How long have you been going after your goal? It's often humbling, because we don't always recognize how much time we invest in a path. It has become habit, for good or for ill.

As we enter the next year (and next decade), it's worth figuring out what you need to carry into it. Where are your sunk costs?

Here's what I mean, from a previous column:

The classic economic argument is that you are more likely to invest more into a bad deal because you've already invested in the deal, rather than cut your losses to pursue a better opportunity. You are using your past investment decision to justify your next investment decision.

Like other successful creators and entrepreneurs, I've reached many of my biggest goals. That's a double edged sword, though: What did you need to sacrifice along the way? Being narrow and myopic may bring goal completion, but not necessarily long-term success.

Consider a couple assumptions as you move forward into the next chapter.

First, doubling down doesn't equal success. It often comes from ego - by believing you need to work harder, then you're thinking you have complete control over you success. You often don't. I take credit for hard work, focus and strategy, but not for the luck, timing and market support. Sometimes it just isn't time for your goal to be reached.

Second, your goals may not fit your needs. Call it luck or the universe, but sometimes we're denied the very thing we want to our benefit. From Alibaba founder Jack Ma to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, history is lined with influential entrepreneurs created by failure.

The weight of a bad goal far outstrips any benefits of persistence. The New Year serves as a good excuse to cut bait on what isn't working. "What should I give up?" is as essential as a question as "What should I begin?"