“Let the Chips Fall Where They May” is an old saying that we sometimes use when we want to give up any power we may have over something. The philosophy is whatever is going to happen is going to happen. When we totally relinquish any control, we’ve lost any power we otherwise could have to make good on a promise, or do something for others, or achieve a long-time goal.

Don Hutson

As we embark on a new year let’s remember the powers bestowed upon us by the Almighty when he created us in his image and gave us the ability to think, reason, decide and act! Let’s make this a year when we exercise some control over our destiny by clarifying visions, establishing goals and taking action. It doesn’t mean that we need to jump up, raise our voices and sign up for assertiveness training. Let’s just make some moderate, well thought-out moves that can help us have a better year with more positive intent and clarity.

I suggest you get a legal pad and write down the things you are going to do this year. Let me make it easier for you. Here are the eight customary goal categories most goal-setting coaches suggest:

1. Family

2. Financial

3. Educational

4. Career

5. Community

6. Physical

7. Social

8. Spiritual

Add or subtract categories to tailor the process to your needs.

One of my contemporaries, Jim Rohn, used to say, “If something is important, work from document not just thought.”

I concur. I’m big on making lists and assigning time frames. This process can apply to setting annual goals or establishing a daily task list. We will always enjoy greater success when we make lists and follow through. It will give us the satisfaction of working through our list placing check marks next to all completed items.

Some people love check marks so much they will write down a task they completed an hour ago and put a check mark next to it just for the joy of the process!

As you communicate with those you really care about, share your goals with them and encourage them to do the same. If your spouse wants to plant a rose garden, be encouraging. Ask questions like “When do you plan to start the process? … What kind of roses do you plan to grow? … What can I do to help you?”

This will help them gain clarity and commitment as they involve you and others in the process. A similar approach with kids or grandkids might work for you as well.

Most achievement involves other people and our ability to communicate well with them. When you have a key person in the loop remember that it is okay to over-communicate, but not to under communicate! Ask the opinions of others and probe for details that will help you get your desired outcome.

Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames. With a clarified plan, a good time frame, and an organized game plan, you will be off and running! Be thankful for our ability to achieve and enjoy the rewards of it. Not only is gratitude life’s greatest virtue, it is the mother of all the rest.

Here’s to wishing you your best year yet!

Don Hutson is an author, speaker, sales growth specialist and CEO. He is co-author of New York Times International Best-Sellers “The One Minute Entrepreneur” and “The One Minute Negotiator.”

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