“So let me ask again. Why are you here? Do you want this to be another year that flies by, half-hearted, arid, rootless, barely remembered, dull with dim glimpses of what might have been? Or do you want this to be a year that you savor, for the rest of your surprisingly short time on Planet Earth, as the year you started, finally, irreversibly, uncompromisingly, to explosively unfurl a life that felt fully worth living?

The choice is yours. And it always has been.”

So concluded the Harvard Business Review’s 2013 contribution by Umair Hague: How to Have a Year That Matters.

It’s still the best blog post I’ve read on the subject – bar none.

  • Why are you here? 

  • What do you want? 

  • How much does it matter?

  • What’s it going to take?

  • Who’s on your side?

  • Where’s your true north?

Find the questions daunting?

We all have at one time or another.

I have no wisdom to add except that it’s the process of asking the questions and seeking the answers in good company that we get there.

We must own our experiences and reflect on the lessons learned. Clarity comes when we’re supported and challenged. And once we’ve identified “true north” we’re pulled in that direction.

So skip the “resolutions”. They imply “going it alone”. The dead of winter is the worst time to decide to start a diet, take up running or head to the gym in the dark especially if you hadn’t been inclined to get there in the light.

Begin by “spring cleaning” your mind, embrace silence, let go of the belief that you can’t change, and choose only to change your thinking.

Find mentors, allies, friends, and peers. You don’t have to go far.

Take a class, read a great book, join a choir, start a book group.

Start a conversation. Or join ours.

And as always, my recommendation is that you grab a copy of one of the books in The Artist’s Way series and embark on a twelve-week journey of self-discovery.

Choose to make this year matter!


An earlier version of this post appeared in January 2013