Management coach Philip Humbert wrote in his email newsletter TIPS: “In my years of coaching, I’ve developed a simple 3-step process that I use with most of my clients every year. I think it makes a difference and I urge you to take the time to give it a try.

1. First, review the past. “Those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”

The first step to changing the future is to acknowledge what already is. Ask good questions about 2015. What did you learn? What worked well? What would you like to repeat? What are you proud of? How did you grow, change or improve this year? How about your relationships, your career, your lifestyle? How about your income, your health and your hobbies? Ask good questions, and write down the answers.

2. Second, map the future. I like the term map because this is not a dream, a fantasy or even just a goal. What exactly would you like to change in 2016? Do you want to increase your income? Lose weight? Improve some relationships, buy a new house, change jobs?

Mapping the future requires that you balance optimism and ambition with a conservative assessment of what’s possible. Remember, reality never lies. It’s unlikely that you can change everything or do everything in one year. What are the specifics you really to want to change in 2006? Ask good questions; write down the answers.

3. Third, get a system. I’m a huge believer in plans and budgets and strategies. If you want to increase you income by 25 percent, you’ll probably have to make more sales, work more hours or learn new skills. When (exactly) will you do this? If you want to lose 10 pounds, you’ll probably have to exercise more and eat less. Make a plan!

The start of a new year is a wonderful time to take stock, adjust course and affirm your priorities, but it doesn’t happen by accident. Take time to review. Take time to plan and develop your system. Also, get the support you’ll need. You can make 2016 your best, most productive and rewarding year ever, but only if you arrange for success in advance. Do your homework! Make it happen!

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