6 Tips to Move from Resolution to Purpose
It’s that time of year where we plan to torture ourselves with resolutions that we will ultimately fail at and re-visit again this time next year.
That time of year where we vow to turn our life around in a day and yet can’t get through January without abandoning our promises to ourselves.
That time of year where we commit to losing weight, drinking less coffee (the horror), reading more books and actually taking the laundry out of the washer when it’s done (or is that just me?) only to find yourself running off of coffee, scrolling social media and smelling your pants to see if they’re clean - before Feb 1 even rolls around.
Sounds like a beautiful cycle of unmet vision and defeatism. Wanna sign up?
Not me. Thanks, but no thanks.
Here’s the thing with resolutions. They aren’t inherently “bad”.
I mean, there is nothing wrong with wanting to get healthier, drink more water and improve our lives.
In fact, there is so much good about that.
The problem with resolutions is that we don’t really set ourselves up to be successful in the long term. We pick some “feel good” goal, completely work AGAINST that goal leading up to it (hello, eat ALL the food before the “diet” starts) and expect perfection right out of the gate.
Never reflecting on who we are now. Never deeply rooting our resolutions to our priorities. And heck, never building a solid roadmap on how to get there.
Can I suggest that there is a better way to really accomplish “better” in your life in 2019? A way to really get traction on a purpose that will serve you and your family in the upcoming year and beyond?
6 Tips to Move from Resolution to Purpose
1. Make a list of your priorities for 2019
Seriously. What are your priorities?
There is no right or wrong answer here - but it’s important that you are honest with yourself. If all your friends are joining a running group to lose weight, but that doesn't resonate with YOU - skip it.
The only way to be able to make the real sacrifices required when focusing on a priority is to ensure it is meaningful to you. So don’t get caught up in hype. Be true to you.
2. Take an inventory on how you spent your resources in 2018
So you now have your list of priorities. Time to get this party started right?
How will you know how close - or how far - you are from walking in purpose towards your vision unless you know what you are doing now. Today.
Look back at your day timer. Your bank statements. Your year. Where did you spend your time and money? Were you actually working in your priorities without even realizing it? Or have you been robbing yourself of true purpose?
3. Identify where you need to make changes
Consider your resources a yummy delicious apple pie. Or pumpkin pie. Whatever.
Split your pie into the categories of where you ACTUALLY spent your time in 2018. Maybe 40% was Work. 35% family. 10% Faith. 10% Social Media Scrolling. 5% Health.
Now overlay your 2019 Priorities. Maybe you want more balance in your work life. Maybe you need to start incorporating self care. Maybe you have a savings goal.
You should start seeing where you need to claw back your attention and where you have to grow your intentional activity in a certain category.
The moral of the story here? We all have limited resources. You will need to make tradeoffs of what you may want now for what you ultimately want most.
4. Plan on how to shift the needle
This is where things can get overwhelming. Seeing all the places we need to make changes. It can feel big. Even impossible. But let me assure you it’s not.
A quick way to turn this Everest into a molehill is to stop looking at the changes that need to be made from a birds eye view - where you see everything scattered. Instead, break them down.
Want to create more work life balance? Plan to be home for family dinners. But get specific. Plan to be home for family dinners …. At 6PM … on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Need to carve out time for self care? Plan to take your time stealing Facebook app off your phone and devote 40 minutes to you. But again, get specific. I will workout for 30 mins …. at 6AM... Monday - Friday….in my basement. I will follow that with 10 mins of reading … my devotional … in front of the fireplace….with my tea.
It may feel at first that these are little changes. And that’s good! Because guess what?
It’s the little changes done consistently that over time creates massive shifts in your life!
5. Get clear on your why
So maybe I made these little changes sound easy. Hear me clearly. There is nothing easy about change.
Our default settings are going to try to fight and claw their way back into our lives. And when things get rough - job loss, marriage difficulties, wayward children - they will look to pounce.
Trust me. Life will get messy. Competing priorities will try to undermine your purpose. But that is where having a strong why comes in.
When you truly know WHY your priorities are what they are - you create an anchor that runs deep. That when the storms come your vessel will remain steadfast. I encourage you to write out your why and visit it regularly.
6. Go for it….slowly
You have your plan and your why and you are ready to go! Racers, start your engines!
Except, this isn’t a race.
And thinking that it is leads many people to give up. Resolutions have a way of making you believe you have to get everything perfect and all changes implemented right out of the gate. I say bollocks.
It takes 21 days to create a new habit. A. Singular. One. So pick ONE plan to implement for 21 days. Get proficient and competent in that area. Then use the confidence and momentum you’ve gained to add in another piece of the plan.
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? When it comes to building purpose, don’t be afraid to be the tortoise.
So there you have it.
Some of my best tips in truly creating meaningful change in your life that will have you living out your priorities and walking in purpose.
Now, who’s ready for 2019?