January 30, 2010

Ten Tips for 2010

This is going to be a good year. In the words of Mary Crowley, founder of Home Interiors, "If it's going to be, it's up to me!" To make it good, I'm doing 10 simple things. As they say in the clothing industry: "You're welcome to try them on and see if they fit."

  1. Determine what matters most to you. Things change. Health changes; families move; finances shift. You may need to press the "Reset Button" and ask yourself what's Number One in 2010?
  2. List your top 3 strengths. Research studies show that we grow faster by accelerating our strengths -- rather than trying to wean ourselves away from our weaknesses. Strengths? Write them down. Examples: avid reader; can make people laugh; great with math and finance; interested in science and the future; nurturing with sick people; love technology; etc.
  3. List 6 people that would be pleased to hear from you. Someone with whom you've lost touch. Someone that has had to "tough it out" this past year. Or someone that cares deeply for you.
  4. Define 1 problem that you can reframe into an opportunity. This means take something that is a problem -- and rethink it. Look for ways that this problem will bring about some new ideas, new friends, new activities, new job, or new associations for you. None of us know what is around the bend. However, I do know that many times we can not see the opportunities out ahead of us because we have our heads down. Look up and look for ahead.
  5. Resolve to find and implement 1 way to save money. I found $1,300 this past year that had been "frittered away" in one area. What was I thinking? It brought no greater enjoyment, no greater status, no greater anything! I was simply not thinking! What other "areas" of my budget need evaluation and closer study? How about yours?
  6. Find 1 ongoing way to help others. The key is ongoing. What can you do that will make a difference to someone else? You know, we live in a country that values "good looks, big houses, frivolous consumption", and we can become pretty self-absorbed. Find your way to give...and do it over-and-over again. Ongoing help calls for your developing an interest and concern for one segment of people less fortune than you are... then give your time, talents and resources. It fulfills you while helping others.
  7. Make a list of new business relationships to pursue. Are you in the workplace, looking for a job, own your own business, retired? It doesn't matter. Evaluate new business relationships - pursue ones that pay off for you (and are pleasant); get rid of ones that cost you (and are unpleasant).
  8. Develop 3 new relationships this year. My husband and I try to find three new couples each year who we'd like to know better. We invite them for dinner or an evening out on the town. It broadens our perspective as we discover others' professions, hobbies, and passions. The old saying serves us well: "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver; the other is gold."
  9. Learn 2 new skills this year. I love to learn, and I also love to teach. So, I try to find new things that I know nothing about, like: blogging, webinar software, Wii-Fit, video uploads, animated software, Twittering, etc. I need all these skills to be better at what I do in my business. What do you need to learn to be better? Continuing education classes are offered at your local college, libraries offer free seminars; cities offer workshops. Keep your eyes open. Learn two new skills this year.
  10. And finally, recognize your 1 greatest fear. Say it. Repeat it. When you face your greatest fear, you can begin to dissect it...break it down into manageable parts. As you evaluate each part of your greatest fear, you will realize that you can overcome that small part of it. You can learn about it; you can ask others who've overcome it; you can develop a plan for just that small part of your greatest fear. Over a period of time, you realize that, if you had to, you are prepared to manage your greatest fear.

You may have your own 2010 list. I'd love to hear what's on yours, so share via comments on this blog. Whatever it is, I simply encourage you to do new things. I think it's healthier than "rut living". Jokingly: The grown-ups say the definition of insanity is "to keep on doing the same thing and expect different results." God willing... I'll be right here working on my list through 2010.

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