Five things to sort out in the new year


In our first-world view of time, it’s just as strange that our moods change just a few weeks later, when the hangovers from our various indulgences start to go away. It’s like a mysterious syringe of determination is pumping through our veins.

These goals, which are often impossible to reach, tend to make what I call “Multiple Possibility Disorder” worse. MPD is a syndrome that makes it almost certain that goals won’t be reached by the time the holidays are over and the new year starts in earnest.

Few people will keep their New Year’s resolutions by the time that crazy time of year comes around again if they are overwhelmed by too many ideas, offers, and choices.

How can we understand?

How can we make our plans for the year more fair? You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to use these five ideas to get clear. When they’re done, they should last all year, and the year after that, and the year after that.

Why is having a goal important?

Too often, people use the word without giving it much thought.

Still, there is something very cool about being on purpose. Even though it’s talked about a lot, it’s surprising how few businesses can say, in one sentence, who they do what they do for and why.

Sometimes it’s because they’re doing something that doesn’t work for them. Or they have too many ideas and offers and can’t come up with a goal that includes them all.

All the more reason to do the hard work of getting clear and finding a single, clear purpose. When you can say, “I or we believe that…,” and you really do believe it, it’s amazing what you can do under that banner, any time of the year.

What would you rather have less of?

Some thinking about the past can be helpful, as long as it doesn’t turn into “If only” thinking.

Try it out. Take a decade away from whatever year it is now. What worked during that time? What didn’t? What would you try hard to stay away from? What would you try hard to do again and again? What didn’t you finish that you started? Why?

If you only give one answer to each question, you’ll have to get rid of everything but the worst and the best. The process will sort out what you definitely don’t want more of in the future. It should also show what should be done again and again.

You could do it with just the last year, but a longer time frame makes you think more deeply.

What have you put off doing?

What is that thing that’s been bothering you to do? Think about why you haven’t put it at the top of your list. Stop when you realize that all you’re doing is coming up with excuses like “I’m too busy,” “I’m too distracted,” or “I’m too whatever.”

Either it’s important enough that you should stop making excuses and put it at the top of your list, or it’s not. The best thing to do is to put it aside and move on to something else. It will come up again when it’s time. Believe that because you trust yourself and your goal.

How rules work their magic

Principles are what make your business unique. They are the core of what your brand promises and how it delivers on those promises. They are also the pillars that hold up your purpose.

When you can’t explain why or what you do without it, you know it’s a principle. In the work I do, I can’t get rid of clarity. It’s a key part of my offer. Neither interest nor sense. What are your rules for doing things?

When you understand them, you also understand your main points. When you know what your main points are, you can block out all the other noise. It makes it less important to be and say everything to everyone, all the time.

Knowing what you want to do

Intention is a state of mind that makes you act in a certain way and moves you forward. The hard work of getting clear will help you find a single, well-defined goal.

Clarity of purpose is what fans want, because it shows why you want what you want and for whom. It takes only the next most important step toward what you want that is linked to your purpose. That’s gold because it gives you back one of the most valuable things: time.

It happens to a lot of people: it’s January and then it’s December, and the months in between seem to have flown by in a blur of activity.

Wasted time is one of the worst things you can do in this fast-paced world. Too often, our best plans, made in the excitement of a new year, are doomed to fail.

When you put these five ideas into action, you’ll save time because you’ll only take the next logical steps toward your most wanted reality, this year, next year, and the year after that.