Updated: Feb 4
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... she eliminated the excuses and achieved her goal.
There is so much potential in people that it saddens me that they are not reaching it. My passion is driven by wanting to see people reach their full potential. Granted there are some who claim to have the same passion of wanting to coach people to success, but they are doing so for a self-driven purpose, but personally, I find joy in seeing people achieve the goals they thought were unattainable.
When I started this journey of molding people into what they didn't know they could become, I was amazed at how one 3-letter word was the biggest deterrent for them --BUT. Generally, I complete an assessment of new clients to see what their goals are and how close or far away they are from reaching their goals. Some goals are more specific (become a better leader, get promoted at work, etc) and others are vague (become a millionaire, be a better person, etc.) yet all of them have one thing in common -- they have not been accomplished yet. I begin each coaching session the same -- listening. When I inquire about what steps have they taken to achieve their goals, I start getting a long list of excuses as to why they have not.
Making an excuse, no matter how good it is, is still just an excuse. An excuse is how we rationalize for not following through on a commitment or taking responsibility for our actions. When it comes to self-improvement or going to the next level, we should not allow any excuses to get in our way. The problem is most people don't realize that they are making excuses so they develop a habit of doing it. Granted, things to do happen in life but if you use everything that happens in life to be an excuse not to pursue your goals then you are in your own way. The truth is that successful people could also give excuses but they chose to forge ahead instead.
Let's take Susie, a 39-year old single parent of 3 children. Susie wants to become a teacher but she only has a high school diploma. When asked what steps has she taken thus far to achieve this goal the following conversation took place:
Susie: I thought about going to college BUT I don't have time because I have 3 kids and I have to work to support us.
Coach: You can go to school part-time and also look into online classes.
Susie: BUT I am too old to go back to school for 4 years.
Coach: How old would you be in 4 years?
Coach: Would you prefer to be 43 with no degree or 43 with a degree?
Susie: 43 with a degree
Coach: No matter what you do, as long as you are still living, you will be 43 in 4 years. Why not eliminate the excuses so you can celebrate your accomplishment at 43?
Susie: That's true, I never thought of it that way.
Needless to say, when Susie eliminated the word "BUT" as a preface to an excuse, she eliminated the excuses and achieved her goal. I am going to share something that has been very beneficial to my clients, that has helped them avoid making excuses and reach their goals. You will need a notepad, a pen, and a pencil.
Identify Your Goal(s).
Take a few moments to ponder on some things that you would like to accomplish, (ie lose weight, go back to school, increase your income, etc). Get a note pad and pen and write them down. I recommend you don't have more than 3 goals for this exercise. Prioritize these goals in order of importance or urgency to your needs. Skip down 4 - 5 lines in between each goal.
Identify Your "Why Not"
Once you have compiled your list, Think of each goal individually and ask yourself why haven't you achieved this goal. Listen to your mind and write down every reason that comes to mind (preferably in pencil). These are the excuses your mind has rationalized for you to justify you not having made any progress towards reaching your goals in life. I know they seem like legit "reasons" but they are still just excuses.
Identify Your "Why"
Reflect on these goals. Ask yourself why do you want to achieve these goals. Try not to use overgeneralized comments such as a better lifestyle but be more specific and concise. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, then your "why" could be "I want to feel better about myself when I look in the mirror" or because "I want to be able to walk without losing my breath" as opposed to just saying "For health reasons". You will have to be honest and real with yourself when identifying your "why" This is very significant because once people discovered their "why", it was almost impossible to give up when it got rough. (The "Why" statement is strategically asked after the "Why Not" because you have to get the excuses out of the way to resonate the "why")
Identify Your Commitment Statement
Now that you have these things written out, look at your Why Not list and your Why. Which of them do you think should be excused from your list? For every excuse, you need to write a commitment statement. Your commitment statement is your commitment to yourself to meet your goals. It is not about will-power as much as it is about valuing your own opinions and desires for yourself. You can do it if you put your mind to it. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than to commit to yourself and reach your full potential.
Goal: Lose Weight
Why Not: I don't have time to exercise
Why: I want to feel good about myself when I look in the mirror
Commitment statement: I am committed to feeling better about myself when I look in the mirror by starting to spend 15 minutes a day to walk for the next 30 days. I will not eat after 7 pm and I will increase my water intake. I will decrease my sweets intake and increase eating vegetables in place of unhealthy snacks. I will keep a journal of my progress and my feelings. I will find an accountability partner to help me lose weight. I am committed.
This is a brief introduction to a coaching session for self-improvement. BossLady101 offers extensive techniques proven to help people level up their success goals.
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