Accomplish Your Executive Goals By NOT Trusting Yourself

As January draws to a close, many people realize their New Year’s resolutions are falling by the wayside. Why is this such a common experience?

David DeSteno is the author of the forthcoming book The Truth About Trust.  In a recent column, he points out that you cannot really “trust” yourself to implement your goals.  He outlines his research demonstrating that goals we set for the future are often linked to emotions present when we set new objectives.  He adds that as these emotions fade, so does our drive to accomplish the original goal.

For example, at New Years you might feel overweight and want to be thinner so you resolve to have a salad at future dinners. Then, as time passes, your enthusiasm for salad fades. Even if you are successfully eating salads during the first week of January, at the start of week 2, potential distractions may arise. As you get closer to that fast food restaurant on your drive home from work, your desire for that cheeseburger grows. This distraction threatens to circumvent your ultimate goal of weight loss.

Most alarmingly, DeSteno asserts that, not only will we break these promises we make to ourselves, but we will then create a story that justifies our actions and, subsequently, forget about our failure. Why? Because we don’t want to believe that we are untrustworthy.

As an Executive Coach I am interested in the results of DeSteno’s research because so much of what I do involves setting goals with clients to achieve metric outcomes. DeSteno’s findings underscore how important it is to add interim steps to ensure that those goals are realized. One effective tool is to remind a client, or for a client to self-manage and remind him or herself, of the emotional enthusiasm they felt when they initially set their goal. Emotions fade as time passes, so the ability to reignite their present day apathy into their former passion, increases the chances of successful goal completion.

Here are a few other coaching tips to optimize successful goal completion:

  • Visualize the future and why your goal will help you in the long run.
  • Make it fun! If you are going to the gym, bring music you like.
  • Utilize task management systems and apps so they help you stay connected to your goals.
  • Set smaller, manageable goals every day that serve as stepping stones to your ultimate or what I call “BIG” goals. Breaking up a big project into smaller pieces makes it less intimidating and allows you to retain your initial optimism.
  • Enlist a friend or family member to hold you accountable.

Let me know if you have other ideas for achieving goals that have worked for you!

Warm regards,

Joe Siegler

Get It Going

Today I feel like talking about MOMENTUM.

In the blog series introduction I described momentum as:

MOMENTUM: What allows us to get unstuck? How can you become a person who sees what’s next and JUMPS into the opportunity with full force? We will discuss the Full Life Achilles® Plan which gives you a method to advance your goals in an organized, energized, and incremental fashion.

It is a pleasure for me to see a new coaching client who comes in determined to start planning and implementing the next phase of their career or life.

I think people turn to coaching when they have had it with feeling “stuck” in some aspect of career or life. “Hitting bottom” is when they are finally determined to move forward in their life. Bottom, however, is different for each person. One person’s bottom is not enough for another person to engage. Another common situation I see is when a client knows exactly what they want to do and they can’t seem to implement their next step goals (which I call their Achilles Plan). So we try to figure out what is blocking their pursuit of their vision. Together, we investigate what is holding them back. Is it fear of the unfamiliar or the new? Or just unexplainable inertia…? Sometimes they find it difficult to implement their vision of the career they deeply want; dating with the intention of a great relationship; or making a relationship a vibrant one instead of a mediocre one. One of my clients told me to add that sometimes there is resistance because one is not sure getting their goal is really going to make a big difference anyway. Pessimism she says needs to be managed as well, if it is a bad habit.

Once we make a hypothesis regarding why a client is blocked from reaching his or her next step, we use the Achilles plan to invigorate their goal implementation by:

1. Changing some environmental factor which gets them to go for new goals. For example, sometimes a 3-day vacation can inspire someone to move forward;

2. We break all goals down to smaller doable goals;

3. We simply wait for the client to go for the next step and encourage him or her to reach out for the goal they seek.

When I need more momentum in some area of work or life, I think about what is holding me back, and then make a plan to stimulate my pressing onward. It could be talking to a friend, a mentor, taking a course, reading a book, going for a bike ride, watching a great movie, working out, or putting something in place that encourages me to move forward. For example, an accountability step, like telling someone I know what I seek to do and asking them to follow-up with me and see if I did it. Another client mentioned that they find brief goal list left on the breakfast table and in the car are really helpful ways of staying focused on what you want.

OK…so take action right now in charging up your momentum with one of the tips discussed here.

How about you? In what ways do you create or maintain momentum that you can share below with others?


You Can’t Prevent Disappointment

Nobody likes being disappointed. It sucks. Whether at work or in life.

