1) Develop a support system
I do not know if it is scientifically proven, but I know from first-hand experience that it is nearly impossible to push yourself to your fullest potential. Have you ever tried holding your breath until you passed out, or stretching a muscle further than you really want to stretch? I would be willing to bet that in both circumstances, you are not able to perform the task because your body places limits on itself. We unconsciously are our own biggest roadblocks. I read an article recently about having a “business bestie”. You may need a “studies bestie” or a “workout bestie” in your personal life.
Find a person that best complements your strengths, but also who improves your weaknesses. When you assemble the people around you this year, consider your goals and determine if the people around you push you closer to your goals or pull you further away? There may be people in your circle that make you feel comfortable but that do not allow you to stretch yourself further than you want to. Bring somebody along for your journey in 2017 and you may find your limits easier to break.
2) Craft Your Vision and Develop Your Best Case Scenario
This one has been documented on every website or book imaginable, but I look at it from a different take. The act of dreaming big and writing down your vision with all the amazing things that could happen after you do this is monumental. My best friend Drew took me through this exact exercise with Right Before Magazine. Think about where you could see yourself in a few years, but there is a catch… Think as “unrealistically as possible”. Think about a place that it would take a “miracle” to get to. Whether it be the top graduate school, a multi-million dollar startup, or a 6 figure corporate salary, think of your “reach” dream and that is the one to shoot for.
When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either. -Leo Burnett
When you set lofty goals and work as hard as you can to reach them, you set yourself up for infinitely more possibilities out of your work. As you identify your passions and set goals, you are going to notice that that enormous amount of work is actually not as much “work” as it is fulfilling.
3) Automate Your Daily Tasks
Honestly, this one doesn’t fit in with the other two. This may just be the most important thing to start in 2017. Automation is the number one time and money saver there is. Nowadays you can automate bank payments, automate articles posted, automate alarms/reminders, and automate your scheduling (enter things in as they happen). Once you get something down into your system, you can forget about it just a little bit and move on to the next important thing. I recently started automating my student loan payments, retirement savings, social media posting, and even reminders. The stress relief and added emphasis to my bigger goals are well worth the few hours it may take to set everything up.
Give yourself credit for the accomplishments, the wins and the losses. I spent so much of 2016 thinking of what I could do better that it consumed me. This year’s motto is “good to great”. Like the individuals from the book by Phil Collins, only a few make that leap. If you take heed of these changes, the YOU could be one of the few.