For some, 2015 was the year all your wildest dreams came true. You landed your dream job, you travelled the world, or you made a lot of money. For some, you found yourself unable to break out of your rut. Unable to break the shackles from the limitations you place on yourself and your potential. 2015 wasn’t your year. But 2016 can be.

With specific and direct effort, passion, enthusiasm and positivity, every single one of you can reach your potential in 2016. To help, here are my top tips on making 2016 your most successful year!

1. Realize that you don’t need a new year to start something new

Every day is a new day. Every day brings a new opportunity to create a new plan, go after something you’ve always wanted or work closer to creating and/ or achieving your goals. Don’t wait for Monday. Don’t wait for next week. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start today!

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2. Find your passion, and live it!

It’s easy to cruise through life doing what we’re expected to do. Going to school, then college, only to move into a career that we don’t really want to be in. Why not find something you love and make that your career? You might be thinking: “I can’t make money dancing” or “I can’t make money cooking”. First of all, forget about money! Money means shit if you’re miserable. And second, if you’re passionate about something, you will be good at it, and you will be able to draw an income by providing high value.

3. Develop your mind

“Change the way you look at things, and what you look at changes.”

Our happiness is completely dependant on our ability to deal with stress, set backs, challenges and bad experiences, and our ability to deal with these things is dependant on how we view these situations our mind.

For example, consider someone who has just lost their job. The under-developed mind feels sorry for itself, viewing the situation as devastating which leads to feelings of sadness and depression. On the contrary, someone with a higher mental capacity will simply see the situation as an opportunity for a new beginning, and to learn and grow.

Read books, read articles online, learn from people around you. The most significant turning point in my life was the moment I picked up the book ‘Success Through A Positive Attitude’ which began my journey of understanding and developing my mind. Our mind is our most important asset. Grow it!

4. Nurture your health through exercise and nutrition

It is unfortunate that in most civilized places around the world today, that a large percentage of the population are overweight, obese and unhealthy, which significantly increases the likelihood of developing a range of life-threatening illnesses and disease.  Do you think the 300 pound man sitting in McDonalds, chomping down on a double-quarter pounder, fries and coke, has any chance of achieving his potential and having a positive 2016?

If you want to maximize your chances of success, whether it be in business, sport or any other endeavour, you must make positive changes in regards to the foods you consume and the amount of physical activity you participate in. By exercising regularly and consuming a healthy, nutrient-dense diet filled primarily with adequate servings of fruits and vegetables, good quality complex carbohydrates, adequate protein and healthy fats, you can maximize your energy levels, reduce stress, improve cognitive function and so much more.

Check out these 5 important habits for improving your health

5. Dream big and set goals

Everybody has a dream. Something deep inside them that they know they’re destined for. Sometimes it can be difficult to work out exactly what that dream is, let alone have the confidence to chase it. But you have to. Your dreams aren’t a coincidence, they are your calling.

You may be thinking: “Yeah, sure, it’s great to have big dreams, but how do I transform my dreams into reality?”. The one and only way to materialize your dreams is to set goals and do everything in your power to achieve them. You can check out this Bulletproof Goal Setting Process to get you started. Setting regular goals will keep you motivated and moving in the right direction. If you don’t set goals, you don’t succeed. Period.

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6. Meditate

Two months ago I had the belief that meditation was some jedi-like, hocus-pocus that only buddhist’s and hippies could benefit from. Today, that belief has changed. While I am no meditation master, over the past eight weeks I have practiced meditating daily, through the use of the iPhone application called Headspace, and experienced mental clarity and focus that I have never had before. For me, I use meditation to calm my mind when I’m stressed, to help with focusing more intently at the task at hand and entering a state of flow (or the ‘zone’ as some people call it) more easily. All benefits that have helped me greatly at work and in everyday life.

7. Develop self confidence

You must develop a healthy confidence in yourself to succeed at anything in life. I’m not talking about arrogance here. I’m talking about believing that you have the skills, talent and mental fortitude to overcome the challenges that you face.

Self confidence can be developed in two ways:

  1. Practice, practice, practice. Regardless of your craft, work hard daily to get better. The more you practice at something, the better you get, and the greater the confidence you’ll have to complete the task successfully. This is applicable for business, sport, and for developing your character. Practice. Get better. Get confident. Simple, right?
  2. Become comfortable being you. Growing up I was shy and lacked confidence in myself and my abilities. It wasn’t until I let go of the fear of what others thought of me and expected me to be, that I was able to develop true self confidence. Don’t conform to what society says you should be. Learn to love who you are and be the best YOU, you can be.

The past does not dictate the present. Learn all you can from 2015 and adopt the principles above to give yourself the best chance of success in 2016.

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Thanks and all the best to you in the new year,

Owen Hone.