 7. 7 Prioritizing life today is more complicated in many ways. Both partners in a home work because both want fulfilling careers, and because financially it takes two incomes for most people to have a middle-class lifestyle in the United States. Sometimes couples decide that the partner with the least-paying job will stay home with the children. People put their careers or education on hold. To put the family as the first priority requires the client to think about a lot of issues and prioritize them. Some of the issues could be how you'll pay for a child's education or when you want to be able to retire, or where you want to live to make sure your family is in a safe neighborhood with good schools. Some of a client's priorities to keep family first may impinge on other priorities, like getting a graduate degree or working longer hours for several years to earn a promotion. Part of goal setting is figuring out where those career- and education-related goals fit in with their top goal of having a happy, healthy, and secure family. Priorities are a huge part of setting goals, and they often require some soul-searching to help determine what goes at the top of the priority list. A goal pushes a client to achieve Making progress toward a dream helps to motivate people to achieve more. Setting a goal helps to bring clients a step closer to achievement. Once a client achieves one goal, they are buoyed by their success and ready to tackle the next one. Goals are an excellent source of motivation. Although your job as a coach is to motivate your clients, you aren't with them 24/7. They need to learn self-motivation to keep moving forward, and setting small goals for them to achieve gives them confidence to achieve even more. Goals provide clients much-needed focus We live in world where there are so many distractions it's amazing we get anything done. Creating goals give clients something to hang their hats on – a touchstone they can read to remind them what their priorities are. Once a client has created a primary goal – one direction in which they want to live their life – such as retirement at 50, losing 200 pounds, or raising a healthy child – you'll help them create smaller goals to help achieve their dream. Creating a primary goal gives people direction, a purpose. Every decision they make will be measured to determine how it fits in with their primary goal. Clients get to make choices about how they spend their time. They can choose to spend energy doing things that help them fulfill their goal or things that are counterproductive.
  8. 8. 8 However they decide to spend their time and energy, they need to make informed decisions, based on an all-encompassing goal. Goals create accountability Some clients are all talk and no action. For them, accountability is a key component of goal setting. Accountability motivates clients to make the choices which move them closer to their goal. Many people have accountability partners – friends or loved ones who are striving to meet their own goals. A coach is an accountability partner, too. Clients share their triumphs and defeats in making the appropriate choices to reach their goal with their coach and their accountability partners. By the way, we actually offer a professional accountability service which guarantees to double your productive progress towards your primary goal—or we give you double your money back. (No kidding!) If you really want to experience what it’s like to be coached towards a specific, measurable goal have a look at www.DoubleYourProgress.com (It’s very affordable because we meet with clients for just 15 minutes at a time in this particular coaching model) When clients strive for goals, they increase their potential Working toward a goal pushes people to their limits. Most of us under-estimate what we can do, and having a goal to try to meet will help us stretch ourselves and grow. Change can only occur when we get out of comfort zone and take some risks. The pay- off is to move a little bit closer to having the life we want. When people bounce all over chasing one idea after another, they often give up. That's usually because they don't have a plan or because they are afraid they won't be able to do the work to reach the goal. Being content with where you are today may feel great, but it your potential will suffer. Resting on your laurels is the death of growing your potential. When clients set goals, they often end up in unfamiliar territory. It's up to the coach to help ease their fears and help them find ways to keep themselves motivated. Courage, by definition, is being afraid and doing something anyway. (As long as it’s something clearly articulated, well evaluated, and worth the risk… which means somewhere midway between foolhardiness and being a wimp!) Striving for goals makes everyone courageous. Another benefit in striving to reach specific goals is that clients often uncover untapped talents they never knew they had.
