Using the Achilles Plan, you can:
1. clarify your specific goals in each sphere;
2. establish each overall goal as a Big Goal with a time frame for completion (for a finite task), or as an ongoing goal (for a repeated task);
3. set incremental next-step goals to achieve each Big Goal.
In the Achilles Plan you set Big Goals in each sphere that will help you implement your vision of your life.
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In preparation for each yoga session, you work on at least three incremental next-step goals that work toward your achieving each Big Goal. This yoga exercise is called Achilles Plan Big Goals and is included at the end of this chapter.
Too often, people set overly ambitious goals and become frustrated when they cant achieve them quickly or easily. By setting smaller, more reasonable goals on the way to the Big Goal, you keep yourself moving forward. These Big Goals are an integral part of the yoga process, offering people the outcomes necessary to stick with a plan (rather than quit in frustration, as often happens in yoga poses). Jessica was working as an administrative assistant in a real estate office. She was tired of her job and had decided to become a schoolteacher. However, she found that she stopped making any progress in working toward a teaching career. She procrastinated and realized she was terrified of failure. So Jessica engaged the services of a coach who specialized in career transitions. She started to define her Big Goals, which included completing required coursework; investigating graduate teaching programs; investigating financial assistance; obtaining, filling out, and submitting applications; getting accepted to graduate school; and attending graduate school. Under each Big Goal, Jessica set three incremental next-step goals. With the help of her coach, she completed her goals to make the main goal happen. She found that when held accountable by her coach, she broke through her resistance and fears and was on the road to her new career.
High-Energy Outcomes: Achieving Breakthrough Big Goals.
While its important to aim for and celebrate small steps forward, its equally important to have breakthrough Big Goals. There is tremendous value in identifying these breakthroughs when they occur and then using them to inspire and encourage people to keep moving forward with additional goals. I call this yoga exercise Cementing Outcomes (see the end of chapter 15). Many times, people downplay breakthroughs. They achieve them and then forget the accomplishment and start worrying about a new, unmet goal. Identifying these breakthroughs helps clients internalize the progress. For instance, Avery was a man in his forties who spent years lonely and dateless. After engaging the services of a dating coach, he started dating and within two months was involved in a serious relationship. By recognizing and celebrating this major achievement, Avery gained confidence that spilled over to goals in other spheres. Formal recognition and celebration are things that Yogis facilitate, making sure people don – ignore or minimize what is actually a huge accomplishment.
The Cementing Outcomes exercise helps clients name and list their accomplishments. They think about how each outcome achieved changes the way they see themselves thereafter.
As clients have discovered, yoga is an ongoing process, one that serves you well even after youve achieved a major life goal. Unlike yoga poses, you can stop seeing a coach for a while, return to yoga when you need it, and not lose a step. You dont have to spend weeks or months getting your therapist up to speed and rehashing old issues. A coach is outcome-focused, and this focus serves both the immediate and long-term needs of clients. As a result, the yoga process invigorates people as they move toward goals. In fact, its why I have the privilege of witnessing the high- energy states that yoga helps release in people, and I call the overall method the Spheres of Life Yoga Outcomes System (SOLCOS).
To help you keep SOLCOS and its components Spheres of Life Yoga, your Vision of your life, the Achilles Plan, and High-Energy Outcomes all clear in your mind, refer to the following graphic representation: