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!

How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul | book review

{this post contains affiliate links}

Okay, I’m kicking myself for not having read this book way back when I first saw it (which is too long ago for me to remember). This book is worth its weight in gold and a must-have for all serious bloggers. For real. Oh my goodness, couldn’t put it down!

How to Blog for Profit

How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup

Rating: 5.0-5.0

My Thoughts:

Like I said in the intro, I wish I’d read this book earlier-it would have saved me some frustration and given the blueprint I needed when I started blogging and especially when I seriously began considering monetizing it.  The truth about blogging is that it’s not for the faint of heart. Blogging requires tenacity and an undying love for what you’re blogging about. Soukop is not only honest about the hard truths about what it takes to be a serious blogger, she also shares step-by-step tips and instructions for different aspects of setting up and running a blog.

Over the years, I’ve read many, many posts about blogging and social media marketing, monetizing, etc., hence, I was quite familiar with a lot of the material in this book already. HOWEVER, a writer/blogger/creative is only as good as their resources and reference material. This isn’t a one-time read. This is a break-out-the-highlighter-bookmark-the-important-sections-start-making-lists book. This is very much reference to keep on hand as well as one you can turn to when you’re stuck or need of  inspiration and a nudge in the right direction.

Soukop writes from a lot of experience and a genuine desire for the reader to succeed in their desire to make it in the world of blogging. Honest, friendly, and to-the-point, it’s like sitting with her over a cup of tea and a notebook. Not a lot of fluff and unrealistic expectations, she offers the practical advice you need to blog for profit (without selling your soul, of course).

This print version is the expanded 2nd edition and I flew through it in less than 2 days, yellow highlighter in hand (and I don’t do that unless I really mean business in a book). I HIGHLY recommend this book if you’re serious about blogging and turning a profit from doing what you love. It’s a gem 🙂 Don’t wait and regret later that you didn’t read it when you should have!!

Happy Reading!


The blogger at Purple Ink Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

28. Sometimes

This is post 28/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

It’s technically tomorrow cause it’s midnight. I really just want to go to bed and forget about blogging but I already skipped two days, I don’t want to miss a third.

But it’s one of those nights–I have nothing to write. Not to the blogosphere anyway. Right now, I’m longing for my journal. And maybe the relief of a few tears. There’s nothing terribly wrong, I’m just a bit frustrated with myself and need to work through some of my thoughts.

It’s funny how writing works. Those past few sentences already make me feel better. Maybe I’ll just go to bed.

Sometimes now isn’t a good time. Sometimes there just aren’t any answers yet. Sometimes the solution has yet to be found. Sometimes frustration is just what you have to deal with cause that’s what’s in front of you. And when that’s the case, you deal with it. You open it up and examine all its prickly, uncomfortable edges until you can make sense of it and know how you feel about it all. You never sweep it under the rug. If you do, it never get’s taken care of and nothing ever gets resolved. Sometimes, you just have to make do and deal until you can figure out what needs to be done.

Sometimes, for the time being, it just is what it is and that’s all she wrote.

#write31days

26. Happens Every Time | 31 Days

This is post 26/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Well, it happened. I was counting on seamlessly getting through all 31 days but I skipped 2 days. Agh.

And you know what? It felt sooooooooo good. Sort of. I mean, I felt bad skipping, knowing that I’d just broken my streak but it felt good to not write. To not have to come up with something.

It happens every time. Like when you’re on a workout streak and, for whatever reason, you break your rhythm. A day or two or three go by and even though you feel bad, you also feel sort of good. That stress is gone because the challenge has been abandoned. I always feel guilty and disappointed for allowing myself to get derailed but sleeping in an extra 30 minutes instead of working out feels so incredibly good!

Then there’s the struggle to get back on track. Two days of not posting made it hard to decide to write this morning. Sure I want to get back and finish the last week of this challenge. But I wouldn’t have minded turning over and going back to sleep for a few extra minutes either. I got kind of comfortable not writing in the morning. Happens every time. Get derailed and I’m arguing with myself about whether or not I should get back on track. Of course I should! But it’s hard and I’m tired and, hey, 24 out of 31 days isn’t bad, right? And plus there’s the thought that I’ve already failed. At the end, I will have known I skipped. I messed up and won’t have a perfect 31 days to look back on. The perfectionist in me cringes.

