Looking back and planning ahead

MyCoachingToolkit - Review of the year - Wide

Looking back and planning ahead 

As this year draws to a close many of our conversations with clients will be reflecting back over the last 12 months to see if they were able to achieve all of the things they set out to. And if not, try to identify the things that could have caused things to go off track or agree what can be done differently in future to ensure they are going to be successful when planning ahead into 2022.

However, we know life has been quite unpredictable again this year and many of us have simply had to accept that some things were just not going to be possible or had to be postponed due to the ongoing restrictions.

So how can we help our clients to set realistic goals, when we are all unsure what exactly is going to be possible?

The first thing to remember is that nothing in life is ever going to be perfect or go entirely to plan, even if we do everything we can to try and make things happen in the way we hope they would. The other key to this is to just be realistic about what is possible when we are planning ahead, but trying not to put too many things on hold in the hope that everything will return to normal before we can make any real plans for the future.


Reflect back to plan forward

A good coach can help people spot an opportunity, set goals and see things through, so they can broaden their scope of possibilities and develop new potential. It’s important for the individual to understand how they feel now and how they want to feel (or think they will feel) as a result of any change they are now ready to make when they are planning ahead.


“If you don’t know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are, and if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”

Terry Pratchett


Whenever your client is ready, ask them to press pause on their day so they can reflect back to plan forward. This can be something they complete on their own between your coaching sessions or as part of a coaching session where you lead them in a review of their year and ask your client to picture their ideal self (future state), then compare it to their current self (current state).

It can be really helpful to create an environment where you:

  • Encourage – to get an individual out of their comfort zone and explore new behavior
  • Empower – to enable them to find their own solution
  • Stimulate – their personal and professional development.

Further reading:

We have just published a new ebook with three main sections to help you guide your clients through a review of their achievements from the last 12 months. It also helps you look for any missed opportunities and then walks you through the all-important planning ahead and goal setting process for the next 12 months.

This can be especially helpful if one of your clients is at a crossroads or feels they did not achieve everything they set out to this year and would like to press pause so they can reflect back and plan forward.

And remember, when working with a client who would like some help planning ahead, making commitments or agreeing goals, it can be helpful if you are asking questions that offer some positive or friendly challenge.

The new review of the year ebook is now available from our online shop and includes the key questions to ask when looking back and planning ahead:

  • Ebook – Review of the year – Learn how to guide your clients through a full review of the year to identify any achievements or missed opportunities with this 21 page e-book. We also provide a step by step guide to start the essential forward planning and goal setting for the year ahead.

Please note – Please include a reference and link back to this original blog if you wish to copy or share anything we have written: (cc) MyCoachingToolkit.com – 2021

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