Taking time off usually gives me clarity, as if often does for my clients. Clarity can give a big breakthrough in your thinking and planning. I teach many different aspects of success but gaining clarity in your business and life priorities can be life changing.
A Real Life Case Clarity Study
Recently, I had a coaching call with one of my clients whom I hadn’t spoken to in two weeks because of the holidays. It turned out to be a lesson in how to gain clarity.
When we stick to our regular routine of making steady progress and evaluating our steps, we don’t often take the time to step back and look at the entire picture. However, when the routine gets interrupted, say by a holiday break, often something shifts in our thinking and that’s exactly what I noticed with this client.
Shortly after we began our conversation, I noticed a difference with her. As a coach, I’m trained to notice these things and I could tell that her energy was different.
I said to her, “You know, we’ve talked about goal setting and I notice that you’ve lost a bit of motivation.”
My client agreed, admitting that she didn’t feel as motivated as she did before. She admitted that she was struggling with that because she was ready to grow her business and do whatever it takes to get to the next level. However even as she spoke those words, I could tell she really didn’t believe them. She was trying to motivate herself but she wasn’t winning the battle.
I asked her: “What is sapping your motivation? You’ve been doing so well with your goals that have been set. Your client base is good. You’ve been meeting some financial goals.” Any outside observer would say that she is running a successful business but she just wasn’t feeling it.
At first glance, she thought it might be her inner drive for perfection, which was leaving her feeling that she wasn’t doing enough. While I agreed that this characteristic in her could possibly be part of the reason she was feeling a bit derailed, I didn’t think this was the entire reason for her lack of motivation to advance to the next level in her business.
After further discussion, another thought occurred to her. She recalled that she has some very big long-term goals that involved big life changes. During our talk, she recalled how very committed she was to reaching these major goals in the next couple of years.
I helped her drill down in her thinking and feelings by asking: “If you continue on this path of achieving more clients and growing your business, what will that mean to your long-term personal goals?”
As we peeled back the layers, we realized that the goals she had been setting and meeting were going to result in her business growing larger. Although this would bring her more income, it would also require more infrastructure – more staff, a larger office, and increased overhead costs.
When she looked at this squarely, she decided that it would be a huge amount of work, which was not worth the effort to her at this time. What she really wanted was to use her current business success to enable her to make the larger life changes that she wants down the road. Pouring a huge amount of time, money and effort into taking her business to the next level now was really not going to get her closer to the long-term personal goals she has set originally.
The crux of the problem was that the immediate goals she was setting for herself were not aligned with her longer-term goals, which she hoped to achieve in the next couple of years. Although her immediate goals seemed fine on the surface and she was capable of growing her business using them, they were starting to bump up against priorities for her personal life. She realized that her personal goals were going to take a lot of focus and energy, which she didn’t want to divert toward growing her business at this time.
This realization and understanding gave her the clarity she needed to make the right business decisions and renew the sense of purpose and direction that is often lost when we get off track.
She learned that she had not been checking in with her longer-term goals when she was making shorter-term plans. It’s not that she had forgotten her personal long-term goals; they were always with her. But she had not compared her smaller incremental plans, leading to more business success, with the long-term personal goals to see if they lined up well.
To remedy her situation, we brought the personal goals into focus and made short-term business goals that lined up nicely with them.
By the end of the call, she was happy, relieved and fired up! As you can imagine, she felt that a great weight was finally lifted. She knew exactly what to do each day to work out the life she wanted for herself. That’s what clarity does for a person.
The Moral of the Story
What this client was going through is not unusual. I have often seen that over time short-term goals seem to be in sharp focus while long-term goals seem to get out of focus.
When my client realized that this had happened to her, she understood why she could not muster the motivation to expand her business at this time. This gold nugget of clarity saved her from compromising some of her personal life goals. The relief in her voice was refreshing and her energy was renewed. She now knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that her time, money and effort needed to be focused on her personal life’s priorities.
Goals shift and evolve over time—or they just get buried under the pile of daily work. It’s key that we schedule the time to review our goals, both short-term and long, to decide if they are complimentary or contrary to each other. This, of course, holds true for comparing personal goals and business goals as well.
Need help gaining some clarity? I can help! Contact me today to schedule a discovery session to find out if coaching is right for you. Let’s align those long- and short-term goals to get you what you really want out of life.