I feel rather ambivalent about skipping two days. Part of me is really disappointed. Part of me just wants to forgive and forget and keep moving forward. And still another part of me feels too tired to care. For me, that’s the thing about challenge: when I allow myself a taste of an easier choice, I have a hard time keeping up with the hard thing I’ve already chosen to do.

Five days left in thirty-one. I’m seriously running really low on steam and I don’t want to write anymore. Sometimes I wonder, what’s the point when I’ve completely gone off topic? And then I remember the simple truth that writers write. Writers write even when they’re drained and don’t feel like it. And this is something I promised myself I’d push through and get better at. Even though I won’t have a perfect 31 days to look back on, I won’t allow my inner perfectionist to win. I want everything to be right so much, sometimes I miss out on the experience altogether. Holding out for perfect keeps us from having something that’s real and vulnerable and complete. It’s hard to allow myself the grace to just keep moving forward and sticking with an imperfect situation. I’m too fond of scrapping and starting all over again.

Not this time. Five days left. I’ve got five days left.

#write31days

23. If it Makes You Happy | 31 Days

This is post 23/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Last night, I was gushing to the BF how much I love writing. Not just coming up with words and putting together sentences. I do like that but I love the act of writing. Having a good pen in my hand, the feel of ink on a page and the look of the letters between the lines. It’s so nerdy but I love it! I know I mentioned this in my post My Writer’s Heart, but I have to say again how much I love the look of handwriting on a page. It’s almost inexplicable but it makes me happy. 

Last night, my family gave me a bouquet a roses to congratulate my getting my diploma. The flowers make my desk look lovely. I love flowers. I love the way they make a room look graceful and homey. I love looking at them. It makes me happy.  

The things I really love about life are simple things. Ink on paper. A vase of flowers. Books lined up on a shelf. Piano music. Baking cookies. Time with my family. Singing my favorite songs. I’m not a complicated person but sometimes I allow myself to be a bit too complex. I’m not sure that’s really called for. Too often I let situations rob me of my simplicity. Life isn’t simple but that doesn’t mean I can’t be. 

I think that the older I get, the more I crave simplicity in how I live. I don’t want get to a point where the little things that make me happy to get swallowed up by the craziness around me. It happened during my busy college season and I wish I had been better about guarding a few precious moments with my notebook and pen, cookie dough in the kitchen, etc.. I’ve come to the conclusion that hustle seasons don’t mean that the simple things get kicked to the curb. In fact, it’s during the busy times that we need those things the most.

Even if it’s just for a few minutes. 

I’m not at all good at so many things but I’m working on them and I want to function from a place of joy and calm and beauty. And that means I have to take a little time for those simple things that make me happy, healthy, thoughtful, and present.

A good book. A bowl of my favorite pasta. My favorite playlist on Spotify. The scent of a nice candle. A walk in the park. A bouquet of fresh flowers.

Ink on paper.

If it makes you happy, if it brings you peace, if it reminds you of what’s important, if it brings you out of the chaos, if it slows you down, pay attention. God often gives gifts in small packages. Take time to open them. You won’t regret. He always knows just exactly what makes you happy.         

#write31days

20. The Slump

This is post 20/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Okay, it’s for real now.

I’ve written about the dip, when you push through a setback during a project. Well now it’s Day 20 and I’ve hit the slump. It’s when you’ve got nothing but you’ve still got to show up. Yep this is it. I’ve got absolutely nothing.

But I’m still writing. And I’m still going to hit the publish button.

This is the real deal.

Tomorrow will be better.

#write31days

15. Know Your MO | 31 Days

This is post 15/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

On Day 7, I wrote about how I’ve decided to commit to NaNoWriMo next month. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the community at all, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. I know, right?

In the world of NaNoWriMo, there are two camps: those who are Planners and those who are Pantsers. In laymen’s terms, those who plan their book ahead of time and those who fly by the seat of their pants and wing it on November 1st. Neither is right or wrong, it’s simply preference. 

