A 2-minute read outlining 3 steps to help you manage change and achieve career goals
“A goal without a plan is just a wish” – Antoine de Saint Exupery
When I started my coaching business as a full-time mum, snatching every nook and cranny of time, the idea that I’d one day be delivering a TEDx talk seemed like a distant dream. But even with relatively modest goals at the outset, it became clear pretty quickly that, with work-time so limited, it was critically important to have a clear vision of what I wanted and a strong motivation for getting there. I also discovered the rewards of being flexible: creating more time by giving up something uninspiring (like back to back TV), or re-organising my daily tasks into priority order.
For the “Big Goals” I found 2 helpful tools:
Sometimes referred to as a Dream Board, but ‘Goal Board’ better describes the visual representation of a tangible, achievable plan. In other words, set out what you want, and when, and the small steps to progress in between so you can see your achievements and tick them off along the way. If possible, put it straight in front of you at your desk, tuck a copy in your journal etc, so it motivates and drives you forward each day – as well as reminding you why you’re doing it!
…for the days when you may be lacking that drive to get on with those all-important tasks. Similar to a Goal Board, use it to display visual images of your own achievements to date, so you can be reminded you are a person of value, feel proud and find the motivation to carry on. Celebrate it!
“You run the day or the day runs you” – Jim Rohn
Break down the ‘Big Goals’ into daily plans. Prioritise the importance of tasks into Eisenhower’s 4 Ds: Do- Diarise- Delegate – Delete, another way of thinking about ‘urgent’, ‘important’ and ‘to do’. Be prepared to carry over some of the ‘to do’ list to another day if it means the critically important tasks are attended to first.
It really helped me to spend Sunday evenings planning each weekday before they happened. It meant that if I got a rare and unexpected extra 10 minutes during the day, I could get straight to work and know precisely what needed doing, on what particular day, AND in what order of importance.
Planning is nothing without action…
A good way to drive action and momentum into your business, over and above following a good plan, is to know “your why”. Powerful enough motivation will fire your drive to act upon it. If you normally start your day at 6am, ask: “what gets me up at 5am?” Once you have isolated “your why” and established a powerful, emotional connection to it, implementing your action plan will become more instinctive, more passionate, and you will act with unshakeable conviction. Being super-clear about your motives will propel yourself and the plan forward.
“Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world” Harriet Tubman
As a coach who specialises in helping women manage career change and progression, one of my greatest rewards is helping them see that they already have every tool they need to make it happen. And the more life experience we’ve had, rough and smooth, gives us more resources to draw on.
So be authentic, never stop learning or growing as a person, and be open to new opportunities. Challenge yourself to think differently about your current situation and, for right or wrong, the habits you have developed over a lifetime and upon which you have become reliant.
You can achieve your goals – you just might have to change the way you look at things first. It’s like that feeling of revisiting a childhood haunt which suddenly seems smaller than we remember…. No longer a mountain but actually an easily navigable hill.
So change your thinking, change your actions – and change your life.
Nikki Alderson Biography
Nikki Alderson has 19 years’ experience at the Criminal Bar in Yorkshire, working from Broadway House Chambers, Bradford & Leeds. Nikki now works as a specialist Coach, Speaker and Author:
- Supporting organisations, in particular law firms & barristers’ Chambers, to retain female talent; &
- empowering professionals, in particular female lawyers, to achieve career ambitions.
Nikki specialises in 3 areas:
- Women’s Leadership Transition & Change;
- Enhanced Career break returner support; &
- Workplace resilience, confidence & wellness.
Although Nikki’s work focuses predominantly on one to one coaching within the workplace, she also delivers motivational keynote speeches & bespoke seminars, workshops and webinars on a variety of topics, such as Wellbeing, The Importance of Career Strategy, Breaking the Barriers to being your Best at the Bar/ on the Bench & Increasing Personal Performance at Work for a Long & Happy Life in Law. Learn more about her services here: www.nikkialdersoncoaching.com
She is the author of Amazon No.1 Bestseller Raising the Bar: empowering female lawyers through coaching , (https://amzn.to/3fodKQX) nominee for the Inspirational Women Awards, Champion of the Year Category & finalist in the 2020 Women in Law Awards, Legal Services Innovator of the Year & 2019 International Coaching Awards, International Coach of the Year Categories.