Norton: Are you ready to take control and own your success? (column) |

Norton: Are you ready to take control and own your success? (column)

Michael Norton

Happy new year!

By now most of us have decided that we either believe in New Year’s resolutions or we do not. Some of us prefer to stick with the pursuit of existing goals and objectives or simply set new goals for the coming year. Resolutions just sound so cliche and we connect them with ideas and ideals that tend to lose momentum almost before we even get started.

Even though there is hard data and facts that support the benefit of goal setting and the actual achievement of our goals and dreams, there are still many who prefer to have their goals, dreams and the vision for their lives set by someone else. Some choose to even wing it or just let life come as it will, and they will deal with what this world and life will dish out in reaction mode instead. After all, goal setting is “too hard, takes too much time and just doesn’t work.” Yup, I have heard all of these excuses, oops, I mean responses, before.

The good news today is that I am not going to try and convince you of the power of dreaming and setting near-term, mid-term and long-range goals that will help you realize and experience all that you want to be, do and have in this life. Nope, that is not my role today. And here’s why: Your own personal goals and dreams belong to you, not me. You must want them for yourself more than your family, friends, coach or employer wants them for you.

You have to dream it, want it, plan for it, pursue it and own it more than anyone else does.

Just think of all the projects, jobs and tasks where you have taken personal ownership, and where you killed it, crushed it and felt awesome about the accomplishment. Completion of a worthy task or goal, the realization of the fulfillment of a dream, and the awesome feeling of accomplishment that comes with them is something that someone else can’t do for us, and they certainly won’t experience that same sense of personal pride in meeting and exceeding our goal or objective.

Personal ownership drives personal accountability. There can be no finger-pointing or blame game going on. These are our dreams, desires, plans, passion and pursuit, and when we can get our heads around that, the only person standing in our way of personal success is the person we are facing in the mirror.

Are there people who can help us? Absolutely. Is there a timeline we should be setting? Of course. Are there specifics we need to describe when it comes to our goals and dreams? Without question. Should we have milestones along the way where we can measure our success? Definitely. Do we have the latitude to pivot and adjust based on what is happening during our relentless pursuit of our goals and dreams? Yes. Flexibility is necessary just as long as we don’t compromise the overall result we desire.

Is there anyone else who can own our personal goals and dreams? No, absolutely not. Ownership and accountability start and stop with us, period.

As you look into the new year, may you be inspired to seek all that you want to be, do and have. And may the pursuit of your goals and dreams ride along on the wings of hope and encouragement until you meet and exceed each one. I would love to hear all about your strategy as you pursue your goals and dreams at When we can remember that we are in control of our destiny, and we when we take personal ownership of our success, it really will be a better-than-good year.

Michael Norton is the president of the Zig Ziglar Corporate Training Solutions Team, a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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