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What Do You REALLY Want?

In my coaching practice, and in my life, I’ve recently changed my approach. I’ve been big, over the years, on working with goals that are SMART. By that I mean, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good approach. And it works, once we know what we really, really want.

The trouble is, so many of us think we know what we want, but sometimes those goals come from external sources. We see images of “ideal” women on television, on billboards, in magazines, in newspapers, so we diet to fit this (maybe unrealistic) image.

We buy a new car because others have one. We go to certain schools and choose careers because it’s expected of us.

But what do YOU really, really want?

I’ve started carrying a small notebook with me, along with a pen. Each day, I write down three to five things that I really, really want. My answers to that question have evolved over time. Sometimes my answers are profound. Sometimes, they’re more immediate. Sometimes they include the simple and mundane: I really want sleep. Or chocolate. Or to be surrounded by people I love.

Over time, though, answers have evolved and patterns have emerged.

From the answers, I’ve been able to set the SMART goals. Instead of losing weight, I learned I wanted to be physically fit, healthy, active. The result is, I’m working with a trainer. I’ve also hired a coach to help improve my racquetball game. Sometime this year, I’m going to start competing. And, as a result, I’ve changed my diet. I did it because I wanted to be fit and healthy, not meet some number on the scale. And I did lose most of those stubborn pounds.

I’m using this “what do I want, what do I really, really want” exercise as a tool in my coaching practice now, too, to help clients get in touch with what they want, not what they think they should want. The biggest sign that it works…? My clients are encouraging others to do the same.

So, as we move forward in this bright year, what do YOU really, really want?

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