Tag Archives: decision-making

9 Steps to Success: Keep the Big Goal In Mind

business challenge concept

Are your decisions and actions on target with your big goal?

What is most important to you? What do you really want? What’s the big picture you are trying to achieve with your efforts? It’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture by getting caught up in the minutia of day to day tasks, demands and responsibilities. You can very easily slip into passively reacting to whatever is in front of you instead of deliberately making choices in the direction you really want to go. Many people never pause long enough to figure out what is most important to them.

Over the years I’ve put time and attention into creating awareness of my big goal. So far I’ve come up with this: to live a simple, peaceful, life that feeds my heart with deep connection with others, time in nature, opportunities to express my creativity, opportunities to travel to places I really want to go like Alaska and the British Isles, opportunities to have new, fun adventures, and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.

When I get lost in the busyness of day to day living I remind myself of my big goal, what’s most important. When I have choices to make about  work I will do or activities I will participate in, I refer back to my big goal. Will  the work or activity that I’m contemplating feed my heart? Will it add unnecessary stress or will it be an exciting learning adventure? Will I be honoring my big goal by any choice I make? Like self-knowledge, my big goal is my compass, a reference point for decision-making and taking action.

For example, last year Bob and I committed to going to the Albequerque Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico with a good friend. That decision was in alignment with my big goals of pursuing opportunities to travel and having new adventures. The challenge was figuring out how to fund the trip. After considering various options, I decided to offer pet sitting in our home to earn the extra cash. I chose petsitting because I LOVE dogs and the adventure of working with dogs. Being with dogs could feed my heart as well as my pocketbook! It was a good fit with my big goal.

What will you do to determine your big goal? Coaching is a great way to pause, create space and get support to develop awareness about your big goal, that which is most important to you. Remember, it probably won’t magically appear without some deliberate focus and effort. But the quality of your life could depend on it!

Crises: Opportunities to Get Clarity About Your Values

DSCN0244“Big rocks” are those areas of your life that are most important. My big rocks include my family (including furry family members), my marriage, my health and personal growth, my friends, and my business. I spend most of my time and energy on my “big rocks.” Sometimes I must choose which rock is most important. When that happens, I view it as a self-knowledge learning opportunity.

This past Monday I was scheduled to work with two coaching clients. However, when I had lunch with my mother at her assisted living facility, it was very apparent that the tumble she’d taken out of her bed the day before had left her in significant hip pain. I had been told that an x-ray of her hip was scheduled for that afternoon. So, I returned her to her room after lunch and set off to call the first client.

Before making that call I checked with the doctor’s office to verify that it would in fact happen that day. I didn’t want Mom hurting for long. And, I was concerned that she might actually have fractured her hip. I was given the phone number of the imaging company that would do the x-ray, and  was told they’d never received the order, from either the assisted living facility or from the doctor’s office. There I was, due to call a client in ten minutes and in the middle of an administrative debacle regarding my mother’s care.

I was at a choice point between two of my “big rocks”: my family and my work (means of fiscal survival). Plus I was mad as hell! What to do? The super-responsible worker part of me was on auto-pilot, proceeding with the work, planning to make that call. That part of me wanted to be the reliable, conscientious coach, a person of high integrity. But, when I factored in my emotional state (mad as hell!), I quickly came to the conclusion that I was not in a good place emotionally, and my ability to be the attentive source of support my client needed and deserved had been compromised both by my feelings of anger and my concern for my mother.

Looking back, I realize that what had emerged in that crisis was awareness of my strong value of working with integrity and my equally strong value of family. Awareness of those values and the weight of those values helped inform my decision to cancel my coaching client and return to help my mother get the care she needed. And, I also learned that family trumps work anytime!

What values are guiding your decisions? Times of crisis, difficult as they are, can in hindsight be great opportunities for awareness of your most important values. Knowing  your values arms you to make good decisions.

**If you are curious about learning more about your values, I would be happy to send you a copy of a “Values & Needs Exercise” I received in coach training with Coach Approach. Email me to request that exercise at debbie@debbiebowie.com.