Writing Your Personal Mission Statement (Redefining Your Resolutions) | Summer Boot Camp

Good Morning! It’s Monday!!!

It’s also June. Can you believe how fast this year is flying? Not too long ago, I sat and reviewed the past few months and compared them to the things I want to accomplish this year, I couldn’t help feeling a tad overwhelmed.

“How in the world am I going to get all of this done?!”

“Forget it, I’ll never get any of this done.”

Does this happen to you? You get to the middle of the year and feel like those resolutions you wrote in January are now so unachievable and maybe even a tad bit ridiculous. You didn’t exercise the way you wanted to, you’re still eating junk food, and you’re not getting enough rest. You’re still glued to those bad habits and your desire to be more patient flies out the window when that stupid driver cuts you off on the way to work. Yeeeah, I know, me too.

After looking at my list a second time, I decided that my goals are not ridiculous and I should give it another go. When you’ve failed at your new years resolutions, you don’t despair, you just revisit and redefine them.

What to do When You've Failed at Your New Years Resolutions

So this month I’m doing a summer bootcamp for myself. I did a bootcamp in December to prep for the upcoming resolutions I was going to make (you can check out that post here.) It was a rather successful attempt at setting myself up for the new year but now it’s June and it’s time to go back to the drawing board. It’s time for another bootcamp.

This is totally experimental–I’m not writing from expertise. Over the next several weeks, on Monday morning, I’m going to write about an aspect of goal setting that I want to address in my life this summer. At the end of each post, I’ll write my goal(s) for the week.

Part of this personal bootcamp is making myself publicly accountable so I’m going to share my 4 topics right here:

  1. Writing a Personal Mission Statement
  2. Embracing the Quarterly Seasons
  3. Building Your Daily Routine
  4. Getting in Gear for the Next Season

Okay, enough of the prologue, let’s talk about mission statements and redefining resolutions!

1 Writing Your Personal Mission Statement

First of all, what is a mission statement?  Well, in a company or an organization, a mission statement explains why the organization exists and its focus. This is important for decision making. When you know what your focus is, you can better filter opportunities. You know better when to say yes and when to say no. For some example mission statements, check out this article.

A personal mission statement is the same. It also states a focus. When you’re able to express your life focus, you can better filter your opportunities. You also know how to better respond to unexpected situations. You know when to say yes and no. This doesn’t mean you never make mistakes, but it does give you a home base to start from and come back to when you’ve veered off course.

This statement doesn’t have to be profound or fancy, it just has to be you. It has to reflect your passions, your priorities, your beliefs, and your direction.

Now, what does a mission statement have to do with resolutions? Well, what does the word resolve mean? Resolve means to determine to do something. When you know what your life focus is, in the form of a mission statement, you can break that down or expound on it in the form of resolutions. What are you determined to accomplish? What do you want people to remember you by? What chances do you want to take? What you need less of? More of? What changes do you need to make? All of this is reflected in your resolutions.

Here’s where it’s important to not confuse resolutions with goal setting. They seem similar but I like to think that resolutions are big picture and goal setting is more detailed work. What do I mean by that? For instance,

Resolution: Commit to a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Goal: Drink 8 glasses of water every day. 

Goal: Work out at least 3 times a week.

Resolution: Spend quality time with my family

Goal: Plan family vacation

Goal: Have family fun night once a week

Goal: Eat dinner together at least 3 times a week

See the difference? And from goals, you build tasks lists:

  • Bring water bottle to work
  • Check off bottles finished as I drink

 

  • Set out workout clothes every night before bed
  • Make after-workout smoothie

 

  • Don’t schedule anymore Thursday afternoon meetings
  • Start family vacation fund

Goals & tasks sometimes ‘look alike’ and there’s no right or wrong, the point is to break things down into actionable items so they get done. It can be easy to get something on paper but action can be a totally different story!

So as you go through and review your failed resolutions, consider starting with the bigger picture–your life. Instead of writing another list of resolutions, write a life mission statement. After that, follow it up with a life resolution list. From there, write down the goals you want to accomplish to fulfill those resolutions. From there, you can construct your daily, weekly, monthly task lists.

