“Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln

Someone for whom I have profound respect, personally and professionally, advised me yesterday that he was busy developing goals for the new year. As I recently posted, I personally eschew resolutions other than the resolution not to make resolutions. However, Mr. Lincoln, as always, motivates me to reflect on success and the goal to achieve it.

If you poll a group of elementary school students on what they want to achieve when they are older, most will immediately mention wealth. This may be due to the demographics of my teaching area, generally a socio-economically depressed zone. However, they also surprise me with the ubiquitous desire to help other people.

And so, I suggest that we can measure success in an endless number of dimensions. While I don’t resolve to make a difference in a specific number of children’s lives, my success is surely measured (daily) on the number of illumination moments I can observe. My conviction (and Mr. Lincoln’s, it seems), is to succeed in those areas where we can all make the greatest amount of difference.

Here are some examples. If your new year determination is to work out and advance your physical well-being, success can and should be launching your exercise routine. Do it once, twice, three times or seven times per week and you have succeeded.

Let’s imagine that you are aspiring to write a book. Does success exist only when you complete the first, second or third draft? Absolutely not! Creating the intent and committing to following through with it constitute success. My observations of people suggest that many fail at their determinations because they equate success and completion.

If you set no goals, objectives or destinations, it’s certain that you won’t reach them. Make them realistic and enable yourself to achieve. You may be surprised to find that winning becomes cumulative. Shalom.

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