In less than two weeks, the clock will strike midnight ushering in a New Year – a transformation that is typically accompanied by revelry and proclamations of resolutions and big, bold, goals.

As I was thinking about the New Year, I thought of a hedgehog. Weird, right? However these spiny mammals can actually teach you and me a thing or two about how to prepare for success.

Hedgehogs are known for their peculiar approach to foraging. They are also known for how they protect themselves when threatened: they roll into a tight ball. Setting aside the motive for why they do it, in an odd way, it is this practice of rolling into a tight ball — of going inside — that can help you when it comes to something that I believe is critical for sustainable success: having clarity.

  • Are you clear about what you want?
  • Are you clear about what you want to be different next year?
  • Are you clear about what you want to change; how about what you want to stay the same?
  • Are you clear about the deepest desires of your heart?
  • How do you define clarity?
  • What do you stand for; what are you willing to do (or what won’t you do) to make whatever you stand for happen?
  • What do you value?
  • What are your priorities?
  • What are your goals?
  • Do you feel so stuck that clarity seems like a luxury, rather than an absolute necessity?

Clarity…the new sexy?

I ask these questions because these (or variations thereof) are questions I’ve been pondering as I get ready to kick start 2013. And I have to tell you, as I’ve undergone the process of answering them, I’ve come to a conclusion about clarity: it’s the new sexy!

With clarity comes an indescribable level of confidence and enthusiasm. However…

Gaining and having clarity doesn’t happen passively. It doesn’t happen overnight. Nor does “having” it mean you have absolutely everything figured out.

The process of gaining and having clarity requires a LOT of internal exploration and questioning and specificity and choosing. For this, you have to go inside (roll into a tight ball) to quiet the outside noise. But oh, the benefits…

Such as:

  • feeling focused and “right-directed”
  • feeling centered and light and on mission (kind of like a ship’s rudder)
  • feeling less concerned about outside approval
  • being productive and managing your choices and time, strategically
  • questioning, not due to lack of confidence or direction, but from a space of inquiry and a deep desire to ask even more meaningful questions
  • lacking the need to compare (reference, perhaps), but not compare
  • and more…

It’s my opinion that clarity is the under-rated secret to your (and my) success.

Are you charged up and raring to greet the New Year?! I know I am; I am giddy for 2013 :).

The transformation from one year to the next is exciting. And the mystery, enthusiasm, and anticipation of what’s to come can be quite exhilarating. But if, in about four to six weeks, you don’t want many of the resolutions and big, bold goals you’ve declared for 2013 to fall by the wayside, be like a hedgehog, roll inside, and use that space to get clear.


p.s. hey, why not scroll back to the top and leave a comment…I’d love to know what “lessons from a hedgehog” helped you get clear on.

p.p.s. One of my favorite business books is “Good to Great” by acclaimed researcher Jim Collins. In my opinion, it should be mandatory reading for every MBA student and every business owner. Actually, it’s worth a read even if you don’t run a business. True, many of the companies profiled in the book are no longer “great” – some twelve years later. But here’s why I (still) love and highly recommend G2G: it’s a business book about transformation and the principles it espouses to go from good to great can also be applied to social enterprises and to your personal life. And he talks about the Hedgehog Concept! 🙂

p.p.p.s. Ready to get unstuck in the New Year? Details coming soon for a free webinar on January 7th!

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