Do you ever look at people who seem to get a lot done or always seem to succeed in their endeavors, and think they must have some kind of secret formula or magic sauce?
Well, they do! Sure, they are highly driven, love a challenge, have a lot of energy, or believe they can do whatever they set their mind to. But one thing high achievers do, that we can all do, is work within our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. Or, simply put, lean into your strengths. Read on to learn how our featured 3 Coaches Use Visioning for Success.
Lean Into Your Strengths
We’re all better at some things than others. But, if we focus too much on what we can’t do, or are not great at, our deficits grow bigger and our strengths diminish. That’s not to say we shouldn’t learn new things, but when it comes to everyday living, leveraging your best capabilities and assets improves your efficiency and can accelerate accomplishments.
Pain coaches at Take Courage Coaching® routinely talk with clients about what things are working well for them—it’s a marvelous way to focus on strengths and successes. We celebrate wins, be they ever so small because it creates a “can-do” mentality that drives motivation to do the next thing that’s good for us.
Where, Oh Where To Start?
Clients come to TCC for help, so the next logical step in the discussion is to talk about what they’d like to improve. Our pain coaches work with clients to explore what goal they might want to achieve. Those who join our coaching program usually do so to learn how to manage chronic pain. They’re looking for a way to start over because they are languishing, not thriving.
And of course, there’s nothing like the beginning of a new year to whet our appetite for starting over. Even those who resist making new year’s resolutions may feel some relief at getting a reset. This is especially true after a year like 2020. It has kicked us in the shins, hampered our lives in so many ways, and likely caused us some losses. For some of us, this could very well mean the loss of a loved one, and that kind of loss hits us really hard.
So, what is it about starting over that appeals to us? Humans are drawn to progress, success, and growth. But, if by the end of the year our starts and stops don’t add up to our expected gains, we might flounder in self-pity and discouragement for a while. Then, along comes January, and for many of us, the human spirit of optimism kicks in. Yay! It’s a new year and I get to start over!
But I’ve Tried Resolutions Before…
The next step is to make the most out of restarting something or beginning something new. It’s pretty obvious that believing we can and will succeed is an important step in the process. But it’s easy to make a resolution without a solid plan for getting it to stick long term. Maybe this is why we often say things to ourselves like: “I’m going to start another diet! Oh, wait, maybe not…I probably won’t stick with it anyway. [Heavy, audible sigh.]” Or, “I’m not even going to make any resolutions this year because I never stick with them, resolutions just don’t work for me.”
It is important to have a workable plan to help you reach your goals. Since Take Courage Coaching® is all about helping people improve their lives with custom-fit tools and skills, January seems like a perfect time to hear how our pain coaches approach visioning a change, goal-setting, and developing a solid plan you can stick to.
Be Your Own Personal Coach
Having a personal coach is a luxury many of us don’t get. But being your own coach is something each and every one of us can learn. You can succeed at being your own personal coach by thinking about what goals you want to achieve and by practicing a plan for success. At TCC one of the tools we often explore with our clients to help achieve their goals is visioning.
So, what is visioning? The definition of visioning offered by Google and Oxford Languages is the development of a plan, goal, or vision for the future. In other words, the process of visioning is creating a vision of yourself achieving your goal. There are several good methods for creating a plan using visioning. We asked three of our experienced pain coaches to share their approach to visioning and setting goals.
Meet 3 TCC pain coaches and learn their strategies for setting goals
Coach Sarah: What is Your Why?
Self-coaching is a powerful tool that can move you in the direction of what it is you want: better health, more connection with others, financial stability, etc. It starts with self-reflection and self-awareness. Meet TCC® Pain Coach Sarah. She reminds us that coaching is based on the premise that “no one knows you better than you know yourself,” so being your own coach puts you in the driver’s seat. Here is her action plan for setting goals:
- Identify what you want. Journaling, online wheel of life tools, and talking with loved ones can support this.
- Ask yourself why you want it. Your WHY is your motivator.
- Develop an action plan on getting there: what, where, when, and with whom.
- Scale back and set small weekly goals that can be met with consistency.
- Problem solve and identify any barriers: What support or accountability might I need? Which of my strengths help me get started…stay with it? How can I get around this?
