First of all Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is the greatest year of your life. Everyone is really excited right now. The possibility of a fresh start and a new year creates great excitement in the hearts of many. Sadly, that excitement will not last long and most people will get to the end of 2018 disappointed because they did not achieve their goals. I have learned over the years that excitement is not a substitute for execution. You have to develop the habits that produce uncommon achievements in your life. I am not telling you not to dream big and aim high in 2018. On the other hand, I am telling you that you must be willing to give yourself to your goals if you want this to be the greatest year of your life. That is why I have created these strategies for starting the year off right.
- Understand that your life does not change just because the calendar changes. Unfortunately, most people are excited about a new calendar. However, I have learned over the years that it takes more than a new calendar to change your life. You have to be willing to make adjustments if you want to accomplish your goals. The difference maker in every year is the decision to take decisive action on your goals. A fresh start without new strategy will leave you stuck and stagnated in 2018. You should be excited that you have a fresh start and the opportunity to begin again. At the same time, a new beginning without a blueprint will never produce breakthrough in your life. Your calendar is meaningless unless you develop a new mindset and fill it with intentional moments.
- Your decisions will determine the dimension that you live from. You can make all the declarations in the world. However, declarations alone will not change your life. 2018 is not going to be different because of high hopes and great expectations. The decisions you make are determining the depth of your life. If you continue to make bad choices then this will be another cycle of frustration and failure for you. On the other hand, if you will make empowered decisions you will find yourself living a life that you never imagined possible in 2018. We think having a dream determines the dimension we live from. One of the greatest discoveries I ever made was that decisions define our lives. The choices you make today will determine what you conquer tomorrow. 2018 will be the product of the choices you make today. Decide that your dreams are valid and your vision is significant. Do not waste time pursuing things that do not produce progress in your life. This year make decisions that will align you with your destiny.
- You have to make a commitment to change your life. This is the time of the year where everyone talks about resolutions. The reality is that in a few weeks most people will abandon their resolutions. More importantly, by February 1st most people will return to business as usual. You will stick to what you are serious about. However, most people are not really serious about making changes in their lives. We like the idea of transformation but we lack the initiative that is critical to changing the trajectory of our lives. Commitment is the distance between dreams and discipline. In other words, it is the difference between possibilities and practices. We often live by inspiration and imagination. However, commitment requires you to live by initiative and intention. You will only complete what you commit to. Commitment is the only way you will conquer your goals in 2018. Commitment is deeper than emotion. Commitment is the conviction that empowers you to conquer every obstacle to changing in your life.
- You need to establish accountability in your life. One of the keys to my success has been establishing strong accountability in my life. It is good to write down goals, formulate strategies and devise action steps. However, after January most people never look at their goals again. This year I challenge you to find a cabinet of accountability partners. Give them a copy of your goals. Also, establish a time every week where they can follow up with you. During this time, you will provide an update on where you are and you must also be ready to explain yourself if you have not made any progress. Accountability breaks mediocrity and challenges us to take action. Accountability will shift you from excuses to execution. There is nothing wrong with being a dreamer. However, dreams without diligence die. This year you need to take action on your dreams if you want to achieve uncommon success. Establish the disciplines that will make 2018 an extraordinary year!