During the past few days, Tony Robbins, the virtual god of coaching, was suddenly dropped by NBC, canceling his new television show after only 2 episodes. The news was unexpected for a man who takes pride in his effectiveness in helping others be successful. Suddenly, many American people were not interested in viewing the show. Yet he models resilience by still taking pride in the show: “I am grateful for the reach and experience that the specials created.”NYTimes

If you bravely open your eyes, disappointment strikes multiple times every day. It can be when you are let down by a colleague, a customer, a vendor, or yourself. It can be a sale that doesn’t close; a business plan that does not pan; a talk you give that fails to inspire.

I get disappointed all the time as an entrepreneur. For example, when my book was published this past year, with the launch parties and press, I thought that EVERYONE would get interested in coaching. Instead I found that the smaller but steady flow of clients still allowed Full Life to thrive. Also, when I opened the center 8 years ago, I thought thousands would come for coaching. Many did, but it is common for a business person to think huge things may happen right away. My experience is that usually incremental steps do occur. I never like disappointments, but I have learned to see and feel them, and then go on with a great attitude.

Many clients wonder how to develop a thicker skin. You might consider the following steps of how to modify your thinking in order to build resilience:

1. Expect disappointments and failures so you are not surprised when they occur;

2. Pursue life balance so your confidence is not based only at work;

3. Live for your passion and do the things at work you love;

4. Let the warrior in you come out so no one can bring you down; and

5. Persist, persist, persist.

So remember to take pride in all you do and weather the disappointments with courage and conviction. Don’t try to control everything. Keep going and dare to be disappointed and sometimes fail multiple times, tomorrow, and every day.

Let me know your thoughts about disappointment and share this with friends and colleagues who would be interested in this dialogue.


Announcing the beginning of a fresh new version of Full Life’s Amplifier™ Blog!

From now on, you will see frequent interactive blogs focusing on 6 Key Themes:

1) Business
2) Balance
3) Momentum
4) Possibility
5) Habits
6) Love

The new edition of the Amplifier Blog will broadcast ideas about our lives, our careers, and the world around us. Together, we will reflect on how we can bring our own unique vision to life and then actually implement and achieve our goals.

We will “amplify” ideas so you can optimize your approach to living and then experience the joy of a fulfilled life. This is so you can gain a crystal clear picture of what you WANT which will then in turn “drive” your life design.

The 6 Full Life Blog Themes:

BUSINESS: We will focus on what success means to YOU and how you can further enhance your career or business performance. In this competitive time of economic challenges and downsizing, as an executive, entrepreneur, or student, you will learn tips to avoid burnout, become more resilient, and achieve HIGH-ENERGY goals. You will also get practical tips and strategies for igniting and planning the “next phase” of your business or career.

BALANCE: Living a full life is about balance, which means that you have to pay attention to all or most of the key areas of your life. Using Full Life’s Spheres of Life® Coaching, we apply a matrix of 11 key spheres and make sure you are making desired progress in each area, without letting one area become dominant at the expense of others.

MOMENTUM: What allows us to get unstuck? How can you become a person who sees what’s next and JUMPS into the opportunity with full force? We will discuss the Full Life Achilles® Plan which gives you a method to advance your goals in an organized, energized, and incremental fashion.

POSSIBILITY: You will examine your vision of what lies ahead so you can build your ideal future. Also, how can communities and nations harness innovation in relationships and in technology to build a safer and healthier world?

HABITS: How addictions and bad habits, such as excessive use of alcohol or drugs, procrastinating, hoarding, spending, disorganization, and anything that takes away our time and functioning – actually inhibits progress in one’s life and career. We will not only look at how to overcome bad habits, but we will also explore how we can create positive habits that support us and the people in our lives.

LOVE: Whether single, dating, or in a relationship, we will examine love and how intimacy can be heightened in our lives. What are ways we can magnify our satisfaction in whatever state of love we find ourselves?


With the new Amplifier Blog experience, we hope that you will bring your perspectives into the conversation.

Your responses will be a crucial part of helping yourself and others learn and be more satisfied with life! Enjoy and as always we appreciate your interest and contributions.


HBO In Treatment This Week: April

Session 7:

April lets Paul know it is her last session. Before letting him know she believes he saved her life, she loses her temper at one point and calls him an a******. He takes it with his head down and she asks him why he allows her to mistreat him. She wonders how can he teach her about the real world if he takes her abuse. She is right to point out his unnecessary masochism; he could be setting limits on her abusive behavior, but then he would be a coach.

