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Staying Engaged


"What goal? Oh that thing... that thing I really want, but didn't achieve in 12 months so I gave up on it?" Yes... That. Ever wonder why we set goals we fail to achieve? Or why we're highly focused at the time we set the goal, but soon after we become disengaged. Why is that?

There are many reasons and variables that influence our ability and desire to achieve a goal. Episode 10 discusses some of those reasons but focuses more on ways to stay engaged, as it's far more often that we disengage from achieving what we want once it becomes hard, or we lose belief in our ability to do the things that need to get done to achieve our goal. It's most likely that your desire for what you want doesn't change, only your belief in your ability to achieve it - whether it be wealth, health or love.

You'll Learn

  • Things to check at the time you set a goal

  • Ways to ensure your goal truly aligns with your values

  • The top tips for setting yourself up for success

  • Ways to bring yourself back if you begin to move away from


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Episode Transcript


EP #11

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 11, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

Today I want to talk to you about ways you can stay engaged. I’m running a Coaching Workshop and one of the questions I was asked by a client, was how to stay engaged with a goal. And I think it’s a great question.

How many times have you set a goal, particularly in December/January. And it’s usually set for around a 12-month timeline, and by month 3 you’re like “what goal? Ohh that thing”. Yep.

Well, yes goals change. Sometimes. But what I believe moreso and more specifically than that, is that the emotional charge for the achievement of a goal changes. Emotional Momentum.

What do I mean? Well when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’d been incredibly sick during my pregnancy and having a toddler to look after at the same time wasn’t the beautiful, romantic, pregnancy I found my first-time-around to be. Eve though I was super sick for that pregnancy as well.

So, being the coach cross management consultant that I am, I began planning for the time my second child (I didn’t know she was a girl at that point) would be earthside and making a colour-coded spreadsheet with all our family’s every single movements. I knew exactly what everyone was doing, and where everyone would be at every minute of every day so I could get back in the gym or at least get to factor in some type of physical activity into my day.

My daughter is now 16 months and you know what exercise I do? I walk maybe 3 mornings a week (on a good week) and I walk around the house doing laundry, cleaning, packing away, I average between 12-17000 steps a day, on a day I get my walk in, but actual cardio, weight, core work… zilch.

About 4 months post-birth I did a YouTube workout in front of my home TV while my kids were asleep. I was so sore the next day that I couldn’t hold my daughter in the bathtub. Literally, my hamstrings and glutes were so sore I struggled to safely hold her. And that became my best excuse not to do anything. But now, she’s pretty (not entirely) but pretty self-sufficient in the tub so I really have no excuse. None. But my emotional momentum to exercise and do what I would call “proper” workouts has dissipated. Into thin air. Yet…. go back to when I was pregnant, I was planning ahead, I was so focused on having my baby and getting back into working out and creating habits that made me feel strong and healthy again… so what happened?

I can hand-on-heart say I miss doing proper workouts. I miss weights and cardio and getting to a gym and within the same breath I can honestly say I have no intention of shifting my current habits to accommodate gym workouts right now.

My time is spent with my kids which I love, and working which I love, and then doing all the things that enable those things to happen – mainly housework. Outside of that, I want some time to socialise with my friends and I want to rest when I can, and on a day when I get to go for my morning walk and listen to whatever podcast I feel like listening to, I feel pretty fulfilled and happy with how my life is working out.

When we look at staying engaged with a goal that obviously, we’re not really feeling engaged with any longer, I think it’s important to assess and understand why it’s no longer a priority if that’s truly how you feel about it. Like me. I can state, aloud and completely authentically that right now, getting in the gym is not a priority for me. I struggle to say completely honestly that working out isn’t a priority because I believe it absolutely should be, but I’m still not doing it. There’s nothing stopping me from turning the TV on and doing a 30 minute workout in front of the TV. It’s just that I’d rather get outside and go for a walk instead of doing a cardio workout or pilates or HIIT in front of Tv.

So firstly, say aloud why you no longer want your goal. Then assess whether that reason is truly acceptable to you, or not. If it is, great, move on. If it’s not, then we need to dig a little deeper.

