02/22/2011 06:02 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

How to Make This Year the Best Ever!

Well, this year is just flying by. It's already Feb. 22. If you have made any New Year's resolutions but haven't begun working on them, it's really time. If you haven't made any at all, well, I'm with you. Instead of making resolutions, I make a list of goals I want to accomplish and give myself some realistic time limits to do so. Here is how you can make 2011 your best year ever!

  1. Figure out where you want to be this time next year.
  2. I know it's basic, but so few of us actually do this. Forward-thinking people rule the world! Decide right now where you would like to be in February 2012 in terms of your work life, your personal life, your health and your spiritual life.

  3. Once you have a vision of where you want to be, break down the steps you need to take to get there.
  4. Again, this is basic, but you'd be surprised by how the basics pass us by when we are busy going to the market, the cleaners, the car wash and the tailor. If, for example, you'd like to lose 10 pounds, write down what you need to do on a daily basis to achieve this. If you don't know, research it and then make that list.

  5. Separate what you can control from what you can't.
  6. Let's say I'd like to be rich by February 2012 (which, to be honest, I would). If I could control all things, then my investments would all make a lot of money between now and then and voilà, I'm rich. Since I have no control over the real estate market, the stock market, bonds, interest rates, the price of gold, etc., I have to step back and be realistic. I need to know what I can control and what I can't.

  7. Attack what you can control with vigor.
  8. Now is the time to go after what you can go after. For example, if I want to lose weight, I can control that. I can write down what I eat, count my calories, exercise, take in less than I burn, give up that extra piece of pizza, etc. I can chart my progress and get to my goal, or close, by February 2012.

  9. Keep track of your progress and reward yourself.
  10. Again, this sounds basic, but do you do it? If you lose one pound, do you reward yourself with a new CD, manicure or pair of shoes? If you get a new client, do you celebrate? Celebrating your small successes are what makes life rich and happy. You deserve it!

  11. Have fun along the way.

We are all in this together, and I believe it should be fun. Challenges are just that, obstacles to tackle and solve. Setbacks are to be expected and navigated. It's part of the process. If you can accept that, work with it, embrace it and go forward, you can be successful!

All my best to you! Have a happy, healthy and wildly productive 2011.


If you'd like to make contact with Irene, you can find her here.