Kick-Start Your New Year!

January 2013 by Sharon Dillard

It’s official—the New Year is here. Like everything else in our rapid-fire world, with the flick of a switch (or drop of a big crystal ball in Times Square) all the anticipation, planning and counting down is suddenly over. Then comes…the big let down. Or, we could look at each new year as a chance to start over. As a time for new beginnings, with a fresh outlook on life and your business.

So, here are a few sure fire ways to make you feel, look, and perform better in the new year. 

Eliminate wasteful activities. One of the most common complaints I hear about why people fail to accomplish their goals is lack of time. But these are the same people hitting the snooze button nine times, watching hours of TV, or constantly checking their e-mail and Facebook. Doing relaxing activities is important, but it is easy to get carried away. If you are spending hours playing Farmville, you have free time to do more. Try cutting your TV and Internet time and instead work toward accomplishing your resolutions. You don’t have to do anything big; just spending that time working towards your goals in any way makes a huge difference.

Lose other people’s opinion. Quit worrying about trying to please everyone. Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but I know the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” Enough said.

Go someplace you’ve never been. You don’t have to drop big bucks and travel around the world in order to change your life (although, if you can, bon voyage!). Check out the art gallery you always pass, or hike those trails you’ve read about. Do something tourists come to town for that you never once tried. You might discover a new hobby or make a new friend. Or, you might simply have an unforgettable time.

Keep friends close. Take a life inventory. How are your relationships with friends and family? How often do you laugh? Are you doing the things you love the most? Having a good friend to talk to, especially someone who can be honest with you about your stinkin’ thinkin’, is priceless. 

Change your perspective. Whenever I get tired of what I’m wearing, I immediately think I need new clothes. But then I organize my closet and realize I have more than enough options. I forget I have so much! In fact, I already had exactly what I needed. I just needed to look at things differently. 

Slow down to speed up. For 30 minutes each day, I slow down to think, plan, and visualize. I have become aware of my biggest opportunities, smartest activities, and greatest tactics for growth. With this amount of insight and clarity, I can take actions that will drive excellent results. Really commit to making it your breakthrough year and know you’ll have to slow down for a bit each day to accomplish this. Then you’ll be perfectly prepared to speed up and win.

Do something scary. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Go skydiving or bungee jumping. Try an exotic meal. Ride a horse. Ski the black diamond run. Constantly challenging ourselves by confronting our fears allows us to say yes to future opportunities. It builds confidence from knowing that you still can do something you weren’t sure you could.

Have something to look forward to. Buy sporting or theater tickets and display them prominently. I print out road trip directions, marking places to stop along the way. I get excited about lunch dates with friends and mark them in BIG BLOCK letters on the calendar. My favorite is to get away for a night or two with my spouse at a great hotel, a romantic dinner and a wonderful massage. We didn’t go far or spend much, but I come back feeling that I have been on a little vacation.

Nothing becomes ‘new’ unless we do. Become new in the New Year. Just sayin’. 

Published: Apartment News Magazine – January/February issue 2013

Sharon Dillard is the award-winning CEO of Get A Grip Inc., a national franchise kitchen and bathroom resurfacing company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

One Response to “Kick-Start Your New Year!”

  1. January 04, 2013 at 2:52 pm, CJ Lovato said:

    Great read! I feel even though the new year is supposed to be a fresh start, and it really does seem like a great opportunity to change for the better, more often than not it just becomes a big let down! I make resolutions that I think will help make me happier and yet around the start of February (when my resolutions have pretty much entirely withered away) I seem to feel the same or even worse than I did before making them!
    The part that stood out to me was the section about other people’s opinion; I know I can get overly self-conscious at times and the Bill Cosby quote really resonated with me. Maybe it’s the goals of my resolutions that are the problem =)

    I really enjoyed it!


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