03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Will Your Life Work The Way You Want In 2010?

It's never too early to start planning for next year, especially now that we've marked 2009 as one of recession and things may turn brighter in future months. This year carried with it uncertainty and unsettling economic news, but I say these circumstances compel us to take a deeper breath and pause to think about our lives. Are they moving in the direction we want them to be? Will you be ready to embrace 2010 when it arrives in a mere months?

When people ask me about the single most important ingredient to success, I always share the same response: realizing what's making you achieve success, and then realizing what is stifling your success. Sometimes recognizing the things that are NOT working in your life can be painful, yet more powerful to shaping the life you want. Don't try to rationalize them, make excuses for them, or hide them. This is when it's even more critical to take personal inventory and evict those excuses, rationalizations, and hidden habits that don't serve you. Let me give you some examples:

• Do you want to be active, fit, and strong? Then you have to stop making excuses about your weight, diet choices, and lack of exercise.

• Do you want to embrace Monday mornings and feel excited about going to work every day? Then you have to stop hiding your true passions and go after whatever it is you really want to be doing day in and day out.

• Do you want to lose the debt forever? Then you have to stop ignoring your spending habits and get real about a budget that will pull you out of debt and allow you to reach financial freedom.

• Do you want to feel more connected to the people in your life, such as your partner, children, friends, and colleagues? Then you have to stop complaining about your poor relationships and figure out why you don't feel as connected as you'd like to be.

Successful people do not waste time in denial (or complain or make excuses for that matter). They face situations like a warrior. It's okay to identify a problem even though you haven't a clue about solving it right away. The first step is just recognizing the issue, and then having faith that you'll figure it out with careful attention to it.

Following are the three things to do constantly in pursuit of your successes, however big or small:

1) Awareness: Life tells you things every day. Do this. Don't do that. Think about this. Try me. Forget that. We live in a world that seemingly encourages us to live on autopilot. Successful people fly manually every day and so should you. When those feedback signals come in, listen to them and use them in planning your next step.

2) Commitment: Commit to finding out why things aren't working and learn what will fix them. Once you start the process it will be much easier to continue. Nothing fruitful stems from inaction.

3) Trust: Trust that making changes to the situation will ultimately bring about the best results. Sure you might go through a bit of discomfort during the change, and some unlikely or unwanted outcomes, but in the end you will triumph!

So are you ready to admit the things that just are not working out?

Make a list of the things in your life that are working against your success and ask how the situation can be improved. If you need help organizing those "things" in your life, try using the following list of categories. I recommend reflecting on each of the these 7 areas and ask yourself, what's not working here in each one?

1. Financial Goals
2. Career/Business Goals
3. Free Time/Family Time
4. Health/Appearance Goals
5. Relationship Goals
6. Personal Growth
7. Making a Difference

Remember, by facing what is not working, you can only improve your life!

And if you don't know where to begin, just start writing. I have a set of handy worksheets for you that can help you make plans. Click here to download these free resources and start creating all that you want from your life.

© 2009 Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is America's #1 Success Coach, co-founder of the billion-dollar Chicken Soup for the Soul brand, and a leading authority on Peak Performance. If you're ready to be more accomplished and have more fun in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: