Get An Accountability Partner and Get UNSTUCK

New clients excite me. Truthfully, all clients excite me, but I love the early stages of discovery, as a new client relationship unfolds. It’s at the beginning that I can start to piece together the purest, most unbiased, objective picture of my clients before we become familiar with one another. I’m working with a new client now, and as often happens, she sees herself very differently than I do. 

What I see: A completely successful entrepreneur who can run two businesses, create her product, raise two children and be a great wife. She knows what she needs to do to get stuff done and she knows how to prioritize the work. 

What she sees: Despite her business and personal success, she feels that sometimes, her creative side takes over her “get-it-done” side.  She gets lost in time. It’s a blessing and also her curse.

In our last coaching session, she admitted she got more done this week than she would have otherwise. Curious as to what changed, I asked what did she do differently? She explained, knowing she’d agreed to be accountable to me, for doing what she committed to, she stayed more focused on driving sales for her business.  

This accountability is often overlooked, and I got to thinking about my accountability partners. If my accountability partner and I are working towards similar goals, we seem to get much more accomplished. So, I have several, depending on the goal: 

  • I have an accountability partner for weight management and healthy eating.
  • I have another accountability partner for growing our businesses.

Though they are two different people, what these partnerships have in common is that we set goals and report to each other every week (at least once a week, usually more) on how we’re doing. We’re committed to achieving our individual goals and helping each other do the same. 

Many people don’t have someone who will hold them accountable. Sometimes, with the best of intentions, and to be supportive, our friends and family members let us slide or tell us we can try again tomorrow. Instead, what we need is for them to support us in setting our goals, and taking the steps necessary to succeed. 

I work out with a personal trainer twice a week.  She is another accountability partner but I pay her. Why? Because she pushes me harder to accomplish my goals than I would if I did it alone. I know all the right things I’m supposed to be doing, but I don’t do them. Believe me, I’ve tried. I get tired. I get distracted. I say I’ll work harder tomorrow. And then I don’t. I would much rather use the money I invest in my personal trainer for something else. And if I’d lift weights on my own I could use that money some other way. But I don’t, and I know it’s an important part of my health and wellness journey. So I pay her, and I’m okay with that. 

Do you have an accountability partner? Do you feel yourself falling short of your goals, or setting the same goals over and over without success? I can be your accountability partner to help you set realistic, achievable goals and CRUSH them. Picture your life one year from now if you take that first step today. Get Unstuck and Imagine Your Life’s Possibilities.

“Barb’s ability to keep me accountable and stay focused on my goals, is invaluable. She easily spots my own mental blocks, and doesn’t allow me to gloss over them. Barb provides a safe space to share and be vulnerable, both of which have been key to my progress and success!” -Toby Myles

Set Small Goals and Get UNSTUCK

A few weeks ago a friend confided that they were feeling isolated, under-exercised, scared about the future, their career and how the pandemic would affect their kids in the long run. Like many, my friend is working remotely, with a home office on the third floor. Pre-pandemic, when working from home only happened occasionally, my friend’s home office was the dining room table. “Once relegated to the upstairs home office, it was hard to come down”, my friend confided. It was far from everything going on in the house, and when work life got busy, my friend stayed upstairs, for hours.  Even with a daily goal of taking a stretch or a short walk, my friend, who is quite healthy, just couldn’t get it done. Fearing that “sitting is the new smoking” all my friend wanted was to come down the stairs, open the front door and go to the end of a very short block. And still, they couldn’t get it done. This feeling of failure, as defined by my friend, contributed to their malaise. My friend added that they had created a very functional stand up desk, and all they had to do was move the laptop from their seated position to the standing position. And still, it wasn’t happening.

I asked, why haven’t you set a small goal to just stand up, every hour? Further, I said, you are concerned that once you get up to your third floor office it’s hard to come down, right?  And you’ve shared that you NEED to move more because if you don’t, you’ll literally stay seated for many hours at a time. I reminded my friend, “you told me you’re super busy at work right now, and it’s not practical to take a break every hour, yet you want to find a way not to sit so long.  Why don’t you just stand up?” I asked.

They said “oh, you mean make a small goal?” Lightbulb moment. 

I pointed out, if it’s such a small goal why don’t you do it? To me it sounded like a great start and easily achievable. Standing up every hour means a change in perspective, a new effort, stopping what you are doing for a moment and then getting started again. So I didn’t really consider it a small goal.

This got me thinking. Imagine the possibilities if you did just this one thing. Stand up! You’ll feel better because you are moving your body. You’ll be energized by the motion and you’ll likely find time to add larger goals like walking to the corner once a day. Eventually you’ll find yourself taking a break mid-day for a brisk walk. The world won’t come to a screeching halt, and work will still be there when you come back. Give it a try!

Need to Lose Weight? Read how my husband got UNSTUCK.

My husband is Herb Mason. Our story about coming together in our 40s is worth telling, but I’ll save it for another time. Herb has never seemed concerned about his weight or the nutritional value of food. Without guilt, he’d happily consume a steak and baked or mashed potatoes, or a cheeseburger and fries, cooked crispy. He enjoyed his daily 7-11 Big Gulp, with regular Pepsi, each day. Not one, but two. Within the past two years he also added a daily Starbucks Triple Venti Latte with two raw sugars. In the beginning of our relationship (2005 ish) he told me he didn’t really have a sweet tooth. I laughed out loud. 

During the Spring of 2020 COVID stay-at-home order, I literally went to the grocery store and bought WHATEVER I wanted. If I couldn’t decide between two options, I bought them both. Which Oreos? BOTH! I like to refer to this time as my Cheese-It diet. It was the perfect solution to hibernation. I don’t think Herb was as giddy as I was about the reckless abandon with which I bought food, but this didn’t stop him from eating more than he might have normally.

