But I'm also a small business entrepreneur, a product developer. During the past several years I've been working with my team to develop an online virtual coaching system that helps people ingrain new skills and make permanent changes in behavior. That system is called ProStar Coach. I've also been heavily involved in the marketing - trying to get the word out. It has been a very satisfying project because it has the potential to help people of all ages and walks of life get stronger for the challenges of life and work.
But all this good work had a bad side effect for me. For years now, my work days were all about product development, not about writing books. The completion of the ProStar Coach project left me with all the time I needed to write, but I discovered that I no longer had the work habits of a writer. My old habits were kicking in and at the end of the day, I hadn't produced any writing.
I talked with my colleague and good friend, Meredith Bell, about this problem, and she had a suggestion. It was along the lines of "Physician, health thyself." Or, "Walk your talk."
Support Coaching. The book, along with nine companion videos, explains what a caring individual can do to help someone who wants to improve a skill or change a behavior pattern. The key element is coaching. The resources explain what anyone can do to support and coach a person involved in skill building, personal development or change.
What Meredith suggested is that I get an "accountability coach" to hold my feet to the fire, to do what a writer is supposed to do and actually get done what a writer should produce. An accountability coach is someone who agrees to contact you regularly and ask detailed questions to determine if you did what you said you were going to do. All successful athletic performance, weight loss and addiction recovery programs use accountability coaching. When you know you'll have to face someone who will want to see your results, it's a powerful motivator to do what you should be doing. Without accountability, it's all too easy to rationalize, make excuses and put things off.
Meredith's message: "You wrote the piece on accountability coaching. So get one. Use one."
My reply: "Will you be my accountability coach?"
She agreed, and we set up a twice-weekly phone call. I outlined what I would do and accomplish, and during the calls I emailed her the chapter I agreed to write.
It worked like magic. Before long, I had some new work habits in place and was producing chapters at a rapid rate.
The recent addition of the "Support Coaching" resources to the ProStar Coach system was a huge breakthrough, because it empowers ordinary people to do the simple things that add up to the kind of coaching a person needs to make a change. Virtual coaching is now enriched by coaching from real people. Now, anyone can be a support coach. Anyone can get the kind of coaching they need.
The resources are so important that we decided to make them available free to anyone who wants them.
They helped me. Maybe they can help you, too.
Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2014. Building Personal Strength .