3 4 Don’t go it alone! Never underestimate the power of your social environment to support or sabotage your success. Recruit a cheer squad among your family and friends, enlist someone(s) to hold you accountable, hire a trainer, engage a coach, create a Facebook accountability group. Likewise, if there are people (or environmental triggers) in your life that pull you down or off track, address them directly and set clear boundaries up front. When you surround yourself with people who believe in you, it makes success so much easier to achieve! Make it measureable. It’s great to want to eat better, get fitter, be happier, relax more and create better work/life balance but you could add an apple a day to your diet and tick the first box. You need to set goals you can track and measure. For instance, if you want to get fitter, set a goal of running 10k by May 30th, then schedule how many workouts you’ll do each week. 5 Think big, but start small. Every great feat is really just the accumulation of thousands of smaller steps. So however big your goal, break it down into small short-term goals, and then down into small highly ‘doable’ bite size steps. E.g. Step 1, print out this article. Step 2, write down your goal (doing so increases the likelihood of achieving it by 70%). Step 3, tell your partner and ask them to hold you accountable. Step 4, schedule time to write down the next 10 steps! 6 Be realistic; expect setbacks. Success wouldn’t be meaningful if it landed easily in your lap. In fact it’s the roll-up-yoursleeves hard-yakka that grows your muscles for life. If it were easy to live a big and brave life everyone would be doing it. Assuming everything should fall neatly into place is a surefire recipe for disappointment and frustration. So too is thinking you’ll be as motivated a month from now as you are today. Motivation ebbs and flows, so too does luck. What matters most isn’t that everything goes exactly to plan, but that you stay connected to your ‘Big Why’ as doing so will pull you forward when habitual ways of thinking want to pull you backward. Your disappointments, bad-days, failures and setbacks don’t define you; how you respond to them does. 7 Invest in your best-self. Who are you when you are at your best? Physically strong and energetic with plenty of stamina. Emotionally confident and resilient. Mentally focused and calm and clear on your priorities. Spiritually centered and attuned to your highest purpose on this earth. Now ask yourself, what do you have to do for yourself - daily, weekly, regularly - to be that person… to be playing your ‘A Game’? Whatever it is, schedule time right now into your calendar for doing it! For working out, for planning ahead, decompressing, recentering, reconnecting, and recharging! You will go further and bounce back faster if you are continually investing in your ‘best-self.’ It’s not selfish, it’s not indulgent… it’s plain old smart and indispensible for living bravely! Last of all, whatever resolutions you make or goals you set for the year ahead, know that the greatest gift you get from your effort, sacrifice and bravery isn’t what you accomplish, it is who you become. So trust yourself, challenge yourself, value yourself, and believe in yourself. The world is hungry for you to step through the doubts and fears that are keeping you from pursuing your dreams, sharing your talents and making your unique mark. What are you waiting for? Do something, just one thing, every day of 2015 that pushes you outside your comfort zone, and you will not only be amazed at what you accomplish, but more so, who you become. Stronger. Braver. More confident. More you! Margie’s book, Stop Playing Safe, is available here.