Who do you want to be?
What do you want to have?
What would you love to do?
Whether you’re starting a business, and trying to define your brand values, or beginning a journey of self-discovery and trying to understand your personal values, having a destination is imperative to orient you towards your goals.
The thing I’ve learned the most about goal-setting and achievement, is that the end goal – the result, the destination – delivers far less satisfaction than Who you become along the way.
I would go as far as to say the better way to set goals is to decide Who you wish to become – the traits, character, attitude, actions , mindset – and then almost reverse-engineer the milestones and end points of that journey.
Where does this ideal You live, how do they act, what do they wear, what work do they do, who do they serve, how do they feel..?
Then, the act of goal achievement transforms into the Art of Becoming. Life, or business, becomes a process of growth, self-realisation, development of internal fortitude, awareness of self, rather than an act of getting stuff or hitting targets.
So how do you decide Who you want to become?
Map & Model
A good way is to map and model; who are your role models, who has what you want, who has been through that journey before you? Modelling the success of others, and mapping a proven path is a great way of orienting ourselves to a higher vision for what we could be. This is more effective if you’re just getting started and don’t have a clear inner vision just yet. That’s ok. The important thing is to get started, get at it and move towards something greater.
Mapping and Modelling can get you off the start line, and you can re-orient as you discover your unique vision along the way.
Become the Inspiration
A more empowering way, is to focus on Who you wish to serve, and setting out to become the leader that individual would need to help them towards their destination.
This way your focus shifts to how to become someone of value. How would you serve that individual? Who would you need to BE to inspire them? Why would they follow you?
You can then start to build up a powerful vision of who this “new you” is:
- What are his character traits?
- What are his core Values?
- How does he act?
- What daily habits does he have?
- What are his non-negotiables? (the things he does every single day to build his character)
- What kind of life does he lead?
- How does he speak?
- How does he treat people?
- How does he help people win in their lives?
- What is his contribution?
If you can build your vision this way, I think you’ll find that the goals you end up setting are very different to the types of targets you may have set before, or when you are designing your life or business by modelling others.
No matter how you set your goals, you will always become someone different as you move towards (or away from) your desired outcomes. There is no other definitive outcome other than the fact that you will change through this process. You may or may not hit a financial target, you may or may not meet the love of your life – but you 100% will become a different person along the way.
Be Careful What You Wish For
Who you become, and how willingly you step into that transformation can have a lot to do with the goals you set, and the framework in which you set them.
Have you heard the phrase: Be careful what you wish for – because you might just get it!
Perhaps more accurately, this should read: Be careful what you wish for, because you might just become it!
Be careful what you wish for, you might just become it!Tweet
If you set a goal to earn $1 Million dollars, you will become the person who can earn $1 million dollars. However, there’s no knowing Who that person is until you get there. You could earn the money by deeply serving people and making a tangible, positive difference in the lives of many, or, you could screw people over and ruin their lives for your own selfish gain.
Same goal. Same achievement. Different person.
That’s why I think it’s important to set goals within a framework of contribution, service, and with a view to becoming your best self, over the attainment of stuff.
Becoming Your Best Future Self
The beautiful thing is, that when you become the person you admire most, you get to have all the stuff anyway!
Remember that the person you are becoming is someone you deeply desire to be, someone you admire, because of who they are, but also because of what they have. Your best future self has the car, he has the beach house, he has the freedom to work from home, he has the amazing family, he has the diligence to crush his workout every morning, he has the fortitude to wake up at 5am every damn day; he is the you that You want to be.
This is how I am going to set my goals from now on. I am going to decide Who I want to be, by understanding who & how I can best serve. Then all I have to do is decode the programming of that dude turn it into traits, behaviours and habits that I can use to build my daily routines.
It stands to reason then, that if I’m doing the things that my best future self would be doing, I will eventually become the person he is – the man I choose to become.
And along the way I will always be progressing towards that best self, so every day will be a win stacked against that outcome. And not only will I start to feel more like my best self, I will literally be my best self every day as I evolve forward from the day before.
I think this also provides an excellent compass to orient against along the way. I can look at myself daily and reflect on whether I feel like I am becoming more or less like the ideal version of myself. Sure there will be tangible signposts like achieving a follower count, or increasing my income etc. But I think the more precise radar will be how I am acting, the thoughts I’m thinking, the words I’m speaking and the signs of character that I am displaying. These will be markedly better ways to understand where I’m at during the journey and provide important information on how to adjust course to get back on track.
Test this out for yourself. Try setting some “becoming” goals instead of “getting” goals, and see where the journey takes you.
I promise you that you are going to become someone new between here and there, so you may as well pick who that is from the outset.
Have fun with it, and drop a comment if you’ve had success (or otherwise) with this concept.