This week, Esther Collinetti, Goal Coach (and Certified IRONMAN Coach), led a session for members of Baltimore Womxn in Tech, on how to tackle your professional and personal goals in what feels like another unprecedented year.
We are co-organizers for this professional networking group. We reached out to Esther to lead an exclusive gathering with this group because our mission is no matter where you are in the tech ecosystem, we want to see you thrive. And, we can geek out on the latest experiential design trends or how tech is changing industries like healthcare and education, but we don’t talk enough about where we’re headed and what we’re trying to accomplish in our lives. The sooner we accept the wholeness of where we’re trying to go, the better.
In just a few short days into this year, we had a feeling that if we weren’t intentional, 2021 was going to end up looking a lot like 2020 (and honey, nobody wants to see that). One of the biggest questions to come out of this uncertainty is how to move through it, how to be calm and steadfast even when faced with the eye of the storm. Esther wants to make sure we know that we are calm in the storm, but we are also the storm.
Esther is a professional coach who works with individuals, small groups, and corporate teams to identify goals, face fears, and chart a path to success with actionable items. She helps her clients to stop worrying and start getting – through an artful combination of physical, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional sweat. Her clients say she “inspires individuals to live their life UNLEASHED.” Here are the biggest takeaways from our session.
Our story is rooted in our past.
There are some hard things that each of us has experienced when we were little that helped to shape who we are today. Our parents were not perfect, our siblings and classrooms were not perfect, and kids are impressionable. She had us spend some time searching for tough experiences in our youth that led to a negative belief we had about ourselves now. For example, maybe if you were teased for something in school, you harbored a feeling of not being enough, but you also worked twice as hard to be fiercely independent. That independence has helped you to get to where you are today. But that thing that happened in the past, the self-talk from that has likely been destructive over the years. Self awareness about where our feelings originated is part of our journey to healing. It’s almost always in our youth, and that voice has been on autopilot for a long time. It’s time to acknowledge it, own it as part of our life story, and then take the energy out from under it… or in other words, let it go.
There is power in identifying your personal values.
If you had to pick five key values that made up the ethos of who you are as a person, who you are at your core and the essence of your being, what would those 5 things be? Would you choose words like creativity, love, relationships, or words like prosperity, wealth, health, and spirituality? We only had a couple of minutes to work on this, but I could’ve easily spent 5-10 minutes narrowing down words from a larger list. My final words during this activity were: community, creativity, adventure, leadership, and wealth. I think it’s important to check in with yourself every few months or each year, and see if your core values still resonate or if they need to be adjusted. Furthermore, Esther said that we can refer to our core values when having to make decisions. We can see if the task really aligns with who we are, and moves us forward towards our goals. If you want to figure out what your own core value words are, here’s a good place to start.
Never give up on your goals, not even in a pandemic.
Yes COVID is real and the effects of this pandemic have been very harsh for many of us, honestly even typing that feels like an understatement. I don’t think there’s the right word in our language for the collective shift we have experienced, and the varying levels of loss. But, a pandemic is not an excuse to stop pursuing or thinking about your goals. Esther says that there’s always going to be something that gets in the way of us moving forward on our goals. Maybe it’s a pandemic, maybe it’s a lifestyle or job change, the list goes on. But it’s in the moments that test us the most that our true integrity shows up. This year may not look like the way you wanted it to, and if that’s the case, how can you adjust or pivot your goals to better match your new circumstances, instead of giving up on them all together.
If you’re excelling in one area of your life, challenge yourself to make goals in other areas.
If you’re naturally competitive at work, it may seem easy for you to set and achieve new career goals. But what might be more uncomfortable is setting goals when it comes to relationships, to your health and fitness, to your spirituality. Esther encourages us to not just focus on the areas in our lives that we are naturally prone to excelling. We have to do the hard work too. She encouraged us to look into the other areas of our lives and see where we measure up. Apply the same rules to those areas and hold ourselves accountable.
Work back from a 10-year goal.
“10 years from now, what are we celebrating about you?” Esther asked the group, painting the picture of a lively party and champagne flowing everywhere as we toast to success. Time is this ever-elusive thing where looking back, yesterday could also be 5 or 10 years ago. It’s a common conundrum of trying to figure out where did the time go. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to anchor our goals to time. Everyone has some big goal they want to achieve in their life. Big is a relative term, so what’s big to one person may not feel the same way to another. The important thing is that it feels true to you, and you can make a statement of “In 10 years, I will ….. (fill in the blank). From here, we can work backward to 5-year and 1-year goals. So for example, if in 10 years, your goal is to purchase a vacation home in Brazil, maybe your 5-year goal is to have done your first extended stay to try on a neighborhood for size, or to have mastered conversational Portuguese. And then maybe your 1-year goal is to adopt an automatic savings plan to have enough money in 10 years for a nice down payment.
Now comes the hard part, we have to actually do the work. Esther does one-on-one coaching, and her unique life experience and lively personality make for a coaching experience you won’t soon forget. Follow her on Instagram and check out her website to learn more.