What do you want?

What do you want

This is a good thing to do at the beginning of a new year, as many of you feel it’s a new start and helpful time to focus the mind on what changes you might want to make during the year.  However, any day is a good day to make changes and plan, so whatever the date, consider working your way thought this and making some stuff happen!

You can read on or listen to my podcast.

As an executive and business coach, I work with people working as sole traders, employees in organisations and small businesses, from start up mode to CEOs and senior leadership teams and that feeling of being stuck, confused, unable to make decisions and move forward is something that comes up all the time.  Feeling stuck is frustrating, demoralising, sucks your energy and makes choosing your next steps really challenging. If you’re feeling like this, you’re not alone and you can find a way forward. All of my podcasts and blogs are based on insights from coaching sessions and the tools and techniques I share are all ones that have been tried and tested by my coaching clients.

How often do you properly think about what you want?

All too often even when we think we’re making choices on what we want, we’re just following a pattern of behaviour and thinking automatically and that’s often likely to have been created by the thinking and demands and expectations of others.  Or the thought of what you want might genuinely have been what you wanted five years ago, but we’re constantly changing and this means that what we wanted then may be different to what we want now.

Many people’s default answer to the question What do you want? Is to consider other people’s needs, tell themselves they’re too busy to think about what they want, feeling they don’t deserve to get what they want and that it’s a selfish thing to think about getting what they want.

So a simple question, What do you want? It doesn’t often produce a simple answer.  It’s so complicated and layered that most people just don’t go there.

Here is an opportunity

So now, here is an opportunity to look at what you want.  It’s not selfish to want to do this.  You can decide what you want and make it happen and STILL be a good, caring, considerate friend, family member, team member.  You will also feel clearer, happier and more confident as you will feel you have a purpose and power to make things happen.

Are you up for answering the question and working out what you want and how to make it happen?

I’ve come up with a model that will help. 

If you’re out and about, walking or exercising, just listen and let your thoughts run wild with possibility. No judgement, no criticism, no “oh but I can’t” can get in the way.

Then go somewhere and listen again and make notes to create a plan to make it all happen.

So the model? It spells out WANT.

Simple and easy to remember.

Let’s start with W


What is it that you want? It might be a thing, it might be a situation, a set of circumstances. I’m not going to name anything as it would lead you towards that.  Better that I leave it open and you explore properly where this leads you and what you work out you want.

You may come up with multiple things – choose one or ask yourself if there’s an umbrella situation that will capture it all. If not, focus on one. The one that you want most.

Take some proper time to do this.

Get a really clear picture.  The clearer the picture or description of what you want, the more likely you are to make it happen. Really let yourself think about it,  Make notes, draw sketches, create a mood board -with words, cuttings, drawings etc. Some find it useful to create a Pinterest board, for example that you can keep checking in on to remind yourself. Create a sentence that encapsulates what you want and write it somewhere prominent – in the bathroom, on the fridge, in your phone calendar – where ever you will be constantly reminded. This all helps crystallise the image and makes you more likely to remember what you want and make you more determined.

Now you are  clear on your what.  This may not come immediately and you may want to take some time on this.

Next A

This is for ASK.  

Ask questions to begin with.

Questions like why do you want this?

What will it be like when you have it / made this happen? How will it feel? What will you be doing differently?

Will you be behaving differently? What will your mindset or attitude be towards this?

Who else might be involved? Who can help? Making what we want happen often means we need the support and help of someone else. People are generally keen to help so let them know what you are working towards. This really helps with accountability too.

Really explore all the questions you can around what you want and what this will be like when you’ve made it happen.

You may want to pause this and work on these questions. The more time you spend on this, the clearer you will become and the more likely you will be to make it happen.

Next N

This is for NOW

It’s all great to work out what you want but it is unlikely to happen magically. Believe me, I’m sorry to have to say that. You’re going to have to do some stuff to make this happen. Put a bit of work in.

And it all starts with a first step. Now.

So what can you do now to start the process? Write this down.

Once you’ve done that, what next? Write this down.

And then what?

This is where you formulate a solid plan of the steps you’ll need to take to make this happen.

Then ask yourself what sort of mindset are you going to have to adopt NOW to make this happen?

What you do NOW is what is going to make this happen.  Putting it off until next month when something else has happened, or when you have time, or when the weather is better or you’ve finished X or Y is not going to make it happen.  You have to start putting in the effort NOW.

Where attention goes, energy flows and it’s this energy that makes things happen.

Now ask yourself what are obstacles now.

What will get in the way?

It might be time – what can you do about this? It may be an excuse?

Confidence? This will help build confidence, I can guarantee that!

List what you know gets in the way. And then what you can do about it.

This is all part of the plan.

You can overcome any obstacles if you want to – or find a way round.

T – finally T


Deciding to do something is good.  

Having a plan for the steps you need to take is great.

Putting a deadline to it is best.

When would you like to have what you want? Be realistic and a little ambitious.  Stretch yourself.

Write it down and put it in your calendar.

Then put dates next to all the steps along the way and when they need to be done by. Put them all in your calendar. With reminders a week before.

This will keep you focused.

If you miss a deadline because you didn’t put the effort in, ask yourself why not?

If you missed a deadline because of matters beyond your control and you genuinely put the effort in, then simply set another date that you can work to.  As long as you’re making the effort, you will get there eventually.

And that’s it, we’ve worked through WANT

WHAT – do you want

ASK – questions to get clearer

NOW – what can you start doing now, what are the first steps, and then what?

TIME – attach deadlines to the plan.

You need to be committed to this.  No-one else is going to do it for you and it’s not going to appear magically.  But when you do achieve it, the sense of accomplishment will bring you so much confidence and chip away at any self doubt. Why not start small and practise your way up to the bigger things?

I’d love to know what it is that you’ve come up with here and how you found working out what you WANT. Email me to let me know.

You might find it useful and fun to work though this with a friend, or if you’d like to work with me as your coach, get in touch