A Day With Structure & Action – A Day Closer To Your Goal
By Maria McKenna
As a coach, it’s my responsibility to provide structure from the moment I start working with someone. The coaching relationship is in itself an element of structure a client is placing into their lives. It provides a regular support and opportunity for accountability. But, that is just a start – creating structure in our lives so that we can achieve our goals is the next big part….So, take a minute and ask yourself these questions: What does a day with structure look like for me? What does a day without structure look like for me? How does structure impact my productivity in a day? What haven’t I achieved that I really want because I haven’t dedicated time and energy to it?
Structure and goal setting go hand-in-hand. In other words, it’s difficult to achieve goals without creating some structure to take action within. When we work for a healthy company, there are many built-ins that provide structure for achieving goals. Generally speaking, there are clearly established goals, managers who create steps to achieve the goals, deadlines to achieve those goals, progress assessments along the way, accountability for one’s performance, and so forth. And, at a more fundamental level, there is an office you work within, you are expected to show up at the office at a certain time, you are expected to schedule and attend meetings throughout the day, and you’re expected to put in a full day’s work; These are all general structural things that activate us, motivate us, guide us, and keep us on track to reach our goals.
But, what happens when you don’t have this kind of structure to obtain your goals? Even the most successful executives have difficulty achieving their personal goals without first creating time and space to focus on them and then taking steps to achieve those goals. And, even the smartest, most creative people in the world can have trouble developing a successful home business without a lot of structure. I have often heard people starting their own businesses and people out of work talk about the fact they have no idea what they did all day or all of entire weeks. Without structure, the tendency for the days to slip by is very real potential hazard.
So what it is you can do to create structure around your personal goals? How can you start to structure your life so you’re creating regular time and space to work on your goals. Just as it’s helpful to get very specific with your goals, as a Coach, I’ve learned the more specific you can get about structure and action, the more likely you are to achieve their goals. For instance, if your goal is to start exercising regularly, then first commit to a schedule for that. Is it every Tuesday-Friday from 7-8am you’ll exercise? If not that period, when? How many days and how many hours do want to commit to for the short-term and long-term? The more specific and well thought out your structural plan is, the more likely it is you are to stay committed and on track. If you’re favorite yoga teacher teaches Wednesdays and Fridays at 7pm, then schedule those into your calendar and commit to those hours weekly. Once you commit to this structured schedule, think about how you can remain accountable to yourself? If you miss a day, will you make that day up? If not, will you walk an hour in the evening? Once you create this detailed schedule, think about what will keep you motivated and on track – the accountability factor. In other words, what else can you structure into your day to achieve your goals: Is there a partner that can help you (i.e. a friend you can walk with 3 days a week or coach that can provide accountability by meeting with them 1/week)? Is joining a club a good idea for you if you’re sporty and want a team to work with and commit to? Whatever support you build into the structure you create, it’s important to have people who you can trust to hold you accountable to your actions and goals, since the truth is, we generally do things until we don’t feel like doing them any longer.