Goal Setting

Coaching myself through an "I don't wanna" goal

Coaching myself through an "I don't wanna" goal

I always tell my clients and students, I’m in this with you — working along side you (not above you) to reach my goals as well. So here I am to fess up — my LinkedIn profile page is shit. I have felt little to no interest in updating it in the past and honestly haven’t ever needed to for the success of my business — meaning most of my potential clients aren’t looking for me on LinkedIn, they are hearing about me through word of mouth.

As I was coaching a client on stepping up her game with her own marketing materials, she said that she believes if she cleaned up her LinkedIn profile page it would 100% help her get the valuable side-hustle job that she trusts would support her writing career for the next year or so as she works toward a career as a full-time writer. 

The virtues of practicing

The virtues of practicing

Remember that old saying, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." It's so true — one doesn't just decide to become a master musician and then waltz into Carnegie Hall. It takes years (and years...and years) of practicing one's craft to get to that place in the music world. And it's not just musicianship that requires that kind of dedicated practicing — it pretty much applies to any area of life that you want to excel at.

Let the healing begin

Let the healing begin

Let's just start with the obvious: It's been a tumultuous week. Over the past six months (at the very least), the tension surrounding the presidential election grew increasingly worse on a daily basis until it seemed as if it had reached an untenable peak last Tuesday. Shockingly, things only got worse from there.

Confession: This election wrecked me. I felt as if the foundation of all my ideals as an American, a woman, and a mother came under assault in ways that I'd never imagined. In the aftermath, I've felt deep sadness, frustration, anger, and fear (particularly when it comes to thinking of the results in the context of my 4-year-old daughter, Zoe). Regardless of which side of the coin you fall on, the general mood of the country seems to be one of confusion regarding our future.

Olympic lessons on how to stay driven

Olympic lessons on how to stay driven

The 2016 Summer Olympics just wrapped up on Sunday and this year's games brought us many things: Excitement, inspiration, irritation (there may have been more articles written about NBC's coverage than about the actual Olympians!), and even some controversy (ahem...swimmers...). One thing that remains a constant throughout every Olympiad is the sense of awe that overcomes you when watching the world's most gifted athletes — they seem almost superhuman in their feats. But, the truth is that, beyond their natural talents, the one thing that pushes Olympic athletes to the top is their drive. They want it more than anyone else and are willing to do what it takes to become the best in the world.

Are your goals "goal-worthy?"

Are your goals "goal-worthy?"

I want to discuss the difference between setting a goal for something you want vs. setting a goal based on something that you’ve already been working toward. You know, even once we settle on a goal, it’s quite common to question whether it’s the best goal to be focusing on right now, especially if we have other things happening in our lives and careers. I remember a very specific example of coaching someone through this in one of my previous Path classes — Chris, who was setting a goal for his acting career. Chris had booked a handful of national commercials and he came to the Path Course ready to focus on booking jobs in tv and film, as well as commercials. When creating his one year goal, he was questioning whether or not there should be a part of his goal focused on booking more commercials. After I coached him in class, it became clear to Chris that focusing on commercials did not belong in his goal for this upcoming year. How did he know that this part of his goal was not goal-worthy?

You don't have one true calling...and that's just fine!

You don't have one true calling...and that's just fine!

Not so long ago, a client of mine had seen a TED Talk by a writer and career coach named Emilie Wapnick and compelled me to check it out because it was so connected to what we do at Capes Coaching. Whenever I get this kind of recommendation, I always put it on my Action List, knowing that I'll eventually get to it...usually. But, then a curious thing happened — another client suggested the same thing. And then another client. And another. It was like one of those situations where friends of yours keep telling you that you HAVE to meet some other friend of theirs because everyone thinks that the two of you would really hit it off. So, of course, I watched Emilie's Wapnick's TED Talk...and I got what all the fuss was about.

