A coach who doesn't love goal-setting?! Yep, I do have my WHY though

Chances are when I say coaching, you’ll associate it with goal-setting. Coaches LOVE goals.

This isn’t about goals

Before your eyes glaze over let me reassure you this post is different.

Whilst I think having goals is important for certain performance-related topics such as weight loss, for other topics, they can be stifling and rigid. When you’re too dead set on achieving the goal, you run the risk of ignoring non-goal areas.
We’ve all been there - cramming for an exam or working overtime for a deadline. In those cases sleep, nutrition and social life are the first to get neglected.
Same thing happens with coaching goals.

Plus, you may not see other opportunities that appear because you’ve got your blinkers on.
 
Don’t get me wrong, you do need direction, otherwise you’re just cruising and letting life happen to you.

And that’s not the route to growth, to self-actualisation, or to blowing your own damn mind about what you can achieve and who you can become.

It’s about having a vision

  • Goals are short-term, visions are not.
  • Visions are limitless. Goals are set.
  • Goals are there to test perseverance, creativity and ability. They unveil the HOW.
  • Visions are your higher purpose. They are your WHY.

You know it’s a vision because declaring your vision isn’t quite as easy as setting a goal.  A vision either evolves, or it’ll come as a flash of inspiration.
 
So how do we achieve such grandiose ideals in coaching? Well we get there slowly, taking the scenic route. Let me share with you one of the exercises I sometimes use…
 

Visioning in coaching – real-life example

 
I borrowed this exercise from my coach, so it’s been road-tested on me, and has gone on to work for my clients.
 
One of the most common reasons clients come to me for is to get clarity. And that’s the reason this client (let’s call her Theia*) came to me.
Now, it would be ridiculous to ask someone who is unclear to set a goal. They’d just say ‘to be clear’.

Instead I asked Theia to do this Vision Exercise:

  • Imagine your ideal life– two years from now
  • Then think of five words or phrases that best represent that ideal life
  • Next, do a Google Image search for each of those five words/phrases
  • Choose the first picture that grabs your attention. Go on instinct.
  • Save the image and combine all 5 into a vision board

Now it’s important to show this to someone else (ideally a coach), because they’ll be able to see themes that you may not have spotted.
 
This is what happened with Theia. We went over the pictures, she spoke about them, and I reflected back to her any commonalities and incongruence that I noticed. She had a strong home theme, with a few pictures of rooms and interior design. These pictures were actually chosen to represent something else, but when I pointed out the home theme, it resonated.
 
But the true wonder of this exercise came later.
 
Previous to our sessions, when she was in the midst of being unclear about what to do next, she had applied to work and live in a commune in Switzerland.
 
A few weeks after doing the vision exercise, she had received a reply from this commune offering her a place. Now, if Theia was unclear she may have spent a long time deciding whether to take it or not. Lack of clarity and indecisiveness-  oh what an unpleasant combo!

Luckily she was able to avoid those nasty feelings because she referred back to her vision board. She saw that the commune wasn’t in line with her vision, and opposed the home theme. Accepting the offer would in fact take her away from her vision of her in 2 years.
 
That's what setting a vision can do for you. It will make decision-making a helluva lot easier.

So there we go. A lengthy blog, but I hope it you find it useful. And if you need impartial eyes to have a look at your images, then send them through. I’d only be too happy to help.
 



*Why Theia? I always revert to Greek mythology for fake names. Theia was the Titan goddess of sight, as well as the shining ether of the bright, blue sky (aithre). Her name comes from the Greek word theia *sight* and theiazo *prophecy*. Prophecy > vision...I'm so glad I don't have to spell it out.

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