Out with the Old. Ring in 2012!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Now that the parties are over and vacation breaks are winding to a close, we wanted to talk about setting yourself up for a great new start. Resolutions are great. Solid goals with specific dates and accountability…even better! But what about all that other stuff that we avoid, or sweep under the rug? Especially the little things that make moving onward and upward harder than it needs to be? Time for some last minute housekeeping. Literally and figuratively.

Here’s a quick list of tips to ensure the road ahead, isn’t filled with leftovers!


Anything left to put away? Unpack? Reorganize? Fix? Get your living space in order. Make it somewhere you’re excited to be at the end of the day. Be sure it is a reflection of you and what’s important to you. Think about putting new photos up (especially ones that motivate you). Update your bookshelf. Cancel those magazines that end up wasting your time and taking up space. Maybe even consider adopting an animal to brighten up your life and warm up your home.

Anyone you missed catching up with? Reconnecting with? Are there any special people you should have let know how important they are to you? Make it a point to connect with people more this year – especially live on the phone and in person. Social and online media is amazing, but it will never fully replace human contact….nor should it. Commit to taking your relationships to the next level, to being a better friend, son/daughter/niece/nephew/cousin, boss, employee, neighbor, etc. Spend more time with the people who matter most to you. And make sure that you’re also surrounded by fabulous mentors and advisors who know how to get you to the next level. It only takes a few minutes to send a quick note. And with the right people, you never know what opportunities that might lead to.

Any presents you forgot to send? Cards? Notes? Pictures? If you promised to “get together again soon” make those plans now! Take the time to plan visits to family you didn’t get to see this past month, even if the dates are months out. Think about staying in closer contacts with older family members too moving forward. Take advantage of still having them in your life.

Business Contacts
Make it a point not to take anyone for granted. Staying connected and close to your customers, patrons, mentors, advisors, staff, investors, and vendors can take a lot of time, but make the effort as often as you can. Even in bad economies, people take care of those who are kind and generous and take care of them. And hey, if we all took a little better care of looking out for one another, we’d all fare better through tough times.

Career Planning
Even if you’re not in a clear state of transition (changing jobs, starting a new business, moving, etc.), it’s still a great idea to think about where you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going. Are you happy with your situation? If not, shake things up and do something about it. Give some serious consideration to what you can do on the professional development front to make yourself an even greater asset to your current workplace or any others that you might attempt to join in the future. If you’re independent, commit to building more experience and expertise so you’re offering your clients more value and substance.

If you’re at a cross roads and are not sure what to do next, or are looking to jump to the next level, consider taking our free assessment on YSN.com and get “Your Path to Success” career planner. Regardless of where you are with your career, just don’t forget that maximizing your success is our specialty!

Time Management/Balance
If you’re time management got pretty sketchy towards the end of the year (again, like mine), you may want to consider coming up with some new rules, processes, or systems to keep you on track. I certainly am! Balance is another one of those concepts that you either live by religiously, actively strive for, or merely laugh at when suggested. (Been there!) Think about which group you fall into and what, if anything, you might want to do to change things up.

You’re already thinking about this one. Use up those free passes to palates or yoga or that crazy bootcamp you won in a raffle last year. Invest in a great new pair of running shoes or a new soccer ball. Give yourself the motivation you need to get active. Maybe there were some doctor visits you’re over due on? Perhaps you were going to clean the junk food out of your house or give up caffeine? Gasp. Think prevention. At any age, it’s a heck of a lot smarter (and cheaper) than waiting for something bad to happen. You start to figure that lesson out as you get older, one way or another.

Take control of your financial situation. Run your own cash flow statement. Get straight with yourself about where you stand and figure out where you’d like to be in the next quarter, or next year, at very least. What do you need to clean up, control or reallocate? Taxes, insurance, bookkeeping. Do a quick audit of your own. How can you make smarter decisions in 2012? Try to plan ahead for your bigger investments or indulgences too – whether this is the year you finally want to buy a place of your own, get a new car, or take a big trip somewhere fabulous. Invest in your career or your business. Consider what might make it easier for you to be more successful. Thinking ahead will ensure you make more calculating decisions along the way. Plus, with this volatile economy of ours, it’s never been a better time to start saving. Accept that change is constant and ensure you’re ready to roll with it!

Happiness/”YOU” time
Are there any new hobbies, traditions or activities that you want to incorporate into your life? Any big changes you’ve been putting off making? Any people purging you need to do? A new attitude or perspective you’d like to adopt? Despite however hard you might have to work at this stage in your career, take the time to enjoy the journey as much as you can and take care of you. You’ll be so much happier and more successful ultimately, as a result.

Here’s to your success in 2012 and beyond! If you have any other great tips, share them below….