If you’ve read our previous blog posts about planning for the New Year (check them out here, here, and here), and taken action on getting ready to spring into action in 2021, congratulations! You’ve taken the first step to having your company’s best year ever. Daily focus on strategies to achieve each and every goal is the way to get it done.

With all of this talk of goal-setting, we didn’t talk about the #1 most important thing that a leader has to do in order to be successful. Is it being able to communicate with every person? That’s a great skill. Is it letting your team know that you are the boss? (Spoiler Alert: they already know. It’s in your title) Nope. Not the most important.

The most important thing on which the leader should focus is taking care of themselves, so they are strong enough to lead the team. If the leader is stressed, unhealthy, and perpetually in a bad mood, then the team reflects that. We’ve all heard the analogy of the oxygen mask on the plane, right? Flight attendants always ask caregivers for a child to put their oxygen mask on FIRST, to assure that they are able to care for the child. It’s the same in your business.

How? Here’s some ideas:


Did you know that more than 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail? In fact, January 17 is often referred to as Quitter’s Day in the fitness community. Why? Because change is HARD. And most people, once the going gets tough, they step aside. Like Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

In psychological theory, the Transtheoretical Model is often referred to as the Stages of Change. These six steps are:

  • Pre-Contemplation: You have no desire to make a change, but others may see you need to.
  • Contemplation: Hey, maybe I should go to the gym, eat out less often, or stop smoking. This is where the New Year’s Resolutions start.
  • Preparation: You buy a gym membership, buy a cookbook about healthy eating, or research doing a family budget.
  • Action: This is the tough part, and where most people fail. This requires the daily grind of getting to the goal.
  • Maintenance: This is where the habit is well established, and although there may be some short lapses, you are enjoying your life as a met goal.
  • Relapse: Takes you back to Pre-Contemplation. This is a major change in behavior undoing all of the hard work.

Most people fail at their New Year’s Resolution because they set this Change clock and force it to start in the Action step on a specific date, January 1, when they have not gone through the steps before. Their brains are simply not ready for Action.

So why would we tell you to make a New Year’s Resolution when most people fail? Because we know how to make goals that can succeed. Make them SMART, narrow down big dreams into one or two goals, and write down specific strategies with a timeline for achieving the goal. Having an accountability partner, such as a coach, can also help you achieve your goals.


We’ve talked before about Affirmations, and how powerful that they can be for your brain. Remember to include your Resolutions/Goals in your Affirmations. But take your mornings one step further. Include Meditation, Laughter, Gratitude, and a Workout (even if it’s just 5 minutes of walking). Beginning your morning with Gratitude and a centering of your mind does wonders for leaders. There’s a fabulous book by Hal Elrod that we often recommend that outlines this process, the Miracle Morning. Following these recommendations can truly be nothing short of a miracle.


Now that you’ve got your Business Goals, your personal goals (aka New Year’s Resolutions) ready to go, let’s charge through and make 2021 the best year ever!


Need help with your mindset as a leader? Need that all-important accountability partner? Our global-award winning team can help. Contact us today to set up your no-cost, no-obligation business analysis today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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