Why should this year be any better for you than last year if you do nothing to make it, yourself or your situation better? The world doesn’t owe you a living, success, a great relationship, big house, nice car or anything else; but it’s all there if you’re willing to put some effort into getting it. Have a go this year. Instead of hoping your life improves, make sure it does.
1. Stop wishing and start working. So many people get to the end of the year and are unhappy with where they’re at. But if you didn’t do anything to improve your position or outlook in life how can you possibly expect anything to have changed for the better?
2. It’s only work if you don’t love what you are doing. A great key to work life balance and happiness is to find a job you enjoy and then find a way to make a living from it. Not many are successful at it but if you get this right then you will never have to ‘work’ another day in your life.
I was first introduced to this idea on an Army Physical Trainers Course by Warrant Officer Mark Jennings. It took me a few years to get it but I get it now and I love every single day no matter the challenges or triumphs it brings, because I am doing what I love and I am doing it on my terms.
3. It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them. Have a go at things. Don’t be held back by fear of making a mistake, or getting it wrong. If you do get it wrong, learn why and your next attempt will be greatly improved. As they say, you only fail if you fail to learn the lesson.
4. When you’re a hugging a child always be the last one to let go. You never know how long they (or you) need it. I just heard this recently and it really touched a chord with me. Things happen in life and there are moments in time that only live in your memory. When spending time with your kids be completely involved because they grow up quick (ask anyone with teenagers or older). Put your phone down, don’t multi-task. If anyone in the World deserves your undivided attention it’s your kids.
5. Dreams are free but the hustle is sold separately. It’s ok to dream. We all have dreams and yes they’re free but if you want to turn them into reality you’d better be prepared to pay a price. Success comes with an equal mix of sweat, sacrifice and bloody hard work. If you’re not up for that then you better be prepared to lower your expectations or get used to feeling disappointed.
6. Take responsibility for where you are and where you’re going. I don’t owe you a living. I don’t owe you success. Guess what? Neither does anyone else. So stop looking at everyone else for things that go wrong or why you aren’t where you want to be.
Have a good look at what you can do to better a situation because you can’t control anyone else but YOU. If something went wrong have a look at how you contributed to it or how you could have influenced the outcome. If you couldn’t then move on. If you could have, then learn from it and be better next time.
7. Things don’t just happen. You create them with continuous focus & effort! What’s your focus today? This Week? What will you make happen?
Write big goals but then keep a series of smaller goals. What you achieve by the end of 2014 will depend on what you achieved in the 12 months that make it up and the 52 weeks that are broken down. Do something, no matter how small, each day and week.
8. Do things that make you happy. Life really is there to be lived so take that holiday, climb that mountain, visit those friends you always say you will, spend time with people who motivate and inspire you. Just be happy.
9. Take days off. Sleep in. Watch TV. Read a book.
Don’t be so focused on setting and achieving goals that you forget to live life. Feel free, waste some time, just do nothing. Every now and then it’s nice to have a day where you can’t really put a finger on what you’ve achieved for the day.
10. Turn your phone off. Once a week (in my case Saturday night) I will switch my phone off at 6pm and put it in the bedside table. I don’t turn it on again until Monday morning.
Set your email auto-responder and your voice mail so people know that you won’t be getting back to them.
When I worked in an office a few years ago I found a great work strategy was to pick a day of the week and set my email auto-responder and then not check emails all day. Instead I would work on all of the other things that you don’t get time for. My auto-responder would tell people that in an emergency then please contact me or the office and then give them a number.
Your productivity will go through the roof. I get it’s not practical for every job but if you can make it work, then give it a go.
11. Spend time with those you admire. Dead or alive doesn’t matter. Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Tony Robbins, Kokoda Track, Mount Everest – grab a book and spend time learning what makes amazing people tick. Then realise that you have the same ability as these people if you wish to tap into it. Read about places you haven’t been and one day you just might get motivated enough to get there.
Or spend time with your Mum and Dad, your sister, that friend that you know will always pick you up. You know the one. They make you laugh when you don’t think there’s anything funny going on. They just get you. Making time for people really is making time for yourself and you just may be picking them up too.
12. You teach people how to treat you. If you respect yourself it’s more likely that others will respect you. If you allow people to put you down and hold you back then they will continue to do it. If you’re not happy with the way people treat you then perhaps take the time to have a look at how you might be empowering that behaviour.
Most of all I want you to have an amazing 2014. 2013 was a tough year for many but the fact is that it’s done and dusted so don’t dwell on it.
What happened last year does not hold any power over you this year – unless you let it.
If you need help in any area, please feel free to drop me a line and I will be there with bells on.
My goal this year is to empower as many people as possible. Simple really.
Enjoy your year and kick some goals.
Yours in Success,