Ten ways to start the new year

The Covington News - - OPINION -

It’s the be­gin­ning of a new year and a great chance to start over — but how? Here are 10 ways to gain a fresh start in 2014.

1. What’s past is past. Wipe all the dis­ap­point­ments of 2013 and ear­lier from your mind.

What has hap­pened be­fore, whether by your own choices or the ac­tions of oth­ers, can­not be changed. Any amount of dwelling and wal­low­ing will not help. Pre­tend you have am­ne­sia and that it never hap­pened, while re­tain­ing the lessons learned from the ex­pe­ri­ence. Then do this again ev­ery month, ev­ery week and even ev­ery morn­ing. When you re­flect, re­flect on what was good and on what you learned; let the rest fall be­hind you.

2.De­fine suc­cess. Whether it be money made, time spent, lives changed or ex­pe­ri­ences cre­ated, ev­ery per­son has a dif­fer­ent def­i­ni­tion of suc­cess. Do not worry if yours is dif­fer­ent from any­one else’s. In­stead, worry if it is the same.

3. Think about long-term suc­cess, not short-term suc­cess. Noth­ing grand can be com­pleted in a year, so don’t at­tempt to re­build your life in such a short time.

Write your obituary. What do you want said about you when you die?

4. De­fine what you can do in the com­ing year that will build a foun­da­tion to achieve your long-term goals. Is it get­ting an ad­di­tional de­gree, pay­ing off credit card bills, re­build­ing re­la­tion­ships? What can be done in one year that will set the stage for long- term suc­cess? Now, write it down.

5. Sur­vey the ter­rain. What are the strengths and weak­nesses of your po­si­tion? What is hap­pen­ing in the en­vi­ron­ment around you and is there any way to take ad­van­tage of the winds and cur­rents of change that are al­ready hap­pen­ing in your in­dus­try and in your life? Write down how you can take ad­van­tage of the ter­rain.

6. Take in­ven­tory of tal­ent and sup­plies. What are the as­sets avail­able to be used and are there any al­liances to be made that might help you reach those goals and help your al­lies reach theirs? A full and com­plete in­ven­tory might al­low you to rec­og­nize pre­vi­ously un­used as­sets. En­sure that all as­sets and pos­si­ble al­liances are be­ing put to use. Put this in writ­ing.

7. Break your an­nual goal into sub-goals that can be com­pleted in in­di­vid­ual months. De­ter­mine what needs to be done each month to make your an­nual goal easy to ac­com­plish. Write it on a cal­en­dar for a monthly check in. That’s the easy part; then make sure that the monthly check-in oc­curs in a timely man­ner. Be truth­ful with your­self re­gard­ing whether you are mak­ing suf­fi­cient progress and reeval­u­ate your goals on a monthly ba­sis. Are you mak­ing ex­tra progress in some ar­eas, but not as much in oth­ers? Once the monthly eval­u­a­tions take place and the goals are re­cal­i­brated and writ­ten down, cel­e­brate your suc­cesses and for­get your fail­ures.

8. Trans­late the monthly goals into daily ac­tiv­i­ties. In the end, all ac­com­plish­ments are the re­sult of daily ac­tiv­ity. What should hap­pen on a daily ba­sis to make the monthly goal in­evitable? Write th­ese items down and re­view them ev­ery morn­ing and night. The morn­ing re­view will re­mind you of what your goals are for the day, the nightly re­view will al­low you to de­ter­mine if the daily goals have been met. Re­cal­i­brate your daily ac­tiv­ity, if nec­es­sary. Again, for­get your fail­ures and cel­e­brate your suc­cesses.

9. De­velop on­go­ing am­ne­sia. For­get what did not work for you last year and your fail­ures, (yes, we all had them). Cel­e­brate your suc­cesses. Con­tinue this on a yearly, monthly, weekly and daily ba­sis. A large part of life is about mo­men­tum; pos­i­tive mo­men­tum should be am­pli­fied and re­in­forced.

10. En­joy life. En­joy your fam­ily, pets, friends, clients, sup­pli­ers and even the per­son who bags your gro­ceries. We only get one life, and there is a good chance that it will be shorter than we might like, so en­joy the time that you have. Take time out ev­ery day — even if it is only 10 min­utes — just for you. Take a hot bath, read a book, stare out the win­dow.

In the end, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that life is not about the ac­com­plish­ments; it’s about the re­la­tion­ships that we make along the way -- in­clud­ing our re­la­tion­ship with our­selves.

JACKIE CUSH­MAN COLUM­NIST

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