12/31/2013 07:12 pm ET Updated Mar 02, 2014

My ONLY Resolution for the New Year


I was thinking if there was something that I should focus more on in the upcoming year. I wanted that to be ONE thing and not a laundry list of "feel good" resolutions. One will make it easy to focus on and also easy to hold myself accountable. After going back and forth on a number of ideas, finally honed into ONE such idea.

I will get to the idea in a bit but some background to the same idea to set the context.

This happened a few years ago and I still remember that day. Yakov Soloveychik (one of my mentors) gave me a copy of Susan Scott's book Fierce Conversations and simply said, "You need to read this. Now!"

While I knew that there was a reason that this book was given to me, I kept wondering -- "But, I don't want to have Fierce Conversations." Honestly, I was really glad that Yakov presented that book to me. As most great mentors do, he knew exactly what I needed at that stage. The book touched me and has totally shaped the way I handle conversations over the last few years. The book is written for CEOs, but it is a required reading for anyone who is having conversations with people that they care about. In other words, it's a book that EVERYONE should read.

There is ONE quote in the book that should be framed and hanged on your study room. Here it goes:

Given that, while no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship or a life, any single conversation can -- what is the conversation that has your name on it?

In parallel, I went on a deep dive study of linguistic philosophy the foundation of which is based on a premise that "your world is created through your words."

Based on all the above, my ONLY resolution this year will be to:

Prepare for and engage in at least 250 conversations that move the needle for one or more people in a significant way.

I chose every word carefully as I crafted this resolution, specifically focusing on the word "prepare." If I get on this path, I would have gotten a return even before I engage in any conversation because preparation is half the magic. It will help me reflect on things that matter and also make me think deeply about "how to move the needle in a significant fashion." The number 250 was chosen mainly to hold myself accountable and also measure progress along the way.

If you are game for it, try this thought experiment: If you had to choose one and ONLY one resolution that would change the trajectory of your life, what would that be?

Happy New Year to all of you!