Do you ever wish you had a magic wand which could instantly transform your success at work?
Many of us started 2023 by looking ahead and enthusiastically planning what we’d like to achieve but, our good intentions may already be fading. If this is you, the MAGIC of reflective coaching can get you right back on track.
Reflective coaching empowers you to take responsibility for your own performance and your own achievements. It helps you define and achieve meaningful goals by increasing your self-awareness and articulating what is really important for you, and then creating a plan to help you gain success personally and professionally.
The MAGIC Methodology, outlined here, leads you through a simple 5 stages, Mirror, Aspirations, Goals, Ideas and Commitments, and enables you to benefit from coaching’s transformational powers by being your own coach.
Follow these steps to create fabulous results and transform your performance this year.
Begin by holding up a metaphorical mirror and reflecting on your current situation. What is happening at the moment? Reputedly, Einstein declared “if I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about the solution.” If you spend enough time considering your current situation and really understanding what is happening and why, then your ability to achieve future success is dramatically enhanced.
Firstly, celebrate what went well last year and acknowledge all that you achieved. What are you pleased with, and proud of? What were your key accomplishments? Why and how were you able to be successful in these areas? What did you do which really worked well?
Then, consider things which didn’t go so well. Look back with self-compassion as you acknowledge things you are less pleased with, or not so proud of. Where did you fall short of your goals? Where was your performance less successful than you had planned? Be kind to yourself here: the point is not to beat yourself up, but to consider what you can learn, to build your success in the year ahead.
Understanding our current situation is a critical element of achieving future success, but it’s often overlooked in our rush to get started. Think about organising a journey. You can’t plan your route, without knowing where you are starting from.
Next, consider what you want to see when you look in this mirror. Imagine yourself at the end of this year. What achievements would you love to see reflecting back at you?
If you could wave a magic wand, what would you really like to achieve? What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Dream big as you explore your aspirations for the months ahead, at home and at work, and make sure these aspirations reflect and embody your personal values. What is really important to you?
The power of visualising your success has long been recognised in professional sport, building on the idea that thought precedes action. The great boxer Muhammed Ali has been quoted as saying “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” Imagine your future success as clearly as you can: use all your senses – try and see it, feel it, hear it, taste it and smell it. Capture your thoughts by writing a description of your achievements, or create a collage or mood board to represent them. Try crafting a ‘personal vision statement’ or choose one word for the year to represent your best life in 2023.
Now you have a picture of what success looks like for you, use this to create specific, tangible goals, with milestones to mark your progress. Specifically, what will you achieve and by when? How will you know when you have achieved these goals? Use the SMART pneumonic to check your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound. The end result will be a set of clear goals, linked to your wider aspirations and aligned with your values and priorities.
The next stage is to build your plan. Begin by exploring a range of ideas for ways to achieve these goals. What could you potentially do? What are your options? Who has worked towards a similar goal and could offer help and advice? How much time and resources are available to you? What are the obstacles and barriers you may encounter and how might you overcome these? Generate a good list of ideas before evaluating your options and selecting the ideas which will work best for you.
Finally, complete the process by incorporating these ideas into a clear action plan and making some specific commitments. What will you commit to doing, and when, to successfully achieve these goals you have so carefully defined? Make your first step very specific, and start with some ‘quick wins’, actions which require little effort but bring big rewards.
Now you have a plan, here are some tips to keep yourself motivated along the way:
- Diarise dedicated time to regularly assess your progress and reflect on what is working, and what isn’t.
- Display your aspirations, goals and plans where you see them every day.
- Put actions and deadlines in your calendar, with alerts and reminders.
- Share your MAGIC plans with some supportive people to be your coaching buddies.
- Focus on one or two things at a time: don’t overcommit.
- Be consistent. Do something every day, even for 5 minutes. Tiny steps soon add up.
- Don’t give up if you miss a deadline. Tomorrow is another day.
- Remember why you’re doing this, remember your wider aspirations & goals.
- Celebrate every success.
These 5 MAGIC steps can guide you through the reflective coaching process, helping assess your current situation, identify your ideal outcomes, set specific goals, explore potential ideas and create a plan of action, empowering you to take responsibility for your own development and dramatically increasing your chances transforming your performance in 2023.
I wish you every success.
About the author
Rosie Nice is the founder of MAGIC Coaching. She runs coach training programmes and spends much of her time helping organisations build a coaching culture, sharing the transformational results coaching can create. Rosie is also author of new book The MAGIC Happens in the Silence, a guide to the art of reflective coaching.