One of my tips for a better 2022 is to have a clear mission statement. Mission statements can serve as a clear reminder of how we want to operate on a daily basis. Rather than chasing specific outcomes, a mission statement will help us stick to a meaning-driven process every day.
A number of years ago I read a book by @jongordon11 entitled, One Word That Will Change Your Life. This book resonated because of its simplicity. Gordon provides the reader with a roadmap for choosing one, simple word that will shape the coming year. The word that you choose will underpin all of your actions.
Another one of my tips for a better 2022 is to simplify your life. Nothing could possibly be simpler than focusing on a one word mission statement. I have been learning a lot about marketing my business in 2021 and similarly, an effective marketing strategy starts with simple and crystal clear messaging. More leads to clutter. Less is almost invariably more.
Gordon urges readers to get very introspective when identifying their own word for the coming year. He suggests sitting in a quiet place and really reflecting on what you need for yourself. This makes sense as the goal is to boil your entire year down to one single word. In theory, this process should not be easy.
In my case, choosing my word for 2022 was simple and instinctive. SERVICE.
I knew what was missing from my life in 2021 all throughout the year, but I resisted it. What was lacking in my life in 2022 was being of service to others. Ironically, my mental performance coaching practice is anchored in serving others. However, the purpose of my service to others in 2021 got clouded at times because of my growing focus on results.
Even though I teach young people to emphasize process over results every single day, I got caught up in outcomes. Why is my email inbox so quiet? Why isn’t my practice growing the way I hoped or wanted? How much money am I going to make this year?
Focusing on results often led me to counterproductive thoughts and feelings in 2021. I’m an introvert by nature, add in COVID circumstances, and I was very isolated at times this year. I felt sorry for myself. I found myself under a blanket on a couch during working hours more times than I care to recall because I was mildly depressed that I couldn’t make things work the way I wanted them to work.
The common denominator to my success over the past 10 years or so has been connecting to others. When I engage in meaningful relationships with others in my life, it fills my emotional tank. It gives me energy. It motivates me to keep going with executing on the vision and mission that I set for myself many years ago. However, connecting with others is simply not natural for me.
Perhaps the most important thing that I’ve learned about myself over the past 10 years or so is that being of service to others forces that connection. I deeply value accountability to myself and others. If I am in a position of service, whether formal or informal, it creates the motivation for me to stay connected to others.
My one word for 2022 is SERVICE. It was a simple choice that did not require a lot of hand-wringing or introspection. I knew throughout most of 2021 that service was missing from my life, mainly because I was feeling sorry for myself. I was being selfish, not selfless. I realized that I always felt best about myself during and after mental performance coaching sessions with my clients. I experienced the connection that I seek. Further, I had the opportunity to help another person get to where they want to go in life.
The new year hasn’t started yet as I write. However, my year of service has already begun. I volunteered to coach my son’s basketball team because the town was in need of coaches. It would have been easy to pass at the opportunity because I have “more important” things to do, but I knew volunteering my time would benefit all aspects of my life: professional, emotional, spiritual.
I also volunteered to chair my 12-step fellowship group for the first quarter of 2022. Again, this isn’t the easiest thing to do. It would have been very easy to “respectfully decline” the post. However, I know being of service to my program will allow me to stay connected to others and give me purpose every Tuesday night. Even though I know this is the best use of my time, passing on this opportunity would be easily rationalize and very comfortable.
While these steps to serve early in 2022 are a good start, I must keep a constant focus on my mission for this coming year. To me, this means waking up every single morning identifying how I will serve others for that day. Breaking my days into 24-hour compartments. Keeping a clear and simple focus on serving others. Taking an inventory at the end of each day to see if I’ve actually done what I’ve set out to do, holding myself accountable.
What will be your one word for 2022?