Goal setting rules for success from life coach Sharon Pearson

Goal setting rules for success from life coach Sharon Pearson

Having your dreams come true isn't the stuff of making wishes and keeping your fingers crossed. Goal setting is what will see magic results.

Pulling a well-thumbed diary from her bag in Melbourne on May 13, Sharon Pearson dived into why goal setting rules for success are vital in life coaching.

And not just in business.

Sharon, who founded The Coaching Institute in 2004 and has seen it grow into a multi-million dollar global brand, also sets personal goals every year, 90 days, week and day.

Sure, that’s a lot of goals, but Sharon swears by them. Here’s how she comes up with and sticks to them, as she told head trainer Matt Lavars in a TCI members’ group class:

SET A THEME

When champagne corks are popping on New Year’s Eve, Sharon is never just congratulating herself on having a great year or looking for someone to dance with. She’s analysing mentally what she achieved, if it meant real progress and how it sets her up for the new year.

Then she sets a theme for the coming 365 days. Just don’t ask her what it is: she doesn’t tell “because I don’t want anyone coming and saying, ‘You’re not living it.’

Choosing the theme means looking back on the past year, asking, “How did I grow, I let myself down here, where do I need to build?” Sharon said.

“It takes hours of conversation with my husband JP, figuring out what that year needs to be. It’s about momentum and progress and purpose.

“The theme comes out of necessity, not possibility, and that trickles through hopefully into many things.”

Sharon admits the chosen theme isn’t always successful: “One year it was ‘consolidation’ and we went into more debt than we ever had!”

Sharon Pearson at desk

The nest step in goal setting rules for success in life coaching? You'll need to go internal.

COMMIT TO A PURPOSE

“I do a slow waltz with my values, then my theme, then I do a purpose statement that informs what my goals are going to be ,” said Sharon, flipping through the diary for exact wording of this year’s version (which was changed in 2020 after being the same for 15 years.)

The purpose takes Sharon about two weeks to write, as she drills down into what's important, and crafts her words to best suit.

The 2020 purpose uses her legal name: “I Remi, see, hear, feel and know the purpose of my life is to awaken and live my true self."

Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson also advocates writing down goals on New Year's Eve, saying in a 2019 blog post "the simple act of writing it down will help you stick to it."

But he said not to commit to just January goals.

“Some of Virgin’s most successful companies have been born from random moments. ... No matter how big, small, simple or complex your idea is, get it in writing. It doesn’t matter if you use a pen and notebook or your iPhone—if you have a record of it, you’re more likely to make it happen."

Then comes the actual meat and potatoes:

GOAL SETTING:

Sharon sets up to 15 personal and business goals (including a WIG, or Wildly Important Goal) every year, from those that are “close and inclusive and emotionally intimate with my friends” to sprawling professional ones.

Her first goal is about her total self then it chunks down to the others “I know the least” such as contributing to charities.

“My number one this year would be to emotionally express myself fully and truthfully.”

The bestelling Ultimate You author tries “really hard” not to set goals that rely on others, and aims to make them about progress and growth, like her theme.

The yearly goals are broken down into the 90 day, weekly and daily time frames, all of which are written and finished before the time period kicks off.

Planning for long term growth means you can’t keep acting in a short term way with short term fixes that will fail because they raise anxiety, then a goal becomes just to get out of anxiety rather than move forward.

“I’ve been playing a long game for a long time,” said Sharon.

“It’s what you do every day consistently that will get you to January in phenomenal shape.”

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