For some example mission statements, check out this article

LifeMission Statement

My goals for this week are to:

  • Write my personal mission statement
  • Write my life resolutions
  • Write my goal list for the rest of the year

I’ll report my progress next Monday on my next post about using the quarterly seasons to organize and plan your goals rather than having them scattered haphazardly across an entire year.

If you’d like to explore mission statements, resolutions, and life planning further, then I HIGHLY recommend Michael Hyatt’s new book Living Forward (Amazon). I just finished the audiobook recently and it’s very good!

Living Forward Book

Have a great Monday y’all!

The Stuff of a Successful Life

When you hear or see the word ‘success’, what comes to mind?  Money?  Your byline on the front page?  A happy family?  A rise on the corporate ladder?  Success means different things to each of us and there are a myriad different roads to that success.  And while I’m not an expert in this area, I have learned a thing or two based on the little victories in my life and various pieces of advice I’ve received.  Tucked into the pocket of my adulthood are 5 things I think are woven into the tapestry of a successful life.

There are things you have to do or be in order to be a writer.  And there are things you have to do or be in order to realize success in your life.  These 5 life tips are written in terms of being a writer cause it’s my niche and I think the principles are all the same no matter what you’re pursuing in life.

Success-Writer

 1. In order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.

A writer who doesn’t read, is like a cook who doesn’t eat or a musician who doesn’t listen to music.  If you want to be a writer, a composer of sentences, you’ve got to read.  And not just read but read well.  Don’t just read one kind of book, read broadly and outside of your comfort zone.  Allow yourself to mature, learn and grow as a reader and that’s one of the ways you’ll mature, learn, and grow as a writer.  Get to know style, structure, and voice.  Stretch your brain with subjects that you may not be naturally in to.  Challenge yourself with topics that you’ve always been interested in but didn’t think you were ‘smart’ enough to understand.  This takes some work but it’s worth it.

While I think that reading is important not matter who you are, the principle also holds true when it comes to your actual life’s work.  Submerge yourself in those things that will enhance your talents.  The more you engage in your talents and passions, the better you understand what it means to be whatever you want to be.  No matter what kind of work you do, don’t be satisfied to know just what your job requires.  Familiarize yourself with the context in which you work.  It will help you do your job better, you’ll become a better conversationalist and you’ll set yourself up for upward mobility in your organization.  Just remember: cooks eat, musicians listen to music, and writer’s read.  What do you do?

2. In order to be a writer, you have to write.

So, if you’re going to be a writer, you have to write.  Well, DUUUUHHH!

Lol.

Sometimes it’s not that simple.  Writing is hard and there are times when it’s more simple not to write.  But the desire doesn’t go away–so you have to do it!  Saying ‘you have to write’ means that you do it even when it’s hard.  Just because you’ve got a passion for something, doesn’t mean it’s going to come easily.  Having a passion for something means that even when it’s hard, you keep doing it.  

Same goes for anything else in life.  If you want to succeed at something, you have to do it.  You don’t wait around for ideal circumstances, you don’t wait until you know better, you just do it.  And you do it when it’s hard and you don’t want to. The BF once told me that this is what separates the boys from the men – the ability to keep doing something when it’s hard or you feel like it’s not worth it anymore.  The stuff of success is doing the hard things no matter what.

Note: I have to add a caveat – this doesn’t mean that you do things thoughtlessly or recklessly, without consideration.  But sometimes, we sit around and daydream about what we could be doing, despairing that we’ll never get a chance to do this, or be good enough to do that.  Sometimes opportunity doesn’t knock, you have to find it yourself.  Be prayerful and considerate of your options but don’t sit around and wait for easy – be purposeful and just do it!  

3. In order to be a writer, you have to be vulnerable.

Writing is putting your heart on the page and hoping no one steps on it or rips it to shreds.  It takes a lot of nerve to be that transparent with your thoughts.  And it takes a lot of guts to be okay when someone doesn’t like what you have to say.  A writer has to care more about writing and what she’s writing and less about what people think about it.  The ability to be that vulnerable is tough but it’s necessary.

There are times in life when you just have to be vulnerable in order to get anywhere.  Asking someone out, going on a job interview, striking up a conversation with someone who probably wouldn’t normally talk to you.  That first step, that first move – these are moments of vulnerability cause you don’t know what’s going to happen and your feelings may take a hit as a result of your actions.  But let me tell you something. Risking your pride and your feelings is a part of maturing and growing as a human being.  There’s no growth where there’s no risk and where there’s no risk, there’s no success. Care enough about your goal to take chances and be vulnerable.

