This blog entry is part of a seven-part  series on some of the central principles of coaching… from the perspective of the one receiving the coaching. How can we get the most out of our coaching relationship?

Principle #5: Focus on one thing

As you move forward in your spiritual growth, stay focused. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Don’t think of everything you could possibly do to grow. Ask yourself, “What’s the fewest number of things I need to do to get the result I would like to see?”

I was recently coaching a guy who was an ADHD-type, all over the map, and he was trying to get organized. Giving him a big grocery list of organizational tasks to engage in would have buried him. Instead, I asked “What is one thing you can do that will maximize your results?”

Through our coaching conversation he decided on a built-in weekly planning time. At the beginning of his week, he goes to Starbucks, sits down, and has his weekly planning time. Getting out of his regular environment and turning off his phone allows him to focus so he can decide what needs to be done that week.

If you’re someone who is not a detail person or someone who is not naturally structured, you’re not going to suddenly change who you are. Instead, aim for the fewest number of things that you can do that will get you 80% of the results you’re looking for. If the list is short enough—and if your pain level is high enough—you’ll be able to make those changes. Otherwise, it’s like David trying on Saul’s armor. It just doesn’t fit. You need something that will work for you.