Have you ever had a really important goal (like working out in the AM) and knew exactly what you needed to do to get there (like getting your butt out of bed when the alarm goes off), but never actually got yourself to do it (like hitting the snooze button over and over and soaking up every extra second that you could stay tucked in your warm little bed)???
Good news! I have the solution for you!
Last week we talked about the Goals portion of the G.E.A.R. (Goals, Exploration, Action, Reflection) method for coaching yourself. As we continue our behind the scenes tour of self-coaching, let’s talk about the E today.
Exploration is my favorite step in the coaching process (and also the step that is most often skipped in self-coaching, resulting in failure, disappointment, and millions of snooze buttons being pushed every morning).
This is where we start connecting the different areas of our brain together to create a unified source of motivation and momentum to move closer to our goals.
There are more ways that we use coaching to explore goals than Darth Vader has black outfits, but one of the best is by investing some time to access each of the brain’s “logical levels of language.”*
Here’s how it works:
Language experts have found that every single language on earth in all history are only used to answer 6 different questions, indicating that our brains are wired to focus on just these things:
Each of these questions is given attention by one of three different areas of our brain: The brain stem (most basic), the limbic area (more complex), and the prefrontal cortex (most complex).
These 3 brain areas are involved in motivating us to take the actions we need to in order to reach our goal. So, one of the best methods of exploring and “trying on” your goals is to run them up against the questions that our brains are designed to answer.
Sitting down and thinking through these “logical levels” gets your entire brain focused on what needs to happen for you to move toward your goal.
With your specific goal in mind, ask:
Where will I be when I’m taking action toward my goal?
When will I take the action?
What specifically is the action that I will be taking?
How will I carry out the action?
Why is it important for me to take this action and move toward my goal?
Who will I be when I take this action and moving toward my goal?
Bonus: Who else benefits from me taking this action and moving toward my goal?
Taking the time to get clear on the answers to each of these questions will turn your self-coaching session into a powerful source of motivation and momentum to actually get you to get your butt moving in the direction of your goal.
Now, all you have to do is sit down and do the work to coach yourself. After you run through the bolded questions above, take a brief moment to answer: What might be the teeniest, tiniest, easiest step that I feel confident I can commit to taking toward my goal? (More on that next week.)
*”Logical Levels of Language,” Atkinson & Gossen. (2014). Velocity Instant Fluency: The Ultimate System for Fast Fluency in any Language. Vancouver, Canada: Velocity Learning Press.