20 Life-Changing Habits That Will Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever

by Marcus Sheridan

Well folks, it’s the week of goals, dreams, and the magic of thinking big. With the New Year here, it’s a fresh start for all of us, and I know many of you are hoping to make 2012 your greatest year ever.

This past year for me was a special and memorable one, and I’ve decided to make a list today of the habits, behaviors, and actions that made such a year possible, as the momentum seems to keep growing by the day.

life changing habits

Instead of listing all the things you should be doing to make this year great, I want to talk about the things you may want to consider stopping as this new year rolls forward. I’ve been working on every single one of these habits for well over a year now, and I’d strongly urge you to consider each, as their impact on my life has been unbelievable.

But if you feel like some of these suggestions don’t apply to your situation, then happily chuck them aside and move on to the next one.

Here goes….

20 Life-Changing Habits That Will Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever

1. Stop Thinking you can do this alone

That’s right, you can’t. We all have weakness, and we all need others to reach our full potential. Behind every great man and woman there are multiple pillars of support in the shadows.

Since the very beginning of time, man was not meant to be alone, and this principle has not changed whatsoever these many, many years.

2. Stop telling people, including yourself, that you’re tired

Seriously, how many times have you made this statement in your life? For some folks, it’s their natural response to being asked, “How are you?”

But the hard truth is no one cares that you or I are tired. By verbalizing the feeling it not only becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, but it also brings others down in the process.

3. Stop Worry About Stupid Numbers that Don’t Matter, Like Klout

I personally talked with Joe Fernandez, founder of Klout recently. Here was our conversation:

Me: Joe, your system interests me, it’s visionary, and I can see why many people put so much stock in Klout scores. Notwithstanding, if I’m going to be busting my tail anyway, I don’t think it really matters if I know my Klout score or not, which is why I see no need to check it. What’s your take?

Joe: Actually, that’s very true.

The time has come for all of us to stop worrying about so many metrics that don’t really mean a darn thing. In business, we should be worrying about customers and profits. In life, we should be worried about peace, happiness, and fulfillment. The rest, too often, is simply empty noise.

(Oh, and if you don’t know what Klout is, don’t bother looking it up, as it doesn’t matter)

4. Stop Watching the News

I don’t care if you’re republican, democrat, whatever—the news stinks. I stopped watching it a little over a year ago and I became a happier person. The moment I realized 99.9% of what I was watching was outside my circle of influence, I happily let it sail off into the sunset without me.

(Note*** Just because you don’t watch the news, doesn’t mean you’re not informed or don’t care about the world. You’ll be amazed at how the news will still find you if you adhere to what I’m suggesting here.)

5. Stop Allowing Yourself To Get Pinged to Death

I laugh when people tell me they can handle writing a blog post while having their phone go off with every text message, email, etc. Fact is, we all grossly over-estimate our ability to ‘multitask’. In fact, because we can only have one thought in our head at a time, the idea of multi-tasking, for the most part, is a complete myth.

A few months ago I turned my phone on silent. No longer do I hear any pings. I check it every 30-60 minutes as needed, but it no longer runs my life.

Do yourself a favor and take charge of the technology, noise, and distractions in your life. I can assure you, it will make all the difference in the world.

6. Stop Wasting Your Vehicle Time

Most people will not agree with this statement, but the majority of radio we listen to in the car is a complete waste of brain cells. Yes, music can be nice and soothing, but so can an inspirational or educational podcast, so can a book on CD, and so can silent meditation.

This past year I listened to well over 50 books, plus hundreds of talks and seminars, while looking through the windshield of my vehicle—and what a difference it made in my day to day thoughts and emotions.

7. Stop Waiting to Ask Others for Forgiveness

If there is anyone in life that you’ve had a falling out with, the time to carry that weight around with you must come to an end. Call the person. Whether you were wrong or not, ask for forgiveness. Just let it go. Let me assure you it will be one of the most empowering and enlightening experiences of your life.

8. Stop Saying Yes to Every ‘Opportunity’

The more successful you become, the more you’ll need to say ‘no’ to others. I never understood this principle until the magic of momentum came into my life so strongly in 2011, but today I find myself saying ‘no’ much more than I say ‘yes’.

9. Stop Trying to Be Everything to Everybody

Remember our little conversation about ‘knowing your shtick’? In business and in life, the quickest way to unhappiness and frustration is by trying to be everything to everybody.

Accept the fact that you’re just not a good fit with certain people.

Accept the reality that your business wasn’t meant to do certain things.

Just be good at being you. Embrace who and what that is, and run with it without looking back.

10. Stop Waiting for Your ‘Big Break’, It Doesn’t Exist

I used to say to myself, “I think this might be my big break” whenever something ‘great’ would happen. But shortly thereafter, things would get back to normal and I’d realize the ‘big-break’ was just another small step in the path towards reaching my goals.

Today, I don’t think about ‘big breaks’ any longer. I solely try to string as many consistent positive moments together, day after day, with the hopes that eventually it will snowball into the success vision that I currently have in my head.

11. Stop Reading This Blog If You Haven’t Ever Applied Anything I’ve Said

No, I’m not kidding. If you’ve been reading this blog for months or years and still have yet to apply what you’ve read, I beg you to unsubscribe this second and go do something that really matters.

12. Stop Trying to Be on Every Social Media Platform

You can’t be Mr. Twitter, Mr. Facebook, Mr. LinkedIn, Mr.Google +, Mr. Blog, and Mr. “Soup of the Day” social media platform. It simply doesn’t work like that. Again, know your shtick. Don’t be a jack of all trades and master of none. Find greatness in at least one area first and then move on.

13. Stop Denying Your Spiritual Side

I don’t care if you’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, whatever—the spiritual stuff matters. Finding happiness in life is about achieving balance on an emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual level. More and more, people are thinking they don’t need to lean on their spiritual roots to reach their potential, but the reality is we all need to look up a little more often and ‘return to source’.

