Successful executives know where they’re going, stay focused, and have an uncanny ability to know when to say “NO.” They may not use these exact words, but they’re operating off a LifeMission. They’ve discovered there’s limited unscheduled time and know their current “Season of Life.” The following thoughts are meant to help you develop your own unique game plan.
Step 1 — What’s Your Destination?
Reflect on these rhetorical questions:
- How do you know you’re on the right road if you don’t know where you’re going?
- When you’re sitting in your rocking chair in the twilight of your life, what would you like to look back at?
- If you were writing your own eulogy, what would you like it to say?
Step 2 — Realize That Time is a Limited Resource
Many resources can be increased through hard work, good investing, inheritance, and even luck — but time is a finite resource. We all get 24 hours each day. Have you ever thought about how you spend your time? Download the Doescher Advisors “How I Spend My Time” tool, which will provide a simple way to reflect upon your time commitments (you don’t need to fill it out!).
Step 3 — What “Season of Life” are You In?
Reflect on the following questions:
- Are you still in school? Are you going back to school?
- Are you married? Do you have children? Are your children still minors? Do your children live with you? Are you a single parent? If so, what is your support system? Are you coaching sports teams or do you have some other commitment related to your children (i.e., PTA)?
- If you’re married with children, do both spouses work outside of the home?
- How demanding is your job? Is it 24/7? Does your work require travel outside of your home city?
- Are you involved in outside organizations (i.e., charities, service clubs, a neighborhood association)?
- Do you attend church? Do you have other commitments/responsibilities related to church? Do you belong to a social or athletic club? Are you involved on the board or on a committee? What other responsibilities, hobbies, or activities do you have? Do you travel recreationally?
- Do you have responsibilities for aging parents, adult children, or others?
- Do you have a regular exercise program and/or participate in golf, tennis, fishing, hunting, etc.?
In developing your LifeMission, you need to consider what’s important to you now — and realize that may change over the years.
In a survey of 95-year-olds, Dr. Tony Campolo, a professor of sociology, asked them, “What would you do differently with your life if you could live it over?” Many responded: “We would reflect more, risk more, and invest in people more.”
With their advice in mind, begin the process of developing your LifeMission.
- Think about “How I Spend My Time” and reflect upon your current “Season of Life.”
- If you’ve ever used any assessment tools, consider and incorporate your identified strengths.
- Brainstorm key words, thoughts, and themes.
- Format isn’t important. We’ve evolved from words to a graphical representation of our LifeMission.
- Like strategic planning, your LifeMission is an ongoing process.
- Be accountable to someone.
- Just do it!