In June of 2020, I emerged from the COVID cocoon for the first time, to meet a friend for lunch outside. To my horror, absolutely none of my clothes fit. I went on a keto diet immediately, but this is also a topic for another time. My weight-loss journey is nearly as old as I am. 

Two months into my diet, a friend of ours, Davis Jaspers, founder of Vitalife Weight Loss program, asked for volunteers to be interviewed for a staff training video he was producing. Herb and I were perfect for the project, as neither of us had been presented with the Vitalife program before. I’d seen many people get great results from Vitalife but I’d never investigated it for myself.

As a part of our participation in Davis’ Vitalife training video, we weighed in on a smart scale that gave us tons of great information. For example, Herb’s weight was 199.9 (Woot! Made it under 200!) and his metabolic age was 78. Ouch. Herb will be 60 in December. After the training video, and two months on Keto, I opted into the Vitalife weight loss program. Herb did not. 

In preparation for the program, Herb and I laughed about the things I’d need to give up. How “absurd” it would be for me to give up my cocktails. Afterall, vodka has no carbs, and I lost plenty of weight on keto, while still enjoying alcohol. And as long as we were laughing about my unhealthy choices, I outed Herb for his 2-Big-Gulp-A-Day habit. There are more carbs in a single Big Gulp than I ate all day on keto. Davis remarked that if all Herb did was give up the Big Gulps he would lose weight, improve his health, reduce the brain fog associated with excessive sugar among many other health benefits. I think Davis was the millionth person to tell Herb how toxic his soda habit was. 

Big changes come from small but consistent efforts. It didn’t take Herb long to come up with a plan he could live with. He decided he would cut back on soda little-by-little each week, the goal being to eliminate it altogether. First, he’d get down to one Big Gulp per day. Next, no Big Gulps and eventually just an occasional Pepsi as a special treat.

As Davis promised, Herb did start to lose weight. I’d begun tracking my food intake, along with others, trying to get UNSTUCK from our COVID gains. Soon Herb was tracking his food too, at first just out of curiosity. A cheeseburger is how many calories? Wait! What happens if I eliminate the bun? Wow…250 calories! Mind blowing.

Next came exercise. Herb wondered, “what if I add that in and track it?” So he dusted off his Fitbit and learned, the more he exercised, the more he could eat and still lose weight. Plus, with less brain fog due less sugar, he had WAY more energy to exercise. His first goal was getting in 10,000-steps per day. Then came the elliptical, followed by virtual yoga sessions with Sakhaya Yoga, each week.

Today, Herb has lost 30-pounds! He wears a size 33 pant, a size medium shirt and his metabolic age dropped from 78 to 59! His journey to getting UNSTUCK started with a desire to be more healthy, as he entered into his 60s, by eliminating his daily Big Gulp habit. As a result of setting attainable goals, and having me as his accountability partner, Herb gained the momentum he needed to keep pushing for more results. He entered his 60s in the best shape of his life. He got UNSTUCK and Imagined his Life’s Possibilities.

4-Key Steps to a Productive Coaching Session

Have you ever wondered…

How does one-on-one coaching work?

How do I come away with actionable steps after a single session?

Would it work for me?

Coaching helps you move towards change, more quickly than you  might have on your own, with accountability and specific action steps.

Below is the framework of a typical coaching session:

  1. Each time we meet, you decide what you want out of the meeting and I keep you on track to make sure you get what you want. Your agenda is the only agenda that matters. If your agenda changes during another session, that’s perfectly ok too.
  1. You talk, and I listen, intently. If I don’t understand, I’ll ask for clarification. Think about how often someone truly listens to you, with your agenda in mind, to determine actionable steps that move you towards your desired outcome. It’s very powerful, and it feels really good to be heard.
  1. Together, we come up with at least one action step you’re going to take, to move you towards your goal. Sometimes, it’s something quick and easy. This can feel super motivating. Sometimes, it’s one step, of a multi-step plan. It’s not necessary to have the whole plan in place before taking action. Often, you  can’t even make the plan until you get started.
  1. Lastly, you decide on a deadline to complete the action step, and you commit to letting me know once you’ve completed it. I make a note and hold you accountable for getting it done.

Imagine your life’s possibilities, when, each time we meet, you take another step toward achieving that thing, that has eluded you thus far. It’ll feel pretty amazing! At the conclusion of each meeting, I ask “what value did you get out of our meeting today?” because it’s important to recognize progress, even the smallest things.

Below is an example of a typical meeting:

Barb: What do you want out of our meeting today?

Client: I’d love to find new work. I don’t even know where to start.

You talk for a bit and tell me about your current situation, things that interest you, when you might want to make a move, things you know about making a change and things you don’t know. You also tell me you have an idea about the kind of work you might want to do.

Barb: Do you know anyone who does this kind of work?

Client: Yes, I do. 

Barb: Would it be helpful to talk to this person and learn more about working at this place?

Client: Yes, I trust this person and think talking to them in depth would be helpful.

Action/Accountability: You decide you will set up a meeting with this person who does the work you think you want to do. We agree that you will let me know when the meeting will be held, so that I can follow up with you. 

We don’t know what the outcome will be, and that’s ok. But we do know that you will have more information than before, moving you closer to your ultimate goal. 

To learn more about how coaching can work for you, and schedule your complimentary sample session, give me a call today at 708-R U STUCK (708-787-8825) or email me at [email protected]!