Holistic Goal Setting

January 10, 2012

For many of us, a new year brings new resolutions and, while ambitious or admirable, they usually succumb to a lack of time, energy and other valuable resources.  Tim Loehr and Tony Schwartz, coauthors of The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal, examine four main areas that when managed equally and effectively, bring more balance and productivity than the “marathon mentality”, which leaves most of us burned out and unfulfilled.  Establishing goals in each of these four areas can contribute to a life of balance.

These four areas and their subsequent values according to the authors listed above include: Physical or amount of energy, Emotional or quality of energy, Mental or focus of energy, and Spiritual or purpose of energy.  Physical goals may include the usual – decrease weight or cholesterol, manage stress, run a marathon, floss.  Emotional goals may include some kind of artistic or other self-expression like writing in a journal or taking up a musical instrument as well as investing in personal relationships (e.g. more time with friends or date night with one’s spouse).  Mental goals are those that improve the mind, for example, learning a new language, improving a skill, reading more, or staying on top of one’s professional industry, etc.  Spiritual goals may range from the obvious – going to church, meditation, reading scriptures from one’s personal spiritual practice – to contributing one’s resources to a greater good.

Setting goals that feed each of these areas creates more energy than it drains.  Priority determines capacity.  For more information on these concepts and to take a personal inventory, go to www.theenergyproject.com co-founded by Tony Schwartz.