4. In order to be a writer, you have to be willing to listen.

Confession – I struggle with this.  As a word lover, I’m too quick to speak and even slower to listen.  It’s really not cool and I have removed my foot from my big mouth on many, many occasions in my short life.  But listening is an important quality in a writer.  And not just when it’s your turn to listen in a conversation, but just in general.  Be aware of what’s going on around you.  It could spark your next blog post or start an interesting conversation.  You never know!

The same holds true in life.  Sometimes you really don’t have to talk.  If you’re like me, you have a zillion thoughts going on at once, multiple tabs open and comments on the ready.  But just because you have something to say, doesn’t mean you have to say it.  Practice listening.  Wait for people to finish their sentence before you respond and think about what you’re going to say (my parents just heard the hallelujah chorus in their heads and have no idea why!).  Maybe this isn’t an issue for you, but for all y’all fast talkers out there, be slow to speak and quick to listen.  Believe me, people will appreciate it!

5. In order to be a writer, you have to love it.

A writer doesn’t write for the sake of being a writer, a writer writes because she can’t help but write.  This quote says it best:

If you can quit, then quit.

In order to be a success in any area of you’re life, you have to want it enough.  If you you’re going to invest your time and effort doing something, make sure you love it.  This doesn’t mean quitting your day job, abandoning your responsibilities, or ditching your commitments simply because you don’t love them.  Life comes in seasons and everyone has to pay their dues or do things simply as the means to an end. Whatever you’re working towards, love it enough to use those things that you may not love, or even like, as learning opportunities and stepping stones along the way.


Success, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholder.  One may look at the family who drives a old van and always seems to be struggling financially as not successful until they see the joy of the children, the contentment on the wife’s face and the spring in the husband’s step – that is priceless.  

You’re not here to please everybody else, just One Person.  When God looks at you, you want to be sure He likes what He sees you spending your life on.  He created you with a specific purpose in mind.  That purpose doesn’t necessarily mean something seemingly grandiose like mission work in a foreign country, leadership in a far reaching ministry organization, or a best selling book.  Sometimes that purpose looks more like faithful service in your local church, witnessing on the job, or raising children that love the Lord.  The stuff of a successful life is deciding to do whatever it is that God placed you on this earth to do no matter how hard it is or how much it costs you.

The stuff of a successful life is


I don’t know what challenges you’re facing this week, but I do know one thing – God’s got your back.  He has a beautiful, unique purpose for your life, better than anything you could ever hope for or dream of.  Don’t chase the world’s standard of success.  Embrace God’s great plan for your life and work diligently to become all that He created you to be!

Have a blessed week, y’all!

Elyssa

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Monday Morning Gifts

It’s Monday morning, y’all!

This is so not the post I planned on writing but I was grappling with a school assignment last night till the wee hours of the morning so that kind of threw a kink in my plans. But! I have determined to blog on Monday mornings and I will do just that.

There are gray skies overhead in my neck of the world but, surprisingly, despite my lack of sleep, I’m feeling more energetic today than I’ve felt in many a Monday AM. So I thought I’d give you some presents and spread some Monday cheer :).  We all need some inspiration and motivation to get us going, yeah?

First, a song.

Okay, another song cause I couldn’t choose!

Second, one of my favorite passages in the Bible.

“To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.

Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:25-31

I looooove these verses cause they remind me of the greatness of God and His watch care over me.  He gives strength to the weak and they will not grow weary.  Thank You, Jesus!! 🙂

Third, a resource.

I’m really trying to change my sleep schedule and be early to bed, early to rise.

(That way, these Monday morning posts will be for real in the morning, like at 6 or 7!)

Late nights are such a hard habit to break but I’m determined to get it together.

Last week, I found this really great podcast that I’ve been listening to and it’s giving me another push toward my goal of a better sleep routine and increased productivity. So far I reeeeeally like it so you might want to check it out too!

It’s called the 5 AM Miracle hosted by Jeff Sanders and you can find it HERE on his website or subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher or where ever you listen to podcasts.  Check it out and let me know what you think!


