A life coach can be one of the best investments you’ll ever make, but it’s also possible to do-it-yourself and reach your goals on your own. Here are ten things a life coach would help you with, and how you can compensate and get roughly the same benefits.
1. Search Deep Within Yourself
One of the main things a life coach will help you do is find out what really drives you, and what you’re really after. All too often we end up chasing after the wrong things because we think it’s what we want. After much probing into the inner psyche it becomes clear that what you really want is something entirely different, and you can begin to set your sights on a new goal.
Whether it’s due to all of the advertising around us, or the long-standing “American Dream” you may find that you have some phoney goals and dreams that don’t hold up under scrutiny. Find out what will really make you the happiest, and make that your singular purpose.
Questions You Should Ask Yourself
What is at the root of what I want? Why do I even want it? How long have I wanted it? Is it my goal or was it something that was told to me by my parents, teachers, or friends? Getting to the heart of the matter is what’s important here, you want to be striving for things that will bring true satisfaction.
2. Examine All Areas of Your Life
Whether you want to get ahead in your career, start a new business, lose weight and get fit, be a better parent, be a better son or daughter or brother or sister, be a better friend, learn to play an instrument, learn a language, travel more, volunteer more, or any other area you can improve in, you’ll want to take a full examination to see where you currently stand.
It’s important to address all of these areas in your life because you don’t want to excel in one while faltering in another. We’ve all heard the stories of those that sacrificed their family for their career only to regret it later. Or those that ended up resenting their family because they feel it kept them from reaching their full potential.
Both of those represent an unbalanced life, so it’s important to touch on all of these facets of your life so you don’t let anything slip through the cracks.
It’s All Connected
All of the areas of your life are connected, so it’s important to take a bigger-picture view of your life and all that’s in it. Your relationships will affect your performance at work, and your overall health and fitness level permeates into all areas of your life. To really fire on all cylinders and be the best version of yourself possible, it all has to be lined up and running smoothly.
3. Set Your Own Goals and Form a Strategy on How to Achieve Them
Once you’ve searched your soul and gotten clear about what you want, as well as taken a look at the full gamut of your life to see which areas you need to improve in, it’s time to sit down and write out your goals clearly and concisely so you can return to them again and again over the coming weeks and months.
Once you have your goal expressed, and you believe that it’s something you can achieve, it’s time to start coming up with a plan on how you’ll move towards it.
At this stage you don’t have to know exactly how you’ll reach your goal, you just have to figure out how to get to the next mountain peak, and you’ll be able to see further from that vantage point.
The Power of Writing
Don’t use an online document or spreadsheet to type out your goals. Write them down on paper. Get a notebook that’s exclusively for your goal writing and note taking on the way toward achieving that goal. Give some sacredness to that notebook and don’t jot down your shopping list in it. There is far more brain power and it’s a much more tactile experience to physically write down your goal. Much has been written on the power of writing out your goal so don’t go Information Age on this one and grab a pen and paper.
4. Give Yourself Rewards
A life coach will provide you with encouragement when you’re able to achieve what you set out to achieve. This positive reinforcement builds confidence and allows you to set your sights higher and higher.
The best part of doing your own life coaching is that you know the kinds of rewards that will be the most motivational for you. Make it something fun, but appropriate to the accomplishment. It can be allowing yourself to watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see, but postponed because of all the work you’re doing. Or it could be spending some quality family time with your loved ones. Whatever lights you up!
Reward Plus the Next Push
Don’t just clap yourself on the back, clap yourself on the back and give yourself a nudge forward to your next goal. Embrace the joy you feel while experiencing your reward and tell yourself that your next reward is going to be even better after you accomplish your next big task.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
One of the bigger reasons people consider getting a life coach is because they offer objective accountability. They won’t stand for excuses, and they’ll call you out when they suspect you’re trying to weasel out of a commitment or a promise. In order to be your own life coach you’re going to have to bring that same level of objectivity to your performance and accept nothing but the best for yourself.
Facing the facts and accepting that you’re in control of both your success and failures is a way of owning up to the awesome power you have. If you’ve gotten yourself into a mess you can just as easily right the ship and get back on course. Getting into the right mindset by taking the role of your own life coach is a big part of the process.
No More Excuses
Your mind will argue like a lawyer for reasons why you didn’t do something you told yourself you would. Don’t listen! Accept defeats and make a resolution to get better in that area. Coming up with excuses can be exhausting, and a life coach wouldn’t have any part of them, so neither should you.
