Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Dec-2015

Ready, Set, Goal

Categories:  Business Coaching, Being on purpose, Training & Coaching, Life Balance and Wellbeing, Sport and Leisure

'People who aim at nothing seldom miss the target.'

Well here we are again…another year over, a new one just beginning.  ‘Tis the season for resolving to do something different.  To set yourself something, which often, even with the very best intentions will be forgotten, or left for dead before the year has had chance to really get going.  So how can you carry your resolve with you into 2016 and ensure those new year’s promises are not left by the wayside? How do you keep on track and achieve those things you really want to be, do or have and make this year your most successful to date?

Here are my top 7 tips to help you on the road to success:

1.  Make it as easy as 1, 2, 3

Never mind top 10, choose a maximum of 3.  Too many goals can be overwhelming and may result in none being achieved.  Consider those things you really, really want, because any goal worth having will mean some sacrifice on your part.  They can be big audacious ones, or small significant ones, just as long as they’re meaningful for you.


2.  Take a commitment check

Ask yourself, ’Why do I want this?’  and ‘Why is that important to me?’ Align your goals to your values (i.e. those things that are really important to you) and you’ll be more likely to achieve them.  

Now rate your commitment and importance on a scale of 1-10 (1 = I’m not that bothered; 10 = just try to stop me).  Ask yourself, ‘what does achieving this goal really mean to me?’ and ‘How committed am I to doing what it takes to achieve it?’

If you’re not scoring at least 8 on that scale, you may want to set another more meaningful goal, or ask yourself, ‘What would need to happen to make it an 8, 9, 10?’  If you can address that, do it, if not, think again.


3.  Make them SMARTER

Each of your goals should be:

Specific – unambiguous and expressed precisely, in sufficient detail to mean something to you.

Measurable – set yourself some milestones along your journey and include a mechanism whereby you will know when you’ve reached your chosen destination.

Achievable – make them big, by all means, just make sure you have the skills and wherewithal to make it happen, or have a plan on how you’ll get what you need.

Relevant – the have to be meaningful, appropriate and significant for you to want to spend the time, energy and resources it will take to achieve them.

Timed – set yourself a deadline or timescale, so you can keep track of your progress.

Exciting – uninspiring goals can be boring, demotivating and left unfinished.  Choose goals that challenge, inspire and excite you.

Recorded – Write them down and share them with others.  This makes them more real and adds a little extra commitment.


4.  Use the 3 P’s

Make your goals:

Personal – something you really want and is within your control

Present tense – as your brain can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction, you might as well tell it you’re already there by expressing it as if you’ve already achieved it, then give it a timeline e.g. I am 10 stone in September 2016

Positive – write down what you want, not what you don’t want


5.  Use the right tools

There are many goal setting tools out there, 2 of my particular favourites are the GROW model and Brian Maynes’ Goal Mapping.  You can use these on your own, or get a coach to work with you for maximum impact.


6.  Make marginal gains

Small things done consistently achieve big results.  Even those seemingly insignificant actions can create compound interest and before you know it you’re there.  Equally, failing to take daily action can set you back to square one.  If you are what you consistently do, then it makes sense to decide who that is, then do what it takes every day, to be that person.


7.  Start Now

There’s no time like the present, so do something, however small, straight away…and keep going.


There you have it!  Well, what are you waiting for?  What WILL you do NOW and NEXT to get you closer to making 2016 your best year yet?

Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2016, whatever you resolve to do.

If life is an echo

Categories:  Being on purpose, Life Balance and Wellbeing

Life is an echo.  What you send out comes back.  from Bev James "Daily Do Its!"

This statement refers to the principle of causality, where the intent and actions of an individual influence their future.  Call it life’s echo, the boomerang, Karma, or what goes around, comes around.  As this is the season of goodwill it seems like an appropriate time to think about what that means.

Pick up a newspaper, read social media or watch the TV and you’ll see a world of hate. The worst that ‘humanity’ has to offer.  I’m not going to quote any particular atrocity here as there have been so many needless, brutal, senseless acts recently.  Has the world gone mad?  We see societies full of intolerance, impatience and misunderstanding.  Groups of people vandalising, brutalising and terrorising others into submission, just because they don’t share their beliefs, values or lifestyle.   If the statement at the top of this blog is true, there are currently a lot of people set to receive some seriously bad echoes. 

It never ceases to astonish me at the seemingly endless, appalling and cruelly creative methods the human race finds to torture each other, physically, mentally and emotionally. Sadly it seems, there are many misguided and misinformed people who use religion to justify committing atrocities.  People will find reasons to do bad things and maybe religion has become a convenient cloak to hide behind.  Religious texts have been warped, twisted and manipulated to fit fanatical agendas.  Are we so self-centred, narcissistic and sure of ourselves that we can only accept those who fit our model of the world?  Maybe it’s fear, ignorance or just plain bigotry.  Who knows? 

It’s easy to make excuses for bad behaviour; often it’s someone else’s fault.  “I’m genetically predisposed”; “it’s the way I was brought up”; “they made me do it”.  There are many nature-nurture debates, but let’s not forget the third aspect that many fail to acknowledge…choice.  We have the capacity to choose what we think, how we feel and what we do in any given situation.  I accept, those choices may be limited, not really what we’d like, or the best of a bad situation; they are however still available.

Perhaps it’s time to take a good look in the mirror, focus on what we can control and work on our own behaviour, rather than being so quick to judge, criticise and bully others who are not like us.

I’ve referred to these quotes before, but they continue to resonate with me. 

“This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple: the philosophy is kindness.”


“Be kind when it is possible.  It is always possible.”  Dalai Lama

Maybe if more of us lived by this philosophy, the world would be a better place.