When working with me as a client, before our very first session we have an initial strategy session. This session is to specifically elicit what you, the client, wants, what the barriers are to achieving that and why you haven’t already. We delve into all of that. Then, when we work out what you do want and how I, your coach, can help you get there, then we have very specific purpose and outcomes from our sessions and time together. I run a tight ship because both of our time is valuable and I want to see you succeed, I want to see you live the life you’re meant to live and love it. I also want to ween you off me as soon as possible. This sounds like a terrible business model and actually, it kind of is, but this to me is ethical. Unlike the drug trade (I watched a TED talk once upon a time about using drug cartels to mimic their business model because it’s a good one, even if that’s a little weird), coaches, like management consultants, get to a point in their relationship where they want to ween their clients off of them. Coaches shouldn’t be in favour of co-dependent relationships. While you’re still growing and that coach is providing you with value, why would you go anywhere? You wouldn’t. It’s in your best interest to stay especially if you know, like and trust that coach. But if you’re having sessions that are vague and not aiding you in mental-health clean-ups or not really serving you, the question must be asked.

As a coach, these are some of the techniques I use to keep my clients engaged in the process, focused forward and to ensure they achieve success, as defined by them:

Goal set

I spend time getting extremely clear on what they want, when they want it, what it will give them, and why they don’t already have it. * Reference Simon Sinek. Their goal will give them something that they don’t already have. It’s my job as their coach, to help identify all the gaps and bridge it.

When you goal set, make sure you understand not only the specifics of the goal, but what it will give you. I’ll give you a hint, it will be an emotion. Not a thing.

There are several techniques you can use to write and extract a goal but I like to consider it from your head, your heart, and your gut why this goal matters and what will shift holistically in your life by achieving it.

I don’t think what people ultimately want (i.e. big picture) really changes. I think our belief in our ability to achieve it changes and this effects our emotional momentum. I also think in our life we have competing priorities and sometimes, especially in new seasons we experience in life, goals we carry with us from previous seasons may seem like less of a priority. That’s not to say they’re not still there and it’s not still something we want, but rather at this point in time, other things are more important.

Do due diligence on ecology

Ecology is something in coaching we talk about to do a clean-up. This clean-up can be done proactively or reactively, with the aim of moving forward with more strength and certainty than before this due diligence was carried out.

It’s always about win-win-wins. I had a client who I was taking through my sales coaching program. Ecology for him was him, his employees, his organisation and his clients. I had a client I was coaching through a divorce. For her, ecology was her, her family including her soon-to-be ex husband, and their extended families. For another client I was coaching through a redundancy. Ecology for them was them, their work team and family at home, and their organisation. Ecology will mean different things depending on your circumstance. As long as you put yourself at the centre, look after your needs first, then do what you can to meet everybody else’s needs and expectations, you will be in ecological alignment and create win-win outcomes for all involved.

In the rare instance where you’re not in alignment, you still need to be at the centre. Your needs still must come first. You can’t save somebody from drowning if you yourself cannot swim. Often at the time somebody hires a life coach, it’s because their needs first and foremost aren’t being met. They’re serving the needs of those outer shells first, the needs of others, and it’s at the expense of their needs and their desires. To create sustainable change and fulfilment, we need to listen to our needs first and put them at the top of the priority list and if, for some reason, others are displaced as a result, we can do what we can to meet their needs, providing our needs have been met first.

I’ve seen too many times, people who finally reach the age of retirement and fall chronically or terminally ill. They’ve waited their entire lives to retire, to then travel or live a life of what they refer to as “freedom” only to get so sick that they are unable to fulfil those dreams. This, I believe, so often happens because that person has served others at the detriment of themselves for such a long time, that when they put themselves first for a change their body finally has a chance to process all of it and energetically, they are so burned out they get sick. I’m not a doctor, and this isn’t an exact science, but this is along the same lines as burn out and chronic fatigue. When you keep pushing, when you keep burning the candle at both ends, when you refuse to process negative emotions you feel or provide space for yourself to relax and recuperate and rest, we can keep going and it can come at a cost.

So when we’re goal setting, ecology is important to check right now in current-state, and I can almost guarantee you’ll find that right now there is no win-win, it will be very one-sided in the favour of others, and ecology needs to also be checked at the time the goal is achieved – to ensure its achievement fits and works with the bigger, more holistic overview of life.

