What do you Want? (Part II)

What do you Want & How will you get it? (Part II)


“When you are clear, what you want will begin to show up in your life, and only to the extent you are clear.” –Janet Bray Attwood, co-author of The Passion Test.

After reading my last blog, you have spent some time defining what you want.  Now I will put before you some things to consider to get even greater clarity, based on the premise, stated earlier, that the more clear you are the more easily your objectives will manifest.

This first questions is:  Is your outcome a large global outcome or is it a manageable chunk size?  It is important to look at the “chunk size” or your outcome.  For example if my goal is to play the piano at Carnegie Hall and I have never played the piano, this might be too big a chunk size for me.  Chunk size is an individual thing, and you will know if it is too big because the outcome will feel daunting and your energy will wane when you think about working on it.  It is fine to have a large goal like playing the piano at Carnegie Hall. And if it feels too big, you can employ the NLP technique known as “chunking down” to accomplish your goal.  Then you get to chunk it down to what feels to you like a manageable chunk size.  So I may state my ultimate goal is to play the piano at Carnegie Hall, but my outcome at this point is to learn to play proficiently.  And if that is my long-term goal, I can chunk down more to taking lessons and practicing regularly.  When it begins to feel easy and doable, then I know that I have chunked down sufficiently.  Then my next question becomes what is the first step?

Next question: what is the time-frame?  Perhaps you are an attorney and your outcome is to raise the amount of money billed.  You will want to be very clear about the specific amount and by when.  How much money do you want to bill this month? next month? the next fiscal year?  Remember the more precise you are, the easier it will be to achieve your outcome.


Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.   –John F. Kennedy

Now you have thoroughly defined your “what”, let’s move on to why.  I believe “why” is a critical piece to maintaining motivation.  If you are an attorney and your outcome is to have 2 more associates working for your firm, ask yourself why you want it.  It may turn out you want it because you consider “success” as a lawyer to mean having associates who work for you.  Upon examination, you may realize this definition of success is not really important to you.  Realizing up front that this is your reason, you will see that it may not keep you motivated in the long run.  If, however, you want associates because you have a lot of work and you love working with others and you want to build a practice that can serve many people, this will be your motivation moving forward.  If that feels powerful and motivating as a purpose, it will give you the energy to keep moving toward your goal.

Another question you might ask is, what will having this outcome get you?  Knowing what you are really after is also valuable in giving you the energy to move forward.  What is your ultimate purpose in going after this outcome?  Make sure your outcome is worthwhile i.e. something that truly has a useful, positive impact on your life whether directly, or by proxy by enhancing the lives of others around you.

This is a good time to also check and see if there is any part of you not aligned with the outcome.  Assume that you would already have it if there was not something in your way.  What is that?  What would you have to give up to get it?  Let’s go back to the attorney who wants to hire two associates.  Why hasn’t she?  She may realize she does not want to give up her independence and control.  This doesn’t mean she cannot move forward toward this goal.  It just is something to become aware of.

Now you have fully defined what you want and why you want it.  Next month, I will begin discussing questions of how you will get your outcome, and what barriers might arise.

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching attorneys and management since early 2008. She wrote a book, published by the American Bar Association, "Coaching for Attorneys: Improving Productivity and Achieving Balance." She coaches attorneys and managers one-on-one, and provides in-house training designed to improve productivity and bring accountability to the organization.

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