You know those New Year’s resolutions you came up with? The ones you wrote down in that apparently important place? The ones you felt so smug sharing with your significant others telling yourself that you were doing that so that they could help keep you accountable? The ones with such nebulous goals as “Lose weight”, “Travel More” and “Be a better friend”? The ones you will most likely never think about after the first week of January?

Well, I hate to break it to you but they are as worthless as a glass of tap water in a fresh water mountain spring.

Oh I know you had good intentions when you wrote them. You really do mean to try to kind of, well, you know, DO them. Well, you can’t. Not as they are right now. They mean nothing because they are not tangible, actionable, regularly reviewed and evaluated parts of a process. Let’s make them mean something. Let’s take the first one as an example…

Lose Weight

  • First off, how much weight do you want to lose in a year or so? How about 10 pounds? That is a very realistic and achievable goal right? Take that goal and make it a part of the 30,000 ft. section of your vertical map. This level is ideally suited for 12 to 18 Month goals and objectives.
  • Now, let’s break that down a bit. How are we going to get there? Probably by eating healthy and regular daily exercise. OK, put that down at the 20,000 ft level which is for personal lifestyle checklist stuff and is reviewed monthly. But first, let’s rephrase it to have meaning and purpose:

Lose 10 pounds through healthy eating and regular exercise.

  • Now we need a project. A 10,000 ft., action driven plan to get you down about a pound a month. OK, start listing out the steps you need to do to make this a reality. Maybe you can start by “Call health club for membership pricing”. Next you can “Buy membership to health club”. Then you can “Make appointment with personal trainer”. Maybe even “Research diet plans”… You get the idea. Decide all of the things it will take for you to get your flabby arse down to the club and part of a regular workout. Review this weekly.
  • Now that you have a plan, put the rubber to the runway. Take the first item on that list (or the next one that you can take immediate tangible action on) and put it on your Next Action list.

  • The bottom line of all of this is that resolutions belong either:

    a) As part of a real, actionable, tangible system that is reviewed regularly and maps vertically into your overall life goals.


    b) Parked on your someday/maybe list, which is also reviewed regularly and the items therein are evaluated for inclusion into a real, actionable, tangible system that is reviewed regularly and maps vertically into your overall life goals.

    Then and only then will your resolutions hold any weight worth sharing with the world. Then you know it is going to be… alright.