14. Stop Doing What You’ve Been Prompted a Hundred Times to Stop Doing

I’m not going to tell you what this one is because it’s your prompting, not mine.  I just know you keep getting it. So do I. Now let’s stop making excuses and tackle the dang thing, shall we??

15. Stop Telling Yourself Why It Won’t Work

Was I ready to start The Sales Lion when I did? Heck no. There were a million reasons why the timing was bad, why the resources just weren’t yet there, and why my lack of knowledge would hinder success.

But I did it anyway, and it was the greatest business decision of my life.

Stop counting the reasons why that prompting you’ve been getting won’t work. Now start counting the reasons why it will be a success.

And when you’re done, go launch that baby.

16. Stop Agreeing With Other People So Much

The time has come to question the status-quo. It’s also time to stop nodding your head ‘yes’ when your favorite friend, writer, or political leader says what’s good and what’s not good.

Listen to your gut. Give heed to your intuition. You were given that gift for a reason—to use it.

17. Stop Saying You’ll Start Eating Healthy and Losing Weight

Fact: No one ever lost any weight by talking about dieting.

So instead of talking about it, start eating less, working out more, and taking back control of your physical self.

18. Stop Texting and Driving

I’ll be honest in saying I used to have this problem, but I got tired of seeing and hearing about people dying due to distracted driving. Today, I drive with my phone on silent and despite the fact that I don’t answer my messages in real-time, life still finds a way manage OK.

19. Stop Consuming So Much Information without Doing Anything

Seriously, do you really think that next eBook for $27.99 is going to tell you way more than you already know? It amazes me how many people would rather ‘consume’ all day than actually apply the teachings they’ve been reading and hearing again and again and again.

The fact is most of us don’t need any more information, we just need to actually do something.

20. Stop Waiting to Tell Those You Most Care About How Much You Love Them

I’m serious about this one. Many of you know what I’m talking about because you’ve recently experienced the death of a loved one.

One of the greatest moments of my life was when I wrote my grandfather a very long letter, expressing my deepest personal feelings and sentiments, shortly before he died a few years ago. I cannot imagine the regret I would have had I not listened to the prompting I received and written him that letter.

Your Turn

So those are the 20 actions I’ve taken in my life that have made all the difference, but like any list, there is always more. If you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d ask that you share it with a friend or consider leaving a comment below answering this question– What action have you recently stopped  doing that has made a positive difference in your life?

As always, your thoughts and opinions matter, so feel free to leave them below.

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{ 186 comments… read them below or add one }

Srinivas December 27, 2011 at

Marcus,

There’s quite a bit of wisdom in this post. I’ve stopped many of these things over the years and it has made a profound difference in my life. One of the things you pointed out is how many people consume information without taking action. I’m amazed by that considering certain things take no more than 5 minutes to implement. We really underestimate how small things add up over time. My favorite example is Derek’s post on plugging subscriber leaks. It takes a few minutes to put into action. Over the coures of the last 3 months it’s tripled my subscriber rate. Amazing what you can do in 5 mins each day that will have a long term impact. In man ways I’m realizing that getting what you REALLY want is about what you’re willing to give up more than what you’re willing to do. Cheers to a prosperous 2012 and kicking some serious ass.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

You know Srini, I think you just stumbled upon a great blog post or eBook— “The Power of 5 Minutes a Day..”

You should write it brother, that’d be awesome. I’m serious.

Keep rocking it over there on your blog man,

Marcus

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Drewry January 5, 2012 at

Marcus,

can I look forward to you becoming a member of the site soon? :-)

http://www.YouTube.com/DrewryMedia

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karen27 January 6, 2012 at

Great advice, Marcus. I especially like “stop making excuses and tackle the dang thing”. Just do it, right? That’s exactly what I did when I launched my new women’s hockey blog on January 1, 2012. It was almost as scary as taking up hockey in my mid-40s but with fewer injuries :). Thanks to great advice and inspiration from people like you, I have learned a ton about blogging in the past few months and have had an encouraging launch. Keep up the good work – I’m listening!

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Drewry January 12, 2012 at

I couldn’t agree more about what you said about “there’s quite a bit old wisdom in this post”. Marcus is doing a fantastic job with this blog, as well as the quality of his site traffic :-)

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Harriet December 27, 2011 at

Hope you had a good Christmas! These are lovely tips for the new year! Well done. Its so important to think positive at the turn of the new year and make a fresh start!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

It was a great Christmas Harriet, yes! And may your 2012 be an amazing one!!

Marcus

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Steve December 27, 2011 at

Just wanted to say – this is one of the greatest articles I’ve seen. Great job.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear words like this Steve.

Thank you so very much,

Marcus

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barbara December 27, 2011 at

Great advice Marcus, as always. Recently I’ve put into motion many of the things I intend to accomplish in 2012. It’s the year of the memoir, and more art sales.

On your list I have to say… #4, I can’t. I don’t just watch the news I read major papers so I can get a broader view. We need to be informed or this country is truly going to hell in a hand basket.

#5, Yes!

#6, maybe… I don’t spend hours in the car anymore and I love music. For me the radio blasting is joy so I can’t turn it off. I do need to listen to podcasts, etc. more and it’s a good time and place to do that but on longer trips I’m usually with my husband who doesn’t really care to listen to a blogging/ social networking podcast. ;)

#12, AMEN!

Here’s to a fabulous 2012 for all!
b

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Hey Barbara! So glad you liked the list.

Regarding #4, notice I didn’t say “don’t be informed”, but I think the big problem that so many have is that they go beyond simply staying informed to becoming very emotionally invested in the news, which also leads to anger and frustration. I submit that it’s possible to stay informed but at the same time not take the news, and all the crazy personalities that come with it, to an extreme.

