“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably flirted around with New Year’s resolutions: You’ve said, “THIS is the year I’m gonna lose weight and get in shape. Starting January 1, no more snacking. I’m joining the health club and I’m gonna work out daily. I may even do my first marathon.” What happens? By March 1 (the latest …) you’re back on the junk food regimen, you’ve been to the club a total of five times (you’re “just too busy to get there”), and you’ve filed that marathon application in the trash. And you’ve concluded, “Resolutions don’t work for me.” (You’ve got a lot of company on that one …)
Maybe you need a better approach. Instead of making a mental resolution, create a Mission Statement. The difference . . . ?
A Mission Statement
• is a handwritten or typed-out paragraph
• is posted someplace you can see it regularly
• is committed to memory
• has specific, measurable outcomes
• has a deadline — in this case, December 31st
Here’s a process you can use right now to create a Mission Statement for personal success in your career or business. Get out a pen and some paper.
Step A. Write down 5 positive personality characteristics you like about yourself in your career/business. For example: willingness to learn, persistence, creativity, friendliness, sense of humor.
Step B. For the items you listed above, describe the way you express each positive characteristic on a regular basis in your career, using the word “by” to begin each phrase. For example, if you listed “willingness to learn” above, you might write “by being committed to ongoing professional development” below. Another example: If you wrote “persistence” above, you might write “by making sure the job always gets done” below.
Step C. Write down 5 goals you’d like to achieve by one year from today. Be sure to list a specific financial goal separate from these 5 goals.
Step D. Look back over Steps A, B, and C, circling the 3 most important items in each column.
Step E. Now fill in the blanks of the following paragraph:
“My purpose is to express my __________________________ ,________________________, and ______________________ (write in the three items you circled in Step A) by __________________________________________________,
by ________________________________________________, and by ____________________________________________ (write in the three items you circled in Step B) to create ___________________________________________________, ___________________________________________________ and _____________________________________________, (write in the three items you circled in Step C) and at least ____________ (write in your financial goal) by ___________ (write in the date one year from today).”
When finished, you will have a short paragraph that reads something like:
“My purpose is to express my intelligence, creativity, and people skills by continually learning and applying new ideas, by finding unique solutions to my clients’ problems, and by building a powerful network of contacts to create 15 new corporate accounts, a steady flow of referral and renewal business, and full technological competence, and at least $125,000 in gross commissions by this date one year from today.”
I hope you give this deceptively simple exercise a try, and I encourage you to follow the guidelines above by posting it where you can review it, committing it to memory, and reciting it daily. Then you won’t need to make any more fruitless resolutions — you’ll be like The Blues Brothers … you’ll be on “a Mission from God.”
Richard Rondeau is a speaker, motivator, life saver and author. You can find out more about Richard on his site insidethemaddness.com