Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | Achieving Your Big Goals: The First StepsI’ve spoken about goals before on the podcast, and this is something coaches talk about all the time. But I think it’s important that we look at them through a new lens. And today, I’m discussing the first step to creating and hitting your big goals. What I’m sharing in this episode will change the way you work, and how you guide your clients as well.

I have achieved some amazing things in my business, and while I’m all about the coaching skills, as you all know, it’s important to discuss some of my achievements in terms of money goals because they were achieved with a foundation of solid coaching. And the best news is you can use what I’m bringing you today to hit any type of goal you have, and share it with any client, no matter their circumstances.

Tune in this week for a transformational look at how you set and achieve your goals. I’m sharing why goal-setting can be such a miserable experience for so many of us, and how to up-level how you approach every aspect of your goals. This is something I have struggled with at different times in my business, but when we can master this coaching skill, everything changes.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join my six-month mastermind! Coaching Masters is open for enrollment for a limited time, so click here to start working on the one thing you need to be a successful coach.

For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other coaches find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • The traps I see coaches falling into when trying to achieve their goals.
  • How my goal-setting strategy differs from what you might be used to.
  • Where my own brain has always gotten in the way of achieving my goals.
  • Why this method for setting and achieving goals blew my mind and what changed for me.
  • How to transform your level of belief in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hi, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 32.

To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hi loves. I’m so happy to be here with you today. So for those of you that follow me on Instagram, which if you don’t you probably should, I recently returned from my vacation to California. What? My first vacation with my husband since 2019. What in the world?

We had the best time. We were there for a wedding, I was in a wedding, one of my good friends. And I just feel so refreshed and excited to get you some great content. So let’s just jump right in.

So today I want to talk about goals. And I know I’ve done a podcast about goals previously but I want to do it this time in a way that you may not have heard before. And I know this isn’t something that at least a lot of other coaches teach, and it’s actually going to be a series with a few parts. And today I want to talk about the first step to creating and hitting your big goals.

This is for you and your clients. And in April I launched my mastermind, Coaching Masters, and filled 20 spots and made $200,000. What? So fun. And if you’re new here, making money isn’t usually what I talk about. It’s not what I teach, it’s not what I do in my mastermind, although we coach on it a little bit and we coach on, you know, businesses. But really, I am about coaching skills and how to be the best coach for your clients.

And so for a minute I was thinking I should not record a podcast about this. But the more I thought about it I realized of course I have to talk about this. Because the way I hit this goal is 100% through some solid self-coaching. Which will not only be helpful for you but also for your clients when or when they are trying to hit their goals. And what I’m going to teach you can be used for goals of any kind, so I’m going to talk about my business, and about money, and about your business. But you can use this for your clients no matter what type of clients you have.

So, first let’s just talk about how a lot of us, and when I say us, I mean myself and you and probably your clients, try to hit goals. And if you don’t do this, good for you. But I’m guessing, because I have coached a lot of you, a lot of coaches, a lot of clients, I’m guessing you probably do this in some way.

So I’m going to use my business as an example, but again, this can apply to any type of goal. So just tell me if this sounds familiar. Here’s my process in the past, this is what I’ve been doing the last couple of times I launched my mastermind. I would pick a goal and set it, in this case this last launch in April my goal was to sign 20 clients into my mastermind.

And then I think about the methods I’ve been taught to implement a mastermind launch. And this can go for however u grow your business, whether you launch or you’re signing a certain number of clients each month, whatever it is, right?

So I think about the methods I know and how to implement them. And I set the goal and I write it out and say, “Okay, here’s the plan.” Right, I plan it all out. And then next I immediately have the thought, “This is never going to work.”  My brain just loves to go to like, “Yeah, no, that’s not going to work.” And then last, I get to work coaching myself into believing it will work.

Now, this is a good thing to do, right, to work on believing things that you don’t believe to work on hitting goals that you’ve never hit before. And this method isn’t wrong but I’m going to give you just a variation, a slight variation of this today. And hopefully it’ll be super useful for you because it kind of blew my mind that it worked as well as it did.

So I take all those steps, right, and then I do that on repeat throughout the launch. I keep reminding myself of the process, I keep thinking this probably isn’t going to work, and then I coach myself into believing that it will. Or at least pretending to believe that it will. And really the whole thing, that whole process on repeat feels terrible. It feels terrible because of the way that I’m thinking about it of course, right?

But maybe this isn’t how you do it but I’m guessing you can relate to this in some way. So for me this was actually the fifth time I’ve launched my mastermind. And as I was planning for the launch, I noticed that my anxiety was growing everyday as it got closer as I was planning it, even as I was thinking about it. And that’s just not the way you want to go into a launch, right?

