3 Tips to Start the Year Right!

Welcome to 2013! Last year’s record book is officially closed and your success (or lack thereof) has now become a part of history. You can’t go back and change the past, but now is the perfect time to look ahead and decide what your future can be.

What do you want to accomplish with your life in 2013? Will you be satisfied accepting the status quo? Or would your prefer to lose weight, worry less, improve relationships, get a better job or maybe just make more money?

Perhaps this sounds too good to be true, but you can accomplish all of this and more. These changes don’t happen because of outside forces like chance or luck—they happen because people finally get committed to becoming who they want to become.

Question: How much time have you invested putting together your plan to make 2013 GREAT?

Answer: Little or not enough.

I realize you’ve been busy with the end of the fiscal year and the holidays, and now you’re swamped just trying to get January kick-started. And that is exactly why I’ve written this month’s journal. I’ve got three lessons for you that I guarantee are worth the four minutes it will take to read them.

1. Develop Positive Rituals

What you do every day plays a big role in defining who you are. By definition a ritual is something that has become normal, customary and an expected part of your life.

Most people struggle to develop positive rituals (e.g. goal setting, reading, prayer, exercise, meditation). They start strong but eventually they experience unavoidable set-backs and it becomes too easy to just give up.

Ever notice how crowded the gym is in January? You sometimes have trouble just finding an open treadmill. By Valentines Day the number of newbies is cut in half, but once St. Patty’s Day arrives my local YMCA is back to normal.

Positive rituals don’t form over night—they form over time. Discipline is something you must develop within yourself so you can become the best person you can be, not the one you could have been.

2. Just Do Something!

Everyone knows the “an apple a day” principle, but very few follow the advice. If you do just a little each day, at the end of a year it adds up to a lot. But if you do nothing each day, then at the end of the year it adds up to absolutely nothing. You don’t become successful in a day. You become successful day-by-day.

Take some small note cards and write some specific and challenging daily tasks that will enhance your success in 2013 (e.g. make five more phone calls, clean off your desk at the end of the day, send a handwritten note to an existing client, read something that feeds your mind, exercise for 30 minutes). Every morning, shuffle through this stack of cards and pick one that you’re committed to doing that day before going to bed. Once you’ve finished that task, start a second pile of cards with your completed tasks and watch it grow. Nothing breeds future success like past success!

The greatest of all mistakes is to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can each and every day to move toward your goals and watch what happens to your success in 2013!

3. Read, Think, Journal

On the surface this seems dull, non-productive and unexciting. If you look at your weekly calendar, I guarantee the words reading, thinking or journaling don’t appear in any shape or form. And that’s a big mistake.

Reading is incredibly powerful because it gives you the gift of leverage. The author may have spent years of her life studying a subject, reading everything that had already been written, learning from the best, summarizing different theories, and simplifying complex ideas. Years of research and thousands of hours of study are condensed into a concise, 200-page book that you can tap into for about $15. How can you not make that investment in yourself?

Thinking doesn’t get much attention these days because everyone is so busy working on their 2013 “to-do list.” I like lists of things to do. In fact, I’ve got one of my own. But does your list help move you toward “who” you want to become? Or is it centered on meeting deadlines and making quota?

Find a quiet place, sit down and let your mind run wild thinking about everything you want to be, do or have this year. Most adults don’t spend enough time dreaming about their futures because they are so wrapped up working on their to-do lists. Sounds like an urgency addiction to me.

Unhappiness happens because people don’t know what they really want out of life, and then they kill themselves trying to get it.

Journaling is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in 2013. It will provide you with personal insight, help clarify your thinking, flesh out existing ideas and generate new ones. Writing is a discipline that creates characters and character. Go out and buy the most expensive journal that you can find because the thoughts and ideas that you capture will be priceless to your personal success. Need some ideas on how to jump start your journal? Here are ten of my best tips and you can download for free by simply clicking here.

While you’re at it, check out some interesting analysis of goal-setting vs not goal-setting here (this study may surprise you!)

Find value in these insights? Then be sure to share with others by clicking on the social share links below… they’ll appreciate and so will I!

By Tim Wackel

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