Friday, September 26, 2008

Making Molehills Out of Mountains

We'll see if I can make this title work. Humor me for a minute....

How do you work towards a BIG goal when you are already very busy and trying to juggle so much? How do you make some BIG changes that you know will lead you closer to where you want to be in your life when you already feel overwhelmed just from getting through life?

Often times what stops us from doing what we really need to do to get where we say we want to be is the feeling that the goal is unobtainable given your current situation.

Here's the (not-so-secret) secret.

You must turn your 'mountain' goals into mini 'molehill' goals.

Here's an example:

I was working with a client earlier this week on some life and business strategy planning. The primary reason she hired me is because she really wants to be working less hours so she can have more time for her family and for herself. One of her goals is to pick her daughter up from school at 3:00 p.m. each day. At this point in time, that feels totally overwhelming and unattainable since she's so, so busy with her business.

As we are in the midst of creating a strategic plan for her business and building up the infrastructure to take her from home-based, small business mode to office-based, multi-million dollar mode, she just can't get out of the office each day to pick up her daughter and feel good about it.

The mountain: picking up her daughter at 3:00 p.m. each day and being free enough to be present and enjoy the time in mommy mode.

At this time, the mountain feels insurmountable to her.

So, we've made a little molehill to start the ball rolling.

The molehill: picking up her daughter one day a week at 3:00 p.m. and taking the rest of the day off to enjoy time in mommy mode, and perhaps even do something just for herself.

Once we looked at starting with one day a week, my client felt more optimistic (and excited) that what she really wants is achievable.

In order to really support her in taking this day off, we came up with a structure that would help her make this change in her weekly schedule.

  • She chose a day of the week to commit to that would be the least likely to be impacted by travel and meetings (for her it was Wednesday).
  • She shared this commitment with her husband and would also be sharing it with her daughter so that they could help hold her accountable.
  • She asked her husband to support her in this goal by agreeing to take on the Wednesday morning routine with the kids so she can get out the door a bit earlier on the day she needs to leave the office early.
  • She agreed to block out the time on her schedule and hold it as a Very Important Playdate (VIP) with her daughter. This means not scheduling things over it and making sure she gets off calls and wraps-up projects so she can get out the door by 2:45 p.m.
  • She agreed to tell her employees about her commitment so that they too could support her by not forwarding on phone calls later in the day that day and encouraging her to get out the door when she needs to.
Now that she has a made a mini molehill goal out of her larger mountain goal, with some very specific support to help her make this change in her schedule, I am confident that she is on her way to achieving that which she really, really wants (more days of picking up her daughter from school).

Got a mountain of a goal that feels too big and insurmountable to achieve based on your current situation? Want some help finding a good mini molehill to get you started in the right direction? Contact me today to discuss how coaching can support you being your best in both worlds.

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