There is nothing more powerful than a made up mind…and a plan.
With New Year’s Day just hours away, I thought it would be a nice to deviate a little from health topics and focus on goals, dreams, ideas …and how to bring them to fruition.
So, do you have a few resolutions or goals in mind as the count down to 1:1:16 approaches? I’ll bet you do and I want to give you a few tips that I give to my clients to help you succeed I whatever it is you want to achieve. What’s your dream?
If you’ve read through my website and previous blogs, then you likely know that I am a certified health coach, but you probably don’t know that I am a business coach as well. It’s usually this time of year, that I get the most calls from business owners (Chiropractors) looking for help and advice on how to change their practice somehow. It is also this time of year that my patients seek me out for help with weight loss and general health. It doesn’t matter what you want to achieve, these steps will help get you closer to your goal.
Step 1: Define Where You Are Now. It doesn’t matter if you want to improve your business income, or your health, you have to start with where you currently are. The first question I ask any new or existing coaching client is, is “where are your now?” If you are currently at point A, with a desire to get to point B, I need to know what point A looks and feels like. You have to start somewhere, and it is rarely a good idea to scrap everything you’ve done so far and start over from scratch. This means taking an honest assessment of the situation – the good, the really good, the bad and the ugly. For example if one of my patients has a desire to lose weight, I start with a complete health assessment of their current health status: I want to know what they weigh, what their measurements are, what their frame size is, what their body composition is, what their body chemistry has to tell me (via blood tests). I also want to know what they eat, when they eat, how much they eat, what supplements they take, how much and what type of exercise they get. I also want to know a whole host of other questions, but also what has worked well for them in previous attempts to lose weight and why and what has not worked. In the same token, if I’m working with a business client, I want to know what their overhead is broken down categorically, what their income is, and what they did to get where they are now. They history of how you got where you currently are is vitally important. Sometimes it points out what you need to do (again), or what you perhaps need to stop doing in order to be successful.
Step 2: Decide What You Want. Sometimes this can be the hardest step. Knowing what you want can be elusive and even I sometimes have trouble getting specific, and sometimes I have to work backwards, i.e. sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful. Deciding what you want is not as simple as saying, “I want to lose weight, or I want to eat healthier, or I want to improve my income”. You have to very specifically define what your goal, dream or vision is. Sometimes I take out a blank piece of paper and brain storm, just write whatever comes to mind. Sometimes several goals on the page are completely contradictory to one another. I usually take several days or up to several weeks with this step of the process. Time and again, I’ll pull that page out of my notebook, add to it, cross items off, add specificity, small or large tweeks and changes before I’m satisfied that this is my goal. Before I move to step #3 I must have narrowed down my vision so that I can clearly see not just the end results, but how those results impact the rest of my life. Once I can see the whole picture in my mind’s eye I ask myself, do I really want this and why? That goal becomes a specific mission statement that I have decided I want and why I want it. Just sit on it for a few days and test it…is this what I want? Because once you decide…There’s nothing more powerful than a made up mind.
Step 3: Make A Plan. Congratulations you have a dream!!! Now, what’s your plan? Have you heard this “if it’s meant to be it will happen”? What nonsense!!! If you really want it, you will work your tail off to get it. It isn’t always going to be easy and you MUST have a plan. Your plan needs to have distinct, descriptive steps – a staircase of smaller goals and steps that will get you to your ultimate dream.
Step 4: Ask For Help! But, what if you don’t know the steps? Then you need help. Help can be found in all kinds of wonderful places: the library, the Internet, or mentors who are just other people who have already accomplished what you plan to accomplish. Choose a mentor or several mentors. Sometimes those people are friends, family or friends of friends. Sometimes they are actual coaches, like me, who make it their job to help you succeed.
I’ve accomplished (in my humble opinion) many great things in my life, but I didn’t do it alone and I didn’t wait for some ‘sign’. I wanted to be a health professional since I was 14. I wasn’t exactly sure what field, so I took advice from my high school guidance counselor took a volunteer position at a local hospital. By the time I was 17, I had my career path chosen. College was a must do to become a Chiropractor, but I knew my parents couldn’t afford college for me – neither could I, so I asked for help. My guidance counselor suggested I become familiar with the financial aid personnel at the local college, since they could notify me of grants and scholarships available and help me apply for those scholarships and grants that could help me pay for college. I took my counselors advice and then followed the advice of the nice ladies working in the financial aid department. As a result of y persistence, I went to undergrad on a full scholarship. I’d love to tell you that I was some kind of lucky genius, but I’m not. I just had a plan and I worked my plan. I also had a plan to become an associate doctor in a clinic somewhere in North Carolina. Before graduating with my doctorate, I had already passed my board exams, and interviews and accepted a position as an associate doctor with a busy clinic in North Carolina. Unfortunately, within just a few months of working as the junior associate, I was miserable. I hated working at that clinic, but it was too soon to panic. I just needed to go back to the drawing board and redefine my goal, and modify my plan. Less than a year later I opened my first of 3 Chiropractic Clinics.
Step 5: Work Your Plan Once you have your plan, you have to work it. Again, your dream isn’t going to come true just because you wished for it. You not only have look for opportunities, you have to create opportunities that allow you to work your plan. It’s not a matter of simply writing your story like it’s a screenplay – that’s just the beginning. Once the screenplay (plan) is written, you have to act it out and immerse yourself in this screenplay of your life. You have to become that successful business person, become than thinner version of yourself, become that healthy happy person you see in your dream. Behave in ways that those versions of you behave. You do this, by following the steps in your plan. In working your plan there is one little secret: Tell only the people in your life who is support your dream and your plan about your dream and your plan. Do not divulge your dream or your plan to those who will not support you, or worse yet sabotage your efforts.
Step 6: Set Another New Goal. Goal setting and achieving is an ever evolving process. You are going to meet your goals and cross them off your list…”ahhh, done!” But, it isn’t over – it should never be over. Your life is always in a state of expansion and contraction and it’s up to you to direct when and how you will expand (grow, learn new things, meet new people, improve your health, lose weight) or when and how you will contract (slow down, take a vacation, clean out your inbox rather than adding things to it). If you can map out your goals, you can also map out strategies and activities for times of expansion and for times of contraction so peaks and valleys feel more like floating on a gently ocean current rather than riding a roller coaster.
But, if you need help sorting some things out, such as health related goals, I am here to help you to focus on what you really, really want to achieve, assist in organizing the steps to help you reach that goal…with solid medical advice to boot, and I’ll hold you accountable to working your plan. So tell me, what’s your dream?