As professionals who help drive change for other people, it seems to be of utmost importance to know how to manage and drive change in our own lives. Self care and health needs become central, and sometimes we forget about our other needs we may be neglecting – like those of our professional development and growth.
The benefits to staying accountable to your own professional development goals are intrapersonal, seeing as our own growth as a coach can only benefit the people we serve, as well as how we interact with others and show up outside of work, too.
The purpose of our blog this month is to provide some practical strategies for wellness coaches to maintain accountable to their own career and professional development goals.
In this blog, we will cover:
- Set Clear and Specific Goals
- Create a Professional Development Plan
- Track Your Progress
- Seek Accountability Partners
- Embrace Continous Learning Opportunities
- Reflect and Adjust
- Celebrate Milestones and Achievements
Set Clear and Specific Goals
I know we are in good company when it comes to making and following through on our goals and small steps we make for ourselves. We do it all the time with clients. Heck, we even were tested on this stuff to pass the NBHWC boards! And yet, how often do we allow ourselves the generosity of caring for our own career as much as we care for the people in our lives?
Getting clear and mapping out a plan does not have to be a long, complex, multi-day process. It can happen with some scheduled “CEO time”, as you deserve it, you entrepreneur, you.
Just as there are infinite ways to goal set, there are infinite ways to career goal-set. Follow your intuition and play with what feels right to you. Whether it’s a brainstorming session, a 10-year, then 5-year, then 1-year goal mapping, a visioning exercise, or a SMART goal. You have the tools, now apply them to yourself and your professional life.
Create a Professional Development Plan
There’s a reason big organizations use a formal professional development plan. It provides structure and accountability for checking in.
What could be your version of a professional development plan? Whether it’s using a tool already in your toolbox, or searching for a helpful map to plot out some ideas, the options are endless here.
The point is to make it structured with time points, milestones, stretch goals, and dreams for the future. Let the formless take form – and do it in pencil if that feels too overwhelming.
Track Your Progress
We all know saying something and doing it are certainly not the same thing. How can you easily, and joyfully, keep a feeler for where you are in relation to where you want to be?
Perhaps electronic tools (such as project management platforms, design templates, lists, or spreadsheets) have worked well for you before. Recognize what in these tools was helpful, and what was missing.
Perhaps analog tools (such as homemade collages, paper and pen, and literal workbooks) have worked well for you too, or instead. Again, take note of how these elements played into your success, and what barriers you noticed for these tools.
Magic-wand your way into the middle way with your tracking. What’s the best of both worlds? A way to allow a both/and into your progress monitoring?
Let it be less complicated and more life-giving. Without the excitement and energy flowing for a tracking mechanism, the follow-through is less likely to happen.
Seek Accountability Partners
We love to see clients and our learning community make their support system visible by searching for, requesting of, and leaning on an accountability partner or two.
Take a moment to take inventory of the supports in your professional life now. Again, notice what is going well, and notice what is missing.
Consider expanding your support to include a 1:1 business coach to form or grow your business, or a 1:1 mentor coach to expand your coaching skills. At Wellspired Co., we are honored to work in these capacities with our learning community. Seeing our colleagues across the field find value in their learning by dedicating time and investing in their growth is absolutely thrilling. Both of these 1:1 coaching opportunities are pre-approved for 6 CEU with NBHWC, so there is an incentive to learn as you grow!
Embrace Continuous Learning Opportunities
Becoming a Nationally Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC) has its advantages when it comes to professional growth.
Not only are we all held accountable for our continued education, but we also are ethically bound to personal and professional growth. We are encouraged to notice our growth edges and seek guidance and mentorship to work through them.
It can be helpful to explore the different kinds of learning opportunities available to us as health and wellness professionals. Beyond doing something for the CE’s, what are we yearning for in our growth and development? What would we want it to look like? Is there a container of time that feels supportive for learning, or am I a regular, monthly learner who always wants to dive in?
At Wellspired Co., we have several continuous learning opportunities that encompass the spectrum of professional development from new coaches in the field to established coaches seeking deeper mentorship or business advice. For a full run-down of our catalog of CE offerings, read our last blog here.
Our newest and most valued professional development program is a 1:1 business coaching program with our founder and lead marketing strategist, Jen Wright, NBC-HWC. Jen comes from a corporate marketing background and spent years perfecting corporate as well as small-business growth and marketing needs. The full details on this 6-CEU program for 1:1 individualized and professional support from Jen can be found here.
Finally, we encourage our community of learners to dedicate ongoing learning into their routines.
We currently host weekly Co-Working and Community Connection calls for our students to meet, collaborate, and get stuff done together via Zoom. Additionally, we host weekly Tech Support Office Hours for select programs (Wellness Coach Business Academy and Super Summer Series). This weekly hour is dedicated to getting all your tech questions answered in a 1:1 15-minute time slot with our Operations Manager and fellow entrepreneur Megan Hadley, MA, NBC-HWC. These 2 weekly connection points are enhanced by a Private Community for paid students where they can ask questions 24/7 and continue learning alongside other health and wellness professionals.
Reflect and Adjust
Have you ever gone to a class and the next week completely lost the whole purpose of being there?
The time to pause and integrate is necessary for both professional and personal development. By spending some time and energy in the immediate learning and post-learning phase can help keep our knowledge fresh and ready to be integrated into our personal and work lives.
This includes returning to the professional development plan you made above, and evaluating yourself on your progress! Did you make a plan for the year and drop it? It’s never too late to pick it back up again. Being honest with yourself and giving yourself grace also leaves space for for changing the way you implement a plan the next go around.
Continually assessing how realistic your goals are is important to this as well. There is a difference between moving the marker because you did not try to accomplish anything, and moving the marker because you did and the vision, priorities, and map have changed.
This practice of adjusting on the fly helps set yourself up for success, which will only motivate you to continue the forward momentum.
Celebrate Milestones and Achievements
Celebrating is not always obvious or inherent to people when it comes to personal or professional growth. Society tells us celebrating looks like one thing, when often what we want to celebrate looks completely different.
Consider this your permission to celebrate how you want to, and not just at the end of a big, long goal. Building in mini-milestones for your achievements adds joy to the process of change, which can be motivating and purposeful.
We encourage our learning community at Wellspired Co. to share their achievements regularly in our Private Community, a space for connection and collaboration. It is so inspiring and motivating to share in each other’s wins, and amplify the amazing work happening in our field.
Instead of feeling that looming feeling like you’re going to drop the ball when it comes to professional development, we invite you to follow these simple and empowering steps to stay accountable to your goals for professional development in the health and wellness industry as coaches and entrepreneurs.
Set clear goals just as you do with your clients, create a literal plan for your professional development, track your progress, seek accountability partners, embrace continuous learning opportunities, and reflect and adjust.
The growth of our field and the transformation of healthcare depends on our willingness to step up to the plate and be planful and mindful about our continued education and professional development.
As a takeaway, commit to one small step you are inspired to take for your professional development after reading this blog.
Perhaps you’d like to join us for our Super Summer Series, which is a 6 CEU bundle of 6 exciting and vitally important keynote series classes offered throughout the summer and on demand. Click here to join us!