With 2017 upon us, it’s now time to sharpen those pencils (or get your typing fingers ready) and sit down for a good old goal planning session. But not just ANY goal planning session… a 'S-M-A-R-T' goal planning session...
Have you heard of SMART goals before? There are a few variations of the acronym floating around, but our favourite here at Coaching Out of the Box® is this one:
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Attainable
R - Realistic
T – Timely
In a nutshell, creating smart goals means digging deeper into each one to make sure you have a plan of attack for achieving them. Instead of saying for example ‘I will eat healthier this year’ (which is of course quite broad), you might say ‘I will achieve a healthier diet by incorporating 2 vegetable snacks to my daily routine’.
To break down creating a smart goal even further, here are some points for each letter in the SMART acronym:
S – Specific
*Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
M - Measurable
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as……
How much? How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?
A – Attainable
“Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them”
R – Realistic
To make your goal realistic, make sure it’s one you’re both willing and able to work on!
T – Timely
Create a timeframe and a deadline for your goal, and ensure it fits with what you’re trying to accomplish. A sense of urgency is fabulous for achieving goals – it keeps you on your toes!
One of the most popular goals we see posted online or talked about as we enter a new year seems to be for individuals and companies or organizations to create stronger leaders. At Coaching Out of the Box®, we believe that EVERYONE should have coaching skills – just imagine what that could do for your company, business, or even personal life!
We want to hear from you! What is your 2017 goal? Comment on this blog post or any of our social media channels so we can follow along with you! If you had to pick ONE goal, turn it into a smart goal and share it with us – we can’t wait to see what you come up with.
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Happy New Year and Happy Smart Goal Planning from Coaching Out of the Box®
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Every December people are faced with the realization that the New Year is quickly approaching and they need to work on a list of resolutions for their inevitable change. Unfortunately, by the second week of January these resolutions are usually forgotten and life returns to the usual way it has always been. Why is it that we want to start out the year so strong but quickly lose our resolve? Perhaps it as something to do with arbitrary dates and deadlines, quitting cold turkey and forced submission to things we otherwise wouldn’t be doing. This year, perhaps the key is to start earlier and do small changes with no deadline in mind and no guilt or shame. Here are our 6 tips for starting the New Year off right:
- Focus on getting more sleep. This doesn’t have to be several extra hours per night, but it should be something measurable, even if it means going to bed an extra 30 minutes early every night. Most people are lacking in quantity and quality of sleep and it impacts their daily lives more than they are aware, since it is a chronic condition. Adding an extra few minutes to hours per night of quality sleep may make a huge difference, but not take much in the way of sacrifice.
- Add an extra fruit of vegetable to the menu per day. Trying to hit the daily recommended amount of every nutrient is difficult, especially with a hectic schedule, but buying 6 apples at a time and eating one a day while in the car or on the run, is a completely doable change. Try adding something green as well to get in those extra nutrients the body relies on, especially in dark, cold winter months with cold & flu season in full swing.
- Add in 30 minutes of any exercise every other day. This doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the gym – try a walk to the grocery store instead of driving, or park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to and from the store. Even getting out of the office chair every hour for 5 minutes of walking around the office can make a difference in the level of exercise the body is getting. If all else fails, turn on some music at home and dance while dinner is cooking.
- Give time, money or extra items to those in need. Clutter can lead to an increase in stress levels, so a quick de-clutter of the home can show marked improvements in mood and outlook, plus donating the items feels good too. It also helps us to feel better when we help others, so make small changes to open up time in the weekly or monthly schedule to assist someone else, even if it is just a visit to chat with someone who is lonely. This small change can make a big difference to more than one person.
- Turn off the technology, at least briefly. This one may be a bit tougher since a lot of people are actually addicted to their technology, but the brain needs time to wind down and this may help. The key is to actually press the power-off button, not just to put the ringer to silent or vibrate. It doesn’t have to be for an entire day at a time, but choosing to do this simple thing can show improvements over time, plus the electronics could use a break too.
- Use moderation in all things. Depriving oneself of their favourite foods, pastimes or vices can lead to all sorts of negative effects – it is an unfortunate part of being human. These treats can be motivating and uplifting, two things that we still need.
If we choose to view small changes, such as the above, in a positive way, they can make a huge impact on the future. Instead of focusing on missing out, being too busy or trying to do too much, too quickly, we can focus on the benefits of even the tiniest improvements. Every step forward is a step in the right direction, no matter how small.
So what about you? What changes are you planning on making in 2017? For many of the people connected to us it is using coaching and coaching skills to bring positive change to their lives and the lives of others! If you want to learn more about we do please connect with us!
Feel free to contact us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:
Do you feel overwhelmed daily? Do you feel like your life is over complicated and you just don’t know where to start to get it back on track to clear your mind? Mental clarity is just as important for your health as it is for your work/career life and path!
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” – Dalai Lama
Regardless of your daily activities and schedule, we all have just a short 24 hours in each day – sometimes it seems almost impossible just to get it all done! It can seem that for every item we check off of that to-do list, we just add another one or two. But with a little work and just a few stress-relieving habits, we can alleviate this feeling of overwhelm and trade it in for a new sense of achievement and simplicity.
Here’s the Coaching Out of the Box® Top 7 things you can do in your day to get to this new fresh state:
- Focus on only the necessary tasks – highlight those tasks that ae key for your day and cross them off as you go. If it’s not priority, keep it on your list so that you don’t forget, but leave it for another time.
- Remember to stop for little breaks and take deep breaths! There are numerous studies (like this one) online that state that the most productive people with for 50-60 minutes at a time before taking a 15-20 minute break. Getting back to work after taking these little breaks throughout the day allows your mind to be fresh for each task.
