Conversations at the Crossroads.

Your Best Year Ever

How would it feel to have your best year ever?

What types of experiences and accomplishments would such a year contain?

How would you make it happen?

It’s early January, and the months of 2014 are stretched out before us, like chapters of a book that have yet to be written. This is a perfect moment in time to think about how you want the story to go. It is your story, after all. Shouldn’t you be the one to write it?

Today I am sharing my process for setting goals and planning how to achieve them. In this way—with these five steps guiding you—you can begin to write your story and thereby take greater ownership of the outcome. You already have what it takes to make this a great year, but you may find this approach to be helpful:

The Crossroads Coach V.I.T.A.L. Approach to Goal Planning

Step 1: (V)isualize exactly what you want, a vivid picture of what your year will look like and all that it will include. (For more on visualization, read my December post.)

Step 2: (I)magine the journey that culminates in that picture, including strengths and skills you possess that will support your efforts, as well as any barriers or challenges you foresee.

Step 3: (T)ranslate the vision of the journey and end result into well-defined goals for key areas of your life (health, family, career, etc.).

Step 4: (A)rticulate the initial steps of your path to your goals, knowing that once you start to move and gain momentum, more options will open up and future steps will unfold from there.

Step 5: (L)ead yourself forward with a commitment to take the next step within a specific time frame.

[Repeat Step 5, and return to previous Steps, as appropriate.]

No matter what areas of their lives my clients seek to address with coaching, our work begins with visualization and then moves through the steps of the V.I.T.A.L. Approach. We return to the vision and goals periodically to reconfirm alignment and evaluate possibilities for next steps. In this manner, we stay clear on our objectives and ensure accountability for our time together. It’s an approach that proves successful time and again, and there’s no question that having a plan in place boosts confidence and courage.

Try it! And then tell me: What’s most helpful to you about this approach? What benefits did you experience in applying it? I would love to hear what you’re planning for your great year ahead.

With support and encouragement and best wishes for 2014,

Founder, The Crossroads Coach

Published January 6, 2014