Give Your Client a HUG - A Huge Unbelievable Goal!

I love HUGs, don't you? I'm talking about Huge Unbelievable Goals - where we inspire ourselves to live a bigger life with a huge goal - the bigger the better!

The wonderful thing about HUGs is that they're easier to achieve than people think. In fact they're often easier to achieve than your average goal because HUGs are SO exciting  that people willingly go to great lengths to achieve them. And one of the strange things about HUGs is that with focus and a little synchronicity people usually achieve their HUGs much sooner than they expect - and in unexpected ways.

Now a HUG actually breaks many 'rules' - for example a HUG usually starts out vague with no specific deadline. Examples of HUGs could include travelling the world, moving to a new country, starting a charity or switching careers to a totally new field.

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Great HUGs have these features:

  • Your client can clearly communicate their HUG.
  • Your client feels GREAT or inspired just thinking about their HUG!
  • The HUG aligns strongly with their values.
  • The HUG initially seems impossible or to be a long way off (2-25 years).
  • Once your client is over any initial disbelief or fear, they are excited to work on it!

I have had clients who have switched jobs AND where they lived - in under 6 months (plan was 2-5 years), given up their jobs for a year and travelled the world WITH their young family (people told her it wasn't possible!) and clients who have moved to the other side of the world! These goals were all achieved much sooner and more easily than expected.

How to use HUGs in your Coaching Practice:

1) In a Coaching Session:

Help your clients brainstorm a list of 10-30 potential HUGS and then ask them to circle 1-3 of them that they'd like to work on. Questions to help brainstorm potential HUGs:

  1. "What do you want more than anything in the world?"
  2. "What inspires and excites you so much that you'd happily 'work your ass off' to achieve it?"
  3. "If you had a magic wand and could create the 'ideal' life, what would it look like?"
  4. "What have you always dreamed of?" (if they say nothing, try saying, "What about secretly?")
  5. "You're 90 years old and looking back over your life, what do you wish you had done?"

2) As Homework:

Get your clients to create a Vision Board. Ask them to cut out pictures, words and quotes that represent their dream life, then they can look for the HUGs hidden inside their Vision!

Making HUGs Real!

Of course for your clients to get serious about their HUGs - they'll need to get more specific and break the HUG down into smaller more manageable steps. And they'll also need support and encouragement, especially in the early stages - and this is where you come in!

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.  Michelangelo

Watch out for: As coaches, it's important to help our clients enjoy their journey. While your client may happily work hard to achieve their HUG - make sure they are not making "too big" sacrifices in the present to get their pay-off later (ie. remember work-life balance)...

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