What happens in a coaching session?

No one really writes about this. And this is why. The best coaching session is dynamic and malleable because every client has a different perspective, challenge or opportunity to discuss each time. It doesn’t follow a step by step formula like in other professional services. However if you’ve never had a coaching session here’s a basic synopsis for perhaps a first time client.

  • You meet with your coach in a location where you feel comfortable to speak openly and after a brief intro you’ll discuss the specific area of your life where you are challenged at the moment. It’s here you’ll decide with your coach the desired outcome for the session and quite often it’s not the original challenge you thought. Coaching can be done in person but nowadays it’s just as common to speak with your coach on the phone or over Skype. My coach is in New York!
  • You then begin a coaching conversation where the coach listens as you explain the situation. A good coach won’t get involved in the story. Rather they are listening for beliefs, comments, patterns, body language and may stop you mid-story if they feel they already understand enough.Coaching-conversation
  • A trained performance coach will ask smart insight-giving questions. As mentioned in my previous blog on What is coaching, it is not about advice. It’s about asking the questions to get you to think outside of what you are currently able to ‘see’. While a coach will provide a safe, trusting environment they are not your friend so they are able to challenge you in a way in which perhaps family or friends would not.
  • These questions will bring about realisations in terms of your current situation and where you might be holding yourself back. As you are in a trusted space without judgement you are free to express where you are having difficulties.
  • It’s at this time your coach may prompt you to start thinking of opportunities or solutions you hadn’t imagined before. Once you’ve tabled these you can decide on which option is most viable given where you want to get to.
  • Next up is setting a plan. This is not just about setting some SMART goals and setting sail for Tahiti with a mojito in hand.  TahitiYour coach will hold you accountable to what you’ve committed to. And yes, we all get busy and have reasons for not completing our tasks but it’s amazing when you know you have someone to report back to (who you’ve invested to keep you on track) how much more likely you are to complete what you committed to.
  • Finally you’ll finish up with a brief summary of your session and a check in on how you now feel about your situation at hand. Together you will set some targets and there may be some extra reading or work to complete before you met again.

This is a super basic format however every coaching session is different. Coaches have many models and techniques to use so you should never feel like it’s the same old routine every time.

Sometimes it might be quite goal oriented while other times you may explore a behaviour or belief for example a lack of self-confidence or your procrastination habits, then find ways of shifting your mindset to change your outcomes.

Of course to really know what a coaching session is like you need to experience it for yourself. Reach out if you’re interested in finding out more.

 

Time for a 15 min mid-year check in with YOU?

I’m a straight shooter. And I’m not afraid to point out the glaringly obvious. It’s 1 July today. We’re half way through 2015. Around about now you start procrastinating about tax or filling in your automated yet clunky KPI Internal Comms system ‘demonstrating’ what a terrific year you’ve had so far for your manager to rush through to meet internal deadlines.  But here’s something outrageous. How about putting some time aside to actually reflect on your year so far?

Here’s some key questions to kick start your own personal mid-year review.

  1. Source your goals, be they in your head or on paper. How are you tracking? What have been your wins? Where do you need to focus your efforts to keep winning? What has slowed you down & how will you look to solve these challenges?
  2. Your approach. Rather than being attached to a set outcome as you begin each action, consider your strategic approach for each goal especially around who you are being. Do you need to adjust your openness to improve a relationship? Can you find more joy in the everyday, seemingly mundane things?
  3. Your support crew. Who are you going to recruit/ keep on board to assist you to make the rest of 2015 a stellar year? Equally who will you offer support and advice to you – remembering contribution is a key attribute to achieving greater happiness in your life.
  4. Imagine it’s the Christmas party season of 2015. You’re making the rounds. When people ask you how your year was what do you tell them? Make a list with all the areas important to you e.g happiness, health, fitness, love, career, finance, relationships, travel, family, hobbies, home, etc
  5.  What are three actions you will commit to completing this week to get you on your way to achieving your big ticket items and small every day wins?  Email them to a trusted friend who will hold you accountable or feel free to send them my way.

