Over the last couple of years I’ve stumbled upon a nonlinear approach to goal setting that has greatly impacted my life for the better by changing my behavior, and thus transforming my life. The simple drawing below represents not only how I set my goals, but how I tackle them. They are arranged in spiritual, personal, and public domains.
1. What am I doing
2. Why am I doing it?
3. How am I doing it?
4. When am I successful?
5. Where is God taking me?
Please note this is not a life planning process. If you are interested in a life planning process, you will want to check out Will Mancini and David Rhodes’ personal vision and life planning process at www.lifeyounique.com. I have confidence in both of these men and am a huge fan of their process.
I chose these three domains and eight areas because it’s how I view my whole life. While they are not exclusive to me, they are unique to me. You may choose to define your domains in a different way and have eight very similar or different areas within these domains. At the same time, I do think each of these domains and areas are important to each one of us as we pursue living a whole and fully integrated life. My spiritual anchor for this holistic and integrated approach to goal setting is the teachings of Jesus. In John 10:10 he declared, “The thief comes to still, kill, and destroy your life. I have come that you might experience life to the full.”
While my napkin drawing is the original way I write my goals, I also borrowed from Michael Hyatt’s and Daniel Harkavy’s in Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want. Here’s the four-step process I use.
The biggest benefit from this approach to goal setting is, what I believe to be, the holistic and integrated nature of it. Here’s what I'm learning.
To help, I’m including a sample of my goal setting for one of the eight areas of my life. You will note this process is robust and involves an investment of your time and hard work to complete, but it’s well worth it.
David Putman is founder of PTG and a Lead Navigator for Auxano.