The New Year is always a great time to stop the craziness long enough to reflect on what went right last year, what went wrong and what would you like to do in the coming year.

While resolutions like losing weight or quitting smoking are very worthy, it takes more than a passing resolution to make a change. It takes a plan and a commitment. Or, you’re more than likely to fail.

What I’m betting is you’d do better to dwell on a time when you did have success than to focus too much on what didn’t go right. The reason is focusing on success brings more success. It helps build confidence and that allows you to win. Start by dusting off and building on the good habits you already have.

Are you thinking if I already do something good why do I need to focus on it?

I stress this type of focus because it’s so easy to get away from the good things we do in our lives and in our businesses.

I remember one time I asked a new client, who were partners, to share a successful marketing promotion they had done through the years. They both lit up and excitedly told me about a yearly carnival that the local town sponsored. They had a big booth and they offered free ice cream coupons if a prospect would fill out a simple form that they used for future lead generation.

I asked them, “How’s the promotion working these days?”

The partners looked at one another and began to laugh as they blurted out in unison, “Oh….we haven’t been in that event in over two years!” Funny thing is neither one of them remembered why they would have stopped a successful marketing idea.

It’s just as easy to fall out of good habits as it is to pickup bad ones. You’re either getting better or you’re getting worse. There is no staying the same.

It’s the same with the clients I’ve been lucky enough to work with over the years. Many great programs and great habits I helped get in place can fall to the wayside if there isn’t constant care and attention. That’s because the initial enthusiasm can wane and a turn for the better gets replaced by the tendency to relax and let things slide. There is a false assumption that they, the staff, must know and be acting accordingly by now so after awhile that program, that good habit or good system that was “firmly in place” becomes kind of in place if at all.

At best, this flaw is the recipe for disappointment and at worse it sows the seeds of future disaster.

Human nature is powerful. You’re either working on keeping good things in place or what you need to be working on to put good things in place or the bad things will take over. Think of it like the need to constantly be weeding a garden.

Here’s how to get things off to a great start in 2010. Make a short list right now:
    1.  What went right last year
    2.  What went wrong last year
    3.  What you need to do that didn’t get done last year

Then, put a plan in place with the necessary meetings and training that keep the good things getting better, the bad things happening less often or not at all, and build the company you’ve always dreamed of.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year with Less Stress and More Success!

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