Ideally set aside 1-2 hours to reflect, refocus and refresh your outlook for 2015 but if you can only find 15 minutes just do it! You’re well ahead of the game already by even reading this.

I have a few places left at my women’s workshop The Direction Momentum in Bondi on 12th of July. A great opportunity if you or anyone you know is drifting along or needs some motivation!

mtnsI noted recently how many metaphors and language there is around focus and goal setting with roads and travelling. Journeys, direction,  path, momentum, wheels in mud, road map, stuck at a fork in the road, the road less travelled, crossroads, life intersections the list goes on. So I thought the image I took en route to Mt Hutt , Canterbury, N.Z. on Saturday was apt for today’s blog.

Where’s the road taking you for the rest of 2015?

Get motivated. And stay motivated.

If I had a $1 for every time I’ve seen “New year, new you” in the last couple of weeks I’d at least be up $85.  The media however is simply riding off the annual ‘resolution frenzy’ as we recover from our seasonal holidays, reflect on the year just gone and make promises to ourselves and our loved ones about what will happen in 2015.

And now it’s the first week of February. Some of you may already be knee deep in your goals, many may refuse to make any while others made grand resolutions but well, it’s still summer… the beach is calling.

I’ve already written about goal setting and procrastination however what is key at this point is actually motivation. You can write as many goals, make resolutions,  design vision boards and review last year till the cows come home but if you don’t take ‘massive action’ as Tony Robbins discusses – your chances of achieving your goals are slim to none.

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So how do we get motivated and more importantly stay motivated to take action?

Clear the space. Give yourself at least a half day in a clutter and distraction free zone and get those goals down written down. Paper, whiteboard, mobile, diary, laptop – whatever is easily accessible so you can read them daily and review your progress weekly.  When you write them down you are declaring your intention to yourself and putting the wheels in motion.  Ensure they are not just gliding over from one year into another. Get real with yourself about why you didn’t achieve them – were you realistic or are they no longer important to you? Vocabulary is also essential – the words we use around a goal influence how we committed we feel about achieving the goal.

Have a plan. Were your goals conjured up with a massive hangover on New Years Day with not a strategy in sight?  The best way to stay motivated is to have a simple plan breaking your goals into smaller manageable action steps. Keep it simple with five to seven goals at one time. This will prevent you from going into ‘overwhelm and mass abandonment mode’. Robin Sharma suggests a quarterly themed focus for example ‘health and well-being’ to allow you to be solely concentrate on one area of your life. While Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project has monthly resolution to achieve, for example ‘Boost energy’ or ‘Pursue a passion’.

Visualise it. If you spend time every day visualising achieving your goal research has shown you are far more likely to achieve it than if you didn’t. Simply take 5 minutes as you read your goals daily to visualise yourself having achieved the goal and what it will look and feel like. A vision board is a super helpful tool – contact me for some quick tips to get you started.

Be inspired by others. Who else has done what you’re doing? Research, model and ask questions to people who have done what you’re wanting to do. What do they see as the key to achieving their goals? Join a network of people who will stretch you, watch a TED talk to inspire you, attend a motivational workshop or read book that expands your thinking.

Build yourself a support crew. Gone are the days when we have to go it alone. Look to the experts. Whether it’s a nutritionist to get your wellness back on track, a coach to hold you accountable to your plans, a sponsor within your company to accelerate your growth, build a team who are invested and excited for your success. Refrain from sharing your goal with every man and their dog on Facebook – in fact this TED talk reveals why you shouldn’t over share. Get help from those you respect and are on board for your success.

Get physical. Having great physical and mental health is essential to achieving goals. If you’re slothing about in your trackies and ugg boots vs getting your endorphin’s pumping through a top notch workout how differently do you think your approach to making goal progress might be? Your state is a key factor.

Action stations. Once you’ve reviewed, planned and are inspired here’s the crucial element – take massive action within the next 24 hours to leverage your momentum and passion. And when you encounter speed wobbles take a moment to reflect, get to the core of the obstacle and take appropriate action immediately – knowing that overcoming obstacles is actually what will give you the most satisfaction when the goal is complete.

