The Rule of Three...

How are you doing on those New Year’s Resolutions? Got any done yet? It’s already March. What happened to January & February? We were pretty much snowed in…right? Blizzards are a solid excuse for not getting much done. But what about the rest of us who live in a non-snowy world? What’s our excuse? Every year it’s the same thing. We put together a laundry list of great things to accomplish. Next, we get caught up in our daily routines and completely forget about doing anything we need to do to achieve those goals. Guess what? It’s March already and there’s not too much to show for it. Well, enough of that! The problem isn’t in making those resolutions. The problem is in making too many of them. If your New Year’s Resolution list looks like a trip to the grocery store, it’s way too long. No wonder we don’t get anything done.


If you are really serious about getting resolutions accomplished; you’ve got to break them down. Here’s where my “Rule of Three” comes in. Whether it’s an individual or a large organization the Rule of Three always applies. Here’s how it works. We can do any one thing spectacularly. Give us two things to do and we are brilliant. Three things to do at the same time is way more challenging, but we’re up to it. More than three things and wheels begin to fall off. Things start to fall through the cracks and everything becomes more stressful. All the projects suffer and before you know it your goals aren’t getting accomplished. So, take a good look at that resolutions list. Pick three. It really doesn’t matter which three. Sometimes, starting with the easier things helps us to accomplish even more over time. Success breeds success…right? The most important thing about our choices is that they should be realistic and attainable. Now is the time to really think about each resolution. What is it really going to take to get this done? Break it down into bit sized pieces. Figure out how long is it going to take? Do you need help from anyone? Who? Set a time-line for yourself. This means setting a start date and a completion date. Put them into your calendar. Give yourself reminders. Use that I-Phone for more than posting selfies. Use it to check in with yourself on things that matter to you personally. In short, make what you are about to accomplish as concrete as possible. Then tell someone else about it. Let them in on your plan. Ask them to check in with you about your progress. When you make a commitment to yourself and more importantly when you include someone else in that commitment you will make things happen. Guaranteed. Accomplishing those first three goals will set everything up for a great year. That is, only if you continue to set three new resolutions. That’s right! Get three under your belt and it’s time for three more. It’s called “Continuous Improvement.” Bite sized goals attained lead to even more attainable goals which, in turn, lead to more success personally and professionally. Give the Rule of Three a try. Let’s make 2015 the year we really do see those resolutions through. That way when it comes time to consider resolutions for 2016 it won’t be such an idle exercise. We will have a great 2015 to look back on filled with new experiences and great accomplishments. I bet, that after all those 2015 successes, your list for 2016 will be even more ambitious. Just remember to keep the list short…no more than three…to succeed.

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