Great stories are rarely defined by their beginning or middle- the ending is what distinguishes them from all other stories. For our own lives, it is difficult to visualize our future and the legacy we will leave if we have yet not defined it. And when we do look forward, we feel like the future and our goals are not in our grasp.
Chasing Your Goals Can Seem Overwhelming
Chasing your dreams can feel difficult when you overload each day. By letting distractions invade your time and overestimating what you can do daily, you end up feeling too exhausted to accomplish what you hope to. But, if you can’t start working toward your goals now, then when?
I understand your exhaustion. I was frustrated and stuck by letting other people’s needs come before my own. At the end of my week, my month, and my year, I would reflect on my goals and see that I had not accomplished all that I wanted to because I didn’t take control of my managing my time.
The same three challenges kept showing up:
- I had no way to measure if I was working towards my goals
- I let others guide my day instead of myself
- I had no daily structure or accountability
It was not until I understood how my CliftonStrengths worked from an internal perspective that I could begin controlling my external life by learning to manage who I am on the inside. Once I began practicing my CliftonStrengths, I realized I had a new narrative about my capability to achieve my dreams.
Determine the Legacy You Want to Leave
I have a Strengths talent called Futuristic. One day it struck me that while I was always thinking about the future, I never had taken the time to visualize what my mark on the world would be and the kind of legacy I would leave behind.
The inspiration for assessing my own legacy came from my mom. When we celebrated my mother’s 80th birthday four years ago, she announced that she was working on finally getting her college degree. She realized she had a mission in her life that had not been fulfilled yet. My mom is now a Junior at Southern Methodist University studying film (she taught herself new technology to get through the pandemic and virtual learning) and has a high B average. She runs circles around all of us and is actually talking about her hopes to be a screen writer when she graduates!
Do You Know Your Legacy?
So, what about you? Do you know your legacy? If not, what are you waiting for?
Follow these five simple steps to create a plan so you can effectively live with purpose:
- Imagine your 80th birthday and what your friends and family will be saying about the legacy you have built.
- Take the CliftonStrengths assessment and review your top 5-10 CliftonStrengths to see what you bring to the world.
- Create your personal mission statement based on your legacy and strengths. Use those to outline your core values and goals for the next three years.
- Begin planning each day with a daily outcome focused on your mission/goals with daily action items connected to your strengths.
- Measure yourself weekly on how you are doing.