Happy New Year! Can I get an AMEN!! Wow, we all have been eagerly and anxiously awaiting to put 2020 behind us. We have the opportunity to hit the reset button and get moving forward. Life will become what YOU make of it. Run toward the opportunities and carve your path or sit back with your fingers crossed, “hoping” something great will come of it. Which strategy will you choose?

Last January, I discussed the benefits of annual strategic planning for a business. Two fundamental principals I’ve benefited from when it comes to yearly planning:

  1. Get razor-focused on the “what” you want to accomplish — desired future outcomes will not just materialize without a strategy.
  2. Less is more — focus on the most critical activities and allow the capacity to execute at a high level.

(See January 2020 column of Tryon’s Tips for more detail)

I’m going to challenge and encourage you to apply the same principles to developing your biggest asset, yourself. Be honest, when is the last time you challenged yourself and committed to some form of personal development?

2020 provided us a lot of lessons. Indeed, one that stands out is that maybe we should stop taking life for granted. Each day we get out of bed is a blessing and an opportunity. Once the day is gone, so is the opportunity. There are a few certainties in life; death, taxes and adversity. No matter what happened yesterday, I’m encouraging you to wake up and get rolling today. That choice is solely on you. Steve Jobs was often quoted stating that his most significant accomplishments came from his biggest failures and disappointments, and I concur. 2020 will not hold us down!

What does a GREAT 2021 look like for you? What is possible? Where should you start? What does a better version of yourself look like? Having a process around annual goal planning can make a huge difference.

I’m a huge fan of playing the “what if” game. I would suggest starting there:

  • What if you started doing this one thing in 2021 ______; what impact would it have?
  • What if you stopped doing this one thing in 2021 ______; what impact would it have?

Invest an hour of your time brainstorming and answering these two questions above. What good habits do you need to develop? Which bad habits do you need to eliminate? Once you have answers to those questions, determine which ones have the most potential to impact and get you to your desired future state.

Here are a few examples from my archives on personal development:

Please keep it simple and narrow your focus down to the few initiatives that will generate the most significant returns. Don’t allow your enthusiasm to overcommit your capacity. Unfortunately, I have witnessed many very educated people fall victim to themselves eagerly, thinking they can do more and ultimately fall flat on their faces. It may appear we can do more on the surface, and we are eager to feed our large appetites. A smarter, wiser person will start with one to two initiatives to execute at a high level. That discipline will payoff allowing the person to reap the benefits of their accomplishments. Compared to the overzealous person who will likely be discouraged and disappointed in their 2021 year-end review,  when they realized they fell short on all their seven to 15 annual goals.

Some of us will stay true to our New Year's resolutions and become a better version of ourselves, and unfortunately, many will fail to uphold our resolutions for improvement. Which camp will you reside in? We are all capable of starting or stopping one to two behaviors or actions in our lives if we get focused and keep it in front of us. Relentless focus on our activities and behaviors is the key, and the results will follow. The process is the difference-maker. Your personal development achievements or failures for 2021 will likely rest on your shoulders. I believe you are worth the investment. Do you?


Eric Tryon