'Tis the season for list making. Christmas gift lists, grocery lists, dinner lists, visiting lists, giving lists and at some point for many of us, the New Year's Resolution list, except that I prefer to call it a New Year Intention List. As I think about the past year and the year ahead, I realize that we spend a lot of time creating "To Do" lists. Whether in our business, social, health or financial plans, most of the effort is around what we should do more, less or different. It seems to me that to make real change and real progress we have to start a bit earlier in the process and decide what we want to BE. Aside from the old joke by middle-agers about still not knowing what we want to be when we grow up - there is real wisdom in approaching a new year this way.

We can start amazing changes by deciding what we want to be and then allowing the DO part of the process to develop naturally from that statement. For instance, a person might begin by saying, "I want to be a published author." Knowing this to begin with allows us to then move on and make plans that support that statement. It might include some things like a time goal or research or starting a blog or deciding what to write about, employ a coach and so on. These all belong on the DO list. Creating the BE list first will make the DO list more manageable, successful and meaningful. Go ahead, give it a try, complete the statement "I want to be..."

Perhaps the way to approach your 2011 New Year's Resolutions is to look at the major parts of your life and create a statement about what you want to BE first and then filling in the steps necessary (the TO DO'S) that will carry you through to success. Good luck and let me know how it goes.