Getting What You Want: A Lesson in Self-Coaching

What do you want?

Is it more money?
A better relationship?
A job you love?

Think of something and write it down right now. Before you go forward with this blog post.

I’ll do it with you.

I want to feel healthy. I want to be free of pain in my body. (Recently, I’ve noticed a variety of areas in my body that are starting to hurt me.)

Let’s use a tool that helps me (and my clients) get what we want. The tool consists of two parts. The first part asks you to be very clear about what you want. And the second part has you figure out why you want it.

Part I – Your Outcome

Let’s go back to the thing you said you wanted. Let’s call it your “outcome.” The ultimate thing you are aiming for. Let’s flesh it out.

You might ask:

How will I know when I have it?
What are the elements of it?
How big is it?
When do I want it?

Going back to mine, the way I will know I have my outcome is I won’t have pain in my body. As to the second question (elements), it’s very helpful for me because I have this amorphous sense of “pain in my body“ but when I look at it and can name the parts of my body that hurt, that helps me to address them separately, and not feel so overwhelmed and hopeless. This is a part of the answer to the question “how big is it?” because it feels very big when I say “pain in my body.” But it feels more manageable when I break it down in to parts. When do I want it? Honestly I want it NOW. But the point is to set an end goal for myself to aim for, to commit to. I’m going to say, by the end of 2024 I will be pain-free or at least significantly on my way.

What does this do for us – to flesh it out? There are neurological studies showing that when you are very clear on something, your brain focuses on it and you are more likely to get it. So the more questions you ask yourself about your outcome, the more likely you are to get it. This is partly because you become very clear on what it is you want, and partly because your brain starts to look for answers.

Part II – Your Why

“Why” tends to be motivational and purpose-driven for most people. If you consider the things you want and have not got so far, it may be that you lost sight of why you wanted them. So write down your “why.” Try to dig very deeply by asking yourself:

Why do I want this?
What will that do for me?
Why do I want that? and then follow up with, Why do I want that? until you get to the very bottom. (An example might be money. Why do I want it? To be free. Why do I want to be free? So I can do the things I want that I’m not currently doing. Why do I want that? To live a life of purpose. The question becomes what is most compelling? What feels strongest? Freedom, purpose? Keep going until you can feel it.)

For me, I want to be pain-free for a variety of reasons. One is I don’t like pain; and two it limits the things I feel that I can do. My first “why” is comfort and the second is living my life to the fullest. When I ask which is most compelling for me, it’s living my life to my fullest. Hands down. I love all the aspects of life and I want to keep living it fully as I get older. I can feel that deeply as my “why.”

Once I am very clear on my outcome and my purpose, then I ask how to do it. (Often people start with how, but that’s not the easiest or most efficient way to do it.)

So now I keep my very clear written outcome in front of me and even make it more clear as I go toward my destination. It will keep me on track. It will keep me from wandering off to pursue something else.

If I keep my purpose or my “why” in front of me, that will help me to stay inspired about the ultimate goal. And that will help me stay committed.

OK. So now you have your outline of the fully fleshed out outcome and your purpose. Ask yourself, what is the first step? Get an accountability partner. Let me know how it goes.

For more on this tool, please join us on June 4, 2024 at 12-1:30 Pacific, for our Game Changer Workshop on Purpose and Outcome.

About the Author

Picture of Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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