- Question any limiting beliefs or thoughts that pop up to derail you from your goal. Is this thought absolutely true? How might I be making assumptions? If I didn’t have this thought, what would I do? How can I reframe this thought to support me in working towards my goals?
- Celebrate your big and small wins: every negative thought you’re able to overcome, every day you take one small action towards your goal, every goal achieved.
Coach Sarah’s approach is centered in the knowledge that no one knows you better than you. Lean in to what you know, start by making a plan, and celebrate even the tiniest of wins. Grow from there.
Have you ever heard of SMART goals?
Meet TCC® Coach Becka. Coach Becka likes to tackle goal-setting using a method we refer to in coaching as SMART goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic, and Time-framed or Trackable. Her process includes asking yourself, “How will my life improve or change if my vision comes to life? Then look for one small thing to do towards your vision of what you want to achieve.” Becka finds the S-M-A-R-T acronym super helpful in maintaining focus.
Specific. Keep goals simple and specific. I will walk for 40 minutes, 4 times each week. (I will exercise more is too general.)
Measureable. How will you know you’ve reached your goal? Make goals measurable enough to appreciate milestones and completions.
Attractive. What are the benefits of attaining this goal? Are the benefits attractive enough that you will stick with it? What motivates you?
Realistic. It’s important to strike a balance between challenging and realistic. Setting a goal you’ll fail to achieve is possibly more de-motivating than setting a goal that’s too easy.
Time-framed. Identify frequency, start times, duration, project beginning, and end dates.
Make a Goal Statement
In addition to following the SMART goal formula, Becka also suggests clients might consider developing a goal statement. Here’s an example of a goal statement using Becka’s strategy: “To get ready for a 5K run in March, I’ll walk/run at least two miles, four times weekly. I’ll start tomorrow, and I will have my running shoes on by 7:30am.”
Coach Brenda: Link Goals To What You Enjoy
Make goals fun! What a concept. Meet TCC® Coach Brenda. Another way to win at goal-setting, according to Coach Brenda, is to focus on things you enjoy. Coach Brenda says, “Connecting a needed change to something I already like to do helps remind me and also motivates me to do it.” For example, when you hear the dog whimpering to be let out, you may associate that sound as a signal or a trigger to go take a walk, rather than just let the dog out into the yard. If getting more exercise is one of your goals, try connecting activity with other things you already enjoy. Then try placing your walking shoes and the right clothing in a convenient spot so it is ready to go when you are!
Goals Should Not Be Like Chores.
Brenda cautions against treating goals like chores. Enjoying an activity is the key to sticking with it. Think of new goals or activities as an experiment— you can always adjust something if it doesn’t work out or fit well into your routine. Self-coaching is all about advocating for yourself and finding different ways to do it.
Don’t Overload Yourself
A common misstep exuberant goal-setters can make is to take on so many new projects that they become overwhelmed or overloaded. Brenda admits, “This is a challenge I have because I like to do a lot of different things. My advice? Slow down. Lower your expectations. Break goals down into small or even baby steps.”
If you live with pain, Brenda suggests experimenting with time-based pacing and self-care to avoid pain flares. “If I accomplish the task well and my pain doesn’t spike, I celebrate the success and remember it for next time. If my pain spikes, I adjust my time down the next time and see how I do with that. With this method I will actually get more done than if I overdo it and put myself out of commission for a week,” she asserts.
What’s Your Vision For This Year?
Coaches tend to avoid the traditional “R” word associated with the new year – resolutions – because it is too often associated with all the resolutions we’ve made and not stuck with. Instead, let’s consider how much more positive and user-friendly starting something new will be if you view it more like an I’m-gonna-coach-myself-to-a-better-place effort. What vision do you have for yourself this year? For some creative ways to use visioning to work towards your goals, you might try making a vision board. Read 8 Ideas to create your own vision board, in this article from Lifehack.org. Whatever your vision for this year, we wish you success.
Want more from our blog? Read 10 Easy Ways to Be Kind.
Are you living with chronic pain? Learn more about our pain coaching services here.
Interested in becoming a health and wellness coach to help people thrive? Learn more about our training programs here.