January may well be the month of good intentions for leaders everywhere. Whether it is going to the gym more, improving your sleep or perhaps a far fetch goal you have repeatedly stated on December 31 that has always dissipated by the end of January.

Instead of following a similar futile pattern for your focus in 2016, make this the year you are going to be more intentional about where you spend your time, your energy and your resources. Follow these 12 habits that successful leaders adopt to create explosive growth in their business:

1. Spend one third on the future
Spend 30 percent of your time on how your business will be in 1-2 years.

2. Pretend you are going on a sabbatical
Delegate away all of your responsibilities as though you were taking a three-month sabbatical. Now focus only on strategic long-term projects.

3. Tell your team the truth
Be honest with your direct team about their future potential and how you can develop them.

4. Stop delaying changing out your team
Move on mis-matched employees within the next 90 days.

5. Intentionally manage upwards
Consciously manage your reputation with your board and your investors.

6. Understand your peer power
Create a deliberate influence plan with peers.

7. Throw away your to do list
Never use a to do list, schedule every task in your calendar.

8. Make 15 minutes your new normal
Refuse 60-minute meetings, book 15, 30, or 45-minute meetings instead.

9. Understand the power of no
Say no more than you say yes and don't over analyze or worry about it.

10. Prioritize energy boosting friends
Become selfish about who you socialize with.

11. Think less, act more
Accelerate your speed to action ratio, stop thinking so much and act faster.

12. Create your inner circle

Build an enviable inner circle of advisors who can tell you exactly what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

Remarkable leaders are ruthless, in a thoughtful way, with their time, their energy and resources. If you would like to learn more about creating a life with the discretionary time to use as you choose, next book Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth (Wiley, May 2016). Sign up here to get early access to a free chapter.

Happy New Year.

Published on: Dec 31, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.