When I’m working with someone as coach and helping them move towards a goal, one of the principles I use comes straight from my martial arts teaching, and that’s the principle of ‘Time & Effort’.
Once through the initial consultation where goals are set and the strategy is laid out, the client’s usually really motivated and excited for what lies ahead.
Then a few sessions in the reality normally sets in about how long things are going to take.
This is something that I always make crystal clear at the beginning, but with any goal it’s usually only after starting out that we fully understand the time and effort that it’s going to take.
This is actually where the value of coaching lies, and that’s in the support of the client through the difficult stages.
It’s important to realise that when we set out to achieve something new it’s the excitement that gets us going, but it’s resilience that keeps us going.
The trick is to know that things take time and effort, and the longer you give yourself and the more work you put in, the more realistic your timeline is for success.
Knowing this helps us to focus on the process and shifts our mind to long-term thinking.
So how can we stay motivated when we’re focused on long-term success?
Short-term thinking is much more exciting than long-term thinking and as humans, we wired for instant gratification.
One thing I like to do with my clients is focus on developing tangible skills that will help us achieve our goals.
For example if your goal is to lost 10lbs, learning the calorific values of your favourite foods and how to track them accurately may be a great skill to learn.
If your goal is to run 10k in 45 minutes, learning how to program your training optimally and what your body needs to recover well is a great skill.
Do research, learn, apply and measure the results.
When we get interested in the process, our progress takes care of itself.
So about accept the tough times as part of the journey and apply the principle of time and effort to learning new skills that will help you progress towards your goals.