Not sure if that makes sense, but that’s my strategy and it has made a huge difference in my life.

Thank you again for all the support Barbara!!

Marcus

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Dan Purdy December 27, 2011 at

Thank you for including the “spiritual” side in your comments.
Fighting Life’s Fires is a personal coaching system that begins
with understanding one’s core belief system, to serve others
and then eventually one’s own self.
http://www.daring.biz/coaching

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

I very much appreciate you saying that Dan. For me, it’s all about a life in balance, and the spiritual is an incredibly intricate part of that.

Thanks so very much for stopping by Dan and I hope your 2012 is a tremendous one,

Marcus

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Stef December 27, 2011 at

YES! When I chucked #2 my life, business, and training got about 1000 times better. I rarely see anyone talk about that one — NICE!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Awesome Stef!!! Love hearing stuff like that! :-)

Thanks so much for your thoughts,

Marcus

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Steve Roy December 27, 2011 at

Marcus,
This is an amazing list and I appreciate that you’ve shared it with all of us. Can you imagine if all of your readers did everything on this list? Now imagine it spreading to their friends and family. Think of all the good that would come from it.

You know my situation well, but I can tell anyone reading this that asking for forgiveness is huge! My life was changed for the better on Christmas after calling my brother who I hadn’t spoken to in 6 years.

Your point about being tired is excellent as well. I’ve never really thought about it, but I use that excuse ALL the time. Actually almost every night, I tell myself that I’m tired and need a break. Then I realize that it’s what I’ve been doing for so long and my life will not change if I continue with it.

Your suggestion of exercising later at night in order to recharge yourself is incredible although I have to admit I have yet to try it. I know it will work and have seen how beneficial it has been for you.

Thanks for this..

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Hey Steve, appreciate all your kind words man.

The tired thing is a huge deal. Most folks have no idea how bad of a habit it is. Now that you’re aware of it, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about here, and if you eliminate it from your vernacular, it will have some incredible benefits.

As for your bro, you already know how very proud I am of you for that. Now just keep going.

Talk soon,

Marcus

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Andrea December 27, 2011 at

Lol, Marcus, you really like Klout right? :D If you want I can check your score for you.

Now, wearing the serious hat, great post, really, every point counts and it’s difficult to say if there is one better than the others as they are all good. From stop losing useful time to decrease technology crazyness, even social media crazyness, to cooperate with others they are all good.

For me things have changed first when I found the Sales Lion while searching for a review of Livefyre. Bam! And my approach to blogging has changed forever and I begun following a bunch of great and friendly bloggers beginning to learn the real “tricks” of the trade. People like you, Danny Brown, Frank Dickinson and others. That’s why I’ve decided to throw almost every social thing in the bin and copying others to stick to being what I want to be, a friendly Hypnotist who aims to help others keeping things as simple as they can be. Clearly I try to earn some money in the meantime but the aim is to be a friendly and honest helper, so to speak. As soon as I find a way to increase comments and interaction with readers. Any advice welcomed. ;)

But for the inner wellbeing of everyone I think point n° 20 is the most important one and the most forgotten. It’s terrible to lose a loved one without him or her clearly knowing how much we loved them because we’ll regret this forever and it’s a hard thing to cope with and accept. We always think there is enough time while in reality it can be that we have no more left so it’s important that we let our feelings to go out everyday. Just to be sure.

Wonderful post Marcus, really a masterpiece.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Andrea, it has truly been a pleasure getting to know you recently and I always look forward to how much you add to the conversation.

Continued excellence, and I really hope you get the results you’re looking for out of your site this year coming!!

Marcus

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Andrea December 29, 2011 at

It’s the same for me, and actually Marcus if I don’t get the results I want it means that I haven’t be enough serious in following your advices. ;)

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deb from ps bohemian December 27, 2011 at

“4. Stop Watching the News”

my daughter and i have timed it and know that if we turn on the local news at 9:17pm we’ll get to see the weather and then we can turn the rest off – works quite well for avoiding negative news while giving us our weather forecast fix ;)

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Love your system Deb!! Seriously, that’s excellent :-)

Thanks so much for dropping by,

Marcus

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Joanne Berube December 27, 2011 at

I stopped watching the news and it’s been a huge difference in sleeping better and my attitude !! You are right !!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Exactly Joanne! Attitude is everything, and it’s impossible to listen to negativity and complaining all day without it having some type of adverse impact.

Keep it up Joanne! :-)

Marcus

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Rebecca Livermore December 27, 2011 at

#1 — definitely. I’m lining up my reinforcements!

#2. — Okay, I needed to hear this one, because I have definitely been saying that the past several weeks.

#7 — most definitely! I once had someone sitting next to me on a long international flight ask what the secret was to my long-term marriage. I answered in one word: forgiveness.

#8 — another biggy. I’m carefully considering what to say no to and what to say yes to.

#9 — yep, kind of fits with #8, also.

#10. — correct. It’s a series of small steps that lead to big things.

#13. — I think you know how I feel about this one. :)

#14. — absolutely — it’s important to not just focus on what we should do, but also stop doing what we know is wrong. Of course, I often find it helpful to replace a negative behavior with a positive one. In other words for each of my weak areas, I’ve come up with an opposite action to take every time I am tempted to do something wrong. So instead of giving in to temptation, I focus on developing positive habits that are the exact opposite of my area of weakness. (I wish I did this perfectly, but at least it is something I strive to do.)

#16. Oh oh. Am I agreeing with you too much, or do we just tend to be like-minded?

#20. Oh, if you only knew! I am so the opposite in this area.In fact, when my son was about 5, one day when I told him I loved him he said, “I know, Mom, but you don’t have to tell me so often.” My response: “Oh, okay. So how often should I tell you?” He replied, “You can tell me every Saturday.” “Okay, Son.”

