Stay on target

A three-point test to ‘yes’

One of the benefits of training to be a life coach is getting access to a bunch of talented, smart-as-hell, intuitive, incisive coaches-in-training to help you sort through any obstacles before you. I’ve been coached up, to the tune of about 50ish hours so far, by some brilliant women in the Courageous Living Coach Certification program this year, and the benefits of that coaching are #priceless. Today, I want to share one of them with you.

If you really know me, you know that I have one very large challenge in my life, no matter how much I try to work on it: Namely, I’m a people-pleaser from way, way back … and I have enormous difficulty setting (and keeping) boundaries on my time. There are seventeen ways to look at the source of that instinct — some leave me feeling virtuous, others leave me feeling far less so — but at its core, this is one of the greatest, most persistent challenges I face.

It was through some excellent coaching over the weekend that I hit upon an idea for a “three-point test” to run through before committing to something new at work. It goes like this:

Three-point test

I made this (thanks Canva!) business-card size, so it can go inside my faculty ID lanyard/card holder, and hence can travel with me around campus as I get hit by the inspiration train and/or asked to participate in something (or, let’s be honest, feel like someone else might possibly benefit from something I could do and volunteer before thinking twice).

I don’t want to suggest that I’ve found the Perfect Solution to All Problems, but I do feel like these three tests — the things that resonate most fully with where I want to direct my energies — are at the core of what I occasionally, too quickly dismiss.

Feel free to borrow this image, if you like … grab the image, save the PDF, etc. Or make your own — Canva makes it pretty darn easy.

Here’s to a great new academic year!


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  1. […] … and will be even more so come October. Remember to take a pause before saying yes; turn to your three-point test, and maybe even sleep on something before […]

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