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SET: Steps to Activate Your Intentional LifeCoaching Goals
Set refers to the steps for triggering intentional living: assess, approach, and activate.
Assess – Assess refers to assessing your assets. Assets are both internal and external. Consider your internal assets first. Internal assets include your drive, motivation, skills, and knowledge. What is your ability to focus? How self-motivated are you? Are you prepared for bumps and obstacles? How will you rise to the challenges you will face? What skills do you have that empower you to achieve more? What skills will you learn?
We often try to convince ourselves we are “pretty good” with the core skills of dealing with people and communicating. In reality, many of us lack the level of skill necessary to reach our peak effectiveness. We begin to make excuses-we don’t have the time or the money to do what it takes. We tie ourselves down with “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” or “we’ll see,” and get pulled along by circumstances. How many times have you intended to take a step, then somehow this step never happens? So, what are you willing to do, and when will you do it, to change your outcomes?
Reflect on your external assets. Who is your support system? Consider family members, friends, and colleagues. Look at their successes. Are they truly interested in seeing you achieve? Do they really believe you can and will? What resources are available to you? Perhaps you have access to information, materials, and the facilities necessary to achieve your plans. Do you have the information library to develop your skills? Look at your network of contacts. What are the goals of others and how do those mesh with your own? What are the opportunities you can tap into? Community resources might provide education, support, or other assets. Network with your supporters to develop and protect your long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.
Approach – Start with three to six goals. When you first listed your goals, you had more than three to six. Look at the list and separate the goals into short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Short-term goals are those you are focused on now, plus any that will be achieved within the next year. Mid-term goals are those set for the next two to five years. Long-term goals are five years or longer.
Planning your approach intentionally includes specific action steps for each day, a summary of completed weekly steps, a monthly checklist, and annual planning. Look at your list of the three to six goals you are starting with, and the actions required for each goal. Incorporate these steps or activities into your daily schedule. Whether you use software on a computer, a handheld device, or an old-fashioned paper calendar, note the steps on the specific day and time you will take them. Incorporate your approach into your calendar to give you perspective and ensure the steps are realistic and practical. Create a weekly summary of accomplishments so that you can double-check your progress; this supports your internal motivators and allows you to adjust as needed to stay on track. Each month, review your overall checklist to ensure you are moving forward, and be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished. Each year, review the list. Being this specific is key to your focus and to living intentionally. Daily, weekly, monthly, and annual planning and review is a direct expression of intentional living.
Activate – One of the most important aspects of your plan is activating the power of your thinking. When you believe and focus you can achieve. Every morning and every night, in positive, present tense language, say out loud that you are achieving your goals. The longer the conversation you have with yourself, the better. Your current three to six goals might be categorized into different areas of your life. See how success in one area adds to the success in another. For example, as you exercise and eat healthier, you have more energy for your family, and more focus at work. In this way, each goal supports and serves other goals. Continue to motivate yourself. Checking-off steps on your list provides a feeling of accomplishment. Achieving small goals along the way supports your long-term efforts. These small accomplishments will have a positive impact in each area of your life. Throughout this process, you will create a growing respect for yourself and those around you; this respect serves to demonstrate and support the power of intentional living.