Resolutions and Goals, Coaching approaches things a little differently.
Updated: Jan 24
It's been three weeks since 2022 began. Are your New Year resolutions going well?
Although we all succeed differently, much emphasis is placed on making S.M.A.R.T. goals. The belief is that they work in business; therefore, S.M.A.R.T. goals must work in our personal lives, too. On the surface, there's nothing wrong with S.M.A.R.T. goals, but coaching dives a little deeper. Coaching attempts to personalize success, help us learn, and develop new habits.
A weight loss anecdote beginning using S.M.A.R.T. goals as an example would look something like this.
S is for specific. Bob noticed he's gained some weight and wants to lose it to stay healthy.
M is for measurable. He has determined that 12 pounds will get him back in shape. He's always been about 160 pounds, so that would be his goal weight.
A is for attainable. Bob weights 172 pounds. He gives himself 10 weeks to lose the weight. He's not sure how to lose the weight yet. He may try simply cutting back. He tried losing the weight in less time once before, for a class reunion, but the goal was unattainable. It sabotaged his entire weight loss regimen.
R is for Realistic. 12 pounds is realistic for Bob. He was in good shape at 160, not underweight.
T is for time-based. As we've said, Bob will budget 10 weeks for his weight loss project.
This is a good start. By working with a Life Coach, Bob might be asked to consider a few additional questions. The following are just a starting point.
We already know Bob's goal. He wants to lose 12 pounds.
To help set Bob up for success, we ask Bob why this is important to him now.
He mentions the desire to get back in shape. Upon delving further, Bob revealed his doctors advice. During his annual exam, his doctor told him he is now borderline diabetic and needs to begin taking blood pressure medication for hypertension. Although his weight isn't significantly high, both medical conditions run in his family. At 58 years old, it was the first time he's had a health scare. Bob feels he owes it to family to be proactive. Now we have significant motivation.
Next we talk about potential obstacles. He should enter this new arena with his eyes open and ready to anticipate some of the old habits that might get in the way.
Bob admits he hasn't shared the news with his wife yet. He thought he would somehow lose the weight secretly. Because his wife Mary prepares their evening meals, he now realizes this was a mistake. Bob will bring Mary in on his plans. Perhaps together they can meet with a nutritionist and plan healthy meals. Bob wants the weight loss to last, unlike previous attempts.
We would also want to talk about what has worked for Bob in the past. Bob is a middle aged man. By now he knows himself. He likes to go for walks or the occasional jog with his wife after work. Occasionally, he heads to the gym on the way home. He's tried to hit the gym in the morning. He'd go a few times and the schedule would fall by the wayside. He's not a morning person, and it wasn't sustainable for him. Learning what works for us is so important to our individual success.
As his homework, Bob will schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. He ask if he needs to sacrifice flavor for calories. Can spices perk things up a bit? Again, he wants to make this plan last. He will also ask his wife if she will agree to take regular walks every evening with a goal of 8,000 steps a day. He will ask her to start on Monday instead of leaving it open-ended.
This an abbreviated example of how coaching looks at individual needs and strengths. Tying your goals to your strengths is just one small step toward success.
Sue Frost is a Life Coach and a Certified Professional Organizer living in Wilmington, DE. She works with clients by phone or Zoom, locally and across the United States. Sue specializes in helping women reach their goals, remove barriers, and build authentic lives with simplicity. She believes life can be so much easier and more enjoyable when you work with your strengths. Sue is a graduate of an International Coach Federation Accredited Coach Training Program, an ADHD specialist, and currently completing the last class of a Certified Neurodiversity Coach graduate program. Follow or contact Sue for more information about meeting your goals and becoming the best version of yourself.