Begin with the end in mind

I went to a few funerals last week.

Funerals feel different to me after attending my mom’s in 2022. Although I’ve always been struck by the perspective a celebration of life brings, now I know what’s it’s like to sit in the front row.

Maybe you know that feeling, too. 

Whether you’ve experienced loss first hand or not, funerals have a funny way of creating immediate perspective and clarity.

If we’re honest, as we consider someone else’s life story, it’s hard not to think of our own. 

What if this were my service?

What would my ceremony be like?

Who would be there?

What would they say?

What kind of impact would my life have had?

Steven Covey has a famous exercise in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that walks you through what it’s like to answer those questions. It’s not light, but it’s definitely enlightening. 

This might feel a little depressing and hard, but don’t miss the point.

In the spirit of January and goals and what you want to see different in your life for 2024, there’s nothing like zooming out with the end in mind to consider what you’re REALLY going to care about at the end of the day. 

As I posed this concept last week to my leader’s circle – we all agreed that it’s natural to create a list of goals at the new year that relates to something we’ll DO. It feels more tangible. This is one reason so many have a list, like the Forbes top 2024 goals I posted last week:

Improved Fitness 

Improved Finance

Improved Mental Health

Losing Weight

Improving Diet

There’s nothing wrong with these goals. Making better choices about our health and finances affect so many areas of our lives, and they should be important to us. 

AND it also feels like we’re missing something big. 

WHAT we do is driven so much by WHO we want to be. You could argue the latter is the more important driver, so why don’t we start here?

Beginning with WHO we want to be, also makes for a more compelling “why”, the first of two major keys that must be present to accomplish any goal.

I might want to be in the gym more, but why? 

What I really want is to BE healthy. Being healthy has everything to do with how I’ll be able to show up for Grace as she gets older, especially because I was a little later to the parenting party :).  

We are human BEINGS, not human doings. 

The 2nd key to making a goal successful, is the how. If I want to BE healthy because I want to experience as much life with my people as possible, that “why” has to inform my “how” – the way I move, stretch, eat, drink, and pray NOW to achieve that goal. 

It can feel so much more compelling when we start with who we want to become rather than simply adding another task to our list. 

Maybe it’s hitting a big birthday last year or maybe it’s witnessing the illness and death of someone really close too early. My perspective on this new year is vastly different from the last. Life feels more urgent – it’s not waiting on me and it’s not waiting on you.  


WHO do you want to be more of in 2024?

Whether it’s going through an exercise like Covey’s, or simply journaling on the question above, what could be different if you started with how you want to BE vs what you want to do? 

You just might find more clarity, levity and worthwhile change when you do. 

EMAIL ME at [email protected] to share, get information on our programs or book a consultation. 

We want to see more of you 2024!!