  9. 9. 9 For example, a friend of a friend once took some temporary work while she was looking for a new job. She took a position—against her better judgment—arranging flowers at a florist the week before Mother's Day. But while she was there she found out she had a knack for creating a beautiful bouquet, with just a bare minimum of training. Today she still arranges flowers and is working toward the goal of owning her own florist business. When clients stretch themselves, they generate self-awareness. Learning more about themselves helps clients tweak their goals, leverage their strengths, and compensate for their weaknesses. Many people go through life without ever knowing what really makes them tick. Observing a person striving to reach a goal speaks volumes about their character, their strengths, and the challenges that they face. Achieving goals leads to a happier, more fulfilled life When you look back over your life, what do you remember that makes you happy? You remember your achievements. You remember the times that you overcame obstacles. When clients set goals, they are giving themselves the opportunity for achievement. Have you ever had a client who put everything he had into a career or a relationship and felt like he had little to show for it? He was either achieving a goal he really didn't want, or else was missing some critical information he needed to successfully reach his goal. People need purpose in their lives. When clients set goals, they are defining what they want out of life. They are defining where they want to put their energy and efforts. They are defining how they are going to live every day. Obstacles to overcome in goal setting So if goal setting is so important to achieving goals, why is it so hard for people to do it? It's a good coach's stock in trade to know ways to help their clients overcome the hurdles that keep them from meeting their goals. We all get stuck on the road to our dreams from time to time. Everybody needs help re- evaluating their action plan to meet their goals, get a shot of extra confidence, and receive encouragement to tackle the next hurdle. Here are some of the obstacles that coaches help their clients overcome to achieve their goals:
  10. 10. 10 The blame game It's easy to keep from growing if you can blame someone or something else for keeping you in your comfort zone. The reality is, no one can keep you from achieving your goals. Achievers are resilient people who take every challenge as it comes and look at it as an experience to learn from, as opposed to a wall that blocks them from reaching their goal. Even tallest, thickest walls can be climbed over, blasted through, dismantled, or dug under. And sometimes you and your client will discover they can walk around a wall, too! The key for coaches is to help clients take their focus off the person or situation they are blaming for their inability to meet their goal and look to themselves for the solution. When they evaluate their strengths with encouragement from their coach, they often can find a solution on their own. They don't trust the process In coaching practices where clients are not seeing you completely on their own accord, you'll run into people who are distrustful of the goal-setting, as well as the coaching, process. For example, an executive whose boss strongly suggested she receive management coaching may be resentful…especially if she thinks she's a good manager already… Or a person in a relationship who has been encouraged to get couples coaching may feel trapped into setting goals to please a partner. The key to working with clients who don't trust the process is to take a longer period of time to get to know them and build rapport. Once you've been able to establish a relationship built on trust, even the most distrustful client will usually allow you to help them determine what goals they want to achieve. But you’ve gotta find some way to get on their side first… often by genuinely empathizing with their anger at the other party. Once you drain this aggression in a constructive manner, you can essentially say “Well, we might as well make the best of it”… They often do, and are very surprised at the results! But it’s critically important when helping a client to select goals that they come from within themselves – not from their spouse, their boss, or even society as a whole.
  11. 11. 11 Because nobody wants to take responsibility for the work it takes to meet goals when they don't have a personal stake in achieving them. Even if you reach the goal of becoming a world-acclaimed concert pianist, the achievement will mean less or even nothing if your real goal is to be an alpaca farmer. (A picture of me being unnaturally close to an Alpaca back in my Alpaca Farming investigation days! Geez, I had a LOT more hair back then!!) Unrealistic expectations We live in a society where people want it, and they want it yesterday. While most companies focus solely on next quarter's earnings, it can be a strong dose of reality when a client realizes it may take years to reach their goals. Most things that are worthwhile and that last really do take time and effort. After many months of hard work, a client may become unmotivated when they realize they still have months or years to go to reach their goal. They begin to focus on how far away the mountain's summit is as opposed to marveling at how far they've come. It's a coach's job to redirect their thinking to their achievements so far, rather than focusing on the tough road ahead. People sometimes forget it took a while to develop new habits. Just about everybody at some time in their life has needed to lose weight. Very few people gain 50 pounds in a few months. It most likely took several years of overeating and lack of exercise to gain that amount of weight. Conversely, when you start exercising and following a healthy diet, 50 pounds doesn't come off overnight. It takes several months of dedication to lifestyle changes and hard work to take off the weight and keep it off. Understanding that long-lasting changes take time is a realistic expectation. The key is to help keep clients keep themselves motivated through those long months or years.
