5 Steps to Success in 2013

It’s almost 2013, and just as you did last year, and the year before, you’re probably starting to think about what you would like the New Year to bring. You may even be making New Year’s resolutions to support your wishes. But in all honesty by the time you get to February, you will once again be caught up in the daily grind of life, and your resolutions these will be long forgotten.

In 2013 consider doing things differently, by following this easy 5 step process. It’s simple, effective and very practical. It will assist you to make the changes that you know you need to make in order to have the life you desire in 2013.


Take a few minutes and reflect on 2012. Consider the high and low points. Then write down your answers to the following questions:

  • My greatest successes in 2012 were:
  • The things I wanted to achieve but are:
  • What stopped me was:


As you sit here, considering the year ahead, you have to understand that many of the things you do want in your life CAN happen. So get three sheets of paper and title them ‘same” ‘better’ and ‘best’. Now consider the year ahead and exactly what you really want from all the areas in your life – relationships, personal development, career, health, finances, friends and family, social life and your physical environment. Then starting with the sheet of paper marked ‘same’ write down what 2013 will look like if nothing changes, do the same with the sheets marked ‘better’ and ‘best’. You are now scripting out how 2013 will look from three different levels.


Walt Disney once stated that, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The things that you imagine in your mind are a powerful precursor to success. So your next action is to develop a Vision Board. This is a simple process, all you have to do is go through some of your old magazines and cut out pictures of things that visually represent what your success looks like, sounds like, smells like, and feels like, Choose pictures, patterns, colours, and words that best represent your most important dreams and successes for 2013. Then make a collage of your images. Reflect on these and really feel exactly what it would be like to achieve your dreams.


The only person that likes change is a baby with a dirty nappy. Whenever you bring about any type of change, you create resistance, because lets face it, it’s a lot more comfortable sitting in the comfort zone isn’t it? However, if you want things to be different, then you’re going to have to make some changes, whether you like it or not. On a sheet of paper, draw three columns going across the page and title them ‘the change’, ‘the challenge’, and ‘possible solutions’. In the first column, list the changes that you will need to make to bring your 2013 aspirations into reality. In the second column write down any challenges you will need to overcome and lastly, brainstorm some possible solutions to your identified challenges. As the old saying goes ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’!


Now it’s time to summarise and prioritise. Being focused is essential for turning ideas into action. Put the first things first, and ensure your goals and objectives are both specific and measurable. Get yourself a ‘support person’ to keep you on target. To finish, review all the great work you have done so far and make a list of no more than 5 goals. Choose someone to whom you will be accountable, and determine exactly how and when you will update them.

Finally, keep in mind that you can do anything if you really put your mind to it. It’s your life, your choice, so live your greatest life!

Mike Gardner is ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management specialists being regularly featured in articles in the small business sections of both The Times and Guardian newspapers. He is an author, speaker and mentor. He enables you to prioritize your activities, so that you can be incredibly productive, whilst still having time for the things that matter most in your life. He is an avid fan of Aston Villa, a Dad of Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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