So a few days later he came to me and said, “Mom, I’ll bet you sure love me!” I replied, “Yes, Son, I do, but I can’t tell you until Saturday.” A few minutes later he came to me and said, “Mom, you can tell me your love me whenever you want.” “I love you, Son.” :)

My family actually jokes around that my tombstone will read, “She loved everybody.” I actually do hold back on saying it sometimes to people outside of my family (primarily men) because I don’t want it to be taken the wrong way. So just know that is just the way I am, in case it ever slips out!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

I loved this comment Rebecca. :-)

The story with your son, and his reaction to not hearing those magical words, is a classic.

But I think I’d much rather be known as the person that told everyone that ‘he loved everybody’ than the guy that never expressed his true feelings to those most important around him.

You’re awesome Rebecca!!

Marcus

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe December 27, 2011 at

If there’s anything with klout here, it’s TSL…

Great way to kick off the last week of ’11 to segue it into ’12. I needed, in October of this year, to stop ignoring my health and fitness so much and make it a top priority. More to come on that in the near future. #17 is at the top of my list…

#4 is extremely important, but some habits are hard to break. I was brought up watching the nightly news, to think it was what we needed for information. But it is a terrible habit. I play a game now where I see if there is ANY hint of a positive news story on the local broadcasts that I watch. I’m usually kept waiting a loooong time…

I’ll give NBC News some props here. They will occasionally do an uplifting story about a member of our military either overseas or coming home. I do look forward to those if I happen to catch them.

#12 is a great suggestion. I’m better on Facebook than the other platforms, so that’s where I tend to do my best sharing. Yes, I’m on Twitter and Linked In, but for ease of use and connecting with people I care about, Facebook’s my thang.

Thanks for saving the best for last at #20. You did a great job writing that letter when you did. So important to do things like this. Suzie and I sent out 35 Christmas cards this year, writing notes to family members telling them how much we were thinking of them, and in some cases, how much we missed them.

The most important people you can uplift and encourage are those closest friends and family members. You are right, these moments have potential to be “great”.

Thanks for this fantastic list. It’s certain to start off ’12 with a bang!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Joe, so great to hear from you on this my friend. :) I can understand the news thing. We all grew up with it and in many ways feel like it’s our duty to watch it. At the same time, I think it’s possible to stay informed with the world’s most important events but not experience the negative energy and frustration that so often comes with watching the news channels.

But your game of ‘seeing the positive’ is an awesome one. In fact, I think there needs to exist a ’24 hour positive news station’.

Appreciate you a ton Joe,

Marcus

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Ryan Hanley December 27, 2011 at

Marcus,

As always this is amazing content…

There are two in particular that I think are the simplest changes to make yet the most difficult emotionally:

8. Stop Saying Yes to Every ‘Opportunity’
9. Stop Trying to Be Everything to Everybody

If I can pin down one major concept that has held me back from Truly Crushing Business it was that I said Yes way too much and want everyone to think I could do everything…

Niche baby… This goes directly to the Skype call we had. Niche, Niche, Niche, No one wants the guy that’s kinda good at everything. They want the ROCKSTAR of that particular problem they need a solution for.

Also as an Insurance Agent I would also say that #18 is EXTREMELY Important. Texting in Cars Kills… No Joke.

Don’t be a statistic.

Thanks bro…

Ryan H.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

You’re one of the absolute best supporters to this blog Ryan and I very much appreciate that my friend.

But know also that what impresses me the most about you is the fact that you’re a doer, and not just ‘sayer’.

Let’ s make 2012 amazing my friend,

Marcus

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Jack@TheJackB December 27, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I told 2011 that I was going to enjoy watching it disappear and to watch out because I plan on giving it a nice sucker punch on the way out.

I am going to use three quotes to sum up what I am trying to do in 2012:

“Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
““Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
- Vince Lombardi

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Joe @ Not Your Average Joe December 27, 2011 at

Love the Lombardi quote, Jack. Perfect.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Awesome, awesome quotes Jack. Absolutely love it my man, and I look forward to see you do your thing this coming year my friend.

Best,

Marcus

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Sandi Amorim December 27, 2011 at

Could be my new favourite post here! Most of all love #4 and #5 which I already stopped a long time ago. Except for scheduled calls, I don’t answer my phone anymore and life has mellowed out considerably! People complained at first, but like anything it’s just a matter of retraining (myself and them!)

Great post Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

LOVE that word Sandi–”Retraining”…I think we’ve all developed a lot of bad habits, one of which is this ‘real-time’ expectation.

As for 4, most people think ‘being informed’ means watching the news. I honestly don’t agree with that. Information finds us just fine, at least that’s what I’ve found, and I don’t need to watch talk show upon talk show, and update upon update, to know exactly what the next person does about the really important stuff.

Thrilled you stopped by here Sandi, thanks so very much!!

Marcus

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Sandi Amorim December 28, 2011 at

When I first gave up watching TV and reading newspapers I felt a bit clueless. My poor father was unable to understand how I could survive life without watching at least 1 hour of news every day! But I’d scan the headlines online, hear people talking and get it in conversation. I didn’t need to take it in myself. So I don’t and somehow life has gone on ;-)

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Ricardo Bueno December 27, 2011 at

#17 was a big one for me this year. Last year, I spent a lot of time commuting (100 miles every day). That’s changed. But it was still tough for me to make going to the gym a daily/weekly habit.

I’m up to about ~50 days straight at the gym. I was running 2-3 miles per day, lifting weights 2-3 times per week, and playing basketball. Now I’m lifting weights and swimming (hurt my ankle). But going to the gym is a part of my daily routine.