6. Be Honest with Yourself
This may be the hardest thing to do because it involves getting real and now allowing yourself to pull the wool over your own eye any longer. This is the part that most of us will struggle with because it’s hard to hear the truth from ourselves, especially if we’ve been lying to ourselves for a long period of time.
Don’t be surprised if this gets emotional. When you start peeling back the layers of lies you’ve told yourself over the year, and get town to brass tacks with yourself, it can be a bit unsettling.
A positive way to look at this is that you’ve likely been holding yourself back, afraid of your true potential. Marianne Williamson said it best “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” Don’t be surprised to find that when you get honest with yourself you get scared of your true potential.
Not Brutally Honest
You don’t want to be brutally honest with yourself to the point of getting discouraged or down in the dumps. Learn to be honest with yourself in a positive way, and always look at past mistakes as an opportunity for future growth. Beating yourself up will only impede your progress.
7. Assemble a Support Group
You’ll want the support of family and friends when you’re reaching for higher levels of success. This can often be a struggle because when you try to attain something new it will require changes to the status quo, and this can often ruffle feathers and lead to resentment rather than support. A life coach would be there to support you even when your family and friends get a bit icy towards you and your new focused and productive habits.
If you’re covering your relationships along with your other pursuits, you should begin to see an improvement in those that needed it. This produces a synergistic effect and will allow you to be more effective in other areas like your career and your health.
Your Own Cheering Section
Picturing the most cherished people in your life cheering you on to victory can be a big motivator when you’re in the midst of one of your tasks you’ve assigned yourself. It’s nice to be able to coach yourself on, but even better when others are pulling for you.
8. Delegate Responsibilities
You can’t do it all, nor should you want to. You have to face the fact that there are some people out there that are better than you at some things, and you should let them do what they’re good at. This frees you up to do what it is you’re best at, rather than toiling on tedious things that you don’t find enjoyable or agreeable.
These days it’s possible to outsource all types of things, and you may find that a virtual personal assistant costs far less than a life coach, and can help keep you organized and on track. They’ll be able to handle anything that can be done digitally, and it won’t matter that they’re on the other side of the world.
Outsourcing the Right Jobs
In his book The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss suggests outsourcing any job that someone else is willing to do for less than what you make per hour. This is good advice, because it frees you up to make your higher hourly rate, and takes the mundane tasks away that keep you from excelling at what you do.
9. Get Tough on Yourself
Once you start on the path toward your goal you’re going to eventually come to a road block, or have a temporary setback. When left to your old ways you might use these as valid reasons to change course, or make a new goal, or give up. This is where a life coach would step in and basically tell you to drop and give them 20. This is when you’ll have to be your own drill instructor and drag yourself kicking and screaming toward your goal.
As we’ve seen before, you don’t want to take this too far, but you definitely don’t want to let yourself slide either. If you’ve been considering getting a life coach, chances are you know yourself pretty well and you’ve come to the conclusion that you’ll just keep up the status quo if left to your own devices. To effectively replace a life coach you have to do what they’d do and get on your own case if you need to.
Good Cop Bad Cop
The good cop will always win, because at your core you know you’re a great person. That’s why it’s OK to be a little hard on yourself when you start to veer off track. The trick is knowing when enough is enough, and use this as a tactic to sharpen your focus, not as a way of making you less likely to move forward. Let the bad cop get your attention and point out what’s wrong, and then let the good cop in to tell you that you’re more than capable to get this back to good.
10. Make Adjustment to Your Initial Strategy
Chances are you didn’t get it perfectly right when you first started out, and along the way you’ll need to make adjustments on how you’re going to reach your goal. Opportunities may arise that you didn’t foresee, and you’ll want to take advantage of them. Problems may arise that you didn’t foresee and you’ll need to account for them. Goal attaining is a fluid process, not something set in stone that you just blindly follow once you start off on the path.
A life coach would help you assess how far you’ve come, and whether it’s still pointing in the direction of your goal. You’ll want to do the same thing with yourself at monthly intervals. If you’ve been following the 9 steps before this one you’ll definitely have made some sort of progress, and it will be up to you to determine if it’s acceptable or whether you should adjust your sails a bit.
This step actually reduces the pressure you put on yourself at the beginning of your coaching when you’re coming up with your strategy. It means you don’t have to come up with the perfect plan, you just have to come up with something viable that you can put into motion right away.
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