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Personal aspirations and goals

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Personal aspirations and goals

Identifying your aspirations and developing specific goals which reflect your personal priorities is a powerful exercise of clarifying you intentions about what is most important to you and what you plan to do to make your goals reality.

Beginning with the whole
Each of us has many dimensions of our lives – arenas in which we have needs, desires and where we invest and spend ourselves through our commitments of time, energy, creativity, money and commitment. The diagram below offers one image of the variety of arenas that you might have in your own life, and offers a framework for surveying the terrain of your life in the pages that follow.
As a way of beginning this exploration, take some time to reflect briefly on each of these arenas in your own life and in the space around the outside of this image, note any wishes you may have related to any of these arenas. (Note that for some arenas you may have several wishes, while for others you may not identify any at this point in time.)

Examining your life arenas
Focus on leisure and recreation
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
Leisure and recreation. As will be the case in exploring each of the
arenas on the following pages, you’ll be invited to being by identifying
some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of your life.
Then, in a second pass, select aspirations that are especially important
to you and articulate them more specifically as goals. By moving an
aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to yourself, ”this is
important enough to me that I want to begin to think about what it might
take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to leisure and recreation in your life. Don’t self-censor.
Identify any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic.
These aspirations might be quite general (e.g. relax more, read more,
find a hobby) or more specific (e.g. take a trip to a specific destination,
hike the Appalachian Trail, learn to ride a motorcycle, read a particular
book or series.).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related leisure and
aspiration.
Examining your life arenas
Focus on education
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
education. Once again, you’ll be invited to being by identifying some
aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of your life. Then,
as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are especially
important to you and articulate them more specifically as goals. By
moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to yourself,
“this is important enough to me to that I want to begin to think about
what it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to education in your life. Don’t self-censor. Identify any
ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic. These
aspirations might be quite general (e.g. continue to learn, take
workshops or trainings) or more specific (e.g. take a specific training or
course, explore or complete a degree or certification program in a
particular area of interest.)
Now, looking over aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related to education.
Examining your life arenas
Focus on family and friends
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
family and friends. Once again, you’ll be invited to begin identifying
some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of your life.
Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are especially
important to you and articulate them more specifically as goals. By
moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to yourself
“this is important enough to me that I want to begin to think about what
it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to family and friends in your life. Don’t self-censor.
Identify any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic.
These aspirations might be quite general (e.g. spend more time with my
partner or children, make new friends) or more specific (e.g. schedule a
weekly date with my significant other, read a specific book to my
children, make plans for a trip to the Grand Canyon with friends).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related family and friends.

Examining your life arenas
Focus on health and fitness
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
health and fitness. Once again, you’ll be invited to being by identifying
some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of your life.
Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are especially
important to you and articulate them more specifically as goals. By
moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to yourself
“this is important enough to me that I want to begin to think about what
it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to health and fitness in your life. Don’t self-censor.
Identify any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic.
These aspirations might be quite general (e.g. work out more frequently,
eat better, take better care of my teeth) or more specific (e.g. make
appointment with dentist for check-up, work out at YMCA three times a
week, quit smoking, lose a specific amount of weight).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related health and fitness.

Examining your life arenas
Focus on finances
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to the
financial dimension on your lie. Once again, you’ll be invited to being by
identifying some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of
your life. Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are
especially important to you and articulate them more specifically as
goals. By moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to
yourself, “this is important enough to me that I want to beign to think
about what it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to finances in your life. Don’t self-censor. Identify any
ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic. These
aspirations might be quite general (e.g. earn more money, live more
simply) or more specific (e.g. create and implement a plan to eliminate
my debt, purchase a new home or vacation home, develop a retirement
plan).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related finances.

