June 24, 2011 in My thoughts

3 ways to coach yourself

It is remarkably easy to get stuck when trying to achieve our goals. I’m a great believer in the benefits of good coaching, but there is a lot that people can do to coach themselves through the simpler challenges so that they can work with a coach on the the more challenging issues!

In my experience (of both my own behaviour and that of clients), there are lots of common pitfalls to achieving our goals; Sometimes we’re not clear on what exactly our goal is. Sometimes, we can get stuck in the loop of trying the same thing again and again even though it doesn’t work (remember the definition of insanity, attributed to Einstein).

In order to coach ourselves through an issue, we need to make time to stop and reflect, and here are three simple ideas on how to do that;


1 – Keep a Journal

If you’re frustrated with something, the art of writing a daily journal entry on what you’re trying and how you’re feeling about it can be quite therapeutic in itself. You could write the journal in a book, although my favourite is to catch a few notes on my iPad using Evernote. What matters most is to get in the habit of writing in the journal each day and just making a brief note about what you’re doing, how it’s working, and how you feel about it. The other crucial habit is to sit down weekly to review what you’ve written and reflect on what you could do differently.


2 – What would it have taken to make it a 10?

In his book ‘The Success Principles‘, Jack Canfield talks about a very simple technique that he uses; For something important, he starts by reflecting on, how many marks out of 10 would he rate that area at the moment. The next question is ‘What would have needed to happen to make it a 10?’ This gives a really nice, positive way to reflect on what you could do differently.


3 – Use the GROW model of coaching

There’s a lot more depth to the GROW model than I’m going to go into in this post, but it requires you to think through the following steps:

Be clear on the Goal that you’re seeking to achieve

reflect on the Reality of what you’ve already done and how that’s worked

consider the Options for moving forward

decide what you Will do.


It might be that you combine all 3 approaches but, regardless of how you approach it, the habit of stopping and reflecting on how things are going is a powerful one.

What are your experiences?

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