I LOVE goals. I also like intentions, resolutions, aspirations … pretty much anything that has to do with establishing a starting point (where you are) to a result (where you want to be).
I turned into a goal junkie right around the time I graduated from college and was a young officer in the Marines. (There’s a strong argument to be made that I was a junkie prior to then too.) Anyway, I’d just completed two pretty significant goals and now, goalless, I found myself a bit adrift.
After some reflection, I realized what was missing in my life – a new vision for myself. But not just in the professional space. I was seeking a more multi-dimensional approach to how I wanted to lead my life.
Flash forward to today, where I spend a lot of my time in coaching conversations with leaders at all levels helping them develop visions for themselves and strive to achieve a balanced life. I know better than ever that singular goal pursuits can lead to unfulfillment. Also, too many goals can lead to disappointment because as humans we can do pretty much anything … but not everything.
The Kaleidoscope Approach to Goal Setting
When I think of goals, I’m inspired by the idea of a kaleidoscope – multiple chambers with balanced pieces that create an inspiring image. I think that’s a great metaphor for how to set goals in our life, particularly in the following four chambers:
- Your life – to include relationships/family, finances, and your health.
- Your career – not just what you do, but how you develop yourself within your profession to find value and meaning in the area where you earn a living.
- Your personal joy – what you do for fun … !!!
- Your personal impact – how you serve others, to include volunteering and contributing to your community.
I challenge you: take the time to write down these four areas in life and then start to see where you could benefit from identifying or developing one or two goals to feel more balanced.