- Set realistic deadlines for your important tasks. Trying to do a lot in a short timeframe may only lead to more stress if you cannot accomplish everything on time.
- Try not to overthink each individual task. Focusing in on those important tasks can keep you moving forward on important projects!
- Be sure to continue focusing on personal needs – don’t neglect these! Needs such as sleep, food, and social interactions will also ensure your productivity level is consistent.
- Learn to say no when it’s appropriate. Saying yes to every single thing that comes your way is another thing that will contribute to being overwhelmed. This might be the single most important tip!
- Focus on ONE task at a time. Many of us are used to ‘multi-tasking’ however this may lead to dragging out your to-do list and can also lead to tasks being completed but not necessarily well. This lack of focus is easily corrected by turning your attention to one thing at a time.
By now you might have noticed a commonality amongst these tips – FOCUS! Priority and focus together will not only ensure that you complete tasks well, but will alleviate the stress that all of us get bogged down with from time to time.
Do you ever wonder how you can learn to focus and prioritize effectively? If you are wondering this yourself and have never considered coaching, there’s no better time than the present. Your coach can help you identify important tasks and projects and help you along your own personal path to success. If you want to learn more about our class/program openings, please contact us here: http://www.coachingoutofthebox.com/contact-us
As always, feel free to connect with us via email: [email protected], or at any of our social media sites:
Choosing a career path can be a very personal and impacting decision, which requires a measure of time invested in reviewing options, courses and opportunities. One of the more important decisions to make, especially when it comes to a career choice like coaching, is whether or not to invest in certification. According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), surveys have shown that 84% of respondents who have participated in a coaching relationship believe that coaching certification or credentials are important. Assuming this number translates similarly in the general population, not moving forward on a certification could be eliminating the majority of potential clients for a future coach. Since this is a career choice, the greatest amount of potential for future revenue lies in showing that a coach has taken the necessary training and is, in fact, certified to assist in their chosen field. In addition, coaching relationships are found to be more satisfying if the coach possesses the appropriate certification and credentials. The ICF also advises clients who are searching for a coach, to only look at candidates who possess certification to ensure that they meet the appropriate standards, ethics and are up to date with their methods. Although it is possible to coach without certification, it likely would be quite limiting and even frustrating, especially when starting out.
Once the decision for certification has been made, the next step is to decide what programs are likely to be the best suited and the format in which to take them. Some people prefer self-taught or online options, while others need the face-to-face interaction of peers and teachers to fully excel. Neither is better in general, but one might be better suited to a particular person’s learning style. In addition, there are multiple learning facilities offering accredited coaching courses, as well as a variety of specific courses. Finding a program that has high-standards, provides practical and theoretical knowledge as well as the opportunity to develop skills, is the key to success. This may require some time investment in researching the options, but the end result will be well worth the initial output. Finding the right career and training to do something that makes a positive impact in another’s life is ultimately a very satisfying decision. The proper certification will provide a greater sense of confidence for both the client and the coach.
Coaching Out of The Box® offers ICF certified programs, including our Fast Track to ICF Certification course, which includes the required 60 hours of Approved Coach Specific Training Hours for ACC accreditation and within a 6 month time span. We also offer courses individually, which allows for training at an individual pace. Our Fast Track courses start in February – find out more information here: http://www.coachingoutofthebox.com/coaching-education-programs/fast-track-to-icf-certification.
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Most situations one encounters lead to an initial gut feeling, whether it is meeting a new person or making an important decision. Deep down, the automatic body systems provide detailed information into how the body feels the situation should be handled. Whether or not a person listens to this initial reaction can depend on a number of factors, including their pre-disposition to “gut feelings”. These feelings can be associated with making snap decisions and lacking in evidence to support, which seems illogical to some, but others rely on this intuition in almost every circumstance. Neither one is inherently right for everyone, but there are times when instinct can play an important role in communication and relationship techniques, as well as providing insight into positive outcome potentials. Although there is not enough research to concretely prove how “gut instinct” works, it is acknowledged to exist and provides us with an additional tool to use in coaching. Utilize these instincts to help guide conversation and ultimately progress the relationship and outcomes for clients:
- Clear the mind of distractions. If this requires relaxation, try and calm the mind prior to a session with a client by meditating or focusing activities. A cluttered mind can block natural instincts with distraction. This technique can also be useful for the client themselves prior to beginning.
- Listen to the first thing that enters the mind – it is often right. It doesn’t even necessarily need to feel in line with the thought process at the time, but don’t discount it based on this.
- Focus on how the body reacts to individual options. If one option seems to feel more relaxing than the other, this is often the body’s intuition providing an answer.
- Learn to understand different body responses in clients as well. Reading facial expressions, increased fidgeting or clenching can provide valuable insight into the client’s gut response to things as well – they may not even realize they have these responses at the time.
- Use common sense in deciding whether the responses are based on the options presented or the situation itself.
- Listen to a client’s use of words about their situation – do they use words like “should”? If so, have them explain why they feel they should and what their instincts tell them.
- Take time to reflect. After a meeting or when trying to determine a course of action, take time out to quietly reflect on the situation and options. It may take a few minutes to process everything or it may take longer, but give enough time for the brain and guts to communicate before proceeding.
- Build up trust with the gut instincts provided. Every time they prove to be right, keep track of it. Learning to listen to and follow the body’s natural instinct will help with understanding how it can be beneficial in future situations.
Instinct or intuition is often cast aside in favor of logical reasoning, since it is based on a natural, but inconclusive bodily response. However, totally ignoring intuition can be eliminating a viable option on the basis of having no concrete physical support. The best solution is to consider intuitive responses as well as logical processes to provide the most viable options to solve any problems.
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