When I think about setting goals, my mind always jumps straight to the word ‘alignment’. What’s the connection? Well, our goal setting should almost drop out of the big picture thinking we do. I think I need to know what is important to me overall and how I want my life to be before I can set any more specific goals. We all need a context for great goal setting.
If I think that financial security is the most important thing for me, I will want to set goals that support rather than undermine that. Saving for a Porsche may not be an obvious goal. If having time for myself and those I care about is what drives me, then that too will impact on the goals I set. Seeking promotion in a role that involves long unpredictable hours away from home may not be an ideal fit.
However, we are not one dimensional and we have many often competing demands upon our time and resources, so things become more complex. We often end up having to make some sort of hierarchy about what matters most to us. Importantly, right at the outset, we may want to consider what we are prepared to sacrifice and what we will be happy to compromise upon. It is always more empowering and less demoralizing to decide that upfront rather than having to make a decision when disappointed or frustrated.
You are part of several rich and interwoven systems that you have crafted over time based on what matters to you. Make this your starting point as you set goals that will help you feel fulfilled and that will honour your values and interests and all the people that matter to you. Now that’s alignment.
By Nevin Stewart