Monday, December 26, 2011

Do You Want a New You in the New Year?

It's the week between Christmas and the new year. It's the week we take down the Christmas decorations, return gifts, close the book on 2011 and start looking ahead to 2012. My guess is that we look ahead to the new year because when we reflect back on the previous year, we see plenty of things we wish had ended differently. We want to make changes.

Due to the blessings of my wife's very generous parents, our family just returned from a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. While we were there, we visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. If you've never been, it needs to be an item on your Bucket List. (That list of things you want to do before you "kick the bucket.") There's much more to see along with the Arizona. Things such as artifacts from the Pacific War of 1944. Among them are Kaiten Torpedos.

Kaiten Torpedos were very unique underwater missiles the Japanese created to destroy U.S. battleships. Along with the 3,000 pound explosive warhead, these torpedos were constructed to be driven by an individual Japanese serviceman who would manually steer the torpedo directly into the side of a battleship. It was a suicide mission. What struck me as I studied this instrument of mass destruction was the interpretation of the name Kaiten.

Kaiten means "to make a radical change in the course of events." It was the Japanese's hope that these torpedos would create a turning point in the war and lead them to victory.  As you look ahead to 2012, do you need a Kaiten Torpedo in your life? Do you need something that will "make a radical change?" Allow me to offer a few "torpedos" to consider:

1) Write as much as you can. Grab a journal and a pen or a computer.  Sit down and write out your Year in Review letter for 2012 (not 2011.) Steven Covey teaches us to "begin with the end in mind." In other words, begin 2012 with an idea of how you want it to end. Write out what you want to accomplish in your marriage, family, spiritual life and job. I suggest using your calendar from 2011 to help identify key annual events you may want to see change in the next 12 months.  Writing these out has proven to increase the likelihood that you'll make strides in completing them. After you write the letter, put it somewhere that you can review it often.

2) Dream a big as you can. Read over what you wrote. How much of your year will be based on your ability to perform and execute? How much of it will depend on God? I encourage you to go read this short poem by Sir Frances Drake. Earlier I mentioned my visit to Pearl Harbor. There was a movie about that day in December 1944 written by Randall Wallace. Listen to his advice about writing your story...

3) Fail as quickly as you can. Someone once defined failure as the opportunity to try something again, more intelligently. Any person of great success had many failures along the way. So if failure is part of the success formula, then what are you waiting for? Quit making excuses and start making attempts.

There's so much more I want to share, but to respect your time, I'll stop here. Stay tuned for more resources on making 2012 a great year to talk about.  I will add one more quick component. It helps to have someone hold you accountable. I want to open myself up to be your "proof-reader." If you will write out your year and email it to me, I'll hold you to it. Send me your 2012 Year in Review and I'll explain how it works.  Send it to and put 2012 Year in Review in the Subject Line.

[I invite and want your feedback. Use the "Comment" box below and where it asks to "Comment As", select "Name/URL" and provide that information if you like. You can also post your comment as an "Anonymous" guest.]

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