How to Achieve Results as a Goals Coach

A goals coach is now a necessity more than ever. Economies across the world are in fragile conditions.

The coaching market is crowded with several options. But it is clear that coaches who help companies and individuals focus on end results will always be in demand.

This is what a goals coach does!

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Who is a Goals Coach?

Let us first understand what a goals coach does.

A goals coach:

  • Helps clients to understand their inner limitations and challenges
  • Taps into effective goal setting techniques with the client
  • Helps clients achieve their goals (can be professional or personal)
  • Hold clients accountable and make them commit to lasting change.

As a coach, you are in a unique position to help everyone. Whether a client approaches you for personal or professional reasons, you are in a position to create an ever-lasting impact on him/her. Just as some companies may benefit from re-evaluating their priorities, some individuals will also benefit from working with a goals coach. So your target audience is a much larger pool than most coaches can dream of.

Goal coaching is also in demand when it comes to other coaching niches.

Why do I say this?

Well, a goals coach is in a position that benefits every coaching niche. Irrespective of whether you are a life coach or a Christian coach, you will need effective goal-setting principles. You will also help coach a client to perform at his/her fullest potential. That effectively means every coaching niche will borrow skills/practices from a goals coach.

On the other hand, you may want to learn some aspects of goal coaching to add more structure to your coaching practice as an executive, spiritual or success coach.

Target Setting for Goals Coach

How does one go about setting goals?

Wikipedia defines goal setting as the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Goal setting can be guided by goal-setting criteria (or rules) such as SMART criteria. Goal setting is a major component of personal-development and management literature.

Look at it simply. As a sports coach, you know how important targets are for motivating a player. They help players set milestones and work towards achieving them. In the process, they prioritize areas where they may need more development.

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The situation is not much different in a business setting. Several studies and opinion pieces have related goal setting to SMART business.

Adopting SMART

The acronym of SMART itself lends to Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Timely goals. Let us see how you can use it in your practice as a goals coach.

  • Specific goals clear the mind when it comes to ambitious plans.
  • Measurable goals give people a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Goals that are mutually agreed upon creating a sense of ownership in the client.
  • Realistic milestones help business owners focus on seeing things through.
  • Timed goals create accountability.

As you can well understand, all these are perfect steps for making progress, whether for a business owner or manager!

Goals Coach for Personal Development

The scenario is not going to be very different if you choose to work with individuals who wish to better their personal lives.

Goal coaching is perfect as a tool to help individuals pause, realign and set forth.

A client that is willing to better herself/himself will benefit from this specific form of coaching. This is because goal coaching allows a person to think about what is important for him/her. What is the purpose of life and values? Which direction should one progress towards? What brings personal satisfaction to one?

But making this effort to introspect is not easy. Taking this time out to think about the future and the next steps can seem a fruitless endeavor without focus. This is where such a coach can streamline thoughts. The coach gives this introspection a specific purpose through a goal.

Now, let us focus on why you do what you do.

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Why Did You Become a Goals Coach?

As coaches, we all try to help other people.

Most of us have chosen this profession not for the money or fame but because we genuinely believe that we have a gift of being able to support another human being. Most often, this support is manifested by listening to our clients, helping them understand and process situations and make decisions.

Traits of a Great Goals Coach

What are the traits that one should ideally have? This cannot be an exhaustive list. However, there are some traits that run through all good coaches. Some of these are:

Be an empathetic, non-judgemental listener

Almost all good coaches have this one thing in common. They are great listeners. Coaches are hired to be effective sounding boards. No matter what the problem, coaches believe that all clients have the answers to their own problem. Some just need a little bit of patience and support to figure out the answers by themselves. This is where having a coach is beneficial!

Practise what you preach

As a goals coach, this is an important attribute. If your clients do not see you as a role model, you will not inspire them to follow your example. Clients need to see you set goals and achieve them. Model the behavior and watch the positive impact on your clients!

Be a safety net for clients

Setting goals and being accountable is a learned trait. While you will be there during the course of your coaching engagement, your client may need help beyond that time frame. How will you continue to provide support? Will you allow for follow up sessions or be available to counsel the client at a later time? I am not going to provide answers to this as it is a personal decision. However, I want to bring this to your notice so you can plan for it with your client.

These are only the top traits of every good coach. There are obviously several traits that a goals coach would need to have in order to be successful. I have written several blogs on this here and here.

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Questions for a Goals Coach

So how does a goals coach go about doing what she does best? What does the process of goal setting involve?

There is a popular model called the GROW model of coaching which is widely used for goal setting.

Check out this video for more on the GROW model of coaching, which helps to understand how to set goals. There are some interesting questions that you can use for your clients. What I liked is the simple way the speaker has framed some important questions. I have listed some below. Do check out the article in entirety for more pointers.

Sample questions for goal setting

  • What goals do you want to achieve?
  • Why do you want to achieve these in a week? Why do you want to achieve them now?
  • What happens if these goals are not achieved?
  • What milestones will help you to get there?
  • On a scale of 1-10 of achieving a goal, which number are you at?
  • What would take you 1 step closer to your goal?
  • What skills do you need to achieve these goals?
  • What resources do you have (who/what can help you) to achieve the goal?
  • If you had a magic wand, or you were Warren Buffet, what could you do?
  • When are you going to achieve this milestone?
  • How will you celebrate if you have done this?
  • What are your chances of success at completing a goal?
  • What will you do to stay accountable?

In the context of powerful questions, you may also want to read my earlier blogs. Check out my earlier blogs 34 Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients to Begin With or 44 powerful Coaching questions every coach MUST ask.

There are also the Great Coaching questions You Need to Ask, 5 Powerful Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients Based on Your Coaching Niche and 12 Life Coaching Questions to Ask Your Clients blogs for reference.

Hopefully it will help you set the context in your coaching sessions.

How Much does a Goals Coach Earn?

Can you lead a comfortable lifestyle as a goals coach?

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Yes, you most certainly can. There are no mentioned salaries online for goals coaches. However, this could be because most goals coaches include the niche as a part of some other coaching that they provide.

Or, it could be that most goals coaches work on references and do not openly announce their salaries on job portals.

On the plus side, this post claims that the life coaching industry has crossed the $1 billion dollar mark. And that too was a year ago!

The average income for life coaches ranges from $27,100 to $73,100. Speciality coaches can charge more than $100,000 annually. So you see, the opportunities are immense!

You could also choose to take your career online? Here and here are some of the blogs I have written that will work as a great resource to get started.

Resources for Goals Coach

While inspiring others to achieve their goals is a noble profession, do not forget to take care of yourself.

Have you picked up the training to be a successful coach? Are you concerned about where to begin? Well, check out my free webinar mentioned in the last section of this blog. You may opt for formal training from a reputed institute. My earlier blog How to Select the Best Coaching Training Program in 2021 may help you choose. Although coaching is still an unregulated industry, it helps to pick up the necessary skills from a credible source.

You may also want to expand your coaching business. Perhaps you want to discover a new niche. Or see how you can blend some skills from other niches into your own practice as a goals coach.

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I always recommend that as a coach you keep reading books, reports and academic research to stay updated on the latest trends.

Books for Goals Coach

There are several books written for goals coaching which may be helpful for you.

Look through some of the titles below.

  • Beyond Goals: Effective Strategies for Coaching and Mentoring by Susan David, David Clutterbuck, David Megginson
  • The Double-Goal Coach by Jim Thompson
  • The Coach Model for Christian Leaders: Powerful Leadership Skills for Solving Problems, Reaching Goals, and Developing Others by Keith E. Webb
  • Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
  • The Power of Double-goal Coaching: Developing Winners in Sports and Life by Jim Thompson
  • Transformational Life Coaching: Creating Limitless Opportunities for Yourself and Others by Chérie Carter-Scott
  • An Introduction to Coaching by Graham Dexter, Janice Dexter, and Judy Irving
  • Be Your Own Sailing Coach: 20 Goals for Racing Success by Jon Emmett
  • Life Coaching For Dummies Audiobook by Jeni Purdie
  • 10. Coach Yourself to Success, Revised and Updated Edition: 101 Tips from a Personal Coach for Reaching Your Goals at Work and in Life Talane Miedaner
  • Goal-focused Coaching: Theory and Practice by Elaine Cox and Yossi Ives
  • The SAGE Handbook of Coaching
  • Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller (Author), Michael B. Frisch (Author)
  • The Coach Model for Christian Leaders: Powerful Leadership Skills by Gary Collins
  • Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant
  • Be Your Own Weight Loss Coach: 5 Steps on Setting “SMART Goals” by Gregory Groves
  • Goals of Glory: The Amazing Story of Aizawl Football Club and Its Coach by Neel Sinha
  • Life Coaching Skills: How to Develop Skilled Clients by Richard Nelson-Jones
  • The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan

You may also find this link to 21 Best Goal Setting Books to Read interesting.

The recommended books on goal setting listed are:

