A New Year brings a new opportunity for professionals to make important decisions that will help them succeed in their career and standout. The tangible results of success can include getting promoted, earning a raise, new job opportunities or increasing their profile in their respective industry.

The common trait that people have who experience above is that they are proactive and make things happen. They crave new challenges and even regard a mid-career crisis as an opportunity for growth.

Sadly, a New Year also brings an opportunity for people to stick with the status quo of the previous year and go unnoticed. The tangible results of this can lead to a demotion, a lateral move, no new job opportunities and not having any recognition in their respective industry.

The common trait that people have who experience above are that they are reactive and wait for things to happen. They sulk in the mid-career crisis versus taking the proper steps to get out of their funk.

If you want to win in your career this year and are willing to be proactive, here are five things to consider:

Be Consistent
Right now the gym is packed with people working out hoping to get back in shape. On a similar note, at the office people are fired up with energy about what the New Year can bring. Unfortunately, in about two to three weeks time the gym will be empty again with people already giving up on their fitness goals. Similarly, the passion that people showed at the office will also die down. The opportunity is to learn how to be consistent so you don't burn out too fast or wear yourself out. Sometimes this means that doing less is more. Consistency is highly underrated but it's a true game changer for a successful career.

Knowing What's Most Important
One of the ways that you can thrive in your career, and in turn also be consistent, is knowing what's most important. Surprisingly, if you ask people at a company, "What's most important about this year," or "What's most important about this quarter?" or "What's most important about this week?" you'll get a blank stare. They don't know. Sure, this is probably due to poor communication from their manager or the organization but it's not an excuse. Nothing is worse then spending your energy in the wrong place. So, if you don't know, what's most important about this year, quarter or week, as your manager and get clear.

Maintain and Build Strong Relationships
Most people wait to build strong business relationships, or their network, until they need something. Don't let that be you. Instead, take a genuine approach to building relationships before you actually need anything. Approach your existing and new relationships from a place of generosity. Regularly ask yourself, "How can I add value to my people in my network?" This could be as simple as suggesting a book or a blog post to read, making an introduction to a colleague, or having an open ear. Further, never forget that informational meetings are your friend.

Being Able To Communicate With Confidence
Being able to communicate with confidence is a game changer. Sadly, with all the perks and inventions in our digital age, communication is not improving, it's getting worse. If you're able to clearly communicate with confidence, you will stand out from the crowd. This means being able to write a clear, succinct email that has a clear ask. This means being able to answer a question with a clear beginning, middle and end of your answer as opposed to rambling. And, this means being able to present in front of a group and tell a compelling story without leaning on presentation software.

This is one that most people forget. At the office, we can give so much of ourselves that we forget about ourselves. In the end, this will only hurt you, your productivity and your focus. Each week, make sure to do all you can to stay in great physical shape. Pay close attention to what you eat to make sure it serves the best you. Incorporate a mindfulness practice like journaling or meditation to your life. Lastly, don't forget to nourish your personal relationships with those who are most important to you. These are the people that if your job went away they'd still be there.