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End of the Year Reflections: Setting Meaningful Goals (Which You Are More Likely to Achieve!)

With another year almost over, many of us take some time to analyze our accomplishments. Whether they are personal or professional, we all have some sort of goal in life. Did you reach your goals this year?

If you didn’t accomplish your goals, you are not alone. In fact, according to research, only 9.2% of people who set New Year’s goals for themselves feel that they have successfully achieved their goal. This could be due to many factors. But perhaps you aren’t approaching goal setting in the right way.

To set meaningful goals, there are three main steps:

  • Identify inconsistencies
  • Define your values
  • Attach your goals to values

Let’s start with the first step, identifying inconsistencies. This is important because this has to do with work/life balance. One of the factors that makes us unable to reach a goal is when we get too caught up in daily activities and we forget to work towards our goal. Other times the goal was never clearly defined.

At Create Your Career Path, our team of coaches uses what is called a Life Balance Wheel with all of our clients to help them identify inconsistencies. If you would like a free copy of our easy-to-use tool, contact us at and ask for the New Year’s Worksheet.

To create your own Life Balance Wheel:

  • Draw a big circle and create an eight-piece pie.
  • In each pie sliver, write the numbers 1-7, 1 being at the narrowest part of the sliver and 7 being at the widest part of the sliver.
  • Label each sliver:
  1. Friends/Family
  2. Fitness/Health
  3. Career
  4. Money (your relationship to it)
  5. Personal and Spiritual Growth
  6. Fun/Recreation
  7. Romance/Significant Other
  8. Physical Environment/Home

Now that you have created your Life Balance Wheel, you are ready to complete the exercise. Within each area, circle the number that best represents your level of satisfaction in that area of your life for the last year. (“7” = Satisfied; “1” = Dissatisfied)

Now connect the dots. What does your circle look like?

Most likely, it’s not much of a circle. Take some time to think about why your circle looks the way it does. Now take some time to think about what your life would be like if each area was rated as a 7. What kind of person do you want to be? Journal your thoughts and ideas.

Every area that you rated as a 5 or less should be taken into consideration when setting new goals. This exercise helps us to remember that every seemingly separate sections of our lives are connected to each other and impact each other.

In a professional setting, these aspects can have an impact on your career. For example, if your vision of a 7 in your family category is spending lots of time together, you may decide that a job that requires a lot of travel wouldn’t be the best choice for you.

Now, from the areas that were rated 5 or less, list 5 things that you think you could improve on. From your list you will find that new goals will emerge. Revisit your wheel every 6 months. This will help you to stay on track and come up with new goals as well.

Next, it’s time to identify your values. Your values are things that are important to you personally. Sometimes these are hard to define, so try the following exercise:

  1. Identify a personal and career peak experience.
  2. What made it so special?
  3. Identify keywords from the experience and write them down.

This simple exercise can provide some insight into your personal values. Take a look at the keywords or themes you have written down. How well are you honoring those values in your career currently from 1-5? (“1” = Dissatisfied, “5” = Satisfied)

Now you are ready to attach your goals to values. We will discuss how to do this in the next article in this series.

If you need help identifying your values, we would love to help! Schedule a free Career Strategy Session today!