Finding a great coach or mentor can be helpful in your pursuit for change and setting goals. They hold you accountable and help you set realistic goals and actions plans, but there are plenty of things you can do on your own to get started that will help you go through any transition smoothly.
Here are 6 Self-Coaching questions and tips:
1. Are you willing and ready to change? I always ask my clients that question when we first start. You can’t help someone if they aren’t ready or willing to commit. Be honest with yourself – are you really ready to make a change and do the work to get there? Why are you ready? What is the motivation/desire behind your commitment?
2. What is the change you want to make? Stick with one change/goal at a time. We don’t want to become overwhelmed and procrastinate. It’s ok to start small. Remember, you’re doing one change/goal at a time because your life is still going on. So, while your accomplishing your goal, you still need to study, go to school, work, help around your house, take care of yourself etc… When you know what the change is, write it down in great detail. Journal writing helps make the goal real. Visualize the change – when we can see it, it brings clarity to our vision. What would the change look like? How would you feel? Would your change affect others?
3. Where are you in relation to this change? On a scale of 1-10. 10 being the ultimate place of accomplishment and change, where are you? For example, if you feel your only at a 3 (maybe you took a few steps towards your goal) what would you need to do to get to a 4 or 5 which would make you closer to your goal. How would you feel? Every time I move up a step I feel a little better. I have clients take small steps.
4. Realize there will be obstacles. –When we take action towards our goals we must remind ourselves that we will have some obstacles. Some typical obstacles are:
Lack of support – Not everyone in your life might agree or like the change you’re making. I had a client who was a stay at home mom and decided to look for a full time job. Her kids were upset by the news.
Fear of success or failure – Every time we step outside of our comfort zone, it causes us to feel uncomfortable which causes fear. Be aware of it but don’t let it stop you.
Unrealistic time management and goal setting – We know to do one change at a time but we also have to look at our time and life pressures. I had a client who wanted to find a new full time job which was her long term goal. We set up short term goals but instead of making them weekly goals, we made them biweekly. As a single mom of two, working full time, she would have been overwhelmed with weekly goals but biweekly was more doable.
5. When faced with obstacles and you feel like giving up, do this visualization exercise… Ask yourself, “What would my life look and feel like if I didn’t accomplish my goal or make a change? What if I decided to live my next few years without the change or accomplishment of my goals?” A lot of my clients realize that is worse. Staying stuck or in an unhappy situation or no progress at all is unacceptable and that gives them the motivation to move forward.
6. Get Support – very important to have support set up. Whether it’s a friend or family member or even a school counselor. For some people, support can mean hiring a life coach or therapist.
About the Author: Diane Lang is a Therapist, Educator and Positive Living Expert. She has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally.
Through her two books, “Creating Balance & Finding Happiness” and “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career.” Diane has been speaking and empowering parents and adults nationwide. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at Montclair State University, located in NJ, where her college work includes mentoring students for personal issue advisement.
As an expert in her fields of therapy, Lang has been featured in the Daily Record, Family Circle, Family Magazine, Working Mother Magazine and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV, Good day CT, Style CT, The Veira Network, CBS TV and “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet. In addition Lang writes a blog for Pazoo.com.