Forget Resolutions -- What's Your Mission?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 13:42
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Forget Resolutions -- What's Your Mission?

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." Proverbs 29:18

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Happy New Year to you! A new year, a new beginning. If you're like most people, you've probably flirted around with New Year's resolutions. You've said, "THIS is the year I'm gonna lose weight and get in shape. Starting January 1st, no more snacking. I'm joining the health club and I'm gonna work out daily. I may even do my first marathon." What happens? By February 1st (the latest ...) you're back on the junk food regimen, you've been to the club a total of 5 times (you're "just too busy to get there") and you've filed that marathon application in the trash. And you've concluded, "Resolutions don't work for me." (You've got a lot of company on that one ...)


Maybe you need a better approach. Instead of making a mental resolution, create a Mission Statement. The difference?  A Mission Statement is:

  • a hand written or typed out paragraph
  • has specific, measurable outcomes
  • has a deadline -- in this case, December 31st

Give this simple written exercise a try on your own -- if you need some help let me know.  They you won't need to make any more fruitless resolutions -- you'll be like The Blues Brothers, on "a Mission from God."

Visit Jim Rohrbach on the web at SuccessSkills.com

Comments (6)

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Joshco0752
I agree that mission is much more important than New Year's resolutions. However, I disagree with your definition of a mission. For me, a mission is no more than ten or twelve words long and can be answered with a yes or no. For example, my personal mission is doing interesting things with interesting people.

What you've described is a goal. And, you I will probably disagree, but I think goals are silly. In my opinion it makes much more sense to measure where you are and look at specific activities that will drive improvements.
Joshco0752 , January 14, 2012
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Josh: What you've described as your personal mission I would call a "Vision/Values Statement," a "statement of being" if you will. I'm sure you have plenty of interesting experiences with that guiding you.

My FA clients are looking for specific, measurable results from working with me. So when we begin I have all of them create a goal-based Mission Statement ala the instructions given in Chapter Two of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich. This is a "statement of doing" -- what you want to accomplish, by when.

As for goals being silly, if you don't know the end result you are seeking from the activities you're engaged in, how will you know if you are improving?
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , January 16, 2012
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Joshco0752
Instead of goals, I would encourage you to think about where you are today, what specific actions you need for improvement and measure those instead of choosing an arbitrary goal. The example I use for what most would call goal based planning is the quality or lean community. There you measure what you have, look for bottlenecks and then work to improve throughput. If you use a pull model instead of a push one, the results can be extraordinary.

Sometimes we have to show our clients a different model. Yes, I know we've been taught that we should always work towards goals. If instead we choose a personal and corporate mission, find ways to measure where we are and work for constant improvement, we get to enjoy the trip a little more.
Joshco0752 , January 16, 2012
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You need both a goal and a measurement of specific actions -- otherwise how will you know

1. Where you're going, and

2. If you got there?

Perhaps if you give a specific example your "pull model" would be clear.
a guest , January 16, 2012
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Joshco0752
Running your life is not like going to the grocery store for some milk. We really never get to a destination. We do have movement towards or away from outcomes we prefer.

We use a what, why and how model for deciding what we're going to work on. Let's say an advisor is seeing five people per week and they arbitrarily set a goal of seeing fifteen people per week. Although this is an expectation that most would say is a good thing, I would ask why this is important.

Let's pretend this advisor then says they aren't producing enough revenue.

I would suggest to the advisor that they go back and re-visit what it is they want to do. Seeing more people might produce more revenue, but maybe there are other things the advisor could do that would more effectively produce more revenue.

We then start looking at what they might do to achieve this improvement.

It's the improvement that's important. And, if we're effective and efficient in working on what and how, the improvement could be quite dramatic.

For me, the pull is moving down the road. How much more revenue is a goal that will only be changed once it's achieved. And, there is an excellent chance that the goal will not be achieved and the advisor would give up,

If instead, we concentrate on regular improvement, it's not likely the advisor would give up. The advisor might be willing to change methods to see if a new direction might work better.

I like to be a winner and those I work with like to be winners. When we make small incremental and regular improvements it's easier to win and slow and steady often beats lofty artificial goals.
Joshco0752 , January 17, 2012
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Josh -- "Outcomes" are goals.

I agree with incremental and regular improvements towards desired outcomes.
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , January 17, 2012

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