There’s no snow on the ground here. Growing up in the North East, I find that odd. Instead, I’m enjoying what passes here for Christmas in the San Diego sunshine at one of my favorite cafes, The Pacific Breeze.

One of the reasons I like the holiday season so much is that I set aside time to gather up the past year, and lay plans for the coming one. So below are my 2010 Holiday Resolutions. I think of them as the first step in my strategic planning process.

You may think they’re a little heady, but they’re the one’s I need.

Here we go…

In the coming year, and I hope, for all time, I resolve to…

…keep my priorities straight and my goals clear.

…maintain my focus and limit distractions to the things that really, really seem like fun.

…“waste” only time that I’ve chosen to waste, and to not waste the time that is truly meant for getting things done.

…keep not only my promises to others (easy), but to keep my promises to myself (harder). I also resolve to come clean when I break my promises, and make amends when necessary (hardest).

…remember that my work is service in the world, and among my goals is to continually expand that service.

…know that my work exists to serve my life, even while I often realize that I exist to serve my work.

…continually seek higher levels of understanding.

…enjoy myself in all things. I further resolve to stop doing things I don’t enjoy.

…make this year a masterpiece.

…have a blast doing it.

Please leave your comments below and let me know what you think.  And if  you’ve got a moment, share some of your own resolutions.

41 Responses

  1. Graham Constantine

    Very interesting post. I like the way that your resolve is stated, very positive and creating a clear direction. My main focus this year is on consistency and I specifically resolve to ….

    ….. act consistently in moving towards my goals

    ….. consistently take personal responsibility and hold myself accountable

    ….. have lots of fun along the way

    Happ New Year

    Warm regards


  2. Paul Cronin

    Great post Paul! If I can keep clear-headed and get two businesses off the ground this year, 2010 will be fabulous. Happy New Year. – PC

  3. Alex T.

    Greetings & Happy New Year Paul,

    Your words are like welcomed time bombs
    which continue to change the landscape of
    my expectations and experience.

    I wish you and your talented wife (love her art
    glad you included a link on your blog) an
    unforgettable New Year with all that’s truly
    important and many an occasion of serious laughter,
    fun, and enjoyment, with those you care about.

  4. Giles Brady

    Dear Paul

    Thank you for your suggested list. Here in London, as much as in North America, we respond better to lists – to “10 ways” to succeed in something or other.

    I like the list and especially to seek higher levels of understanding. When you manage a firm it is easy to think you know it all. What I want to add to MY list is to become more creative. I need:

    1. New consultative products and programmes to offer.
    2. New ways to attract corporate clients.
    3. Specifically, a fresh way to penetrate the Dubai and Abu Dhabi market.
    4. A fresh attractive, come-back look to our corporate website.

    Basically, I find it hard to be creative – I’m too analytical. So, I have to rise above that and learn how to do it better.

    Yours ever


    • admin

      Giles – thanks for your list, and Happy 2010. Maybe go find yourself a creative guy and make them “Chief Strategic Thinker!”

  5. Leon M

    Great stuff. I have always stated among peers, that Resolution madness should be stopped.( Most people don’t have a connection to them,therefore never fulfill them) I found yours to be direct, and very meaningful.

    This year I have changed mine to reflect a number.0-100
    Each item on my list will be reflected, and what ever falls below 90 will be taken off
    The reason for the number is “Core Desire” if an item is between 0-50 there is no possible way for it to be met.
    The closer you get to 100, the more the mind,searches for ways of getting it done.
    Thank you for all of your great info!
    Happy ,Prosperous New Year

    • admin

      Interesting, Leon. I’m typically a big measurer yet I have no intention of measuring these things, simply to live as best as I can, according to them. By the way, it’s going pretty well. Happy 2010!

      • leon m

        Paul, I know your concepts work for you,and I am very aware of how successful you are. You are one my favorite trainers. I look forward to attending ,and meeting you at a live event. I was simply stating what I was implementing for myself because other strategies were not working for me. I just seemed to never get anchored enough, or commited to my goals prior to this method.

  6. Nicole Dean, Marketers Coach

    “…keep not only my promises to others (easy), but to keep my promises to myself (harder). I also resolve to come clean when I break my promises, and make amends when necessary (hardest).”

    True words. Very true words.

    How easy it is to keep promises to others, but, the moment it’s time to exercise — I manage to find a way to justify doing something else “more important”. Aye, aye, aye. Like there’s anything more important than my health.

    I also love this ” …make this year a masterpiece.” I love how you aim for excellence. Brilliant.

    Keep being remarkable. I’m a F5 customer and love your work.

