How’s life? No – seriously. Whether you’re a coach or you’re simply looking to make the most of the time you have here on this earth, do you have a way to assess how you’re doing? What if there was a simple tool that didn’t cost you any more than your own time to reflect that could help you answer and then address that question for yourself or your coaching clients? In this feature video, I’ll introduce you to the F-5 assessment, a tool we’ve been utilizing in our organization for years, both for ourselves and with our clients. Not only is it extremely effective, anyone can do it. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need an app, any special software or even a monthly membership anywhere. Just grab something to jot down a few notes and we’ll jump into this valuable self-assessment in less than 10 seconds!
You want to make positive changes in your life or perhaps you’re a coach helping others do the same. If only there were a simple self-assessment to jump-start the process and set your feet on the right path toward this concept of Better Than Yesterday. Fortunately there is. I’m Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute and today I’m going to share a tool with you called the F5. It’s a self-assessment process we’ve been utilizing for years with clients and in our own lives. It costs nothing except your commitment to spend some time to truly reflect and then build on that reflection. But the payoff can be tremendous if you do invest that time seriously.
Let’s start by defining each aspect of the F5, which make up the 5 major areas of life:
FAITH… FAMILY/FRIENDS… FUEL/FITNESS… FIELD OF PLAY… FINANCES
Most of these 5 areas are straight-forward. “Faith” is different for everyone, but for this context, think of your core beliefs and values. “Field of Play” references our professional pursuits and personal hobbies – the “fields” on which we choose to play. The phrase is a reminder that with the right advanced planning, we can generally move to a different field if we choose to do so.
There are obviously many ways in which you can utilize the F5 assessment, but a simple way to start is to go through each of the 5 categories and give yourself a rating from 1-10, with 10 being optimal – in YOUR eyes. Keep in mind that you are not comparing yourself to others. You’re comparing yourself to the optimal vision you have for yourself in each area. For example, in the finances category, I’m not comparing myself to Warren Buffett. Instead I’m considering where I am financially today relative to where I could be if that area were optimized. The key is to HONESTLY reflect on each area. Your personal rankings are for you – and potentially your coach. That’s it. They are the baseline on which you can then build going forward and make comparisons in future months or years as you move forward through your life’s journey.
Once you’ve completed the assessment piece, now it’s time to identify 1 or 2 areas with which you’d like to move the dial. Do not take on all 5. Behavior change is difficult, and if you can make significant change in even one of these, it will likely have a positive influence on the others.
As you go through this process, one other important consideration: You are not looking for perfect balance. Life is not about balance – it’s about optimizing the key areas in life for this specific phase of life you’re in right now. For example, if you’re a new parent, your child will dominate a large portion of your time, energy, focus and finances. Other areas will – appropriately – take a back seat during this phase. The key is not to go through this assessment and beat yourself up for not dialing in every single area. That’s not realistic. Instead, the goal is to assess the various aspects of the F5 in light of your CURRENT phase of life and identify the areas you see as most valuable to optimize in that current phase.
On a similar note, one of the most valuable ways in which to utilize the tool is to assess what IS happening in those areas that sit outside your current focus area. No – you’re not looking to bring those up to the same level. Rather, you want to be sure you’re not causing irreparable harm in one core area while focusing elsewhere. For example, if you are pursing a new degree while working full time, your time with friends, fitness levels and finances will clearly be modified. Modification is fine – it’s expected! But you don’t want to destroy one of the F5 areas in the process. You can use this Assessment process to check in quarterly or bi-annually to make sure none of the 5 areas end up destroyed while you focus elsewhere for a period of time.
Once this is complete, you can then identify the actionable steps involved in making the key adjustments and begin moving forward. Obviously in this brief video, we won’t dive into the behavior change aspects. Your coach can help you with this process. Or – we have several episodes over at the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance podcast as well as multiple videos here on the YouTube Coaching Channel that take a deeper dive into creating lasting, meaningful change. We’ll link to a few of those below if you’re interested.
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This is Dr. Bradford Cooper of the Catalyst Coaching Institute signing out. Thanks for joining us and I’ll look forward to speaking with you soon on another feature here on the YouTube Coaching Channel or over at the Catalyst Health, Wellness & Performance coaching podcast.