Setting Up Structures for Success
Finding success can be an uphill battle - one that kicks you back down every time you fail. But it doesn't have to be that way.
By setting up good life structures and habits, it's possible to minimize the daily grind of pushing towards your goals. This gives you more stamina for reaching your goal, giving you a greater chance at success. So, seeing as how Paul has problems with being too passive on his journey, I decided to start by helping him create better habits.
The power of habits
By creating a habit, you lower the mental energy needed to embark on an activity. So, for example, the first couple weeks of getting up early to go to the gym can feel like hell. But after that, it becomes a habit and you do it without thinking about it. Pretty soon, you start to feel strange when you miss a day at the gym. Now, if you didn't create a habit, but instead tried to fit the gym in and around everything else you needed to do, pursuing your goal would take a lot more mental energy. Each day, you would have find the time to go, then push through to actually make it happen, and keep yourself working out for a decent amount of time.
Working like that will grind down anyone.
Your current structures and habits
But, before Paul and I could get to creating positive habits, we had to find out what his current daily habits were.
We all have routines we fall into during our day-to-day. Some of these are helpful and some hinder us. The problem is, we are often blind to our own life structures. This is where I come in. Having an outsider's perspective gives me the ability to see the habits that we are so often blinded by.
So, I asked Paul to keep track of his week between calls by journalling. This gives both of us a real-time view of how he is spending his time. Taking a clear-eyed look at how Paul is actually living gives us an idea of where we are starting. This is critical because without knowing where we're starting, we'll never be able to create a plan to get Paul where he wants to go.
By next call, Paul and I will know the starting point, and the end goal (which we covered in the intro call). So, from there we should be able to chart a course to success.
*A note on self-reflection
It's incredibly important, whether you're going through life coaching or not, to be self-reflective. Having Paul keep this journal is one way of ensuring self-reflection, but it's not the only way. During my coaching, I usually only get clients to journal for a week, giving us a good baseline to start from. But, it's important to continue to self-reflect
I've seen how powerful these questions can be, so I want to share them with you. My suggestion is to take these outside of your own head, where answers can be lost so easily. Instead, share them with a friend and set a time to call so you can share your answers.
1. What are you grateful for this week?
2. What have you accomplished?
3. What were the roadblocks and challenges?
4. Where have you failed?
5. What do you need to focus on this week?
I hope these questions will be as helpful to you as they are to my clients.