The Secret Behind Reaching 100% of Your Goals

That’s me. I was fifty seven years old and preparing to run in my first 5K. It is the craziest and most self satisfying thing I’ve ever done. Joan and I were walking in the Owensboro Kentucky Barbecue Festival 5K in May of 2010 with some of our kids and their girl friends. Fun times. Somewhere towards the end of the course I saw people running and laughing and having a great time and I thought “I wonder what that would feel like.” So just like that, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I decided I was going to become a runner.

It almost didn’t happen

Hind sight being what it is, I’ve come to realize that I do that a lot – Make quick decisions.

The next Saturday I purchased a pair of good running shoes. One of my sons, an avid runner, went with me and helped me pick out the right pair. I went home, laced them up, walked out on front porch, did some stretching, and started to run down the street. I made it about two hundred yards and everything started to hurt. I was out of breath. Maybe it was my imagination but I swear I saw angels circling over head lighting the path for me to come home.

Ruh-Roh!

What the hell was I thinking? I was bald, paunchy and old. I’d just dropped major coin on a pair of shoes. Maybe I should sneak in the back door and chalk this up to a latent mid life crisis and hope its a month or so before Joan figures out what I paid for the shoes! Here was another adventure circling the drain. Another failure. What the hell was I thinking?

I spent the next few weeks making excuses to myself and the people who kept asking me How’s the running coming along?

The worst part was the things it was doing to my self confidence. 

Here we go again! Another hair brained idea that fell flat on it’s face!

Don’t you think it’s time you stopped chasing unicorns?

Your time has passed! Sit on the curb and cheer someone else!

The worst part? I’d done everything I was supposed to do! I wrote down my goal. They were specific, measurable, reachable, trackable. All those things.

****Hear crickets chirping****

I was really in a bind. I’d spent close to two hundred dollars on shoes. That’s an awfully expensive folly.

A trainer at my gym saved me. She told me about a program called Couch to 5K. It was an IPhone app designed to get you running five kilometers in 9 weeks. A voice told when the music started to play you should run. When the music stopped playing you should walk.

Even I could do this! Was that a glimmer of hope I saw peaking through the clouds?

Each week increased your run time and by the end of nine weeks you would be running five kilometers. It took me twelve weeks to complete the program because I was in worse shape than I’d imagined.

The practice was simple: The program allowed me to create a series of small goals to attain each week. When I ran more and walked less my confidence increased as well as my stamina. I was more focused and alert. I slept better. I was losing weight. Each week completed was a victory and each week made me want to do even more. I WAS doing this!

Looking back, I’d stopped focusing on the end result and started focusing on the activity I needed to get there.

Reflect on that for a minute before you hurry on. It was a series of small achievements that led to me ultimately reaching my final goal.

It would have been easy to give up and no one would have blamed me. They’d have said “Hey, at your age, at least your tried, ya know.”

You know what excuses are like right? Everybody has one. I’d carried around a whole bag of excuses for not reaching my goals. I almost short circuited because I was focused on running a whole five kilometers when I couldn’t walk to the end of the block.

My mind kept saying: If you cant do it all don’t do any of it!

That’s why ninety two percent of us who set goals don’t reach them. We have no idea or vision what success looks like. We get frustrated and give up. It’s like looking at the world through a shower curtain. Something’s there, you just cant see what it is and you don’t know how to get there!

I couldn’t see myself running the whole distance but when I made it around the block and was still alive something inside of me shouted encouragement. My confidence grew with each achievement.

That’s when I started to see success. It came in a million micro moments. I’d created milestones and landmarks that acknowledged my progress.

One Saturday morning in September of that year Joan and I got in the car and drove two hours for me to compete in my first 5K. I was nervous. You know, the good kind of nervous you get when you are excited about doing something.

I started and I finished and oh yeah, you remember the trainer who gave me the podcast program? A week before I competed she gave me another piece of advice:

Run the race you trained to run.

It would have been easy to get caught up in all the excitement of competing with hundreds of other people and forget my purpose. Her words stuck in my mind all thorough that first race.

I finished, not in record time, but I ran all the way and I was able to finish the race.

Next week I am going to share another tip that can help us reach our goals one hundred percent of the time. It’s going to be a bout the “C” word.

Yeah I know. Commitment can be a bear.

See ya

A Heroes Journey is published each Wednesday  at 7:00 AM CST.

3 things you need to know BEFORE you start working with a coach

If you are interested in working with a coach, I’d like to share 3 things for you to consider. I’ve been a career development coach for close to 20 years and a business coach for 10 years. Working with a qualified coach means you are going to make a financial investment in preparing for your future. It means the coach you work with has to be a person whose vision and passion aligns with yours. 

Here are 3 things to consider.

What are their qualifications and how long have they been coaching people?

When I began coaching people in 2001 there were only a few of us outside the academic arena who were coaches. I received my coaching certification so I could offer it as an option to clients who used my human resource consulting business.

After I’d been in business for ten years, people started asking me what I did to create and maintain my successful business. They were people looking to leave the corporate world and start their own business.  

A few years later, I closed my human resource consulting practice and began career and business coaching full time. 

I still love helping companies with their training and development needs and public speaking is one of my favorite things to do. I am a blogger and have a YouTube channel. I never met a camera I didn’t like. My main focus is helping folks make their dreams come true, just like I did with mine. In other words I have been there and I have done that

There are some online programs that will certify you as a “coach” in as little as 5 hours of classroom training. That means you get a sheet of paper signed by your instructor and it tells the world you are a coach. The only requirement is that you have “a passion” for what you’re doing and score seventy percent or higher on a test that covers the material you learned. 

What is their process? How do they work with you?

It’s important you come prepared with a list of questions. 

The purpose of working with a coach, regardless of the discipline, is for you to reach a goal or implement a plan.  It’s that simple. What’s not simple is the “how.”

Every coach has a different way of helping their clients. I help you find out where some of the bottle necks and road blocks are and then guide you in creating strategies to overcome them. I am straight forward and honest with my clients. I ask my clients to take two behavioral assessments before we start working together. This helps me get an idea of how to communicate with them. I rarely take notes. I may write on a chart or white board if something they say strikes a chord with me. Mostly, I am a story teller and most of my examples come from things that happened to me during the course of my life and career. 

My coaching sessions are long conversations punctuated with questions and answers. The highest compliment anyone ever paid me was a client who said the best thing I did for him was to cause him to look at himself and his actions. When we began working together he was a high school graduate and in a low level job for over 17 years. Today, he is the vice president of mid-sized company and has a master degree in business administration. When he looked at himself he saw what he needed to do to reach his goals. As the saying goes, “It was simple, it just wasn’t easy.” That realization came through a process of self exploration and creating strategies.

Read the fine print. 

Every coach has their own set of do’s and don’ts. It’s important that you understand and agree to them BEFORE you begin the coaching relationship and what is required of both you and your coach. 

Do they have a cancellation policy? 

What are the ground rules about contacting your coach between session. 

What is their fee and how do they expect you to pay them? In a lump sum, or in installments?

These are all questions you should receive answers to so you understand what’s expected of you and your coach and by no means are they all the questions you should be asking. 

The most important thing for you as a client to consider is your personal level of comfort with the coach and their style. When you create a a productive relationship, amazing things can occur, for you and your coach. A good coach should support you, guide you, and teach you. 

Hope this helps and Happy Holidays to all of you. 

If you’d like more information or have a question about coaching you can contact me through my web site