Every new year millions of resolutions are made. Most people’s resolutions center around improving themselves or their lives in one way or another. These millions start the year inspired, motivated and yet according to a study by Richard Wiseman at the University of Bristol about 88% of people who make resolutions fail. The world is full of people who have drive, determination and higher aspirations. It is full of people who say they know what they want, and even sometimes know how to get there. The fact is making changes is harder than one thinks. Being motivated helps, and certainly being prepared goes a long way, as does coming up with a realistic and step-based plan. However, life being what it is, and habits being what they are, even the those armed with the best of intentions often find themselves months later wondering what happened to their plan to do “X.”
This is where a coach could really help. In sports a coach is someone with great technical knowledge who has the ability to teach others how to apply said knowledge, and the capacity to motivate them to to persist through the immense effort that is required to achieve athletic greatness. According to B. Mackenzie¹, the role of an athletic coach is to “create the right conditions for learning to happen and to find ways of motivating the athletes.” He goes on to say that in order to provide that kind of environment an athletic coach has to wear many different hats – advisor, mentor, teacher, counselor, fact-finder, planner, facilitator and more. The same can be said of a any kind of coach. When it comes to life goals, a coach’s job is to help people identify what they truly want and to help them create a realistic plan of action. That’s just the beginning though, beyond the initial plan the coach’s role is to keep you motivated, to work with you to understand and overcome the barriers life and you set in your way, to keep you accountable and of course to help you revise your plan when necessary.
A coach acts as an extension of your will; keeping you on track, helping you to do what it is you say you want, helping you be who you say you should be. Their working assumption is that every client is capable and worthy of change, and simply needs help to find the right path to reach their goals. Truth is most people could benefit from coaching, which is not to say that everyone needs a coach. But if you find yourself making the same goals or resolutions year after year, or repeatedly saying how much you want to change this one thing in your life, maybe you might just consider getting a coach to help you move forward.
¹ MACKENZIE, B. (2005) Coaching Roles and Skills [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/coachsr.htm [Accessed 10/6/2013]