This month we continue our 3-part series on
Goals. Now would be an excellent time to curl up and
spend some time reflecting on your values and answering
the question, Who am I? Your coach can
The Art of the Goal: (Part 2)
Aligning with Identity and Values
"Begin with the end in mind," encourages Stephen
Covey. When you look at your life, there are so many goals
your could pursue. But before you can set meaningful goals
for yourself, you need to know where you want to go. If you
clearly understand where you want to be, you can make sure
your actions bring you closer to that place each and every
Corporations spend billions every year on strategic planning.
They align their business goals and operations with their
mission and values their core reasons for being in
business. Executives also involve themselves in similar planning
sessions with their executive coaches. They examine their
strengths and weaknesses with their coach, they look at their
career and personal goals, and make strategic decisions about
where and how to spend their time and energy.
Life coaches do the same thing with individuals. They explore
and clarify with you your identity, your values, and your
true purpose in life. How can you know what you need to do,
where you need to spend your time and energy, if you dont
know what is most important to you? This is difficult and
important work. And it is hard to do alone. Taking the time
to make personal definitions for yourself will make the process
of goal setting and staying on track much easier.
Regardless of whether your goals are to finish a college
degree, get a better job, buy a home, or lose weight, the
process is the same. Goals you set must be consistent with
your true identity if you want to sustain your motivation
Here are three essential elements you must consider before
writing down your goals:
1. Examine your identity: Quite simply, who are you?
Self-awareness is the cornerstone to emotional intelligence
and so important that this one feature will do more for your
success in life than any other social competency. If you know
yourself well, you can choose a path aligned with your strengths
and weaknesses. You will not get distracted by people, places
and things that are not congruent with your true self.
How do you improve your self-awareness? Through working with
your coach, doing assessments, examining your attitude, your
passions, your self-image, examining your assumptions and
beliefs and being willing to ask for and receive feedback.
Avoid defining yourself in terms of external things (job
titles, education, family roles, etc.) and look at your personal
integrity, ethics, and things that are important to you.
There are several behavior styles and personality type assessments
available through your coach. Learning about your own preferred,
natural way of behaving and thinking can greatly improve your
understanding of yourself. As a side benefit, it also improves
your understanding of others different from yourself. Ask
your coach about the DISC, PIAV, Meyers-Briggs, or other assessment
tools. I would be happy to provide you a DISC and PIAV report.
If you are interested, please give me a call or drop me an
Here are some questions to ask yourself to gain clarity about
When thinking about myself, what am I most proud of?
How would my friends describe me?
How would my co-workers describe me?
What does my family say about me?
What are the three most important areas in my personal life?
How have I changed over my adult years?
What are my strengths?
What do I avoid or dislike doing?
2. Define your values: What are your most fundamental
beliefs? Identify three important moral values that are important
to you. The more clearly defined your values are, the more
energy and focus you will have for your goals. Values provide
the basic structure you need to build your personal life,
your career, your business and any other aspect of your life.
Consider your attitude towards other people. Think about
your current obligations to your community, family and friends.
Reflect on the core beliefs you have that you would want to
pass on to the younger generation. If you were to mentor someone,
what values would you project as being most important in the
Here is an exercise to help define your values. Look over
the following list of values and rank each from 1 to 10 (with
1 representing values most important to you). Be sure to add
any that are important to you but not on this list.
|Relationship with spouse
||Relationship with children
|Relationship with family
|Owning your own business
|Respect of peers
What are the five values you ranked the highest? Those five
values should be receiving 80% of your time and energy. Write
down your five most important values on a separate sheet of
paper and post them somewhere you will see them every day.
This will drive your actions and keep you focused on what
is most important.
These values are the foundation of your success. They help
you prioritize the goals you set for yourself. Without values
clearly defined and prioritized, it is difficult to prioritize
goals. This makes it easier to make a choice when commitments
compete for your attention.
3. Establish your goals: Goal setting is not easy.
It is hard work requiring time and thought. It means soul
searching. Fear of failure and fear of success
can stop people from setting clear goals and interferes with
the process of actually putting them into writing.
If you have completed steps one and two you have examined
your identity and clarified your values then you have
already done the hard work. The goal setting should be a natural
extension of your values.
If you value good health, then your goals of
eating well and exercising regularly follow naturally. Focus
on only three goals at a time, in order to be focused. Break
each goal down to two or three components, along with specific,
measurable, realistic time-frames.
Please forward this to anyone who might enjoy the opportunity
to spend time thinking about their values. I have a couple of
openings on my coaching calendar, so if you know of anyone who
would like to work with a coach, please pass on my information.
As always I offer a couple of free sessions to any new client.
I love working with my clients and
love being a part of your world. Please be in touch anytime.
forward this to one of your friends,
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