I feel healthier, I’m less tired, and I feel great. In fact, I feel weird, or slightly bad when I don’t go to the gym. Best habit I’ve developed this year!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Ribeezie, that is awesome man, sounds like you’ve taken your fitness to a whole new level man. That’s really great!

Have an amazing 2012 my friend!!

Marcus

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Jens P. Berget December 28, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,

I’ve been working hard at doing many of the things that you’re suggesting, and I’m trying to make them into habits. Especially the ones about technology, focus, action, diet/exercise.

What I have had a problem with is metrics and things like Klout. So many people seem to think that stuff like this matters (like your Alexa ranking), and because so many people believe that they’re important, I’m thinking that I also need to do whatever I can to increase/decrease my scores.

I have to keep working on being better at focusing on what really matters :)

- awesome list Marcus.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Yep, the number of silly metrics is growing by the day Jens, and it is going to be a battle for all of us to stay grounded and continue to remember what is and what is not important.

You really do impress the heck out of me Jens and I really think you’re going to have an amazing 2012!

Marcus

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Ricardo December 28, 2011 at

My 3 changing habits for the year are:
1) Leave myself alone. Question my mind and not believe my thoughts. Just because they are my thoughts it doesn’t mean they are true. Also lots of thoughts are just hurtful, I have no interest in creating a comfortable home for hurtful thoughts.

2) Listen with 100% attention to whoever is speaking in front of me. If I don’t agree with what I hear ignore my thought that says so and keep on listening and allowing my mind to do what it needs to do. So much better if it needs to break.

3) Feel life. Life is to be experienced and enjoyed not thought. I’d rather feel as much as I can moment by moment and make decisions from a solid place at the moment when they need to be made than unconsciously try to recreate in the outside my unconscious ideas and theories about how the world needs to operate.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Ricardo, man, I really love how you’ve stated these out, and all 3 have some major merit….Especially learning to listen!!

Thanks so much for adding this to the conversation and may your 2012 be an amazing one!!

Marcus

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Annie Andre December 28, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,
I’m afraid to say i love this post because i always agree with everything you say. LOL
but seriously, all good points.
This year has been enormous for me as i’ve done more in the last year and a half than ive done in a decade. things that make me happy that is. And it has a lot to do with taking action. I have never formally set goals. i ‘m more of a do it and do it with all your might kind of person.
Now i think i can do more if i take my fly by the seat of my pants attitude like i usually do and combine it with a new way of thinking: careful goal setting and monthly check ins. I’ve never done this before. And finally as you so clearly pointed out, stop doing certain things that are sabotaging my grand plan. May of which are on my list.
p.s.
I stopped watching news about 3 years ago and i can say that i don’t miss it at all. now when i watch it i get depressed adn it derails my positive attitude.
Happy New Year to you and your clan from mine.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

You’re so awesome and kind Annie, I love hearing that 2011 was such a great year for you and I’m excited to see what you have in store for 2012.

Just do me a favor and let me know how it’s going in a few months, OK!

Best,

Marcus

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Lori Gosselin December 28, 2011 at

Hi Marcus,
I just got “that email” from you that tells me you got hacked. I don’t know any other way to contact you that doesn’t involve your email so I thought I’d tell you here. I’ve seen this a lot – and wanted to let you know so you could let your friends (and especially your acquaintances) know so they don’t send money to this hacker pretending to be you stuck in the UK with your family and no money.
Lori

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Josh Sarz December 28, 2011 at

My dad got that email a couple years ago from an old friend of his. It’s still in circulation? Wow.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Yep, quite frustrating man!

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Appreciate that Lori, I hope to have it straight now!

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Josh Sarz December 28, 2011 at

Woah, mane man. For a second there I thought you were mad at me. Hah

7. Stop Waiting to Ask Others for Forgiveness – You killed me here
9. Stop Trying to Be Everything to Everybody – You killed me again, Mane man
12. Stop Trying to Be on Every Social Media Platform – Not quite, but you almost did
15. Stop Telling Yourself Why It Won’t Work – How many times have you killed me now?
16. Stop Agreeing With Other People So Much – Oh come on…
17. Stop Saying You’ll Start Eating Healthy and Losing Weight – Okay, that’s it. I’m so dead.

I agree on every one of those… (#16 tells me not to agree, but I can’t disagree with this post dude). Very nice post. Very straightforward. Like a stab in the heart. Hah

Have a blessed year ahead of you, Mane man.

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Marcus Sheridan December 28, 2011 at

Stabs are good occasion, so I’m glad you appreciated the post bud ;)

But like the article says Josh, now you need to go do something about it. ;-)

Marcus

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Josh Sarz December 28, 2011 at

You’re right. Thanks for the stab. I probably needed that.

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Mike Glover December 28, 2011 at

Where has this blog been all my life?

Seriously, what a great post to re-energize everyone for the ocming year. So many of the 20 items you posted have had a negative impact in my professional and personal life at one time or another.

Good news for me—>>>I have found my New Years’s resolution list!

Thanks for sharing!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Hahahaha, love it Mike. But to answer your question, the blog has been here for 2 years waiting for good people like you to come by more often!

Have a wonderful New Years Mike, and make it happen my friend!

Marcus

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Keith Davis December 28, 2011 at

Hold fire Marcus
I can manage all but “Stop Watching the News” or in my case, listening to the news.

I’m a radio man and I only listen to two things, sport and the news.
Take away the news and that only leaves me with sport!

Are you allowing 19 out of 20 or do we have to go the whole hog?

Marcus – great post.

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Hahahaha, no Keith, to be honest man, I’m just happy if you apply one of these, as that’s a step in the right direction brother :-)

May your 2012 be as enlightening as ever my friend, and may your witty-ways continue to make those around you smile. :-)

Marcus

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Jackie Paulson December 28, 2011 at

11. Stop Reading This Blog If You Haven’t Ever Applied Anything I’ve Said

No, I’m not kidding. If you’ve been reading this blog for months or years and still have yet to apply what you’ve read, I beg you to unsubscribe this second and go do something that really matters.

