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5 Steps to Turn 2014 Resolutions into Results

01/02/2014 12:17 pm ET | Updated Mar 03, 2014

"So, did you make any New Year's resolutions?" Caitlin asked on New Year's Eve as we were getting the Champagne out of the refrigerator. We all have dedicated some time wondering about what we would like to see happening in our live this year. The list might include the weight we want to lose, the more time we want to share with friends and family, the steps we will take in our career, etc. Chances are, the list looks pretty much like the one we wrote last year around this same time.

How can we turn resolutions into results, allowing our lives to make a leap forward? At the dawn of the new year, let me suggest 5 helpful, easy and fun steps you can follow to get a successful life in 2014. I have adapted them from the Appreciate Inquiry methodology designed in the 1980s by David L. Cooperrider and Diana Whitney. I have successfully used this framework in facilitating strategic planning, brainstorming, and conflict resolution for organizations and community, as well in leadership coaching for executives and artists.

First Step: Define. Reflect on what you would like to accomplish in 2014. Take a note pad and make a list. Write down everything that occurs to you, event the most unlikely ideas that spring up into your mind. Looking at the list you generated, see what the common theme is. Write it as if it is the title of a book or of a movie. Here is some example. 2014: The Year in Which I Got Clarity of Life-Purpose, 2014: The Year I Found Love, 2014: The Year I Doubled My Salary, etc.

Second Step: Discover. Reflect about a peak moment in your life. What made it possible? What motivated you? What gave you passion? What did you accomplish? What were you proud of? What were people saying about you and about what you did? Remember that moment. Feel it. Celebrate it. Now think about other positive experiences in your life? What do these experiences have in common? What has worked for you in the past? Write your observations down and ask yourself: how can I apply what I have highlighted about my peak moments in the past, to what I want to accomplish in 2014?

Third Step: Dream. This is a powerful step. It will increase your awareness and your self-confidence. In sport it is used to help athletes to achieve peak performance. To dream is to imagine. To imagine is to see and to feel your goal as already achieved; you create the vivid image of your achieved goal in your mind. And to see is to believe. If you create a positive, powerful and palpable image of your goal, your subconscious mind will lead you to its manifestation. Now focus on the theme you chose for this year and allow your mind to dream, without wondering about the obstacles and the efforts that it takes to fulfill it. Imagine your dream as already manifested by the end of the year. How will you feel on December 31, 2014? What happened during this year that allows your dream to be fulfilled? What have you accomplished? Be like a child who believes that everything is possible. What is 2014 calling for you to be? What is the inspiration for your life in 2014?

Fourth Step: Design. After you became aware of what made you powerful in the past and after you created a positive and powerful image of your desired 2014, now you can design the choices and the actions that during the upcoming weeks and months will turn your dream in the results you want to experience. What are you priorities? What would make your dream come true? What small actions would you like to turn into new habits? What actions do you need to take in order to incorporate elements of your dream into your life?

Fifth Step: Destiny. Now is the time to move on. Reflect for a moment about how you are already living your dream. Consider what you would like to do more of in 2014 to come closer to your dream. What commitments are you ready to make? What motivates you now? What's your next step?

Someone once said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. My wish for you at the dawn of this new year is to be the creator of your own destiny for 2014 and the years to come. Happy new year?