Finding a New Year’s Resolution for Your Life
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2014 is here! What’s going to be different about your life this year? Have you considered making a mission statement for your life as a New Year’s Resolution?

Writing a mission statement for my life was introduced to me before by friends. Over a year ago, my wife Valerie and I agreed that preparing and writing a mission statement for our life was exactly what we needed. It is too easy to float in life, to wake up years later and realize you have wasted far more time than you imagined. Many companies begin with a mission statement for their existence. Today, some of the most successful companies in the world would not have been so if they didn’t have a huge vision and purposeful mission statement keeping them focused on the bigger picture.

My wife Valerie and I, have found from times this past year we set aside for reflection, prayer, and discussion of goals for a life mission statement, that arriving at a clear and concise one takes hard work! We still don’t have a concise mission statement yet, but by God’s grace we have made gains this past year in having a clearer idea of how we can better “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33) together. To think seriously about a mission statement for your life requires thinking seriously about the meaning of life, the ultimate purpose for our existence. To do otherwise would be to try to live in a virtual reality, disconnected from what is real and what we have been made for.

Would you make a mission statement for your life?

If you decide to do this, I commend you! As you are crafting it, these two questions will be important to ask yourself along the way:

Is it attainable? To want to be the Prime Minister of Canada if I am a 70 year old who hated social studies in school and has no political experience is fun to dream about, but will never happen. No matter how much positive thinking we’ve been told to have, some things will never happen. I remember hearing a professor of mine recently sharing about a friend of his who was quite happy and all of a sudden became depressed. No one could understand why. Later on, this man finally explained why to my professor. He woke up one morning and realized that in his current life situation, a dream he had for a long time was simply not going to happen, it was no longer attainable.

Is it breakable? If one day you attain what you set out for in your life mission statement but that same thing can be taken from you or fail to satisfy you, then you have invested your life in something which is breakable. Jesus says “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul” (Matt. 16:26)? You can put your trust in a dream as big as you can imagine, but if it fails to provide and deliver for you what only God can provide and deliver for you, then it is worthless.

If you put your hope in a career, approval from others, a relationship, or children, then if you don’t get the job offer, a close friend rejects you, the relationship is crumbling, or you can’t have kids, how secure really is what you most want in life?

I am going to keep working on clarifying my life mission statement. Will you as well?

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2 thoughts on “Finding a New Year’s Resolution for Your Life

  1. Rachel P.

    Thanks for the inspiring article! As a student just starting her bachelor’s degree, its tempting to think that I haven’t even started my life yet. I’m waiting to finish university and do the things that I want to do, but am I also waiting until then to fully obey God? Up until now, I think I assumed I was limited in my obedience and action by university life and obligations, but the truth is, God calls for unconditional and complete surrender and obedience to him in every stage of our lives. Just because I’m in university, taking classes that I don’t really like to attain a degree that I might not even use, he still calls and I must answer. We put our future “calling” or ministry on a pedestal, waiting until we graduate to really use our talents, strengths and resources in the work world. I want to commit my whole life, in every stage that comes to serving the Lord, whether I like where I am in life or not. My talents, gifts and goals are His and to do with what he wills. Happy New Year and thanks again!

    1. Eric David Nielsen

      Hi Rachel, I’m very encouraged to hear the lessons you are learning from God in this season of your life. I had a chance to hear a message on Ecclesiasties 5 yesterday and I was convicted by 5:4-8 about the folly and dishonor to the Lord of putting of vows we have made to him. I see that because God makes promises and keeps them, so I ought to reflect his character in making promises to him and striving with his power in me to keep them for his glory.

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