  • Creating Your Best Life by Caroline Miller, MAPP. By utilizing research in various areas of science and in positive psychology, in particular, Caroline Miller takes the approach to goal setting beyond setting SMART goals. “Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now…And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”
  • Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt creates a clear, research-based approach to finding purpose and setting meaningful goals. Whether it’s a personal, relationship, business, or financial goal; Hyatt’s field-tested results help people overcome their day-to-day struggles to reach their full potential. This book helps to envision the reader’s best year ever, even setting up ways to get unstuck and “quit proof” the goals.
  • The Book of Mistakes by Skip Prichard. Mr. Prichard uses his gifts as a storyteller to weave this tale about a young man discovering the 9 mistakes that highly successful people don’t make. One of the first mistakes is living someone else’s dream. A person who knows exactly who they want to be, will do the things that that person would do. Expressing thankfulness energizes, enhances, and empowers.
  • 9 Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson. Goal achievement research has shown that what you do is more important than what you have. In her research backed book, Heidi Grant Halvorson outlines the 9 things successful people do differently.
  1. Get specific
  2. Seize the moment to act on your goals
  3. Know exactly where the goal line is
  4. Be a realistic optimist
  5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good
  6. Have the willingness to commit to long term goals. In other words, have grit.
  7. Build your willpower
  8. Don’t tempt fate
  9. Focus on what you will do
  • She goes in depth into each of these 9 topics. It serves as a guide to improving goal achievement from a can-do, long-term focus. Creating alternatives to what you aren’t willing to do and replacing them with what you are willing to do, gets readers on track to achieving what they want in life.
  • Big Potential by Shawn Anchor. This book highlights the team aspect of goal achievement. Mr. Anchor stresses the difference between small potential, which is individual achievement, and big potential which is achievement with others. We are all influenced by those around us, and when we help others improve they do the same for those around them, in turn expanding the potential. You are what you read. And science confirms this. Researchers from Dartmouth and Ohio State found that when you become engrossed with a book you may actually begin to not just identify with, but actually take on some of the traits and characteristics of, the main character. For example, if you read a book about someone with a strong social conscience, your likelihood of doing something socially conscientious rises.
  • The Desire Map – Danielle LaPorte: Danielle LaPorte’s creation is a program for goal setting that focuses on getting in touch with feelings and letting the outer goal achievement grow from there. The work is a life focus for goal setting that allows purpose to play a role in motivation.
  • Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be by Mark Murphy. This book is written from the perspective of well accomplished Executive Coach Mark Murphy. His concept in goal setting is that the goals to be set should be more than “ho-hum” type of goals. To reach great potential the goals must match an inner desire. If you really want to change the world, you have to set a goal that would change the world. Goals that challenge and stretch a person are said to be more fulfilling.
  • How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This classic book has been helping people reach their goals since its release in 1936. The content remains relevant in today’s modern, technological world. Dale Carnegie’s principles have brought many famous people to their highest potential and mastery in goal setting and achievement. It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.
  • The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. This book was created to help people live more fulfilling and peaceful lives, all while pursuing and achieving life goals. While positivity alone is not a creator of happiness, an optimistic mindset allows the brain to broaden and build. This book gives some tips on developing a positive mindset and has influenced many famous people, including several past presidents.
  • The Art of Setting Smart Goals: Set winning goals and live a life of abundance, success, and achievement by Anisa Marku. Creating a habit change is a major part of setting and achieving goals. This how-to book gives step by step actions to take in the pursuit of what, why, and how you will achieve them. The SMART goal concept is a significant work in goal setting and achievement. It is a solid framework to create and achieve any type of goal.

The same link also provides some goal setting workbooks which may be very useful for you to look up. The ones mentioned are:

  • You Goal, Girl: A Goal-Setting Workbook by Melissa Bowles. This interactive workbook makes goal setting a breeze. With actionable steps to follow, moving the user toward their own personal goals, it is a great book to have when in pursuit of success. It combines productivity and motivation in a day by day book to keep the user on track and heading toward goal achievement.
  • Goal Getter. This productivity journal by Modern Script Designs is a beautiful book created to help the user accomplish all of their daily tasks. It helps with organization and even includes motivational and inspirational quotes along the way.
  • Every Kid’s Guide to Goals: How to Choose, Set, and Achieve Goals That Matter To You by Karleen Tauszik. This interactive book helps kids decide for themselves what they want to pursue and master with regard to goals. Putting kids in the driver’s seat of their own goal setting gives them the independence to choose what goals are important to them, giving them the internal motivation to pursue them. With worksheets and plans for possible obstacles, it is a great book for kids to plan for the best and the worst-case scenarios.

Some recommended goal setting books for students are:

  • The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How The World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan. This book is the journey of an 18-year-old through the tales of various successful people. It talks about the opportunities that present themselves in an alternative way to the path most taken. The success stories discussed in this fun book all took the “third door” as a way to enter the party, so to speak. It’s a fun story showing that thinking outside the box can lead to great success.
  • Goal Setting For Students: A Success Tool For the Classroom and For Life by John Bishop. This is a helpful book for students and teachers to develop an “I’ll make it happen” attitude. It is designed to put educational responsibility in the hands of the students. It is also a tool for teachers as a guide to reaching their classroom goals.
  • How to Achieve Big PHAT Goals by Dean Lindsay. According to previous users, this book should be in the hands of every Middle and High School student. It teaches kids to align their goals with their values, igniting change and internal motivation. The PHAT in the title stands for “Pretty Hot And Tempting” goals.
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. The classic book from the 1980s that told the tale of a little, blue train who harnessed the power of positive thinking is a perfect introduction to goal setting for young readers. Teaching the basis of overcoming obstacles at an early age gives a foundation for tough obstacles in later life. Great life lessons can be learned from that self-propelled wee engine.
  • Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan In Pursuit Of A Dream by Deloris Jordan. This picture book details the hope and faith that helped basketball superstar Michael Jordan to pursue and reach his dreams. Lessons in perseverance and overcoming self-doubt are impactful for teaching mindset and its importance in goal setting. The hard work that comes with the pursuit of greatness is highlighted well in this special story.
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance by Andrae Giles. This heart-warming story is of an unlikely candidate in the world of dance. With passion, persistence, and encouragement this character shows young readers how to go after what they want.

Another list for coaching books is available here. Some common life coaching books clients look up are listed here.

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