Now that we're in a new year, it's time to leave behind the old things that aren't bringing you the success and happiness you deserve, and start doing the new things that will. While you may have achieved some successes in the past in your business, career, and life, have you achieved everything you wanted to?

If you're like most of us, you set New Year's goals every year. And if you're like most of us, you probably don't usually achieve them. Research shows that only about 8 percent of us actually keep the New Year's resolutions we set for ourselves.

However, by looking at what you're doing to achieve your goals with 2020 vision--with a clarity that is sharp and in focus looking into the future--you can find the success and happiness you're looking for.

Here are five things you can do right now to succeed in the new year in your business, career, and life.

1. Get rid of the toxic people in your life.

While it would be truly wonderful if everyone in our work and our personal lives was out to support us and help us through the journey we're all going through, the fact is that some people are toxic. And, instead of helping us, they seem to enjoy tearing us down instead. Here's a suggestion for the coming year: Get rid of the toxic people in your life. If you're a leader dealing with a toxic employee, help that person improve or help them out the door. If you're working for a toxic boss--or you're surrounded by toxic co-workers--then you might need to find a better place to work. Ultimately, it's up to you.

2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.

Just as there are toxic people in our work and our personal lives, there are always people who inspire and motivate us--who bring out the best in us. If you can't think of anyone who inspires you right now, then seek them out and make them a part of your work and life--even if that means reaching out to them on social media such as Twitter or LinkedIn. And if you already have people in your work and life who inspire you, then find some more. You can never have too many.

3. Be unapologetic about who you are.

There's only one you, and you are the best you there is on the face of this planet we call Earth. Don't apologize for who you are, and don't make excuses for being you. Maybe you're that person who likes to arrive in the office before everyone else so you can get your work done without interruption, or maybe you're the one who likes to arrange birthday celebrations for your co-workers. Whoever you are, embrace that and don't worry what others think.

4. Never be anything less than absolutely genuine.

No one likes people who are fake, or who pretend to be something different than who they really are. We all have friends, and most of us assume our friends like us. However, an MIT study found that this is actually the case only about 53 percent of the time--almost half of the people we consider to be our friends don't actually like us all that much. Don't be fake. Be yourself--100 percent absolutely genuine--for better or worse.

5. Pour your heart into everything you do.

Former Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz once wrote a book titled Pour Your Heart Into It. I believe this title reflects how we should pursue everything in our business, career, and personal lives. If it's worth doing, do it with every ounce of passion you've got. If you're not pouring your heart into something, that's probably a sign that you should move onto something else--a new initiative, a new job, a new relationship. Life's too short, and the clock ticks ever onward.

Published on: Jan 6, 2020
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.