I’m a planner. I remember when I was a teen working on my first novel, having character profiles, numbered outlines, chapter summaries, the whole nine. Otherwise, I was just meandering along the pages of a story that I had no control of. Some writers take delight in a story that just goes where it may but my planner’s heart can’t do it. While I don’t have the time for all that intense planning these days, my need to plan ahead of time still calls to me as the November 1st gets closer and closer.

Dwight Eisenhower once said that “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” I don’t know the context from which he said this but it’s an intriguing thought. Planners plan because we believe that the plan is going to help accomplish a goal. But so often life gets in the way and you have to make changes and tweak your plan.

It definitely happens when you write a story. It happens when you plan your day. It happens when mapping out a large project. But while I think that the ability to go with the flow is an important one, planning fulfills an important purpose. It makes you think about the task in front of you. It makes you consider many variables, options, and angles. Planning forces you to slow down and let your mind process the possibilities and address your desired outcome.

Good planners plan as an act of engaging with life and what they want to accomplish. That way, when life does get in the way, they know how to respond, how to get back on track, and where sacrifices and compromises have to be made. 

But you have to know your mode of operation. Are you a planner or a panster? Do you like lists and outlines or do you prefer to just deal with whatever comes to you? I think there needs to be a good balance between the two but you gotta know which comes more naturally to you so you know how to make that balance happen.

Whether it’s writing a 50,000 word novel, creating the menu for the week, planning an event, or drawing up your business plan, understand your MO and determine whether it’s going to serve you best or if you need to make some operational changes.

  #write31days

13. Comparison Kills | 31 Days

This is post 13/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Ever read a book and think, man! I wish I could write like that! That author has such a great way with words! Happens to me all the time. And then I look at other blogs. They’ve got amazing graphics and gorgeous type and posts that get shared all over Pinterest. Writer’s confession: I get a tad jealous. Not the green-eyed monster variety, but the wistful sigh kind where you wish them every writerly happiness but wish that you could be like that too. Right now.

It’s like when you’re single and everybody and their mother is either getting engaged, getting married, or having children. You’re happy for them but you can’t help wishing it were your turn too!

And then it goes past wishing. You start comparing. She must be successful because she has this and that. You’re obviously not successful because you don’t posses this and that. She has come this far in her life because she did these things and went to those places. You’re obviously behind schedule because you did not. She’s prettier. She’s more educated. She has more experience. She has more money.

Comparison a vicious cycle. And it kills. It kills your drive, your creativity, your passion, your authenticity, your honesty, and your dreams.

There’s nothing wrong with looking at someone else’s life and taking note of their successes and failures. We can learn from one another and we should. It’s like when you’re at the gym and the person next to you is killing it on the elliptical. You’re inspired and start hustling a little harder yourself. That’s good. But what if you look at that person and start thinking, Man, she’s so good at that! I wish I was that good. I wish I looked that good in yoga pants! I’ll never have such an awesome figure. Her hair even looks good! Why can’t I ever get that messy bun look when I do my hair? I’ll bet she’s got a gorgeous husband and a couple of really great kids too. WHAT IS MY LIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!!?!?!?! 

Some people are challenged by the people around them and that takes maturity and guts. I’m not naturally like that. I have to work hard at staying in my lane, not paying too much attention to the progress of the people around me, and quit comparing myself to them. Cause the truth is, you don’t know what their life is like. You don’t know what challenges they face or the battles they have to fight every single day. You don’t know what it cost them to get where they are. You don’t know how long it took them to get there. If you did know, you wouldn’t be so quick to compare.

Every life has a back story. Every victory has its moments of defeat. We can’t judge a life based on the snapshot view we have. We can’t compare our whole experience to the few details we know about someone else. It doesn’t work that way. You have to be honest with yourself and willing to be authentic with everyone else. This is your story. God has unique plans for your life. None of that is going to look like anyone else’s experience and you wouldn’t want it to.

Don’t let comparison kill. You don’t want to look back years from now wishing you had been your best self rather a cheap knock off brand of someone else.

