A Simple Strategy for an Exceptional Year

| | Personal Leadership
A Simple Strategy for an Exceptional Year

There are countless articles about new year’s resolutions and how they either work or they don’t. Each year I choose 3 words to guide my everyday choices throughout the year. This year my words are Play, Produce, and Prosper. This practice has served me well through the last few years as it helps to keep me focused every day on the experience of life I want to be creating.

Yet, of all the tips and techniques I have applied to set myself up and support others in setting themselves up for an exceptional year there is one that has yielded consistently great results – choose 1 big thing to focus on at a time.

Now, of course, you will work on many things this year. You will likely have more than one goal as well. The best way for me to explain what I mean by “one big thing” is to ask you a few questions:

  • What one thing, when you accomplish it this year, would have you say it has been an exceptional year?
  • What one thing could you focus on that has the potential to contribute to ALL of your goals?
  • What one thing could you accomplish that would give you the most joy?

Here are a few personal examples…

Last year my “one thing” in my personal life was to reclaim my health naturally. I ended the year 20 pounds lighter, reduced my cholesterol by 69 points, and my blood pressure is now the same as it was 30 years ago. Progress in that one thing gave me energy, motivation, and satisfaction that carried over into every area of my life.

My “one thing” in my business this year is to successfully launch my leadership and strategy programs internationally. I’ve developed and piloted my programs over the last few years, and now it is time to formally launch so I can reach more people. This endeavor is central to every one of my business goals this year. It requires that I develop skills and get support in areas that are not yet my strengths so I know already that I will grow a great deal in the coming year.

Now, will I continue to serve my consulting and coaching clients well and take on new clients? Of course! Yet it will also expand what I can offer my clients and the impact I can make beyond the time I spend with them. Will I continue to speak at conferences and other events? Absolutely! But now I have a way to continue to work with the amazing people I meet along the way.

This is the one thing I will make progress on every day in my business no matter what. You see, a focus on “one thing” isn’t about not doing anything else. It is, however, about choosing what will get your focused and ongoing attention every day until it is achieved.

And what I have learned from choosing “one thing” each year is that by promising yourself that you will accomplish that one thing and following through every day, you will also make steady progress in every area of your life and work that really matters.

Why? Because…


So what is the “one thing” that is central to every one of your goals and aspirations? What “one thing” will you focus on to fuel an exceptional year?


Enter A Comment

Mino Akhtar   |   09 January 2018   |   Reply

Susan, great post, and very helpful. I especially like the three words that create context, e.g. play, and the focus which tunes out noise and gets us to focus on core activities that fuel everything! For me, the focus this year is writing, which ties to everything else, e.g. coaching, book, blogging, etc. Happy New Year from all Akhtars!

Susan Mazza   |   17 January 2018   |   Reply

Writing sounds like a wonderful focus for you Mino. Perhaps you will write a guest post here – standing invitation to you as I know the quality of your writing and your wisdom! Happy new year to the rapidly growing Akhtar family from the Mazza’s!

Cindy Schiefer   |   09 January 2018   |   Reply

Great article Sue!!! Wishing you much success in 2018!! We need to book a lunch with Hala soon!

Cindy Schiefer   |   09 January 2018   |   Reply

Great article Sue! Wishing you much success in 2018! We need to
Book a lunch with Hala soon!

Susan Mazza   |   17 January 2018   |   Reply

Thanks Cindi! I’ll message you and Hala in facebook to make that happen!

Morag   |   09 January 2018   |   Reply

So true…”progress is the ultimate energy source” . I have moved away from “resolutions” to “intentions” ….great idea about having one fundamental area of focus/intention….. Thanks

Susan Mazza   |   17 January 2018   |   Reply

Ywa Morag, intentions have a much better energy about them I think than resolutions – more of possibility of what we are creating our future by design vs. trying to fix something from the past. Glad you like the idea of one fundamental area of focus/intention.

James Lawther   |   16 January 2018   |   Reply

A little focus will get you a long way.

But I think that Simon Sinek makes some very interesting points in his book “Start with Why” Not all ideas are as compelling as others.

So while I totally agree you should focus on one thing, having a very clear why is all important.

I enjoyed the post, and I could do with shedding a stone myself. Well done.

Susan Mazza   |   17 January 2018   |   Reply

Thanks James! I am a big fan of Simon Sinek’s work on starting with your why. When that is the source of choosing your one thing I think it is much easier to sift through all the ideas and choose what will be the best, most fruitful one.

Now I need to go figure out how many stones I’ve lost 🙂