Tips for a successful 2014


As you approach the holiday season - hurriedly getting through your year-end responsibilities, as the calendar quickly moves through the December days - don't neglect to carve out some time to reflect upon the coming year. What will 2014 look like for you? What are you expecting? What do you want? How can you take charge of your own path - growing as a leader, building a high performing team or department, creating an extraordinary organization?


The new year brings endless possibility - but only if you are prepared to capitalize on it. Here's how to hit the ground running after the last holiday presents have been opened and the last of the New Year's champagne has been consumed.


Give it some thought.
What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? How will you get there? What must you start or stop doing? By when? Who will help you get there? What might stand in your way? How will you work around potential obstacles? These are all key questions to consider as you set your sights on success in the new year.


Commit it to paper.
Unless you write down your goals, you'll be unlikely to keep them top-of-mind as the daily challenges and demands of work hit you. Oh, you'll keep on plugging along, perhaps rather efficiently and effectively. But you probably won't make extraordinary strides toward achieving your personal and professional goals (or dreams).


Tell someone you trust.
There's nothing more useful than a little accountability, as you head down the path of change. Let's face it, change can be a daunting task. It goes against our habitual, do-it-without-thinking style of getting things done. By sharing your goals with someone you trust - someone who cares about you and supports your efforts at growth - you become much more likely to keep your goals top of mind, front and center.


Track your successes.
Although it can take some time for change to "stick" - and even more time for others to notice - you can (and should) be mindful of the changes you're making and the impact these changes are having. Even minor indications of progress can be mighty encouraging, so don't forget to take note. Write it all down and be sure to review your successes on a regular basis.


Keep on keepin' on.
Yes, change takes time and effort. Most importantly, it takes perseverance. The more you persist in your efforts to grow, the more likely you'll effect the kind of change that sticks. Nobody ever became a better presenter, a better listener, a more inspiring leader, more strategic or innovative, or a more collaborative partner by trying out a new approach a couple of times and leaving it at that. Consistency is the key to change that lasts. Don't stop until it's second nature to do things differently and to do them well.

As you can see, there's nothing here that you can't do. Think about it. Set your goals. Write them down. Enlist some support. Track your successes. And there you go!

Wishing you great success and happiness in 2014 and beyond...

All the best,  


Liz Bywater, PhD 
President, Bywater Consulting Group 
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Copyright 2013. Liz Bywater, PhD. Bywater Consulting Group, LLC. All rights reserved.