Let’s talk about progress

I recently wrote this piece on the Life Coach Directory about what to do when you aren’t seeing any progress towards your goals. In it, I share 10 strategies to help you reflect and assess where you find yourself, and to help you move forward – and to be kind to yourself while doing it. For me, I’m increasingly learning that kindness coupled with gentle accountability is far more effective than hard deadlines or backing myself into corners with intimidating public declarations. I find a dose of self-compassion helps me to keep calm and motivated, enabling a sense of fulfilment and momentum that is far more encouraging than berating myself for what I haven’t done. I’m learning that a slower pace is ok, and to trust that I have the capability and internal resources to step up when those more frenzied or ‘forced’ spurts and leaps forward do arise. [Full transparency: I say learning! It’s still a work in progress for me and not something I get right all the time!]

When coaching clients, any actions or next steps are important to identify, as it provides clarity of what ‘moving forward’ means for them in that moment, and a tangibility that will help them observe and measure what comes next. Some clients come to coaching specifying a desire for it to create accountability. However it’s not about setting homework. The next steps should come from them, and the accountability will always, at the end of the day, sit with that individual. If a client arrives at the next session having not done what they set out to do, sometimes that causes them to express a sheepish sense of being a ‘bad client’. Let me reassure you: there is zero judgement, disappointment or expectation. Rather, it gives us an area to explore with compassionate curiosity. What got in the way? How do they feel about not having done ‘the thing’? What felt important about ‘the thing’? Does that still feel important today? What happened instead? What did they do? 


With some exploration and reflection, we can often find that we are in fact making progress in our own way, however slowly. Elimination is progress. Changing tactics is progress. Failure is progress. Exploding with rage and frustration and realising something needs to change is progress. Recognising how you really feel is progress. Tweaking one tiny thing in your daily routine for the better is progress. 


You moving forward more than you think you are. 


If you would like to read a little more about this topic, I spoke to Happiful magazine for their Ask The Expert section, which you can read a version of here or on the Happiful app (issue 73 2023).

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