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It didn't quite go to plan?

Coaching focuses most commonly on setting and reaching goals. Of course, this is why many people find themselves accessing coaching. A problem in your life, or an outcome you need or want to reach to get where it is you want to go..... coaching is great for that and it is useful for other stuff too.

One thing I will often explore with a client is "what has stopped you so far?" ... how come the change hasn't happened to date?... This opens up all sorts of possibilities about the hows, the what's and the why's of getting to your destination. This amongst other aspects, forms the strategy, the plan.....Fabulous!

Something i believe, however, that is essential to the goal setting process is learning to feel comfortable with the "flow" of the current towards your outcome. Understanding that a plan may have curves, turns, twists, ebs and flows. A plan that is too rigid, linear, too fixed can easily break, crack, fall apart.

The most successful plans are accepting of change, of your own evolution of the many factors such as the situation, the resources, the time, the people ... all constantly shifting in time and space, many factors unpredictable. Many experiences not predicating the dream, the desire that you hold at the finish line.

Plans can be like the ocean, strong, powerful, rhythmic yet fluid and flowing like the waves.

So a delicious word to consider when making plans.... (keeping with the liquid theme)

Solution - this word has two relevant meanings. It provides a framework for problem solving and in another meaning alludes to being fluid.... this is so important to achieving a goal... flexibility.

If what you are doing isn't working, do something else!

Choice is better than no choice.

It's really easy to feel stagnant, to give up if the goal/outcome has not worked in the past, or has gone a little off piste.

Some common experiences people have when this happens...

  • Giving Up on the goal.... pushing it to one side. Lacking belief it's achievable.

  • Being hard on yourself - thinking or saying derogatory things about your capabilities.

  • Feeling Bad about it - disheartened, guilty, shameful, angry these are just a few emotions that might sit with you?

  • Getting stuck in the blame game - blaming others, stuff, people for the unwanted outcome, rather than looking at what needs to happen to make it change.

  • Self - Sabotage - this can come early on in the plan (I get it, it's new, it might be scary so you may consciously or unconsciously take an action to sabotage the whole thing!).

  • "What If" narratives - linked closely to the point above and often ( but not always) linked. "What If" narratives is often self-doubt. "what if i fail?" , "what if it doesn't work?" "What if I lose my partner/friends etc etc"..."What if it doesn't go to plan?".

Being fluid and flexible is something we can all learn. It can be more natural for some people, you may have chosen a profession around change, new stuff, revised plans and that might be really comfortable for you. For others this might be something you are still wanting to get to grips with....or perhaps loosen your grips on!

Find ways to trust yourself - access activities, support, coaching, be round people that build your self esteem and confidence - The definition of this will be unique to everyone and may start with things like loving yourself, being kind and thankful of who you are, feel comfortable in what you wear, how you act or seek ways to change.

Practice something that helps you be in the "now" - whether it's mindfulness, meditation, zoning out... what ever you call it. Find a way to access that space where you can just flow.

If you are one of these people who finds comfort in control, explore building your comfort with others in the driving seat of decision making, notice the feelings and thoughts that come from both.

Acknowledge when you don't feel great, pause, find space and ask for help if needed .... you will find with time there is great strength in knowing that your skills are just an amalgamation of the networks you have, the connections you make and the communities of friends, families and colleagues you call upon for wisdom....

And finally value the power of perspective.... step back, take a birds eye view..... ... you may be surprised how far you have travelled in your plan.

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