Out with the Resolutions and In with the Successful Mission(Carving Out a Mission Statement for 2019)
By: Tamara Ince
Since the days of ancient Babylon, around four thousand years ago, people have made New Year’s resolutions. During their massive 12-day festival, the Babylonians made promises to the gods to pay their debts, return borrowed objects, and make life changes. These promises over the years evolved into New Year’s resolutions. This practice continued throughout ancient Roman. Then the early Christians modified it, when they commenced the tradition of thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to make changes in the future every Jan. 1.
Despite its secular origin, it has now become commonplace. Approximately 45% of Americans say they make New Year’s resolutions, according to recent research. However, only about 8% are successful. Out of those that are successful, according to research by Norcross et. al, approximately 53% had at least one slip. With such a dismal success rate, despite having over 4,000 years to perfect the art of New Year’s resolutions, I challenge you do embark on a new way to set 2019 goals. Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution and waking up a year later with a failed resolution and an unchanged life, I challenge you to actively implement steps to navigate 2019 based on a mission statement.
A mission statement can be developed around a habit you would like to break, a goal (such as purchasing a home or earning a degree), or a result you would like (such as better relationships). Once you have created your mission statement, you can develop an action plan on how to achieve the mission, with time-based goals. For example:
Mission Statement for a Couple: To refocus on our union and better support intimacy in 2019
Quarterly: Plan a trip to experience a new environment, learn, review quarterly progress, laugh together, and enjoy rest and relaxation
Monthly: Devote 1 day a month for a couples convention to discuss or revisit any concerns that have surfaced during the month and share potential resolutions. Embrace at the end of the day
Weekly: Engage in at least one unprompted act of kindness
When crafting your mission, do be specific about what you want, make it achievable, (for example no one is perfect, so having a mission to be the perfect spouse is unachievable), realistic (for example you know how many hours you have for your action plan so don’t plan more than you have time to do), and timely (set time periods for actions and deadlines for your mission). Developing and implementing a mission statement will help you focus on the important aspects of your life and increase the odds that you will wake up January 1, 2020 happier and more successful. Research has shown that mission statements can draw people together towards common goals, give hope for a better future, inspire couples and individuals to achieve their dreams through effective actions, convert broad dreams into an action-oriented roadmap to success, and empower people to maintain focus despite distractions. Let’s work to turn your visions and dreams into your realities.
Resources to jump start you are:
Time Management Tools
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