Shelley Clegg caught up with Executive Coach and founder of GuruYou coaching, Rebecca Mander, to talk about setting goals and how they can help you in your practice…
SC: Setting goals in your practice is important. Some people might be fearful of setting goals, how can you convince them that they need to get over this?
RM: Some people avoid setting goals, sometimes because they have a fear of failure but also, because they have a fear of success. There are some people who will be worried about what other people will think of them if they try to thrive and climb up the ladder and that can also put them off setting goals or sticking to them.
I have given people advice in the past for getting over this fear, which is quite common. My advice is to imagine a graph that will have a line from the bottom left-hand corner, which represents where you are now, curving up to the top right-hand corner, which is where you want to be. If you do set goals, everything along that line from the left to the right is going to be something you achieve to reach that goal.
If you don’t set goals then that line will look like a series of curves up, followed by dips down if you have setbacks of some sort. However, what having a goal does is give you a structure so, if you do have a setback you still know what you’re aiming for and can get yourself back on track.
Because they haven’t got a structure to what they want to achieve or an end destination, people often shy away from setting goals and that is where the fear comes from.
SC: How have you helped your clients reach their goals in the past and what techniques do you use to get them there?
RM: The first thing I encourage them to do is dream big and have a vision. To do that they can use what I call the ‘HUGG’ diagram, which stands for Huge Unbelievably Great Goal, to help them achieve their goal.
The diagram is a pyramid and it consists of a number of different blocks. So, for example, if you wanted to get to a £10,000 turnover in July, you would have that at the top then all the things underneath would be what you need to achieve that goal, such as going on networking meetings, meeting a practice manager, signing two new clients or taking on a new employee.
So, what you do is start with that goal and rather than that being the big scary focus, you go from the bottom rows and work your way up. That can be really helpful for people and it gives them smaller focusses to work through that will ultimately get them to that main end destination.
SC: What can people do if they struggle with willpower when it comes to setting and reaching goals?
RM: I think creating habits is a really great way to help you develop strong will power. For example, you may find it tough to monitor your cashflow or your expenses. What you can do is create a new habit and add that to an existing habit. So, if you have a habit of coming in and grabbing a coffee and checking your emails, add 10 minutes to that little bit of the day and that can be for your cash flow and expenses.
Keeping a record of your wins also helps. We’re so focused on that goal and climbing the mountain that we don’t stop to take the view in and see how far we have come and celebrate success.
But if we stop and do that, we see the evidence that we are getting towards our goal. Especially if you’re not working with a big team, celebrating success is really important because it helps you recognise that it is worth it to keep going and that helps fuel your journey.
Rebecca Mander is an executive coach and founder of GuruYou Coaching.