New Year New Resolutions

Happy New Year! Are we happier and healthier, more productive and prosperous yet?  Time's a wastin'...

I'll get right to the point.

I don't do resolutions. I do strategy. Here's why.

A resolution is simply an intent, which as we (should) all know is not necessarily followed up by long-term action or fulfillment. No matter how strong, no matter how "resolute."

Don't get me wrong. It's a wonderful concept and tradition; it speaks to rejuvenation, a remake, a refreshed "you." It gets buckets of articles written about it every New Year. It's a wonderful word; it sounds like champagne in heels.

And it's infamous for being left in the dust as we gleefully sink back into our old habits, hot chocolate in hand.  Okay, granted: lots of us do actually make good on our New Years' resolutions.  At least for a few days.

But strategy is much more demanding and gives you material results. Not because of intention—because strategy builds you a no-nonsense roadmap to success. It makes you look deep into that mirror and identify not only the *what* that you want but the *why* and the *how*... and usually the *who* and the *when,* too. Strategy necessarily comes with a tactical plan. Deliverables. Oh, you want to achieve ABC. Great. What's the XYZ plan of action to get there?

You've no doubt heard of strategy and tactics most often in the context of business. That's because business involves a lot of moving pieces—people, materials, systems, etc.—and a whole lot of unknowns.

Herding cats, forging metal, or shearing sheep is generally easier than running a business.

Without a strategy, you're steering your ship blind. 100% guarantee there are storms all around you, the waters are roiling with hungry sharks, and some part of your ship will undergo a mechanical failure at the worst possible moment.

But you don't need to have a company to employ strategy. You can leverage it in nearly any area of life. Want to get healthy and fit? There's a strategy for that. Want to learn to cook? There's a strategy for that. How about that house you've been dreaming of. The new job. The new/better/improved [fill-in-the-blank]. Want to meet the love of your life? Okay maybe we can't be too strategic about this one... but you'd be surprised how it helps even in matters of the heart.

You can design your strategy yourself, or you can get a little help. There are books, articles, life coaches. Personally, I've tried out this group and I can say they are on the ball. They get it; their approach does get you results. But you need to do the work. No matter how you slice it, no matter what you call it.

So get your scuba gear on, and dive into that ocean. Figure out the *what* and the *why* of your everything, and design the *how,* the *when,* and the *who.* Follow that map. Every day, a little. Come back and tweak the strategy or the execution. Rinse and repeat.

Sail on, captain of your ship. Here's to a happy, healthy, and strategic 2018.