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Big plans for 2019

bltcommentarywebThe year 2019 is upon us.

A clean slate to make it the most epic year ever. But just like fitness and weight loss, awesomeness is not easy to come by. It requires planning and focus. To cite Bill Gates, we overestimate what we can do in one year and underestimate what we can do in 10 years, meaning that time escapes us, we get busy with the busyness of life and next thing we know, we are once again wrapping up summer, raking leaves, shoveling snow,  and bam, ushering in another new year! Without getting to the “epic and awesome” part.

Let me share my new year “reset” as well as some low-hanging fruit to increase your productivity.


What went well in 2018?  What did you thoroughly relish? Where did you suck? And let’s be honest, this is just between you and you … so stop lying and address your challenges.

Fix and/or remove

Remove or sever toxic relationships, including clients who are not worth it. We all know the 80/20 rule — look at your financial statements and assess which clients are absorbing too much of your resources without the commensurate compensation.

Same assessment applies to your personal relationships. Are you surrounded by fabulous people who fill your spirit? No? Well, then, you need new friends! If you find that you are the perpetual lifter-upper and problem-solver of your circle of friends, then you need to associate with folks who replenish your being.  Those people that make you better, who book the exotic trip and drag you along, who schedule the floatation therapy and reserve a spot for you!

Life plan

Oprah once conducted the obituary exercise: When we pass, what will we be remembered for? What is the legacy you expect to leave behind?   And then work backwards to arrive at that accomplishment.

My wonderful Papi passed away Aug. 1, 2018 – heartbreaking, sad. Still sad. As he had requested, we delivered his remains to his hometown of San Juan de la Maguana in Dominican Republic, and wow. The fire department, the government, the people all came together to honor him and recount his impact.

This was one of those experiences that become etched in your memory and soul. My father’s legacy was far reaching, with tentacles that spanned a century and several generations. As I looked at all of these faces and heard all the stories, I wondered: What would my legacy be?

Bill Gates is right. We fail to plan appropriately, strategically, wisely. Time escapes us with the busyness of every day. Often wasted on inconsequential matters.

So, I plan my life. Big Plans. “World-domination” type of ideas.  I strive to take the time to think and plan.  Ideas and goals. And then I take action. Sometimes messy, amateurish, but nevertheless fearlessly. Yes, I make mistakes, but read this, I never fail. Never. Why? Because I pivot, tweak, adjust, modify and keep going.

I surround myself with brilliant people, disruptors, innovators. I place myself in situations where I am pushed out of my comfort zone, so that I can be inspired and encouraged, propelled to do better.


This leads to accountability as well – no BS. We all know  people who talk a good talk but rarely deliver. That’s not me. It can’t be me. My Papi and Mami did not sacrifice all they sacrificed for me to suck. My children will only be awed by their mother (embarrassed and harassed, too; after all, they are teenagers!) I have big shoes to fill and a huge obituary to fulfill.

Calendar management

The last piece of advice is the execution — one can easily be paralyzed with options. Even handling the super-sized goals can be daunting.  I break everything into chunks and schedule it on the calendar.  It looks like this:

GOAL/TASK:  World Domination

WHEN: Next Tuesday, 8 a.m.-9 a.m.

TASK: Uncover connections to Jeff Bezos/Amazon

WHEN: Jan. 28, 2019, 9 a.m.-10 a.m.

TASK: Contact XYZ — discuss Jeff Bezos and TBD (can’t disclose ALL my secrets, can I?)

These calendar appointments, despite the fact that they are with myself, are locked. I don’t reschedule them or allow other activities to usurp them. I own my legacy.

As for juggling the short-term with the long-term goals, I handle them similarly. Time booked AND honored on the calendar. A personal commitment to myself.

Amigos,  we can accomplish much, with focus and discipline. And Big Plans.  What will your legacy be?

Veronica Cool is founder of Cool & Associates LLC, a business management firm specializing in financial wellness and diverse segment marketing. Her column appears each month in The Daily Record and online. Contact her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @verocool.