The doctor is inThe Doctor Is In and has the answer for a successful and rewarding 2014 for Baby Boomers. All you have to do is follow my checklists and your life will be dramatically improved next year. As I often remind my friends “since I have a PhD, I must be right!”

OK, now let’s get to work on your soon to be successful, rewarding life for the next year. It’s that time of the year again when all the smart people are telling us what important happened last year and what we should look forward to in the next year. I truly get tired of hearing this same old stuff year after year. Here’s what they tell you and I provided in depth academic (remember I have a PhD) analysis of each.

  • Review of What Happened Last Year – every TV program, newspaper, or magazine we see in December highlights what happened last year. Come on, we were there, we saw it on TV, heard about it on the radio, and read about it in every publication we received. Do we really want it rehashed over and over again at the end of the year? Heavens no!
  • Crystal Ball for Next Year – if you listen to or read enough of these, they all seem to run together. They all assume what is important to them is important to us! Being somewhat  (sic) of a cynic I often wonder if these “visionaries” have some personal benefit tied to the things/products they see as being important in the next year. All we really want is to be left alone and figure out for ourselves what we think will happen in the coming year.

There has to be a better way! And now….drum roll…. I have a, as they say in the Bayou Country, a “meaux better” way! And yes, you are right, I have it! We start with a personal evaluation of you for the past two years, do a compare/contrast of those two years, and finally generate the “Guaranteed Success in 2014!”

Start the Planning Process

Let’s start your wonderful, guaranteed planning process for 2014 with a checklist. Get your pen and Ready to Plan Next Yearnotebook ready, this step-by-step process is so easy and simple old people (i.e. Baby Boomers) can even do it! Here it is:

  1. Your Accomplishments from Last Year – list everything you have accomplished in the past year. This is a “real” list of “significant” accomplishments. The type of things you always dream about doing in December and actually (sic) accomplish them in the next year. Remember limit your list to the truly important things that have been life changing for you in the past year. The things that were done specifically because of what you did – you were “totally responsible” for them occurring.
  2. Accomplishments from Previous Year – us the same criteria as above to include all the life changing accomplishments from two years ago. These should not include new grandbabies or kids getting married. Other than possibly paying for some of these things, you had “no significant role” in their occurrence.
  3. Compare/Contrast the Last Two Years – compare the accomplishments of last year with your accomplishments from two years ago. Clearly identify the contrast from year-to-year. Look at the major strides you have made and the accomplishments in the past two years.

Analyze the Results

The first things most of us will realize are we didn’t accomplish much of any significance last year and probably less the year before! Frankly not only didn’t really accomplish anything of significance, but in most cases were “totally irrelevant!” In academic circles (remember my PhD) this is known as practicing INSANTITY – keep doing the same thing and anticipating different, spectacular, chest-pumping, outcomes!

This year I lost two friends, one was 61 and the other was 64. They were one of us, “Baby Boomers.” One was thin and a runner. The other was in decent shape. No one, not family, not friends, or anyone else had these guys on their lists of “may go soon.” God has this strange selection process that we all struggle with, but only he seems to understand.

If either of my friends or perhaps one of your friends that you lost this year had known a year ago they had only one year to live – what do you think their planning process would have been? Do you think they would have focused on “what’s in vogue,” or maybe “what others would think about them?” Or would they have done the meaningful things that are truly important to them?

HELLO! We are all Baby Boomers, we are a lot closer to the end of the candle than the beginning! How much longer are we going to continue BS-ing ourselves into to dreaming about being significant! Isn’t it about time we take a hard look in the mirror and recognize if we are “going to do it,” we had better “do it” soon?

Now Finally the Guaranteed Success

Let’s just for the heck of it try something different this year. What do we have to lose, being irrelevant for another year? Doesn’t this begin to look like a free shot to make a difference? OK, since you still have the pen and notebook, remember you had so few accomplishments you didn’t waste any of it in your first assignment (sic)!

  1. Write Down Your Dreams – if you could do anything in the world next year, what would you do? I mean something that makes you feel “warm & fuzzy” all over. Something that makes you feel like a teenager again where you could do and try anything. Write it down. Put it right there in front of you. Not something to share with others, not something to brag about, but rather something for you. Something you’ve always promised yourself you would do.
  2. First Step – back to eating an alligator, “one bite @ a time!” If you could do something to achieve your dream, one little step, what would it be? Feel that first step, dream about moving toward your Dream, and take that first little step. Every exciting journey begins with one step. This is the beginning of your exciting journey for next year.
  3. Next Step – you know you can do that first little step, do it and plan that “Next Step.” The path to your Dream might be a thousand steps, but you can’t get there without the “Next Step.” Remember each “Next Step” is followed by the “Next Step” – you know the drill “one step @ a time!”
  4. Reflections – remember I wanted you to have a notebook? You need a “notebook,” not a note pad or pieces of paper, but rather a notebook! This will be your own little private map to chart your life for the next year. Each and every morning you will begin your day “reflecting” on what you did the day before. If God gave you the chance and you could live it over, what would you do different? Did something valuable happen yesterday or was it just another wasted day in your life? It’s your own personal check sheet to measure the success of your journey towards your Dream. No one else is responsible, you alone are accountable for what you did or did not do yesterday. You alone are able to determine whether you really want that dream. Don’t skip a day, make it a necessary part of who you are.
  5. Plan Your Perfect Day – are you starting to get it? You really can’t do anything about yesterday and you can’t do anything about tomorrow. Today is the very best day of your life. Right after your Reflections, define your “perfect day.” If everything worked out perfectly for you today, what would happen? Put it right there in print. It will become part of your Reflections the following day. Don’t let anyone else determine if you had a good or bad day. You have defined your perfect day, just “do it!”

Before you know it, it will be the end of 2014 and the “candle” is getting just a little shorter. If you “take the Dr.’s orders” and put yourself in control of “next year,” you and all those around you will truly see a difference. We all have the opportunity to become “all we want to be.” It begins with one action, one step, and doing the things that are truly important to you and those you love.

True LoveDeep inside we are all so very special in a totally unique way. No matter how much others love you and what they may want you to accomplish; it’s all in your control. Let next year be the best year of your life until the next year of your life. We just never know about God’s selection process. We owe it to ourselves to be all that we can be and to finally do all the things that we have known all along we are capable of doing.

My life is filled with family, friends, and living the life of my dreams. There is nothing in the world that I want that I don’t have. I’m able to see my girls’ graduate, get married and watch as my grandchildren grow up. May you end this year surrounded by the peace and love of your friends and family. And may in some small way these words help as you begin the exciting journey of next year. You truly owe it to yourself!

College Entrepreneurship Professor, Serial Entrepreneur, Social Media Expert, & True Lover of the State of Louisiana