The Power of Enthusiasm

The Power of Enthusiasm

I was in a coaching session the other day and something came up that, immediately afterward, I thought, "This is something I have to share." My client, a writer, was frustrated because he was showing up every day to commit to his writing, but he wasn't feeling it. Something was missing and he couldn't quite put his finger on it. This is actually something that I uncover all too often in coaching sessions — people doing the right things, making progress toward their goals (or not), but somehow feeling "off" about the entirety of it all. A lot of times, it turns out that they're lacking perhaps the most important part of the process, and that, my friends, is ENTHUSIASM.

Doing The Heavy Lifting

Doing The Heavy Lifting

My family and I moved last week, and let me tell you, I feel lucky to have made it out with my sanity in tact. Anyone who's ever gone through the moving process knows that I'm not being melodramatic here — at some point in the middle of the experience, when you're sitting amidst what feels like mountains of STUFF (boxes, furniture, decor, etc.), the idea of putting your life cohesively back together feels impossible. It can be so overwhelming that you just want to give up in the hopes that someone is going to come along and rescue you (i.e., do the work for you).

The first step

The first step

So, here we are: the first full week of the year, and it feels like it's time to get moving. It's time to kick things into gear. It's time to...do...something. But, what, exactly? If you're like most people, you're ready to make a change in your life right about now. You sailed through the holidays and did your thing — you worked like a maniac to get things done before the end of the year, then you partied and celebrated, then you hopefully relaxed, and the entire time you probably had a little voice in your head reminding you that you didn't really have to worry about anything because you were going to get serious about everything in January. Well, January's here and with it usually comes a great, big question mark. In other words: "What do I do now??"

So, you finally got your goal…now what?

So, you finally got your goal…now what?

So, you finally did it: you reached your goal. After all the hard work, sacrifice, and commitment — the blood, sweat, and tears — you’ve achieved what you set out to do. Congratulations! Now you can just sit back and coast on your laurels until the end of time and all will be lovely and awesome. Right? Eh…no. Sorry.

Now, don’t get me wrong; reaching a goal is something to truly celebrate. I always advocate taking the time upon achieving what you’ve been working toward to enjoy your success, acknowledge your victory, and reward yourself in some way, shape, or form — no matter how small a reward it is. These victories are, after all, often hard fought and won. So, do yourself a favor and give yourself the credit you deserve.

Calling your shot

Calling your shot

Have you ever wanted something so badly but couldn’t envision yourself getting it? Maybe you want to produce your own comedy web-series, or play the Greek Theatre in LA, or have your novel published; whatever it is, sometimes we can imagine these things in the abstract, but when pressed to consider the reality, the vision is hazy at best. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone — I encounter this “syndrome” all the time when coaching, and there’s a very simple antidote to it. It’s called “Assuming Success.” Assuming success is exactly what it sounds like: believing deep down that you will accomplish what it is that you set out to do. Period. I know, I know, right now you’re probably thinking, “Uh, Betsy. That’s it? There must be something you’re forgetting, right?” Well, my friends, that IS all there is to it, but the simplicity of it can be a little deceiving. Otherwise, we’d all be assuming success and wouldn’t have to talk about it.

The power of resources

The power of resources

So, now that you’ve taken the time to figure out what it is that you really want, it’s on to making to-do lists with all kinds of actions for you to take. Just kidding. While that may be your gut reaction, let’s hold off on THAT kind of list for the moment. Instead, I’d like you to focus on a different kind of list – a RESOURCE list. Before we go any further, let’s take a quick second to define what I mean when I’m talking about resources. In this context, resources are people, places, things, even attitudes and philosophies — anything that you have at your disposal to help get you closer to reaching your goals. I’m a firm believer that you already have most of the resources that you need to get what you want, it’s simply a matter of how you choose to organize and utilize them. That’s a pretty empowering idea, isn’t it?

Good Will Goal-Setting

Good Will Goal-Setting

Here we are…third week of the New Year, feeling pumped, ready to go for it…whatever IT is. So, "How are you going to get your goals?" is the next logical question, right? Wrong.

