3 Ways To Start Your 2014 Strong

3-pillars-of-successAh, January…I love this time of year. It feels like a tidal wave of optimism, internal motivation and hope sweeps over people and a newfound drive kicks in as we charge boldly into the new year.

But something else happens simultaneously, almost insidiously, like an unpinned grenade ticking away in the base of our psyche. With this sudden burst of inspiration and energy for our dreams comes an overindulgence in “the hit” we get from setting goals, going full-throttle toward them, and bellowing our “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” rally cries.

Once that initial “rush” wears off, we enter a critical phase of the mission. How do you prevent a “sugar high” of motivation and subsequent “crash” that almost always follows? Better yet, how to build rock-solid resolve to execute on and accomplish your goals?

This is at the heart and soul of what I love about what I do as a success coach. Entrepreneurs (and even my non-business clients) all come to me ultimately for 3 things:

  1. Focus
  2. Clarity
  3. Structure 

When I mention these words during strategy sessions with a potential clients, they light up and say “YES! That’s what I’ve been looking for!”. I love this because it is a clear indication that they ‘get it’ and are ready to make real progress.

So, if you are ready to get real traction in your business and life, and finally hit those targets that eluded you in the past, here’s my challenge to you today as we head into the first full week of the year:

1. Commit to gaining FOCUS.

Regardless of what you are working on this year–building a business, raising a family, writing a best-seller, running a triathlon, etc–work on establishing great focus. Not just “in the moment” focus, but overall focus on your mission.

This takes a little work, but like anything, once you build a little momentum, you’ll feel the focus set in and forward progress start to build. A great first step toward developing laser focus is to filter your priorities from the litany of distractions that bombard you every day.

What are the your TOP 3 priorities for this year? What are the ‘must-dos’ of your day? And more importantly, how do these serve your greater purpose in business and life?

Answering those three questions will help you sift through the deluge of emails and text messages and stay focused on the mission at hand.

2. Commit to seeking CLARITY.

This may be one of the most daunting parts of the journey for most. Admitting we are not clear on our dreams or purpose can sometimes feel ‘irresponsible’ or out of control. However getting clear is a life-long commitment.

Top-level, high-performers who are crushing it in their careers and professions lose clarity at times. World-class leaders lose clarity now and then.

It happens.

The KEY is that the Champions in life know how to pause, assess and regain that clarity. So strive to get clear on what you want, WHY you want it, and how you must EXECUTE in order to make the dream a reality.

A great question to ask is ‘So what?’. It may sound like an abrasive question, but it helps to cut straight to the heart of what you are doing and WHY you are doing.

Training for a marathon? Ask ‘so what?’ and discover what is pushing you to go the full 26.2 miles.

Quitting your job to launch your start up? Ask ‘so what?’ and see what is REALLY driving you to launch that dream business. (NOTE: this is also a great way to blast writer’s block and other barriers that hold us back from our creative greatness).

3. Commit to and lean on some basic STRUCTURE.

Structure is a funny thing. It scares many, offends some and confuses most. The rebellious entrepreneur sometimes thinks they cannot do with structure; after all, it’s why they “could never work for someone else” and fear it will cramp their creative style.

But structure is not about convention; it has nothing to do with conformity and creative stifling.

In fact, it does quite the opposite.

Structure allows more mental and creative freedom, because once you’ve established some basic disciplines, you no longer have to think about what to do and how to do it. You just execute, often with more confidence and precision.

What’s more, is when Plan A falls apart (as it so often does), you spend less time scrambling to reset and recover and more time getting back on track. Build some basic structure into your everyday schedule and watch you results increase and your workload lessen (WHAT?!?!) as you operate with more ease and less resistance.

If this seems overly simple, it is. But it’s not easy. A lot of the work I do with people is in helping them sift through the noise of their lives to get that FOCUS they need in order to find the CLARITY they want.

And ultimately it does come down to incorporating a few, basic disciplines in order to build some simple STRUCTURE. Believe it or not, it is less painful to bring in a little structure than the regret of allowing an entire year to slip away…again.

Fly High, Fly Fast, Fly Far.


If you require help with focus, clarity, or structure, email me directly with “strategy” in the subject line.

4 Responses to 3 Ways To Start Your 2014 Strong

  1. When in doubt, follow JT DeBolt.

  2. A big thank you to Peter Hobler for the introduction of DeBolt’s book
    Michelle – you are right with your comment, let’s fall in formation !