In ‘A million miles in a thousand years‘, Donald Miller writes:
‘It’s like this when you live a story: The first part happens fast. You throw yourself into the narrative, and you’re finally out in the water; the shore is pushing off behind you and the trees are getting smaller. The distant shore doesn’t seem so far, and you can feel the resolution coming, the feeling of getting out of your boat and walking the distant beach. You think the thing is going to happen fast, that you’ll paddle for a bit and arrive on the other side by lunch. But the truth is, it isn’t going to be over soon.
The night we left Bob’s dock, I didn’t want to paddle through the night or across the wide inlet. We didn’t leave his dock until after midnight, and we had to paddle for hours through the pitch black, and in the middle the inlet was so large and the dark was so dark we couldn’t make out either shore. We had to guide ourselves by stars, each boat gliding close to another, just the sounds of our oars coming in and out of the water to keep us close.’
Miller uses the idea of story to encourage readers to create the life they want, to write their own story, so I see the above paragraphs as being applicable to how we feel about our goals.
When we’ve taken the plunge and started working towards a goal, the first few steps can often be quite easy. We’re full of energy and enthusiasm, maybe visualising what it’s going to be like when we achieve our goal, and we’re feeling keen and focused. As we progress, sometimes that focus gets a little fuzzy. Maybe a couple of things don’t go quite as well as we expected and we feel a bit discouraged.
I like the way Donald Miller uses his companions to keep him on track as he canoes across the water. When my coaching clients set goals, we determine who they are going to look to for support and encouragement. We plan how they will check in with their line manager or a peer or a friend. We agree their level of accountability to me for the actions they’ve decided to take and how/when we will be in touch to see how they’re progressing. We ensure they’ve worked out how to keep their eye on the prize.
Today’s pebble for you to ponder: who is helping you to stay on track with your goal? Who are you helping to stay on track with their goal?
I’d love to hear from you,
ps if you’d like a coach to help you stay on track, why not email me to see how we could work together?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.