Don’t Make A Resolution – Do This For 2017 Instead!

Instead of making yet another New Year’s resolution, which statistics sadly indicate only an eight percent success rate, think about what you most want to achieve in life and articulate it in a succinct purpose statement.  This is the single, more powerful and efficient thing you can do to unleash your leadership potential and the joy of a more fulfilling and rewarding life in the New Year and beyond.

A succinctly stated, galvanizing purpose statement is one that can help you achieve what matters most to you in life – not just change one habit in the New Year.  And, the beauty of a powerful, well-articulated life purpose is that, once you know it you can’t “un-know” it.  Your purpose will inform the decisions and the actions you take – consciously and unconsciously – going forward to help you attain your most heartfelt goals and dreams.

Best of all, a life purpose is exciting and inspiring!  Every time you see it, say it or think it, you will be affirming it to yourself.  And when you share it – and you should do this as frequently as possible – you will enlist the support of others to help you achieve your purpose.  Unlike most New Year’s resolutions, a life purpose isn’t about “denying” yourself (carbs, cigarettes, spending less, etc.), it’s about “pursuing” what you most want to achieve in life.

A life purpose is one that leverages our talents, expertise and passion in service of other people and our planet.  When you know your life’s purpose, it’s energizing!  You can more quickly identify and choose those actions that support your purpose and bypass those that do not.  And, when you are living your purpose, you are at your most confident and powerful.  Exhibiting leadership comes more naturally and easily because you know what you want, you know what you’re willing to fight for, and when you fight for something you know what you stand for, and so do others.  And, in the process, you define who you are and become who you are meant to be.  This is how we unleash our leadership potential and create a more deeply, satisfying life.

Don’t Make A Resolution Do This For 2017 Instead
Happy New Year 2017

Greater purpose and meaning is what many of us are seeking today, particularly in a time of upheaval and instability in the world.  A quick Google search for “life + purpose” yielded 786 million results.  Another search for “business + purpose” turned up over a billion results.

Aaron Hurst’s best-selling book, The Purpose Economy (updated in 2016), talks about purpose as the new driving force of the economy and says it has become a business imperative.  Hurst says that “the Purpose Economy is defined by the quest for people to have more purpose in their lives,” explaining “it is an economy where value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers – through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community.”

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which puts “self-actualization” at the top of this famous, five-tiered pyramid, is one reason the Purpose Economy continues to evolve, Hurst says.  These innate needs have been further intensified by recent, life-altering events such as the Great Depression of 2008 and its impact on Millennials who are constructing their identities around purpose to make sense of the world, as well as changing demographics with aging Boomers – 10,000 are turning 65 every day – focused on envisioning their next 30 years.

Instead of making a resolution, jump start the New Year – and the rest of your life – with a galvanizing life purpose statement.  Here are some inspiring statements from some of my clients.  Every purpose statement reflects the specific focus of the individual.  Some are more “personal” and growth-focused; some are more “social” with a focus on relationships; and others are focused on “societal” impact.

Personal purpose, more growth-focused:

  • My purpose in life is to follow my curiosity, live creatively and share stories that touch my heart and fill me with hope so that others might be uplifted and inspired, too. (Financial services executive)
  • My purpose in life is to set an example that inspires others in their physical and spiritual well-being and to accomplish seemingly impossible goals with grace, compassion and joy! (CEO of a digital firm)

Social purpose, more focused on relationships:

  • My purpose in life is to be a standup guy and a trusted friend and advisor to all, helping people to live, laugh and love out loud. (Wealth advisor)
  • My purpose in life is to create opportunities for myself and others to grow, to savor dear friendships, and to always make time for laughter and merriment! (M&A specialist)

Societal purpose, more focused on impacting society:

  • My purpose in life is to help women and girls become strong, confident leaders who make the world a better place. (Nonprofit executive)
  • My purpose in life is to spark a movement to create systemic change that will improve the health of children. (CEO of a nonprofit)

Knowing your life purpose is like having your own personal North Star, helping you navigate the challenges of life and make decisions to achieve your goals and dreams in a very focused and efficient way.  In this way, a purpose statement is a powerful, competitive advantage in business and life to help you achieve what is most important to you.

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