new years

The year’s end is truly a beginning.

This is the time of year businesses begin setting their 2013 goals — New Year’s resolutions for your business.. This process takes time because a good plan—one the business leader and the team will stick to—isn’t created overnight.

The same applies to personal resolutions.

Forty-five percent of people set resolutions. Of those, only 8 percent maintain and achieve their promises.

Want to be among the 8 percent? Don’t wait until January 1.

Maybe your personal resolution is to lose weight—the number one resolution by the way. Perhaps your professional resolution is to grow your company by 30 percent.

Whatever your intended resolution is, you must initiate the planning process by asking yourself “Why?”

 “Why” is a great question. Ask it enough times and you’ll discover the truth—the real reason you want accomplish your goal. You have to dig deep though. You may have set the same goal last year, and the year before, but you didn’t accomplish it. Why? You didn’t discover the real reason you wanted the end result.

A few years ago I was coaching a man, let’s call him Bob, who wanted to lose 40 pounds. I asked him why. He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly and said it was because he wanted to get healthy.

“What’s the real reason Bob?” I asked. “Leading up to today, that reason hasn’t inspired you to change.”

“Um…to see my kids grow up?”

I looked at him unconvinced.

“To walk my daughter down the aisle?”

I kept pressing and urged him to dig deeper.

After a few minutes of prying he let out a sigh, began to tear up and divulged that his father had died when he was only 8 years old. His father led an unhealthy lifestyle. He was overweight, smoked and never exercised. Because of that, he left the world early. Bob didn’t want his kids to live with the same pain of losing their father.

That year Bob fulfilled his resolution.

Bob proves that once you have your why, you have the sturdy foundation to devise a plan that will actually work.

I urge you to use these next few weeks as a time for self-discovery—a time to ask yourself what you want and why you want it.

If you’re a leader in any capacity, a parent, a teacher, an older sibling or a CEO, you have an even greater responsibility to reflect on what’s important for you and those you care about. You can only help others once you help yourself.



Originally published in  The Tennessean

Photo credit: <a href=””>Anirudh Koul</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>