Life on Purpose

Life coaches help people discover their life’s vision, purpose, mission, and goals. Use this self-coaching exercise to begin to uncover yours.

Since specific requests have come in for this to be in writing, here’s an analogy using simple kitchen nesting bowls as food for thought. May God use it to help you discover and refine your vision, your purpose, and your mission here on earth. Judy Santos, a mentor, colleague and close friend, first shared this with me nearly 10 years ago. Since then it has been a litmus test of what to say yes to when I remember to be intentional and a useful tool for many life coach training students. I don’t know its original source so I am passing it on to you in memory of Judy who I miss terribly.

VISION

This is a brief overall statement… all else needs to be compatible with it (Largest bowl).

  • A specific compelling image of the future that you hold
  • The big picture result you want to see
  • The legacy you want to leave

PURPOSE

This is a brief statement that captures who you are and your part in bringing your vision to life.

  • Your calling
  • The underlying reason for being that gives your life meaning
  • Your answer to the question “Why am I here on earth?”
  • Your “being”, the essence of who you are. (“Doing” then flows out of this.)

MISSION

Many things can be included as ways to operationalize what is important to you but they must all be compatible with your purpose and help make your vision possible.

  • The particular ways you choose to fulfill your purpose in any given season
  • Your “doing”
  • “How” you will live out your purpose

GOALS

What specific tasks need to be done and when they need to be done to actually accomplish your mission(s) in real life? Must be compatible with and contained within the mission, purpose, and vision. (Smallest bowl)

  • “Dreams with a timeline for putting them into action”
  • S.M.A.R.T.– specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive
  • Goals need to be “as much as it depends on you”, within your ability and right to control. Goals apart from serving your mission or contingent on circumstances and people beyond you will be just a to-do list… not powerful goals.

Check back next week when I’ll illustrate this exercise by sharing my life’s vision, purpose, mission, and goals.

*Nesting bowl image courtesy of J. King. Used with permission.

TAKE IT AND RUN WITH IT


  • Now what about you? What would “Life on Purpose” look like for you?
  • How would you benefit from prayerfully drafting your own vision, purpose and mission statements?
  • What support do you need to put in place to make it happen?