Every Christmas Season I am fascinated by what toys are popular and what made them so popular. One of the most popular toys of all times is the Etch A Sketch. As seen above, it is a mechanical drawing toy that was invented by a french electrician, Andre Cassagnes, in the late 1950’s. The Etch A Sketch was introduced in the United States near the peak of the Baby Boom in 1960 by The Ohio Art Company. It went on to sell 600,000 units in that year alone. It has been recognized as one of the 100 most memorable and most creative toys of the 20th century. Personally, I know I spent many hours doodling on my Etch A Sketch as a child.

For me, this begs the question, “Why has this toy been so popular for so many years?” The answer is simple. It has allowed thousands of people to create their own vision.

At this time of year,  much attention is paid to goals and New Year’s resolutions. Like an Etch A Sketch, the New Year bestows upon us a clean slate or a fresh start to create our own vision. Imagine that this is “The Year” or in other words, “Your Year.” This is no time to put limitations on what is possible. Will you accept the challenge to create, to improve, to continue to learn and to achieve beyond your wildest expectations?

Whatever you focus on you move toward and ultimately achieve.

So what are the three things you will focus on in 2017? It all starts with a vision of what you want, a belief that it can be done, and the desire to make it happen! Here’s an exercise you can utilize to narrow your focus. Take a moment and write down detailed answers to the following questions:

  1. What do you want to achieve in 2017?  It may be helpful to imagine how your family, friends and others would benefit if you achieved your vision.
  2. Do you deep down believe it can be done? The wonderful thing about life is that you can choose what to believe. Choose beliefs that give you hope and energize you. Once you believe, this will control your daily actions.
  3. Do you have a burning desire to make it happen? This is that big why we hear about so often. What is driving you this year?

Visions thrive in an environment of unity

Whether at work or at home, ask yourself, ” What are you doing to nurture this kind of environment?” A shared vision is powerful. Make it a point to involve others in your vision. Share the journey.

Maintaining a vision requires adherence to a set of core values and behaviors or habits that require constant attention. What I have found is that your vision is achieved  not through being your best sometimes but through the consistent execution of the right habits. Identify those right habits now.

What will you do with the gift of the New Year, your own personal Etch A Sketch if you will, that you have been given? My guess is that you will make 2017 your best year yet!!