Apologies to those of you who were expecting an article last week. Ten days ago my personal computer decided that it had given it all. I now have a new computer and I’m back to writing. Disaster adverted!
One of the things I was mulling over while I was sorting my computer was that from today, Sunday, October 1st, I have 3 months (roughly 90 days) left until the end of 2023.
I was in shock first, thinking who stole my year. Then, I shifted to mentally assess how well I was doing with achieving my goals. I did that randomly, which, of course, triggered anxiety because my mind went straight to the things that I hadn’t accomplished.
And finally, I calmed down.
I started by remembering all the things I’ve done and especially thanking my past self for writing a post before the summer compiling my achievements to date.
Next, I asked myself what were the top 3 things I wanted to accomplish before the end of the year.
Finally, the juicy question I want to share with you today: How do I get them?
I came up with four different strategies that have helped in the past. I hope they work for you too.
Four ways to get what you want this year
#1 Ask for help
You may have been expecting something like “do a Google search”, “get a certificate”, “make a list” or any other satisfying way to proactively procrastinate. Don’t-you-dare.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and ask for help. In my experience, this is going to be especially difficult if you’re a giver. You’ll try to talk yourself out of it. Examples
“People are going to think I’m needy”.
“I cannot bother others with my problems”.
“Nobody can do this but me”.
Then, think about all the times you’ve helped people. Out of your goodwill, simply because you’re a kind person. Then, think that others are kind too.
And now it’s when it becomes uncomfortable for me because I’m going to do what I’m preaching…
HELP: I want to grow my coaching business so I’m looking for more clients. There are two ways people can work with me
One-on-one: I have two programs. The first focuses on becoming your own version of success The second is geared towards helping people who have experienced — or are experiencing — hardships to move forward again and face life in a more healthy and sustainable way.
Last week I got a fantastic testimonial from somebody who finished one of the programs
I am happy that I’ve met Patricia in time. I am going through a career change period, which has become less frightening and more strategic.
She helped me see the patterns of how my mind is holding me back, and by the end of the coaching program, I noticed a shift in my self-confidence and resilience. In our sessions, we uncovered the root causes of my inaction, and solutions emerged naturally from her insightful questions. She also shared her wisdom and vision when I needed it.
She is passionate about coaching and empowering women and has all the necessary expertise to help. I enjoyed every session. Thank you, Patricia!Alena Sheveleva, Research Fellow
Group coaching: I’ve developed a 6-month program for people managers to give them tools to better handle the pressures of their work and move from stressed employees to satisfied professionals. The program is designed such that the managers can use the tools with their reports as well.
If you’re interested or you know somebody who may be, please connect with me.
Ufff. I did it. I asked for help.
#2 Be like a toddler
Through my years of being a coach and coaching others, a tool that comes up often is using our imaginary future self to help us unstuck ourselves.
- Write a letter to your future self.
- Write yourself a letter from the future asking for advice.
- Use visioning to meet with your future self.
- Imagine yourself in 20 years receiving a prize, what will be your acceptance speech?
And so on.
They can be helpful to open ourselves to possibilities but they can also offer so many choices that we get trapped in analysis-paralysis limbo.
Also, sometimes it can be difficult to get inspired by a “version” of ourselves that we may not find particularly enticing.
For example, I found that some of my clients in their 60s and 70s are not super excited to ask for advice to their 80 or 90-year-old version of themselves. For some of them, it’s triggering since they wonder if they’d even be alive by then.
To prompt myself into action my trick is actually the reverse — what a toddler would do?
1.- Have a great focus.
2.- Are very persistent.
3.- Make very clear what they want. .. and they are happy to let go of it if they find something better.
4.- They are open to experimenting with everything as “play”.
5.- They are extremely self-confident.
(6.- And they ask for help — see point #1 above)
So, when I’m stuck on inaction, rather than asking my future self for advice, I appeal to my “toddler energy” to get me moving.
Let me know in the comments how you’ll apply #ToddlerEnergy this week.
#3 Get a sponsor
I’ve been a mentor for years. Also, I’ve had many mentors. And as a woman tech, I’m reminded several days a week of the importance of mentors.
Let me tell you a secret: Get a sponsor.
Whilst a mentor is somebody who talks to you about their career and gives you advice based on their experiences, a sponsor is somebody who talks about you in rooms where you aren’t present (yet).
- Makes introductions to people who can help you achieve your goals.
- Recommends you to key stakeholders for projects, initiatives, and roles.
- Uses their clout to help you to get what you want.
In summary, a sponsor actually puts themselves in the line for you — they vouch for you.
Top tip: Unlike mentors, you cannot ask somebody to be a sponsor. You earn it. How do you know if somebody is your sponsor?
Share with the person what you want to achieve and make an ask, for example, an introduction to somebody who they have told you can help you. If they are willing to do it, they believe in you — they are your sponsor. If they avoid committing to it, then you may want to explore if the person is more of a mentor only.
#4 Get a coach
After reading the title, some of you may be thinking that this is a rehash of point #1. It isn’t.
I’ve been a “consumer” of coaching since 2018. And it’s been life-changing. I’ve experimented with several coaching modalities — group, 1:1, Time to Think, The Model, Playing Big — and these are some of the things I achieved through coaching
- Launching my website after talking myself out of it for 2 years.
- Launching my business whilst keeping my full-time position at a tech company after shattering the limiting beliefs that I couldn’t have both.
- Holding more space for my team to co-create solutions after realising that my value as a manager was not tied to “knowing more” than my direct reports.
- Asking for more recognition at work whilst regaining a life-work balance.
- Writing posts more regularly after learning how to calm down my perfectionist impulses.
- Being more conscious about the manuals I have for others and how patriarchy influences my decisions.
- Gaining awareness of when I’m catastrophising about a situation and reducing overwhelm caused by uncertainty.
- Benefiting from a non-judgemental accountability partner.
- You have three months to the end of 2023.
- Decide on the top 3 things you want to accomplish before the end of the year (they can be less than 3 but no more).
- Try the strategies below
- Ask for help
- Be like a toddler
- Get a sponsor
- Get a coach
Let me know in the comments how it goes.
Work with me
Contact me to explore how we can work together
- As a career and life coach, I can help you to become your own version of success and feel better.
- I’m a sought-after international keynote speaker on the topics of empowering women and underrepresented groups in tech, artificial intelligence sustainability and bias, inclusive workplaces and products, and future thinking.
- Through inclusive leadership programs, practices, and audits, I help leaders and organisations to leverage diversity to boost innovation, increase revenue, and attract and retain talent.