If you’ve been struggling to meet your goals, you’re not alone. In a recent study, researchers at The University of Scranton determined that only 8% of people achieve the goals they set for themselves.
But what sets the goal setters apart from the goal achievers? The goal achievers have a strong why behind their goals. Namely, a mission.
In our 10-part goal-setting series, we’re covering how to get clarity around setting goals and making plans to achieve them. This includes a deep dive into the following 10 key elements to systemically achieving your goals, distilled from the Arootah 10 Step Success Formula.
- Goal prioritization
- Goal statement
- Purpose statement
- Start line
Contrary to what many believe, success isn’t only the result of extraordinary efforts put forth by those who are highly capable. Anyone can achieve success by developing a blueprint for it, then building the right habits that instill the behaviors to propel you toward your goals.
We’re starting with the first step in the goal-setting process, which is identifying your mission. So, if you want to be in the top 8% of goal achievers, read on.
The Connection Between Mission and Goal
High-achieving goal-setters know that there are three stages in achieving goals:
- Getting clarity on the mission
- Developing the plan
- Executing the plan
Getting Clarity on the Mission
People want to feel like they are a part of something bigger, so if you want to achieve a goal, it makes sense to connect the goal to your greater purpose — whether in life, career, health, or business. The part many people skip is the “getting clarity” step — and this is the “why” behind what you want to accomplish.
The best way to get clarity? Create a mission statement. The mission statement is rooted in your most authentic self and provides a moral or ethical anchor as you move toward your goals. A clear mission statement will drive you to work and make adjustments until you’ve met your goal, rather than using willpower to force yourself to get out of bed and pursue your goals.
Let’s take a workplace example to help demonstrate how important a strong mission statement is. Research has shown that employees who feel like their work has purpose are much more productive at work. The inverse is alarming; when employees don’t feel tied to a strong purpose, they often find their work unfulfilling or even unbearable.
Areas and Categories
When considering your mission, it can be helpful to break it down into areas and categories.
Think about an area as a subset of your overall mission. For example, at Arootah, we break down career goals across these areas:
- Career Choice
- Emotional Intelligence
- Technical Skills
- Management Skills
- Soft Skills
- Work/Life Harmony
- Leadership Skills
Then, each area can be further broken down into categories.
So, continuing with the same example above for career goals, at Arootah, the area of “Career Choice” gets broken down further into the following categories:
- Career Planning
- Career Mission Statement
- Identify Your Passion
- Second Career
- Compensation Negotiations
- Understanding Your Worth
- Dream Career
- Interview Skills
- Career Path/Pivot
To get started, you’ll want to choose the highest priority areas associated with your particular mission.
Then choose the highest priority categories within those areas.
This combination of area/category then creates the foundation of your mission.
Creating Your Mission Statement
As you create your mission statement, try to visualize what the results will look like after you’ve accomplished your goal. Use questions like those below to help you narrow down your mission statement:
- Who will I be helping with this mission?
- What are my skills, talents, and interests and how can I put them to the best use?
- What are my values?
- What do I wish was different about the world or my environment?
- What tasks are important for completing this mission?
If you’re able to answer questions like these thoroughly, then your mission statement should be pretty well-formed. All you have to do is put it into words.
That’s why identifying what’s important to your authentic self is vital: it keeps you motivated.
For inspiration, take a look at some noteworthy excerpts from the mission statements of previous Arootah clients:
- To leave the world better than how I found it.
- To serve as a leader by inspiring forward-thinking and collaboration so my team can develop innovative solutions that enhance the lives of others.
- To help those who are less fortunate.
Developing a Plan
Now that you have the foundation of your mission, display your mission statement in a place where it’s easily visible, whether you’re at work or at home. Set if as the lock screen on your phone or the password to your computer, so you will constantly be thinking about it. Make sure you know exactly what this goal looks like in your day-to-day life, why it matters, and how achieving it aligns with your purpose.
Once you’ve landed on a mission statement, you need a strategy to achieve it. People who hit their goals often build systems and support to complete them. They aren’t just throwing paint at the wall; they are creating a clear path toward success. If they follow through on the processes outlined in the system, they know they’ll succeed.
Executing on the Mission
Now it’s time to act on this structured strategy around your goals. You’ve focused on the big picture first, which is your mission; from there, you can get into the subsets of your mission to tackle them one at a time. These subsets are weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals that support your overall mission.
At this point, it’s usually helpful to have a mentor or accountability partner who can assist you in setting goals since working toward your goals with co-conspirators increases your chance of accomplishing them.
There are also technical strategies you can use to achieve your goals (which we’ll cover in other parts of our series), but the most important factor in accomplishing a goal is the mission or why you’re pursuing this goal in the first place.
The Bottom Line
Accomplishing your goals isn’t about luck; it’s about doing the leg work to understand why the goal matters.
Changing your mindset to create strategies around your goals rather than engaging in wishful thinking is one of the most powerful things you can do to set yourself up for success as you work to complete your goals.
If you’re seeking a more hands-on approach to your goal-setting activities, learn this process directly from Arootah’s CEO and founder Rich Bello by downloading Bello’s free playbook, The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula. It’s a simple, straightforward process designed to support you in systematically achieving your goals.