What he does demonstrate as well- a quality of the best therapists and coaches- is a tremendous caring and empathy toward April. It is almost a love that creates a healing cocoon for April to help her move through chemo and hopefully back to wellness. Paul does have a coach inside him, but he comes from the school of the “talking cure” of therapy. April corrects him and carries out the “walking cure”; she is actually leaving therapy. It appears that Paul’s wounded self made her feel safe, but also got her to take responsibility for healing and getting on with life.


Launching the FYT Book

Fire Your Therapist (FYT) will be launching in bookstores July 6! It is difficult to believe after so many years of it being a work in progress. It is available for pre-sale on at the present time. The publisher says that anyone buying the book now helps out a lot because larger numbers of books will be ordered if they see people are buying it now. I deeply appreciate anyone doing this.

Some good news came in this week: FYT will be available as a book on CD and in downloadable form. The only challenge here is I now have to spend four or five full days reading the book in a studio. I did the first day today…

Lastly, the Chicago launch party for FYT will be on a summer’s night in July. More on this later…


George Valliant and Beautiful Diversity

Online or on news stands you can now read “What Makes Us Happy?” by Joshua Shenk in The Atlantic . Today, both David Brooks in the New York Times and Shenk of The Atlantic talk about this amazing longitudinal study of 268 Harvard men begun in 1937, that I and many others have been aware of for many years. George Valliant is still at work on this vital project. The study is a great example of the futility of theory as applied to all people. The miracle of this study as far as I am concerned is that there is no easy predictor of happiness. Individual male participants have years of happiness and years of great depression. Intimacy is claimed to be vital and yet the same men divorce repeatedly. Some men die while drunk and others die surrounded by loved ones after suffering from mental illness for years. Valliant’s own father committed suicide. As far as I am concerned all this fantastic research returns to the core competencies of great men as unique, humble and disciplined. I am reminded that I see coaching as a tool for each of us to strive toward humility and competence, while managing our individual demons, and celebrating our gifts and accomplishments.

Definitely read this study that spans over 70 years! What does it make you think about in your life?


Launching Fire Your Therapist (FYT)

Just received the final edits for the book. It came by email today, out of the blue. We were not even supposed to get any more versions to edit but I am pleased because it gives one more chance to make sure it’s ready. I will do one more read-through over the weekend.

We are trying to secure a venue for the book launch party in Chicago on July 9, a Thursday night. The day it is to go on sale in bookstores is July 6. I will let you know the details of the launch party when they are decided. The good news is that FYT is up on amazon. com (under Siegler, or Fire Your Therapist). You can order it now if you like. The word is that Amazon orders more books if people start to pre-order. I appreciate all the help you can give.

It’s cool to see the book listed on I am starting to believe this is happening.


Launching Fire Your Therapist (FYT)

Hello all,

It looks like we have identified the venue for the book party on July 16 in Chicago. I will give you more details soon. It is going to be at a very cool hotel in all likelihood.

The challenge of the day/week/month/year is to develop a way to amplify the relationship of FYT and you. You will see my staff figure out how to integrate facebook/twitter/our blog/and our websites. Our FYT website ( will launch soon. For now check the Full Life Web site (

I am so excited to get the word out about FYT. It is vital for the world to move forward and not backward. This is the choice. If you look at the news, some are ashamed of our involvement in torture and others want it exposed. It is vital our country be a beacon for greatness; we must show the world how high our standard has become once again.

FYT will show you and others how to aim for greatness in your life. Hopefully this will spark enthusiasm and many will get interested in this quest.

Night all.

Launching the Fire Your Therapist book

It’s been over five years of working on my book, Fire Your Therapist, and I’ve decided to start sharing all of the stuff we have to get done in the final few months up to our launch date of July 6, 2009.

I wanted to share news and thoughts regarding all the pieces that have to come together so that we can have a successful book launch. Some of it is not that glamorous, so be prepared.

Last week, I finished editing what’s called the bound uncorrected galleys. For me writing is just hard work and takes hours of just sitting down and doing it, so I am very pleased when each step is achieved. This most recent set of edits was the last time I get to see the book before it’s published, and as you can imagine, as a first-time author this is a nerve-wracking time for me. Still I’m in good hands with my publisher, John Wiley, and I have a lot more to do before the launch, so maybe it’s for the best that it’s out of my hands for now.

We are beginning to plan the book launching party in July. I will tell you more about that as the time nears. Right now I am looking to partner with organizations who can help achieve a bigger party and book signing.

I am very excited about sharing this process with you, and I will have a lot more to tell you about in the weeks and months to come.


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