How to Help Your Clients Achieve Their Goals
Everyone wants to achieve one goal or the other. For one, it might be to overcome an addiction that is putting a dent on their life. For another, it might be to increase their business income by a certain percentage within a certain time frame. And yet, another person wants to achieve some level of fitness or healthy lifestyle. We all have goals we want to achieve.
For most people, they feel overwhelmed by the kind of goal they want to achieve. The thought of it alone scares the devil out of them. In the midst of overwhelm, they get a hint that a coach can help them achieve their goal. What a relief that would be for them.
Clients come to you with high hopes that you can help them achieve their goals. To make sure their hopes are not dashed and the risk of losing your business reputation is reduced, you have to apply the strategies I will list below:
1. Ensure Their Goals Are SMART
This is not a new concept. It was developed by George Doran in 1981. He introduced SMART goals to help organizations improve their chances of success in achieving a set goal. However, over the years, the concept has also been helpful for individual goal achievement.
Now, SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Based on this concept, any goal that will stand a chance to be actualized must satisfy these five conditions:
It must be specific: You have to make sure that there is a tangible thing that your clients want to achieve. The more specific they get about their goals, the bigger the chances of achieving them. Goals set on vague terms can never be achieved.
For instance, a client comes to you and says their goal is to become a millionaire soon. That goal is not specific. However, making $50K a month from their business for the next two years is more specific. They will still end up millionaires, but with something to focus on as they go.
Also, having a client say “I want to lose weight” is not a specific goal. Losing 50 lbs. in 6 weeks is more specific.
Being specific with goals gives the client something tangible to work on. And hence, achieving the goal becomes feasible and measurable.
It must be measurable: There has to be something that will be seen, heard, or felt to tell that the goal is achieved. There has to be a metric in place that will confirm that the goal has been achieved. What would have taken place before the goal is said to have been achieved?
For someone who wants to quit smoking, staying away from the sticks for 6 months straight could be a way to measure success. The time could be less or more, but there has to be a tangible yardstick that will indicate that a goal has been achieved.
It must be Attainable: This is where you get realistic with the client. For example, you can’t say you want to be a billionaire in two years when you can barely make $10K a month right now in your business.
Attention has to be paid on the factors that will aid success. You have to weigh the input to be made against the results to be achieved. You need to make sure they have the time, money, skill, and drive to make their goal a reality.
It’s okay to shoot for the stars, but be sure they have enough propellant to take them there.
It must be Relevant: You must ascertain their motive for setting the goal. If the motive is irrelevant, the goal will only survive the enthusiasm of the early stages. When push comes to shove, they are bound to cower and back out.
A couple that is expectant can have a goal of moving into a bigger house before their baby arrives. Their goal is hinged on a relevant motive that gives them the drive to work towards its actualization.
It must be Time-Bound: Nothing swings people to action like deadlines. When a time is set for a particular goal to be achieved, it spurs seriousness and dedication. Time is money! Every goal that does not have a time specified for it to be achieved ends up not being realized.
According to Association for Training and Development, setting a time to achieve a goal increases your chances of success by 50%. It then means that by just giving a deadline to a set goal, your client would have gone halfway in achieving the goal.
2. Develop a Step-By-Step Approach to Achieve the Goals
If you desire your clients to achieve their goals, you must plan out a process for them to follow. You can decide to do it for them. However, doing it with them is better. Getting them involved makes it easy to clarify any confusion that would arise from the get-go.
The steps must be simple and actionable. It has to be steps that your client can go through. This is why I suggest you make it collaborative, if you can. Every client is different and their perception of success differs. They need to know that after doing A, the next thing to do is B, and then C… and by the time they get to Z, they would have achieved their goal.
For instance, a client wants to lose 30lbs, you need to arrange the steps such that they know what they should do before or after any step. If they need to change their diet first, what happens next? What level of results will they see before moving on to another step? If they need to start working out before changing their diet, it has to be spelt out clearly.
The steps must be well detailed to avoid putting the cart before the horse. This could lead to a waste of time and money because if they take a wrong step or swap steps, it might take a while to readjust and go back to where they ought to be. Again, it will delay the expected time of achieving their set goals.
I remember my sister was always spending so much time – more than one hour in most cases – doing her makeup. She will go back and forth and yet, she will not get her desired outcome. I advised her to get the services of a makeup coach, and she did. The coach gave her 12 steps to achieve her makeup goal in 20 minutes or less.
The steps were detailed, starting from primer to mascara applications. She was able to achieve her goal of cutting down the time she spent doing makeup. This is because she got a step-by-step guide on how to go about it in 20 minutes or less.
A detailed step-by-step process will help your clients achieve their goals faster. This will save them time and money.
3. Encourage Them to Be Accountable
According to Stephen Covey, accountability breeds response-ability. When it comes to achieving goals, it is important to let your clients know that they have to do what they said they would do. They have a role to play in the journey to achieving their set goals. And when they don’t do it, their chances of achieving their goals are affected negatively.
They have to be accountable to themselves first. They have to constantly remind themselves that they are responsible for the success or failure of their goals. Let them realize that the benefit of achieving such outcome is theirs to enjoy. Therefore, they must intentionally do their bit to ensure that their goals are achieved.
Encourage them to have accountability partners too. They should have people who always check up on them from time to time, to know if they are still on track with achieving their goal. It could be you as their coach, or anyone who can act as their chaperone. Let them have someone who they can be answerable to if they don’t do what they ought to do.
When your clients are accountable, they stay motivated to remain on track to achieve their goals. It also helps to instill the required discipline needed to achieve them.
4. Let Them Celebrate Milestones
I have a friend who is a class teacher. She had a struggle with staying awake in class most of her working hours. She slept well at night though, but just couldn’t stay awake for a good part of her working hours. To help herself, she always had to take coffee. However, it made her nauseous and she didn’t like the feeling.
I gave her few natural tips to apply, like taking water regularly and walking around when she feels her eyes straining. As simple as the steps were, she found it difficult to apply at first. Again, when she started applying them, the results didn’t come immediately. However, after 3 weeks, she told me that she was able to stay awake through her work hours for just two out of the five working days in the past week.
I congratulated her and told her she had achieved a great milestone that needed to be celebrated. Four weeks after that, she could completely stay awake without taking coffee.
When little milestones are celebrated, it motivates your clients to do more. It makes them see the possibility of achieving their goals. It helps them surmount any doubtful thought that would discourage them from working towards getting the results they desire.
A client who wants to lose 30lbs. in six weeks should celebrate 5lbs. lost within the first two weeks. A business owner, who currently earns 5K in a month and desires to make $50K a month in 6 months’ time, should celebrate when they hit $20K in the first three months. Knowing that effort invested was able to achieve a certain level of success will inspire them to put in more to get to their ultimate goal.
One more thing…
One of the things that will hinder their goals from being achieved is fear and overwhelm. You have to work on their mindset to ensure that they stay positive. This is what keeps them going when push comes to shove. Even when it looks like results are taking time to come through, encourage them to stay on course. Assure them that the steps you have given them works.
Helping your clients achieve their goals will not only transform their lives, it will also boost your credibility as a coach. There is nothing that gladdens the heart of a coach like when they are able to help their clients achieve their set goals.
However, remember that not all goals that a client sets are achievable. You need to take that big dream they have and prune it, so it can become a tangible goal that can be achieved. Hold their hands on their journey, but make sure you encourage responsibility on their part. If they have achieved any milestone in the process, encourage them to celebrate it while remaining focused on the big picture.
If you need guidance on how to implement these strategies, we can help you. We are just a call away.
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