Wow!  Not sure what happened but we are in the new year! It came fast – as new years always do. Looking back at 2016, most of us experienced some nice achievements and typically we all have a few regrets.  There are things left undone and we ran out of time.  Likewise, we all have accomplishments, positive changes, and progress to be celebrated.  In that instance, we should appreciate a job well done!

What is exciting about the new year is the chance to again start refreshed and motivated with a clean slate.  We reflect on the previous year – but we anticipate the possibilities in this new year.  Some of us may be starting new businesses, new jobs, or celebrating a promotion.

Time to Pivot

It is at this time of the year we have the opportunity to make key decisions that will shape our new year. Begin by giving yourself space to think about the important:

  • What are the goals we want to accomplish this year?
  • Will I be considered a contributor or a consumer?  (leader)
  • What are the most important things that I need to do every day?
  • How badly do I want it?
  • Do I have a plan?

Open Doors

I am reminded that there are two types of people.   Those who fear walking through a new “door” or those who see new “doors” as challenges.  Some see change as chaos and some see change as opportunities to grow.   Identify the doors.  Commit to growing.  The consequence of wasting away a year of not growing is regret.

Reality says some will not want to go through this process or commit to the discipline required.   Are you willing to commit to being excellent?  Will you develop a “cadence of excellence?”  Will you help the other members on your team to achieve their goals?

The questions above are important to consider.   Frankly, it is about honesty. It is about being true to yourself and your teams. Start with defining what you want, build a plan and write it down. Set goals. Set expectations. Not empty resolutions. Not fleeting wishes and hopes. Real goals that mean something to your career and life.

This attitude and these actions truly separate the highly successful from the average.  High achievers make time to plan, record the plan and execute.  Most people won’t and don’t do the hard work because defining what you want – articulating where you will be at the end of next year – is difficult. It requires the discipline to make time to produce. It requires you to raise your hand and take the risk.  It requires you to be accountable to the person who is most invested in you – YOU.

So Start Here

Define what you want and write it down.  This means to stop, create a space to invest in your outcomes and expectations.  Be different, jettison the mindless time wasters responsible for making so many people average.  Instead, think about your future and act.

Paul Bear Bryant quipped that “Most people are easy to beat because most people don’t have a plan.” This is a meaningful quote because it so succinctly describes how many people aimlessly walk through life. No plan, no direction, no idea where they are going.

Again, brutal reality. If you don’t have a plan, you will become a part of someone else’s plan. You can either take control of your life or allow someone else to control you to enhance their life. It’s your choice. Desire and discipline are the corner stones of achievement. 

How Bad Do You Want it?

There are some very popular book sellers leading a whole generation of people down a track leading to failure.  They claim the lucky few successful people need only work four hours a week.  Let me be clear.  That is a lie.  Success is paid for in advance with hard work and discipline. More often than not, getting what you want is more about what you are willing to give up rather than what you are willing to do.

So what are you doing today to meet and exceed your expectations?  There will be adversity.  Our peers will see our discipline as foolish and archaic.  They will encourage you to forget your plans and forget this crazy idea of being successful.  They will say it is only for the lucky few.

Stay the course!  Your belief, discipline, process and accountability will produce for you the best year yet!


Please come visit me at the office and receive our most recent book – “Mediocrity the Monster Within.”

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