This past year was fraught with more uncertainty, twists, and WTFs than most of us prepared for—this is especially true for business owners. We learned to expect the unexpected.
So as we traverse into the New Year, how should we prepare? How do we set our lives and businesses up for success? Start by trading in your resolutions for purpose. Instead of desperately creating 99 new habits, approach this year with a strong sense of purpose to guide your actions.
Your purpose matters
Purpose, the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc., behind what you do is more compelling than a mere resolution. Resolutions are choices that require willpower and discipline. Perhaps that is why 80% of people who set resolutions fail within the first 60 days, according to US News & World Report.
Resolutions focus on desired behavior and suggest you should choose better. That’s all good in theory. Yet, the basis (the why) for the goal is often shaky; a strong continuous motivation to support it is nonexistent.
Purpose gives you the mountain-top view of your goal and route along with a compelling reason to enact new habits and ways of being in your life. Purpose stems from living and building something bigger than yourself that allows you to weave a mission of who you are (or want to be) into your decision-making process.
When a business considers plans, they examine how they align with their vision and mission. If actions aren’t aligned, they often disrupt the core values of an organization. Companies are increasingly prioritizing profit with purpose and showing us balance can be successfully achieved.
Purpose can act as a measuring stick whereby your actions and choices align and serve your purpose. If they do, you are empowered to create something bigger.
Purpose impacts identity
Identity, how you see yourself, is the cornerstone of your thoughts, actions, habits, and willingness to change. In business, the concept of identity is even more significant. For example, Zappos is focused on delivering happiness, its core value.
How important is identity? One study found that team members were resistant to change when they believed there was a threat to organizational identity. As a result, teams moved forward with positive changes and less resistance when they viewed the changes as a continuation of an organization’s identity, and leadership communicated the alignment.
This also happens on an individual level. When our identity is challenged, we intuitively resist change. That’s one reason why resolutions so often fail. They require a shift in identity; to see yourself differently and make lasting change.
Instead of attempting to create change by aligning with an external goal, purpose creates inner change by connecting with who you are or want to become (i.e., identity).
Uncovering your purpose
Purpose is fluid and can change over time. Don’t worry about lifelong commitments to a specific purpose. Instead, consider what inspires you. What sparks you to take action and commit to making something better?
For example, does it excite you to help others make positive changes in their lives? Do you feel renewed by taking care of the planet? Does your support give hope to those who are struggling?
What drives you?
What makes you come alive?
Whatever it is, it will keep you focused on moving forward, even in the most surprising and trying of times.
Kellee Marlow, the founder and host of Spark (on KXSF.FM and 8+ worldwide online platforms), is an impact entrepreneur, empowerment accelerator, and motivational Speaker. She built her career by embracing disruption and identifying innovative concepts and technologies that challenged companies and people to think differently. After 20+ years of business experience in different roles and industries, Kellee has created a catalyst mindset that is science-proven, focused on empowerment, innovation, and inspiration that guides people to successfully realize their entrepreneurial or personal goals. Kellee’s expertise and advice have been published in media outlets including ABC, NBC, FOX, MSN.com, Yahoo Lifestyle, Redbook, Thrive Global, Authority Magazine, and more.
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