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How To Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever

Well here it is Friday December 30th 5:45 PM. I’m winding down here in the office and getting ready to shut it down for 2011. Whatever you do to celebrate (I’ll be laying low) I hope you have a safe New Year’s eve.

Before I get out of here I want to share with you a something I received by email from my friend Sam Bakhtiar, fellow fitness entrepreneur and all around good guy. It’s about how to make the most out of the new year. He shares some really good tips so I wanted to pay it forward.

Well worth a few minutes of your time to read and reflect upon.

“A new year and all its potential for success is waiting for you in the wings. What will you do? Will you be ready for it?

I’d like to share some ideas about how you can really make sure that 2012 is your best year yet.

I want to take a little time here to share some thoughts about how I go about my planning and what you can take away from it.

First, Look Back and Take Stock…

The first thing I like to do is take a look at the previous year. I think it’s important to look at the year that has past because it really sets the baseline of what you can achieve in the coming year. Especially if you take the lessons you learn to heart.

What you want to do is acknowledge and appreciate what happened during the past year. You want to define any useful lessons, both good and bad, and make sure those lessons get applied going forward.

How do you do that?

Well the first question that I really like to think about is, looking backwards over the past year, what did I accomplish? What were all my achievements? What are all the things that I felt good about?

Listing your achievements is a great way to remind yourself that ultimately you’re in charge of your destiny.

The idea is simply to list all your achievements from the past year.

Take Stock of Your Disappointments Too…

Now once you’ve done that, the next question is what were your biggest disappointments over the past year? The idea here is that you can’t really grow the way you want to unless you become aware of the disappointments and failures from your past and take those lessons to heart.

This is important. Right now I’m not asking you what were the lessons? I’m just asking you – what were your biggest disappointments?

Remember, you can’t do anything about them because they’re in the past – over and done. But it’s obviously not too late to do something about your future. And the goal is to learn your lessons from your failures, or your disappointments or your setbacks.

So first you need to get down what your biggest disappointments were?

Dig Up the Lessons You Learned

After you’ve spent some time with your accomplishments and your disappointments, the next question I ask is, what did I learn?

This one takes some time because when you look at your accomplishments and disappointments, you need to ask different questions in order to take away the major lessons.

So, when looking at your achievements, you want to ask why were you able to achieve those things? What caused your success? What helped you along the way? What were the reasons why you were able to accomplish those things?

What you’ll often find is that you have a certain way of achieving results and by looking at all the things you’ve accomplished over the year, you might find similarities in your approach to the things that you achieved.

Now, when you look at your disappointments and try to uncover the take away lesson from there, you have to ask yourself some slightly different questions. What could you have done differently? What can you do to make sure you do differently going forward?

You really want to think deeply about asking what did I learn? Because it’s your chance to uncover and harness the lessons and experiences you’ve just had to propel you as far forward as possible.

Changing just a few behaviors that caused disappointments in the past or solidifying certain behaviors that have lead to your greatest achievements, can improve your chances of success in the coming year in a major way.

Make A Top Three List and Ask One More Question

Next what I like to do, is after I’ve finished answering that question, is to pick three top lessons from my list.

Not that I’m going to forget about everything else. But I want to do is make a commitment to myself. That those three big lessons – from either my disappointments or my achievements – become and stay a focal point for me moving forward over the coming weeks, months and ultimately the year.

After that you want to look at the next really important question to ask yourself and that is how did I limit myself in the past? And what needs to change in order to stop doing that?

The idea here is that you want to look at your behavioral patterns like procrastination or wasting too much time in front of the computer or spending too much money and really get a sense of what these self-imposed limits have cost you.

By getting clarity about (1) how you limit yourself and (2) the cost of those limits, you stand a much greater chance of being able to move forward in the upcoming year by making sure that you don’t allow yourself to fall victim to those self- imposed limits in the future.

Some of those changes can happen as easily as just remaining conscious and aware of what you’re doing. While others might require some study on your part to see what are the best ideas, best practices, and best ways of overcoming those self-limiting obstacles might be.”

Final Comments…

I think Sam hit the nail on the head with systematically going through and looking at learning from the previous year’s lesson as clues for success in the coming year.

We can all stand to improve by learning from our experiences, the good and the bad.

I hope that 2012 is your best year ever! Wishing you all the best- Shane

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides fitness consulting in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. You can receive a FREE, no-obligations (2) session personal training trial and consultation to experience the difference for yourself.

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