The most common way I see artists self-sabotage when it comes to goal setting is by getting too caught up in how they will get their goal while they are creating the goal itself. Goal setting is a two-step process, and the first step — actually coming up with and defining your goal — must come before the second step, which is creating the plan for how to achieve the goal. And the truth is that the second part is not a prophecy, it’s not an absolute; it’s a guide, a structure. But you will never know exactly how anything is going to work out. I see so many artists hedge their bets on their goals, because they’re afraid of the unknown. Just remember that when creating the goal itself, you’re answering the question, “What do I want?” not, “How will I get what I want?” There’s a world of difference between the two.

Time to eat that frog!

Time to eat that frog!

Are you the master of starting lots of projects? Do you choose to do other tasks that seem easier when you know there's something else you really should be doing with your time? Let's face it, we can be experts at getting everything done but the most important task at hand — that's usually the one that hangs over us for days, weeks, sometimes even months before we get started. And the longer it festers, the longer we feel like ____ (I was gonna say poop, but you go ahead and fill in the blank).

Danger: Multi-Goal Syndrome!

MULTI-GOAL SYNDROMEnoun An Affliction commonly found amongst actors, artists, and creative professionals. Symptoms include frustration, burnout, and applying to law school. May be contagious.

Forrest GumpLet's talk Multi-Goal Syndrome. I know, it sounds like some kind of chronic disease and, in a way, it is, because it can certainly be fatal to your career. Multi-Goal Syndrome refers to having a ton of different interests and goals without having a tangible, organized plan for how to achieve any of them. This is such a common issue, especially in the arts, where creativity tends to outpace practicality, and people aspire to become multi-hyphenates.

I think it’s great to have different interests and skills, and it’s important to have a sense of ambition, a desire to conquer the world. But the reality is this: you can do anything, but you can’t do everything at once. What ends up happening is that you spread yourself too thin across so many different areas, and you never see enough real progress towards any of your goals. It’s a quick trip to frustration.

How do you know if you have Multi-Goal Syndrome? The most obvious symptom is feeling stuck, because you have a lot of goals that all feel equally important, and you can’t decide where to focus your attention. The solution to this issue is that you have to force yourself to prioritize, which can feel like an impossibility, I know. But you could narrow it down if you had to, and — trust me — if you want to make some progress, you have to.

I’m not saying that you have to take fifteen different focuses and choose only one. I’m talking about getting it down to five or, better yet, three. Remember, the purpose of goal setting is to help you focus, not overwhelm you, so you want to give yourself the time and space to explore one goal at a time. The thought of doing this, however, can trigger another symptom of Multi-Goal Syndrome: the fear of commitment. This is something that rears its head in the coaching room on a constant basis, a fear that, by committing to only one goal, all of your other goals will vanish forever. There’s a false sense of limiting yourself and your potential when, in reality, you’re actually giving yourself the freedom to realize your potential rather than being buried under the weight of too many options. When you’re throwing yourself in every possible direction, just hoping that something — anything — will work out, everything becomes more difficult. Networking is hard, marketing is hard, balancing your life and career is hard. The entire business becomes hard, because you don’t know what to do with your time and energy in order to make even the slightest amount of progress.

If all of this sounds good to you in theory, but the thought of focusing on one goal still makes your stomach clench, then think about it this way: you will be setting hundreds, maybe even thousands, of goals throughout your life. When you focus on one, it won’t be the end-all-be-all goal in your life. But you have to start somewhere in order to get to the rest of those goals.

So, what’s the most important goal to you right now? One thing I’ve learned over the years from growing my own business is that we accomplish ten times as much when we focus on one goal at a time, rather than trying to cover too many bases at once. By prioritizing our goals, we ground ourselves, making it less of a possibility that we’ll lose sight of what we’re working towards and, of course, creating a greater likelihood of success.

If you suffer from Multi-Goal Syndrome, I challenge you to focus your attention on one goal over the course of this next week. No matter how impossible it seems, just give it your best shot — I think you'll be pleasantly surprised do discover what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it!