In the November 2009 edition of “In Touch”, Bruce Burke’s article, “Do Your Behaviors Line up with Who You Really Want to Be?” illustrated the power of creating a Personal Mission Statement. In this article, I would like to continue this theme and help provide insight on how to “walk the walk” and be the person you aspire to be.

Once you have crafted your Personal Mission Statement, consider the roles that you play in your life.  Your “roles” are the relationships and responsibilities that you have committed to, such as being a parent, a son or daughter, a friend, a student, a teacher, a CEO, etc.  Identify the specific roles you play and write them down. Try to limit yourself to no more than seven.  Next to each one, describe what optimal performance would look like for that role.

Taking the time to describe optimal performance for each role helps you create goals for each one.  Review your Mission Statement once more and create three or four long term goals that support your mission. Commit them to paper and then reflect on each one.  Ask why you want to accomplish these goals. Why is each goal important to you?  Answering “why” will help to connect your goals to your mission and give them a greater sense of purpose.

You now know what you want and why you want it. The next step is to determine “how” you are going to achieve it. Start with the end in mind (the result) and determine what steps you will need to take in order to be successful. This is your action plan. Continue this process for each step until you have tangible items and tasks to commit to. Essentially, these items are your short-term goals. Short-terms goals are very specific, measurable, action-oriented, reward based and time sensitive.

Here is an example of the process:


  • Father

Identify optimal:

  • A loving, caring relationship with children built on mutual respect and understanding

Long term goal:

  • Create a loving, caring relationship with children

Short term goals:

  • Improve relationship with son
    • Look for opportunities to spend quality time together
    • How: Help with homework; volunteer to coach his team
      • Commit to a time each week for us to spend together
      • How: Ask him if we can go to a movie on Friday
        • Tell him I would like for this to happen so he knows and can be part of the planning process
        • How:   (Keep going if you can!)

The final step to realizing your mission is to make sure your goals have an end date!  Commit your action items to paper, organize them and give yourself a deadline.

Don’t take being successful in these roles for granted. Taking the time to be proactive is key.  Do these things and you will be amazed at how much more fulfilling your life will become.


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