 Celebrate. When you reach any decent milestone reward yourself – I even have a tiered list of rewards (now that is a fun list to create!). Be sure to share your progress with your support crew, give yourself a big tick or strike through on your ‘to do’ list and leverage the momentum of the feeling of achievement to take your next step of action.

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This week I’ve launched ‘The Motivator‘. A short intensive programme for those who know what their goals are but are having problems making progress.

The nifty fifty days left of 2014.

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I’m in the midst of ‘goal-storming’ for next year and typically when I’m setting goals I do them in 90 day increments. Hey I’m in personal development, I’m allowed to be a massive goal nerd! However it’s been a hectic month so things have got a lil out of control. It lead me to do a quick count of how many days were left of 2014 to achieve my existing goals. Fifty. WHAT! Fifty. Cripes.

And let’s be honest. We may as well take out Christmas Eve day to New Years Eve day. It’s a write off –  wading from panic pressie buying to last minute ham purchases, Christmas pudding to nana naps on the couch,  sun lounger to outdoor pub, from chillaxing (or taming your sprogs) at the beach to drawn out brunches. So that’s 42. Holy moly.

You’ve no doubt heard of the SMART goal acronym. It’s been around the traps since the ’80s and there are a few versions. As a quick refresh:

  • S = specific. Make sure it’s super clear. Think what, why, who, where, which.
  • M = measurable. You need to be able to measure your success. How will you know when you’re there?
  • A = achievable. Say you’re 45. You’re probably not going to be an All Black. Ensure your goal is do-able within your current lifestyle/stage.
  • R = realistic. Specifically what will you need to do/ give up/ change to make this happen. Are you up for it?
  • T = time based. Set your time frame. You need a date to work towards or else it will be the never ending goal that just keeps on extending into never never land.

With a couple of trips back to the homeland between now and 31 Dec, a multitude of different work opportunities and many reasons to celebrate realistically I’m now thinking I have about 20 days of productive days/ evenings/ spare minutes up my sleeve. Yikes!

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Another key rule when writing goals is the 3 P’s. Keep them positive – I’ll weigh vs I hope/ I’ll try/ I wish. Use the present tense – I have a new job vs I’ll be in a new job. And finally make it personal. Keep it motivating, visionary & engaging for you e.g.  On the 31st of December I am proudly standing on the completed shiney new deck I built and enjoying it with my mates.

If you, like me have things you set out to do in 2014 and they are achievable by the 31st of December or even ideas you have for 2015 you can get cracking on now so you’re not on the back foot in January then with 50 days to go now’s the time to get focused.

One final piece to think about from old mate Tony Robbins. Actually achieving these goals will not make you eternally happy. It’s who you become from overcoming all the challenges to get there that gives the real fulfillment factor. He asks “What kind of person will you need to become to achieve all that you want?”. Lofty and big for a Wednesday morning but you get my drift.

So what’s on your ‘to do’ list?

Is it to drop some kgs pre party season, spend more 1-1 time being present with the kids, have ‘me time’ once a week, start researching for a new career, download a meditation app and practice daily, start having green smoothies, stop having so many green smoothies, finishing a home renovation that’s been lingering, start a pilates class, visit a nutritionist to get your health back on track, join bikini boot-camp or the local touch team, limit boozing at agency lunches to prevent early onset of gout (you know who you are!), sign up to learn a new language next year, commit to 4 social media weekend detoxes, spring cleaning the wardrobe & donating the excessive Zara/ ASOS purchases to charity or even finally having ‘that’ chat you’ve been putting off with your manager about promotion possibilities. Whatever it is. Just crack on so on the 31st of December you know you gave the last 50 of twenty fourteen a red hot go.

I’m going to experiment with my 50 day plan. I’ve even (nerd alert) produced a template to get me started and keep me on track. If you’re keen to try a 50 day plan too or have a cheeky squizz shoot me your email and I’ll send my nifty fifty template your way.

Remember. What you focus on is what you get. To the exclusion of everything else.

Happy fifty!