  12. 12. 12 They are afraid they can't do what they need to do Many people have a fear of failure. Part of the reason why is that in our culture we value everything by how successful it is. People who fail in a world that focuses only on success are anxious about the possibility of failure. The reality is, failure can be more valuable than success, especially when it comes to reaching long-term goals. Failing can give your clients critical information about habits they need to break or ideas about better ways to reach their goal. If you were around in the '80s, you may remember one of the biggest marketing disasters ever – New Coke. Coca-Cola, a company that had been successful for generations, decided to reformulate its beloved soda, and New Coke was born. All hell broke loose. Everyone hated New Coke. Coca-Cola brought back its original formula and sold it alongside its newer version, even though the formulas were virtually the same. Guess what happened to the guy who came up with the idea of New Coke? Yep, he got fired. After making a mistake of legendary proportions, you'd figure that guy would never work in this town again. Or any town, for that matter. But guess what? After a couple of years he was hired by Pepsi Co. and helped bring their brand become the most competitive it had ever been against Coke. New Coke was a spectacular risk … and it was a spectacular failure. But here's the deal … you don't win big without taking big risks. Risk-takers in the business world have a lot of value, even when they fail big, because they are innovators. Failure to an innovator is just a bump in the road that gives them the opportunity to learn what they did wrong and determine a solution that will be more likely to be successful the next time. Most people who are afraid of failing are looking at their goals through a lens that's not completely clear. Sure, you want to be successful in reaching your goals, but you will have setbacks. They happen. Part of learning to set goals and take steps to reach them involves taking risk and accepting the fact that it's not going to be smooth sailing just because you've figured out what where you're going to go. While some people are afraid of failure, some are simply afraid of difficult work. Setting goals in and of itself is difficult. Our clients often have to look at themselves and their lives honestly, and that can be unsettling, to say the least. But many clients have bought into the crap that marketers have been selling people forever – that they can accomplish whatever they want with minimal effort.
  13. 13. 13 I've made several million dollars in internet marketing—and I constantly see my competitors selling programs to people telling them that they can make a million dollars on the internet by working four hours a day, or some variation of that. I never made any significant money—or accomplished anything worthwhile—working four hours a day. And you know what? Neither did they! I’ve been part of meetings and masterminds with some of the most successful people you’ve probably ever heard of… And you know what they all have in common? They all go “all in” and work 10x as hard as anyone else I know. Oh, they might work SMARTER… But they’ll tell you that’s the whole secret when it’s really a big fat lie… Because the truth is you’ve gotta work both SMARTER AND HARDER than everyone else. If you think about it, it can’t be any other way. Because if you don’t work both harder and smarter than your competitors, someone else well. My competitors try to convince people they can have the same level of success working four hours a week. They know it's human nature to want to expend the least amount of effort to achieve big gains. That's why they are making even more money on foolish people who think they can reach their goals without hard work. Get-rich-quick schemes don't work. Quick fixes usually don't work, either. When clients realize one of the big things which has held them back from meeting their goals is they've always taken the path of least resistance, they may feel resentful or angry that they'll have to work hard. But that's what it takes to reach goals: Hard + Focused + Smart work. The sooner you can help them accept that fact, the faster they'll make progress. They get distracted Staying focused in difficult for everybody these days. With all the information coming at us through news, social media, and just our daily communications with family and friends, it's a miracle anyone can get anything done at all. We all have to make conscious decisions to keep the distractions at bay, including issues that really do demand a lot of our attention.
  14. 14. 14 When you work with your clients to set goals, it's important that they get a realistic picture of what their path is going to look like. They need to understand there are going to be distractions. We've all hidden behind distractions to get out of doing the work we really should be focusing on. Clients say things like, "I'll quit smoking after I'm finished with this stressful project at work," or "My child is acting out at school and needs more of my attention right now. I can't do what I need to do this month to work toward my goal." It's important to let clients know these are some of the things which will distract them and may extend the amount of time it's going to take to reach their goal. Some life events really deserve our full attention, but the reality is that just about everybody can find a few minutes a day to do something to move them a little closer to fulfill their life's dream. Brian Traci said it best “Everyone dramatically overestimates what they can accomplish in one year, and dramatically underestimates what they can accomplish in five years” Help your clients move slowly but steadily in the direction of their goals and they’ll climb almost any mountain in the long run. Move slowly in the direction of yours and so will you! Someone supposedly once stopped Socrates on the road and asked him for directions to Mt. Olympus. He retorted “That’s easy. Just make sure every step you take is towards there”… Sure, he was a bit of a smart-ass, but he was right, don’t you think!? We can all get where we want to go, just not necessarily when we want to be there. But what’s the alternative? Not having a plan? Drinking, smoking, bad relationships, gambling, overeating, and generally self destructing? No thank you. I’ll take confidently moving the right direction over all that garbage any old day. More often than not, clients make excuses not to do what’s really required to keep taking steps in the right direction to achieve their dreams. Yet most of them are completely oblivious to this fact… They really do think they’re making the right choices to focus on a problem at the office or at home.
