What’s on your mind as we step into a new year? The quote, “You get what you focus on,” keeps coming back to me. Attributed to thought leaders like Napoleon Hill and Robin Sharma, this philosophy holds significance and even finds roots in biblical verses. The beginning of a new year is often a time where individuals and organizations revisit their vision, mission, purpose, values, etc. This process is far more than some corporate trend – it’s a powerful tool with proven benefits for anyone desiring to improve in some way.

The Transformative Power of What You Focus On

Successful athletes, for instance, leverage visualization techniques to enhance performance. Scientific studies, such as the one after the 1984 Olympics, validate its  transformative power as being motivating and conditioning our abilities, to move us toward our desired outcomes. Within the tapestry of an organization, I’ve witnessed how a clear statement to focus on becomes a guiding light, a North Star, realigning efforts and igniting a collective sense of purpose. Whether you carve out separate statements of vision, mission, purpose, and values or consolidate them into one simple slogan; this becomes a litmus test of sorts in discerning all activities and commitments.

Distilling these down to a simple phrase, like a memorable moto, requires commitment and time. Despite its potential, for many, this pursuit can often fade into a forgotten novelty over time. Don’t give up! It took me years of reflection, prayer, and support from peers and experts to condense all the things I wanted to say and do into a single, impactful phrase that encapsulates my calling. 

Taking the Initial Step

The initial step is often the most challenging and can seem like an overwhelming task. So, as the saying goes, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.,” This is the approach I took years ago. I started out with simple questions, allowing myself the space to contemplate deeply on how to respond. What I discovered is that clarity doesn’t always demand perfectly polished words; it comes from finding the right answers to essential questions. This newfound clarity gave me the confidence and conviction to overcome the difficulties and not give up on the journey towards my ultimate vision.

Your Journey Begins (Again) Now

If you’re ready to begin a similar journey, consider spending some reflective time answering the following questions individually and as a team:

  1. Identify a Timeline: Envision your future – is it 3, 5, or 10 years from now? Specify the date, like January #, 2027. (Three years is a good starting point.)
  2. Paint the Picture: Describe your ideal world vividly. What is the desired outcome you want to achieve?
  3. Define Your Audience: Who are you specifically trying to reach? Delve into demographics, geography, psychographics, and behavioral traits.
    1. You may be tempted to say that you want to reach “everyone”. I too felt the same way and truly believe everyone needs to develop their leadership skills, however; focus on who you are reaching first. From there, you can expand out to other audiences.
  4. Explore Your Purpose: Why are you doing what you do? What problems are you solving for your audience, or pain are you relieving?
  5. Identify Your Unique Approach: How are you getting there? What unique approaches or actions set you apart?

When consolidating your answers into a short statement, keep these tips in mind:

  • Positive Tone: Focus on what you stand for rather than what you oppose.
  • Inclusivity: Ensure your statement is open to diverse populations.
  • Benefit for Others: Highlight how you serve the greater good.
  • Adaptability: Craft a statement that evolves with societal changes while staying rooted in your core values.
  • Idealistic Vision: Strive for a statement that is aspirational, driving continuous improvement while not being completely unrealistic.
Share Your Journey with the Community

As you reflect and create the vision for the future, share your insights, challenges, and successes with your community of parishioners and peers. Begin this adventure together, supporting one another in crafting meaningful statements that propel you towards your desired outcomes.

In Summary

In the tapestry of our lives, a clear focus statement serves as that guiding light, the North Star that aligns our efforts and ignites a collective sense of purpose. Simplicity holds immense power in this process. Persist through the difficulties, discover the perfect motto that encapsulates your calling, and celebrate the vision of your year ahead, filled with purpose, clarity, and courage.

Wishing you abundant blessings on your path to purpose and growth in this new year!

​We rush through life trying to get as much done as we can. Check out the “I Finally Get it!” podcast as Monica talks about the all popular topic of Go Slow to Go Fast.

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