Ready, set, GO!
The calendar has once again given us a “new lease on life” – a chance to restart and renew.
So what are we going to do with this opportunity?
That is, if we have the desire and the will to want to improve, or climb another rung up the ladder, or make a change.
And that’s the first step in quickly getting ahead in this New Year, and staying there – Setting Your Intent, and WRITING IT DOWN
What do YOU want to accomplish this year? Don’t let this essential part of success pass by among the day-to-day noise.
And yes, put it on paper. Keep in on your desk, or better yet, make it your desktop wallpaper or screensaver.
Now you’re ready for the next step. Take the time to line up your priorities in relation to your goals
What can you be doing, every day, that will help you get to where you want to be? We HAVE to put some thought into this. We need to act with purpose, instead of purely reacting to what is put in front of us.
OK, we’ve set our goals, and infused them into our consciousness to guide our actions. It’s time for a little help.
Seek out learning opportunities, and allow enough time for them. We can never stop learning – it’s fuel for our intellectual fire. Why not get a head start? Find a few books to read, and get them in your stack. Use the Internet and Social Media to research articles in your field of interest. Or, seek out and find a mentor (if you haven’t already). Line it all up, and GO!
Now it’s time to Engage, Engage, Engage. You are an active participant in your own development (I know this sounds all too obvious, but it never hurts to remind ourselves). If you are in a workplace, do your homework on what your business wants to accomplish this year, and then project a “hey, I’m really into this now, so let’s rock” attitude. Don’t sit in the back of the room. Ask questions. Offer solutions. Engage!
Once you’ve established yourself as someone who intends to make a mark this year, then it’s time to Make your desires public, and to the right people.
There’s nothing wrong with telling your boss that you eventually want his or her job, or a similar job – provided that you have worked through these first four steps, and consequently you are doing your job well, and with great enthusiasm. That’s the perfect time to “move the ball down the field“. Tell your mentors too, and other people whose opinions you trust. Just by planting the idea you can create forward momentum that will pay off later, provided that you….
Act your future part, NOW. Let me give you an example here – me. Once I knew I wanted to be a leader, and did all those things I’ve mentioned here, I started to ACT like one, even though I didn’t yet have that job. I figured out that leadership could be displayed in almost every context, by the quality of my work, my words, and how I interacted with people. That was certainly noticed, and it played a key role in a faster promotion.
So here we are, barely a couple of weeks into the New Year, and because you’ve done these first six things, you’re already well on your way to not just making it a good year, but a GREAT year. What’s the last step that will put the cherry on top?
Make friends with your fear. Change is hard. Change is scary. We all deal with fear. It’s a basic part of our lives, and it can create a huge wall between you and progress. It will never disappear, but you can surely make it your friend. If used to your advantage, it can heighten your senses and pump up your adrenaline. The example I always use is getting up on stage to sing. Oh boy, does my fear rise up before I do that! But because of it, the release and joy I get when I bust through that wall and let ‘er rip is absolutely amazing.
I love the way the retailer LuluLemon works this advantage with its employees and customers. Right on its walls, on its web site, and on its shopping bags, is this request:
“Do One Thing a Day That Scares You”
Get ahead. Stay Ahead. Have a great year!