SMART Goals Help Build a Successful Coaching Practice
Are you a coach working to build your coaching practice? Smart coaches recognize the need to spend time in goal setting. And, as Christian coaches, we want to be prayerful and seek God’s guidance to make sure we are following His plan, and not giving God our goals and asking Him to bless them. Goals are not carved in stone, they are open for review and revision. God typically doesn’t show us the entire plan at first, and His plan unfolds daily.
“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.” 2 Corinthian 5:9
SMART Goals in Coaching – How to Set Them
SPECIFIC: As you are prayerful and seeking guidance in this area, here are a few questions to consider. After you have identified your coaching niche, then specifically, how many clients will you be working with on a monthly basis? How many hours a week will you spend in coaching? How much will you be earning each month from coaching clients? How many hours each week will you spend on admin, marketing, accounting, etc? Coaching is also a ministry for Christian Coaches as we seek to live the Greatest Commandment to love God and love others, so include the time for ministry, community and volunteer activities.
MEASURABLE: How can you track and measure your progress? What are some indicators that identify when you have reached the goal? Ex: Many coaches share the goal, “I want to grow my business/ministry.” How much, how many, and how will you know when you have grown your business? When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the feelings of success that creates more momentum to take more action. And then, don’t be surprised when God expands the goal when the business is for His Glory, and not yours.
ACHIEVABLE: Sometimes the goal God has for us is much bigger than we imagine. So, by man’s standards, it may not look achievable but our God is a BIG, BIG God, and if He has given you a BIG vision then He will bring people and resources into your life to support the vision and help you. If you are a new coach and establishing your coaching business/ministry, start where you are and build. If you have 2 paying clients today, it is realistic to set a goal to have 10, and adjust the number as you move forward. To go from 2 clients to 10 clients in 3 months for most new coaches is achievable.
REALISTIC: Are you willing and are you able are a couple of questions to consider around this SMART goal setting process. Yet, we know GOD is able when we are not; I feel that our willingness to be obedient to God is the most important posture of our heart. Think about when have you might have accomplished a similar goal in the past and reflect on that time. Although “realistic” is important, it is also a good idea to stretch the goal and step outside your comfort zone to add a little “risk” along with “realistic”!
TIMED: A part of the goal setting strategy is that a goal should be grounded within a time frame because it creates a sense of urgency. If you want to lose 5 pounds, when do you want to lose it by? If we hear the response “Oh, I don’t know” then most likely we know the possibility of losing those 5 pounds anytime soon is unlikely. “Someday” won’t work. However, if the person gives an answer within a time frame, “by April 1st”, we sense a plan unfolding to achieve the goal. Keep in mind that God usually doesn’t give us a time frame, He gives us a vision, and patience in understanding that His timing is different from our and His ways are different from our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
SMART Goals Help Coaches Walk the Talk
As coaches, we work with clients to help them achieve their goals, and we also want to “walk the talk” and set SMART goals for ourselves and our coaching business/ministry. Most importantly, as Christian Coaches, we want to stay in prayer seeking God’s guidance as we step forward boldly to work toward achieving goals that glorify God.