How can I motivate myself and my clients towards coaching goals?

Significant, rewarding achievements are never easy and do not happen overnight; they are derived from fruits of hard labour, progressive development and the resolve to keep going. Sometimes, even when strategy and planning are well designed, people fail to achieve their desired outcomes. Why? Because they can’t keep themselves motivated enough to move forward and hence fall back to old habits.

But as marketing guru Zig Ziglar has quoted, motivation is an indispensable part of any process of achievement: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”

Here are some tips to help you (and your clients) keep motivated: 

  1. Ensure your original vision is a true desire, motivated intrinsically rather than by the expectations of others or a sense of what you “should” want. Your vision should be emotionally alive and have the potential to energise and motivate you.
  2. Ensure that you are aware of the benefits (and also the possible downsides) of attaining your vision (e.g. you may be eager to build muscle mass but are you willing to sacrifice your otherwise free time for the gym in an effort to maintain that achievement?)
  3. Set achievable short-term milestone targets, ensuring that the targets cannot be too easily achieved. Goals that are “easy” to achieve don’t contribute to the sense of accomplishment and achievement that is necessary to build the momentum for long-term motivation.
  4. State goals in the positive. The unconscious mind doesn’t recognise terms that are negative. If, for example, you are asked not to think of a ‘pink elephant’ – it is likely a pink elephant will pop immediately to mind. If goals are stated in the negative, you are likely to focus on the negative.
  5. Identify specific actions that will lead to the outcome you desire. Record them in an action plan and take steps daily to complete them.
  6. Reward accomplishment.