How do You Choose?

When people come to coaching they are often clear on what they want. Their big question is usually how to get it. There are so many choices in life. Choices of how to grow your business. Choices of who to hire and how to create the firm culture you want. Choices of how to spend your time in a day. Where to go and what to do. Family, work, self, community.

How do you choose?

My best answer is purpose. Purpose and vision.

The best thing you can do to direct your actions is to find out why you want what you want. And why you are doing what you are doing. Why are you making these choices? And what choices align best with what you want?

For example, at the beginning of my day I might ask, “What do I want from this day?” This is very different from just getting up and going to work and interacting with family and seeing what happens. What do I want to have at the end of the day?

• To have a good relationship with my kids and my spouse
• To have brought in one more client to my business
• To have helped my assistant with her time management
• To have a good level of energy

If these are the outcomes I want at the end of my day, then I can make my choices in alignment with those outcomes. I will be directed. I will be purposeful. I will probably make different choices than if I did not ask these questions. I might get up and want a donut for breakfast, but I know if my ultimate outcome is good energy throughout my day, I will make different choices. I might be nervous about the press of business and want to get up and go without spending time with my family. But if my outcomes are to not only have a good relationship with my family, but to bring in one more client and to help my assistant with time management, I can ask myself what I will do in the morning that is most likely to get those results.

Each step of the day, I ask, “What do I do now that advances my outcomes?” And with each choice before me, I ask, “Does this choice get me what I want?” Or if I am making a choice I may also ask, “Why am I doing this? And does it align with what I say I want?” Why am I eating the donut? It tastes good. Maybe I will choose something else that tastes good, but will give me the energy I want.

Try it and see:

1. Name the outcomes you want at the beginning of a day, a week, a meeting a conversation. Make choices based on your commitment to that outcome.

2. Ask yourself in your moments and your choices, why am I doing this? Does it advance an outcome I truly desire?
If you are interested in learning more about how to be purposeful throughout your day, or if you are interested in discovering your life purpose and/or your business purpose, we have a book study series coming in September that will help you do just that.

This is a book study on purpose creation, how to use a purpose to create motivation and direction, and also creating a vision (for whatever time frame) that is in alignment with purpose. It is also about being purposeful in everything so you are intentional and effective.

What does it mean to know YOUR purpose?

Knowing the reason for doing what you are doing (purpose) generates

Effective time management– you will be purposeful and directed and get more done in a shorter time
Clear and intentional communication– in being purposeful and directed, you will have effective communication and create better results
Ability to get what you want – quickly

From prior participants. Knowing my purpose…

  1. Allows me to make very strategic decisions in my personal life and business
  2. Helps me decide what to do when I am making difficult decisions
  3. Helps me decide what NOT to do, saving me time and making me more directed and fulfilled
  4. It is easier to say “no” to things that I don’t want to do, because I have identified that it does not serve my purpose
  5. For the activities that I say “yes” to, I look to my purpose to find the “why” and that helps me stay committed to my decisions
  6. Writing my purpose helped me to understand myself better and make changes in my practice that align with who I am and what I truly want


Purpose is a guiding principle that will help you understand what is most important in your life and help you make choices in keeping with that importance. Knowing your purpose will enable you to live all areas of your life with greater meaning, which in turn makes decision-making easier, and results in greater fulfillment overall. Knowing and living your purpose will assist you in ‘taking a stand’ against other people’s (and your own) drifts.…Your purpose provides you with a central guidance system, which makes you less likely to be swayed by other people’s agendas or to get off track.” (Coaching for Attorneys, Chapter 9, Purpose and Vision) We use the Coaching for Attorneys book, but the tools are applicable in all professions and areas of life.

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About the Author

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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