As you solidify your plan for the coming year in your personal life, with your team at work, with your spouse or family, or the organization you serve, I invite you to reflect on a different question.
The typical questions we race to are What Do I Want To DO Next Year? What Are My Goals?
These are good questions. We’ll get there. But first, I encourage you to step back and ask the questions that I think come first — the questions that are foundational and rooted a bit deeper within us.
Who Do I Want To BE Next Year? Who Am I Compelled To Be Or Called To Be (if that language is more comfortable to you) in the year ahead?
You see, when we are stuck in a culture of Doing, we are perpetually in motion and, in many cases, just rushing from item to item on our “to do” list in an autopilot like trance. Don’t get me wrong, “accomplishing tasks” and “stimulating progress” are wonderful, but we also live in a culture that honors busyness. In our obsession with Doing, we run the risk of missing the purpose beneath our actions.
As we stare at the beginning of a new year, it is often easier to rush to create the next “to do” list. And with blazing speed, we’re off and racing.
So, I’m inviting you to pause with me for a few minutes and consider who you want to BE in the year ahead before you get to what you will DO.
What are the attributes of the kind of person you aim to BE? What are the characteristics of the type of spouse, family member, or friend that you strive to BE? How would you describe the type of leader at work that you desire to BE and the type of culture you hope your team can BE?
Whenever I’ve done this exercise personally or with a team or organization I’m serving, it’s always inspiring and fascinating to hear the different responses. You hear people that want to BE rooted in words like loving, compassionate, creative, awake, focused, intentional, strong, courageous, engaged, and many many more. The words you land on to those questions can be your guide for the road ahead.
Let your Being drive your Doing. Please do not confuse all this Being stuff as passive, it’s not. It’s the compass for your Doing. Now that “to do list” or list of “goals” is rooted deeper than just a litany of tasks or accomplishments, and instead, grows intentionally out of the person you hope to BE in the world.
My wish for you is the same as it is for me. As we create our new year vision, I hope we can enter it with a better understanding, focus, and clarity about the people, leaders, and contributors we want to BE. Then, when aligned, our Doing will be more meaningful and create ripples of positive change in all areas of our life and in the world.
Good luck on the next leg of your journey!
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
Follow on Twitter @JasonVBarger and learn more at JasonVBarger.com
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