#write31days

8. My Writer’s Heart | 31 Days

This is post 8/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

I love pencils. Brand new #2 pencils. Ticonderoga are my brand of choice.

I love fine tip pens. I have a hard time with ballpoint. Pilot G-2 07s are my staple. 

I love books. Stacks of books. Stacks and stacks. They follow me everywhere.

I love new notebooks. Spiral bound are comfortable, old friends but legal pads and stenos have quickly found there place in my writer’s heart. 

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season and one of the biggest things I miss about my Chicago childhood. Texas season just aren’t the same. 

I love peppermint tea. And ginger tea. Oh yeah, ginger tea!! And I love hot cocoa. With sweet cream.

I love the way handwriting looks on paper. There’s something about long hand writing that has such beauty. Perfect type on a screen doesn’t convey the same unspoken feeling as an individual’s personal handwriting. Emails and texting have earned their place but I wish letter writing was still a thing. 

Did I mention I love books? I love how they look lined up on my shelves.

I love libraries, and office supply stores. I love quiet coffee shops and bookstores humming with people perusing shelves and flipping through periodicals. 

I love words. Written and spoken. The way a painter must paint and a scientist must experiment, I must write. It’s an interesting pull. It’s insatiable. It’s natural. It’s lovely.


I think anticipating NaNoWriMo is making me extra reflective and introspective and a bit nostalgic for years gone by. But I dug this old piece out 3 years ago. It’s not very good but it’s still true.

I Write In the Morning

I write in the morning when the sun peeks through the trees.

When the air is brand new and the world revived.

When my words are fresh, when my slate it clean.

I write in the morning.

I write when there’s a song in my heart.

When His Word is foremost in my thoughts.

When birds sing.

When wind blows.

When all is peaceful.

When all is well.

I write.

#write31days

7. The Next Step | 31 Days

This is post 7/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

I’ve just committed to NaNoWriMo. Again.

I mean, I’ve got a working title and everything. 

Two attempts in past years and I’ve never finished NaNoWriMo. And my Inner Idiot is poking furiously at me cause he’s totally indignant.

What do you think you’re doing? You have no business trying to write a novel in a month!! You think you’re going to write 50,000 words? Really? When are you going to have time for that!?! You’re kidding me right now!

Yeah, I know, I have no business writing a novel in a month but you know what? It’s a next step. 

Writing for 31 days in a row is a step in the direction of really owning this thing called being a writer. I know that when I get up in the morning, a blog post needs to be written and published before I go to bed that night. Intellectually, it sounds so basic and it is but in reality, it’s so hard. But it’s day 7 and I haven’t skipped a day yet. And I’m committed to the next 24. Who says I can’t crank out 50,000 words in 30 days?

Oh yeah, my Inner Idiot. But who’s listening to him anyway? Moving on.  

I’m a write… Oh, it’s so hard to write or say those words, like I haven’t earned the certification or something but *clears throat* let’s try again.

I’m a writer. But practice isn’t included. I want to be a good writer. I want to treat it like it’s a real thing not just something I do here and there. I’m not trying to write the next American classic, I’m just taking on the challenge of honing in my craft. 

Because writing’s my art. 

I’m kind of on this kick of doing hard things whether or not it’s your passion or are particularly good at it. And that’s just a function of what I’m personally going through. First steps are hard because we don’t know what’s going to happen. Next steps are hard too but now you’re gaining some momentum and that’s got a freak factor all it’s own. But you have to take that first step. And then you have to take the next step. And for me, NaNoWriMo is the next step. 

In college, I had a rhythm to my work. One test after another after another. One set of classes this term and another set the next term. The work was hard but I pretty much knew what the next step was.

But that’s so not how the real world works. More often than not, you take the next step not knowing what you’ll find or how it’ll turn out. You just pray you’ve done your research, asked the right questions and prepared as best you could beforehand.

But you can only prepare so much. At some point you just have to do. Yeah, it’s scary as all get out and yeah, maybe you have ‘no business’ doing it but if you feel that pull, that calling, that’s a real thing and it deserves your notice. And when you get to a point when you feel like God’s placed something in your heart to do, and you can’t think about anything else, then take that first step. 

And then take the next. 

#write31days