Today is a wonderful time to take stock and reflect on the year gone by, the triumphs you achieved, the time you shared with family and friends, the good choices you made in business. But in order to grow and develop both personally and professionally, you also have to look back at and acknowledge the things that challenged you, the things that did not go so well.
There is nothing wrong with setbacks, in fact, I believe that if we don't have obstacles to overcome along the way we won't learn and grow. Thomas Watson, the founder of IBM, once said, 'If you want to increase your rate of success, you better be prepared to increase your rate of failure.'
We all have hopes and dreams for the future. Today the slate is wiped clean for all of us as we start afresh. Why not take a few moments to think about your dreams and goals for the year that starts today? In what areas do you want to grow? What is truly important to you? What challenges do you want to take on? Most of us don't realise what we can accomplish when we unleash the hidden talents that we possess.
To help you make this year your best ever, take a few moments to ponder these 11 suggestions:
1. Challenge yourself
Have a clear vision and focus of what you want to achieve and set a time frame. Challenge yourself to be the best you can be at all times. Visualise what you want to accomplish. See it in your mind. Write down your goals, have a plan of action, and never doubt you will be successful.
2. Find the love factor
Surround yourself with loving, supportive people. Stay away from the dream stealers, the people who would bring you down. Cherish the special people in your life and let them know you cherish them.
3. Dedicate quality time
Life is so precious; make the most of each and every day. Rise early, spend some quality time by yourself as well as with those you care about. Go for a walk, workout, read a book. Value not only the time you spend with your loved ones, but also the time you spend by yourself.
4. Stretch your comfort zone
Do at least one thing a day, which makes you feel uncomfortable. Push yourself; you will be amazed how far you can go. Remember: on the other side of fear is freedom. To remain stagnant is not to grow. To reach your full potential, you must rise above the fray and soar like an eagle.
5. Be passionate
Show passion in everything you do. Let it show in your body language, in your smile, in your voice. Let your eyes sparkle. Let the world see and hear your enthusiasm and let it feel your passion.
6. Serve others
Be a role model and mentor for people. Volunteer in your community and help others achieve their goals. Your world will be enriched and a better place for sharing your talents and giving freely of your time. Leave a lasting legacy.
7. Don't sweat the small stuff
Let go of the little things you can't control. Don't take yourself so seriously. Recognise that perfection isn't always the only option. Don't let life's imperfections bother you. Lighten up and see the funny side of things when they go wrong, the learning in them. Be tolerant, smile...don't waste your energies on the small stuff, you have much bigger fish to fry.
8. Live with integrity
Always be true to yourself. Take pride in whatever you do. Be proud of who you are and what you represent. Accept others with all their flaws. Show compassion and goodwill to your fellow human beings. Be dignified. Lead a life of purpose and be proud of your values.
9. Show gratitude
Show gratitude and say thank-you to the people who have helped you along the way. Send a handwritten letter to someone who has touched you. Call up a friend or loved one and tell them how much they mean to you. Compliment a colleague or business associate on a job well done. Show people you appreciate and care about them. Acts of kindness cost nothing but mean everything.
10. Celebrate success
Be proud of your achievements. Take time to recognise yourself and others for even the small successes. But also be humble and dignified, sensitive to people who are not as fortunate as you.
11. Exude a positive attitude
I cannot express enough the importance of having a positive attitude and believing in yourself. Yes, you can be well intentioned, you can be determined, but without a positive attitude about yourself and about life, you will not succeed. Dreams will die, goals will fade, and gloom and darkness will replace clear blue skies and sunshine in your mind and heart.
Remember people will sometimes forget what you say to them or do for them, but they will never forget how you made them feel in their hearts. Make yourself a commitment for this year not only to have the best year ever, but to help others that you care about accomplish this goal as well.
Written by Charles Marcus
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