Can you please pass the Grey Poupon?

August 1 is National Mustard Day.

To me, mustard reminds me of goals and versatility. And of coaching.


Let me explain.

Last summer, I was fortunate enough to visit Paris to attend a family wedding.

One of my goals for the trip was to pick up a gift for a friend’s husband for a milestone birthday.

What is the ideal Parisian gift? A Louis Vuitton initial tie clip? Dom Perignon Champagne? A Picasso?

How much effort should I put into finding that ideal gift?

In coaching, when working on developing your goals, it’s smart to start with a realistic, achievable goal, rather than to begin with the ultimate goal. Having interim goals allows you to celebrate achievements along the way to your ultimate goal and will reduce frustration.

With that strategy in mind, I came up with the perfect idea: a boxed set of mustards from the Maille mustard store founded in 1747.

And while it wasn’t ideal, it was a realistic choice. This realistic choice turned out even better than I expected. The cashier didn’t have the staff to gift wrap it and welcomed me behind the counter to wrap it on my own!

In his thank you note, my friend’s husband said, “This is my very favorite mustard and I can never get more than the basic dijon at my local grocer.” (And I had no idea he was a mustard fan!)

Setting realistic, acceptable goals leads to success, and perhaps a fun, out-of-the-box experience as well.