When creating personal objectives and targets, it helps me start with a vision of what I want to become. When I don’t have the clear vision, nothing new really happens. I might get better or more efficient at whatever it is I’m already doing, but I don’t make any transformational changes. Lately, I’ve been crystallizing that picture.
I think transforming something about ourselves every 3-5 years is a good thing. Why 3-5? That’s the number that feels about right because looking back, that is how much time tends to pass before I start to lose the desire for immersion in whatever has captured my attention most recently. So for a recent example….I started triathlon in 2002 and by the end of 2006 had a two year plan to check off a few multisport to-do’s so I can focus on starting a family without mixed priorities.
I guess you could say that I’ve made a major change over the past couple years into parenthood and you’d be right, but I’ve been thinking about professional change. I’ve been in Human Resources for about 10 years now, with more than five years corporate and another four plus as a consultant. It took a few years to get there after I decided that’s what I wanted to be. The thing with HR is that most people think about government compliance, employee relations and other painful administrivia. There is a lot of that, none of which I love all that much, hence the desire to branch out.
An important aspect I look for in my transformational changes are a future self definition that leverages the collective learnings and achievements of my journey thus far, so I’m not looking for wholesale abandonment of the field that has paid my bills for the past decade. I’m pragmatic that way. If I’m going to change directions and priorities, I should at least capitalize on the hay that’s already in the barn. As an aside, I choose to believe that I’m following a path that leads me somewhere. Whether that’s true or not matters less than the sense of well being and purpose this conviction lends me.
So back to the crystalization of my future vision and subsequent goal setting. Some of you may remember a Facebook comment I made about health and wellness coaching. You see, I don’t really have the desire to coach athletes. I think it’s the idea of writing training plans for other people whose heads and bodies I’m not inside that gives me pause. I wouldn’t mind mentoring and consulting with athletes who essentially still write their own workouts, but really, I’d prefer to do something to make a teeny dent in broader societal issues such as general wellness and peak performance of the American populace. These relate directly to health care and economic productivity in the United States, which are a couple of well-publicized problems that impact all of us one way or another. By the way, here’s a link to a great read about the health care problem written by someone way smarter than I.
So I’ve nailed it down that I’m fascinated with what it takes to perform well in broad sense. Broadly across domains (family, work, physically, etc.) and broadly across a longer time horizon, but I cringe at the title of “life coach.” Ick. There are connotations in that title that I don’t dig, if you follow me. I do, however, feel a sense of kinship to this Integrative Health Coach concept.
A wise friend asked a question that led me to define what I want to do based on the profile of my desired target audience (client). The needs of the target audience would, by and large, drive what I offer as a health and performance coach. If receptive to the feedback and willing to adapt, this can be a successful method to dial in the specifics of one’s business. Niche marketing and all.
After all that discussion, here’s what I’m seeing in my personal vision of the future:
- A coaching professional with a long view on integrative health, wellness and high performance.
- Client base of professionals and executives seeking these ends but needing support in target & benchmark creation, actionable development plans, and accountability to stay on course.
- At least 50% of income to cover comfortable living expenses to come from professional coaching.
Is there a demand for this service? I don’t know for sure, but I look at societal trends and suspect that the need is probably greater than the demand. Given the growing frustrations with myopic corporate productivity attitudes and escalating health care related costs, investigation of what “health care” and “productivity” really mean ought to change some opinions about what kinds of investments are going to provide the greatest returns. Maybe I’m ahead of the curve, here, but I just need enough people to see the light and have the cash to invest in a performance coach. I don’t need everyone to be on board.
Next part of the process– how to get from here to there. Stay tuned.