One of the lessons that I’ve learned early on in life is that we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in the short term, and underestimate what we can achieve in the long run.
That being said, very rarely do we think about the legacy that we are going to leave behind when we are gone.
One of my favourite quotes is the mission statement from the late Stephen R. Covey.
“To Live, to Learn, to Love, to Leave a Legacy.”
What a simple yet powerful way to approach life.
The LEGACY Checklist covers three fundamental productivity principles:
First, being intentional about living your best self.
Second, getting clear on who you serve.
Third, setting meaningful targets for what matters most.
Let’s dive a little deeper into each one.
Personal Mission Statement
The first item on the LEGACY checklist is to craft your personal mission statement.
Your mission statement could be a simple as Mr. Covey’s above or more detailed as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream …” speech.
Your mission statement should be an authentic representation of who you are. It should capture your values, your purpose, and most importantly, inspire you to bring your best self to the world.
Once you have your personal mission statement, consider crafting a mission statement for your family, your team, and your organization.
Know Your Values
The next item on the LEGACY checklist is to know your values.
The most popular list of values comes from the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
This list includes temperance, industry, and humility, to name just a few.
I recommend performing an integrity review at least once a year to assess how you are living up to your values.
What’s Your Dent?
I love Steve Jobs’ mantra: “Let’s make a dent in the universe.” It sums up nicely the essence behind living your legacy.
My formula for making a positive impact on the world is simply to master your strengths.
This means figuring out what you do best by developing your natural talents to the point of mastery and beyond.
The formula looks something like this:
Leverage Your Strengths x Walk The Path of Mastery = Body of Knowledge
What will be your positive impact on the world?
Define Your Roles
A role is an area of focus that requires your care and attention. If neglected for an extended period, it will have a significant impact on your overall level of happiness and personal satisfaction.
In general, we all have five to nine roles that require our time and focus.
I’ve found that the following six roles provide a good balance across the major areas of my life:
- Meaningful Relationships
- Extraordinary Health
- Personal Growth
- Work That Matters
- Financial Freedom
- Just 4 Fun
Set Clear Intentions
Once you’ve defined your roles, it’s important to set a clear intention for each.
An intention is a statement that sets the direction for each of your roles.
Hint. A quick way to draft your first mission statement is to combine the intentions of each area of focus into an overall manifesto.
Lead Your Tribe
According to Seth Godin, author of “Tribes,” a tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.
Group of People = could be your family, your team, or your customers.
Leader = You.
Idea = Your mission statement.
Choose the tribe that you are going to serve and serve them by living your mission statement.
Set Meaningful Targets
Targets are used to measure progress toward our intentions.
Examples of targets include:
- Get an 80% average in the current school year.
- Achieve an ideal weight of 180 lbs by Dec 31.
- Read 40 books in 2019.
- Achieve a six-figure income in 3 years.
- Publish an article on LinkedIn every week for 52 weeks.
Review your roles and intentions. What meaningful targets could you set for yourself this year?
The Next Level
The Next Level is your number one overall goal that you are committed to complete.
If you’ve completed the previous checklist items, you should have a list of intentions and targets within a number of areas of your life.
It’s now time to choose one.
Yup … just one.
Here are the criteria that I use to choose The Next Level …
- Does this goal inspire me?
- Am I willing to put in the hard work to achieve it?
- When completed, will this move me one step closer to fulling my legacy?
Only choose the goal that fits all three criteria.
The LEGACY Checklist covers a lot of ground in the area of goal setting and achievement.
First, craft a mission statement that embodies your values, roles, strengths and intentions.
Second, identify who you serve and how you add value to your tribe.
Third, set meaningful targets and choose your next level (your number one overall goal).
Before you know it, your life will fly by. The best time to start working on your legacy was ten years ago. The second best time? … Today!
The Ultimate Goal Setting Checklist
Everything you need to know about setting goals that you can actually achieve.