STOP! Don’t even think about setting a goal or making a silly New Year’s resolution until you read this!
Some people make a big mistake in setting goals that aren’t related to the roles they have in their lives. Roles? Yes, the different hats you wear throughout your day, week and month, are the roles you have.
For example, here is a list of my roles:
Individual – my first role is “me, myself and I.” This role is about my health, my diet, my exercise and all things that go into making me function on a daily basis. To me, this means bodily function and mental function. I look out for me first because without “me” I can’t perform any other activities in any other roles. If I’m sick or in pain, everything else gets messed up. This is the whole concept of “put your mask on first before helping others.” They tell you in the plane that you’re no good to anyone else if you aren’t breathing, so if it’s good enough when you fly, it’s good enough when you’re on the ground too.
Entrepreneur – I run my own business. It takes up a lot of my time and so it’s my next most important role. The majority of my day is spent on this role and thankfully for me, it is also my passion so “work” isn’t really work for me. Most people have an element of “work” for one of their roles. You may not get paid for your work but it’s still work. You might be the “head of household” or “taxi driver” or “life planner” or “wonder parent.” It doesn’t matter what word you use, just so it rings true for what your “work” role is.
Spouse – I’m married but I don’t have any children, so I’m just a spouse and my marriage is pretty darn important to me. You might be a spouse as well as a parent. For some people those roles might be combined in their minds; in others, it isn’t. You might be a parent and not a spouse. That’s cool too. Maybe you’re a “partner” instead or a “loved one” or “significant other.” Whatever you want to call it, use what’s right for you.
President – I’m the president of the NLP Association in Singapore. This is my volunteer role. Thankfully it’s like my “work” in that I really enjoy putting on events for the NLP Association and promoting NLP to the community.
Household Manager – I’m in charge of the households and yes I mean plural. We have a house in New Zealand as well as an apartment in Singapore. It’s my job to make sure taxes are paid, mortgages are paid, utilities are paid, etc. There are a lot of things to look after in the running of a household so I take my role pretty seriously.
Family/Friend – because I live far away from my family, my friends are like family to me so this role is combined. For me I want to ensure I keep my relationships strong no matter where in the world people are. Making sure I’m connecting with friends and family, spending time and saying Happy Birthday are all little things I can do in this role.
When I write my goals each year, I make sure I include goals for each of my roles. Some of my roles have multiple goals but each role has at least one goal. This is how I maintain “balance.” It isn’t about balancing time or energy but remembering that I have many responsibilities and I need to ensure that I focus on each of them in a timely manner. Some roles take up more time and that’s fine. When the time comes for me to focus on a specific role, I have an outcome that guides my thoughts and actions. This keeps me from mindlessly going through life letting chance be in charge. I don’t want to be unconsciously living the best years of my life so I guide my behavior consciously. Without having goals for each role in my life, I take the risk of letting chance take over.
How about you? What are your roles and goals that will be guiding you in 2017?