I listen to understand what those around me seem to be experiencing in their lives. At the start of this new year, two experiences come to mind.
- If I ask almost anyone, “How’s it going?” or listen long enough, I hear something like, “Busy!” They’ve allowed someone or something other than themselves to create their busyness. Responses to follow-up questions reveal fuzzy thinking, lack of focus, difficulty clearly defining why they feel so busy, and they are in an ongoing state of fatigue.
- I get the question, “What habits do you have for goal setting at the beginning of the year?” My answer is, “I don’t.” I am in an ongoing state of reflective practice for life and work – review, evaluate, and refocus in light of the big picture of my values and personal mission.
No matter when you do it, it’s helpful to take stock of what’s happened in the past (review), learn from it (evaluate), and make a fresh start (refocus).
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Get started with Three Steps
For some, this look back brings sadness and disappointment at missing out on opportunities or energy wasted due to a failure to “zoom out” to a big-picture focus, review, evaluate, and refocus. In my book, Without Regret, I teach readers these three requirements for avoiding and managing such regret:
Step 1. FORM a dynamic plan based on a clear understanding of who you are and why you are here. This plan includes clarifying your highest values and a mission statement based on those values.
Step 2. PERFORM your plan courageously and consistently.
Step 3. TRANSFORM your regret into a learning opportunity for living a hopeful, meaningful, and purposeful life.
Benefits of Forming and Performing
If you are interested in being the best manager of life possible and ending without regret, you need a mission statement. When you have and use a mission statement, it becomes a:
- Place to stand confidently when you “zoom out” to a big-picture focus, review, evaluate, and refocus.
- Filter for choosing the “best” opportunities over those that are just “good” ones. Many decisions become easier because you have this pre-established standard by which to make them.
- Standard for determining how you spend your time. This standard helps with day-to-day priority management, which is essential for using time well.
An Example – My Mission Statement
Here’s my mission statement as it stands today.
I want to do what is necessary to
- Be as healthy as I can for as long as I can.
- Live with a profound sense of gratefulness and hopefulness.
- Be a learner-at-heart, filled with curiosity and wonder, constantly learning for my entire life and helping others do the same.
- Have excellence to characterize my being and doing.
- Be occupied every day with what fulfills me and what I love doing because it uses my gifts of administration, leadership, and teaching through coaching and mentoring.
- Be secure enough financially to meet my needs and give generously but live simply enough to leave room for faith.
- Be an inspiring leader and a positive role model for my family. I want my family to speak well of me and miss me when I’m gone.
- Be an influence on faithful Christian leaders who are committed to multiplying themselves through others.
- I want to come to the end of life with a sense of completion and satisfaction, knowing that I made a real difference in the lives of those around me.
- Most of all, being a person of faith, I want to please my God, glorify him, and hear well done when I stand in his presence.
You can use someone else’s statement as guidance and inspiration, but you can’t copy it and make it yours. Your statement will be unique to you.
Here are some free tools to help you create a statement that will serve you well.
Mission Statement Development Exercise
Getting clear about your values, mission, and how you uniquely express those is hard work. Without support, most people abandon the work and continue allowing life to carry them along, however it may. Find a trusted partner and work on it together. I support and guide people in doing this work all the time and would be happy to support you.
Get Started on Living Without Regret
It’s a great time to get started and put these important principles in place. Grab a copy of Without Regret and follow the principles. If you do, 2023 will be a milestone year for you.