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Your Options and the Way Forward: how coaching helps you see some action

On the last weekend in May I completed my first 'accelerator day' module with The Coaching Academy, a day spent learning how to talk clients through the options available to help them reach their goals and how then to proceed with the options they choose in an effective way.

As well as learning a TON of tools and approaches (some of which I'll be sharing further down the page) this day was also my first opportunity to network and collaborate with the other diploma students at the beautiful Latimer Place, a stunning venue in the Buckinghamshire Countryside. I met so many enthusiastic and inspiring people and now have a much bigger list of coaching clients as well as a couple of coaches for my own development. I've also joined coaching communities in North London and Bristol which will provide me with regular opportunities to meet and share ideas with fellow coaches on a regular basis.

With regards to the content of this module, there are three key points that I wanted to share because of how easy they are for anyone to use to help reach goals and proceed with actions. As a performance coach I'll be using these kinds of approaches, amongst many others, to encourage clients to identify the best way forward in reaching their personal targets.

1. Identify all the possible options or resolutions available to help you reach your goal. Then add some more. Then add a few more on top of that.

If you want to get from a to b but don't know quite where to start, one of the key things that you need to do is identify all the possible options that are available to you. For example, if you're trying to get fit, a common approach or option could be that you could join a gym. Many people will start their fitness journey this way, but for lots of us (myself included) a gym is not the ideal place to work out. Instead of maybe going for the most popular or common solution, spend some time thinking about all the options available to you. In this example this could be jogging outside, home workout videos, walking or cycling to and from work, group classes, personal training or a combination of these things. It sounds obvious but the more options you have, the more you can identify exactly what suits you, increasing the likelihood that you'll stick with it and achieve your target.

2. If you feel yourself struggling to proceed with an action or goal take a step back, look at your strengths and big yourself up.

Sometimes it's really difficult to know where to begin with or how to feel comfortable proceeding with a new challenge that you're setting yourself. In these situations it can be really beneficial to identify what it is you’re good at and how these strengths have helped you in the past. Giving yourself some recognition and credit for things you have already achieved can really help you to identify how those strengths could assist with new challenges. We all need to cut ourselves a little slack at times so really try and give yourself 10 minutes to big up your past achievements to help set a positive tone for tackling a new challenge.

3. Be specific

A key element of coaching is to help clients to identify how and when they will complete the actions that contribute to the achievement of their overall goal. The most effective way to do this is to make sure that any identified actions are super specific. Using the above example, this can simply be the difference between 'I'll go to the gym 3 times this week' and 'I'll go to the gym on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings and if I don't get up in time then I'll take my workout clothes to work with me and go after work'. Setting as many specifics as possible, as well as identifying what you might do if something gets in your way, means that you will be far more likely to stick to your actions and achieve your long-term goals much quicker.

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