5 Things I Am Doing in 2016 to Achieve Purpose

I have never been a fan of the traditional New Year’s resolution. Lose weight…Drink Less…Exercise…Quit Smoking…Be Less Stressed. More often than not, there is no underlying objective in reaching these goals. They sound good, in theory, but life goes on even if we de-commit.

So, why do we do what what we do? This is the very definition of purpose, and also the one thing we need to uncover before we can truly commit to anything we do, including our resolutions for the New Year. Our purpose must constantly be re-evaluated, and from this we can determine our long-term goals and short-term goals. Our true needs are formed, as well as our wants, and thus priorities are determined and habits are formed. These habits in our daily lives are the reason we either succeed or we fail.

I have two non-negotiables in determining my goals in 2016. These will be different for everyone, but for myself at this moment, this helps me focus on my list:

  • Live by the motto — Do Good. Be Better
  • Strive for Progress, not Perfection.

Every day life is a roller coaster, and there will be days we are at the top of a mountain, and others we are in the depths of a valley. If we can focus on the true purpose we hope to achieve, then everything else will fall in line. Here are my 5 Resolutions in 2016.

1. Make Family Your Top Priority

I made the decision long ago, that I wanted to be married and have a family. I grew up in a loving stable environment, and witnessed first hand how incredible it is to be part of something special. My parents sacrificed for my sisters and I to become successful in life, and probably gave up many of their own dreams to do so. Raising their children became the top priority — they were involved, supportive and encouraging in what our interests were.

As any parent can attest, raising a family is hard business. My wife and I are both career focused and were married with no children for 7 years. We have had to make some serious adjustments in life to create balance since welcoming two little ones to the family. My wife is my hero, as it is especially challenging for career women who try to balance being amazing moms with the demands of being a career focused woman.

It is easy to become lost — almost consumed — in a career. But let’s not forget, the reason we work is (hopefully) to support your family. Make an effort to create routines and spend time with those that love and support you. Some ideas include blocking 6–8 as family time, read books to your children, turning your devices off when at dinner, going to breakfast with your kids before school. Do what works for you, but make sure the time spent is quality time.

2. Commit to Improved Health

When we think of improving health, we usually define this as a number on the scale. Our society is overwhelmingly concerned with appearance and aesthetic. But I can break health down into four -subcategories: Physical Health, Mental Health, Emotional Health, and Financial Health. All of these are connected and can affect our daily motivation to achieve our true purpose.

I believe that before we can accomplish any of our other objectives, we must first get our health in line. Self-confidence breeds success, and good health is a proven way to build self-confidence and maintain a positive outlook on life. In 2016, take some time to evaluate the way you eat and how active you are. Two recommendations I have is cutting the crap out of your diet. In the book It Starts With Food, the authors reminder us that everything we eat either makes us healthier or unhealthier — there is no in between. It is important to examine where are food comes from and what we are actually eating.

3. Read and Write More

More than anyone, I want to lay on the couch and binge on Netflix. And in fact, there is running joke in my family where my wife says, “You Read?” Yes! In fact I do read, but I read in a different way than many people. I am constantly craving information and knowledge. I own hundreds of books, and yes, I am glued to my devices constantly taking in new information.

While growing up, I would always ask my Mom stuff. “Where is Omaha?” “How many planets are there?” “Where were the Beatles from?” And she always gave me the same answer. “Look it up in the Encyclopedia!” And so I would head into the living room to flip through the 1985 Encyclopedia Britannica and find the answers I needed.

I read books in this same way now. It is uncommon for me to sit down and read a book cover to cover without jumping around. And sometimes, I will even read Chapter 5 and four years latter Chapter 13 and 1. So, my friends, I advise you to read more. Don’t look at this as a chore, but rather as a way to learn and absorb information. Click here for some tips on how to read more.

4. Become Involved in Something That Matters

Recently I had the chance to finally read (yes, cover to cover) Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie. Blake, as you know, is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One®, a business model that helps a person in need with every product purchased. The shoe drops are amazingly inspirational and as of 2012 have resulted in TOMS giving away over 1,000,000 shoes in 40 countries.

My expectation is that we all find something that is important to us, and do what we can. Finding our purpose will lead to doing something that matters.

5. Take a Chance

This could be re-labeled as face your fears. What is one thing that you have always wanted to do? Travel? Bike across the country? Start a business? Teach a class? Climb a mountain? Swim with dolphins? Move to a new city? Quit your job? You now have 366 (leap year) days to make something happen that you’ve always wanted. Be impulsive or create a plan and take a chance in 2016.