“My schedule changes every [day, week, month]. I’m struggling to figure out a structure for [exercise, eating, meditation] that I can follow consistently. I’m frustrated and feel stuck, though I want to feel better and be a better version of myself.”
Do you have a version of this story line? It is one I encounter in coaching on a regular basis as I meet with clients who include business owners, parents, doctors, teachers, lawyers, scientists and students. How do you figure out a way to navigate these challenges?
Here are three ways that I help my clients co-create personalized experiments and work toward long-term goals:
Multiple outlines: Week 1 and Week 2: This strategy works well for people who know in advance of a ‘flip-flop’ schedule. Week 1 entails certain circumstances, Week 2 encompasses different circumstances, rinse and repeat. Example: Single-parents who share custody of children; employees or doctors who have rotating schedules.
Smaller scope: 3 days at a time: Zooming in to focus on a narrower set of variables, such as planning for 2 or 3 days at a time, can be helpful because it is often more feasible and less overwhelming to envision realistic outcomes for the next couple days rather than ‘a whole month’ or ‘the rest of my life.’ This strategy may also increase self-efficacy through accomplishing small, meaningful goals.
Plan B: If this doesn’t work, then I will… Have a Plan B and maybe even a Plan C! What happens if an unexpected interruption occurs (i.e. personal health, work obligation, weather) and your schedule changes? Considering barriers is a useful strategy to employ when working through setting up any sort of plan.
Creating a plan for success includes an honest look at variables that may or may not be manageable. In addition, mindset (beliefs, biases, values) is a tremendous influence on both goal-setting and goal-achieving.
Coach Nicole is a board-certified wellness coach, trained resiliency teacher, health and well-being consultant, mindset explorer and perceptive collaborator who serves as a compassionate resource for individuals, families, businesses and communities.