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Over the last few years, there has been a decided turn against setting New Year resolutions. I’ve never been a resolution person and this year especially, I’ve rejected the notion of resolutions, intentions, visioning and the myriad of devices people use to get a fresh start in a new year. While I’ve rejected those, I’ve felt a desire to establish something that will be my guide through the year. I do have goals, but those outcomes are influenced by so many factors that to measure my year by those puts me on shaky ground. I want a compass to guide how I show up each day and that supports me in defining what I do and how I do it.

I tend to get overwhelmed quickly and then from overwhelm I struggle to lead myself back to the things that are most important. I need the proverbial kick to the butt to bring me back to my best self.

To this end, I’ve outlined a set of values to serve this purpose for me. The year isn’t even five days old and these values have already supported me to my focus and to recalibrate what I’ll do next. As you’ll see below, the values are not activities or oriented to a specific objective. While there’s certainly some “doing” associated with each one, they are words that set a guide for who I need to BE and provide an easy way to measure myself each day. I’m confident that when I show up this way each day, the odds of achieving my goals will exponentially increase.


I am committed to slowing down and being fully present to each moment, person and activity I’m engaged in and with. I’m committed to not living in what happened yesterday and projecting what might happen tomorrow. This is a commitment to my wife, my daughters, my clients, colleagues, team and associates. My highest commitment with presence is to God. To pause, breathe, pray and listen more deeply than I ever have before. He is my source of all things and being present to what He is saying and doing in my life is my highest value.


I am committed to not taking myself or life so seriously. I’ve received feedback in the past that I’m a very serious person. While I could (and have) debated the merits of this feedback, there is no question that more lightness in my life is needed. I’m committed to laughing more and to see the humor in my and other’s mishaps and missteps. Not to make fun of or demean them, but to experience joy in what can be a pretty serious and often joyless world.


I am committed to consistency in the few core things that I know will support my life and business. Of all my values, this one has the most “doing” associated with it. I experienced in 2017 the benefits of consistently writing, doing my spiritual practices of reading and praying, and exercise. This year I’m committed to expanding those things I do with consistency. Truth be told, at the time I’m writing this, I’m still working on what those things will be.


I am committed to continue making my work and life not about me and to look for and serve the needs I find in others. This one sounds easy, but being a person of service is a battle of the heart. My tendency is to go inward and make things about me and my needs. While caring for myself is essential, having this value of service as one of my guiding values, it always pulls me out of my own head and puts my attention on another.

If you’d like to define your own unique set of guiding values for 2018, schedule a time for us to talk. We’ll use your goals, intentions and what you already know about your highest self to create a set of values that keeps you excited, focused and moving towards what you want most in your life.

Jeff Harmon

Jeff Harmon is the president of Brilliance Within Coaching & Consulting which specializes in developing servant leaders while helping them translate their strategies into actionable plans that drive business results. Jeff is the author of “The Anatomy of a Principled Leader.” Jeff has been developing leaders for nearly 20 years and has led the execution of over 100,000 hours of business strategy for information technology, financial services and non-profit organizations.

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