    Nicole Dean

    • admin

      Hi Nicole – glad to hear from you. If you can nail keeping promises to yourself… Well, that takes care of pretty much everything. –pl

  7. Karl Ellerbeck

    A great list my friend.

    I have added for myself … to outsource more of my non essential activities.

    …and a little observation about one part of your resolution…

    ” …continually seek higher levels of understanding.

    …enjoy myself in all things. I further resolve to stop doing things I don’t enjoy. ”

    Sometimes seeking higher levels of understanding comes from doing things that I do not enjoy. So I ask myself: What am I resisting? or is this truly not a good use of my time?

    Heartfully, Karl

  8. Mari Smith

    Nice work, Paul!! It’s been a joy and pleasure connecting with you this year – thank you for all your support. I love how your mind works. hehe! 🙂

    Each year, I choose an overarching one-word theme for my entire year, then work out goals, plans and actions from there. 2008 was Focus, 2009 was Influence, and 2010 will be TEAM.

    I resolve to strengthen my skills in hiring, delegating (or delegate hiring, lol!), managing, leading and thinking WAY BIGGER… Though 2009 was an absolute monumental year for me, I keep feeling so many humongous ideas and grand visions bubbling up and literally the only thing that stops me from manifesting quicker is having the right team members surrounding me to implement!!

    I love the concept of making this year a masterpiece!! As my friend Art Jonak just said to me, I hope 2010 is a perfect 10 for you! 🙂


    • admin

      Mari – I must be a year behind you. I like “influence.” Thank you for the well-wishes, I am working on that “10.” -pl

  9. Di

    Hi Paul,

    I am so happy that you reminded me that I wanted to do this, but was putting it off – thank you! I am starting today to make my list of resolutions and goals and will complete it in the next couple of days.

    Yours is a great list for me as well. On mine I’ll emphasize focus and keeping track of results, taking action and not overthinking it, do the creative things I want to despite the fear, and finally let go of feelings of hurt and negativity. This is gonna be great!

    Happy Festive Season and New Yeark!

  10. Peter Netz Lassen

    Hi Paul,

    My new year idea is to optimize my time by un-subscribe to newsletters.
    Not the important ones – I like to keep up with important stuff to me…

    But you know … You find a super deal or an idea lets say something about creating traffic to your site… You buy the product read and implemented the tool / idea.. Then after 8 days the person or company that you purchased the product from keep sending you offers affiliated stuff that might or not is relevant (in most cases … it’s NOT relevant). So what you actually signed up for and have invested in is not there anymore… Now your time is spend reading offers on everything else.. And the person don’t have a second list “Customer” only that you stay on… in case you wanted to get updated on the first thing you paid for!!

    That is A HUGE time saver… my advice to 2010 people… Don’t be afraid to unsubscribe to maillists that no longer supply relevant info for what you signed up for! “The well is dry” 🙂

    Happy new year to all


    • admin

      Peter – excellent advice. My approach uses inbox filters, along with liberal and lightning quick use of the delete key. –pl

  11. Tim

    Paul, those are great fodder for looking at how we might best design the coming year. I think I know what you mean by this comment- “waste” only time that I’ve chosen to waste, and to not waste the time that is truly meant for getting things done . . .and I’d also add that we often think of time as being wasted when we aren’t getting things done. I think that’s somewhat of a myth- as long as we are doing that intentionally and with another purpose in mind rather than “doing.

    I’ve added a resolution this coming year about making a difference for some of our world’s poorest in in this case actually building a business doing well by doing good. Would care to join me? See my website and may 2010 bring great things to all of you.

    • admin

      Tim, Tried to click your site link and it didn’t come up. ( My work is about helping business owners build bigger, more successful, more profitable businesses. My hope is that they will use their expanded wealth and influence to do good in the world. Don’t know if it always happens, but it seems as if it works that way much of the time. –pl

  12. Glenn

    Paul, I appreciate your expression of resolutions from a bird’s-eye perspective. In such generalized form they offer great breadth of leverage to affect desired change in our lives. Your specific choices would enhance anyone’s practice and experience of life and of business.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • admin

      You didn’t think I’d just slap these things together, did you? 😉 But seriously, I DO find lots of leverage in these — now it’s about maintaining the practice. (See short video on Accountability) –pl

  13. Jay Rhome

    Paul, you simply got “it”. That “X factor”.

    “Yours is one of the few internet communications I read relentlessly.
    This is because your words are direct and penetrating . . . and invariably
    reek of truth and inspiration.”

    Exactly. I have pretty much the same objectives as you… as probably a lot of us have for 2010. I’ve heard this before, like I’ve head before what you’ve posted recently as well.

