“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” - Francis of Assisi

It’s that time of year again.  Resolutions are being made in anticipation for the New Year.  Many are all amazed about how fast the current year is coming to an end, but others are excited about the various opportunities the brand New Year will bring.

How do you feel about starting a new year?

According to Statistic Brain, here are two statistics about making New Years Resolutions:

- 45% of Americans usually make New Years Resolutions

- 8% of those people are successful in achieving their resolutions

This same Statistical Research Institute listed the Top 10 New Years Resolutions in 2015 included the following:

1.    Lose Weight

2.    Getting Organized

3.    Spend Less, Save More

4.    Enjoy Life to the Fullest

5.    Staying Fit and Healthy

6.    Learn Something Exciting

7.    Quit Smoking

8.    Help Others in Their Dreams

9.    Fall in Love

10.    Spend More Time with Family

So with all those statistics, what are your goals for 2017?

I love all sports and have found so many similarities when it comes to life, business management, and entrepreneurship.  During my years as a competitive athlete, I came to appreciate the gift of starting over or resetting.  There is a reason we have timeouts, new quarters, halftimes, and obviously new games.  These are opportunities for teams to stop and assess whether there is a need to change the game plan or continue with more of the same.  The start of the New Year is your time to shine.

There are many ways to bring success into your life.  I will not give all the ways, but I would like to share 3 sure ways to start a successful new year so you don’t end of part of the 92% of Americans that are unsuccessful at keeping your resolutions.

1.    Reflect on your past.  Why is it important to reflect on your past?  It is important to know where you are and what you have done for you to know where you are going.  In the past year, what accomplishments did you achieve?  But more importantly, what was a failure in the past year?  Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, and entrepreneur Marcus Garvey said, “A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”  It this case, the roots for you having a successful new year is reflecting on your past successes and failures.  But know you will learn more from your failure than your successes.

2.    Set up a plan.  There is no reason to start a journey without having a plan.  You need a plan if you want the new year to be filled with success.  Setting up a plan means setting goals for your New Year.  What is it you would like to accomplish in the New Year?  How do you plan on achieving your goals?  How fast would you like to accomplish it?  Goals are your roadmap to success.  You will have to be intentional about writing your goals and making them S.M.A.R.T.

-    Specific

-    Measurable

-    Attainable

-    Realistic

-    Time Based

3.    Be ready to put your plan into action.  Having a plan is good but you have to willing to put your plans into action.  Without action, it will be impossible to reach your goals.  Great plans without action cannot bring about success.  American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. Stated, “You must take action now that will move you towards your goals.  Develop a sense of urgency in your life.”  How serious are you about achieving your goals and living a successful year?  Start putting your plan into action.

I will leave you with this thought.  My friend and amazing business leader Sean O’Donnell said, “Plan your work and work your plan.”  This was a text he sent to me after watching me coach my middle son in basketball.  We won the game because we had a good plan, but more importantly the players were able to put the plan into action.

What do you need to reflect, plan, and put into action in order to enjoy a successful new year?  Please leave a comment below, send me a tweet on Twitter, or leave a comment on Facebook.