As I met with my clients in January and we mapped out their goals for the coming year, I asked each of them:
· What stresses and worries of 2017 do you want to leave behind?
· What do you want most for yourself in 2018?
Here’s what three of them declared and are creating for themselves through our coaching partnership:
My clients gave permission to publish these stories. Their names have been changed for privacy.
Poverty is what Rochelle wants to leave behind. With this in mind, we laid out her business plan to quadruple her income by the end of the year. Each quarter she will aim to increase her earnings by 25 percent. This may sound like a big stretch, but it is achievable and here is how we mapped out her plan to reduce financial stress.
Rochelle is great at short-term goals, but like many of us who are busy, she hadn’t examined her long-term financial goals. In addition, Rochelle has no shortage of cool ideas for her business, but as a solo-prenuer, she has to prioritize her options. Where should she focus her energy
First, we created a list all of the services she offers, the potential income each generates, and how much effort they require for marketing. Once we looked at her list, the specialized training sessions stood out as being the most lucrative, with minimal prep work. The dilemma was how to promote this service to yield the best results. A personalized letter with an offer for a free consultation felt most genuine to Rochelle. By the end of the first quarter, she will send this letter to 50 local businesses that are a good fit for this service.
When we last met, Rochelle had landed a big contract and was offered a part-time position in her field. With these two income streams, she is just shy of her 6-month goal. Promoting her training sessions will keep help her reach her year-end target. She had also met with a financial advisor to create a long-term plan for financial security. Since Rochelle’s strength is accomplishing what’s in front of her, focusing her efforts on her top three priorities will ensure that she doesn’t waste her time or energy. She is moving forward, going exactly where she wants to go.
Sarah is a college freshman whose 2018 goals are to prioritize her own needs before others’ and to get enough sleep.
Sarah’s natural waking cycle is to fall asleep at 4:00 am and wake at noon, yielding 8 hours of sleep, but leaving her exhausted when she has morning classes.
For Sarah, we have several strategies to help her get to bed earlier and to feel tired enough to fall asleep. She is slowly moving her bedtime back by a half hour each week, with midnight as her target. She sets an alarm for 10:30 pm as a reminder to wind down, finish studying and get ready for bed. Sarah has also reduced her caffeine intake and shifted to drinking it earlier in the day. We will check in each week and add other strategies to help her stay on track, such as listening to music in bed to relax.
Sarah is highly empathetic and tends to prioritize her friends’ needs before her own. She is learning to honor what she needs, and to choose what is best for her rather than her friends. Sarah is also creating an inner circle of friends she can trust, who will consistently treat her with respect and kindness. Other students are acquaintances that she might enjoy hanging out with, but who won’t hear about Sarah’s personal life. Through working together, Sarah has greater confidence in asking for what she needs and has firmer boundaries with others.
A widow for four years, Jessica is re-defining life and happiness without her husband. Together we have pinpointed activities that bring her into the present and are energizing. Listening to music, watching comedies, eating breakfast in her peaceful sunroom overlooking woods, connecting with friends and de-cluttering are all practices that help her to cope. Jessica’s goal for this year will be to continue to identify more “energizers” and to fit as many as she can into her day.
Like Sarah, Jessica is also learning to put her needs before those of others, a common theme among women. We came up with a mantra for Jessica: “Other people’s feelings are their responsibility, not mine.” Instead of feeling guilty for politely declining a dinner invitation, she is learning to let it go. She kindly reminds herself that it’s fine to want a quiet evening alone and if that offends someone, it is not her problem. This newfound mantra has also allowed her to release harbored guilt from long-ago interactions. With self-compassion, she can tell herself “it wasn’t my responsibility to take care of that person’s feelings.” Jessica continues to strengthen her boundaries, reserving her “yeses” for those things she truly wants to do.
· What do you want for your life map?
· What do you want to create for yourself in 2018?
· What are you tolerating in your life that you no longer want to deal with?
· What’s holding you back from embarking on a new path?
I’m here to help you identify your authentic self so that your decisions are aligned with what you truly want.
If you are ready to take the leap, I offer complimentary sessions to all new clients. I’d love to help you create your map for a fulfilling life.