This one is funny and true. I do read your blog, and I enjoy learning from “intelligent” people such as yourself. It is posts that “keep it real” like yours that keep me “real.” Thank you and happy 2012~

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

That’s very, very kind of you Jackie! :-)

And I hope to continue to do just that —keep it real—in 2012!!

Best to you as well, and thanks for the support.

Marcus

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Harriet Cabelly December 28, 2011 at

Wow, this is absolutely fabulous!! Every single point is a big Yes nod and resonates so loud and clear. I’ve printed it up to hang on my frig as a constant reminder and forwarded it to many friends. Thank you again for a dynamite piece that is so applicable to our lives.

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

You are so very kind to come by and say this Harriett, thank you!!

And thank you for your support over the last year, I really do appreciate it!

Best in 2012,

Marcus

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Mark December 28, 2011 at

Hey Marcus. I received that same email – happy to hear the Sheridan clan is all good :)

One thing I’m going to change this year – - I’m going to stop saying to myself that I’m non-technical and actually start learning how to work with some of the tools that are provided.

I find myself relying far too much on others to get things done.

Happy Holidays to you and yours; I know you’re absolutely going to kill it in 2012!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

You know Mark, you and I are very similar in that regard. I’m trying very, very hard to get over my tech ‘issues’ and stop thinking I’m a total dufus in that area. It has been a slow process for me, but it’s getting there.

Thank you Mark for all your support this year. I really, really appreciate it my friend.

Marcus

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Brooks @ ahungrylife.com December 28, 2011 at

Excellent energy in this post–thanks! Personal fav from your list: “Accept the fact that you’re just not a good fit with certain people….Just be good at being you. Embrace who and what that is, and run with it without looking back.”

Good vibes for 2012…

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Brooks, a pleasure to meet you!!

And yes, let’s embrace who we are my man and run with it in 2012!!

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Marcus

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Crystal December 28, 2011 at

Wow, Marcus – talk about wisdom! Are you divinely inspired, or what? I’ve already integrated some of these into my life (especially 4, 8, 12 and 17) but will sure be working on others (most notably 19, to start). Thanks so much for this post!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Yes, we all can use a little more of #19 Crystal, and I hope you’re able to achieve just that this coming year. May your 2012 be an amazing one!!

Thanks for all the support,

Marcus

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Walter Pollard December 28, 2011 at

Marcus – What a fabulous post! Your honesty, exuberance, spiritual flow and positive thinking is fantastic. This list definitely drives home the point of some areas that I need to focus on in 2012.

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Walter Pollard December 28, 2011 at

I neglected to mention, I was in the grocery store the other day and stopped to ask one of the employees regarding the location of a specific item. As this very pleasant individual guided me to the product he asked how was my Christmas, I responded great and in turn asked the same of him. He smiled and said he was homeless but happy to have two jobs.

I feel compelled to bring this up because positive thinking and quit sweating the small stuff is what this blog is all about. As we all start our new year we should all think more of others.

Thank you Marcus for such positive thinking in a world of negativity.

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

That story was absolutely exceptional my friend. Seriously. If only everyone had that mentality.

It has been great getting to know you this year my man.

To an amazing 2012!!

Marcus

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Jen Allen December 28, 2011 at

Well done, sir. Reposting, tweeting, printing off for a friend….

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jen. :-)

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Leah December 28, 2011 at

Thank you for this. I found it refreshing and inspiring. I consider this post to be “optimistic-realism,” and I thank you for that.

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Ken Mueller December 28, 2011 at

Great list, Marcus. I’m on board with all of them.

Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be so agreeable. Dang. Gotta figure this out!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Hahahaha, thanks Ken. And well done yourself on an amazing body of work in 2011. You impressed the heck out of me bud.

Keep it up my man!

Marcus

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Chris S December 28, 2011 at

Yeah, I have slowly started applying the information I have gathered here and there. Applying what I have read is one of the harder things since I have to leave my comfort zone and change habits and other things around.
I have noticed improvement as I continue doing my best to change myself.
I have fallen many times but I must keep rising and doing my best again.
I am thankful for your article here and many on the change blog which is how I got here.

I wish you a great new year and more discoveries,

Chris S

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

All that matters is the improvement part Chris. It won’t happen in a day my friend, not for any of us.

This thing called life is a constant learning process, but we’re getting there bud. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Marcus

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Nancy Davis December 28, 2011 at

So much in this list is great Marcus. For years I tried to be what everyone wanted me to be. The only problem with that was I was miserable. I hated myself and I hated my life.

Now I am doing something different. I am trying to help myself and change my situation. I have forgiven those who have harmed me, even though that was a painful process. I could no longer carry that baggage around.

This year has been tough, and I am hoping for better things in the year to come!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

I know 2011 has been very tough for you Nancy, and may I sincerely say that I’m hoping you’re able to turn it around this coming year and find that happiness and peace you’re looking for.

Stay strong and smile often :-)

Marcus

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Marc Halliburton December 28, 2011 at

Marcus, I like 16 & 19. The others I don’t do but for now I am a bit of a sponge as I am learning eveything I can in this space. I read a great book, related to our industry in the Mortgage Banking space and he had seveal of these and alot of them I practice daily. One that I am trying to break is the email screen up 10 hours a day. I run two screens so i am working on shuting it down for an hour at a time, then checking it….like your pinging. Be well, Marc

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Love it Marc, and it sounds like you’re setting up for a heck of a 2012 my friend.

