Whether we like it or not, we can all find ourselves members of the, It’s Not My Fault Club. That includes you, me and everyone else: “Guilty as Charged.”

If you eat, sleep, or breathe any place on this earth you are responsible, at least in a small way, for problems we are all tired of hearing about. If your response is, “I didn’t do anything,” that’s the problem. Why didn’t you? Or, if you say, “I did something,” that’s the problem. Why did you do the wrong thing?

The world has suffered bigger problems than it is suffering now. But, for most of us, this is as big as it has been in our lifetimes. And we haven’t figured out how to deal with it. Our individual fault, and the combined fault that results, is two-fold. First, we’ve accepted the “it’s not my fault or responsibility” mentality. Which leads us to number two, “blaming and finger pointing.” It takes about half a second to realize how unhelpful that is.

In over three decades of working with consumers, both business and individual, there has yet to be a noticeable reduction in blame-game participation. Accepting responsibility for the smallest of setbacks is just not something we do. At least until we’re challenged by the evidence that yes, we are the one to blame. At least in part.

An often used quote in business circles is, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” The same words can be used in our personal world. Knowing where to begin in the planning process is step number one. 

The fact is we must start where we are, though the temptation is to wait until things get better before we start or claim to have begun at an earlier time than now – though that is confusing.

As the end of another year approaches attaching the start date to the beginning of the new year might be a way to begin anew. Or you can start today and get a bit of a head start on the effort. It doesn’t matter. Get started ASAP.

Jump in with both feet. You should not expect satisfactory results with anything less than a full commitment. Get up when you wake up and do something that needs to be done before you would have ordinarily started your day prior to the birth of this revolutionary “new you.” It’s amazing how good it feels to have done something important in the first waking hours of the day.

Business planning and execution is critical. So is the personal side of the equation. You and I are responsible for our own success, and no one else.

Greg Henderson is founder and former publisher of the Southern Oregon Business Journal.