I use several models when coaching my clients but my favourite by far is the “I CAN DO” model. I like it not only because of its adaptability, it’s a fairly basic model but is flexible enough to work with all areas of your life. More than this though, is the mnemonic itself, what better phrase then “I CAN DO”? Simply thinking that statement puts you in a positive frame of mind and reassures you that with a little bit of work you really can achieve whatever it is you put your mind to. This is a good frame of mind in which to start work on improving your life.
This is all very good, but what does I CAN DO actually stand for and how can it help you?
‘I’ stands for investigate; this means taking a look at all areas of your life such as health, family, friends, wealth, spiritual, career, leisure, contribution to society, relationships, personal time and anything else that matters to you. Write down where you are now, how long you spend on each area in an average week and where you’d like to be in an ideal world. Often, simply writing this down will show a deficit in one or more areas of your life. This is probably the most important part of this model and so take your time over this. When I work with my clients I usually send them this form and give them a week to fill it in because it is important that it’s accurate and honest so take some time to think about it. Write it once and then come back to it after a few days and go over it again. Do you still agree with what you said? Is there anything else you want to add?
Once you have completed this, you have completed the first three parts of the I CAN DO model. As I already stated, I stands for Investigate. C and A stands for current and aims. This means analysing your current life situation and the aims you have for your life. Assuming you have completed the investigation thoroughly then you will already have a breakdown of your current situation and stated any aims you have.
N, D and O stand for number, date and outcome. How many ways can you think of to achieve your aims, by when do you want to achieve them and how will you know you have achieved them? The number of ways to achieve your goals can be a hard question to answer but think about when you or someone you know has faced a similar situation, what worked then? If you are having trouble thinking of ways to reach your goal do some research and ask around. Sometimes we get ourselves so stuck in a rut that it’s hard for us to see the way out but this doesn’t mean there isn’t one!
So, for someone looking to increase time spent with their family the I CAN DO model would work like this:
I: What is your reason for wanting to spend more time with your family?
C: How much time do you currently spend with your family?
A: Exactly how much time do you want to spend with them?
N: What are the successful ways of increasing time with your family that you have experienced or heard about?
D: By what date do you want to have achieved an increase in your time with them?
O: How will you know when you have succeeded?
I CAN DO is a very basic model but at the same time is very successful in several different areas of your life. Breaking it down into what each letter stands for gives you step-by-step instructions to achieve your goals, no matter what they may be. The mnemonic itself puts you in the right frame of mind to start work on improving your life and gives you confidence that you really can achieve your goals.