A Coaching Power Tool created by Sanjay Nangalia
(Business & Executive Coach, UNITED STATES)
One of the challenges that I’ve faced in coaching is helping my clients think through and balance between present focus and future focus. In other words short term goals and long term goals. This power tool helps coaches and clients understand and balance between present focus (short term) and future (long term goals). This tool is of use after the client has worked through their values, by using a wheel of life exercise or any other values defining exercise.
Some times a client can set a long term goal and feel that her work is done. Achieving the long term goal will just happen! It’s important for the coach to help a client focus on setting short term goals. One perspective is to set long term goals first so that the short term ones can lead towards the long term goal. An alternate view is that short term goals should be set first as setting the long term one is more difficult because often what a person wants in the long term is not clear. It is easier to set short term goals that are clearer, specific and more realistic. Achieving a series of short term goals can motivate a person, and also bring greater clarity of what one wants in the long term.
Questions for the Coach
- Has my client clearly defined her values?
- Is she excited about her long term goals?
- Are they aligned with her values?
- Has she set short term goals that are excting markers for her journey?
It is important that goals are written down and posted where they can be viewed daily. As one thinks about ways to reach or make the goal happen, a plan develops which, in turn, can be put down as a series of action steps or short term goals. These could be things that need to be done daily, weekly, or monthly. To meet these goals, it is essential to create a support structure. This could include enlisting the help of one’s coach, a close friend, a supportive family member, or even co-worker. Achieveing goals is easier when one has a support network to cheer us on and pick us up if we trail behind.
A planning tool like a time management diary or using the calendar function on one’s computer software is a great help in tracking and reviewing the journey. It helps us stay on track, and serves as a timely reminder. It’s best to always start with actions that are small steps which are easy to take. Setting goals that are too ambitious is risky as they set us up for failure. And, it easier to use positive and affirming language to set goals that are easier to achieve.
One of the things that we realize once we’ve set goals for ourselves is that descision making becomes easier. If the goal is to lose weight then it becomes easier to decide what we have to eat and what to avoid. Eating cake and ice-cream means that the results will not be what we’ve planned for ourselves. One of the challenges in achieving goals is to be emotionally committed to them. It’s a good idea to explore deep the importance of the goal in our life and how the goal aligns to our values.
Emotional energy helps drive us forward towards our goal – not just an intellecutual commitment. One needs to remember to celebrate the achievement of each short term goal, no matter how insignigicant it may look at that time. This celebration helps build confidence and energy around the journey.
Continually affirm youself – stating what you want to achieve as if you’ve already achieved it. Constant affirmation builds positive energy.
Questions for the Coach
- Has my client set up a system to celeberate her short term achievements?
- Do they have a support structure in place that is positive and affirming for her?
- What system are they using to track their journey? A planner, a time management too?
- Would creating a vision board be exciting for them?
- Are they emotionally committed or intellectually committed to their goals? How do they know?
- Are they flexible enough to accept life’s twists and evaluate goals in view of new
- information that may come up?
- Who are the nay-sayers in thier life? What can they do to mimimize the negative
- influence they may have on them?