Who is the Future You

Coaching - Succession- Financial Planning

Who is the Future You

A key when I’m coaching somebody is to establish the goal or goals (maximum 3) that they want to achieve. Defining those goals is very hard for many. I asked my psychologist brother why this seems to be so difficult and his response surprised me…until I thought about it.

“Its hard for a person to see themselves in the future” People might be able to talk about a dream they have…to double sales or own a cottage…but dreams are general with no fixed time frame.

Goals need to be more specific, need a time frame and identified steps which can be used to measure progress. One of my first roles as a coach is to help people visualize their future self. Five years from now:  how’s your health, what do you weigh (yes diplomacy is helpful here) what kind of car are you driving, what are you earning and how are you earning it?

One of the exercises I have used, to get people into a future frame of mind is to complete the table:

Age Today 5 yrs 10 yrs 15 yrs
You 55 60 65 70
Spouse 54 59 64 69
Child 23 28 33 38
Child 21 26 31 36
Key Person 60 65 70 75

When a client looks at this table, it brings home the fact that time is marching on, it helps them get into that future view. As I guide the conversation I point out (for instance) that if retirement at 60 is the goal, in this case that’s 5 years. Paid twice per month? That’s 120 pay cheques until your pay cheques stop, will you be ready? What will you do with those 120 pays? We have created a sense of urgency.

From here it becomes easier to “see” the future you and start to ask questions about the things that are important for you, your family and your business or career.

Will either child come into the business? What education should they have? Should they work somewhere else before coming into the business? How’s the health of Key Person, when are they thinking of retiring, are they the person to train and mentor their replacement?
The table breaks the future into stages, allowing both a projected view of a slowly changing landscape in which you live and to help set markers to measure progress. Seeing your “future self” and setting goals that align with the vision of that future self is one of the most important results of working with a coach.