8 Things to Keep in Mind when Reaching for the Stars in 2017

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

Ready to reach for the stars in 2017?

I know I am.

BUT to achieve hopes, dreams and goals, there needs to be a method-to-the-madness. A how-am-I-going-to-master-this-plan. You can't get to a new destination without having some idea of the direction to head. I think that’s where many people get themselves into a pickle. They have a grandiose dream, which is totally fine, but once they start implementing, they discover it takes, time, money, sweat and tears. It’s at that point they typically lose much of their "oomph" and the dream gets tucked back in the closet for "some day."

People also get themselves jammed up when:

1. They don't know how to go about getting what they want.

2. They waste time doing things that aren't aligned with their true passion.

3. They do tasks or take on work that doesn’t mesh with their personality.

4. They let the Internal Doubt Monster talk them out of what they really want from life and business.

5. They settle (they take the cheap, d-bag client because they are “easy to get”) and then become disheartened when the world is miserable and low-paying.

6. They don’t have any system of checks-and-balances or accountability that will keep them on track.

7. They plow forward with no real plan of monetization or sustainability for their business or dreams.

Sound familiar? Here are some tips to help you not only kick butt this year, but to attain the “stars” you are reaching for:

Have a plan. Have an End Game: Have a clear vision of your success and what that journey will look like. Throwing “stuff” at the wall to see what sticks is never an effective strategy. Knowing the direction you need to head, and the To Dos you need to tick off your list to get there, is far better flailing about like a whirling dervish.

Celebrate the Victories and Bucket List Accomplishments of 2016: I believe we will all appreciate our new ambitions more if we are aware of where we've been and how fa we've come in the last 12 months. I am proud to say that I accomplished some major victories and milestones this year including flying for the first time in 20+ years, experiencing the Great Smokey Mountains, writing for the Huffington Post and delving into the world of equine therapy. I can't wait to see what I conquer in 2017.

Don’t Isolate: Build Relationships: I am the first to admit that, when working from home, there is a tendency to become a hermit. I personally get so caught up in the trap of “hunkering down and grinding out work” I forget to have a life beyond the four walls of my office. The result is the feeling of being alone on an island shouting, HEY, IS ANYONE THERE? You need to continually work to build connections (online and off-line) and actively participate in networking with Real Live Human Begins. Trust me, it sucks being lonely.

Look for the JV: Joint Ventures, or “JV,” are beneficial to business but are also great ways to network, gain new customers and even learn new things. So, the big question is how to you build relationships with people you’ve never met? Ask to be included. There are a multitude of blogger link-ups, joint venture opps and Facebook Mastermind Groups to look in. If you see a series on a blog, or a reoccurring online or offline event, that you’d like to be included in simply reach out to the admins of those blogs or events and ask.

Be Seen: Social media is a great way to connect, be seen and drive traffic back to our sites, but it also needs to be practiced in a consistent way. Don’t be the entrepreneur who shows up once a week dumps a load of tweets or retweets in a 15 minute span, only to disappear again for another week. Use third party tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule social media updates into the future to keep your coverage and visibility consistent. Commenting on other blogs is another ninja trick for great visibility and I mean REALLY commenting. Don’t be “that” person who does a drive-by-comment by leaving something as lame and half-hearted as “nice article.” Engage and connect and build a relationship slowly and in an authentic way.

Give Back: Are you a Giver or Receiver? I am a true Giver and helping others makes my heart sing. If you see someone struggling with something on social media or a blog that could use a little help, offer a friendly suggestion or help-no strings attached. If you see a new business who is trying their best to spread their wings and fly, offer them a guest post spot on your site or write it yourself. Not everything you do for others should have the underlying goal of making them a new customer. Share information, offer encouragement or even your time to those in need just because it’s the right thing to do.

Don't Give In to the Naysayers and Criticizers: "They go low, we go high" is a kick-arse mantra from this last 2016 Election. Naysayers get under our skin because, like a shark that smells blood, they know how to prey on the negative self-talk that is always unfortunately rattling around in the back of our mind. If someone is being mean-spirited and hateful, chalk this up to someone who is unhappy in their own life and needs a Misery Buddy in their Pit of Despair. Shake it off, move on, walk away. Don’t feed the trolls.

Feed Your Brain: Every year I pick a topic (business or non-business related) that I want to know more about. In 2016 it was essential oils, fashion and podcasting. In 2017 it will be sales tactics, course writing and equine therapy. Fill and feed your brain with what it needs to explore this Big Ol' World we live in (and don’t be afraid to spend $$ to do so). Education is an investment in your future; git 'er done.

What will you do to clear the path so you can reach for the stars in 2017?

Popular in the Community