Autor: markyoung

~ 12/04/12

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A manifesto is bigger than fitness. It is bigger than your career. Instead, it is a written declaration of your values and intentions in life and I’d like to share mine with you and finally help you to create your own.
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But first a little backstory…

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A couple months ago I came across a post on the internet about creating a personal manifesto and the concept totally resonated with me.  All too often we get busy with life and it is easy to lose sight of what really matters to us.  Instead we find ourselves driven by different things on different days and we don’t have a predetermined course through life. We get lazy, complacent, and generally end up wasting our lives away with things that truly don’t matter to us. We become subject to the control of our ever-changing thoughts and feelings.  Having a clearly defined set of values gives us the ability to reflect on them and assess if we’re on track in our lives.  As a result, I set aside a couple of hours over a few days and pulled together my own personal manifesto.

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Note:  Below is MY personal manifesto and it represents MY beliefs and values. While the specifics of these are very relevant to me personally, they may not be YOUR beliefs and values. I have shared them here to give you an example of what a manifesto looks like. I don’t intend to entertain any discussion about whether or not you agree with my beliefs and values. My hope, instead, is that taking a look at mine will inspire you to create your own.
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My Personal Manifesto

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I am a man of God.
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I will spend time with him daily by reading his word, and through worship, and prayer. I will allow HIS love to flow through me to all those around me. I will act in faith and believe in his promises. I will behave at all times in a way that is pure and holy. I will make God a priority in our home. I will seek to serve others with a joyful and willing heart.
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I am a family man.
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I will put the needs of my family above my own.  I will lead my family in faith and finance and be strong in times of trial. I will actively love my wife unconditionally, respect her feelings, and work in partnership with her to build a lasting relationship of trust, intimacy, and happiness.
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I will be a patient and kind father and love my daughter unconditionally. I will make time to play when I’m tired and teach her through example and instruction about faith, love, relationships, health, and effort.  I value my family and I put my phone aside when I am with them.
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I value my health.

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I will nourish my body only with nutrients and limit consumption of foods and beverages that jeopardize my health. I will not be a slave to any substance. I will exercise at a challenging intensity no less than two times per week and seek opportunities to be active. I will limit sedentary behavior.

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I always do my best.

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I will seek excellence in all that I do. My time will be spent on things that I value and I will limit time spent on things that serve as distractions.

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I care about my planet.

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I will consider impact to the earth in my decisions about food and products on which I spend my money. I will seek used before new. I will reduce waste, reuse items when possible, and recycle what can be recycled. I will limit accumulation of unnecessary things.

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My life will be an example for others to follow.

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Creating YOUR Personal Manifesto

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Step 1 – Create a List

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The first step in creating a manifesto is to list all of the things that you value in your life.  At this point you don’t need to spend a lot of time figuring out which are the most important, just get them all out on paper (or on the screen if you’re a computer junkie like me).  Take some time to do this.  Ask yourself what you’d like to accomplish before you die.  Think about what you’d like for your family, friends, and colleagues to say about you at your funeral.  Decide what kind of legacy you want to leave.  Make the list as big as you can.

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Step 2 – Pick Your Top 5

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At some point you’re going to need to cut down the list of all the things you’ve listed to the top 5 or 6 things you truly value.  I’d suggest beginning by crossing out the stuff that obviously doesn’t make your top 5 first.  That should narrow things down a bit.  From there, spend some time (even if it takes a few days) to cut away at the list until only the final few remain.

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Step 3 – Expand on Your Values

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Once you’ve narrowed it down to your most important points you’ll want to expand on them so they remind you each time you read them what they really mean to you.  Most importantly, make sure the points tell you what actions you should take or how you should behave to be in line with these values.  And make sure to state everything in the present.  Don’t say “I want to have integrity”.  Say “I have integrity”.

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Step 4 – Read it Every Day

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A personal manifesto is useless if you don’t read it often.  I have mine as a document on my computer desktop and I generally read it the first time I open my computer each day.  I also have a copy in my email so I can read in on my phone and a printed paper copy I can access easily.

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I’ll be the first to admit that I am not even close to being the person I’ve presented in my manifesto, but that is the person I want to become.  And each time I read it and there is some kind of discrepancy between who I am and what I’ve written it highlights for me the changes I need to make in my life.  Most importantly, it keeps me focused on what really matters to me and reminds me when I’ve gotten off track.  I know exactly what my values are so I know exactly where to spend my time.

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I’ve only just begun this process and my life is already beginning to change.  I challenge you to step out and create your own personal manifesto.

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Define and become the person you are meant to be.

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6 Comments »

  1. Really liked that Mark.

    Comment by Erik Ledin — April 12, 2012 @ 1:17 PM

  2. Mark, this was very well put together. It came at a time where I was working on my own, which focused mostly on healthy eating, but I am going to restructure it to include other aspects of my life. A personal manifesto can work wonders if one puts it together and reads it over every morning/once a day.

    Comment by Ty Wall — April 23, 2012 @ 1:16 PM

  3. [...] Yesterday, I listed a site that helped in being reflective. That one was fairly long – here is one that is shorter. –> http://markyoungtrainingsystems.com/2012/04/my-personal-manifesto/ [...]

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  4. [...] for your blog. But here are some ideas that will help you get started. According to Mark Young of, “Mark Young Training Systems”, you can do these four key [...]

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  5. [...] You can read his entire post here: http://markyoungtrainingsystems.com/2012/04/my-personal-manifesto/ [...]

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  6. Interesting. Due to many events in my life I actually came up with this idea. A way to create a path for myself & make it public to my friends and family so not only was I keeping it in my mind, but I wanted to be accountable for straying by those I chose to help me on this path. As an automotive engineer in an international corp, we are all about mission statements, company values, for which we are publicly held accountable. I didn’t want to call it a mission statement, because that wasn’t an accurate view of this vision of mine. So I called it a manifesto…and in this internet age, I typed it in google…and apparently I certainly am not the 1st lol…yours is closest to my initial vision, thanks for posting this sample…I had a case of “blank page” syndrome, now I can kick-start mine. Peace, brother.
    Ski

    Comment by Jason — September 8, 2012 @ 1:15 AM

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