Since New Year my motivation has been seriously waning. As previously mentioned my main goal this year was to carry on running and improve my fitness.
Well I am ashamed to say my progress to continue this goal has been completely pants. My motivation has not gone completely but it is not what it should be. One reason is that keeping fit has dropped in my priority list, and getting in from work and lazing around on the sofa has gone up in my priority list. This no doubt is a symptom of putting a lot of effort into my work at the moment, with the change in my working patterns still new. However this is not the full picture. I have also neglected my goal and the reasons why I why want achieve my goal. It is vital to check in regularly with your goal and your motivation to achieve it. This then leads you to examine the action plans you have put in place and test their effectiveness. I also have to accept that my goal maybe is not specific enough and it is not completely clear when I will achieve and what my level of commitment is. In a nutshell I have lost my way and let my goals drift.
I am certain if I had used a coach or even coaching conversations I would no doubt still be working successfully towards my goal. As I am a coach maybe I subconsciously decided to coach myself, or just fell into the trap of coaching myself. Self coaching though rarely works. As mentioned before coaching is about raising your awareness, shining a light on previously unnoticed potential, and noticing and testing assumptions. It is very difficult to see examine yourself objectively and not collude with your emotional self. A good coach can do that by asking high quality but really quite simple and obvious questions, that do what I described above.
Now I thought I would get us all started on defining our goal, testing our desire to achieve, exploring what actions we need to take, identifying the potential difficulties and so on. By asking a series of questions in a blind coaching style. So if you are up for it and would like to define your goal better and ultimately achieve your goal answer the questions below. This will get you started, however you will need to check in with a coach or someone you know that will not try to hijack you by giving you advice. Someone that will help you keep motivated. I am going to do it and check in with a coach at work I will then let you know how I am doing periodically.
Get a pen and paper, open your mind and be honest.
- Do have something you want to achieve?
- Can you write it down in a sentence?
- When do you want to achieve this by? (Give an actual date such as 27th July 2018 instead of 6 months)
- How will you know you have achieved it? (How will you measure your progress and achievement)
- Using a scale of your own devising (1-10 if you like), how much do want to achieve this? (If your score is 5 or below have another look at your goal)
- What can you possibly do to achieve your goal? (Possibly is the important word, use your imagination)
- Is there anything else?
- What resources could you possibly use to achieve your goal?
- Is there anything else?
- Who could you possibly involve to help you achieve your goal? (again be imaginative, don’t just think of people you know and speak to, think about who you admire, who has an impact on you)
- Is there anybody else?
- For those people you have contact with, how are you going to persuade people to buy-in to your goal?
- Is there anybody else that could possibly help you?
- What are the possible barriers to you achieving your goal?
- What are the possible pitfalls you may encounter on the way to achieving your goal?
- What are the possible risks to you achieving your goal?
- How can you possibly overcome those barriers, avoid those pitfalls and reduce those possible risks?
- What are the possible implications of you achieving your goal? (Both positive and negative)
- What possible assumptions are you making about achieving your goal? (can be about you, other people, the goal itself or the result of achieving your goal)
- When are you going to start achieving your goal? (again write down a specific date)
- How much time will you need to set aside to achieve your goal?
- Do you have space in your routine to accommodate this time?
- If not what are you prepared to sacrifice to achieve your goal?
- Can you write down in your diary, planner or calendar the time you have allocated to achieve your goal?
- Using the scale you established earlier how likely is it that you will achieve your goal in the time scale you have set? (Be honest with yourself, your score is on or below the halfway point on your scale, then go back and examine your goal, your actions and timescales)
- Now close your eyes and imagine you have achieved your goal. Imagine the feelings that evokes. What are your friends and family are saying? Spend some time creating a clear mental picture of your success to help you motivate yourself when you start to struggle.
- Last of all what are you going to do to celebrate when you achieve your goal?
Now this will get you started, but if you are serious in making this change a permanent change then find a coach, to help you stay focussed on what you want to achieve. It does not have to cost a fortune, find someone you trust and who will not be tempted to offer you advice.