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Out With The Old and In With The New

using the new year as a springboard for renewal

2011 was certainly a very intense year. It was filled with protest and strife for some of the world. For others maybe 2011 was a good year but, regardless of the quality of your year, in the next few days we bid a farewell to 2011 and have welcomed in a great new 2012.

What I have learned over the years is that it is nearly impossible to change the world and if that was your desire it will take every moment of your life to do. Most of us have the desire but, not the wherewithal. What has worked for me is the philosophy of “circle of influence”. Each of us has a circle of friends or acquaintance that can be influenced in a positive way. I discourage you from trying to impose your will on your circle but, instead lead by example. In essence change begins with you.

Here are a few tips on creating positive change in yourself which will ultimately affect your circle thus making the world a better place one circle at a time.

1. Attitude determines altitude. Your attitude is everything. You get what you expect. You increase the likelihood of success when you expect it. So expect good things in 2012 and focus on the good.

2. Start every day with a six-pack. Not that kind of six pack but, the kind of six pack that gets you headed in the right direction. Think of it as your daily To Do List. Highlight the six most important things and knock them out first. Don’t sweat it if you can’t get you whole list done; simply roll it into the next day.

3. Cut yourself a break. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Take time throughout the day to have a cup of tea, take a few deep breaths, get centered and reflect on what’s working and what’s not working in your day.

4. Make exercise a daily priority. Exercise reduces stress and builds self-esteem. It also helps you recharge so you can prepare to take on the next day. Starting your day with some kind of physical activity for at least 20 minutes will create a profound effect.

5. Work smarter not harder. Learn to let the unimportant things go. Focus on your priorities. If it doesn’t need to be done today – it shouldn’t even be on your list. It’s easy to start something. The challenge is in completing it. If you can’t complete it, why start it. Focus on the priorities and concentrate on getting them done. To get more done, you may have to do less.

6. Journal your ideas. Get an idea book. Go out and buy a notebook and plan to keep it in your car. Form the habit of reflecting and jotting your thoughts and ideas in your notebook. This type of reflective writing builds inner strength for the author and is an amazing tool for reviewing the year and your accomplishments.

8. Read and achieve. Invest at least 15 minutes every day reading about your interests. Books, magazine articles, and even web sites, can make a big difference over time. Listen to tapes and CD while commuting. Fill your mind with positive and motivational content. You will become what you read and hear. You will also become what you think about most. So, when you’re reading make sure you’re thinking positive thoughts.

In conclusion, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If you want 2012 to be way better than 2011 you can’t do in 2012 what you did in 2011.

Plan your work and work your plan and you will find 2012 to be so much better than 2011.

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