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Purpose and Personal Goal Setting

BY: Elliott Blodgett | Date:

Driving change and maximizing our potential always appears at the top of everyone’s “Wish List.” But how do you cut through the noise and actually chart a path toward success?

Here’s the fearless answer: It takes focus to reach the top of your craft. It’s not about wishing. You’ve got to dedicate time and resources. 

From growing a business, to leading a team, or a family, it starts with you – and only then does the ability to focus and be more effective begin to blossom and take shape.

Work/Life Balance vs. Work/Life Purpose

Between smartphones, video conferencing across time zones and a suite of project management software tools, the reality is we don’t live in an environment where work/life balance truly exists anymore.

We are on 24/7/365, so we coexist with our work. If you don’t take control and set goals around how you want to operate and create boundaries, each distraction will bleed into each other and consume you.

So if you want to come back to your business and be as healthy as you can be to lead it, the concept of setting goals and setting strategies for yourself is critically important.

Think of every time you’ve boarded an airplane. You’ve probably memorized the flight attendant’s pre-departure speech by now.

“Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”

In other words, you can’t help or effectively lead if you’re down. Beyond health concerns, feeling less-than-optimal also leads to increased illness, impaired productivity, and engagement with your job.

Goals and Purpose are Not Synonymous

Goals are more specific, finite accomplishments that serve your ultimate purpose.

For example, one of your broader life purposes might be to have an impact on the world and people around you.  A goal that will help you honor this purpose could be as ambitious as organizing a mentorship group for young professionals or a neighborhood campaign to clean up a local waterway, or something as simple as teaching your child to turn the water off while brushing their teeth. The key to making your goals much easier to achieve is to make them inherently more rewarding, rather than money-driven or based upon someone else’s expectations.

You’ll know you’re on the right track when your goal setting satisfies your needs and delivers powerful emotional benefits, including a sense of accomplishment, pride, and happiness.

Goal Setting Includes Prioritizing Your Personal Wellbeing

If you’re feeling exhausted from all of the challenges the past few years have presented – know that it’s okay – now is the perfect time to invest in your own wellbeing by getting better (or more!) sleep, speaking with someone about the challenges you are facing, investing into your physical or spiritual health, or taking a much-needed vacation to reset.

Bringing our best self to work is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves, our colleagues, and our community.

Regularly Remind Yourself of Your Company’s Purpose

Your work and career are an important and significant part of your life – not a separate part of it. Most people work for more than just a salary and benefits. A sense of purpose can come from developing into a more well-rounded person, making a difference in the lives of others, bettering society, and contributing to a feeling of community and belonging.

That’s why leaders who regularly communicate a company’s purpose will likely be more motivated and inspired to do their best work.

Action – Not Words

To make sure your goals don’t just end up in a dusty folder or buried somewhere on your laptop, determine the resources available to help set goals and keep them center of desk. Executive Coaches can help open your eyes to some of the existing blind spots that may be the root of the problem.

The key to action is self-discovery, and it often requires an Executive Coach to push you to succeed and hold you accountable beyond just a list of things that you are trying to accomplish.

As stated above, it starts with identifying your purpose. Putting in the time to truly think through why you exist or why you get up every morning. 

Once you understand your individual purpose for yourself, then you can start designing how you work and live around that purpose. That’s the moment when the work/life balance gives way a more sustainable work/life purpose.

The Multiple Roles You Have in Life

If you’re reading this article, you are likely a leader. What are your goals in this role? Mentoring colleagues? Maybe you are great at giving feedback. How else might you improve your Emotional Intelligence? Perhaps you are as passionate about creating inclusive teams and workplaces. Of course your life is more than the office. What are your family goals? Would you prefer more established sit-down dinner time routines? Being “present” more often during vacations and family trips?

What about goals that are just for you? Do you have plans to improve your physical health? Beginning a gym membership? What about your mental wellbeing? Have you considered meditation? Reconnecting spiritually through reading or joining a faith community? Self-goals are every bit as important as workplace goals. Everything inter-connects.

The point is that you bring your “whole person” into every interaction you have in life along with the feelings and emotions that you carry forward from interactions you’ve had previously.

An Executive Coach can help with changing habits, simplifying things, and utilizing techniques that encourage your brain to positively define your purpose.


  • Start small. 
  • Pick one of the roles that is important to you. 
  • Set a short-term challenging, but attainable goal around it and create an action plan that enables you to put the plan into practice. 
  • Track the progress you are achieving – and expand out from there.  
  • Hire an Executive Coach to work with you and help go deeper and push farther.