If we focus on our strengths, they will take us to great places, if we focus on our weaknesses, they will dominate our lives and prevent us from moving forward. The secret of being success is: “Focus on Grows”. One of the best ways to move someone into action is to focus on their strengths and to acknowledge them.
Life is a journey starting by facing the changes every day. If we make commitments to change and focus on our vision, we will create shifts in our lives, to change our behavior and achieve our desired goals. Making commitments creates a great structure for causing things to really happen. By making a commitment, you are holding yourself responsible and accountable to take a specific action to produce a given result. A good question to ask ourselves would be: “What’s the best way that I need support now to move into action?”
Anyone who has accomplished anything worthwhile has consciously or unconsciously followed through on a goal. Goals have the power to keep us focused on a purpose. But we all need the support from our family, friends or coach to remain in action and achieve goals. Sometimes, we feel that we are getting stuck in the past, there are a number of techniques to shift our thinking forward:
“How would I like it to look?”
“What would I like in my life right now?
“What have I learnt from this experience?”
“How can I apply that learning to the current situation?”
“What can I put in place to make this goal easier to achieve?”
“What kind of job would make me feel fulfilled and excited to get up each day for work”.
“How can I best support myself to achieve these goals?”
Unfortunately in life there are some people only too willing to focus on weaknesses and shortcomings and precious few willing to focus on strengths. The reality is “constructive criticism” is never constructive at all. To build on these strengths instead, is to grow and believe in our uniqueness.
Most of us live full and busy lives with competing demands for our precious time and energy. We need to priorities so that only those things that really matter get our full energy. Reasons why people make goals for themselves that are not aligned with their value is social pressure from peers or pressure from family and friends. This misalignment can present itself in two ways. First they can achieve the goal and then be left wondering why it doesn’t make them as happy as they thought it might. Alternatively, it can manifest itself as setting goals that are never achieved.
Creating a Process
A process or system has values attached to it so ensure the values are aligned with the client. Making and keeping goals is an art rather than a science. There are many paths to successful goal achievement.
1. Keep goals up front. Put the goals in a prominent place or review them daily. Ask yourself: “How can I keep those goals in sight so that I don’t forget about them”.
2. Be on the lookout for goal hijackers. Goals and actions must work together. Another way is for you to ask: “How will this decision support my goals?” or “Will this take me closer or further from my goals?”
3. Remember that goals are a marathon, not a sprint. Swaying from time to time happens to all of us. It is the journey that counts. Setting a combination of short and long term goals is important. Long-term goals provide a vision; short-term steps along the way help us to remain focused and to feel a sense of achievement. Remember to always look for the acknowledgement.
4. Remain flexible. Most people move from the realm of the “known” and discover things that we “didn’t know they didn’t know”. By keeping focused on our values we can feel free to rework goals when necessary to match our evolving ‘reality.’
5. Support: Some goals can be achieved alone, but some require the support of others.
6. Structures: We are much more likely to achieve goals if we have structures in place to support us. We need someone to play two roles to support us: one role is to enthuse us; the other is to make sure that we maximize the chance of success by putting in place structures.
7. Pull Towards Positive. If we feel that we are being pulled towards something positive rather than pushing themselves away from something negative, we will have much more success in achieving our goals.
8. Negotiate accountability. No one else will hold the account for goals unless we specifically requests someone or a coach discussing goals, or has asked them to look over our goals.
9. Often we get locked into a goal, feeling perhaps that the goal is “a must have.” If we do not achieve the goal we may feel like a failure. It will be helpful if someone will help us to re-frame the situation so we can go for the goal, but not get locked into it.
10. Celebrate! It is so important to celebrate the achievement of goals. Celebrate our achievement as well as the small steps. We can motivate ourselves by asking the question of “How am I going to celebrate reaching this magnificent goal?”
If you have a coach to support your growth, remaining in action is a fundamental of coaching. At the beginning of the relationship, most of the coach will make it clear that they expect them to be in action.
When it comes to action, the three most powerful tools are acknowledgement, acknowledgement and acknowledgement! Also acknowledgement is essential. Simply by pointing out how you have come, or how well aligned our actions are, can be a fantastic motivator to continue in our path of growth.
Our coach may be the only person in our life who acknowledges our growth. He or she may be the only person who knows about their most important goals. Having someone acknowledge how far we have come can make the journey seem light and full of joy and ensure that we get the very most out of the coaching relationship.
We can create a Strengths Inventory by brainstorming with our family and friends about what our strengths are. As we continues to create action in our life it will be important to draw on the strengths we have when things become difficult. Any focus on weakness is bound to amplify it. Most of us will remember criticism long after they have forgotten praise.
A more constructive approach is to focus on our strengths and set goals that build on our strengths. Only after our strengths are thoroughly explored should the focus turn to distractions, barriers and roadblocks.
Gathering resources to support the action will be an important step in the process of achieving goals. To be successful in the process, we will all benefit by preparing ahead of time before setting out on our journey. When we are creating a list of what we will need to do, both internally and externally, to prepare for the journey. This may include aspects such as creating time every day for meditation, writing a journal or exercising. It may also include getting our finances in order, or creating a strong support system.
Goal setting is only the beginning. Once the goals are established, we will need to create an action plan to reach the desired goal. One goal may have many sub-goals that need to be accomplished before achieving the final desired result.
Prevent slipping into old patterns – sometimes, temptation might slip in and the we may take a few steps backwards before moving forwards. If this happens, understand that this is normal. There are many reasons why people fear success and unconsciously sabotage their own development. It is important to acknowledge the clients efforts in maintaining a forward focus, even if you are not seeing much action.
Creating an action plan – Once we work through the process and has established the goals that enthuse them – that we feel passionate about – it is time to create an action plan. This plan will create a structure for us to work with in the future. By creating an action plan, we will have a road map to follow, as well as a process to track successes and challenges. Affirmation is also a good tool to use when negative self-talk creeps in.
Focusing on solutions – When creating action, it is more useful to focus on the solution rather than on the problem. Taking action and moving forward, staying focused on solutions. When you discover something that doesn’t work, do something different. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results is fruitless.
Build on past successes – One of the most powerful tools to use is to build on past successes. Reminding us the past successes can provide a shift in perspective.
A tool for tapping into past successes is to create a Success Life Line. Starting from the left side and working toward the right, have them write the date and a short statement of every success we have had since then. Whenever we becomes discouraged we can review our success life line and tap into the power of that moment to gain encouragement.
Create a list of encouraging role models – Support ourselves by discovering who our role models are and why. Role models can be very powerful in providing courage and inspiration to follow through with those things that we might not otherwise think we can possibly do. Role models let us know what is possible for us. If they can do it, so can we.
Enlist the help of a support team – As we begins to take action, we will need the help of a support team. We must surround themselves with people that are going to be helpful and encouraging.
Creating action is about setting up a good solid structure for the purpose of moving us forward. We can finally achieve what we desire by simply creating action.