How To Start Fresh In 2011.

We humans are a wily bunch nervous animals. We sometimes let our thinking and facts guide us and other times we let our gut and emotions guide us. At this time of the year, many of us look back at the preceding year and become very critical of our status, behaviors, actions, and results. We kneel and shake our fists to the sky and promise we will change for the better.

And then we start our regular journey — we stick to our new way of life for a little while — a few days, weeks, or months. And then something trips us up — an external influencer, a forgotten promise, or our old friend . . . procrastination. At that moment, all of our fortitude, our plans, and our dreams of change suddenly disappear in an instant. And we replace them with condemnation, past thinking, and surrender. We begin to hate ourselves and think we 'lost our chance' to change in 2011.

Let's change that this year.

I teach this system to my clients every year and most of the time (even I'm not perfect) it works. Enjoy!

  1. Make a clear decision on what you're going to change in 2011. Be honest and focus on what really needs changing. Start cutting out pictures of the new you — your new career, your new body, your new situation.
  2. Set parameters of your journey. Get a piece of paper and write down where you are and where you ultimately want to be. When you start a trip, you always have a starting point and a destination. You need to do the same thing — make a "AAA TripTik" for your journey.
  3. Break up your trip into easily attainable segments. If you are losing weight, set to lose a small amount each week. If you are going after prospects, set your number at what you usually hit each day and then increase it slightly. If you are looking for a new position, begin by targeting and scheduling lunches with key contacts.
  4. Build in buffers. This is important — and where most people trip up. Life comes at us quickly and we might forget or drop the ball. Or as I say, airplanes are off-course most of the time, the pilot continuously reorients them back on course. Schedule areas/times if we miss our target, we have the ability to jump right back on board.
  5. Track, Track, Track. This is the final step - monitor and measure your progress. If you go below what you plan or even forget, don't get frustrated and quit. Use one of your buffers and get right back on track. The secret is always moving forward — if you drop off, just begin again.

Congratulate yourself — you are taking the first step to change something in your life. Understand, there are going to be a lot of detractors out there trying to talk you out of your behavior, your actions, your beliefs. It always seems they pop up just at the right time when your are at your weakest and they prey on your insecurities to make fun of your plan or progress. Smile and stay on course.

Consistency is the key to your success. Like the ocean, there are soft waves and hard tsunamis, but the water still flows in and out. Keep going, stay true to your course and you will amaze yourself!