Kate Billing

Identity-led Goals & Ambitions

When people think and talk about their future goals and aspirations, I find they’re almost always focused solely on measurable achievements and tangible milestones: the ‘stuff and things’ of the future.

This approach limits our potential and capacity for growth, especially in times of deep transition like midlife.

I prefer taking a Future Self, identity-led approach to setting ambitions, and therefore the things I need to do today, by putting my attention out in the future with questions like: who do I want to be?

  • what does my life look and feel like?
  • what impact is my work having in the world?
  • why is that important to me?
  • what daily habits of mind and behaviour are enabling that?
  • what current characteristics and qualities have I amplified?
  • what new mindsets and capabilities have I developed?
  • what parts of my current Self have I built on?
  • what parts have I left behind and evolved beyond?


Being mindful of the thought traps of limiting beliefs, ageist and gendered stereotypes, and fixed mindsets about one’s character and capabilities is an important part of this ‘Life & Leadership by Design’ approach.

In terms of time scales, I do this over multiple horizons: 2 years, 10 years, and 25 years, providing a series of ‘peaks’ in the future landscape.

I started taking this approach in earnest about seven years ago when my life and leadership practice began being guided by an idea that came to me in my morning journaling practice:

“Don’t let who you’re being get in the way of who you could become.”

When we come at our future from a WHO-first perspective, rather than a WHAT-first one, we arrive back in the current moment to decide on plans, actions, and behaviours from a very different place.

Making a path forward based on WHO you could become, not just what you can achieve from your current Self thinking and behaviour, is a very different adventure.

Learning how to become a better Inner Coach is part of what’s required for this kind of deeper work. If you’d like to build up that part of your leadership capability and capacity, get yourself on the waitlist for my next public ‘TUNE IN: Unlocking the Power of Self-talk’ 2-day workshops in Auckland and Wellington. LEARN MORE HERE.

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