New Year Opportunities, Goals and Dreams

If you are like most of us as we enter a new year, you are creating a plan that may include new behaviors, ideas, strategies and actions to achieve a desired outcome (dream or goal). Yes? I know that it is absolutely true for me and true for those in my household. My husband and my three daughters have all made reference to ‘changes’ they want, with statements like: “In the new year I will….” or “This year I will be better at….” or “My goal for 2013 is to pay attention to……”. Sound at all familiar? Of course!

As I listened to them, and to my own thoughts about what I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year, I went into thinking as a coach (no surprise) and asked myself the following questions:

  • What specifically is the outcome I would like?
  • What is important to me about achieving this?
  • What will I need to put in place to be successful with this?
  • What will keep me on track?
  • What may throw me off track?

Great coaching questions for sure!

I am still in the process of taking time to answer these questions: to work ‘on these things’ instead of simply jumping ‘into’ them. Do you take this kind of time for yourself? Do you really stop and become clear on what is important to you about the ‘resolutions’ or ideas or goals that you are contemplating as we enter the New Year? I know that I always have the ‘intention’ to do so, yet it seems that ‘jumping’ right into a new behavior (for example, eating better) is what often occurs. Interesting. Why not just jump in? You know what you want, right?

Being curious, I got permission to ask these questions to my family about their desires. (Remember coaching without permission, especially in a family that KNOWS you are a coach, can create the exact OPPOSITE of what is intended!). It was interesting for sure! Their values showed up, their dreams became more visible and ultimately they had a more solid understanding of the motivations and actions that will be required to obtain their desired outcomes.

In addition, and what the ‘aha’ reminder was for me, is that they each came up with a clearer understanding of the obstacles that may influence their success! This seemed the most impactful to each of them. So this may really be the reason to answer the questions: to become clear on what will derail us, what might get in the way of achieving what we want!

The overall reminder for me in this was that simply ‘jumping in’ without clearly knowing how to swim, might not support our success! Thus, using the same coach approach ‘principles’ in relationship to our loved ones and ourselves outside of a coaching relationship or our work as coaches, is really important.

So for 2013 and beyond, I challenge you to be conscious in using the same principles in your own lives. As we enter this New Year, use a coach approach with yourself! Ask yourself questions that will prompt clarity and define success for you. Oh yes, and we mustn’t forget the coaching accountability tag: “When will you sit down and do this for yourself?”

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