Goals: The 5 Realms of Life

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
–Zig Ziglar, American author and speaker

It’s the start of July and you know what that means. Half a year has gone by and summer is now in full swing here in Canada. It also means that winter is coming up again but let’s not talk about such terrible, terrible things. Let’s talk about happier things instead. Like how our yearly goals are progressing (or perhaps not progressing). The half-year mark is about the right time to have a fresh look at our goals to see if we’ve completed any, decide if we want to get rid of others, and make adjustments to meet new and ever-changing circumstances. I often counsel people to do a major review of their goals every 3-6 months to get a better handle on things and make any big adjustments.

When I talk about goal setting, I often ask people to look at 5 specific areas that make up the bulk of their lives. I call these areas the 5 Realms of Life (or 5Realms for short). The majority of our time, energy, and money go into these 5 areas. And so making sure you put in the right amount of resources in each realm will help you end up with a life that is both content and meaningful. Here are the 5Realms to look at when goal setting:

  • The Physical Realm. This realm deals with how we care for our bodies. If we’re going to serve well in God’s Kingdom, we should strive to be at our personal physical best.
  • The Spiritual Realm. This realm deals with how we care for our souls. We’re not going to bear any fruit for God’s Kingdom if we refuse to abide in Jesus (see John 15:5).
  • The Relational Realm. This realm deals with keeping our relationships (family, friends, etc.) healthy and strong. It really doesn’t matter if we achieve much in life if our relationships ultimately suffer in the end.
  • The Occupational Realm. This realm deals with our professional careers (or schooling for students). It also deals with how we decide to serve God in this world for His Kingdom. The goal here is to hopefully end up with meaningful work and service that will make an impact.
  • The Recreational Realm. This realm deals with spending time for rest and recreation. Although often neglected (guilty party here!), rest and recreation is vital so that we can continue to be at our best self when engaging in the other important realms.

To help with goal setting, there’s a worksheet that I created for my workshops included in this blog entry. Feel free to use it to set specific goals for each of the 5Realms. Click the button below to download the 5Realms worksheet.