We support our clients to take committed action on a daily basis as well as setting larger goals. Action is about having goals that we want to achieve and things which we need to do in the here and now. We work with our clients to establish goals that meet their purposes and define the things that they will need to do on a daily basis to achieve those goals.
When setting up committed action we start by understanding how and why our clients have set goals in the past. We can elicit this by asking:
What goals have you set and succeeded in achieving? This question can tell us what is important to our clients.
What goals have you set and not acted on or failed to achieve? We want to look at all the different categories.
What has been inspiring? We are looking for reasons or drivers – spurs to action.
What has been a barrier? Again we are looking for reasons.
We may find that the barriers are quite large and the inspiration small. We are trying to help our clients reverse this order. There is a big goal ahead but we need our clients to take daily steps to achieve that.
Once we have done this we need to break these goals down. Most of us have a bias towards establishing big-picture goals (and perhaps being so overwhelmed we don’t achieve them) or towards setting tiny goals through fear of failure.
Some of us are biased toward holding grand plans that are so far away. We become overwhelmed and can’t make progress. Others may be afraid to set big goals and are biased toward small-scale goals that are uninspiring. When clients hold their plans so close we assist them to move them out a little a bit. With clients who have grand plans we aim to move them toward smaller, step-by-step committed actions instead of being overwhelmed by the enormity of what needs to be done.
We want to help our clients establish robust goals that align with their biases, not too far away or too close. In the words of the fairy tale, we want to help our clients nominate actions that are not too big, not too small, but ‘just right’ for them.
The first steps in committed action are to help our clients establish suitable actions, understand their biases in choosing these actions, and move forward.
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