As we have walked together down the Coaching ROAD you have R- recognized your focus, O- owned as something you yourself needed to work toward, and A- developed Action Steps and seen some progress. What now?
The “D” in the Coaching Road is for Dedication.
The best plans only succeed if you keep doing them.
Dedication is about maintaining the gain that you have worked so hard for. Once you have achieved a new normal all the progress can slip away without a plan for dedication! How sad – it’s almost more disheartening than never having moved forward at all.
For instance: I have lost over one hundred pounds! A fact that would be astounding if I weighed in over 200+ in the first place but the truth is that I got up over the hundreds by “finding” the 10 or so pounds I lost over and over again.
How many times have you heard (or made) a statement like one of these:
“I used have a regular quiet time with God and it was so wonderful.”
“Back in the day I could lift ____(insert amazing number here)____ pounds with ___(another amazing number)___ reps with ease!”
“I started writing a book and am about half way through but I haven’t worked on it in years.”
Here’s two ways you can stop the madness!
Inviting others into your goals and your success helps you stay there. When others know what you are hoping for and/or what you have achieved you are much more likely to maintain your growth.
How many times have you committed to a certain eating rule, like not eating after dinner, and not told anyone only to waffle the next day. I find it very easy to “reason” my way out of commitments that no one else knows about. On the converse, if I share my goal I am much more likely to keep it. Hopefully, I would be embarrassed to break out the Ben and Jerry’s after telling them my intentions.
It can be the same for you.
Who will you invite into your gain to help you maintain what you have worked so hard for?
This is a beautiful tool that gets too little attention. Now that you have worked through a goal and had some success a great personal tool can be the idea of a yellow and red flag system.
A yellow flag is a marker you set up that shows you if you have slipped a little. It could be a slight weight gain, a missed day of commitment, a little emotional letting go. Something that tells you that the nose of the plane is headed in the wrong direction, even just a little.
A red flag is a more serious concern. It marks a larger lapse.
Here’s some examples:
Yellow flags: Gaining two pounds, not having quiet time for two days, double booking an appointment, having a bout with depression.
Red flags: Gaining five pounds, not having quiet time for a week, missing two appointments, being in depressed state for two consecutive days.
Defining the flags is the first step, then you need to attach action steps to each one. That might mean a new lifestyle plan for exercising, or waking up earlier for quiet time, working through core issues with procrastination or joining a small group with a focus on what you are dealing with.
What yellow and red flag markers do you need to set? And what will happen if you set one?
Finally, how/when will you assess yourself in this area? Do you need to set a calendar reminder? Set up a regular coaching relationship?
Whatever you are working on or working through Dedication is the game changer that keeps things where they need to be!