Do you want to get ahead? Get a coach – and a journal, and plan your celebration.

by Juliet Platt on July 23, 2010

in Coaching,Journaling,Purpose and fulfilment

OK, so I almost didn’t write this post because I stumbled across a fab article on copyblogger which talks about how you know your content sucks when it reads more like a journal entry.

Of course, when part of your internet raison d’etre is to promote journal-writing, and encourage more people to do it, writing a blog  that reads more like a journal entry is a bit of an occupational hazard.

So I have resolved to take the wise advice of copyblogger and suck it in this time round.  Thanks copyblogger – I’ve learnt a lot from you this morning!

AND  I’m going to carry on regardless and write a journal entry-like blog of celebration right here right now because the week’s been good.

I have written nearly ten thousand words in my latest book project!

That’s nearly 50% of my writing goal in one quarterof my allotted time. What a result!

I am extremely pleased. As a reward this weekend I’m going to: see Toy Story 3 with the kids, go cycling on the old railway line to Marlborough through the beautiful north Wilts downs, and listen to some live jazz over a picnic on the lawn. Yeehaa!

So how did I get to such a pass – especially in a week when the kids are just breaking up for the summer, I’ve got a stack of magazine articles to write and the usual pile of end of term laundry to do?

Here are my seven steps to achievement.

1 Clarify your goal, target and intention

Hire a coach to ask you some powerful questions and take you through a visualisation process. Where are you five years from now? What do you see? Who’s with you? What’s brought you here? Then work back so step by step you are articulating what is going to happen at each stage to keep you on track towards realising your innermost intentions.

Seventeen days ago I found myself on the receiving end for a change of this type of coaching with my wonderful friend and colleague Lynn Hull, from Stillpoint Associates. It is such a powerful process, and an amazing kick start to getting ahead on what you truly want to achieve.

2 Write it down! 

Write down your visualisation safari in your journal. Lock in the steps you need to take, by when, and what that will look like.

3 Identify what commitments you will make

Identify what you are prepared to commit to straight away to start bringing your intention closer to becoming reality. This could be a daily SMART target, – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Write this down in your journal too.

4 Identify what you need to let go of 

This is a killer step, but oh so necessary if you’re determined to get ahead on your goal.

In your journal write down the things you need to let go of in order to focus on your target.

For me this was my distracting anxiety and tendency to beat myself up about how my kids entertain themselves during the holidays when I’m busy working.  So what if they spend hours watching TV and playing their computer games? That’s what kids do. Whipping myself with the “what an awful mother I am” stick is not going to make any difference – except to distract me from what I want to achieve.

5 Make a celebration plan

Make a plan for how you’re going to celebrate at the end of the week, when you’ve stayed true to your daily commitments and achieved what you set out to achieve – or maybe more.

Plan to celebrate anyway even if it’s less, and allow yourself to get curious about how you might tweak your commitments to be more realistic and achievable.

6 Just do it

Do the thing you’ve committed to, every day, without fail. DO NOT wimp out. DO NOT make excuses. DO NOT promise yourself you’ll do extra tomorrow. Just stick to it. Make it worth the celebration.

7 Celebrate!

This is a really important step. That is, a really really really important step.

This is when you get to feel proud of yourself, blow your own trumpet and treat yourself to something nice.

Oh , and have your journal ready, because there’s nothing like self-esteem to boost your flow of ideas. You’ll find them flooding in. Don’t put them off or get swamped, just calmly note them down. These will become your intentions and commitments for the future.

For more insights into the benefits of journal writing, coaching and content production subscribe here to my monthly newsletter. There’s one coming up next Monday about discovering the writer in you. Be sure to subscribe to get yourself on the distribution list!

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