Examining your life arenas
Focus on personal and spiritual growth
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
personal and spiritual growth. Once again, you’ll be invited to being by
identifying some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of
your life. Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are
especially important to you and articulate them more specifically as
goals. By moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to
yourself, “this is important enough to me that I want to begin to think
about what it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to personal and spiritual growth in your life. Don’t self censor?
Identify any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic. These aspirations might be quite general (e.g. spend more time thinking about my spiritual journey, work to become less insecure or defensive) or more specific (e.g., take a course or workshop on meditation, schedule a retreat, learn to enjoy alone time).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related to personal and
spiritual growth.
Examining your life arenas
Focus on work and career
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
work and career. Once again, you’ll be invited to begin by identifying
some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of your life.
Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are especially
important to you and articulate them more specifically as goals. By
moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to yourself,
“this is important enough to me that I want to begin to think about what
it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to paid work and career in your life. Don’t self-censor.
Identify any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic.
These aspirations might be quite general (e.g. get a promotion, change
careers) or more specific (e.g. redesign my job to increase my time
working directly with customers, reduce the number of hours I spend at
work to half time, increase my salary to a particular amount, learn a
particular new job skill.)
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related work and career.

Examining your life arenas
Focus on community involvement
Here we invite you to reflect on your aspirations and goals related to
community involvement. Once again, you’ll be invited to begin by
identifying some aspirations or wishes you have related to this aspect of
your life. Then, as before, in a second pass select aspirations that are
especially important to you and articulate them more specifically as
goals. By moving an aspiration into the goal category, you are saying to
yourself, “this is important enough to me that I want to begin to think
about what it might take to make this happen.”
In the space below, identify any and all wishes or aspirations you have
that are related to community involvement. Don’t self-censor. Identify
any ideas that appeal to you even if they may seem unrealistic. These
aspirations might be quite general (e.g. find the right opportunity for
community service) or more specific (e.g. reduce the number of my
volunteer commitment, identify opportunities for community service that
relate to my paid work, serve on the school committee).
Now, looking over the aspirations you’ve identified, in the space below
select three or four that are particularly important to you and that you
would like to see happen. These are your goals related community
involvement.

Your goals sorting and prioritizing
Now it’s time to pull it all together. On this page, we invite you to do two important things. Looking at all of the goals you’ve identified in the various arenas of your life, it’s time to pull them together and think about where you want your priority focus to be at this point. Begin by pulling together all of your goals onto this one page, sorting them into long term, medium term and short term goals.
Do this by recording your goals in the appropriate space below.

Your goals actualizing
To move your goals beyond wishful thinking to reality requires both planning and commitment.
Begin that process in the space below with some preliminary thinking around what it will take to realize each of your three priority goals.

Goal one.
How will I know I’ve achieved this goal? What will be different?
What could get in the way of achieving this? (Include ways that you might get in your won way.)
Key Actions Required
Resources I’ll Need
Whose help do I need?
Next steps and when they will be taken:
1.
2.

Goal two.
How will I know I’ve achieved this goal? What will be different?
What could get in the way of achieving this? (Include ways that you might get in your won way.)
Key Actions Required
Resources I’ll Need
Whose help do I need?
Next steps and when they will be taken:
1.
2.

Goal three.
How will I know I’ve achieved this goal? What will be different?
What could get in the way of achieving this? (Include ways that you might get in your won way.)
Key Actions Required
Resources I’ll Need
Whose help do I need?
Next steps and when they will be taken:
1.
2.

Ending with the whole
Seeing specific commitments in context
As a way of bringing this work full circle, this last page invites you to locate the specific goals and commits you have outlined on the previous page within the context of your overall life. Which of the arenas below will be the focus of your attention during the upcoming weeks and months? You may want to write your goals in the space outside of the corresponding arena below as a reminder that while you will be devoting particular attention to these areas, these commitments will be unfolding within the context of your overall life and will almost certainly be shaped by these other arenas and will in turn also influence what happens in your larger life.

Exploring workplace and career connections
Use the space below to explore the possible connections between three priority goals you identified and your paid work.

Goal one.
In order to pursue this goal, what adjustments or changes might you need to explore in your present job?
Are there ways in which your pursuit of this goal might be integrated into your paid work?
Conversations I may want to have with my employer or co-workers:
Goal two.
In order to pursue this goal, what adjustments or changes might you need to explore in your present job?
Are there ways in which your pursuit of this goal might be integrated into your paid work?
Conversations I may want to have with my employer or co-workers:
Goal three.
In order to pursue this goal, what adjustments or changes might you need to explore in your present job?
Are there ways in which your pursuit of this goal might be integrated into your paid work?
Conversations I may want to have with my employer or co-workers:

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