If it doesn’t, then we can do work before setting down the path to achieve the goal to address that from the outset, and pivot or amend where necessary to create ecology at the time of goal achievement in a sustainable and long-term way.

Check-in with their values

As a coach, I’d done SO much values work. Many sessions, over and over. And one day, the penny dropped. I saw Brene Brown live in Melbourne, my son was very, very young (like 5 weeks) and it was the first time I had left him ever. And she was brilliant. The way she elicited values was similar to the work I’d previously done, but not precisely the same. Brene Brown spoke about your values acting as a filter. A filter you have to sense-check the actions you’re about to take. ??? It was in this session, that I realised honesty is and always has been my number one value.

It's when I feel like my true self, when I can put my head on the pillow at the end of the day and know I did right by myself and what I believe….

When I realised this, it made complete sense to me. There were no examples I could think of where honesty hadn’t been my guiding light, tripped me up, or caused the misalignment between what I wanted to do, and what I should do.

The reason this is so important is that if your goal misaligns with your values, you will never achieve it. Even if you think it’s what you want. For example, for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be super skinny. But for me, what that would mean I would have to give up just flat out isn’t worth it to me. I enjoy my food and the social occasions that bring my family and friends together. I don’t over-indulge but I do enjoy. It’s not worth giving up enough. To me. You may have a completely different opinion and that’s perfect for you, this is how I feel after doing a lot of work on it with multiple coaches.

Your values are your values. They will mean specific things to you and when you can identify them accurately, you’ll unlock a piece of the puzzle to help you goal set and make great decisions for you. Values are incredibly important as they act as the guiding lights in your decision making.

Establish time-stamps along the way, journey posts

When setting goals, it’s great to set timeframes in which to achieve those goals – we’ve all heard of SMART goals. However, it’s important to take those timeframes with a grain of salt. I’ve heard multiple people say “people overestimate what they can achieve in one year, and underestimate what they can do in 10”.

At the end of the day, when you set goals, if those goals have gone through all the sense and ecology checks we’ve just spoken about, then time doesn’t matter so much. What we want to avoid is setting a goal to be achieved within a certain timeframe, then getting to that date when said goal is to be achieved and, having not achieved it, we give up on the goal entirely.

If that’s our approach to goal setting, we’ve grossly missed the point. Goals and what you want doesn’t change, if it’s truly something you desire. It will remain in your mind until you run out of the energy you need to attempt achieving it, or until you actually achieve it. Either way, time is irrelevant. It’s the process that matters and continuing on the process to eventually achieve the goal.

I’ve done a lot of sales coaching in my time and this is the perfect example. Business owners want increased sales. They have their lead source and they have x number of leads and make x number of calls or appointments. From that, there is a process. That process will break down. We re-evaluate that step of the process where it’s breaking down and try new things until we get the result. Then we move onto the next step of the process. Very simple, very straight forward. Your goals are no different.

Where the time-stamp matters to me, is when I’m coaching clients. Because typically, I will work with clients for a set timeframe. Usually 6 months. In the initial session we establish what the clients wants and all the other things. Then, we establish time-frames and then I set half-way or quarterly markers for that goal. That way, I have a very set formula for making sure that my client is tracking the way they want to be during our coach-client relationship. This helps me make sure they are taking action, they’re focused, they’re engaged, they’re doing what we both agreed they would be doing, I’m helping hold them responsible for that and we have very defined milestone’s to achieve. It may be the project manager in me 

Other coaches I know don’t work like this and this is why selecting a coach for your needs and values is so important. You’ll have a way of working that you like. Some people like very wafty “let’s see where the session takes us” and to an extent, that’s exactly the way a session should go. Other people are like “I want my money’s worth” and in my case, my clients pay me well and they pay me for results. You’ll know what’s right for you and you’ll also know what you want and how you want to work. Start writing all those things down, and also using the checklist from Episode one (A to B) to help you write down the things you want in a coach.

If you’ve lost passion and drive to achieve your goals, start by asking why. What’s your reason? From there, dig a little deeper and see if you like your reason. If you do, that’s ok. If you don’t, what do you need to do next to get back on track? What will that goal ultimately give you?

Have a great week everybody, I’ll talk to you next week.

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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