This is a great time to reflect on the past year as well as a time to think about what you want to create this year. What did you accomplish that you are most proud of? How were you successful? What lessons did you learn?
If you were to make this year the best year of your career or your life, what would the year look like for you? Who would you have to be? What would you be doing? How would you be feeling?
Here are 4 themes to consider as you plan to create success this year.
• Change – Are you sick and tired of starting each year hoping that things will be different this year? Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Are you looking for different results? Take responsibility for where you are right now in your career or in your life. Ask yourself what you need to change in order to get different results? A great place to begin is to review the lessons learned from previous years. Decide on what you need to change so that those lessons are not repeated. Recognize that you can’t change others, you can only change yourself. So focus on what you can change and understand that change begins with you.
• Stop – We can be such creatures of habit even when we know that our behaviors and actions are not helping us. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stop doing something even though we know our action is not generating positive results. Take a good look at your "to do" list as well as your daily calendar or planner for last year. What activities added no value to your career or to your life? Identify those activities that are pure time wasters and vow to stop doing them immediately. Learn to say "yes" to your success by saying "no" to those activities that take you away from what’s most important to you and your success. Protect your precious time for value added tasks and activities only.
• Start – Sometimes we think we have to do all or nothing. For example, many people decide to lose weight or join a gym as their new year’s resolution. They begin the year on a crash diet or begin going to the gym 3x a week only to abandon their efforts within the first 30 days or so. I’m not suggesting that it’s wrong to go on a diet or to join a gym but I am suggesting that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. The important thing is to start something no matter how small the effort is. Start taking many small steps towards your goal. If you are trying to lose weight or work out more, start by getting off the bus or subway one station before you usually do and walk the rest of the way, or give up one "bad for you" thing out of your current diet. Most of us know what we should be doing and somehow we never get around to it. Success is doing the things you know you should do. Start small, maintain focus on your end result, and stick with it.
• Continue – Looking back at your successes and accomplishments, there were clearly some great successes. Identify the behaviors and activities that made you successful as they are probably worth repeating this year. Continue to do those tried and true activities that provided you with consistent success and be brave by taking it up a notch this year. In the words of Longfellow "success is doing what you do well and doing well whatever you do." Push your limits by stretching yourself into even greater success. Flex your skills, strengths and talents and really step into your most powerful you.
This year has the potential to be your best year ever. Envision what that might look like for you. Decide now to create success this year. All you need to do is to change what isn’t working for you, stop wasting time, start taking action in the direction of your goal, and continue to use your trusted strengths and talents to achieve more.