When I started on my own coaching journey, I learnt a lot about the importance of S.M.A.R.T Goals.  By setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed goals, you can achieve more.  It made so much sense to me, I started setting all sorts of goals, my life started to transform.  It took hard work and dedication but I started to achieve and do more than I previously believed I could.  I loved S.M.A.R.T Goals.

I was discovering more about myself, surprising myself with what I was capable of, and this, is when I chose to become a Life Coach.  A career I love, but, as I progressed on my life journey, I found that not all things could be planned for.  Some goals, no matter how much you think it through, might not be as realistic or achievable as they seemed because other life factors come into play.  A deeply personal experience really brought this to life for me.

Once I had achieved my goal to become a life coach, life was wonderful apart from one thing, I wanted a baby.  But, this plan did not seem to come together with the same ease as everything else.  I went through all the planning strategies, trying everything including IVF, it didn’t seem to matter what we did, I was no closer!  Just heart ache.  It was tough and S.M.A.R.T Goals really did not help.

I was determined that whatever direction my life took, I would be happy, but, this was becoming harder to achieve.  My heart pined until one powerful coaching conversation I will never forget.  It was this moment that my life changed and the angst and sadness was lifted after being asked a few simple questions:

  1. What did you want?
  2. What was that going to give you?

The second question was repeated over and over.  What was having a baby going to provide me with?  It was difficult but the coach persisted in a kind and loving way until eventually I came up with the word nurture!  Triggering the coach to ask, “How else can you nurture?”.  The fog cleared, suddenly I knew I could live a happy and fulfilled life because I was still able to do the thing my heart desired and that was to nurture.  Since that moment I felt free to be!

I have experienced myself and observed with clients that although S.M.A.R.T Goals can be very motivational, at times they can also become disheartening.  This made me curious, could there be an alternative approach to goal setting that would enable us to ride the waves of life while still feeling that we are on track and heading in the right direction?  My life is full, happy and filled with many opportunities to nurture.  I never had a baby as I once hoped to have, but, I do have the life I hoped for, it’s presented in a way that differs from my original dream, which for me is just as good.

I discovered The Passion Test by Janet Attwood.  In this fascinating book, Janet explains how even though life seemed to throw her way off plan, she was still able to achieve her goals in an even bigger and better way because she chose to focus on how she was being, rather than what she was doing.  Janet focused on the why, not the what.  Although Janet had S.M.A.R.T Goals, she chose to think about who and how she would be when and while she achieved these goals.  Janet considered not only the S.M.A.R.T Goals but why that mattered to her and what she would gain by achieving it.

We talk a lot about what we want to achieve, have or do, but, very rarely why we really want this.  Many people set a goal of earning a lot of money, but, is it the money they want?  Or is it about how the money will make them feel, be or enable them to do?  The real questions are the same I was asked:

  1. Why do you want the money?
  2. What will that do for you?

Could the money deliver power, status, security, charity or confidence?  Therefore, if we can approach our goals by thinking about how we will be as much as what we will do, we may find that we become free to enjoy the journey and all the twists and turns along the way.  Possibly noticing other opportunities that had previously been unseen.

So I have 2 questions for you:

  1. Why do you want what you want?
  2. What will that do for you?