I don’t know what you’re facing this week, but one thing I can guarantee you: God’s got your back.  Whatever you’re dealing with, whatever obstacles your facing, whatever circumstances feel overwhelming, He’s got you and He will not fail you.  Give it all to Him and rest assured He will lead you through.

Have a blessed week, y’all!

Elyssa

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3 Things God Absolutely Loves About You

You know the opening line in the beloved song, Jesus Loves Me:

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.

If you’ve had any church upbringing, you’re familiar with the truth of God’s love for His children.  But have you ever thought about what exactly about you God loves?  The fact that we are created in His image (Genesis 1:27) and knew each of us before we were born (Psalm 139:13-16) says plenty about His love for us. And the fact that He sent His only Son to pay the sacrificefor our sins tells us that we mean a great deal to Him (John 3:16). But have you ever thought what about you God loves?  We’re each different and God knows us on levels I can’t even fathom but I can guarantee you I know 3 things that God absolutely loves adores you!3 Things God Loves About You

1. Your personality

The way you can brighten a conversation with your sense of humor.  Or the way you can ease a tense situation with your calm, matter-of-fact nature.  You’re great at talking to kids.  Or you’re great at negotiating in meetings.  You have a knack for encouraging people when they’re down.  You know just what to do in an emergency situation.  You’re unselfish.  You know when to take charge. You follow directions well.  You’re dependable.  You’re fun to be around.  Whether you’re adventurous, creative, quiet, thoughtful, studious, imaginative, practical, stoic, free-spirited or a combination of all of the above, no matter your personality profile,  God loves those things about you that make you YOU.  He created you to be the only version, the only collection of your unique personality traits around.

(Note: Personality and character are two different things.  You may have a great, sociable personality but have a bad attitude, or a quick temper.  Or maybe you have a great sense of humor but only tell crude jokes.  Or maybe you have a way with words but you use them to cut people down rather than build them up.  All that not-great-stuff about yourself has to do with character, not personality.  When you bring those character flaws before the Lord and ask Him to help you work on those weaknesses, He will and the beauty of the unique personality He created you with will shine through in its best form and you’ll be a fabulous witness for Him!)

2. Your beauty

Hey, I don’t care what you may have heard in your past or what you may be hearing now.  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.  Period.  Why? Cause God created you and God doesn’t make junk.  The world has a cast system of beauty and we think that if we don’t look like the photoshoped-beyond-reality models on magazines, the stars in movies, or even that person in the checkout line at the grocery store, we haven’t achieved a desirable level of good-looks.  Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are a beautiful, made-in-the-image-of-God person and He loves that about you.

-Stop comparing yourself to other people

Are there parts of you that you need to work on with some good ol’ fashioned exercise and healthy eating?  Go for it! Are there colors that work best with your skin tones and clothing styles that look fantabulous on your body type?  Check them out.  Are there haircuts that look great with your face shape and hair type?  Look into it.  Focus on what works best for you.  Make the best version of you, not a second-rate version of someone else.  You have something fabulous to show the world because God created you to be beautifully, uniquely YOU.  Don’t trash your brand of beauty to chase some cooked up version the world keeps shoving in your face.  God loves your beauty – embrace it!

3. Your talents

You are really good with a paintbrush and colors.  You’re fantastic with numbers and problem-solving.  You play a mean bass guitar.  You’re a great speaker.  God loves that about you!  You’ve got a green thumb.  You’re a master in the kitchen.  You’re really good with kids.  You can sew or knit, or build stuff.  You can diagnose a patient, talk someone through a crisis, or manage a highly intense situation.  God loves that about you!  Just like personality, God gave us talents to be explored, cultivated and used for His glory and the good of others.  Even if you have talents that you think nobody else notices, they’re important.  Maybe your talents are mainly behind the scenes rather than front and center stage.  God sees them and He has entrusted those very important talents to you for a reason.  No matter where you’re gifted, develop those things and use them so you don’t lose them!  God loves these things about you and He gets a kick out of you doing those awesome things He created you to do!

There you go!  Three things about you that God absolutely loves.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God on purpose and He loves you with an everlasting love that will never fail you.  I don’t know what you’re facing this Monday morning but whatever it is, know that you can stand firm on the truth that God loves you and you never have to face life alone!

Have a fantastic week!

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