So, tell me.

Did you get sucked in?

Did you feel the pressure to declare your New Year Resolutions?

What about intentions?

Goals?

Vision?

Well, I did.

Or at least I almost did.

And I tried really hard to get it all done before the new year.

But as much as I know that setting a direction forward is critical to achieve the success I desire, this year I decided to do things differently.

Instead of sitting to make a list of what I want to accomplish, I took a different approach; one that gave me more clarity, more excitement and more incentive than ever before, and I want to share it with you.

I followed these four steps to set my foundation for success:

Step 1 – The Year Just Finished

This year I started with the year just finishing by taking some time to reflect on where I was this time last year. I wrote down a complete list of what was going on in my life at that time. The programs and workshops I was planning, the clients I was working with, and the vision I had set for myself last year.

I wrote down how I felt in my relationship, how things were going with my children, how I was spending my time and with whom.

And then I documented everything that happened over the year.

The clients I served.

The vacations I took.

The workshops I taught and the speaking engagements I did.

I wrote about the highs and the lows, the accomplishments and the challenges.

Then I took another inventory by reflecting on where I am today. I did the same exercise until I had a full list of everything going on in my life, love and career at this moment in time.

And it was staggering; an incredible compilation of life experiences and movement forward. So much happened over the course of the year that I decided that I wanted to understand a little more about it.

Step 2 – Lessons learned

Now that I had a full inventory of the past 12 months, I took time to pull out the lessons learned through everything I had experienced. I challenged myself to identify 30 things I learned this year as a way to anchor them in my mind and use them as the foundation for what I will create going forward.

I wrote a lesson a day for 30 days, and was overwhelmed by just how much I had learned over the year.

Making the list exposed my vulnerability and yet has given me the courage and confidence needed for the road ahead.

Step 3 – Defining Success

Upon completing my lessons learned list, I realized that while I didn’t think so at the time, I had achieved so much over the year.  I could now see the success that I had and the magnitude of what I had experienced. So I decided to create a new definition of success for the upcoming year.

I thought about where I might be a year from now and asked myself what I hope to do, be and create in the next 12 months. I began to create a vision for what might be possible over these next months and got honest about what my life, love and career would have to look like in order for me to feel even more successful this time next year.

I challenged myself to think about all of the areas of my life that need my attention and define what success in each of them would be; and I wrote it all down.

Step 4 – Time for Action

Before I knew it, I had taken this past year and pulled from it the very best wisdom, inspiration and excitement it had to offer; and decided to leave all of the rest behind in 2015. With a strong foundation from which to build now in place, and a solid definition of success might look like in the coming year, I started a powerful action plan.

I made a list of the people I want to meet that might expand and enhance my career path; and the way I want to spend my time, personally and professionally.

I made a list of the travel I want to do, the experiences I want to have with my friends and family, and the romantic path that I hope to create.

And when my lists were complete, I got even more specific. I made a task list for January…tactical, strategic actions I could take that would open the door to potential opportunities and begin to create some momentum.

This process felt good, it felt reflective, rejuvenating and empowering. It also felt gentle, kind and graceful; while at the same time more powerful than ever before.

It’s not too late…it is never too late.

If you haven’t given yourself the gift of setting a path forward, give it a try.  And let me know how it goes.

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