Out With the New Year’s Resolution

Out With the New Year’s Resolution

Do you engage in the practice of setting New Year’s resolutions? I was struck by this New York Times piece on the idea of tossing aside the practice of New Year’s resolutions, and instead embracing the idea of personal mission statement.

Yes, you read that right, a personal mission statement.

As professionals, we’ve all undoubtedly spent a lot of time defining, or re-defining, mission statements and setting forth goals and tactics to achieve those missions. But, as this article suggests, we don’t take the time to create our own mission statement, to define our purpose. Instead, we set personal goals, without thinking about the bigger picture of what they are moving us toward.

At Move to End Violence, we talk a lot about our North Star. It helps us keep ever present what all of our work is in service of. It provides the WHY and the answer to: “For the sake of what”. With that in mind, we are able to make sharper, more strategic decisions without (much) hesitation. As a group, it helps us to better understand where we are headed and why, to reflect on what the most strategic path is, and to avoid the trap of endless tactics that won’t move us closer to fulfilling our mission.

Just as a mission statement is important at work, a personal mission statement can also act as a north star, providing clarity as to your purpose [Read more about leading with purpose on Stacy Kono’s blog ] and keeping you moving in that direction. It can help illuminate the path and crystalize choices about where you spend your time and why.

In 2015, rather than focusing on New Year’s resolutions, I have been thinking a lot more about my purpose and making sure that my life and work are acting in service of it. That’s necessary if I want my light to shine and to humbly offer my gifts to the world. I invite you to join me in skipping the fad diet or new gym membership this year and instead taking some time to work on your own mission statement and make sure that the choices you make keep you moving in alignment with your purpose.

Jackie Payne
Jackie Payne

Jackie Payne served as the Director of Move to End Violence from its inception until February 2018. A lawyer and policy advocate with 20 years of experience working to affect social change, Jackie brings an intersectional and cross-movement lens to her gender justice work. Learn More

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