I do some executive coaching and I have to tell you that even at that level many executives still don’t document their personal goals. Usually when I ask the question, “What are your personal non-business goals?” I get an answer that generally has a little bit of a whine in it surrounded by surprise that I even asked the question. A recent client of mine responded, “Personal goals? When do I have time for personal goals?”
The fact was quite obvious that this particular executive had a major issue with balance in his life. I asked, “What is the one thing you would change about your personal lifestyle if you could change it tomorrow with no pain?” He knew the answer to this question immediately and quickly became animated as he started discussing his family relationships and the guilt he carried because he knew he was missing out on some of the most exciting days of his children’s lives.
This is a very successful CEO who runs a distribution company with revenues that exceed $200 million. His company is future oriented, they practice scenario planning, have a vision for the future and a well-developed strategic plan. Company goals and objectives are well documented, yet on a personal level this CEO hasn’t even thought about setting goals.
Make no mistake - it’s extremely difficult to maintain business success if you don’t maintain personal family success.
You don’t have to be trapped by success. Success is a good thing, but part of being successful is creating balance in your life. There are steps you can take to create the kind of balance that will not only improve your personal life expectations but also will enhance your business platform for success.
The Very First ThingSit down with your family and have an open, honest discussion. Ask for their input, their observations and their opinions. Don’t get defensive and don’t act like a martyr. Listen, listen and listen some more. Refocus some of that entrepreneurial energy on creating family success.
Start setting personal goals. Start small: a family outing, a trip to Disney World, a commitment to a reduction in travel or anything else that came up during your family meeting.
The Power Of Goal SettingThere is power in setting goals. This applies not only to business goals, but to personal goals as well. Consider the following key principles to improve the balance in your life.
Set goals that:
While it may be macho to live without direction in the short-term, in the long-term we all need a purpose and direction. Goals give us a sense of direction and purpose to life.
It may be easier to allow our work, our boss, our friends and even our enemies to set our direction in life. However, the reality of the situation is that if we don’t set personal goals, then we will find it much too easy to allow others to dictate the path we take. This is true even if you are the president or the CEO of your company. Simply put, without personal goals you won’t have any chance of control over your destiny. Balance and happiness in our personal lives come from the fulfillment of our personal goals, and the excitement of following our own path and not someone else’s.
Personal goals not only provide us a direction, but they provide motivation, encouragement and a sense of urgency for accomplishment. By setting goals, not only do we define our destination, but they create a journey for us that becomes a foundation for our happiness. Our goals must be congruent with our unique perspective on life.
Stress RelieversGoals save time and provide balance but they also reduce stress, because using your goals to focus your life and choices makes it easier to make those choices. Goals give you a sense of personal accomplishment that can be measured - not by numbers and graphs like you are used to - but by smiles, chuckles, hugs, laughter and contentment. There is nothing more powerful than a smile from your little girl, a hug from your son or a thankful kiss from your soulmate.
Now go out there and put a priority on setting your personal goals. You will thank me for bringing it to your attention and your family will love you even more than they do now for doing it.