Aligning with Identity and Values
Success and the Art of the Goal: (Part 2)
Copyright 2004 Patsi Krakoff
"Begin with the end in mind," encourages Stephen Covey. 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
Corporations spend billions every year on strategic planning. Executives involve themselves
in similar planning sessions with their executive coaches-they examine their strengths and
weaknesses, they look at their career and personal goals, and make decisions about where
and how to spend their time and energy.
Life coaches do the same things with individuals. They explore and clarify 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 don't 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.
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 purpose
Here are some questions to ask yourself to gain clarity:
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 that are most 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.
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.
Security Wealth Good health
Relationship Relationship Relationship
with spouse with children with family
Fame/recognition Job/career Power
Happiness Friendship Retirement
Owning your own business Long life Travel
Respect of peers Spiritual fulfillment Charity
Having fun Sports/fitness Learning/education
Peace/tranquility Influence Integrity/ethics
Artistic expression Community involvement Ecology/environment
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 and post them somewhere. This will drive your actions and keep you
focused on what is most important.
3. Establish your goals:
Goals should be SMART-specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-framed
in order to be effective.
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 you from setting clear goals and achieving
them. But with preparation and the help of your coach, you can unleash the energy and
passion to achieve your goals beyond your expectations.
To learn more about how to set SMART goals, read part 3 of Success and the Art of the Goal:
Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D., CBC, is a psychologist, executive coach, and writer. She customizes
newsletters for life and executive coaches, providing both content and PDF and HTML ezines
for busy professionals. Patsi lives and works from Ajijic, Mexico where she plays tennis daily,
and enjoys other creative activities with her husband Rob and two Maine Coon cats, Huey
and Dewey. Email mailto:Patsi@customizednewsletters.com.
For more articles, subscribe to Newsletter Matters and BizBook Nuggets, at