Do you know why everyone is capable of setting New Year's resolution goals around the holidays?

Because this is the time when you are most able to step away from your work. You have family in town. Carols to sing. Food to eat. Sports to watch. For, maybe the first time in a long time, you are able to step away from the daily grind and clear your head.

With the clarity tends to come realization, and with realization comes the sudden need to set goals for the following year.

The issue, however, people fall into when setting their goals is forgetting what gave them that clarity in the first place. So before you're off to the races, take a minute to think hard about the following:

1. Taking time to reflect isn't you being lazy. It's necessary. Think about it: where did that clarity come from? While you were taking a step back from your work, you were able to see a bigger vision for yourself. You need to do that more often.

2. Sometimes, doing less causes you to do more. Too many people get overly ambitious when they set goals for themselves, and end up running themselves right back into the ground. It's all about pacing yourself, not sprinting and then burning out.

3. The monotony of your daily grind is doing you a disservice. I am one of the most habitual, routine people you will ever meet. But even I have learned the value in changing things up. If you don't, you will sleepwalk your way through life and miss the spontaneity needed for your true creativity to flourish.

4. If the people in your life aren't helping you, they're hurting you. This year, don't tolerate what isn't "working." If a relationship is causing you pain, get out. If you aren't happy with your job, leave. If you aren't getting the return you wanted from an investment, invest in something else. It's not about right or wrong. It's about what's working and what isn't.

5. Change is not external, it's internal. Stop looking around and blaming everyone else. You need to keep the finger pointed at yourself. If you want to change something in your life, don't look to others to take the first step. That's on you.

6. You aren't going to achieve all your goals. You're just not. If you set ten goals for yourself for the new year, you might achieve five. Or three. Maybe just two. And that's ok. Just make sure whatever you do, you do really well.

7. It's better to make promises you can keep, and let anything above and beyond be extra credit. Too many people start the new year making outrageous projections for themselves, their business, etc. That tends to lead to disappointment. Instead, set the bar a bit higher than you did last year. If you surpass it, great--and everyone will celebrate with you.

8. If you can't master the daily habit of success, you will never reach success. The foundation of big wins is built from tiny wins. Pick one thing, and do it every day. No matter what. That's how you improve, and that's how big changes are made over time.

9. Balance is what will keep you in the game the longest. If you don't want to burn out, then spend as much time finding ways to de-stress and get back to your center as you do working late, grinding. That's how you sustain quality performance over the long term.

10. If you want to lead others, lead yourself first. This year is not about proclaiming to you and your team what a great leader you are. If you are such a great leader, show them--don't just tell them. Teach through example.

11. Stop networking and start providing other people value. This is the real key to growing a powerful network. Instead of walking around events handing out your business card, look for ways you can help the people you already know--and then extend a hand to their networks as well. This is how you build a real name for yourself.

12. Start building your personal brand, now. The value of having a personal brand is only going to increase. It's the way the world is moving. Your Facebook profile is your personal brand. Your Instagram page is your personal brand. Even your Tinder profile is your personal brand. Start refining and sharing your best self with the world.

13. Whether it's business or life, nobody cares. Everyone has their own challenges, their own obstacles to deal with. Instead of complaining about yours, be the person everyone looks to for motivation to keep on keeping on.

14. You are your greatest asset. This year, invest in yourself. Invest in new skills, invest in knowledge, invest in doing things that will bring you positive energy. You are where you'll see the best return.

15. There will always be more to do, so enjoy the journey. Proposals, projects, potential clients, the list never ends. There will always be something to work on. So, know that, and then deliberately take time to yourself. Enjoy the journey--otherwise, what's it all for?

Published on: Dec 30, 2016
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