It is that time again, a new year is upon us and people worldwide are making New Year\u2019s resolutions, at the same time leaders of organizations are making strategic plans. Here are three ways in which your New Year\u2019s resolutions and strategic plans are similar and why\/how you need to change them.\n1. You won\u2019t keep them\nThe reason that people laugh at jokes about New Year\u2019s resolutions is that we can all relate. The same is true of your strategic plans.\n2. You need to make them\nThe best thing about strategic plans doing them. \u201cHUH?\u201d You say. \u201cBut Joseph you just said we never keep them so why do them?\u201d\u00a0 It is simple and Dwight D. Eisenhower said it best when he said something like,\n\n\u201cPlans are useless, but planning is indispensable.\u201d\u00a0\n\nThe real value is in taking the time to think through where you are going with your business or with your life and more importantly why.\n3. You are doing them wrong\nThe problem is we spend too much time getting into too much detail about the plan.\u00a0 We seem to think that knowing more about the details of WHAT and HOW will help us execute. So, businesses and people spend hundreds of person hours, detailing their strategic plans and personal New Year\u2019s resolutions so they know what they will DO and HOW they will go about it. The problem is we all know that our lives and our businesses are more complex than that it is truly impossible to make plans 2 or 3 years out.\nIt is better to set direction and focus on why than to set long term goals and make long range plans.\u00a0 By taking the time to define the direction you want to head, you will spend less time on the details of a destination that you will likely never meet. As Yoda said,\n\n\u201cDifficult to see, always in motion the future is.\u201d\n\nWhen you start thinking about direction you will start to think about why the outcomes of the direction. Think about the:\n\nGood things that will happen if you go in this direction?\nBad things you will avoid if you head in this direction?\nBenefits of heading in that direction\nDrawbacks of keeping on the track you were on or of alternative paths.\n\nBuild up enough reasons and consequences and your direction will be cemented in your heart and mind. This then becomes the core of your communication to the rest of the organization.\u00a0\nAt this point I would like to lay to rest the term Strategic Plan.\n\nLet us introduce a new term, Strategic Direction that guides organizational strategic and tactical thinking. This is a shift from a small group developing a fixed strategic plan to an entire organization working in unison in a strategic direction with everyone thinking and making decisions. Think about the implications of this approach. Suddenly your entire company is making strategic decisions aligned with the executive team and with each other. You are an avalanche of coordinated decisions and action. You are going to crush 2016!