7 Steps to S.M.A.R.T.E.R Goal Setting

“It’s all about the concentration, the focus, and it all goes back to the training,”

Nick Wallenda                                                                                                                       

Inspiration comes in all forms. How often do we achieve a lofty goal like getting an MBA, a promotion, running a marathon, graduating from college only to find ourselves without future goals? So what happens? Absolutely nothing! People in all ranks of business simply get stuck where they are with their biggest annual goal, perhaps to go on a vacation.

If you ever wonder why some people are more focused, positive and confident, chances are they are goal setters. By setting goals and developing a plan to stick to them, accomplishments are achieved. Each accomplishment moves us forward and like interest in a bank, adds more and more confidence to our personal bank accounts.

I recently watched Nick Wallenda, a tight rope walker cross the Niagara Falls. He said it was his biggest dream to conquer. In order to achieve this goal he had to train, build a customized tight rope, obtain legal approval in 2 countries and get  sponsorship.

If Nick Wallenda can dream a dream so great and achieve it, what can you do? 

The SMARTERgoal™ system is designed to help you get started on your own lofty goal.

1)      Specific: Have a specific goal in mind.

2)      Measurable: Make sure you can work towards achieving that goal.

3)      Attainable: The goal needs to be something you have the power to do.

4)      Realistic: Ask yourself if it is really possible to achieve your goal.

5)     Timely: (MOST IMPORTANT) Set a time limit as to when you want to achieve  the  goal and find a way to be held accountable to it.

6)      Exciting: A goal should be exciting and boost your spirits.

7)      Reach: A really good goal should make you stretch your abilities, even scare you a bit and take you out of your comfort zone.

Nick Wallenda had a huge dream, he met all the criteria of a SMARTERgoal™. His accomplishment in crossing the Niagara Falls was exciting and in a statement to Canadian customs agents, he said, “The purpose of my journey was to inspire people around the world to follow their dream.”

His next big Goal, crossing the Grand Canyon

Stephanie Wachman, Executive Coach, www.stephaniewachman.com, 720-232-3693

© Life In Balance LLC

We remember

only about 25-50% of what we hear: That means that when you talk to your clients, colleagues, or spouse for 10 minutes, they pay attention to less than half of the conversation and so do you.

9 Tips to Effective & Active Listening Skills

  1. Don’t wait to talk.
  2. Ask yourself if you are taking center stage
  3. Never interrupt or talk over someone
  4. Use body language
  5. Ask follow-up questions
  6. Refocus if you mind wanders
  7. Don’t look at your cellphone
  8. Sympathetic summary in your own words
  9. Use body language: nod your head, show facial expression

**Sales CoachingTip:

Great questions + Active Listening + Sympathetic Summarizing= Sales

Stephanie Wachman, Executive Coach and owner of Life In Balance, www.stephaniewachman.com

© Life In Balance, LLC


I am frequently asked about what Executive Coaching is and how it differs from training, consulting, motivational workshops and therapy.

In a nutshell, Executive Coaching is a leadership development program that is custom tailored to an individual’s strengths and business objectives.   As opposed to training workshops and motivational seminars, coaching takes place over time. Coaching engagements happen over a 3-6 month period so that the individual has time to learn and implement new behaviors.

All too often, we get excited after a terrific training workshop and get back to our office with the intent of putting into play all that we had learned, only to revert to our old habits and behaviors.

Coaching helps you move to the next level

Most coaching clients are successful in their jobs, and many have been promoted or are on track for a promotion.  Often the skills and abilities that helped them to get promoted are no longer as useful in a new position.

As a result individuals are unsure about what to do next.  This is when coaching is extremely effective.  It helps newly promoted individuals make the shift to their new role and start to develop the skills that are required for their new position.

I always ask my newly promoted clients to pick one behavior they would like to work on and develop a plan on how they can achieve their goal.  For example, before I went into coaching, I was promoted to Business Development for a Fortune 500 company and I was a terrible listener.  I was always waiting to talk and start selling, so when I started working with my coach, I made it clear that I wanted to improve my listening skills.  Together we developed a plan that consisted of taking a pause before visiting with any client to remind myself to listen, I would then repeat back to my clients what they had suggested was important to them (this showed them that I was listening and helped me pay closer attention) and lastly I would take notes and highlight key points in order to stay actively engaged.

It’s very difficult to work on too many behavioral issues at once, so picking one or two at a time makes the task manageable and will help you be successful.

Stephanie Wachman, Executive Coach, www.stephaniewachman.com, 720-232-3693     © Life In Balance LLC

According to a study in the February 2007 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published by the APA (American Psychological Association), it seems that being under assertive or over assertive may be the most common weakness among aspiring leaders.

For many new leaders, insecurity within their new position can lead to actions and behaviors that are perceived by others to be under assertive.

For many, there is no formal training on how to communicate in a new leadership position. As a newly promoted manager who has to interface with more senior managers or others on the leadership team, the feeling of inadequacy or insecurity presents itself simply due to lack of confidence brought on by inexperience in the new role.

As a result, new managers may not feel comfortable speaking up in meetings or asserting themselves by voicing their opinions until they feel more at ease in their positions.

To help new managers gain confidence and learn to assert themselves, here are 5 Skills to develop:

1)    Make a list of why you were promoted.  By reviewing the reasons that you were promoted you will gain clarity and confidence in understanding why you are best suited for your new position.

2)    Spend time developing your communication skills.  Speak clearly, loud enough to be heard, believe in what you are saying, get to the point and explain succinctly how you arrived there, then check in with your team to make sure the message was received the way it was intended. Consider joining a group like Toastmasters to help you with public speaking.

3)    Communication is not just about speaking; it’s also about body language.  Stand tall, hold your head up and be sure to make eye contact.

4)    Schedule meetings with supervisors, and others on the leadership team to get a clear understanding of how decisions are made and what is typically expected.

5)    Believe in personal development, read books like, Strength Based Leadership, take a course, find and internal mentor or engage an executive coach.

It takes time for new managers to build confidence and feel secure in their new roles, that’s why it’s important to work on personal development and….patience.

Stephanie Wachman, Executive Coach, www.stephaniewachman.com, 720-232-3693
© Life In Balance LLC

By Stepanie Wachman, Executive Coach

Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress.
I know how much stress most you face, having been in your shoes and working with the multiple demands each day that comes from your job, such as shouldering a huge workload,  taking care of your family, or just looking at the long list of email that you have to respond to daily. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result you may feel as if you’re constantly under assault. But you can fight back. You don’t have to let stress control your life.

Understanding the natural stress response-If your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That’s because your body’s “fight-or-flight reaction” — its natural alarm system  is constantly on.
When you encounter perceived threats — a large dog barks at you during your morning walk, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.

Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear. When the natural stress response goes haywire- The body’s stress-response system is usually self-regulating. It decreases hormone levels and enables your body to return to normal once a perceived threat has passed. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.

But when the stressors of your life are present, leaving you feeling stressed, tense, nervous or on edge, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on. The less control you have over potentially stress-inducing events and the more uncertainty they create, the more likely you are to feel stressed. Even the typical day-to-day demands of living can contribute to your body’s stress response.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems:

•    Heart disease
•    Sleep problems
•    Digestive problems
•    Depression
•    Obesity
•    Memory impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.
Stephanie Wachman, Executive Coach, www.stephaniewachman.com, 720-232-3693
© Life In Balance LLC

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