Step#1 – Identify Core ValuesFirst you need to identify your core values – what drives you and why. This will make sure you stay in alignment with where you are headed. Your core values are buried deep within you. It is your deep desire of who you either want to become or who you believe you are. Getting clear on your core values will help you stay convicted when the course you are taking becomes rocky or tough. It serves like the gimbal does in a compass. You need to come up with no more than 5 values that properly capture your drive – the motivating factor behind your actions. The keywords that could in a nutshell answer the question ‘WHY?’ in every goal you set. To do this, I recommend doing these 3 exercises.
- Self Reflection: Take a plunge and first attempt to describe your ideal self. Write down as many personality attributes you can think of. Use the core values list below to help you come up with words that resonate with the person you will like to become.
- Your Heroes: Next, identify 3-5 people you admire greatly. People who have qualities you will like to emulate in your own life. Go through the core values list and write or circle the words that capture the attributes that you admired in these people.
- Your History: Finally, look back at your life experiences and identify moments that stand out strongly in your mind. Experiences that left a strong impression – both good and bad. As you look back at these experiences, write each one down and reflect on how you were shaped by it. Think about how they have impacted the choices you make today and the ambitions you have. As you go through this exercise, you will be able to draw parallels of the experiences behind the attributes you have written down in the first two exercises. You might also identify some additional attributes you had not accounted for.
Sample Core Values
Step#2 – Look into the horizonNext, you need to set some far-reaching goals … these should be HUGE goals. These goals are without limit. Don’t restrict your thinking. Be unrealistic, outrageous and grand in your wish. Don’t try to be reasonable or to limit this to what you think is possible. This is one time when you have to drop what you think you know is possible and just free yourself to be childlike and wish away. Imagine the life you will like to have if anything and everything was possible. Give yourself permission to wish big. As you go through this exercise, keep in mind you can wish for ANYTHING. One interesting observation I have had with some people I have helped with this is that they feel embarrassed to say some things they wish for. They self edit their wants because they question their right to dare want something so big. I just want to caution you to NOT do that. If you want to become the richest man in the world, say so OR better yet, you may have a strong desire to live on another planet. Say so. So please shut up the inner chatter and just wish away. If you are still struggling, there is one exercise I use when helping people with their goal setting. You might find it helpful in this step.
The Genie Exercise:Just Imagine you have come across a genie who could grant you up to 5 wishes regardless of how outrageous and outlandish those wishes are. This genie has all the power in the universe to make your wildest wishes come true instantly. All you need to do is to write down your 5 deepest desires that you wish to see fulfilled. However, there are three conditions you must meet with each request. condition #1: The wishes could only be about you and your wants. You cannot ask the genie to make someone love you or ask for something generic like world peace. You have to be in the driver’s seat of your wishes. condition #2: You have to be as descriptive and specific as possible without leaving the genie to interpret your needs. For example, you can’t tell the genie you want to be rich because that can be subjective. You have to describe to the genie in detail what ‘rich’ means to you. Your wish has to be something that is very clear and measurable. It does not need to seem realistic (remember, this genie can do anything). condition #3: With every wish, you should answer two questions. “Why do I want it”? and “What does this give me”? For example, someone may say they want to be a multimillionaire with $50 million in the bank BUT what they really want is more than the money. The money to them may represent financial independence and freedom from their current job to do the things they are passionate about without compromising their family’s financial needs. To another with a similar goal, the money represents influence … so you have to be clear about WHY you want what you want.
Now What?Now that the ground rules are clear, you have to think carefully about what you want. Below are some questions to help you going.
- Who will you like to become?
- What will you like to have?
- What will you like to experience?
- How will you like to give back?
Step#3 – Distill and PrioritizeNow that you have a sense of the kind of person you will like to become, and a compass to help you in your life’s journey, you need to distill it all into bite size goals that are actionable in the shorter term. This will require some creativity To do this, you need to take your ‘Genie’ goals and pick a goal that will set you off in that direction. For example, if you had a financial goal genie goal to be a multi millionaire with $50million in the bank but have never managed to save $10,000 then that should be a goal you start with. Ok I know what you might be thinking. How can a small goal like $10000 take you to a multi million dollar goal? It feels it will take forever at this rate right? You are indeed correct. However, I believe in what I call the domino effect. I believe that you have to build up in steps and your momentum builds as you go. It is the same as the compound effect – success compounds on other successes. If you want to be a multi millionaire but have not mastered money and how it can work for you, then you have to do that first. When you figure out how to generate and save $10000, you can then work on creating and saving $50k and then $100k and so on. You have to build momentum and that starts with doing the small goals well. Each small achievement will compound its way forward. Now that we have covered incremental momentum, you need to write down no more than 10 goals for the rest of the year. Once you have your goals written down, next comes the part that requires discipline and focus. You need to rank your list. Yes you need to look at all the items on your list and ask yourself two questions.
- What is the one thing that if accomplished will make all my other goals easier or irrelevant? This should be your number #1 goal if possible.
- However, not all situations will fall neatly into that first question. So you should also ask yourself, “If I could only accomplish one goal this year, which goal should it be?”. Once you identify the top goal, ask again “If I could only accomplish 2 goals this year …” etc. You get the drift.
Step #4 – Getting Your Character RightWhat if I told you that everything you asked the genie in step#2 is already yours? Yes, it has already been awarded to you. So when you made your request, the genie said “Your wish is my command.” But wait … you say ‘If my wish is your command Mr. Genie, where are my millions in the bank that I just wished for?’ “I thought you will never ask” says the Genie with a smile. In order for you to receive your wish, you simply need to unlock the version of yourself that is worthy of all that you wish for. READ MORE HERE: Is Fear of Rejection Holding you Back? Your success is strongly tied to living authentically. When you realign your goals and ambitions with your authentic self, you are setting yourself up for success. Identifying your core values and big goals is a good compass to help you put together a blueprint that aligns with who you are or who you strongly desire to become. However, there are some things that you are drawn to but you don’t yet have the information or habits to take you there. So in this step, you will need to identify the following for each goal:
- Who do I need to become to be successful at this goal?
- What knowledge will I need to have?
- Whose help will I need?