New Year Challenge :: What is Your Mission?

At the end of one year, and start of a new one, you often see post after post, story after story, of best of lists and resolution ideas. There are stories about why resolutions are a good idea or a bad idea or why bother. I’m not a resolution person; it just doesn’t fit with my personality. I don’t like to set myself up for failure.

Resolution Alternatives

In the past, I’ve been a word of the year person. At the beginning of the year I would choose a word or phrase, and throughout the year, I would remind myself of that word and reflect on it when I needed it. One year I choose “calm.” It was what I needed to do, to remain, to find. A friend made me a necklace and I would wear it, or take it out, when I needed a physical reminder of that word. I also had a mug that had “calm & peace” on it; the mug broke in March of 2020 (maybe that was an omen of things to come).

Last Christmas I received a Question a Day journal. It’s a five year journal with space for a short sentence to answer that day’s question. Sometimes I look ahead; I very rarely look back. I decided to “look ahead” again, and in doing so I was also looking back. The question for January 1st is “what is your mission?” This year’s mission was “finding joy.” I kind of stuck with my word of the year angle.

woman writing in journal by laptop with coffee

Finding a mission

The definition of “mission” is varied, but in this sense I’m going with the third definition from the Oxford dictionary: “a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.” A lot of people look forward to a new year and see it as a chance to move forward. The changing of the year can be a motivator and provide an opportunity for rebirth, rediscovery or just a reset.

How does one find their mission? I’ve been mulling over those ideas. Here are some questions to ask yourself when formulating your mission.

  • Strongly felt aim: what direction do I want to go in personally? As a family? As a friend? As a mom? As an employee/employer?
  • Ambition: what do I want for me? For my family?
  • Calling: what do I have a strong urge to do? To be?

Your mission doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be hard. It just has to be something that you want or need; something that you can come back to, to reflect upon and to help you move through the year. Your mission doesn’t have to be a “goal” or a resolution. Your mission can be something that you want to work on. It can be abstract. It can be uniquely you.

woman standing on mountaintop

Challenge Accepted?

Here’s your challenge: find your mission and carry it with you through the year. Write it somewhere – in a journal, in a note on your phone, on a slip of paper in your wallet, on the mirror in the bathroom, in a reminder on your phone that will pop up every few months and make you think. As time goes on, reflect on your mission and do what you need to do to help you feel successful in that journey.

A native of the New Orleans 'burbs, Melanie has lived in Baton Rouge since starting her bachelors degree at LSU. She earned her BA in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in Social Work both from LSU. In her professional life Melanie focuses on women’s mental health. Melanie and her husband Adam have been together for almost two decades. They have 2 bright and curious kids who keep them on their toes. When not working or moming Melanie can be found exploring yet another new hobby, trying to “get organized” and avoiding the laundry. She loves sitcoms, traveling, iced coffee and carbs.


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