When to Engage in Goal Setting & Practice

smiling mother holding daughter

With a goal setting approach, coaches and participants identify and take steps to reach goals that support family well-being. Goal setting is most effective when the participants does not express ambivalence about making a change and is ready to take concrete steps. 

In Family-Centered Coaching, the participant sets the agenda and direction of the coaching, and the coach guides the process. participants decide which area of life they would like to prioritize. Coaches and participants develop a plan to achieve a milestone tailored to the participant’s interests and skills. This plan is flexible, with the timing and pacing set by the participant.

Milestones are broken down into a series of smaller goals and steps, and tracked over time. This process helps participants to see immediate results and build their goal-practicing muscle through successes. Quick successes in meeting goals helps build momentum to keep moving forward toward a larger milestone. 

For example, a milestone may be to get a job. A short-term immediate goal may be developing a resume. Even this can be broken down into smaller goals, such as writing down skills from past jobs or updating a cover letter. 

Coaches and participants look for opportunities to practice their goals during and between coaching sessions. This process, called scaffolding, helps participants identify their strengths and understand the transferability of their skills between their home lives, work lives, and their work with a coach. 

For example, participants use planning skills as they juggle making breakfast, getting children to school on time, and taking public transportation to work or appointments.  Through conversations and questions coaches and participants explore the transferable skills they already have and apply them toward taking steps toward their goals. Coaches support participants to practice their goals. To practice the goal of getting a job a participant might attend a networking event, interview people who have a similar job, or look for a mentor. Goal practicing is an essential part of goal achieving.

The Prosperity Agenda provides these resources as the designated national administrator of Family-Centered Coaching.