Not everyone can afford to pay for a coach to help them with their life and work challenges. What can you do for yourself instead? After all, whatever your choice it’s still down to you to act! How can you get the benefit of helpful questions to prompt your thinking and build in accountability for your intentions? What would help your focus, commitment, and discipline?

IntentionsThe people at Great Minds UK invited me to road test their GO FAR Coaching Planner System. It’s a practical, leather-bound planner filled with coaching techniques to help you to help yourself on a daily, weekly and quarterly basis.  So, I gave it to someone who recently attended a life coaching retreat to see how it could help her follow through on her desired changes. This post shares her experience.

The approach involves three steps to achieving your goal:

Exploring your current life

Step One is about exploring your dreams, life balance, and current situation.

“I found this phase the most time-consuming and difficult – you need space to do it. It’s useful to have this framework alongside. The headings are really good – health and sport, career, finance, social and relationships, family and home, spiritual and personal growth, hobbies, creativity. For someone like me who doesn’t externalise this, it makes you consider what and why you think about them. It forces you to reflect on both positive and negative aspects of these elements. I identified what to do more of and where to make changes.”

Creating your inspiring goals

IntentionsStep Two is about short-term and long-term goals.

“Some are easy wins and some are more difficult. I ended up with three priorities prompted by the helpful tips. Then you create an (up to) 10 point quarterly action plan for each goal. Writing down my intentions has been a helpful way to hold myself to account.”

Managing your weeks

Step Three is about planning, doing and reflecting.

“By managing my weeks consistently, it keeps my goals in mind and the everyday doesn’t take over. I’ve been revisiting the overview of my quarterly plan and, on a Sunday night, setting four intentions for the week. For example, I don’t want to jump in and make assumptions in certain situations or to dive in and rescue people. I want to accept compliments better and to ensure I go swimming. Then, every morning before doing anything else (including looking at my mobile!), I reflect on what happened yesterday and how I’m doing against my intentions for the week.

At first, I found it quite difficult to determine an intention from a task. Once I got the hang of it, repeating my behaviour is leading to habit change. The key is to be consistent. When I don’t achieve what I set out to, I push it forward to the following week. I’ve started to learn what is practical and realistic for me depending on what kind of week I am having. The tasks have become simpler and more achievable which then makes me feel better and that I am making progress but different from when I started. It’s useful to keep adapting.

Making change happen is a process and small iterations work best for me. You do make mistakes – for example, you set out with the intention of ‘I’m not going to be controlling’ and then you reflect and it makes you conscious of the way you behave. Next time you almost get a nudge from your planner. You do things outside of your comfort zone, but you realise that it isn’t as difficult as you thought. So next time, you’ve got the comfort of knowing ‘I did that in week 4’ so I can do this next thing even though it’s difficult.

I carry around in my bag the summary cards for my tasks, to do lists and my dreams. Also, I downloaded an app to scan a QR code for access to a supporting Knowledge Centre with additional helpful materials.”

Overall thoughts?

Intentions“I’m an organised person who loves lists so the whole concept appeals to me.

It’s a beautifully finished folder and lovely to touch, although I would have preferred it in a smaller format. I really like the inspirational quotes spread throughout. 

I’d say the planner is great for anyone who is self-employed, freelancers, portfolio workers, small business owners, and anyone wanting to make changes in their lives that stick.

Just in time for Christmas, Great Minds is offering Learning to Leap readers a generous 20% discount on all their products including the GO FAR Coaching Planner System! Treat someone today using the code GreatMindsFriends20.