Happy New Year!  Welcome to the greatly anticipated demise of 2020 and the renewed hope and possibilities of 2021!  You did it!  We did it!  We survived into the new year but sadly at a cost due to the multiple crisis of 20201, apparently God was out of locust.  Now that we are here at the dawn of a new year, what is our next step?  One of the most common traditions is to set goals of things you want to accomplish in the new year, also known as New Years Resolutions.  This sounds great but are largely not long lasting and we give up on them after a couple months, if even that long.  It is one of the reasons I hated going to the gym in January and February, the only time of the year where I would have to wait to get on any of the machines I wanted and had to park on the outskirts, but hey, it allowed me to start my cardio on the way in!  Don’t get me wrong, goals are important but how do we set ourselves up for success with the things that are truly important to us?  Good thing about having just survived 2020 is we have a clearer picture of what truly matters to us and what we want our life to look like in 10-15 years. 

I hate reading.  Ironic, I know considering I write articles for you to read, but I have found some relatively short books that can be helpful in these situations of goal setting and more importantly how to move into action. 

  1. “The Obstacle is the Way” buy Ryan Holiday has a lot of insight into the process of shifting our perspective of our challenges and even encourages us to tackle them rather than surrendering to them. It is often true that we should be led by our discomfort as that is where the work needs to be done. 
  2. “The One Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan dives into the magic of focusing on one thing, no matter how small, so that something latter on will be easier or not necessary. They also investigate how to set up your environment for success but cutting down the clutter and distractions which enable you to focus on the one thing that is the priority for you at that time. 
  3. “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy has a lot of gold nuggets of information which remind me of another book, The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, both go into how one action can build on the previous while setting the foundation for the next and the power of making small changes that are more sustainable in the long run and produce more power with less energy when compared to making large changes.
  4. “The 12 Week Year” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington is the last book I would like to bring to your attention as it utilizes the principles of the precious three books and gives you a template for how to execute them. We are most productive in the 1st 2 months of the year because of the renewed vigor of the new year, and then again in the last two months when we realize we have slacked off from our goals.  Take the gym for instance.  By shifting our thinking by setting a big goal for the 12 weeks then breaking it down into 12 weekly steps and TRACKING it from week to week we tend to stay more focused and are better able to see our progress therefore able to make small changes to correct our course, so we stay on track for the big goal for the 12-week year.  The 13th week of the quarter is then our celebration, our New Years.  Let’s face it, nothing of any substance gets done between Christmas and New Year’s.  it is in that last week we review the “year” (past 12 weeks) and set new goals and actions steps for the next one, just like the yearly New Years. 

I can honestly say I have read all these books and I would let you borrow them, but they have notes all through them, so it is best if you get your own copy.  Suggestion:  Pick ONE and start there.  Do not try to buy and read all four as that would set you up for overwhelm, unless you are an avid reader and already use to reading five to seven books at a time. 

Regardless of what goals you are setting for 2021 I hope you have a wonderful, safe, and happy year!