And looking back now I would describe the way I felt like I was bracing for impact. So dramatic, right? My brain was being very dramatic. Like I knew I was about to be rear ended by the person behind me in the car and there was nothing I could do about it, except to sit there, brace for impact, and wait for it to be over. Again, so dramatic right? But when you’re in that place of trying so hard to make something work and to hit a goal, it really does feel like that, at least to me.

So I was planning my launch and one day it hit me, in the shower of course, because that’s where all the best things happen, all the best thinking. It was never going to work if this is the way I felt throughout the whole process. And I didn’t want to feel that way, right? I didn’t want the process to feel like this, to look like this. I didn’t want to feel like I was bracing for impact only to not hit the goal anyway.

And it’s ironic because this literally goes against everything I teach as a coach. So it was just really interesting watching my brain try to convince myself that this is how we had to do it. And so for those of you that are listening that are brand new coaches and you’re thinking, “Okay, Lindsay, what is the big deal? I listen to your podcast; I know you’re already making a lot of money.”

First, I want you to know I see you, and I used to think that way too about my coaches when they were making lots of money. Second, I want you to really know and really understand that whether you’re trying to sign one client, or 20, or 50, or 100, it feels the same. You have the same experience in your body, in your emotions, when you don’t hit your goals, right? Like the emotion is the same which means it truly does not feel any different. Trust me, you’ll see when you get there.

Okay, so back to being in the shower, a thought came to me, which was I’m spending so much time thinking about what I don’t believe, instead of what I do believe. What? Just realizing that, it kind of blew my mind.

And actually, let’s go back for a second because I have a whole episode on awareness, right? So I talk about awareness all the time. And when I say I was spending time thinking about what I don’t believe, I mean I was trying to convince myself that I could believe that I was going to hit this goal. Instead of asking myself, “What do I believe right now?”

And not like keep the goal exactly the same and what do I believe? Which at the time was like, “This isn’t going to work. You know, I don’t know how.” All the dramatic thoughts, right? All the thoughts that all of us have anytime we set a new goal.

So I went back and I just asked myself, “In this moment do I believe I can sign 20 clients into this mastermind, period?” The answer was yes, no problem.  Next question, “Do I believe I can do it with the structure and time frame I’ve set for the launch?” The answer was no. Like, just immediate, “Nope. Not going to work.”

So instead of trying to convince myself and going straight into why I didn’t believe that or trying to find the thoughts that helped me believe it I started exploring what do I believe right now? And I just started asking myself questions, right.

No judgment, no judging the answers, just questions just from a place of pure curiosity, which I talk about all the time, right? Curiosity is a superpower as a coach, whether you’re doing self-coaching, or coaching your clients.

So I asked myself, “Do I believe I could fill it if I had 12 months to do it?” I started really broad, right? The answer was yes, easy. Do I believe I could do it in six months, fill the mastermind, can I fill it 20 spots in six months? Yes, of course. Do I believe I could fill it in three?

Now this is the point where it was like realistic, right? Because this year, I’m launching every quarter. Which means in order to do that I would actually have to fill the launches every three months. So I asked myself, “Do I believe I could fill it in three months? Just keep the applications open all the time?” The answer was yes.

So first of all, I just stopped there and noticed this is great news. It means I can hit my goal. Right? Just give myself a pat on the back for that, like this is good. But I don’t necessarily want to do that, right? That was my thoughts. Like I don’t necessarily want to keep applications open all the time.

And remember, I’m just exploring here. I’m not just making any decisions; I’m just exploring all of my thoughts. So then I kept shortening the timeline, right? Can I do it in two months? I think so. Can I do it in one month? If I keep the applications open for a whole month and keep selling, did I believe it would work? And the answer was yes. There was, you know, tiny doubts, but just tiny ones. Mostly the answer was yes.

So this is what I decided to do. I stopped there. Previously, just for comparison, the plan had been to have two weeks of an actual launch with applications open for only a few days. So applications open for a few days to applications open for a whole month, this was a really different thing, right?

It was the big difference but when I really leaned into that and really started exploring it, I immediately felt so much more calm, so much more in control, and really certain that it could happen. Right? So then I started questioning all the smaller pieces of the launch.

Am I going to, you know, do calls with the clients? Am I going to change the price, right? Just all of it just purely from a place of curiosity. Now, in my case, since this is the fifth time I have launched it I didn’t really change a lot of other things. Although I did make some small tweaks here and there.

But everywhere I had doubts I’d just use this same process of always bringing my brain back to what do I believe is possible right now. Like truly, in my soul, in my body, really believe is possible?

And guess what? When I did this, and I stayed in this place, the whole month, pre-launch and then in the launch, I nailed it. I filled the spots and not only did I fill them, I did it in less time than anticipated, all while having some pretty crazy personal things happen at the same time.

And here’s why I think this works, when I am or when you are starting from there’s no way this will work, feeling anxious, anticipating the worst. How do you think you show up for your launch? For your current clients, for just life in general? Not great, right?

