By Celia Ward-Wallace, Life Coach, Author & Speaker
As we enter 2015 as working women, chances are that we've all done a ton of planning for what we'd like to achieve this year on the job. Maybe you're after a promotion, or a raise, or a transition into a new position altogether.
However, I've got deeper questions for you.
As a powerhouse businesswoman, I have no doubt that you are a visionary, know how to lead a team with passion and strength, and that you execute projects with efficiency and grace. But are you able to tackle all of the areas of your life in that way?
And when you reflect on your goals for 2015, do they benefit your life in all areas - personal, professional, health, wealth, relationships and spirit - rather just your work?
If not, I am here to help. I believe that we really can have it all - and the key is to creating our lives and business by design.
We have to know ourselves inside and out, and honor our deepest unmet needs and soul desires.
We have to be willing to GO BIG and say "I want it all!" - and not just settle for realizing our fullest potential in the professional realm, while the other parts of our lives suffer.
I want your goals to enrich your life, and create balance, harmony and flow, while making sure that all areas of your life are nourished and well-cultivated.
I want to make sure that you are not just excelling in the workplace, but also at home and within.
This begins by looking at the next year, and digging deep.
To create a plan that is aligned with every inch of you, you need to do three things:
- Identify your core values;
- Identify your core roles; and then, and only then,
- Identify your core goals.
Here's how it works.
STEP 1: Identify Your Core Values
Your core values are the things that matter the most to you in your life at this moment in time.
You may think you know what your core values are, but they are always evolving, because you are, too! Thus, it's imperative that you continually check in with yourself to see if your previous core values are still a match for where you are at this moment in your life.
Examples of your core values might include peace, serenity, family, freedom, travel, love, and success, to name but a few.
To clarify your core values, do this:
- Begin by listing your top 10 core values for this year.
- Next, rank them in order of importance.
- Then, state why they are important to you.
- And finally, create clarifying statements elaborating on the core value, and creating a more clear picture of its meaning to you for this year.
So, for example, you might decide that one of your core values is Travel. Here's what this exercise would look like for that core value.
Core Value #1: Travel
Why This Is Important: This is important to me because travel allows me freedom, a break from the status-quo, relaxation, and the experience of other cultures and locations.
Clarifying Statement: Because travel is a core value of mine this year, I would like to take a week-long trip each quarter as well as an extended trip of four or more weeks internationally during the summer with my family.
And there's a bonus assignment: once you have completed this exercise, you might then choose to create vision boards aligned with your core values, and post them prominently in your home or work space to remind you of what you are focusing on this year.
And when new opportunities arise throughout the year, make sure you're reflecting on your core values to evaluate whether the opportunity matches with them and creates alignment, or instead feels out of integrity with your values for the year. Filtering opportunities in this way keeps you on track to achieve your goals!
STEP 2: Identify Your Core Roles
Here's an important question to consider: when you look at yourself and your life, what are the different slices of the pie that make up that whole of you? You are not just a professional, or a CEO, or a partner, or a mother. You are each of the many roles that altogether make up the whole of you.
As a result, your goals for 2015 need to be aligned with every role you occupy in life - not just one.
Your next step, therefore, is to create a list of your seven core roles.
For example, your list might look like this:
Self, CEO, Wife, Mother, Community Member, Board Member, and Friend.
Your task is to make a list of all of the roles that you are going to focus on for the next year, and take a look at how they align (or don't!) with your core values.
This self-reflection and identification of roles is really important, because our next step gets down to the business of setting your core goals.
STEP 3: Identify Your Core Goals for 2015
Now that you have identified your core values and your core roles, it's time to allow those to guide you as you creating your core goals for the year.
When you look at your goals, it's imperative that you make sure that they reflect each and every part of you, and that you have a plan to follow through on your goals for each role that you occupy. Again, we're after integration of every role that matters to you - not just one.
Here we go.
1) Identify Your BIG Annual Goals
Begin by looking at the seven core roles you want to focus on in the next year. Within each of them, identify the one big goal that you have for each role in 2015.
ROLE #1: Mother
Big Goal: Participate in four community service projects with the family
2) Identify a part of the annual goal that can be completed in the next quarter.
Big Goal #1: Complete four community service projects with my family
Quarterly Goal: Plan one community service event in which my family will participate
3) On a weekly basis, create one main weekly goal for each core role
Begin with your seven core roles. For each core role, identify the one most important action item you need to accomplish during that week that will move you that much closer to accomplishing your quarterly goal, and therefore closer to your annual goal.
And lastly, follow through! By the end of the week, you should feel amazing, in part because it is not about how much you accomplish in a given week that matters, but rather that you accomplished the most important things in the most important areas of your life.
Through this step-by-step process to creating meaningful and transformative goals for this next year, not only will you be superwoman at work, but you'll thrive in all areas of your life and realize the most fulfilling year of your life yet!
And that looks like a year to look forward to, don't you agree?