PURPOSE RATHER THAN RESOLUTION
By JESSICA McGREGOR JOHNSON
Failed resolutions – again?
Each New Year many of us think about the coming year and make resolutions about things we’d like to start doing or even more likely; stop doing. How many of us having given up something for good on Jan 1st and started again on Jan 14th? These are all good and great intentions, but not particularly helpful for bolstering our self-esteem around success.
I invite you to do something with a greater meaning and power behind it. Many of us have heard about identifying our life’s purpose. Some find this easy, but many find this daunting, thinking, “What if I get it wrong, what if I don’t have one?”
Purpose can be transitory; it doesn’t have to be the be all and end all of your life, for your whole life. It can be for a particular time in our lives, or within a certain framework, i.e. to do with family, career, health or relationships. You can create a purpose for whatever you like, so how about creating a purpose for 2011?
Why, What and How?
So what is a purpose? Well, simply put, it is the Why?: Why we want to do something. Following on from purpose is the vision, the What?: What it is we want to do that will fulfil the purpose. From there we get to the mission, the How: How we will achieve the vision to experience the purpose.
If you want to look at it another way, imagine you’re looking at a landscape of a sunset with a road stretching to the horizon. The vision is the sunrise; the road is the mission; and the title of the picture is the purpose. So, what lies in that sunrise for you?
You can create all of these things for the coming year and that can become your leading light. If you have a strong connection to your Why, What, How, then you steer your year in whatever direction you’d like it to go.
1. Defining your Purpose – Why?
Starting with the purpose this springs from deep within you. Think about what you truly desire, not things but feelings. In the first example ‘ease and abundance’ are examples of states of being. Sure abundance can mean financial abundance, but it can also mean an abundance of time, laughter, fun. So take a few moments to ask yourself, “what feelings do I most wish to experience next year?” Maybe it is adventure, excitement, peace or belonging. This is your purpose, so touch deep into your heart and see what resides there. Your purpose is the why you will do something in the coming year.
2. Creating your Vision – What?
Once you have identified your purpose then move onto your vision. The vision is the What? What do you want to create in the coming year that would fulfil your purpose? Right now you don’t have to worry about how you will do it, simply about what you would like to be focused on in the coming year. Depending on what you have set as your purpose it could be a multitude of things; to have fit and healthy body, to have a better work/life balance, a new career, to start my own business, to get involved with charitable work, to create a loving home, to get promoted. Whatever will help you fulfil your purpose.
3. Embarking on the Mission – How?
And then comes the mission, this is a bit more specific but remember this is not your action list of things to do. It is looser, a statement that holds the key to your action points to come. I suggest you start your mission with an ‘ing’ word: creating, researching, empowering, starting, committing, deciding, moving, inspiring, building are all examples. It is the overarching action statement that will inform exactly what you will do to make it all happen. From here you can start to create the action plan for the year.
Putting it all together
To give you and example of this so you get a clear idea of the flow, a career-oriented purpose may be, “To experience 2011 with ease and abundance” (‘Why?’). The vision connected to that could then be “by identifying and moving into a new career” (‘What?’). The mission could then follow as “researching all areas that are of interest to me, deciding the next step and following through the process so I gain in a new position that fulfils me” (‘How?’).
You can see that the purpose, vision and mission all run into each other. They are not specific things to do, but rather overarching ideas of where you would like to go.
All three aspects of this focusing for the coming year are powerful but the one that pulls them all forward is the purpose. Once you set a purpose in place it motivates you to follow through with the doing side of our life. Until you have that motivation an idea can often stay as a nice idea. Purpose makes it deeper, both in meaning and in commitment. Make this the best year yet, live it on purpose.
About the Author
Jessica McGregor Johnson works internationally as a Life Fulfilment Coach. She offers a free introductory session to discuss how she can help you create the shift you want and feel excited about your career and life again. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 239 6155.
Jessica is also a Certified Passion Test Facilitator. The Passion Test is simple to take, fun to do and profoundly effective.