"Dad, I want you to have this" my son said as he held up a toy compass to place in my hands. "You can keep it on your desk so that you will always know where you are and what direction to head in." It was one of those priceless parenting moments.

For a moment I wondered if he was borrowing my Steven Covey books and reading them under his covers after I put him to bed?! As I searched for the words to respond to this incredible gesture of love, and wonderful 5 year old insight, I thought of how important his words were. Was my life compass calibrated the way it should be? Do I focus enough on what is truly important? Am I really heading in the right direction?

Just moments after he gave me the compass I put it on my desk and knew at that moment that I had to write this article. It was serendipitous that this transpired in time to publish this article in January, the perfect time of year for all of us to calibrate our compass.

For many years I made resolutions for the coming year. I wrote them down and posted them next to my bed so that I would see them twice every day- upon rising and before I went to sleep. This inspired me, and being the driver that I am, "forced" me to make them happen. A few years ago I started to look at this ritual differently. Why in the world would I only do this once a year? Why would I focus on the goals that I wanted to accomplish just once a year? As you well know, for most people resolutions are as fleeting as ice cube on a hot day- before you know it they evaporate with no trace of their existence. If I really wanted to make positive changes I needed to rethink this entire process.

Here is what I decided to do: Focus on it daily! Revelation, eh? Is it not easier to bite off little pieces of the elephant instead of trying to swallow it whole?

I now break down my day into small daily priorities, priorities that are tied to incremental change which leads to my longer term goals. I review each day when it concludes and see how I did. Instead of focusing on "resolutions," I focus on what I did each day in order to keep the rock moving up the hill. As the days, weeks, and months go by now, I have a road map that I can look at to see how my journey is going. A journey that is guided by my internal compass that points out the right direction for me. With a little help (thanks to Adam), I see my compass daily and know that I am on the right track.

A New Years wish- I hope you take the opportunity you have right now to establish the fundamentals in your life that will lead to what you truly want.

My wish for you is that at this time next year you will look back on 2010 and smile when you see how far you have progressed on your journey. Get a compass, establish your "true north" and get busy!

Seize the day!

Author's Bio: 

As Founder and CEO of The Rescue Institute, The Global Leader in Executive Coaching™, Drayton is an internationally respected Executive Coach, Teacher, Speaker, Author, and Mentor. He has demonstrated his innate leadership skills time and again having risen to the highest levels in corporate America, as well as in civic organizations.

Drayton has proven himself as a company President, as an entrepreneur running a high profile startup, and as a Vice President of a Fortune 100 firm, all before the age of 40. He has forged multi-million dollar joint ventures with leading Wall Street investment firms and successfully led two large national sales forces with sales in excess of $100MM.

He is a coach and confidant to chief executives throughout the world. Drayton’s enormous success stems from the fact that he has “been there, done that” and understands the challenges facing today’s leaders. His undisputed gift is turning theory into successful action.

His new book- Coming UnScrooged! A Contemporary Classic of Corporate Rescue and Redemption is already garnering high praise from many quarters.

The Rescue Institute’s mission is to help 10 million people save themselves from the lives they’ve created ®- through Coaching!
Most importantly, Drayton has learned how to live a balanced and fulfilling life... something most executives would give anything to enjoy. He lives with his wife of 22 years and their two great kids at 8,000 up in the Rockies. He can be reached at info@RescueInstitute.org.