Great coaching questions to help you have a vintage 2014

Thanks to Andie Hemming for this wonderful guest blog post.

I always like to take time to reflect on the past year, and the twelve months to come. So my good friend (and top exec coach) Andie Hemming’s great post is very well-timed. Over to Andie…

I wish you all a vintage 2014! Now, this is rarely an accident (although I am a GREAT believer in serendipity) and so of course there are things we can do to make a vintage year more likely. So – it’s time for some investment in ourselves.

Here are a few things that can help to round up last year and prepare for this one. Of course, you don’t need to answer all the questions if you don’t want to – you’ll know which ones are important for you.

This is also quite a nice little team building exercise – suitably edited of course. You can make it a short one over a cuppa and use it to celebrate what was good and learn from what wasn’t in 2013 and prepare for 2014. Just substitute ‘our’ for ‘my’.

So, here we go:

Take a few minutes to reflect on 2013

  1. What was my biggest triumph last year?
  2. What was the smartest decision I made last year?
  3. What one word best sums up and describes my experience of 2013?
  4. What was the greatest lesson I learned last year?
  5. What generally went well?
  6. Who were the three people who had the biggest impact on my life last year?
  7. Could I have done anything differently, with the benefit of hindsight?
  8. Are there any unrealistic expectations that I need to let go of?
  9. What is my biggest piece of unfinished business from last year?
  10. What am I most happy about completing last year?

Looking ahead to 2014

  1. What would I like to be my biggest triumph this year?
  2. What advice would I like to give myself this year?
  3. What are my goals for the coming year?
  4. What steps must I take to get each goal started?
  5. What would I be most happy about completing this year?
  6. What treat am I going to give myself this year?
  7. What would I most like to change about myself this year?
  8. At work, what am I most committed to changing and improving this year?
  9. What is one – as yet undeveloped – talent that I would like to explore this year?
  10. What brings me the most joy and how am I going to do or have more of that this year?

Once your goals have been set, ask these questions

  1. How will I structure the year to support my goals?
  2. How do the elements of my lifestyle support reaching my goals?
  3. How can I change the non-supportive elements?
  4. Where do I need to be more disciplined?
  5. Where do I need to relax?
  6. How am I measuring progress towards my goals?
  7. How will I celebrate milestones and accomplishing my goals?

A book suggestion to support this – Gene Hayden’s The Follow-Through Factor: Getting from Doubt to Done. It’s a good read – full of strategies on how to achieve your goals.

But essentially

  • Create a plan. The number-one reason people drop a project is because they decide that it’s not their passion. But projects are like people – they have a mix of admirable and irritating traits. Some days you like the thing you’re doing and some days you’re really not so sure about it. Keep with it, because when you stick with a plan through thick and thin, your interest in it doesn’t diminish, it grows.
  • Start right away. You don’t have to know as much as you think you do to achieve your ambition. When you don’t have a clue, all you have to do is ask the question that launched a thousand success stories: “What do I need to find out first?”
  • Small steps count. When you’re feeling world-weary, taking even the tiniest micro-step toward your goal gives you a shot of energy. It’s less draining to do something than to wrestle with the guilt of inaction.
  • Stick with it. Every project gets tedious at times, but stick with it through the boredom, even though it’s making your stomach churn!! Eventually it will give way to something rewarding.
  • Don’t let others discourage you. Sceptics and naysayers want to keep your world as small as theirs. So when you push back at fear, make sure it’s your own fear you’re tackling and not other people’s.

Thanks Andie!

You can find out more about Andie’s company, work and clients here.

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