Many of us make some kind of New Year’s resolution — get to the gym, quit smoking, eat less — exercise more, take a course, save more money, move jobs, and so on.

Inc. published a list on January 1st, 2019 naming the top 10 new-year resolutions, and, apparently, according to research, we are only about 8 percent successful in our resolve to change.

We know there are changes we need to make — but somehow, we fail at making them.

What has that got to do with coaching, you may ask — since generally, I write about coaching! Coaching at its root is a helping profession for those wanting to make a positive change or move toward a specific goal or outcome. Change needs to be intentional. It won’t happen by accident — at least, positive, powerful, lasting, meaningful change won’t happen by accident.

A coach is a person who accompanies you on the journey and helps you become more self-aware, more intentional, a person who will challenge you to think. Ask yourself — can you afford to just go through life with no purpose or intention? There’s an old proverb which says something like “If you aim at nothing, you’re sure to hit you will hit it every time” (Attributed to Zig Zigler). The more high-stakes your need for change is — the more you need to consider a coach.

WHICH COACH?

There are so many coaching courses on offer, and many people who call themselves coaches have very basic skills. It’s as important to get a well-qualified coach as it is to get a well-qualified plumber or electrician to work on your house.

The better coaches will have some kind of professional certification which is recognised by organizations such as ICF or EMCC. If the coach you are considering hiring is a member of one of these credible bodies, you are most likely in safe hands. These organizations have stringent ethics policies which coaches must adhere to. Your coach may be heading towards a qualification which is valid. If so, they should be able to explain to you exactly where they lie in terms of being accredited — if they are evasive, unsure, or unclear — you may need to investigate more, or find someone else. There are many excellent coaches. But there are also many people with very basic training and skills.

2020 · what now?