When I knew it was time to reach a certain financial goal of mine, I decided to work with a coach.  I already had a vision of what I wanted to do and I knew coaching would help me focus and get there faster.  Today there are coaches for many facets of life: personal life coaches, marriage coaches, financial coaches, health coaches, career coaches, executive coaches, and more.  Interestingly, the word coach has roots in the Hungarian word, “kocsi,” for “carriage.”  In the 1800s at Oxford students referred to their tutors with the slang word “coach,” which implied that the tutor would somehow carry the student through his studies.  Today we are are familiar with coaches for athletes, but perhaps we are less aware of how coaching is available to us and why we might consider hiring a coach to achieve our own goals.  

Coaches are support for anyone working to achieve a specific goal.  A coach is unlikely to remove a shroud of mystery around what you want to achieve, so if you do not yet have a fairly clear idea of your goal, you might have to do some soul searching before going to a coach.  For example, thinking it would be great to get fit in 2014? Decide on how you will get fit.  Do you want to improve your eating habits by cooking more meals at home?  Do you want to explore a new diet? How much weight will you lose and by what date you will shed the pounds?  Your coach will be a support system as you begin your personal journey.  A coach may even challenge you to try something different, learn something new, or help you take a different approach.  You should be able to go to your coach for guidance, support, and resources.  Resources include other professionals.  You’ve heard the saying that there is no “I” in team.  A good coach will recognize where her expertise lies and know that she is not the only player on your team.  When it is time to refer to another professional, your coach will be sure help you with that.

My experience as a coachee has helped me focus on my goal.  I had the drive before I started, but now with the help of my coach I have begun to learn at an accelerated rate.  When I inevitably get bogged down, have questions, or move off track, my coach is there to point me in the right direction.  When you consider a coach, do not be afraid to ask questions before using his or her service.  For example, you will want to be sure that your coach has experience in what it is you are trying to achieve.  Would you ask a person with stage fright how to improve your public speaking skills? I doubt it! Ask your potential coach about her daily practices, her philosophies and her accomplishments.  Where was she trained and why does that give her expertise? Even though you might regard this person as the “expert,” it is still okay to question her.  Remember, you’ll be doing most of the work on your journey toward your goal and your inner voice will guide you. Your coach is there to help you hear your inner voice and it is a good idea to ask any questions you need to find the coach who is the best fit for you.

As I chase down my own goals, I get more excited about the New Year than ever before for two reasons. First, I enjoy looking back on what I have achieved and how I have moved closer to any unmet goals.  Second, I can begin to set new goals for the upcoming year and learn from any unmet goals or mistakes I think I made.  As you move forward in the New Year, whatever you intend to do, I wish you the very best and that you may have another year filled with happiness, health and fulfillment.  Here’s to a New Year!


12/24/2013 3:57am

Love to hear how this journey goes for you! Best of luck in the new year :)


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    Jennifer Loebel