As summer ends, I’m noticing a shift in my motivation and habits. Don’t get me wrong, I love these sweet months of bbq’s and laying in the sun as I get lost in fantasy novels. Yet, at the same time, I’m feeling the strong desire - and pressure - to grow and expand my work. It’s this self-awareness that arises anytime I’m being called to level up and everything in me is trying to hold on to the status quo. But coaching isn’t just about facilitating change for others, it’s every bit walking the talk. Finding your inner motivation is so closely linked to the act of goal setting. Whether you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish or it's more of a feeling you crave, having that direction gives you purpose. Then the mere practice of working towards your goals is a daily lesson in resilience, in building your own momentum and more often than not, leads to unshakeable confidence and trust in yourself. So, I’m revisiting Edwin Locke’s Goal Setting Theory and infusing a bit of my style based on what I know works.
There are five aspects to Goal Setting Theory: Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback, and Task Complexity; that when in practice, occur on a loop as you continue to grow and learn each time around. In my case, it’s not enough for me to simply say “I want to grow my business” because not only is that boring but it doesn’t give me any specifics as to how or why and what exactly within my work needs to grow.
Goals should live just outside your realm of imagination but not so far that they feel impossible.
It’s that goldilocks perfect sized challenge that inspires your commitment to follow through. Then it’s a matter of feedback - how will you know when you’ve accomplished your goal? How will you know if your goal is so easy that you end up losing motivation anyways? The complexity of your task can clue you into the level of ambition this goal is driving within you. Not every goal is going to include astronomical changes and that is a-okay. It’s the practice of taking action towards them and trusting that what you learn in the process will be equally as valuable.
One of my favorite instructors told us that as coaches, we hold a flashlight to your life’s map and shine a light on uncharted territory and uncovered treasures. We’re like a tour guide with all the best routes along for the ride and packed with questions to help you view your world with a widened perspective, and clarity to draw out how you’ll get from where you are now to where you truly desire to be. And just as my own experiences prove, getting distracted and losing sight of your vision happens. Unlike the public declaration of your new year's resolutions that ultimately fizzle out after a week, sharing your dreams and aspirations with a coach adds accountability to follow through on your goals and the unbiased support from someone committed to your success.
Step by Step:
What do you most want to achieve right now? Get super specific and clearly define what exactly you want to happen.
How does this goal make you feel? Excited? Scared? It should be that sweet spot of just challenging enough to stretch your abilities, but in a realistic way.
Why is this goal so important to you, right now in your life? Your why is the reminder of your commitment. What’s at stake if you don’t follow through?
Accomplish the big task through a series of small acts. This is called: creating a plan for your plan or in my favorite term - (detailed, achievable) baby steps to your goal.
Regularly check-in with your progress, celebrate the small wins along the way, and re-orient yourself if you veer off course.
Having trouble defining your goals? Try applying SMART goal setting to the thing you want to accomplish: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and TIme-Bound. For example, “I want to grow my business” taken through each step of SMART goals might look like: “I will book 5 new coaching clients within the next 3-months to grow my business and make a positive impact on people’s lives.”
What's a step could you take, to get you closer to your goal, that is so easy to accomplish, it would be impossible to fail? Asking yourself this question is a quick way to begin breaking down your big goal into doable steps. It’s in taking those small baby steps where we begin to build our momentum. Need more of a challenge? Consider starting with a “high-value” task that will get you significantly closer to your goal. This is where having a coach can be so impactful. Remember the flashlight analogy? That’s where I come in with questions that will highlight the specifics, the checkpoints or milestones, to provide accountability and help you reframe and expand your view.
When it comes to expanding your perspective, one of the most important ways that happens within a coaching session (or a few!) is the mindset shift that helps redefine how you respond to challenges and continue on. Whether through a simple reminder like “Rejection is Redirection” or tools like the “Gremlins Technique.” And if you’re thinking of those cute little monsters from the 80’s, well you wouldn’t be wildly off. But in the context of coaching, “gremlins” are the manifestation of all the negative things we think and say about ourselves that keep us from truly doing and experiencing our fullest and truest self. We'll guide you through tools to self-reflect and track progress like (another personal fave) journaling, which if you’re coming to the page regularly enough, is not only incredibly effective to notice your patterns and habits but it’s going to be your own personal BS meter to keep you honest.
I’m not in the business of setting goals just for the sake of. Truly impactful goals should feel potent and clearly defined. They should allow you the space to see more than just the end result, because when you’re trusting the process, you’re getting so much more out of it that will trickle into every aspect of your life.
You cultivate resilience, self-esteem, trust and confidence to overcome the blocks and learn to roll with the twists and turns of life.
If there’s anything here that resonates with you, I’d love to hear more! Share your thoughts in the comments or even better, book a free discovery call with me! I often find that the fear of having to commit to something more than that first call can get in the way of simply starting on your goals. But you’d be surprised at just how much can come from one powerful conversation.
It's not only fantasy novels that I've gotten lost in, read on for some summer musings...
I read Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang in about a day and half. The never-ending search for unrealistic, problematic perfection and beauty hooked me right in while the surprises and eerily familiar storyline kept me glued to the page.
This Woven Kingdom and These Infinite Threads by Tahereh Mafi, a heroine's journey plus forbidden love, set in a world inspired by Persian mythology. Ticks all the boxes for me. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka a random read that I went into with no context only to find myself laughing out loud while reading this bizarre and insightful look into the mind of Franz Kafka.
Watching Season 3 of The Great is wickedly hilarious and totally messed up in all the right and wrong ways.
What We Do in the Shadows continues to be one of my favorite ways to spend 30-minutes. What can I say? I clearly have a penchant for dark comedy.
This summer I made the commitment to place my focus on the areas of my life where I most want to shine but have been playing it safe. I designed a "smorgasbord" of practices through that lens to strengthen my confidence, will-power and unleash my inner sex kitten. meow.
From Sat Kriya to Radiance Meditation to crafting a luxurious yet super simple morning ritual of beauty, meditation, and breathwork. What's more fun than meditating with a clay mask on? Then, at night, it's been the little pleasures of bringing back my silk sleep mask, eliminating screen time and putting my legs up on the wall for 10-minutes that have had me sleeping like a wee babe.
Signing off with immense gratitude, Michelle