6 Life Coaching Tips for Success in 2021
We live in an era where we can get what we want instantaneously. But most of our goals can’t be achieved overnight or with the snap of a finger.
Why do we need that anyway? Instant gratification isn't as rewarding as the process.
I had the opportunity to speak with Eric Bedell (pictured on right), an ICF certified professional coach currently located in Brooklyn. He offered insight into goal setting, making empowered decisions, and shared with me some of the ways he helps his clients uncover their vision for who they want to be.
Sometimes when we reflect on ourselves, it can bring up uncomfortable feelings. Especially if there’s a gap between where you are now and where you want to be.
If that gap seems large, it can be overwhelming. Eric says this concept comes up a lot in coaching - and people tend to view the gap as 'this thing we need to get through'. He challenges his clients to look at it differently. The key is to take a massive goal, something that is going to blow your mind, and break it down into tiny steps. Try this acronym:
G - Gradual
A - Action
P - Process
For example, a massive goal for me was graduating and moving to Denver. A massive goal for Leah (Soulvation CEO & Founder) was starting a business from the ground up. Looking at it as a whole can be daunting.
Break it down into a gradual process. If you start doing things everyday - even the smallest, tiniest thing in the right direction - it's moving you towards your goal and you are getting closer to your vision.
Examine Your Expectations
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I like to be in control.
I’m not even sure where these super high expectations I set for myself came from or how I’ve internalized them as a personality trait, but I did. And when my expectations don’t become reality, I historically blame myself.
One of my favorite parts about talking to Eric is his ability to reframe thoughts. Having expectations of myself isn't necessarily a bad thing. Neither is self-reflecting. Or even failing. The detrimental part is being down on myself.
Sometimes you have to hit the pause button and ask yourself: Do I believe that? Did I create that thought? Is it accurate? Did it come from somewhere outside of me and am I holding it?
"As soon as you start to entertain self-reflection," Eric says, "It’s an indicator that there’s an opportunity to look at what you are doing - an extended offer to change, so don’t be down on yourself. Take a look at what comes up. It doesn’t mean anything bad, it only means the chance to reassess".
The truth is, control is just a thought. We don't have control. It's more empowering to think: "I'm going to take action on the things that are in my control, and let go of the outcome". Thought = reframed.
Create a Vision
Before you can begin GAP (Gradual Action Process) you need to decide what you want and set a really clear vision. Ask yourself why you want it.
Maybe your goal for this year is to lose 10 pounds.
Maybe it's to move up in your job.
Maybe it's to grow your emotional resilience.
Whatever it may be, imagine yourself when you get there.
How do you walk?
How do you talk?
How do you present yourself?
How do you hold yourself?
What do you do daily when you are already there?
"Start utilizing some of those things today," Eric says, "Act today how the future outcome would show up. By proxy of that it becomes inevitable. Even if you don't reach the goal, it becomes irrelevant. The process is the most important piece anyway".
Create your vision and get aligned with it, if something doesn't go as planned, pivot.
Make Empowered Decisions
Now, here is where you can take action on the things that are in your control. By making deliberate choices.
For example, maybe you want to be healthier this year. An empowered choice would be living somewhere close to a park or a gym where you can introduce activity in your life. Empowered decision.
Align yourself with people and places that are on the same wavelength as your goal. In this way, you can set yourself up for success.
Self-honesty vs. Self-care
Self-care is important. But don't let it be detrimental to your goal.
Sometimes self-care looks like 12 dark chocolate Hershey kisses before bed. Sometimes self-care is skipping the chocolate and hitting the gym. Sometimes it's going out with friends and sometimes it's spending a night in solitude. Only you know what is best for your wellbeing.
"For the 9.9/10 people I talk to in regard to coaching," Eric says, "the number 1 most desired quality people want to achieve in their lives is balance. The irony is that it’s pretty much already there, it’s just lifting the sunglasses that say, 'You are doing this wrong' and putting on a different pair of sunglasses that say, 'Hey, where am I in balance? What serves me most here? Choosing which pair you see through changes what you see.”
What's key is discernment. Be able to be honest with what you need to put first. Hold yourself accountable.
The Little Things
A new year is a great opportunity to start on a new goal or vision. But so is everyday. Life is all of the little things that happen in the in-between. It's all of the little steps and the little interactions that add up to something big.
My goal for this year is to have more balance, deepen my relationships, and as always - be kind.
What's yours? How are you going to show up?