Business mentor tip for 2012… Be clear on your purpose

Happy New Year to you!  I’m still officially on holiday and will be until the end of January (since I promised myself a few years ago that I would set up my businesses and life to allow me to take a month off every January and every July).   But I can’t resist checking in and sharing something I thought you might find useful at the beginning of the year.  In between the long lunches and afternoon naps, I am thinking about the year ahead and formulating my goals for the year quietly in  my head.  In the next few days I’ll share some of my goal setting techiques with you, but today I thought I’d do a quick blog about the the importance of having a purpose.

I have often been called an over-achiever and mostly I take this as a compliment.  It is said with goodwill I know, as people form their opinions about me from the things I’ve achieved as well as the sort of person I appear to be.  It’s true that I have done alright in some areas, because one of my main strengths is an ability to set ambitious goals and work out how to achieve them.

But there is a down side to being someone who likes to achieve.  In the past I have been guilty of working too hard and getting my priorities all mixed up.  I have experienced burn out and depression due to stress and I’ve also neglected my relationships with friends and family in  my pursuit of success.

A while ago I made a promise to myself to keep my priorities in check and to ensure my life was worthwhile across all the important areas, not just business and wealth creation.  To keep me focused on what is important I came up with what I call my life purpose, my mantra, my reason for being… to remind myself, when I sit down to set my goals each year, that I only get one life and it is a gift not to be taken for granted.

Here’s my purpose in one simple sentence:

“To live a wealthy, healthy, happy life whilst making a difference to as many people as I can”

This sentence encompasses the things that are important to me – health, wealth, happiness and contribution… to those I love and those I can help with my own talents and experiences.

When I set my goals for the year I will write this sentence at the top of the page to ensure I have goals that encompass all that is important in life.

Maybe as you start this new year, with so much chaos going in the world, you can think about your purpose too.   Can you come up with a sentence that will keep you focused on doing justice to this life you’ve been blessed with?