How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 3 of 3)

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How to Define Your Mission in Life (Part 3 of 3)

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Two newsletters ago, I posed the following three questions:

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  • Is achieving professional success taking too high a toll on your personal life?
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  • Is there something in your personal life that is not allowing you to do your best at work?
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  • Do you feel like you’re living your life based on someone else’s priorities?
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I suggested you address these questions by defining your mission in life. In Part 1, I recommended drafting a brief mission statement describing the kind of person you wanted to be remembered as at the end your life. In Part 2, I outlined how to define the different roles in your life. In this Part 3, I will outline how to assign long- and short-term goals to each role.

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Those of you in the business world are familiar with setting or receiving specific performance goals at work. The time frame usually ranges between three to five years (for long-term goals) to yearly, quarterly, monthly, or even daily (for short-term goals). These goals tend to be numerical, specific, and measurable. In other words, you usually know when you’ve exceeded, met, or missed them. I want to invite you to use a similar approach to setting long- and short-term goals across all of your roles in life.

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The first step is to review and adjust, if necessary, the drafts you have prepared for your mission statement and life roles. If you haven’t written a mission statement and defined your roles, review the last two months’ newsletters here and at least develop initial drafts for both. To illustrate the goal-setting process, let’s assume that you defined your mission as “leaving a legacy of kindness and service to your neighbor.” Let’s also assume that you picked three roles to apply this mission to: Family Relationships, Professional Leader, and your Personal Development.

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The second step is to develop long-term (three- to five- year) goals for each role, consistent with your mission statement. Once again, for illustration purposes, let me offer the following potential goals, written in past tense, as if you already achieved them:

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  • Family Relationships: You made your spouse the happiest person on earth, your children have made the right choices in life, you were always there to help and support any family member.
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  • Professional Leader: You became a successful and respected business leader.
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  • Personal Development: Your physical, mental, and spiritual health have significantly improved in the last three to five years.
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The third step is to break down the long-term goals into short-term goals (for the next 12 months). This connection between long- and short-term goals is key. Setting short-term goals without linking them to your long-term goals risks aiming for something that is not consistent to what is truly important to you. Here are some potential short-term goals, tied to the long-term ones illustrated in the previous step:

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  • Spend 15 minutes after dinner every day listening to your spouse’s account of his/her day (tied to you made your spouse the happiest person on earth).
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  • Allocate the first working hour of every weekday to helping someone who reports to you achieve his/her business goals (tied to you became a successful and respected business leader).
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  • Use the first 15 minutes of every day to either exercise or read a motivational or spiritual passage and reflect on it (tied to your physical, mental, and spiritual health have significantly improved in the last three to five years).
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I want to close this newsletter with a quote from Michelangelo, the great sculptor, painter, and architect from the Renaissance: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.” As you embark on this journey, count on me to help you succeed.

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In the next newsletter, I will share some insights on how to take baby steps to start living your mission in life. Stay tuned!

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Percy M. Cannon\nAuthor, Business Consultant and Professional Coach\nwww.cannonbalance.com\nwww.thebusinessapostolate.com

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PS1: Use this link to ask questions, post comments, and request topics you would like to see in future issues.\nPS2: Use this link to subscribe to future newsletter issues or review previous ones.\nPS3: Use this link if you want to buy my book, The Business Apostolate, Insights to Define and Achieve your Mission in Life with a special discount for newsletter readers. Just enter code UN2WS547.

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