Have You Set a Purpose and Mission for the New Year?
Performing at a consistently high level takes a commitment to small daily efforts. Professional Development Specialist Lindsay Troxell shares seven energy goals for 2019.
The ball has dropped and the fireworks have faded, which can only mean one thing – for those of us prone to procrastination, it’s time to make plans and set goals for a new year. While looking ahead to a fresh start, I found myself instead meditating on the ghosts of resolutions past. They say we should learn from our mistakes, but my trip down memory lane got me wondering – what can we learn from our successes?
At Janus Henderson Knowledge Labs, through our Energy for Performance program designed to help us operate at our best in business and in life, we know that small daily efforts, over time, can become rituals that yield compound results. Without a clearly defined mission that matters beyond mere survival, without clarity in your ultimate destination, everyday life can be challenging. To combat this, make not just a connection but The Connection – between yourself and the positive mission that deeply matters to you.
Re-reading a blog I wrote back in November of 2015, I was reminded of what a banner year it was for me personally and professionally. I was the healthiest I’ve ever been, the happiest, the most energized, the most productive. Everything was on point.
Part of my success that year was the vision I had of where I wanted to go. I had a purpose I was committed to. I tracked and measured everything I did. I took time to meditate and write, and was mindful of what types of activities gave me energy. Thinking of all the clients who counted me as an active member of their support system, I started building a supportive network of my own. I created daily rituals that served me and my mission.
Robert Collier said, “Success is the sum of small efforts, lived day-in and day-out.” That was how I lived my life in 2015, and it worked. It worked so well that I stopped doing it.
Lightning Strikes Twice
Have you ever experienced the same phenomenon? Your dedication to your self-improvement plan wanes precisely because it worked so well, and suddenly you find yourself on the doorstep of 2019 in a completely different place than you were at the end of your year of superlatives.
Time to recapture the magic and get back to work. Design a new plan, and commit to that plan the way you committed to the previous one. Our lives are fundamentally run by habit, so make your commitment an everyday occurrence. You may pride yourself on your self-discipline, but you shouldn’t have to rely on it every day just to keep on track.
Here are seven goals to focus on this year:
- Clearly articulate personal values, mission and vision. Put them on paper and consider using a visual that can serve as a daily reminder.
- Understand what thoughts and behaviors support those priorities. Your mother told you not to gulp your food, and the same goes for pursuing goals. It’s consistent daily effort – not massive and drastic changes – that we’re looking for.
- Create rituals and habits to support positive thoughts and behaviors. Try starting with a morning or nightly routine that can set “future you” up for success. And don’t forget to thank “past you” for doing the heavy lifting.
- Develop a simple tracking and measurement system to hardwire accountability. I’ve found that a dry erase wall calendar or a straightforward diary on my phone allows me to track what I’m doing and look back at patterns.
- Be mindful of your energy levels. When I get drained, my rituals tend to suffer. To head off this diminished state, I make a point of identifying when I feel drained. Then I acknowledge what drained me and counter it with a predetermined restorative measure.
- Engage a support system. It’s always going to be up to you to put in the work. But if you explain to family, friends and colleagues what you’re working toward, they can provide support instead of being perplexed when you decline wine at a client event or duck out of the office at lunch for yoga or a run.
- Be kind to yourself. This one should be a given, but we all know it’s not. We’re human, and it’s important to remember the Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
This isn’t just a new year; it’s a new chapter in my journey and yours. Take time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’d like to go, and what it’s going to take to get you there.