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Revealing my private purpose

While I was teaching a members' class at The Coaching Institute on May 13, I got drawn into a discussion about purposes and goal setting strategies for success in life coaching with our head trainer Matt Lavars. It was fascinating, and had me diving into my bag to drag out my diary.

Matt was asking me about how I set goals and how often I do it. I had to rewind him a little bit to a process I start each and every New Year's Eve.

Let me share it with you.

When champagne corks are popping at midnight on December 31, I'm never just congratulating myself on having had a great year or looking for someone to dance with (although I do love a boogie.)

I'm analysing mentally what I achieved, if it meant real progress and how it sets me up for the new year.

Then I set a theme for the coming 365 days. Just don’t ask me what it is: I don't tell for at least a decade because I don’t want anyone coming and saying, ‘You’re not living it.’

Choosing the theme is a process. It means looking back on the past year, asking, 'How did I grow, I let myself down here, where do I need to build?'

It takes hours of conversation with my husband JP, figuring out what that year needs to be. It’s about momentum and progress and purpose.

The theme comes out of necessity, not possibility, and that trickles through hopefully into many things.

I have to say the chosen theme isn’t always successful. One year it was ‘consolidation’ and we went into more debt than we ever had! Doesn't matter. Sometimes things don't go to plan, despite great planning. I didn't beat myself up about it, because I learned a lot.

The next step in goal setting strategies for success in life coaching? You'll need to go internal, and commit to a purpose.

I do a slow waltz with my values, then my theme, then I do a purpose statement that informs what my goals are going to be.

This is where I needed the diary—to check the exact working of this year's version, which I changed in 2020 after having the same one for 15 years.

The purpose takes about two weeks to write, as I drill down into what's important and craft my words to best suit.