Mission Setting 2018 and Beyond


We’re well underway past the euphoria of the new year 2018.

That means you’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, goals and…are making healthy progress towards them.

Oh, wait, you’re not? Yes, you should feel bad if you haven’t made goals/resolutions or made any progress.


In fact, let’s be contrarian and do the opposite of the masses with the same-old resolutions (like ‘get in shape’, ‘be more positive’, or ‘get a girlfriend’).

Building a “Mission”

Instead, why not scare yourself a little and think up of an ongoing mission? Remember Star Trek? The mission was simple:

“To go where no one has gone before”. And this was an ongoing mission for the crew of the starship Enterprise:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvX5tCo6FeM?start=42&w=560&h=315]

Goals vs Missions

While having goals or resolutions can be beneficial, more harm can come from them if you fail to reach them or suck at making them. Besides, it can be a bore to make them. If you ‘google’ goals or resolutions, you’ll undoubtedly read tonnes of blog posts about making your goals “S.M.A.R.T.”

Maybe we can take ourselves 20,000 kilometers above by creating a mission for ourselves. It’s scary, exciting and best of all, it can be your guiding light that lasts you at least a few years.

Let’s say you’re an aspiring architect. You’ve travelled afar, seen cool buildings, stared in amazement at what has been erected. You think and dream: “Why not me?”

Or you’re in this funk of quiet desperation. You have a gig, or a job…yet inside yourself you are tearing up, thinking “is this it?!”

You need a mission. Unlike the ones you see on TV or the movies (think Jack Ryan, Jack Bauer or that Tomb Raider chick), your mission is long-lasting. It’s not capture-the-flag-and-you’re done. No, it’s something that should guide you in what you DO, day-in, month-in, and year-out.

So how do you start?

Ponder on these questions:

  1. What do you want? (E.g. money? Trophy spouse? Explore the world? Free time?)
  2. Who are YOU? (E.g. What are your strengths? Where do you go wrong? What habits do you want to adopt? How would your friends/colleagues/family describe you in 30 seconds?)
  3. What activities or accolades have you DREAMED about doing or achieving? (And what does mean – is it something you really want or is it something society-at-large says you should do)
  4. What are behaviors or goals that you “should” be doing? (Note – include items that typically do NOT reflect what you really want – e.g. “I should be married by now” or “I should strive to make partner at my firm”)
  5. From the list you created in 4), which ones make you cringe? Which ones light a fire under your butt?

You should aim to jot down 5 to 10 points for each of the above questions. Then, take a break. Do something else (like wash the dishes, watch TV, or whatever else). Come back to your answers later (even the next day).

Now, look for connections, recurring themes, revelations. From this, you can craft your own personal mission.

By way of example, here’s a simple ‘good vs bad’ for Socially Upward:

  • “To get 500 new readers to sociallyupward.com by April 30, 2018”.
    • COMMENT: Sure, this is a nice goal but it’s NOT a mission.
  • “To find new readers wherever I can and let them know how they too can live a socially upward lifestyle.”
    • COMMENT: This is decent and it’s a working draft of the mission statement for SociallyUpward.com

So now your turn:

Come up with your own mission. And feel free to write down your (draft) mission in the comments section below. We’re in this together!

Oh, and if you’re still hung up on New Year’s resolutions… the Asian Lunar New Year is coming up later in February!!

2 thoughts on “Mission Setting 2018 and Beyond”

  1. Sterling W. Rothschild

    Great description – and you’re right. It’s okay to have Goals (short term)and Missions (long term). I think some folks are stuck on what they really love, what they really want in life. That’s something to explore

    But I would distinguish between strengths and who you really are. They can be separate: Tall athletic girl that finds sports easy is her strength but she still might hate sports and love music instead.

    1. Hi Sterling:
      Thx for your input.
      Yes, even if you’re good at something (like doing spreadsheets, or reading contracts), doesn’t mean that is who you are. It can, however, inform you into what it is you seek for your mission. And give you clues transferring those skills into your mission. If you’re good at finding the hidden meaning in numbers from spreadsheets, maybe that means you’re an explorer type or you have a “thing” for detective work…or turning around unprofitable businesses.

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