Carroll County Times

Four-Quadrant Coaching™ - The First Quadrant; Physical.

When I first began to look for ways to make my life more effective and efficient, I took every available temperament test to determine how I perceived the world and how I processed information. Very early on I realized that, like everyone else, my life has four primary quadrants. We all have a physical existence and have some level of physical possessions. Whether it is money or materials, there is a distinct physical aspect to our lives. By design, everyone has an intellectual component to his or her life. Even though some have a stronger propensity for intellectual things than others, all of us have an intellect.

Whether good, bad, or indifferent, we all have an emotional aspect to our lives. Again, some people experience greater emotional responses than others, however, we all experience emotional responses to our circumstances. Finally, each one of us has some level of spirituality that is pre-programmed into our personhood. A great teacher (Paul) once wrote "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith." So, like it or not, you have a measure of faith meaning that you have some level of spirituality that is innate to your being.


It is within these parameters that we, as individuals, function. This knowledge brought me to my next thought; every decision we make has some level of impact on each of these four quadrants. When you set goals, you impact each of these four areas. Full commitment to success means full engagement of your four quadrants. You must have a physical commitment, an intellectual commitment, an emotional commitment, and a spiritual commitment. Failing to have one or more of these quadrants fully committed can translate into reduced or unrealized success.

The Four-Quadrant Coaching™ model looks at each goal in relationship to these areas of your life and unpacks the current state, defines the desired future state, and constructs a roadmap for achievements and results. Throughout this process you are constantly analyzing and developing your plan. You are constantly setting progressive goals and measuring your results. The key to success is to have both rigidity and flexibility built into your plan. Although this concept appears to be an oxymoron, you need to develop a rigid core plan, which is unwavering, with enough flexibility to adapt to your changing environments.


Encapsulated within the first quadrant, which is the "Physical" quadrant, are many aspects including your health, your presence, your possessions, and your activities. These aspects of the physical quadrant are all addressed through the process of sustainable change. The sustainable change model includes five distinct stages: Stage 1 is the Discovery Stage, Stage 2 is the Development Stage, Stage 3 is The Determining Stage, Stage 4 is the Documenting Stage, and Stage 5 is the Adjustment Stage. In each stage the aspects of the physical quadrant (as well as the other three) are processed to give you better focus on identifying and making sustainable change.

When we think about our lives in the physical sense, we often think about our health. We think in terms of our diet and exercise. While health certainly includes our eating habits, workout habits, vices, and behaviors, these are not the only factors that impact our physical quadrant. Our physical existence goes beyond these obvious characteristics. It includes our presence; our presence in the world, in the lives of our families, and in the communities in which we work and serve. Most people understand health and wellbeing, but few understand (or are at least conscious of) their physical presence in relationship to the world around them. We tend to exist in the world without giving much thought to our impact in the world. Our impact tends to be a blind spot.

Being physically present does not mean simply existing in the same proximity of others at the same time. Physical presence is about connecting to the world around you in a way that engages your environment. When you work through the process of developing goals and execution strategies, you have to consider the physical commitment. In the process of setting SMART goals, there will be a demand for physical action. That action has a direct and indirect impact on the world around you. You might find that in the process of setting your goals, you do not have the proper physical resources or environment to achieve the goals you set. This is where The Four-Quadrant Coaching™ model and the sustainable change model come in. By working through the current state analysis, the desired future state analysis and the gap analysis, you will set the goals, develop the strategies, and map the pathways of execution for achievement and results, all in relationship to your physical resources and environment.

If you do not possess the resources required to achieve your goals, then attaining those resources becomes an active measure for the goal. If your current environment is not properly structured for goal achievement, then you must focus on developing the environment that will allow for achievement and results. It is through The Four-Quadrant Coaching™ model and the sustainable change model that these physical aspects are identified and developed.

Every goal you set, every action you take, and every strategy successfully executed will pass through the physical quadrant. Beyond meeting your personal needs, you should envision how your goals impact those around you. Every life creates a wake that eventually laps upon the shores of other people's lives. This wake can be a gentle soothing rhythm that comforts a soul or a powerfully destructive and eroding force. The Four-Quadrant Coaching™ model seeks to maximize positive results through the seven practical concepts of achievement (alignment, continuity, higher purpose, intentionality, evaluating, value, and evolving) and the five steps of balance (being proactive and intentional, creating space, connecting, and developing).

As you consider the value of The Four-Quadrant Coaching™ model and the sustainable change model, consider whether you might want to accelerate your life to achieve your goals and get results. Visit

to learn more about how strategic life coaching can help you. You might also want to pick up a copy of Planned Excellence - How to Achieve Greatness through Strategic Planning. A link can be found on my website.