Utilizing writing exercises as tools for personal accountability can support the goal achievement process. For the last two years, I’ve used an activity, Last Week from My Perspective, as a tool to coach myself and manage projects and weekly priorities.
The impact from acting consistent with our declarations and following up with a form of accountability is a difference-maker I believe we all can benefit from. Sometimes, just having a structure to keep yourself accountable can be the missing link to staying motivated.
This exercise has been a path forward past what holds me back, like triggers of my survival mechanisms, but even still, my progress wouldn’t be what it has been if it wasn’t for the four coaches I’ve worked with since 2017. When I arrived in Seattle in April of 2019, I started my experience with a written exercise, and three questions I believe are a great place to start the year in 2022 for creating the changes we want to see in ourselves and our communities. They are:
- How do I feel about my life now and my future? (Answer on a blank sheet of paper)
- What do I plan to do next?
When I asked myself, “What do I plan to do next in Seattle?” I wrote 31 actions on my list. It’s interesting to see how many I’ve completed and that many are still in progress.
- Who am I going to be?
When I asked myself, “Who am I going to be in Seattle?” there were 21 descriptions I wrote of who I wanted to be and the type of character I want to bring into a room.
Written exercises have been foundational to keeping me accountable and prioritizing doing something every day. I don’t want to let days go by where I’m left wondering what I did today. I’m the type that wants to be able to point to something and say this is what I can show for what I did with my time.
As we begin year five of Where the Change Happens, I want to share three practices that I believe can support your best year in 2022.
Learn from This Year
I’ve written about this simple writing exercise before, and it involves some reflection of the last year.
1. List five things I’m proud of from 2021.
2. List five things I learned in 2021.
Provide yourself with another opportunity to celebrate positive experiences this year with these reflections. Having the challenges we all are experiencing with shortages, inflation, variations of COVID-19, and continuing uncertainties, this exercise could highlight small wins we did experience in 2021 and may not have given a second thought. See if you can get to five.
This year, some of the things I listed include that I’m proud I hired a writing coach and joined Accomplishment Coaching’s ICF Certified Coach-In-Training program, and leaned into my passion around ice hockey and the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. Some lessons I included describe how I can be when I protect myself and not approach everything as a problem.
Notice what comes up for you when you complete this exercise. Is there a sense of pride and accomplishment? Are you feeling like this last year was a struggle and that everything is a challenge for you? Consider this next exercise to prioritize action over this next year.
Commit to Action
What did you come here seeking to accomplish? Every week, I ask myself ten questions and dedicate time to complete the exercise I call, Last Week from My Perspective, to plan what needs to happen and when.
Sometimes, a writing tool can provide the framework to support our development to take consistent action and notice where to make changes or adjustments to our habits and routines. Over time, consistent action becomes massive action. After two years and over 110 weeks of completing this exercise, I believe this tool can support your journey. You can read more on this exercise and my N.E.T. Action Plan for Productivity in Where the Change Happens, but for now, I want to utilize a few questions to jump-start your action in 2022.
After reviewing all of my completed exercises, beginning in October 2019, these three questions supported how I approached what actions I was taking or avoiding.
Question 6-Action step that must be taken this week. (Write in day planner)
I’ve recently completed my Goals List for next year and realized that I, like many people, have many projects going on simultaneously. Project? Preparation? Write it down and make it a priority to take action this day, and at this time, if necessary, to be that specific.
Question 7- What underlying fear, hesitation, or lack of motivation do I feel about taking action?
The following question is space to state how avoidance or procrastination feels. Some weeks I wrote of my fears:
“In general, looking stupid or unintelligent. Failing and feeling humiliated by my performance. Being rejected for not being good enough. Lack of confidence in my ability.”
“Doing what is uncomfortable. I will hear all rejection and feel like a failure wasting time.”
“Fear of failure to help a coaching client. Fear of doing the actual work of coaching and practicing the new knowledge and skill.”
“Rejection or actually having the work to do.”
Question 8- Are there any exercises I can do to encourage moving through this obstacle?
Acknowledging what is holding me back and triggering comfort and survival mechanisms is a vulnerable benefit when I create space to brainstorm what I can do to encourage action in spite of fear.
Begin designing your path to the change you want to experience. Some of my helpful actions include:
“Be present in each moment and not focus on thinking about unknowns I can’t control or plan for. Show up at 100% and be myself. Be the man people want to spend their time around.”
“How long do I want to sit around and feel good? How much time will I dedicate to my growth and progress? Is the process unbearably uncomfortable? Can I be uncomfortable?”
“What can I do to prepare and practice? What is out of my control? Stop worrying about that which I can do nothing about. Do what I can do.”
“Be open and willing to try, then put myself in the best position to have an enjoyable experience wherever I am.”
“Journal about what I want to get out of ______ and what I want to give.”
“Research what I don’t know and what makes me nervous and or anxious. Educate myself on options and move forward.”
“Lean into having what you want in your life, especially if you enjoy the process and feel energized by doing it. Being afraid to have what you want is the old context. Having what you want is possible and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Look at your results. Take one more step.”
Below is a PDF copy of the exercise. If you’re looking for personal accountability support, try this exercise and see what you can create in your life moving forward. Print and follow the entire exercise today!
The Call to Coaching
In 2022 I will continue training with Accomplishment Coaching in their twelve-month Coach-In-Training program and continue working on my second writing project. I want to share my gratitude that you continue to show up and engage with me where change is possible. I am committed to connecting with and supporting people because life is not easy for any of us, and we’re all doing the best we can and doing the best that we know.
This next year is going to be incredible. Where would you like to see yourself next December? On January 1st gyms will be full of people and New Year’s resolutions. Returning are declarations and well-intentioned mantras that traditionally fall off after a few weeks when life and sore muscles begin to get in the way again. How often do you find yourself affected by this scenario? How often do you keep your goals and continue your forward progress and sustain your motivation throughout the year?
I introduce to you Where the Change Happens Coaching. Your opportunity to deepen your learning and progress with sustainable motivation throughout the year. Join the Captain’s Class and experience how you can be the change for what is possible in your life in 2022. Create your new normal and begin making progress forward today.
Take a moment to imagine the next three months, six months, or year of your life and what you are moving toward or working on. Can you see yourself creating the change you want to see in your life in that timeframe? Where the Change Happens Coaching is available to support your journey now. Click here, and let’s schedule your complimentary coaching session to experience Where the Change Happens Coaching and experience this transformation for yourself.
Be well and happy new year. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Here’s a testimonial from one of my recent clients.
“A major shift I noticed for myself was boundary setting. This really has resulted in me prioritizing how my time is spent and allowed me to see maximum results in the areas I most value, which is family time and community involvement focused on our teenaged population.
I went into the time with Jeremy with no expectations as I was uncertain to what a life coach’s role would actually be. What I found it to be was a very friendly experience, but unlike just discussing my goals with a friend, a coach held me more accountable and asked me to explore things on a deeper level.”
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