So if your 2013 has been anything like mine you went into it without resolutions and simply prepared for success. 2012 was a year that for many, just needed to end. But good does come from bad. You have the opportunity to be blessed by your struggles and hardships if you allow yourself to learn from them. As the preachers say, “Turn your setbacks into setups!” The following seven keys, all of which I learned from hardships, will set you up to for success in life and love — to be prepared for your blessings in these areas when they come:
- Know your value – Being an expert on what you add to this life, your friends, your family, your community, your job and refuse to be undervalued by those who WILL try to convince you that you aren’t special.
- Trust and use your power – When opportunity strikes, don’t spend a single second doubting your ability to rise to the occasion. Stand up, speak up and use all that you have to step into what is yours. If you don’t, rest assured someone else will. Don’t be on the sidelines knowing you could’ve done better what you should’ve been doing in the first place.
- Love a little more – Patience, forgiveness, reassurance…speak words that bear fruit and don’t tear down, refuse to stoop to lower levels when you feel yourself being pulled down, resist temptation when you know you and/or someone around you will be hurt, resist the desire to defend and fight, instead seek concessions, be the peacemaker, see the other point of view — even if it is wrong and speak truth, calmly and assertively.
- Surround yourself with people who make you better – This may require you to seek out folks who are better than you. I hope your ego will allow for this to happen.
- Talk less, listen more – This shouldn’t need any explanation, but revisit “Love a little more” for a refresher.
- Play – If you have any children in your life, watch them for pointers. Set your imagination free, find hobbies that allow your mind to soar: cooking, reading, working, traveling, chasing down that passion on the side (Note to men: if you have a family the bills MUST be paid first and the food MUST be on the table before you begin chasing dreams).
- Write down your goals – How do you expect to succeed if you don’t have a plan? You don’t have to physically write them down if that’s not what you do but there’s no way you’re going to stay on task if you don’t have any. And an unorganized mind makes for a disorganized life.
- *The bonus point – If you count yourself as a believer, pray and praise with all your heart mind and soul. Pray when things are bad and pray when things are good. Invite God into your life and do this FIRST. And all else will follow.
Leave every unnecessary thing and person on the table, at the door, on the curb with the trash — wherever it needs to go. This way you can live your best possible 2013 strong and filled with life. Do this for your sake and the sake of your family.
Happy New Year!