  15. 15. 15 So coaches must work with clients to find out what's behind the distraction and gently bring it to their awareness. Usually it's fear of failure or of doing the work that needs to be done to reach the goal. Changing for life Another thing clients don't always realize is the changes they’re making to achieve their goals may be things they’ll need to work on for years, if not the rest of their lives. Emotional eaters may lose weight and may make progress in eating healthily, but they won't ever really be completely "cured" to the point that they can sit down and eat a pint of ice cream every day again without gaining weight. Changes that clients make to achieve their goals often require commitment for life. The harsh reality is, we never stop learning. We never stop achieving. Once we get to the pinnacle of one achievement, most people immediately set their sights on the next goal. But the new behaviors we learn on our way to our first goal will always be things that we'll need to monitor and maintain. I think sometimes we buy into the myth that reaching the “next” success goal is easier once we've reached a previous ones. But the truth is, in most cases, the next goal, and the one after that, is harder. Think about a fitness client who decides that she wants to run a 5K after being a couch potato for several years. She'll need to learn stretching exercises to keep from injuring herself. She'll also start slow, maybe starting with running and walking a quarter of a mile a day, building up slowly to a 5K. So say she's run a 5K and decides to set her sights on a 10K. She won't abandon the stretching exercises. She'll start slowly building up pace and endurance. She may have to learn additional skills to go the distance, like what to eat to get prepared. So after achieving the 10K, she decides to train for a marathon. Marathon training requires much more time and discipline than to prepare for a 5K or a 10K. She'll need to learn even more new skills, but the foundation will be the skills she learned when she trained for her first 5K. If she tends to forego her stretching, she has even a greater chance of getting hurt. If she doesn't hydrate enough during her 5K and continues to make that mistake in the marathon, she may fail completely at the new goal. Many of the tools we teach our clients are things they'll need to practice for any goal they want to achieve. Good organizational skills, communication, learning how to think in a different frame of reference, are techniques they'll use throughout their lives.
  16. 16. 16 It's important to make sure clients understand that once they've achieved their goal there will be ongoing work to maintain their dream or to move on to the next one. Clients may cringe at this at first… Indeed, you might too. But is it worth giving up on your dreams in order to avoid this discomfort? “A life of discipline is better than a life of regret” – Jim Rohn They crave a bigger reward As a coach, it's your job to find out what motivates your clients and to implement those motivation techniques to keep them moving toward their goal. Many clients are motivated by praise. I mean, who doesn't like to be told sincerely that they are doing a good job? Some clients need more recognition than others. We're all excited when we reach a goal, but the rest of the world doesn't get as excited about as we do, and often not as much as we'd like. Everybody has dreamed of giving an Academy Award speech, but the reality is that most of us are going to achieve our goals with a lot less fanfare. It's important for a coach to determine how important recognition is to their client and help them be realistic about how much recognition and praise they'll receive from others. Maybe public recognition isn't as important as making a specific amount of money. There was once this guy who wanted to be a millionaire by the time he was 30. He didn't quite make it – he was probably worth $800,000 by his 30th birthday. He didn’t feel like his hard work had earned him what he deserved -- $1 million. He was so focused on getting what he thought he deserved that he didn't even realize that he had made $800,000 before he was 30 – an achievement few people accomplish. Sometimes it works out that reaching a goal is just as simple as that. There's no party. There's no seven-figure bank account. It's simply an accomplishment that we can tell ourselves that we're proud of, whether anyone ever even knows. Ultimately we have to make ourselves happy. All the money and public recognition in the world means little compared to the satisfaction of being people who achieve.
