Have you been dreaming of starting something new? Or have you already started… (hey! It’s April already, how are those resolutions getting along?) but you’re not there yet?
Getting stuck… with being stuck!
In trying to achieve a goal, you’re bound to get stuck along the way. It could be right at the beginning (no movement), in the middle (momentum lost!) or juuusstt right before we hit our goal. It’s okay to get stuck or distracted – in fact it’s normal within a typical change process. Most people try to deal with their stuckness by either
(i) stop doing altogether
(ii) repeatedly doing something – anything! even if it might not be the ‘right’ thing to do
If you want to achieve that goal and accomplish that dream or change, here’s what you need to do instead:
Reconnect to your goal. Question it by holding it in your mind and spending a few quiet moments just being with it. Revisit why it’s important to you. Close your eyes and visualize it in detail, in color, in motion, in feelings. You could do this during a toilet break, or before you sleep, or in the cab or MRT – but not during lunch! The point is to intentionally engage one-on-one your goal again.
Why is this important?
We are so used to multi-tasking through the day, doing several things at once and thinking many thoughts at the same time. You have about 48 thoughts shooting through your mind at any given minute. I’d bet most of those thoughts arn’t directly feeding your goal. In fact, a large % of that could even be negative thoughts (doubt, skepticism, excuses) that don’t support what you’re hoping to achieve! It’s easy to disconnect with the goal and turn it into another ‘to-do’ or ‘obligation’ that becomes a dread to accomplish.
Here’s a simple coaching exercise you can use on yourself
…or have a friend do with you. It will take only 10 minutes. You can write your responses down, or work through the questions within. Do this in a quiet, still space.
To start: Get present to the goal that you’re trying to achieve.
Q1: On a scale of 0 – 10, where are you in relation to achieving this goal? (0 = no movement, 10 = achieved)
Q2: Close your eyes and imagine that you have achieved your goal. Could you share what you are seeing with me, as you are seeing it? Visualize the details, the colors, the motion, the feelings that come up.
Q3: Why is what you’re seeing important to you?
Q4: What are some ways you can move forward in achieving this goal?
Q5: What can you do in the next 1 week? Identify 1 specific action/task. When specifically are you going to do it?
Q6: Where would you be on the scale of 1 – 10 when you have achieved that action/task?
A simple coaching exercise like this can be used on yourself (what we call, ‘self-coaching’) or on someone else.
How coaching works so well
You’ll notice that the exercises forces you to do 2 things – Firstly, to spend sacred time to connect deeper with something that you chose to be important to you. Giving it some mental space allows it to become alive and play out in your mind. Our mind is a very powerful tool, what it sees, it dictates! Letting it unfold like a movie already moves the thought process along. You will find more answers watching 10 minutes of a movie instead of constantly replaying the first 5 seconds and then getting distracted by something else going on, and replaying the first 5 seconds again because you forgot what you watched!
Secondly, you’re asked to brainstorm actions and pick 1 to commit to doing within a dedicated period of time. A specific action, and a specific by-when date works well here. Seal the commitment in by taking it 1 step further, which is to visualize the benefit of getting the action accomplished and acknowledging how it would contribute to your goal.
Coaching works because it connects you with something deeper within, and just as importantly, holds you accountable to making things happen. This moves you from your ‘NOW’…. to a new ‘NOW’. Keep moving, by inch or by leaps, and before you know it, you’ll be celebrating that goal sooner than if you know!
Like what you are reading?
Coaching skills is a specific set of abilities that fall within the ‘interpersonal skills’ domain. You can use this coaching exercise on a friend (get his/her willingness of course!) too. In fact, this is the sort of questions you could expect your coach to work through with you. Don’t forget that if you were to coach someone else with this, it’s best that you also:
- Listen without judgement
- Ask the questions in a clear and concise manner
- Receive without interrupting or advising
Disclaimer: Coaching sequences like the one above does not a coach make! Coaches are trained to listen intently and ask the right questions to pivot their clients. This exercise works on most people in general but will fall short of the true power of coaching in tune to the person’s unique personality.
This coaching exercise was taught in our “Awaken The Coach Within” workshop that is held on a monthly basis.
Check out the workshop photos here.
Register for the next one here.
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