What do you do when despite all your best efforts things don’t go to plan? How do you feel when something unexpected happens and knocks you off course? Where does it leave you when you are suddenly not able to do all the things you wanted, or planned, to do?

This was when I suffered a major setback. Things were going really well. I was starting to get some clients and I was living my dream. And then in the middle of summer an old back problem decided to visit… and it visited with a vengeance. An emergency admission to hospital and everything just STOPPED! I was unable to work, unable to walk, even unable to stand.

All the plans I had for the remainder of the year were no longer realistic. However I knew that I had to stay positive and I also knew that there were many people much worse off than me even though I was in terrible pain. I reminded myself about the importance of taking care of myself. This is important for all of us and even more so as a coach. How can you help others if you don’t first help and look after yourself? So I did the only thing that I could. I took each day at a time and stayed focused on the end goal which was to get myself better and then pick up work, and life, where I had left off. In December I had major back surgery and as I planned for my stay in hospital and the resulting recovery, I also planned what I would do post op. I kept my goals small and realistic and despite some post op complications I stuck to the plan.

I didn’t give up on my dream to be my own boss and have my own coaching company. I stuck with my belief in, and passion about, what I do: To serve others with passion, transform mindsets if possible and empower my clients by partnering with them. I’m now firmly back in the “driving seat” and starting to pick up speed. As I look back I realise that I was actually coaching myself and this was key to me staying focused and getting back on track with my goals.

There is no perfect time for such things to happen. You just have to hold onto your dreams, be grateful for all you have and know you will get there in the end (albeit at a different pace or speed than first anticipated).

My tips on how to stay focused and keep on track:

  1. Focus on you and your own health first.
  2. Stay positive about the future and find things to be grateful about .
  3. Keep your vision and dreams alive – picture how you will feel when you achieve them. Maybe even consider creating a vision board.
  4. Have a plan – with short, medium and long term goals – but allow for flexibility within this plan.
  5. Expect the unexpected! You can be sure something will happen that you haven’t planned for but try to be resilient and adapt and you will be fine.
  6. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up.
  7. Start small – take small steps and “don’t start to run before you can walk”.
  8. Take time to recognise your achievements.
  9. Use your support network – don’t be afraid to seek help from friends and family.
  10. If you find you are struggling on your own consider how a coach, or other professional, may be able to help you.


Author: Sian Milne, Life Coach at InsideOut