Do You Make These 9 Year-End Mistakes? (Part 1)

We’re in the home stretch.  2011 is almost in our rearview mirror and 2012 is coming over the horizon.  Most of us are scrambling to get final deals done to make our quarterly numbers, and last minute shopping and holiday preparation cram every spare minute.

In this 3-part series, I want to help you make 2012 your best year yet!

As you are in the midst of the hustle and bustle, be sure to not make one of these common year-end mistakes, because they can sabotage 2012 before it even begins.

1.  Wait until December 31st to think about 2012.

Most people are so busy with the holiday season that they really don’t give any significant thought to the next year until the new year is upon them.  On New Year’s eve they give some cursory thought to what they don’t like about their life, and they make a few snap “resolutions” for the new year.

The old-adage is true:  We don’t plan to fail.  We fail to plan.  If you want 2012 to be an amazing year filled with progress and accomplishment and fulfillment you need to invest in yourself and those you love NOW.  Take 15-20 minutes each night or morning between now and January 1st to put a plan in place for the new year.  It’s an investment that will pay dividends for years.

2.  Focus on where you’re NOT after a whole other year has passed

Most of us spend our time at the end of the year focused on what we haven’t accomplished.  That 15 pounds we promised ourselves we’d lose LAST year is still “hanging around.”  The “not missing a day of Bible study and prayer,” went out the window somewhere in February and has been hit or miss since.  The debts are still there.  We still haven’t taken that trip to Paris.  It’s easy to see what we haven’t done.  It’s also a huge mistake to focus there.

There are two keys to success that are vastly overlooked.  I don’t have time to speak of them in detail in this post, but I will be elaborating on each in the coming days.

The first key is to have an attitude of gratitude.  As I said here, what you focus on expands.  Spend time at the end of this year thinking about all that you have accomplished!  Think about all the things in your life that you are grateful for.  The more you focus on these positives, the more energy you will have to expand those areas and the more likely you will be to receive more in those areas.

Second, we have to program our subconscious to pursue success.  This means celebrating wins rather than beating ourselves up over losses.  When you focus on what you don’t do you beat your subconscious up, essentially telling yourself that all the effort is not worth it because you can never win.  Your subconscious becomes, in effect, “gun shy.”  Make a list of all your wins this year, however small you may think they are, and really celebrate them!  Fist pump!  High five!  Roll them over in your mind and revel in the success!  It creates a pattern and builds an insatiable appetite in your mind for winning.

3.  Set goals based on someone else’s expectations

A lot of us are trying to live someone else’s life.  We’re trying to look the way someone else thinks we should look, value the things someone else thinks we should value, and take the path someone else says is acceptable.  Apart from the standards that God has established in His Holy Word, we can’t allow others’ arbitrary opinions to dictate our life.  It’s a zero-sum game and we can never win it.  If you want to really win big in life, you have to pursue your passions!  You have to pursue your purpose!

So many of us set new year’s resolutions that we think will make us more acceptable, when what we need to be doing is considering how we can blaze our own trail and leave convention behind.  The men and women most of us admire didn’t try to “fit in” or be “normal.”  They pursued what God put in their heart with an unbridled and unapologetic abandon.  As you eye 2012, be thinking less about what others think and more about what you are really on this earth to do!

Read Part 2 and Part 3, and PLEASE leave comments below.  None of us are as smart as all of us.  We’d love your feedback and input.  Your contribution is invaluable!

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