And the other thing that happens usually is your brain will start to catastrophize the whole thing, or at least this is what mine does, right? Because I’m deciding I’m not going to hit the goal. Right away my brain goes to, “Well, then my goal for the whole year is shot and what will I do about that? And then what about my goal for next year?” And it’s like a runaway train of doom.

Now, for those of you that don’t experience this, I don’t know what to tell you. You might be like, “This girl is crazy.” But my guess is it probably happens to a lot of you. If it happens to me, and I have a fairly calm brain usually, this is one of the areas where my brain will really just take off running down the tracks until I smash into a wall that’s like, “Well, I might as well just quit.” It’s so silly, right? Our brains are very dramatic.

When I go to that place, though, of what I know will work I feel certain. And I am available for any fun idea or even any personal challenge that comes my way, right? Because I’m just in a place of like, “Yeah, it’s working. It’s going to work; I know it’s going to work.” Just feeling certain, and calm, and confident. It’s a totally different experience.

And then when things in my personal life, you know, started to get a little hairy, dicey, I didn’t have to panic and stop the whole thing. I didn’t have to reschedule anything, right? I had nice amounts of space because I was still in the place of like, “Yep, this is working and it’s going to keep working.” I was able to take a day off here and there to give myself the space I needed and still hit my goal, right. So different than the way I was planning ahead to go into the goal.

So I want you to just take a second and think about this for yourself. How can you use this in your business? How does this show up for you? Do you have a big goal that’s feeling scary or not so great, or even just unsure, uncertain? If so, I want you to try this and just see where you land.

Take your brain to the place of what do you believe right now, in this moment that feels good, right? I’m not saying to just decrease all of your goals. I just want you to take your brain to the place that you feel certain and settled and start there. Right? You don’t have to go from the starting line to the end of a mile. You can start at the starting line and just try a lap and see what happens.

So for example, if your goal is to sign five clients this month, but you believe in your soul that you can sign one, this isn’t a problem. Lean into signing the one, right? Like really dig into how you think and feel when you believe it’s working, you believe it will work. And then sign that one client feeling good, right?

It’s just such a different experience. And when you show yourself you can do that, sign the next one. My guess is if you just do that, if you stay in the place of feeling certain and feeling great about your goal, guess what happens? It just starts happening faster, and faster, and faster, and faster.

And so then you just do it again. Sign another one, right? Then before you know it you will have the belief of course I can sign five clients this month. Of course I can sign 10 clients this month. Of course I can make $100,000 this year, this month, this week. Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter what the goal is or how big it is, this what I’m teaching you right now is always useful.

Sometimes I notice that a lot of you think that if you make your goals smaller you will never hit the big ones. But if you’re anything like me, what I know is it’s actually the exact opposite.

When you’re constantly setting the bar too high or really high you feel defeated before you even get started. And then you wonder why it isn’t working the way you thought it would. Right? It’s because you’re going through the whole month, the whole goal, the whole launch, the whole fill in the blank, whatever it is, thinking, “Probably not going to work.” Feeling terrible, right? Like that is not how you hit goals. You just don’t, you don’t hit goals feeling awful.

So if you’ve been doing that, I want you to try this. And even if you haven’t, you’re just feeling a little uncertain try what I just taught you. Just try it, see what happens.

Now, after this podcast, I also want you to take a minute because this is what I’m all about, right, like how to be the best coach for your clients. I want you to take a minute and think about this for your clients. What are their goals? What types of goals are your clients trying to hit? When are they setting them sometimes so high that they’re just setting themselves up for failure from the beginning? Here’s some examples I thought of for different types of coaches.

This is like when a client wants to lose 50 pounds, maybe reverse diabetes, but the first step is to just lose five pounds. Right? And they might be very resistant like, “Nope, five isn’t enough.” Of course that’s not the end goal. But that’s where you start, right? Like do they believe they can lose five pounds? Do they believe they can lose one? It’s going to be so much more fun if they’re working on doing something they believe they can do.

What about when a client wants to find the love of their life, but first they have to be willing to just have one great date. Right? Like first goal, just find one guy and go on a great date, or girl or whoever, right? Find a person, go on a date. That one’s bad? Go on another one. Are you willing to go on dates until you have one great one?

What about when a client sets a goal to maybe run a marathon, right? Or do a fitness competition or something, you know, that they’ve never done before. But they don’t want to start with mastering the first really slow mile. I used to run a lot and the beginning is always the hardest part. It’s the exact same thing in our businesses, right?

It’s like I love the idea of running a marathon or half marathon, but learning to run that first mile and being willing to start off so slow, and be pretty sore, and maybe only run a half mile at a time, that’s where it’s hard, right? Like once you get past that part it gets easier and easier and easier.

I hope this was super helpful for you. I will be back next week with some more goal hacking for you and your clients. And then again, the week after that. I have lots to share. I’ll see you then. Bye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, see you next week.


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