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2013: Your Comeback Year

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As you look toward a new year, the hope may be that this could be your year, the year that you have a great comeback. You may have gotten divorced, lost your job, had a health problem, lost a loved one or had another setback. Whatever the case, you can turn your setback into a comeback. In fact, it is possible to get back to where you once were or even do better. Could 2013 be the year of your comeback?

This past year certainly was a big comeback year for some athletes. Adrian Peterson tore ACL last Christmas Eve and this season had his greatest year as a pro football player. After a surgery that turns dominant players into ordinary ones, Peterson rushed for 2097 yards, just 8 shy of the all-time NFL rushing record. Peyton Manning had four neck surgeries last year and some thought he would never play football again; few thought he would return to his QB All-Pro status. After missing all of last season, his team, the Indianapolis Colts, let him go, and the Denver Broncos signed him, hoping he could return to his MVP form. Return he did to lead the AFC in passing, being named to the Pro Bowl and helping his team to the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

This past year was a big comeback year for industries as well. The entire auto industry has had an incredible comeback. Not long ago the government had to bail out the industry, yet this year sales were the highest since 2007, increasing by 13.5 percent from last year. If there is continued growth, they will be back to 16 million in 2013 -- that would be on par with the banner years of a decade ago. The housing industry is also having a comeback. Pending home sales last month (adjusted for the homebuyer tax credit spike) are the best since February 2007. Home sales are on track to rise 10 percent this year, their highest level in five years.

Of course, comebacks happen every year. I have written a book about comebacks and can point to many comebacks throughout the years. The question is not will there be comebacks in 2013 but will one of those comebacks be yours. Just as setbacks come in all shapes and sizes, so do comebacks. But there are certain principles that govern comebacks. If you are going to have a comeback in the new year, you will need to put them into practice.

Release Your Regrets

Regret imprisons us in guilt, depression, self-pity and indecision. Without releasing your regrets, you'll never be able to make forward progress. Regret lives in the past, where nothing can ever be changed, so in the new year, just let it go. Regret creates a "setback mentality." This is when you are self-absorbed; you are preoccupied with your setback and the problems it has created. That preoccupation keeps you from moving forward into your comeback.

Make The Change

A comeback always begins with change. If you want a comeback, you are going to have to change. Unless you change what you presently are doing or not doing, things are going to remain the same and there will be no comeback. Change happens when you receive new information or gain new knowledge. Change happens when you get a new attitude. Change happens when you choose to be committed to your comeback.

Restore Your Confidence

Your confidence always takes a big hit when you have a setback. Confidence is crucial to a comeback; it is the power that propels you into a comeback. Confidence helps you to take advantage of opportunities, because comebacks always come with new opportunities. Confidence helps you to make the decisions you need to make. Your comeback will be in part about opportunities and the decisions you make about those opportunities.

Exit Survival Mode

Your comeback cannot begin when you are in survival mode. You may need to be in survival mode for a time to heal, but it can only be a temporary place. Survival mode is a very isolated way of living. It can be comfortable, because you can dwell on how you have been wronged, how life is unfair or how things have not gone your way. God did not put you on this earth to survive but to thrive and to have your comeback.

Dream Again

Setbacks do not control your life. You can decide to dream again. No matter what has happened, don't allow your setback to define you anymore. Become determined to move forward into your dream. What is it that you want more than anything? To make your dream a reality, the discipline must match the desire. It is not what has happened but what is next for you. Take direct, specific action in movement toward your dream.

A comeback is possible, but it does take work. Putting into practice these principles will help you overcome your setback. Everyone from athletes, to celebrities, to industries has proved it is possible. You have the potential to write your comeback story in 2013!

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