It's that time of year again. The holidays are over, and whether you're a Christmas lover or a holiday hater, they are now behind us for about another 11 months.   

Rather than resolve what you will do in 2020, take the time to reflect on what you did, and did not do, in 2019. Many will say to focus on the future and not ruminate on the past, and while we should all focus on what we want to achieve, we can also learn from our past.   

"Who knows only his own generation remains always a child." - Dr. George Norlin.  

This was inscribed above the library at the University of Colorado, where I graduated from. While I didn't go in the building as often as I should have, I always think about this quote. To learn from history, reflecting and learning from the past. It's true in decision-making and in our lives.   

Career success can be fueled by many things. Some including:  

  • The desire to make money  
  • The need for recognition  

  • The need for responsibility  

  • Passion for giving back  

  • The fear of failure  

  • The desire to please others  

It can also be driven by having a chip on your shoulder. Everyone should have one. Your parents underestimated you. Your high school teacher said you wouldn't amount to anything. You saw someone get promoted who you thought didn't deserve it. You feel you wasted a previous opportunity.  

When you begin 2020, get angry about 2019. Yes, angry. What opportunity did you miss? What meeting did you not prepare for? Did you show enough appreciation for the client who left you for a competitor? Did you spend enough time with your employee who quit or who you had to fire? Did you get on the plane to see that client? Did you make the extra phone call? Did you listen to your manager or boss and execute? Were they correct about you dropping the ball on effort?  

Did you not feel well in 2019 and it affected your career? Could you have eaten better? Did you take a walk every day? Did you drink a lot of water? Did you meditate? Did you have fun at work? Did you laugh? Did you make others laugh?   

Get mad at what you could have done and didn't. If you aren't mad about what you missed, are you sure you will ever have the motivation to achieve your resolution in 2020? Wanting to do something is wonderful; everyone wants to do things. Being mad about what you didn't do is what drives successful people. I'm angry, and I'm going to go crush it.