2017 is here.
The question is, do you want it to be exactly like 2016?
Do you want 2017 to be your most transformative year yet?
Where you go from ordinary to extraordinary and experience the sheer magic of purposeful pursuit.
At the beginning of each year, many make New Year resolutions.
Ho1wever, according to research, nearly all who do will have broken them or given up before Easter has even arrived.
Because they won't do anything different.
They're generally not committed.
They know what they 'should' do, but it is not yet an absolute 'must'. And this usually means that they are not serious about taking action.
This is one of the reasons why I believe ditching so-called New Year resolutions is one of the best decisions we can make.
The act of making resolutions has become something that many feel we're supposed to do. However, as a result, they are rarely taken seriously.
Having spoken to many people from different backgrounds over the years, it appears to me that resolutions have almost become a list of wishes of all the things we would like to be different.
According to research conducted by Nielsen, some of the top resolutions that are made every year comprise of the following: get fit/healthy; lose weight; enjoy life more; spend less/save more; get more organised; learn something new; and, travel more.
I'm not sure about you, but to me, resolutions like the above fail to inspire and are not very specific in the nature they are stated. In addition, when we have a list of resolutions, it dilutes our focus by spreading our attention across a number of areas.
So instead of making a list of resolutions in 2017 and failing to follow through with everything you tell yourself you're going to do, I recommend focusing on something else entirely.
That something being having the right focus, structures and environment in place to support the person you want to grow into. As Jim Rohn once said: "Success is something you attract by the person you become".
This helps to ensure that personal growth is an integral component of your life and not a once-a-year event; when you set things up consciously in order to succeed, you win before you even begin. This is how the process of achieving something goes from impossible to possible, and to inevitable.
To help you have the right focus, structures and environment in place, I want to share a few thoughts with you on how you can build a smarter plan for 2017 so that you can well and truly crush it this year!
1. Start small.
Think about an area of your life that is an absolute necessity for you to address in 2017. It can be your health, finances, career, business or relationships.
The key here is that it must be something you are 100% serious about and committed to changing.
By focusing on just one area first, you are able to direct all of your energy and attention here. This helps in building momentum and in turn, elevating your confidence levels such that you become comfortable in taking greater action as the year progresses.
Small wins are what ultimately lead to the euphoria experienced by the big wins.
When you experience the results from your small wins, you begin reflecting on what else could be possible and begin moving to a higher gear.
2. Rid yourself of Comparison-itis.
This is the tendency to compare our lives to others; something that has been significantly worsened by the continued explosion of social media platforms at our disposal.
If we focus too much on competing with others and 'keeping up with the Joneses', we miss entirely the reason we are on this planet, which is to live a life true to ourselves and transcend our limitations, so that we can dive into and explore our reservoir of limitless potential.
And that's when life is enjoyed the most, i.e. we are living at our best because we love what we do!
Everyone is at different points of their own journey in life. It's therefore pointless to compare your Chapter 1 to someone else's Chapter 20.
It is up to us to discover more about our true selves and learn the personal lessons that others may have already experienced in different ways.
So focus less on others and more on how you can be better than the 2016 version of yourself, by reflecting on what new experiences you want to have and how you want to grow as an individual.
3. Accept greater responsibility.
It's easy to blame others when things don't go the way you intended. And it's easy to make excuses when you fail to follow through with all the things you said you were going to do.
This is because it's a lot harder to accept full responsibility for where you are right now, how much is in your bank account and where you're going.
When you decide to accept greater responsibility for your life however, you put yourself in a more empowered position to make things happen.
It's a choice really. A choice between simply accepting things as they are, or, accepting the responsibility to change things for the better.
4. Decide what it is YOU want.
When your vision of where you want to be by the end of 2017 is utterly and excitingly compelling in nature, it will act as a ridiculously powerful magnet in pulling you towards it.
This is because when you have decided what it is you want and have some clarity around this, the universe will conspire to make it happen.
You begin noticing opportunities around you that were always there but never paid much attention to. The difference now being that you are ready to explore them and greater energy (which comes from being excited about something) to pursue them.
Everything begins in the mind; in the realm of our invisible world.
How much action you take is directly correlated to how much you believe what you want is possible. This is driven by the fact that our thinking creates the 'reality' we live in moment to moment. It is why every individual on this planet experiences the outside world differently.
If, however, the vision isn't compelling or inspiring enough, you end up relying on willpower to push yourself forward. And willpower rarely lasts.
5. Read or listen to audiobooks every single day.
No excuses allowed here really.
If you've got time to scroll through your social media feeds, or play downloaded games while commuting, then you have time to read/listen to books.
What you feed your mind is just as important as what you feed your body.
Reading not only increases your knowledge of the world and about yourself, it makes you a more creative, insightful and inspired person.
Readers are winners because while formal education is good at helping us make a living, it is the self-education of reading into what we're most curious about that has the potential in making us a fortune and world-class in a particular field.
6. Be disciplined about your daily routines.
Is your daily routine currently aligned to the person you want to be?
If not, what needs to change so that it better reflects the person you want to be.
Success isn't about luck. It's the result of consistent application of disciplined routines. You get recognised in public for what you spend years, sometimes decades, practicing.
So, make sure to plan your day the night before and your week ahead on a Sunday so you have a game plan before the day and week begins. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
7. Surround yourself with inspiring people.
There are two types of people.
People who drain your energy and keep you where you are.
And people who inspire you by showing you what's possible.
Who are you spending most of your time with right now?
When you surround yourself with inspiring people who are becoming better versions of themselves every year, quarter and month, they will elevate your standards.
Doing this regularly can really do wonders for you in the New Year.
Ultimately, for 2017 to be a game changer of a year for you…
It is critical that you start making better choices, surrounding yourself with higher quality people who will support you and elevate your standards, and, being more decisive in saying 'No' more often to protect your time so you can focus on what matters most.
Right now is the best time in the history of mankind to do something meaningful to you. You have all you need to at least try.
Perhaps you've been putting something off and waiting for that 'perfect moment'?
If so, screw the 'perfect moment' because there's no such thing! It's about progress not perfection. Until you start doing what you know needs to be done, you will fail to make any difference at all.
Make 2017 the time you step up, show up and execute on those creative ideas buzzing around in your head.
In the meantime, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. Let's crush it in 2017!
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