Keep learning, growing, and pushing brother :-)

Marcus

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Beth Patton December 28, 2011 at

The best things I have done, within the last year, is to stop blaming others and owning the mistakes I have made; instead, I admit to my mistakes and learn from them.
Giving of myself has been the best life-changing decision I have made. The last four years, since my husbands cancer surgery, I became involved in the Relay for Life, and Making Strides For Breast Cancer. I feel more positive through giving to others, and have met so many wonderful people in the process. Getting a headache is nothing compared to what these brave people go through.
20 Life-Changing Habits That Will Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever, have so many true sentiments, and is just so matter-of-fact, it’s easy for anyone to follow.
Thank you

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

LOVE it Beth! Yes, the ‘blame game’ is one of the worst detriments to all of us, and it’s a cancer practically for many people.

Love how you have become active in these causes recently and it’s obvious that it’s making a huge difference in your life.

Keep growing!!

And thank you!!

Marcus

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Jayne Kopp December 29, 2011 at

Hi Marcus, you know this is some seriously good advice! And … no, I’m not nodding “yes” like one of those dogs with the bouncing necks we used to see in the back of a car!

The bottom line is we ALL have the internal power to be whatever we want, whoever we want and can get to where we want to be if we did a little less talking and thinking about it and just took action based on our own common sense.

Another thing is, it’s ok to be just who we are… right now. We don’t need to be in on every circle, part of ever group, clique, or anything else.

There are a million and one ways to succeed and we don’t need to be in every loop possible.

I’m right with you on the spiritual side of things too. Its part of who we are no matter who we are and that’s just the bottom line.

I’ve never texted and driven and frankly leave my phone at home as sometimes I just don’t want to be found and I don’t need to know what happens every second of ever day.

Moving forward with common sense and some self esteem is what makes the choo choo train make tracks.

As far as the news goes or listening to half the garbage on the radio. First of all CNN is Constantly Negative News and frankly I’m with you, I have numerous podcasts and uplifting courses and talks I listen to over and over again and it does the world of good for my moral.

These were indeed excellent tips.

Wishing you the best year possible in 2012. I look forward to spending more time visiting you.

Jayne

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Marcus Sheridan December 29, 2011 at

Jayne, I’ve got to tell you, this comment was awesome. I’m completely digging all that you’re doing, your take on life, and what you’re doing to get the most out of it.

Love it!

And thanks so much for taking the time to comment,

Marcus

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Julie | A Clear Sign December 29, 2011 at

Beautiful, Marcus!

I have done many of the things that you listed. Most importantly I am going by the promise to pay attention to spiritual guidance, tune out all the noise, focus on the one thing that I am doing, and take action, action, action one step at a time.

The hardest thing I have been learning is how to accept that right now I wear a lot of hats and have a lot of responsibilities. I know this won’t last forever. However I had been becoming overwhelmed by it all. So, I am just eliminating everything that is meaningless. There are so many things on a to-do list that really never HAVE TO be done.

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Marcus Sheridan December 29, 2011 at

Love it Julie. Action, action, action :-)

And it sounds like you’re really putting in place what’s most important, while eliminating what’s not….Awesome goals Julie.

Really excited for you!

Marcus

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David Land December 29, 2011 at

Marcus,

You are a master of simplicity. The was struck by 13 (spiritual) & 19(too much). We don’t need more information, just a reminder of what we have already learned and then move. Thanks for the passion you share in every post. I always am encouraged after reading the Sales Lion.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Thanks brother,

David Land

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

‘The master of simplicity’….Hmmm, I really like that David! Thank you :)

Keep learning and growing my friend, and may your 2012 be an amazing one!

Marcus

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Katie December 29, 2011 at

I love all of these. I’ve started two on this list… living healthier… not talking about it but actually doing it AND i’ve stopped texting and driving. i leave my phone on silent in my purse.. and oh my gosh, no one is upset with me that I don’t respond for 10 minutes. :) Great post!

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

YAY Katie! Go girl! :)

And yes, isn’t it funny that once we ‘relearn’ to respond to others ‘later’ that everything seems to relax more?? It’s a good feeling!

Hope to see you again Katie!!

Marcus

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Elena Patrice December 29, 2011 at

Ah, heaven sent you are my friend … a slice right out of heaven’s pie! Thank you for being wonderful, meaningful you!

Happiest New Year ever to you and yours Marcus!!

Abundant kindness,

Elena

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

You’re always so sweet and kind to me with your words Elena, thank you. :)

And may your 2012 be amazing too!

Marcus

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Kate December 29, 2011 at

This is an excellent list! I *know* many of these things, yet often tempted down the wrong paths by my lizard brain. I shall be printing out your list as a reminder for the times when the noise of the interwebz lures me away from action.
For me, this year, discovering your point #1 – and acting on the discovery – has rocked my world :-)

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Kate December 29, 2011 at

Oh, and I didn’t answer your question….
I’ve recently started getting serious with myself about achieving all the things on my to do lists . I’m prone to Very.Big.Lists and not everything gets done as I expect, so usually some juggling required. Mental effort required to grapple with how to chunk up the work, true priorities and exploring (and dealing with) what I resist! Impact – more focus, much more of the important work getting done, more satisfaction re accomplishment. Possibly this is part of the business cycle as this current business evolves, as I know I’ve had stages in my life where I’ve felt I got lists ‘tamed’.

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

Sounds GREAT Kate! I just love where you’re going with this, especially in terms of your desire to focus and accomplish more.

Very excited for you 2012 Kate :)

Marcus

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paul wolfe December 29, 2011 at

Marcus

I agree with what you’re saying – but not the way you’re saying it.

Trying to change 15 things is too much for most people, they’ll just get overwhelmed, fail at one or two and their motivation will fly out of the window.

IMO – and this is something I’m learning at the moment, was pointed in this direction by Seth – the secret to getting the kind of change/results/success that you’re talking about is by learning the (relatively simple) process of goal setting.

