New Year’s 2016 – a new look at resolutions
This is the time of year that we make a list of specific self- improvement goals we want to accomplish in the coming year. Usually they are very similar to the goals we made the previous year. A recent study showed that 88% of ‘resolutioners’ failed to keep their resolutions from one year to the next.
Single, specific acts like going to the gym every day, not eating sugar, or getting more sleep are all good intentions but can be difficult to incorporate into our existing routines. Last year The New York Times ran an article about taking a large step back from our single action New Year’s resolutions and looking at the bigger picture. It’s about connecting specific goals to a higher purpose.
A mission statement is usually used by a business or a non-profit to state its goals and values. It guides the organization and explains the goals and direction to the public. Recently, life and health coaches have begun to use personal mission statements to help individual clients examine their priorities and larger lifestyle goals.
A personal mission statement establishes what is important to an individual. It helps an individual define his unique purpose and value system. As Stephen R. Covey said in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, “Begin with the end in mind.” In other words, what do you want to be when you grow up? How and who do you want to become? How would you want to be described? What matters to you, and how do you define success? Is your wanting to lose weight only because you want to fit into your skinny jeans or is it to feel and sleep better, be a role model for your children, or live a more energetic life? Getting to the real core of our desires can not only provide more options to achieving the goals, but provide a deeper understanding of what we really want to achieve.
If, in your personal mission statement, you want to lead a balanced life and always have time to enjoy your hobbies, don’t set a goal of only reading more books this coming year. Make the goal to spend more time doing things you like to do, and that flexibility may allow you to achieve greater success.
If your personal mission statement includes a commitment to physical activity, your goal should not be to go to the gym every day. Your personal mission statement gives you more options than that. On a day when you don’t have enough time to get to the gym, instead of not exercising at all, take the 15 minutes you have and run around the house 5 times, or go for a short brisk walk.
My mission statement includes leading a more mindful and disciplined life, and I have specific areas I want to focus on. I will have many opportunities to define what mindful and disciplined mean in those areas which gives me the flexibility I need to achieve that goal.
Good luck, and Happy New Year!