This blog is going to be short. If you followed last week’s blog, we discussed how busy the holiday season can get, and I am discovering that is truer than I realized ;-) Many of us are looking into the new year with a desire to better ourselves. We may have received some feedback as to what areas need to be improved. We may also know intuitively of other areas that need improvement.
A helpful question my coach once gave me is, “If you had to replace yourself with an idealized version of yourself, what traits would your replacement have?”
So let me be clear... Since we are talking about ideal traits, we may never reach that idealized version of ourselves, but excellence and mastery can still be achieved. For a goal to be SMART, it must be achievable.
For me, one skill my replacement would bring would be the ability to apply just the right amount of structure into coaching meetings without losing connection or movement towards the essence of what a client wants resolved.
1. Create SMART Goals
My advice is to make a list of ideal traits then consider creating SMART goals around each of those idealized traits.
So for me, it is: In January, I will ask clients whom I sense want more structure to describe the structure they want, and I will start a process of trial and error to nail the structure they are looking for within three months.
If you create SMART goals around the idealized traits, then you can set yourself up for success by breaking those goals down into smaller steps. Given the above goal, my steps can include:
- Determine which clients want more structure.
- Depending on personality type, phone, Skype, email, or wait until our next meeting to talk about the structure they desire for our meetings.
- After they share what they want, repeat what I hear them say until they feel like I’ve nailed it.
- Let them know that I want to nail it down as soon as possible, and if there are further tweaks that need to be made along the way, I will be happy to make them.
- Review and assess how it’s going with the client.
2. Get Accountability
Next step is to have accountability for the change you want to make. How would you like to be held accountable for the realization of those idealized traits? In my case, I have my coach. But more importantly, the client will naturally provide accountability. Accountability would also come from what I am sensing as the structure is implemented.
3. Celebrate Your Victory
Finally, once repeatedly nailed, it will be time to celebrate. How would you like to see yourself celebrate once you’ve achieved what’s possible to achieve, with respect to that idealized trait?
The celebration could be small, like “I will buy a couple of songs on iTunes that I have saved in my wish list.” For goals that really impact your leadership or team, you could choose something bigger, like “I will take my wife and kids on a three-day beach vacation.” The idea is to visualize how you will celebrate so you are further motivated to achieve that goal.
If the goal is a bigger or long-term one, consider having celebrations each time a milestone is met.
If you dream of the idealized version of yourself, you can achieve your best you. Make small, steady progress, and you will be surprised by how different you will be by this time in 2017!
Have a fantastic holiday season and very happy new year!
Chew On This:
- What traits does your idealized self have?
Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.