To make the most out of 2014, start at the end, and answer "what would you like to say you did this year?"
My friend, Laura Vanderkam, had a smash hit this year with her book, "What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast", and I thought this quiet holiday week a good time to share her secrets of those savvy folks who make the most of the darkness before dawn.
Her best bit of advice? To make the most out of 2014, start at the end, and answer "what would you like to say you did this year?" Specifically, her advice is:
Write the professional review you'd like to give yourself at the end of 2014.
What three big professional goals would you like to say you accomplished? Think through the coming year and put down on paper the achievements you'd like to push yourself to complete. What steps will you have taken to get there? What obstacles will you have overcome? What small triumphs and milestone rewards will you celebrate along the way?
Visualize your success, and the (always unexpectedly changing) path there, and you'll be a long step towards professional happiness twelve months hence.
Laura adds, that you can do this in your personal life, too.
You've no doubt been getting holiday letters and cards from family and friends with their pictures of vacations taken, babies had, and memories created. So...
Why not write your holiday card or letter now? In December 2013?
What would you like to say you've done in your personal life by the end of next year? Knowing that you want to say this is the year you joined a choir, visited Dublin, or started volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club vastly increases the chances that those things actually happen.
A little forward thinking remakes the future to your liking.
To get Laura's tips, insights, and advice on improving your odds of making those future projections a reality, pick up her eBook at Amazon: "What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast", and give yourself an unfair advantage in the New Year.
I'll be rooting for you.
Marc Cenedella is the Chairman of TheLadders, the premier online job-matching service for career-driven professionals, which has transformed the way job candidates and employers connect online. Follow Marc on Twitter here @cenedella.