Four Steps for More Purpose in 2021

Four Steps for More Purpose in 2021

Here is a great question to start the new year: How can you have a greater sense of purpose in 2021 in your work and life? As a challenging 2020 passes on (…good riddance in many ways…), now is the time to get disciplined about purpose for the year ahead. I want to start your year with Four Simple Practical Steps to have more purpose every day this year!

As you know I have been writing, speaking about and coaching purpose for almost thirty years. Research shows that people who have a sense of purpose in work and life are more engaged, more productive, happier, live longer and even have stronger immune systems.

So here are the Four Steps:

Revisit Your Purpose & Confirm It

The first step to more purpose in the new year is to NAME your purpose. By naming our purpose we remind ourselves what matters to us and what we are here to do. If you have never named your purpose before, take time to ask: What do I most want to contribute? How do I want to impact others and the world every day? What would people miss if I weren’t around? In my book The Purpose Revolution we show you step by step how to find your purpose and lead it in your team.

If you already have a named purpose, then spend some time early in the new year reflecting if it still fits. While our core purpose doesn’t often change, it is always good to revisit it-to ensure it still feels right and make subtle changes.

Read it Every Day then Make it REAL Now

Once you have named it or confirmed it, then here is an important DAILY step. Take time every day to read your purpose, ideally at the start of your day or workday. Every day I remind myself that my purpose is to “help accelerate the shift of consciousness needed for humanity to thrive in the future and to help people live more intentional contributory lives while embodying compassion.” By reading it to start every day we are reminding ourselves of the WHY, not just the task list. Then think about your day ahead, asking “Where might I best live that purpose today in the activities ahead of me?”

Have a Daily Purpose Gratitude Moment

As you go through your day, there will be moments when you get to live your purpose. Some days there will be several. So, at the end of EVERY day in 2021, take a few moments to reflect on how you DID live your purpose that day. Just by noticing the small ways we live our purpose provides not only a greater experience of being on purpose but also important hints as how to live it more deeply. What we pay attention to grows. By remembering moments we were on purpose, we grow more of them.

Do a Monthly Purpose Check In

Finally, if purpose matters, then it deserves a monthly check in. Research shows that people who regularly check in to see how they are doing make more progress just like people who weigh themselves every day eat differently than those who don’t or so the research says! Is being more ON PURPOSE worth an hour a month? I think so. So, take an hour of devoted time each month. Make a list of all the ways you were on purpose the past month and where there were opportunities lost. Focus on the month ahead and ask-what are a few steps I WILL take this month to move towards purpose?

Discipline is Destiny

As many of you know, I have a saying I use with leaders that DISCIPLINE IS DESTINY. It is our habits, the practices we are disciplined to do every day and month that create our present and future. By practicing these simple steps with DISCIPLINE, meaning we do them whether in the mood or not, we shape our reality.


Dr. John Izzo has spoken to over one million people, advised over 500 companies, authored nine best-selling books, and helped some of the world's most admired companies. He has been a pioneer in creating successful businesses and emerging work trends for over twenty-five years.

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