    Yet, you say all that, either in writing or from your videos, in a way that sticks between my ears unlike others before. It’s really helpful and appreciated.

    Thanks and have a great 2010!

  14. Clement Gemayel

    Hi Paul,
    I wish you all the best to you and your family.

    I take the opportunity of this holy time of the year to express my gratitude for all the knowledge and wisdom your provided me with.

    I my case, the knowledge I gained was not only useful and practical, but has positively impacted on many aspects of my business and, by implications, to my personal life.

    I should say that learning was cumulative ever since your TKYB, all the way through the tiny bits and pieces of The Merlin Method, CEO and Bottle Washer, Be Unreasonable, and more recent Formula 5. (to name just a few resources)

    Thanks again. Your work will be central to my thoughts and inspiration for 2010

    All the best

    Clement Gemayel

  15. Bryce


    Thank you for the comprehensive and wonderful perspective.

    My new year’s resolution is SIMPLIFY / REDUCE.

    This means being a bit more in control and more selective about how much information is being pushed at me:

    – Go to and reduce postal-service junk mail.

    – Unsubscribe from as many guilt – inducing / overwhelming activity notifications as possible.
    Ie, turn off Meetup announcements are great if you go once a month.
    Facebook is great but I don’t need to hear about it every day, or even every week.

    – Create a “maybe” gmail address to acccumulate periodically read information, so they don’t overwhelm my main gmail account and Blackberry at 1 in the morning, making me feel like I can’t keep up.

    – Keep and emphasize what is important. Like Covey’s “Keep the main thing the main thing”.

    In the age of impatience and the media getting in my Facebook, I’ve decided to look at the longer-term a bit and reduce the noise being pushed at me. I am going to continue on some large long term goals like getting another Master’s degree, doing some innovation, and building a business.

    Keeping in shape is key. I have a goal of 20 exercise days per month.

    I will keep your e-mails and keep reading your blog in 2010 🙂

    Thanks for being a beacon of sanity and fresh ideas in our lives.

    Happy Holidays,

    • Nicole Dean

      Thank you for the Ecocycle resource, Bryce!

      We have the same goals this year. Seems the fight against noise is an ongoing battle, no matter how successful we become. Would you agree?

  16. Gail

    Paul, I always enjoy absorbing your knowledge and wisdom. Upon reading your resolutions, I seem to be putting a mental check mark next to many of your profound points.

    My main focus for 2010 is to do the work that I love and love the work that I do.

    While I am more organized and focused, I will extend my realm of having fun while I am continually expanding my knowledge through the endless support of amazing leaders as yourself.

    I am committed to understanding that there is nothing to do and nowhere to go, and within this understanding, creating anything, anywhere has endless possibilities.

    My work is to be of service that which I will not allow to overtake my life…being committed to myself and doing what I desire and being bold enough to ask for what I want, is a priority that I continue to gain clarity around.

    Thank you for such an inspirational piece and for your boldness in sharing.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  17. John Chancellor

    As you observed, coming clean when we break one of our promises to our self is a really tough one to keep. But I think you have touched on one of the basic building blocks of success – being honest with our self.

    I am glad you reminded us of this very crucial step and one we so often get wrong.

    Great list.

  18. Joseph Varghese

    Great post Paul. I appreciate you sharing and affirming your resolutions. It’s very powerful and courageous to do so as you are holding yourself accountable to the world (wide web).

    Happy Holidays to a Great Thought Leader,


  19. Pete Hudson

    Keeping promises to myself and others and coming clean when needed is one that I’m adopting as my own. It helps knowing that it’s one of your resolutions. Thank you for sharing.

    I hope you share the rest of your strategic planning process!

    Happy holidays,


      • Ray O'Donnell

        Thanks Paul. I’ve dusted off your TKYB program and have added the blue printing process as part of my 2010 business goals. The information in that program seems even more timely now and will be instrumental in reaching our goals.

        Cheers — RAY

  20. Burt Dubin

    Hi Paul,

    Yours is one of the few internet communications I read relentlessly.
    This is because your words are direct and penetrating . . . and invariably
    reek of truth and inspiration.

    All the best,

    Burt Dubin

    • admin

      Burt – not to turn this into a mutual love-fest, but coming from someone whose wise words I’ve quoted for years… I’m honored. -pl

  21. Steven Cravis

    Thanks, Paul. Best to you and your family.

    I hope, any time I catch myself complaining about external circumstances, to turn it around to own what – within myself – I’m really not happy about, until any habits of negative complaining are gone from my life.

    • admin

      Steven – great point. I’ve been “practicing” something similar. I may add that. –pl


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