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How to Kick Your Year into High Gear

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How will you choose to live and work in the present moment this year?

Get ready to kick your year into high gear!

January is a wonderful time to reflect on everything you are most proud of about the previous year’s work on your business. As always, SMARTSTARTERs kick off the new year by making their Victory Lists. This list needs to be your first priority when returning to work after the holidays. I recommend setting aside a minimum of half a day to work on it. (An entire day would be even better. Just sayin’.)

Forget about making resolutions. Forget about deciding on the first day of January how you will be conducting your life and running your business in December, some 12 months later so you can have your best year ever. This sort of non-productive thinking hurts you. Badly.

Resolutions that involve making decisions about your future behaviours are a total waste of time. Worse, they fill you with remorse, guilt and shame over the past, reinforce the self-defeating notion of living in the future, and put your focus on all the wrong things such as: failures, disappointments, and broken promises made to self and by others. This is not the best mindset to be in as you head into the challenges waiting ahead.

Your Victory List, on the other hand, will prove invaluable throughout the coming months. Review it each and every time you find yourself in need of a reminder you are capable, competent, and committed to achieving your own definition of success – whatever that may be.

The start of a new year is a time to re-commit to doing your best work in the present moment. And also to understand what made the previous year great and to re-affirm the many strengths available to you to use as building blocks for today’s victories. Setting daily goals for yourself helps you make the best use of your time right now.

Today is when decisions and actions that move you closer to your version of personal and professional success occur. We live, work and succeed in the now, daily, not in our yesterdays and tomorrows. Ask yourself: “How am I going to be (and stay) in the present moment this year?”

Here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Considering everything you achieved last year, what one thing makes you feel the most proud? Why is this so?
  2. SMARTSTARTERs are trained to set minimum, target and stretch goals. Did yours serve you well or do they need some tweaking this year? (If you’ve never set a stretch goal, when will you start doing this?)
  3. Of all the lessons you learned last year, which one had the greatest impact in making positive change for you in moving forward? Why is this so?
  4. Each year brings new and renewed opportunities for personal growth and professional success. Which of these gave you the most satisfaction and thus should be repeated and/or expanded this year? Which ones do you need to let go of now and how can you enrich someone else’s life and success by giving them away?
  5. Have you looked into your community for new opportunities to help those in need? If you have, what can you do for clients and customers this year? And, if you haven’t, when will you do this?
  6. How well did you communicate and keep your brand’s promise last year? What new avenues can you explore for expanding your brand’s visibility and building credibility?
  7. Who else is out there doing great work that you can spread the good word about in your community and through social media without compensation? When and how will you do this over the coming year?

This introspection helps you decide very specifically what direction(s) to pursue, what strategies you can use, what changes you want to make and what new avenues you want to explore. Then vow to work on them day by day rather than making them a year-long project. I wish all of you the best success, however you define it! Start now. Give your best to each day and the year will take care of itself.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS Did this post speak to you? If so, please feel free to share it with your own communities, friends and followers. Thanks for sharing the love! ♥♥♥

PPS If you’re on a roll with self-reflection, you might also want to try out my annual year-end review questions. More about them here.