As the new year rolls in, it’s the time when I welcome new coaching clients. Often, they come with aspirations like, “I want to quit/get promoted/find a new job/change careers” or “I want to work less and do a physical challenge/run a half-marathon in the spring/have a baby/divorce my spouse/find my life partner.”

My immediate question is always, “Why?”

I’m not questioning their choice of goals. I’m delving deeper — why do you want to pursue this? Who are you at your core? What would achieving this mean for you?

You can’t truly set a goal unless you know who you are, and that starts with understanding your mission and your values.

Writing Your Mission Statement

Initially, I disliked the idea of a personal mission statement. It sounded too corporate for my taste. But then, I realized its importance. A mission statement can be a powerful tool. It’s not just a fancy sentence; it’s a compass that guides your decisions, aligns your actions with your deeper purpose, and keeps you focused on what’s genuinely important to you.

Even I’ve come around to having one. Here’s mine:

“I am committed to a life blending physical health, mental resilience, and compassion, focused on personal growth. As an author and speaker, I aim to sustain financial stability for my family while meaningfully exploring and contributing to the world. I strive for a balanced life where my professional and personal endeavors align with my core values, inspiring continuous learning and collective well-being.”

This statement is who I am: a human being focused on self and loved ones, compassionate towards my community and those in need, including animals.

Who I am not: a martyr or a fixer of others. Fixing myself is a big enough task.

Understanding your mission is the first step in crafting good goals. The next step is understanding your values.

Know Your Values

I shaped my mission statement by jotting down things that matter to me and then refining the text into a coherent statement. In doing so, I was actually playing with my values. Start with either. Just get started!

Values are the principles that give our lives meaning and allow us to persevere through adversity. Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.

From my mission statement, I reverse-engineered my values.

  • Personal Development: I am committed to continuous self-improvement, both mentally and emotionally.
  • Physical Health: Regular physical activity is critical to my overall well-being.
  • Mental Resilience: I value mental strength and the ability to recover from adversity, maintaining a balanced and healthy mindset.
  • Heartfelt Compassion: I exercise kindness and understanding towards myself and others, fostering empathy and emotional connection.
  • Curiosity: I maintain an interested and open-minded approach to life, always eager to learn and understand more.
  • Vulnerability: I am willing to be open about my challenges and experiences, sharing my journey authentically with others.
  • Financial Stability: Ensuring the financial security and well-being of my family is of utmost importance.
  • Meaningful Contribution: I aim to impact the world positively (however small) through my actions.
  • Work-Life Harmony: I balance professional pursuits with personal values and goals, ensuring work supports rather than overshadows my life.
  • Inspirational Living: I aspire to inspire and be inspired by others, contributing to a culture of mutual growth and encouragement.
  • Collective Well-Being: I value the overall health and happiness of the community and society over individualistic, capitalistic success.

These values paint a picture of a life focused on growth, contribution, balance, and meaningful connections. How cool is that? Now do yours!

Now We Get to Goals

Again, it’s easy to leapfrog to goals. Please resist the temptation. Goals are the specific objectives that we set to achieve our mission and live by our values. They give us direction and milestones to strive for. Setting yearly goals, broken into reviewable steps, is crucial because it helps to translate our long-term vision into actionable, measurable tasks. This way, we can track our progress, make adjustments as needed, and stay motivated.

Here are my 2024 goals, based on my mission statement and values:

  1. Physical Activity: I’ll return to running and walking for my enjoyment, sharing my experiences when I choose, without the pressure of performing.
  2. Volunteerism: Continuing my volunteer work is important to me, aligning with my commitment to contribute positively to the community.
  3. Personal Development: I will keep up with taking one personal development class each month to foster continuous learning and self-improvement.
  4. Improved Sleep: Focusing on improving my sleep quality is a priority, understanding its vital role in my overall health.
  5. Nutrition: I am increasing my protein intake, guided by a qualified nutrition professional, avoiding the influence of uncredentialed sources and social media.
  6. Financial Goals: Meeting my monthly savings targets is crucial for maintaining financial stability for my family and myself.
  7. Selective Travel and Work: I’ll ensure that my travel and work align with my mission statement and values, contributing to a balanced and fulfilling life.
  8. Maintaining Boundaries: Upholding the healthy boundaries I’ve set is key to preserving my mental health and showing self-compassion.
  9. Manuscript Submission: Completing and submitting my finalized “Corporate Drinker” manuscript on time is a significant goal, reflecting my dedication to my career as an author.

These goals support a harmonious balance between personal growth, health, well-being, and positive contributions in both my personal and professional life.

Next Steps

Now, it’s your turn. Take the time to reflect on your mission and values, and how they can shape your goals. If you’re looking for coaching help, please reach out. I’m here to see if your goals and budget fit into my professional practice or to refer you to someone who can assist. Let’s make this year your best one yet!