By Sunny Simon

    Recently my friend Jeanette sent me an article by philanthropist Melinda Gates, who rather than making resolutions for the new year, chooses a word of the year that encapsulates her aspirations for the next twelve months. After soaking up her wise thoughts, I decided to follow suit and select a word, or phrase, I could use as a mantra to, as Melinda expressed it, “Make the year better and make me better.”

     As I contemplated selecting a phrase to inspire me all year long, I glanced down at my desk top. Sitting in one corner I spied two quarters, a nickel and a bright shiny penny. I had to laugh wondering if it could be any more obvious. My mantra for 2019 is change-agent!

     You know there are some years, like Melinda’s 2016, when your word should be gentle, as a reminder to go easy on yourself and stop striving for perfection. Not this year! If, like me, you are ready to kick status quo to the curb, read along I have some suggestions.

     Let me begin with some tough love. Embrace failure. That’s right. If you’re going to make some mega-sized changes in your life, you might at some point get thrown on your backside. Prepare yourself for this and push back. If you fall, go down swinging and don’t let it discourage you. Get tough, be resilient and deal with it, then try another approach. Next get comfortable being uncomfortable. Your actions over the next 12 months will take you far from the safe zone.

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     Now that you’ve primed your courage muscles, forget big leaps and act like a bricklayer. Take one action at a time but keep making progress. In the classic Aesop’s Fable tale, the arrogant hare lost because he stopped to nap along the way. Emulate the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.

     Ready to team up with other change-agents? You can start by reading. One of my favorite books on change is written by life coach, M.J. Ryan: “This Year I Will.” The coach lays out ten tips for making change and offers up powerful techniques to keep you moving forward without throwing in the towel.

     Are you feeling motivated? Forget the someday I will pipe dreams and get ready to tackle 2019. Make this you’re year of change. Be energetic. Show up with grit and determination. Acknowledge you are serious and committed. If you do, I promise you, you’ll look back on the present year with immense pride. Now, come on, let’s roll! Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com