The Vital Importance of Clarity

I’ve been working through my Starting Well Challenge again this year (both as a user and as an editor).

The single biggest reason why I love my own Challenge is that it brings clarity.

And clarity is absolutely vital to making any change happen.

And I’m a total sucker for a New Year’s push for change (call them goals, resolutions, or whatever).

But we will never change unless we get violently clear on three things:

  1. Where we are: If we don’t have a clear understanding on exactly where things stand, then it’s hard to make goals or design habits that have teeth. Sometimes, we need to have a very stark  at where we are before we get motivated to start moving forward (after we pick ourselves up from our puddle of tears).
  2. Where we want to be: We must be clear on what our ideal situation would be. “Working on getting out of debt” isn’t a real goal. Neither is “lose weight” or “go back to school” or “be a better parent.” We have to have a clear picture. Check out this post from my Starting Well Challenge to help.
  3. How we are going to get from where we are now to where we want to be: We must have a plan to get there. And the plan has to be clear and in our calendars. “Exercise more” doesn’t work. Neither does ‘Eat better” or “Spend less.”  If you have clear goals, then try this post for a suggestion on how to create a plan.

An example from my world….

I have two main focuses for the upcoming year. One of them is my health. I fluctuate each year, normally hitting 200 lbs at some point and then skyrocketing back up to quite a few pounds above that by the end of the year.

To get clarity around where I am, I weighed myself and took stock of my current eating (and drinking) habits. Eek. It’s amazing my health is as good as it is.

To get clarity around where I want to be, I identified what appears to be a very healthy weight for a guy my size, admittedly higher than the dumb BMI weight my doc tells me. I don’t want to be as bony as I was in the 8th grade.  I also identified two very clear strength goals – with numbers and dates attached.

As for a clear plan, there are three simple prongs (simplicity here is key or else overwhelm sets in):

  1. Walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
  2. Weight train three times a week (thanks to my wife for encouraging me to stay a bit late after work twice a week).
  3. Keep to a Whole30 eating plan on a 6 days on, 1 day off clip with at least two three week sprints.

I know those three things work. They are now in my calendar. And it’s now up to me to keep myself to my commitments.

Where Does Change Require Clarity for You?

What is the single most important thing in your world to change right now?

Do you have clarity around where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there?

If I can help, feel free to reply in the comments (or reply to this email if you’re on my list – sign up for my list if you’re not there yet, or share this with a friend if you get any help from it).


Go pick up this book if you need help digging through clutter and getting clarity around what are the most important things in your world right now:  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown (affiliate link)


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