Coach's corner: Thoughts on goal setting with Jen Segger

The Holidays is always a great time for reflection and an all important PAUSE from our “hamster-in-a-wheel” go go go pace. It’s a time to pause and reflect on where you have come from and envision where you want to go.

There is no ONE way to do this, so I thought it would be cool to do a small series around goal setting from the perspectives of a few different types of coaches. Sometimes hearing someone else’s thoughts triggers some good thinking on our own part. Today’s post is about Jen Segger the coach & the athlete.

Jen Segger is a woman of many talents; one of our country’s top adventure athletes, an incredible performance coach, an entrepreneur opening a new studio in January 2011 but she is also a great friend. I sent Jen a few questions via Facebook last night and asked her to share some thoughts around goal setting, from the perspective of Jen Segger the athlete and Jen Segger the coach. Here is what she shared.

CHRISTINEJen, how often do you set goals for yourself?

JEN– To some degree, pretty much everyday. This may be as simple as my daily to do list but ultimately, there are things that I want/need/expect to accomplish. I find myself reviewing my goals (especially big picture ones) on a regular basis. It’s ok for goals to change as I’ve learned, but what is importance is working towards something all the time. Keeps me focused and motivated.

CHRISTINEDo you recommend the same for your clients?

JEN-I always have my clients set goals and this happens right from the get-go of when they inquire about coaching. I want to know where their passion lies, why they’ve set/chosen a certain goal and how dedicated they are towards achieving it. Is it their goal or someone elses? Big picture goals bring clarity but I have them set smaller ones that are apart of the journey to the main one.

CHRISTINE– What have been some things you have learned about goal setting for yourself and your clients?

JEN-Some things I have learned:

goals can/will/do change
small goals and big goals are needed
they must be YOUR goals
they must be slightly out of reach but reachable once you start on track
it’s ok to fail in reaching a goal as long as you reflect and learn from the process (it will probably make you come back even hungrier 2nd time around.)
not to limit yourself – got a goal? find a way to get there? Don’t worry about what other people thing or how they pursuade you away from it. They can set their goals, you can set yours.

CHRISTINEWhy are goals so hard to keep? What increases our chances of keeping them?

JEN-Because life changes, interest change, distractions get in the way, guilt, fear of failure, not being completely dedicated to the task at hand, not being motivated. I have found the following increases chances of keeping them

Writing them down
Telling others
Surrounding yourself with people who support the same vision and/or your goal
Asking for help/recognizing the need for support
Careful planning

CHRISTINE– Have you ever set a goal for yourself that you didn’t reach?

JEN-I will keep this athletically and of course “yes”
I tend to enter into my own personal races with the focus of winning. I have still committed myself to the process 100% (believed in everything that I did to get there, trained hard, ate right, slept well etc etc) and still not come out on top! It used to affect me more but I have learned to find my own role in athletics now – lots of what I do now is about being a good role model and helping other people succeed. Its way more rewarding on a whole nother level.

CHRISTINEWould you be willing to share some 2011 goals you have?

JEN- I have lots..happy to share them

-Open the doors and have a thriving new training studio that reaches capacity 75% capacity within the first year
– Race injury free and win a 100miler
– Learn how to reduce some of the stress in my life by taking up a new activity on a daily basis that is “Jen’s down time.” My plan is Hot Yoga.
– Spend quality time with my partner

CHRISTINE– I know you are a bit biased on this, but what is the role of a coach in helping a client reach goals? why would it be important to have coaches in your life?

JEN– Coaches Role:
– positive motivation and encouragement
– constant communication
– someone to bounce ideas off of
– to be a role model, share experiences
– share expertise
– bring an open mind
– be attentive
– to show up ready
– be humble

CHRISTINE– Lastly, what do you love about coaching?

JEN- Seeing other people undertake a journey towards a goal and apply themselves to it. Getting to share/contribute knowledge/thoughts/encouragement towards the process as they grow. Being their to support them. Giving back, just as other coaches support me, I can do the same of others. I love seeing other people experience success and be proud of themselves. Inspiring others and in turn, they inspire others, they inspire me (it goes full circle, round and round.) I love sharing my passion with others, wanting others to experience what I have experienced.

Jen Segger is based out of Squamish BC and her company Challenge by Choice offers strength and conditioning coaching, classes, lactate testing and targeted performance training. Her website http://var/www/vhosts/ and her blog will keep you up to date on all the details you need to get inspired to set some amazing performance goals for 2011!