What does success look like? How would you define it? After the different year we have had and as we think about the new year ahead I believe success means happiness and achieving what you are after. After years of mentoring and coaching people, and being mentored and coached by many great people, I think I have a fair handle on what fundamentals assist personal and business success. So as you embark on another year, with uncertainty still all around us, and as you put plans in place for what you want to achieve I thought I would share my thoughts that in my experience have proven to be quite helpful. I refer a lot to friends, as it starts with us personally, however this can be applied directly to the business environment as well. I think for your best chance of success this year, and any year for that matter, there are three core areas of focus:

  1. Actually knowing what YOU want
  2. Having the right relationships and support
  3. Reflection and applied learning

If you don’t know what you want or what you are trying to achieve then how can you get it or strive for it? How can others help you? And it is important that it is what YOU want. Not what others want for you, not what society wants, not what you think people want you to do but what YOU want. If it isn’t what you want, if your reason isn’t big enough, then when things get tough or not everything goes your way you will likely falter or give in. The pressure will be too much. In determining what you want, try to understand why you want it. This will help you set your reason and ensure it is your reason. As you set what you want, your goals, the more pointed you can be the easier it will be to plan, to measure, to get help and ultimately to visualise and achieve. What you want does not have to be everything in your life or career. That may be too big for you to decide from where you are currently at which is fine; reduce your timeframes or intensity of the outcome. It may just be what you want for the next month or quarter or year as opposed to forever. Finally whilst you don’t want to get into the habit of chopping and changing your goals or what you want, your goals can evolve; that is natural. Just make sure they remain what YOU want. Having the right mentor or confidante can really help you here as well.

Relationships are key to your success and happiness. Whether in your career/business or personal life. Relationships are two way though. If you are always chasing so called friends, always inviting but never being invited, people are fake around you, just being used as an introducer to other people or generally feeling as though things are one way, being lied to or being told part truths, an ‘always take’ relationship, then face facts. These are not relationships; well not good relationships for you anyway. For you to get what you are after forget these people and surround yourself with people that pick you up, want you around and want to be around you, genuinely care about you and not just themselves and truly give and take. This is not easy by any means as these people may be family or long term ‘friends’ or key associates/colleagues. Either way you cannot achieve your goals unless you have the right relationships. They say ‘Forgiveness will set you free’ and I believe it is true but forgiving people doesn’t mean you need to still tolerate these relationships. Yes all of us make mistakes and forgiveness has it’s place for genuine people but when it relates to these toxic relationships, forgive them for you and move on. it will make you feel better. None of this is about making excuses or being a victim, a ‘poor me’ mentality, it is just making sure you get yourself in the right place with the right people to support your plans. And when you do have the right people and relationships around you, value and cherish them and invest in them. This is about quality relationships not the number you have. It is clear that the right relationships will support you achieving what you want.

In striving for what you want, and generally in living life, you will get some things right and plenty of things wrong. That is fine, mistakes are how we learn and improve if we want to. A great habit to get into each day is reflection. What did you do right today? Why did it? What led to this result? What did you enjoy? How can you replicate it? How can you improve? Likewise what didn’t go right or what did you get wrong? What didn’t turn out the way you had intended? Why is that? What could have been changed in your approach? How could you communicate better or more effectively? Real success requires continuous improvement as opposed to one off moments. Reflection provides a basis for this to occur. However reflection is only one part of the equation. Application is the critical other part. If you cannot or do not apply what you learn then you may as well not learn in the first place. Rather than just reflecting in thoughts, write things down. Keep a track of things and learnings. This provides for accountability but also to be able to share with your supporting relationships, including mentors, and get their thoughts and assistance. Accountability is very important in this process as well. It is easy to blame others or say it wasn’t your fault or you never had a chance etc as this makes you feel better…temporarily. Taking ownership and being accountable though will lead to much more growth and ultimately your success.

There are many other things to consider day in day out, no doubt about that, but hopefully this provides you a great basis to make 2021 one of your best years yet!