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Thirteen steps to a great 2013

The number “13” has always been my “lucky” number. I was born on a Friday the 13th and have celebrated some “milestone” birthdays on Friday the 13th (the most recent was my 50th Birthday). So I’m entering this New Year with great hopes and expectations, as I’m past due for having a “good year." While I personally don't establish New Year’s Resolutions, I do plan and set personal and business goals for myself.

So without further ado, here are my 13 tips for helping you to make 2013 your best year (yet!):

1. Review and reflect on what’s worked for you in the past and make the necessary adjustments to change what didn’t when establishing your goals for 2013 and beyond. This is a great time to ask yourself the tough questions and in your reflection see what answers you receive and then act on them.

2. Is there any “unfinished business” from the previous year(s) which needs to be completed? If so, address & resolve before you move forward with the New Year. Don’t reuse leftover goals from previous years, if you didn’t achieve them in the past, what’s different now that will make this year any different?

3. Establish specific, well-defined, clear, unambiguous and detailed goals; avoid vague goals like “make more money” or “be happier”. Write them down and review them daily.

Review them upon waking in the morning and just before you go to bed in the evening. The more you see them and start to attach yourself to them, the greater the chance of your subconscious mind helping you to find the right resources to help you meet your goals.

4. Choose relevant goals that will allow you to track your progress, with stepped milestones to measure your progress towards achieving them. Celebrate when reaching your personal “milestones”. Frequently review your progress and adjust accordingly. There’s no shame in modifying a goal to meet your reality!

5. Write them down. read them regularly. Merely setting goals will not help you achieve short-term or long-term success. (See # 3 above) Goals need to be reviewed daily for them to become your reality. This has worked me for me in the past, and many other very successful people.

6. When establishing your goals, it’s critical to determine “WHAT do you want?” and “WHY do you want it?” If you can’t answer these two “simple” questions, you’re not likely going to achieve your goals!

7. Take focused & targeted action; today, tomorrow, nextweek and next month.

Producing results is more important to your success than being “comfortable”, recognize and embrace your fears and overcome them. Dare to venture beyond your “comfort zone”. Each day you should think of three things that you can do that day that will help move you closer toward achieving your goals. Write these three action steps down and complete them before you finish your day.

8. As Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." Now more than ever, it’s imperative that you not only work on your business, but also spend adequate time on improving your personal knowledge & skills. Improve your communication & presentation skills. Listen more, talk less.

9. Be accountable, to yourself and others. Admit your mistakes, fix them and go forward. Don’t dwell on your past failures, learn from them and grow. If you don’t take charge in 2013, who will?

10. Mentor someone. Share your knowledge and experience with someone who is deserving of your input. You got where you are with the help of many people. Give back.

11. Regularly express gratitude, say thank you and mean it. Practice random acts of kindness, just because you can. I have a gratitude journal that I write in every day and I write at least 10 things I’m grateful for at the moment. I usually do this first thing in the morning to start my day off right.

12. Have fun. Laugh. Take the time to appreciate all the beautiful things that are in your life. Strive to create an environment where you have more of these things.

“LUCKY” 13. Dare to set big goals and then go out and achieve them!

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Michael Schmidlen

Michael Schmidlen is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully run his multi-million dollar home-based business for 20 years. Michael is working on his first book, “Memoirs of THE Underwear Entrepreneur," where he shares his many business experiences and unique stories. The book is designed to be a blueprint for other small business owners, would-be entrepreneurs and startups to beat the overwhelming odds to create a successful, thriving small business model.

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