13 introspective questions to make 2013 your best year yet

2012 is almost over. We’re less than a day away from a brand new year.

I love the new year! It’s new and fresh and untouched — ready for whatever I decide to imprint upon it. And I love that, by the end of 2013, I’ll look back and my fingerprint will be on the year. THAT is motivation for me to make it my best year yet.

As you get ready for the new year, take a moment to think about the answers to these 13 questions. The answers could potentially transform 2013 for you.

  1. What did you like about 2012 that you want to preserve (and even improve upon) in 2013?
  2. What did you not like about 2012 that you are leaving behind at 11:59:59 tonight, never to think of again?
  3. What resolutions/goals/commitments did you make in 2012?
  4. Did you keep those resolutions? (Why or why not?)
  5. What resolutions/goals/commitments are you adopting for the new year?
  6. What will you do differently this year to ensure that you keep them?
  7. What could you do differently to not only achieve your resolutions but surpass (and perhaps even double) them this year?
  8. What personal faults do you have that you are going to overcome this year?
  9. What do you fear and how can you face it to overcome it?
  10. What do you currently not know that would accelerate your success this year if you knew it?
  11. What are all of the relationships you have and how can you add value to each one this year?
  12. Who do you want to be at the end of 2013?
  13. What needs to transpire in the next 365 days for you to be that person?

If you answer these questions (and constantly revisit your answers), 2013 could be your best year yet!

My favorite 10 blog posts of 2012

It’s been an awesome year. I’m so thankful to my wife, my family, my friends, and my clients for helping to make it so good.

While reflecting on the year gone by, I wanted to post this list of my favorite 10 blog posts on my site this year. These aren’t necessarily the most popular or profound, but they’re the ones I’ve enjoyed writing the most.

1. KICK ASS

This year was very much a year in which I explored the need for taking focused and unrelenting action toward my goals. One of the first blog posts of the year was What’s your kick-ass plan? and it was a post that laid out an easy, clear way to start and finish projects.

2. I LOVE ZOMBIES

The very next day(after the above post), I posted this blog post: How zombies can help you stop procrastinating. It’s a LOOOOOONNNNNNNG post but it was fun to write and helpful to think about.

3. GETTING OLDER BUT NOT FEELING OLD

I had so much fun writing 37 lessons about business on my 37th birthday, and I got more feedback (and more positive feedback) from it than have on any of my blog posts. I really had to reach deep to find those lessons (I mean: I could write more than 37 but I wanted to write the best 37).

4. NEWSRANT

This next one might not seem like a very special blog post but it is one of the few times that I actually jumped on a news story and wrote a strong (and, I think coherent) objection against it. I normally stay out of the news but I couldn’t keep silent on this one: Neil Lawson of The Guardian is wrong: Why we shouldn’t ban outdoor advertising.

5. MY MOST USEFUL AND MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED POST

My blog post 100 small business strategy questions honestly didn’t get the traction I thought it deserved. But I love that post and I frequently reference it in my other writing… and even though it looks like a long, unwieldy list of questions, I think it has some very strong potential value for someone who is bold enough to work through all 100 questions!

6. THE UNSEXIEST TOPIC

I love investing and talking to other investors and I think due diligence is a topic that doesn’t get enough attention. Everyone says that you should do due diligence but no one says how. So I wrote what I felt was the definitive blog post on it: How to do your own due diligence.

7. MY SELF-INDULGENT HOBBY THAT NO ONE ELSE CARES ABOUT

I not only love investing (see above) but I especially love junior resource investing. And one of the topics that has caught my attention has been mining in Manitoba. It doesn’t get enough attention from analysts and experts and I wanted to study more about it. So the blog post Digging into Manitoba’s resource industry is frankly a self-indulgent journey of learning… but I love it and have learned so much (and I hope you have learned some too). Writing these mining in Manitoba posts make me think that I should become a Manitoba mining analyst.

8. WHOA

Did I really pass 1001 blog posts? Wow, I’ve been writing a lot.

9. PRACTICAL FOCUS

In September I did a 30-days-of-focus marathon in which I blogged regularly about the rewards and challenges of cultivating highly-focused willpower to stick with a task through completion. My blog post 24 steps to achieve unrelenting focus on any task or goal is one of my most practical (and profit-inducing) blog posts of the year. Apply the lessons in your business!

10. THE BLOG THAT SURPRISED ME

This blog post about a selling technique I call The Scales of Purchase was one of the biggest surprises for me. It started off as a completely different blog post but as I was writing, I started talking about the potential customer weighing for and against a purchase decision. From there, the blog took on a life of its own and I could barely stop writing!

I hope you had a great 2012. There are still a few more blog posts scheduled to be published here by the end of the year but I’m already busy working on 2013’s content (and probably sipping some celebratory champagne!).

This is the last lap. How are you running?

In sports, we’re always compelled by those athletes who dug deep in the last few minutes of the game and pushed themselves harder than ever while everyone else was starting to fade. It doesn’t matter what sport you prefer, that “last-ditch-effort” story is always going to stir some excitement.

Well guess what: YOU are that athlete and this year is YOUR race. Which makes this final week of 2012 the last lap of the race.

Are you going to let your effort slide now? It’s easy to look around at the other athletes (your competitors) and see that they are slowing down; it’s easy to look at the past year and see how far you’ve come.

But are you really going to be content with what you’ve achieved in the first 51 weeks/laps of this race only to let it all slide in the final lap? Wouldn’t you feel better about yourself in 2013 if you finished this week stronger than you finished every other week this year? And wouldn’t you have that much more of a head-start in 2013 if you put in some hours behind the desk this week?

Hey, I’m not saying that you should ignore your family and the time you have available with them, or that you should skip the big family dinner or that romantic sleigh-ride with your spouse while you toil in front of your computer. I realize that this season is often “family time” because many people have the time off.

But sometime this week, when the kids are playing with their new toys and your spouse is snoozing in front of a rerun of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, you have a chance to lace up your business gear one more time, dig deep within yourself to find that last burst of productivity, and then go knock a project off of your list.

  • Complete a project you have been putting off
  • Send out a dozen “feeler” emails to potential clients
  • Do some pre-writing of your marketing content for the new year so you’re not scrambling to do it on January 1st or 2nd
  • Get the ball rolling on a project you keep meaning to get around to

This is the final lap. Dig deep and make one last push!