How do I clearly define my goals?

"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

It's funny to talk about how to clearly define your goals because goals are constantly changing. I feel it is more important to realize that you are always going to be revisiting your goals. You might ask, "Well, why should I define my goals if they may change?" Well, you define them because defining them shows you the direction you want to move toward. Even if your goal changes slightly, that doesn't mean you were moving in the wrong direction.

Before you sit down to write your goals, it is important to ask yourself two questions. These two questions will help you find out what is truly important to you, and what you can weed out. The two questions are:


  1. What do I want out of life?

  2. Why is this important to me?


For example , one of your goals may be to have a nice car. That is great, but you need to ask yourself the two questions. (1) Does the nice car help me get what I truly want out of life? (2) Why is having the nice car important to me? Does having the nice car indicate that you have attained a certain status in life? Or, is the car something you appreciate for its craftsmanship?

As I sit down and look at my own goals, there are few 'things' on my list. Most of my personal goals are related to myself either mentally, emotionally or physically, and not focused on "things" that I may want. There are five areas, or pillars, of my life that I focus on when I write my own goals.


The 5 Pillars


Your goals should fall into one of the 5 pillars of life. Why? Because these are the five areas of life that have the greatest impact on human happiness. Do you know what they are?


  • Health and Well-being

  • Relationships

  • Career

  • Personal Growth and Spirituality

  • Wealth


If you are setting your goals for the first time, this is a good place to start. You can add and take away things over time, but these five areas will, for the most part, remain constant. The goals you set today, may not be your goals in the next twelve months to five years. That is okay, you change and grow with time, so it is only natural that your goals change too.