A number of years ago I did an exercise to give myself perspective on where I had been, and where I wanted to go. This exercise has three parts: Once Was, Is Now, and Can Be. I included areas of personal and career goals as part of this exercise and it looked like this:
College graduate, Job I like, Committee Member, Volunteer, Contributor
Seasoned Executive, Job I love, Board Member, Community Fund Founder, Creative and Strategic Contributor, Blog Writer
CEO, Published Author, World Traveler…
I also included some financial, family, spiritual and physical goals as I went along. I revisit this exercise every once in awhile, and it reminds me of the accomplishments I’ve had and how sometimes they go unnoticed – especially by me. Celebrating milestones, even way after the milestone has occurred, helps to keep your energy and focus in check. I encourage you to try this exercise and date the page, so when you go back and visit, you will be surprised at all you have done.
The power of writing goals down has been tested and contested by academics and regular people for a long time. Does writing down what you want to achieve produce the results you want? Not directly, but it does put your brain on a path to consider how to achieve the outcome you desire. Making a goal public puts you on the hook for making it come to fruition. It’s a pretty powerful test of your abilities when you write it down, share it with others, and internalize how you will get it done.