A New Recipe for 2018

a new recipe for 2018, an image of a recipe card

As we prepare to welcome a new year, it is always an appropriate time to determine our starting point for all we wish to achieve in 2018.

Last week we explored the practise of taking a personal inventory so that, when we do plan for the next year, the starting point is crystal-clear.

Someone that I have a great deal of admiration for once told me something I have never forgotten: there is no deception greater than self-deception. If it really is important to make next year our best year, then it is imperative that we are brutally honest in determining the (real) starting point, warts and all.

Revamp Resolutions

Many people spend these last few days each year making New Year’s resolutions which they promptly discard well before the new year has even reached its 100th hour. In fact, studies into the silliness of New Year’s resolutions have revealed that most are broken before noon on January 1. Yikes, what’s a person intent on making real change expected to do?

It’s what happens when we confuse wishful thinking with quality decision-making.

The next few days should be spent enjoying ourselves. This is the perfect time to visit with friends, family and generally seek enjoyment, relaxation and fun before the seriousness of 2018 begins.

And I also believe in the value of being so prepared that we hit the ground running January 2nd.

This means that while we should be having fun, we need also take the time to do some serious planning.

Time to Plan

Serious planning means a willingness to ensure goals are not on the OPTIONAL list. Goals that are optional are seldom, if ever, materialized and those that are MUST HAVE’s seldom go unfulfilled. You are either in or you’re out, so best to decide up front and then work your plan.

Which means, the highest priority goal in our list must be the one that guides our thinking, our mindset, our determination and our commitment to ensuring anything other than success, is not even a remote possibility.

How we think, and what we tell ourselves, will have a far greater impact on the achievement of our goals than any amount of objective tactical planning and strategizing ever will.

Henry Ford opined, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”. This is as true today as it was 100 years ago, the only difference is that now we have so many more choices and the roads to success are much, much shorter.

If we choose to go into next year with little or no planning, heed this timeless adage: If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail. And frankly, if we fail to plan and to then execute on our plan, we forfeit the right to complain of our lot in life.

Never in human history have there been as many opportunities to achieve extraordinary success as there are today. The rapid pace at which technology is changing the human experience and the speed with which human knowledge is growing, affords all of us the prospect of not just reaching for the stars, but actually holding them in our hands.

Your 2018 Mission

All we have to do is pay the price: working, studying, growing, rebounding from adversity and immersing ourselves in the mission of achieving our goals.

Experience has taught me that for many this is too high a price to pay. Interestingly enough, what they fail to realize is that as high as the price may seem, it pales significantly when one considers the alternative - the real price of a life unfulfilled.

It is a new year. It is a great opportunity for a new beginning. Let’s all use this time to plan for great things for ourselves, expect happiness for ourselves and demand nothing less than excellence from ourselves. And let’s laugh a lot while we’re doing it.

A truly noble recipe for success.

Happy New Year.

Till we read again.

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