What is it about the end of a year that makes you reevaluate your entire life? The calendar will simply say a different year next week and nothing else in my world will be different but for some reason, I am thinking crazy thoughts about what I have accomplished during my 42 years on Earth. Maybe you are simply wondering if you should once again have a New Year’s Resolution about losing weight…that would probably be more normal. Perhaps you are looking forward to the fresh start a new year implies, along with changing something major in your life…new job, new house…new hairstyle. Before you laugh, changing your hair is a major life decision for most of us…it requires asking your Facebook friends, looking online at photos and deciding if you will get up early enough each morning to curl your stick straight hair. The answer is no to that, by the way. No matter what you tell yourself, the answer is always no. In all of this excitement, I am afraid I buried the lead. What the new year truly means is that it is time for a new planner!
Some of you rejoiced with me last year as I made the switch to a new brand of planner. Some of you are wondering if I just used the word rejoiced when speaking about a planner and others out there might remember the new planner included a section to write a mission statement. I went super simple last year and chose “Do the next right thing” as my 2017 mission. I am going to say it was a fairly successful year using that as a guide and the beauty of that statement is it allowed me grace. It implied I would do “wrong” things and my focus should be to do something “right” next. I enjoyed my time operating this way and it did lead me to cleaning out major areas of my home and increasing my social time with friends. Other goals I had for myself, including an improvement in my health were kind of all over the place. If you know me well, you understand not checking something off a list or not getting a sticker for accomplishing something is very bothersome but I am learning to cut myself some slack. I mean, it is still totally upsetting I have to have some of the exact same goals for 2018 but really…I am getting better at letting things go.
As I opened the new planner, it felt like rays of sun shone down on the goals section once again, the angels were singing and I was giddy thinking about what my focus should be for the new year. I went online and did a little research about personal mission statements. As it turns out, more and more people in the business world are encouraging their employees to develop mission statements to guide them in their work. There were worksheets and questionnaires…if you are a planner geek like me, you should totally check it out. If you aren’t, I will give you the Cliff Notes of what I discovered.
Mission statements can be really, really long. That didn’t make sense to me because I couldn’t ever memorize something that lengthy and I think if it is going to be meaningful to you, it has to be something you have a firm grasp on. And perhaps an ever bigger reason is because the space in my planner really wasn’t that big. Either way, I knew my statement was going to need to be pretty compact. One source went through several questions but it asked things like…Who are the three most influential people in your life and what would you say are their defining qualities? If you were to die, what would you want people to remember about you? What things do you do that make you happy? The basic premise is if you can focus on doing what you enjoy while emulating those you admire, you will be well on your way to what your mission should be.
In my case, I identified my three people as my mom, my dad and my Grandpa Rudy. I think my mom represents strength; my dad represents character and my Grandpa Rudy represents treating people well. I discovered my passion is helping people make a difference in the world and what I want people to remember me for is loving them well. When I rolled that all together with my thoughts about 2017, I also determined that in order to make the changes that did not happen in 2017, I needed to love myself. My reasoning being that if I loved myself, I would take my health more seriously. We’ll catch up again next year and I can let you know if that works out. I also felt I needed to incorporate the scripture we have selected as guiding our development team at Bridgehaven in 2018 since my work blesses me with the ability to pursue my passion.
Be strong. Be courageous. Be brave.
Love myself & others well while helping people make a difference in the world.
That’s it. That is the mission for 2018. I love it. I think it takes the good from my 2017 mission while adding some good advice, as well as something to focus on. I encourage you to try this activity. It wasn’t until I completed some of the questionnaires I found online that I was aware my passion so directly correlated with my job at Bridgehaven. As you can imagine, I love it when things work out so neatly. Whatever you find as you attempt to discover what your 2018 should focus on, it will be worth your time. I think God wants us to ask questions and to figure out what He is calling us to do. So, you don’t have to answer for the last 42 years but it is good to have a plan for the next 12 months.