Everyday Living December 26th, 2017

Forget New Year’s Resolutions, Get a Life Coach Instead

It’s that time of year.

The one when we all start to envision what our lives could look like in the coming months.

Enter resolutions.

The term itself alludes to a problem that needs resolving. Last time I checked, being reminded of a slew of obstacles isn’t the best way to encourage growth. For many of us, even thinking about so-called New Year’s resolutions leaves us with a bitter taste in our mouths of failed ones past.

So, to resolutions I say, throw them out! Forget about ‘em!

No one wants a reminder of how far off they are from their fitness goals, or how they do too much of this or too little of that. The notion of focusing on what you should do, just because you haven’t done it yet is entirely backward.

When was the last time you set a goal because it’s what you wanted for yourself? The kind where you love yourself for the way you are, and you want to improve for the sake of improvement. Because growth and learning is refreshing and accomplishment is energizing.

The end of the year doesn’t have to be a review of shortcomings. It’s an opportunity to start fresh, and to reach for the stars. It’s a resolution revolution! Are you with me?!

What does this new resolution-less landscape look like? How does one navigate this exciting new territory? With a “guide” of course!

This coming year, as you forge ahead into the great and opportunity-filled frontier of your life, consider the perks of partnering with a life coach.

At Zappos, we provide life coaching services to all of our employees. Unlike executive coaching, which targets leaders and c-suiters with a business-focused application, life coaching is an approach to achievement built upon the basic concept that everyone is naturally creative, resourceful and whole.

This means anything is possible, and there doesn’t need to be a problem to create a goal.

Our last blog featured reasons why you should team up with a life coach through the eyes of a life coach. This time, we’ve asked some of our very own Zapponians to share their experiences with life coaching, goal achievement and how they stay motivated to keep up with the skills of success they’ve learned through the process.

What drives you to continue taking action towards your goals?

“Life. Life changes daily, and I continue to strive to get better every day. My family, especially my boys, drive me to want better. The more I push towards my goals and ambitions, the more they will see and do.”

-Stefany J.

“My future drives me to continue taking actions towards my goals. What I do today affects what happens to me in the future. It determines the quality of life I have and my happiness.”

-Betty A.

Many things drive us, the state of our current lives, our family and our future are some of the most influential forces we can connect with to keep us motivated.

How do your expectations play into your attitude towards goal achievement?

“Sometimes my expectations get in the way because of being impatient. I need to remember that doing the work along the way makes reaching the goal much more gratifying.”

-Coleman A.

“I’m a recovering perfectionist! I expect things to get done correctly at all times, but I’m learning that even if my expectations aren't met, if I am still pushing towards that goal, I shouldn't give up. It doesn't have to happen so perfectly.”

-Stefany J.

In these scenarios, we often find ourselves settling for the default options — never and not at all. Crafting useful and powerful expectations that drive us, while still allowing us to grow incrementally along the way, is something that can be learned, like playing an instrument or speaking a language.

By achieving your goals, what areas of your life are affected?

“My personal and professional lives are interchangeable, and when I achieve a goal in either part, it makes me happy, and I can use that happiness to help achieve other goals.”

-Billie N.

“Achieving my goals has affected all areas of my life: my job, my relationships and my hobbies. When I’m putting time into any of these areas, I try my best to give it 100 percent attention.”

-Jamaal L.

The Wheel of Life is an exercise you can do to help you look at all the areas of your life as a whole.

Begin with a circle, draw four dividing lines through the center until you have what looks like eight slices of pie (or cake!). In each of these areas, write these category names: Health, Fun & Recreation, Finances, Significant Other, Friends & Family, Personal Growth, Career, Physical Environment.

Feel free to divide these categories even further, or add some that are relevant to you. In each area, take a pulse of how satisfied you are on a scale of 1-10.

Through this activity, you can begin to see how balanced (or unbalanced) you feel about your life in general. Determine where you might want to start to create some goals and repeat this activity throughout your goal achievement journey to visualize your progress.

What sort of strategies do you use to stay on track, or get back on track if need be?

“When I need to focus on an important task, the Pomodoro Technique has been extremely beneficial. This consists of placing a timer in noticeable view and setting it for 25 minutes. During this time, your focus is only on one specific task. Once the timer ends, you take a five-minute break to relax. You repeat the Pomodoro for as many times as needed.”

-Jamaal L.

“I always look for my inner cheerleader. She’s a perfect match for when that little gremlin would come out to tell me that I wasn't able to do something, or I was going to fail.”

-Stefany J.

Goal achievement is a dish best served with a heaping scoop of strategy. Finding and creating ways to stay on track is a fundamental part of planning for success. Remember that in the arena of goal achievement, success can be measured by the effort you put in, and the number of times you stumble and keep heading towards the finish line.

What new habits have you developed to keep your momentum?

“A daily reminder of my goals for the week. That way I remember to be actively working towards my goals and to accomplish one thing a day. It helps me engage within myself and my life.”

–Betty A.

“A new habit I developed is that I share my goals with others. I also write my goals down in areas so I can see them daily. Both help me stay on track to reach my goals.”

-Jamaal L.

Did you know that sharing your goals with others is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable? Saying it out loud, especially within earshot of others, (bonus points if you directly ask someone to hold you accountable!) your likelihood of achievement increases dramatically. It’s often easier for us to let ourselves down than it is to consider the idea of disappointing others. Never underestimate the power of consistency and accountability.

What advice would you give to someone who’s at the foot of their goal achievement journey?

“Talking to someone to help get your thoughts organized and laid out. For me, I used to get lost in my thoughts/questions and being able to discuss them with someone else really helped me get those aligned with my goals.”

-Coleman M.

“Get real comfortable being uncomfortable because we grow in uncomfortable circumstances ... and that includes self-evaluation and self-reflection.”

-Billie N.

Nothing grows in the comfort zone. Get out there and challenge yourself to do just a bit more than you did before. Growth is best experienced incrementally, not immediately. It may seem ideal to get what you want right now, but the thing is, we need to learn along the way to be able to sustain the results. Talking through your goals with a life coach allows you to get clear on what you want and why, as well as how it connects to your values.

What we value in life shapes the decisions we make, both consciously and unconsciously. As you think about setting your post-holiday goals, consider letting the things that matter most drive your motivation and also your intentions. Let your values inspire you. Set the goals you want to achieve — for the pure purpose of personal development. Not because it’s that time of year again.

So, it begs the question: What do you hope to achieve in 2018, and how do you plan to successfully execute it? Let's chat in the comments below!