  17. 17. 17 Goal-setting techniques I spent most of this book talking about all the reasons people resist goal setting because, in truth, getting through these resistances is the most difficult part… Setting them is pretty easy once you've worked through the biggest reasons your client doesn't WANT to do it! There are a wide variety of methods to help people define their goals and outline the steps to reach them. For example, my wife, Sharon, likes to use a visualization technique which she teaches in our coaching certification program. (www.TryTheProgram.com) Many people simply ask their clients to put pencil to paper. Either way, there are three primary elements you need to set a goal:  A well thought-out goal  An action plan  A system for follow-up and accountability When all of these pieces are put into place, a road map to the client's hopes and aspirations comes into view. It provides a structure for them to follow to reach their goal, and it helps you help them stay on track. Creating a well thought-out goal Many times people seek out a coach to reach a specific goal they already have in mind. It's important, however convinced the client is that they have a goal worth pursuing, to make sure it is well thought-out. Goals need to be specific and have a time element. There's no such thing as an open-ended goal. A goal needs to be realistic and should have identifiable steps that you can take to reach the goal. These steps are the action plan, which we'll discuss later. One way to help a client determine their goal is to encourage them to think about their life and answer questions like these:  What habits do you want to change?  What relationship problems do you want to improve?  What do you want to learn?  What do you want to experience?  What aspects of your health do you want to improve? If you have a coaching niche, you'll find that clients are coming to you to reach goals that answer these basic questions. However, sometimes clients have a laundry list of
  18. 18. 18 goals they want to tackle, and you can use these questions to categorize and prioritize their list. It’s also usually better to focus on ONE goal at a time with a coach than to try and accomplish everything at once (for obvious reasons). After the client has identified a goal, have them write it down. There's something powerful about putting an idea into words. It doesn't have to be written perfectly, but it has to be written in a way that the client can return back to it from time to time to give them a reminder to stay on track. Even if they have a goal to rid themselves of a negative habit, be sure the client writes the goal in a positive light. Here are some examples:  I will improve my organizational abilities. (I will quit being a disorganized mess.)  I will learn to seek positive rewards other than food (I will stop eating emotionally.)  I will learn to communicate better with my spouse. (I will quit impulsively taking out my frustrations on my spouse.) Wording a goal in a positive light keeps the client focused on the positives of changing their lives, instead of focusing on their previous failures or other negative connotations. The other reason it helps to write down a goal is it allows you to make it specific. And then you can add in the time factor, which helps keep clients motivated. Here are some examples of specific goals:  I will get out of debt by Jan. 31, 2016.  I will finish medical school by spring 2018.  I will be exercising 30 minutes a day five days a week in six months. Remind your client just because they wrote down a goal doesn't mean it's set in stone. They can go back periodically and change the goal to add more time to it, or just change the focus. For example, maybe the person who wants to be out of debt by Jan. 31, 2016 might decide to amend their goal to exclude debt on their home. "I will get out of debt, except for the secured debt on my house, by Jan. 31, 2016." Creating an action plan Once you and your client have created a goal that is specific and realistic, it's time to create a plan to reach it. You'll need to determine a way to measure progress, a timeline, and things the client needs to do to reach their goal.
  19. 19. 19 There are several ways to create an action plan. Some people choose a timeline, which lists the steps needed to reach the goal in chronological order. You can list these action items in a spreadsheet program like at Excel if you want. Other goals, especially things like breaking a habit or creating a new one, will require more monitoring than following a list of steps. Many people will journal daily or keep a short list of successes and challenges to help them gauge where they are in reaching their goal. You'll need some space on the action plan to list any resources that may be needed to complete the action step. For example, if the goal is to cut down on emotional eating, it may be important to make sure the refrigerator is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Buying these resources could be one of the first action steps. Think baby steps Sometimes bigger action items need to be broken down into smaller steps to keep from clients becoming overwhelmed or to safeguard from forgetting critical piece. Say, for example, your client's goal is change their career field to become a nurse. One of the action items will be to apply to nursing programs. That step will require a number of items, including getting his high school and college transcripts, completing applications and applying for financial aid. Be sure to include items the client is already engaged in to reach her goal. If her goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day five days a week, maybe she's already exercising 20 minutes two days a week. Be sure to include the progress she has already made to give her incentive to push a little harder to reach her goal. Just like with a goal, each action item needs to have a time frame attached to it. Our future nursing student needs to apply for programs months before classes start. Help her break down her action items into time frames that are easier to accomplish. She is less likely to succeed if she leaves everything to the last minute and tries to complete several action steps at once. (For example, it’s almost impossible to complete the goal of applying to five schools if you wait until the week before applications are due to get started). Also be sure that the time frames for each action item support the time frame for the overall goal.
