I know that New Years Resolutions are ridiculed and lampooned by many, but I find them to be an indispensable goal-setting tool.

The annual act of lifting my gaze into higher possibility keeps my attention focused upward, on what I could become, instead of behind me, on my mistakes.

zig-ziglar-goalsYesterday before my annual review, I listened to Zig Ziglar’s classic audio recording Goals on my walk, prepping for tomorrow’s resolutions. (One of the benefits of spending years collecting personal development programs is the ability to select the proper one from your library when you’re in a specific mood.)

Ziglar says that “Motivation follows action.” A will to attain a goal is useless without a corresponding action that ensures success, regardless of how you feel in the moment. That’s why I find it most useful to phrase my resolutions as an action.

“You need an emotional commitment to the attainment of your goal, and to visualize the attainment of your goal in detail,” he says, reminding us that imagination has a purpose to play, and we should be using it. I’ve been working with Visualization Touchstones, brief moments of vivid imagery that involve the goals I want to achieve. I’ve just been neglecting the regular, daily visualization time, so I worked it into my morning routine.

“When you break your goals into increments,” Ziglar says, “and start controlling your time, things begin to happen.”

By setting my resolutions as small, actionable increments, and scheduling those actions into specific blocks of time on my calendar, I don’t have some vague resolution of “eat better” or “pay off debt” or “go to the gym.”

I believe that the clear specificity of one task leading to the goal you want is one of the most powerful methods of achievement. Your likelihood of success is increased if you spend a considerable amount of time strategizing on how to remove all friction from the execution of that one specific action in your resolution.

So after starting with a vague outcome I would like to achieve, I identify the specific habits that I can work on this year in order to lead me closer to my ideal outcome. I don’t make a resolution to achieve the outcome I want; I resolve to take the actions that I consider the surest path to the attainment of my goals.

My New Years Resolutions for 2017

6-7 AM Hour of Power

Every morning, I will wake up at 6 or earlier. I’ll try for this weekends, and reward myself with extra writing time in the morning if I can do it, but that’s my stretch goal. My real resolution is to perform my morning routine (what Tony Robbins calls your Hour of Power) every weekday by 7 am.

This is my current morning routine:

  • Shower
  • Oil pulling
  • Recite affirmations
  • 7 minute Qi Gong routine
  • 10 minute meditation
  • Visualization Touchstones
  • Calisthenics
    • 10 pull-ups
    • 20 push-ups
    • 30 crunches
  • Journal 750 words

Weight Training Twice a Week

I need to focus on upper body muscle building this year. I’m going to be 39 in a few days, and while I am unsure what direction I want to pursue athletically this year, I have felt disappointed in my upper body strength. I keep myself lean to accomplish the acrobatic moves of Parkour, but my leanness can give way to weakness if I don’t dedicate myself to building muscle mass.

Daily Visualization & Meditation Time

By working this into my Hour of Power, I have hardwired this in to my existing habit ladder. But even if I choose to remove it, or I don’t keep that resolution, I still need these two clarifying mental practices elsewhere in my day.

Dance Every Month

Losing myself in sweat and bass is one of the great joys of my life, and while I am still young enough to enjoy it acrobatically, I must take the dedicated time to do so, or I might find myself suddenly too old to dance like I love to dance. Live life now, and don’t put it off for later.

Give 3 Keynote Speeches

I gave one speech last year, and it was very well received. I’ve been waiting to get my branding in place before promoting myself or my business in any big way (I had a lot of pivoting to do) but now that it’s solid, I need to start getting back into public speaking. Because I hunger for it.

Travel Out Of State Each Quarter

Four times next year, I want to have not only the occasion (either professionally or personally) but also the financial means to travel somewhere. I may combine this with a keynote speech or two, traveling to a conference, or I may just vacation excessively with my family, if circumstances allow.

Weekly 1-on-1 Dates with my Kids

Every week my wife and I have committed to taking one of our children out for a special event. We’re already working on the homeschooling classes, the rewards system for their schoolwork, and our regular family outings. The rotating date schedule will ensure we can nurture individual relationships with each of our progeny.

Blogger of The Year at WordPress.com

One of these days, I want to call myself the “Self-Published Author of the Year” by the simple act of self-publishing a 365 page book called The Year. I’m writing the content for it at https://theyearat.wordpress.com/ so I can be the Blogger of The Year At WordPress.com. It’s a daily writing and research habit I’ve got to work into my schedule, but in return, I get some funny titles.

Read all my resolutions posts here. Read yesterday’s annual review here.