A New Year, A Clean Slate


Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?


It’s just a few days until the start of a new year. This start represents an opportunity for new possibilities. The thought of this can be exciting. The chance to do better…to be better. This is what encourages us to make ‘New Year’s resolutions’. The process of making resolutions and failing at them over and over, makes us hesitant though. Most of the time people give up on resolutions after a few weeks. Only about 8 percent of people that make resolutions will stick to them. Most resolutions are really good, and if kept, would make us better.


Okay, so if the possibilities are exciting, we want to be better and most resolutions are admirable, why don’t we keep them?


I think most of the time it is the lack of a clear plan. It reminds me of some wild turkeys that were crossing the road near my home. There were fifteen or twenty birds going across as I approached them in my truck. Some continued on across, some turned and went back, but one couldn’t decide which way to go. It ran back and forth going in circles in the middle of the road. This indecision and lack of clarity put this bird at risk of failure…and in this case, failure could have been really bad. Good thing I was driving slow.


The first thing to do is determine WHY. WHY do we want to accomplish this thing? The WHY will be the motivating factor. The WHY gives us the reason to move. For example, WHY do I want to cross the road?

Next we need to know the HOW. The HOW gives us the map from here to there. The HOW gives us a direction to go. Now I know HOW best to cross the road.

This is where things begin to get tricky. There are a lot of different systems that you can use for this. The problem is that what works for one person may not work for another. I have used several, some I paid for and some were free. The conclusion I have come to is, it matters less what the system is and more about whether you use it or not. You have to move or you will be left standing in the road.

Currently I am using parts and pieces from Michael Hyatt’s, Five Days to Your Best Year Ever; Donald Miller’s, Creating Your Life Plan; Andy Andrews, The Seven Decisions Perpetual Calendar as well as things I have designed myself. Each year I modify and tweak my system so that it works better for me. Every year I schedule time between Christmas and New Year’s Day for working on my Life Plan. Scheduling it on the calendar is critical to being intentional.

The plan needs to look back at the past to see what worked and what didn’t. It needs to look to the future to see where we want to go. Most importantly it needs action now. It also needs a way of measuring progress so you can see how you’re doing. Resolutions are only as good as our actions. Like Ebenezer Scrooge in the Christmas Carol, we have to decide to be different if we’re going to be different.

Don’t be a turkey. Make a plan before you start across the road and stick with it. Don’t stop in the middle of the road. You can continue to improve on the plan every day if you keep moving.


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