  20. 20. 20 Start from the back and work forward If you have project management skills, you already know that the easiest way to create action items is to start from the end and work forward. If your client's target completion date is the end of 2016, you will want to help them give themselves plenty of time to reach their goal by working backward. Be sure to build in time for client resistance though, especially if time is a critical factor in meeting their goal. They may need a few weeks or even a couple of months more than they plan just to get over their fear of taking the next step. Also, add in people and institutions that can help support your client as she works on reaching her goals. Putting this information down on paper will help her remember who she can call or email for support along the way, especially if she experiences a crisis. Although you'll be there for her as her coach, you aren't available to her 24/7. She needs to have a support system in place to be there when you can't be. Point A to Point B Another way to create an action plan is to have your client write where they are today on one side of a page and where they want to be on the other. Brainstorm ideas with them to get from Point A to Point B. After these ideas are refined, you can put them in a logical order and add a time frame to complete the action plan. If parts of your client's action plan require a cost, be sure to add the dollar amount, or at least a realistic estimate. Your client may need to save money to go to nursing school so that she can work part time while furthering her education. It may be unrealistic to complete nursing school while simultaneously working full time. So help her estimate how much money she'll need to save to cover her monthly essentials. Then determine whether this will be accomplished with a simple savings plan, or what kind of part-time job she'll need to get—and in what time frame. Measuring success “We improve what we measure” Every goal needs a way to measure success. Because, like my grandfather used to say “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably wind up somewhere else!” For some goals, like getting out of debt or taking steps to further education, it's easy to measure how far you’ve come because you clearly start at Point A and move towards Point B.
  21. 21. 21 For others, however, it's not that easy. Especially if it's a goal which requires breaking a bad habit. For example, how do you know if you are succeeding at eliminating emotional eating? One way is to have the client keep a list of healthy food choices he made, or journal about times he was triggered by his feelings to eat and decided to do something else. He should also keep a list of times he ate his trigger foods. You could measure success by comparing the percentage of good choices against the ones which weren't so healthy. You could also keep track of the # of days a client abstained from a negative behavior. Or how many they engaged in a positive one. Exercising four days a week for 20 minutes is clearly better than doing it for two. You and the client can measure success by each day she succeeds in exercising 30 minutes. The key question to ask yourself is “If ten neutral observers were asked whether this person reached the goal, in the way we’ve defined it, could they all clearly agree?” That’s a measurable goal! Follow up Have you ever worked for a company that spent a lot of time and money creating a strategic plan…but after six months that plan was completely abandoned? Action plans have a tendency to end up there, too. Your job as a coach is to remind your client to not give up and continue to work toward their goal. Here are some tips to help you and your client keep on target with the action plan:  Review the action plan every session with your client to find out what he has accomplished since your last session and to discuss anything that is keeping him from moving forward.  Ask your client to journal every day – even if it's just a couple of words – about the progress they've made. They also need to include any trouble they ran into moving forward so that you can discuss it during your next session.  Some people put up a Post-It on their computer monitor or on their bathroom mirror to remind them to do just one thing that day to move toward their goal. Encourage your clients to give themselves visual cues to remind themselves of their goal and next steps.  Every couple of months or so, go over the entire action plan and the goal with your client to determine if time frames or other essentials have changed. Often a
  22. 22. 22 client's goal will need to be tweaked along the way, which means the action items need to be re-evaluated, too. Finally, remember that it’s not the 100% adherence to the plan which is most important… it’s the unwavering pursuit of the objective. Here’s an interesting statistic… businesses which took the time to go through a detailed planning process are clearly and consistently more successful than those who don’t—regardless of whether they ever discussed or even looked at the plan once it was written!  I guess why they say “Plans are worthless but planning is priceless”…  It’s the PROCESS of thinking through the plan which seems to be most valuable. When you get into the thick of things, you’ve got to be flexible enough to change course! Conclusion Teaching your clients how to set realistic, achievable goals is a life skill they'll use over and over again. You'll find as you guide them through the process they'll often resist the effort to pin down their hopes and dreams, but when they finally let get of their fear and decide to go after their dream, their lives will take on new meaning. Give your clients their dream – in writing, as well as a doable action plan that they can work on every day to bring themselves closer to their goal. By taking baby steps, they'll experience the joy of achievement and getting what they want the most out of life. Now go coach someone! www.BecomeARealCoach.com
  23. 23. 23 Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. Note Taking for Coaches Sharon Livingston, Ph.D. c Originally trained as a psychologist, Dr. Glenn Livingston has helped literally thousands of clients. Along with his wife Sharon, he’s sold consulting, teambuilding, and workshops to big names like AT&T, Nextel, Panasonic, Whirlpool, Novartis, Lipton, Colgate-Palmolive, Kraft, and Panasonic. Their work, research, and theories have been seen in major media publications like The New York Times, Entrepreneur Magazine, Crain’s NY Business, AdWeek, America West, and more! "According to Our Students We Run One of the Most Powerful Certification Programs for Coaches Who Want to Grow a Thriving Practice...And Now You Can TEST-DRIVE It for a $25 One Time Payment!”
  24. 24. 24 © Psy Tech Inc. All Rights Reserved www.BecomeARealCoach.com

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