Coaching is about being your best. It’s about performance, about “staying the course” and, in the end, about creating and living the life you really want. Many people use coaches to make more money, win the gold prize or do something dramatic. That’s fun, and when it’s right, it’s wonderful!
But most importantly, coaching is about living up to your own standards. It is, in Henry Thoreau’s famous words, about “marching to the beat of your own drum, no matter how faint or far away.” So, do I recommend you have a personal coach? Well, duh!
But if you can’t afford one, or aren’t ready for one, why not be your own coach? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Write down your goals. Review and re-write them once a week. This is old advice, but there is power and magic in writing your goals on paper! Write them down, then review them, think about them and up-date them every week. It may only take 20 minutes, but it will double your rate of success, I guarantee it!
2. Show up! Many of life’s most important achievements simply require that we show up, pay attention, tell the truth, work hard, go the extra mile, and do our best! Superior performance is not about the future, or the past. It’s about doing a superior job right now, on the work that lies right in front of you.
3. Eliminate Distractions. Keep your eye on the ball. Life is full of frustrations and distractions. Successful people do NOT tolerate the things that drive most of crazy – they take the time to stop, solve the problem and eliminate the distraction once and for all. Stay focused!
4. Manage your environment. Top performers know that space management is more important than time management, and they have neat offices, clean cars, orderly appointment books, and they keep an extra suit at the office, just in case. Make your office (and your home) a space where you can do your very best work.
5. Read every day. Read something useful, challenging or fun every day. If you only spend 20 minutes with a book that motivates, excites and educates you, it will make a world of difference. I promise! Aim to read at least one book every month!
6. Attend a “University on Wheels”. Listen to educational, motivational and fun tapes while you drive. At least listen to soothing, appropriate music, rather than the “terror of the day” on talk radio! Fill your mind with the BEST information you can find!
7. Use a Master-Mind group. The term refers to a group of people who are committed to helping you be successful. Often, they meet once a week. Think of them as your “Advisory Committee”. Bounce ideas off them, ask them for advice, let them coach you!
8. Focus on values. Take time every week to review your values, the things that cost you nothing, but make life worth living. Write them down, share them with a friend, and remind yourself of what’s most important to you. Remembering your values will get you back on course!
9. Play more! Play a game of tennis, wrestle with the dog, shoot hoops with the kid next door. Laugh, get sweaty, have fun. It doesn’t cost; it pays!
10. Practice Gratitude! Periodically, ask yourself how many “good” days you’ve had this week. Notice what made the good ones good, and do more of the good stuff! And, be grateful. “I was angry that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”
Even the most sophisticated modern cruise ships must constantly monitor their course. On our last cruise, Mary and I took a tour of the bridge, and were told the ship had no less than 5 automatic navigation computers, and that at least 2 officers were on duty at all times. Why the redundancy? Because having a cruise ship get lost, even briefly, is a very bad thing!
How many navigation systems do you use to guide your path? Having a handful of books, journals, friends and daily routines to “coach” you is not expensive, it’s the best investment you’ll ever make! Set up routines and use the best resources you can find to stay on course. Coach yourself to the top!
Here’s to your success!
Source: Dr. Philip E. Humbert, writer, speaker and success coach