What you focus on expands and grows…and what you take your attention away from withers and dies.

Just think about it for a moment, I bet you can think of many examples.

I use this mantra (we’ll call it WYFOE) daily and it is the foundation for my 10 Top Tips to approach the opportunity that a new year brings.

1.Goal.  What is that you want to be different by this time next year? A new skill, promotion, job, relationship, experience or understanding how to do something differently. Whatever it is, get really clear about this, the more crystal the better. WYFOE.

2.  Write it down somewhere you will see it regularly. There are studies showing that the act of writing it down increases our commitment to getting it done. Sticking it on a PC screen would result in us glancing at it several times a day until its done. WYFOE.

3.  Reflect on your achievements from last year. Take stock of changes you made for the better, the hurdles you overcame, the challenges you rose to, the personal developments you made. Make a list and write these down too. WYFOE.

4.  Attraction, our minds work like magnets in that we are drawn to what we think about. So it makes a lot of sense to think about what we DO want rather than what we don’t want. WFOE.

5.  Vigilance, become aware of what you give your focus, energy and time to. Start to notice what you notice. Ask yourself if this is taking you towards what you want? Become aware of situations and conversations you get involved in. WYFOE.

6.  Presence, most of the time things never really are that bad when you are in the moment. I’d go as far as to say that most of the time things are probably pretty good (see 7.). It’s when our thinking is stuck back in what we coulda, woulda, shoulda done that things seem heavier. Or maybe it’s the other way round where you are constantly catastrophising about what might happen or go wrong and in fear of the future. Either way you are never really living your life as it actually is if you are not present. WYFOE.

7.  Gratitude, a regular practice of writing down a list (start with 10 and build it up) of the things that you are grateful for is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel better, give you perspective and bring you back to centre if you have been knocked. By making a conscious choice to notice what is good in your life, big or small, creates balance when it is all too easy to have the heaviness of negativity overtake and weigh us down. WYFOE.

8.  Ownership, this is your life’s work and no one else is going to do it for you. Life has the meaning that you give it and that starts with our thinking- every time. Let go of unhelpful thinking like blaming others or circumstances when things don’t go as you hoped. Remember that the whole time you spend on blaming this or that is valuable time you could be using to source solutions or trying out another way to reach your goals. WYFOE.

9.  Reset, every minute, every hour, every day represents a fresh opportunity to have another go. You don’t have to wait for another year. If it didn’t happen for you at the first attempt, try again, find another way of doing it, model someone who can, fake it ‘til you make it, just keep on keeping on! If you give up at the first obstacle surely you have to question how much you really want it? WYFOE.

10.  Repetition, so this seems to be the key to really making a habit of something and of a behaviour becoming truly integrated. Going from conscious actions to unconscious hard wiring that is something you no longer have to think about – you just do it with ease. WYFOE.

Happy 2017!