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Sacred Self

Aligning with Identity and Values

Success and the Art of the Goal: (Part 2)

 Copyright 2004 Patsi Krakoff 
Customized Newsletters 

"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 
every day. 

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 

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