Self-improvement is the heart of Freemasonry. In his Lodge Education program, Brother Isaac Demarest expands on how Masonry “makes good men better.” The essential element of that is setting, sharing and achieving your goals. Goal setting is the corner stone of success in life. What follows is a concise instruction on goal setting, and, at the end, you will have a clearing understanding of what must be done to succeed in your life.
Mission: why you desire to achieve your goal(s)
Vision: how the achievement of your goal(s) will affect the world around you
Goal: exactly what you want to achieve, and when
Strategy: the series of incremental accomplishments which lead to achievement
Tactics: specific skills and actions aligned with your strategy
Mission and Vision
A goal focuses on attainable and measurable achievements. But how do you validate the goal? Well, you must create a personal mission statement about what you want the next year, decade or rest of your life to be about. This goes deep into the truth of your desire for your life experience. Do you want to have a stronger impact on you community or family? Do you want to be more adept at your profession? Do you want to perfect you morals? The choice is yours. But focus. Be specific. Know precisely what your current mission is.
Your vision statement is the next essential motivation. This is about how your mission affects the world in which you exist. How does becoming a better man, in whatever field or aspect of life, affect your family, your Brothers, your business partners and colleagues, etc.? Know how you want the change you seek within to affect that which is without.
Making the Goal a Reality
Defining attainable goals takes mental focus and concentration, as well as time. This process can take days, weeks or months, depending on the scope of the goal. It could be something that has been constantly in the background of your awareness for years, then, suddenly one day with the right turn of events, your goal is clear in your mind.
But now the real work begins. Now, you must remain devoted and persistent in making your goal a reality. How is that done? This, my Brothers, is where strategies and tactics come in:
- Strategies: theses are an underlying series of real acts which lead to the ultimate accomplishment of your goal, and the fulfillment of your mission and vision.
- Tactics: these are very specific skills and actions that execute your strategies. They are S.M.A.R.T. — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely.
Your choice must be made
Every man that is alive is endeavoring to improve himself in some way. It’s up to you to focus and chisel away the edges of imperfection, confusion and uncertainty, to discover the essence of your mission and vision. Then, will you know what goals to lay plans for, and achieve through well thought out strategies and applied tactics.