How to Help Your Clients Set Goals They Can Achieve
For most people, setting goals is just a natural part of life. We’ve been told throughout our lives that we should set goals, and we assume that we will be able to achieve them. However, most of our coaching clients have never been taught how to set goals so that they are realistic and achievable.
In addition, most people tend to struggle with meeting deadlines for their goals. Poor time management skills along with procrastination often lead to failure when meeting critical deadlines. If your client is continually missing deadlines, this can result in them failing to achieve the goals they set.
If you want to help your clients start setting realistic goals that they will be able to achieve, it is essential to follow these fundamental keys.
1. Write The Goals Down
Your client is far more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. Writing goals down makes them physically real, and makes it more difficult for them to change their mind. Having them written down where they can see them will give them something to visualize and reflect on.
2. Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals
To accomplish the goals, set, it is vital for your client to create S.M.A.R.T goals. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Setting S.M.A.R.T goals brings structure and manageability to the goals that your client is trying to reach. They will provide your coaching client with valid paths to help them achieve their biggest goals.
You can learn more about S.M.A.R.T. goals in this post.
3. Set Short-Term Milestones
When the goals seem too far away, they will tend to procrastinate completing the steps to reach their goals and quickly lose motivation. Long-term goals are great to have but to continue moving toward achieving them they have to create smaller, short-term milestones as well.
A great lesson to learn is that they can take a broad goal that may be difficult to accomplish and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces that they can work toward over a more extended period. When they’ve set a new goal, they shouldn’t merely mark the due date on a calendar, because this gives their mind permission to procrastinate, increasing their chances of missing the deadline.
4. Measure Actions as Well as Progress
It’s great to have aggressive goals, but it is crucial for your client to be able to measure the actions they take rather than the progress they’ve made. When your coaching client can only measure the progress they’re making, it can become frustrating if they don’t get as far as they’d hoped. Measuring actions instead can keep them motivated and help them to reach their goals faster.
5. Start with Just One Goal
Your clients shouldn’t be too overzealous when it comes to setting goals. If they try to change too many things at one time, they’ll likely fail to achieve any of their goals. Trying to improve too many aspects of their life at once requires an overwhelming amount of willpower and can end up being unrealistic and difficult to achieve.
When coaching your clients have them start with one main goal.
6. Schedule Time for Goals
Your client will never accomplish their goals if they don’t make time for working toward reaching them.
Have your clients schedule a specific time every day to work toward the goals. The more time they allocate every day to working toward the goals, the faster they’ll reach them.
7. Set Goals They Actually Want to Achieve
Your coaching clients should never set a goal because they think they should or because it sounds good. Doing this is the quickest way of failing to reach them.
Have your clients take some time to look at their life and the direction they want to head and set goals they can realistically achieve, and more importantly that they want to achieve.
To help your clients reinforce meeting the mini-deadlines they’ve established for their goals, they can reward themselves every time they accomplish one by its deadline. This doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive gift, but can be a nice dinner out or extra time with friends.
Have your client write down a reward under each mini-goal to give themselves some extra incentive to meet their deadlines.
9. Get Organized
Being unorganized is the number one reason why people fail to meet their deadlines and reach their goals. With the abundance of online tools, smartphones, and tablets, there is no excuse for being disorganized. Have your clients neatly file their documents on a computer, app, calendar, or planner so they can access them quickly. Too much time is wasted looking for the resources needed to meet deadlines and achieve goals successfully. Good self-discipline is reflected in excellent organizational skills.
Implementing these key essentials into your coaching sessions can help to ensure your clients achieve their most significant goals.