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Caldwell: Create an inspiring theme for success in 2014

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014 4:30 a.m. CDT

At the start of the year, leaders in organizations around the world are conducting their obligatory “endeavorment” talks (“We must endeavor to do better this year”). Fortunately, you can engage in a more inspiring process to fire up new results. You can ignite your success through a four-step process:

Step 1: Look back to move forward. Last year is over, but have you gleaned all the lessons and absorbed all the wisdom from 2013? Rather than focusing on what you didn’t achieve or get done (which is not very inspiring or encouraging), ignite new creative energy and ask yourself and your team: “What were our accomplishments, what did we learn and how did we rise to the occasion?” “What were the risks we took and what were the results?” “What key activities made the biggest difference and what changes should we make in 2014?” “What new skills, technologies, disciplines and commitments will positively impact this year?”

Step 2: Get a red-hot theme rather than goals. Creating an inspiring theme will be a daunting stretch to accomplish but doing so will be well worth the effort. It will call you and your employees to renewed levels of commitment and a more intense, smoldering focus. A red-hot theme (or themes) will answer the question, “why is accomplishing this intention really important not only to me personally, but also to my family, company, community and, boldly, the world?” 

Step 3: Extinguish ordinary thinking. New thoughts and actions will fire up new results. Decide what you can and will do to overcome your difficult circumstances. Dare to take “the road less traveled.” Boldly navigate around and through obstacles to accomplish new levels of success. Consider that it is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, rather than thinking yourself into a new way of acting. Keep your attention on what you want and why you want it. Successful people put more energy into realizing their dreams and less time on lame excuses and reasons for failed attempts at glory. Remember, energy flows where attention goes, so practice imagining what it will be like to realize your desired intentions. You can change your physiology and materialize your “end game” by mentally rehearsing the results.

Step 4: Light up your plan and let it glow. By sharing your 2014 theme with others, you will publicly demonstrate your values. Invite people to join you around the bonfire. Request assistance from family, friends, clients and committed partners in realizing your theme(s). Remember if you can accomplish everything by yourself, it is not a big enough theme.

Taking the time and making the effort to engage in this process will ignite your achievements in 2014 and beyond. 

• Kathleen Caldwell is president of Caldwell Consulting Group and the founder of the WHEE Institute (Wealthy, Healthy, Energetic Edge) of Woodstock. Contact her at kathleen@caldwellconsulting.biz or 815-206-4014.

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