And then implementing systems that not only track the goals that you have set, but also weigh everything against those goals: Does this task take me towards my goal or away from it? (If towards, then it could be ok. If away, it immediately goes into the ‘Klout’ bin!)

Set accurate goals, track them, and everything flows from there. If you have NO GOALS then any progress you make can’t be measured and will be ‘wooly’ at best.

All the best for 2012.

Paul

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Marcus Sheridan December 30, 2011 at

I agree and disagree with what you’re saying Paul. Yes, too often we set too many goals and it ends up ‘blah, blah, blah…’

But at the same time, when it comes to many of the things on this list, it doesn’t require a lot of time and work.

For example, deciding to stop trying to be on every social media platform is a matter of saying, “Let’s just stop posting on Twitter and focus on Facebook.”

or

“I’m not going to say I’m tired anymore..done”

or

“I’m done with texting and driving”

Do you see what I mean? I don’t see many of these as ‘big’ goals. They are big in their impact, but getting them done isn’t like moving a mountain.

Anyway, just my take, again, I do very much agree with you but I don’t think we should sell ourselves short with our ability to tackle certain goals, habits, etc.

Marcus

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paul wolfe December 30, 2011 at

Ha ha – the done with texting and driving should be a given for everyone! Let’s discount that one!

But I think a lot of the other ones will automatically fall into alignment if we use clear and precise goals as a yardstick to direct our actions. Goal Setting is something I’m gonna be writing about on Da Spoon in 2012….I’ve set a goal of doubling the revenue for my bass website in 2012, and to achieve that goal I have to take specific and targetted actions.

We can agree to disagree over minutia!

Paul

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Deborah Hughes December 30, 2011 at

I LOVED this!! Wonderful advice, thank you! I have to add one here: Stop judging everyones’ accomplishments! If I hear a music group I don’t like or read a book I didn’t enjoy or whatever, I often wonder how it is they managed to get a music or book contract! But that isn’t fair at all. Those people believe in what they do and they made it happen. Instead of criticizing them, I should be applauding them! I am coming to learn that it isn’t so much the talents we have that make us accomplished and help us realize our dreams but the beliefs we have in ourselves that do!! Many blessings to you and all!!

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Diana December 30, 2011 at

Ciao, Marcus. I love the list. But I do tend to agree with you quite often :) I am especially fond of issues of spirituality and how they play in our lives. I think we learn many things about our place in this world and doing the things that make us happy (personally and professionally) through spirituality. And I believe your point about not agreeing so much – using one’s intuition more – has to do with our own spirituality, because our spirituality points to how well we truly know ourselves, and know when an idea or thought doesn’t sit right with us, know what I mean? Spirituality gives our souls a backbone.

About 6 years before my dad passed away, when he started not doing so well, I wrote him a letter telling him many things I had not told him before. He told me before he died that when he got that letter, he had wished he had sent his father a letter like that himself. That made me very happy that I had done it. It wasn’t a flowery letter, but more about how I am and how much I got from him and how I’ll carry on being those things for the rest of my life thanks to him. Now that he’s gone, I am very happy I took the chance while he was still alive to let him know what an influence he had on my life.

I think that number 19 could also just be Stop Consuming So Much. Period.

I would like to add this to the list: do one thing, every day, to bring your primary goal forward. Ok, first get a primary goal, of course :) but once you have the goal, do something each and every day to bring it forward. It helps keep your goal in the front of your brain.

Happy New Year, Marcus. With many warm wishes from the hill. Thank you for all you do.

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Beth Kinder December 30, 2011 at

Most favorite #10!!! I have re-quoted that several times to multiple friends! It’s the journey!

Happy New Year, Marcus!

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Al Smith December 30, 2011 at

Wow. What a great list of things to Stop doing. Thanks Marcus. Some I have accepted and done, others I need to reinforce. I try and forgive immediately, I embrace my spirituality and I stopped watching the news several years ago, after hearing Jim Rohn recommend it. That has made a huge difference. Also listening to Success cd’s in the car instead of talk radio, news or even music fills me with positive energy. We need to feed the mind healthy food, just like the body. That one, I plan on doing in 2012. Eating healthier. Taking action and just doing it is another one.

How about a positive news channel. Nothing but good stories, inspiration, personal development, motivation, appreciation, encouragement, CARE. Positive Attitude Solutions, that Inspire and Influence Positive change. The CARE Movement channel. I like it. Sounds good to me. Let me call Oprah. Ha.

Thanks again Marcus. Hope you had a Merry Christmas and wishing you a safe, healthy, prosperous and Happy New Year ! Look forward to seeing you.

Al

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Mike Holman December 30, 2011 at

I hate when people tell me they are tired. I just want to respond with “I don’t care”! :)

I’m going to work on #8 and start cutting out some activities that I don’t think are helping my business and I don’t enjoy. I can’t do everything, so I should concentrate on doing stuff that is enjoyable and/or profitable.

Just say no!

Have a good new year!

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Kathy December 31, 2011 at

#5 was a significant change for me this year. As an online retail shop owner I receive a constant stream of e-mail. I simply learned to right click on Mac Mail and press ‘Quit’. Gasp, for hours at a time! I’d forgotten how much work I can accomplish without distraction. Your point about ‘thinking’ we can multi-task is extremely perceptive, especially for us overachievers!

I also stopped doing the little things on my to-do list first and now begin my day with the big ones, the things that ultimately move my business forward.

This is my first visit to your blog – refreshing point of view, thank you!

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Andrea December 31, 2011 at

Here in Italy it’s the 31st so I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy 2012.

Happy New Year!

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Robert December 31, 2011 at

Marcus,

I know I keep saying it but you really are an awesome guy. You are inspirational, helpful, and most importantly stay true to yourself and your morals and principles. I know that 2012 is going to be massive for you because your heart is in the right place.

This is another great post – all useful tips and again things that you have personal experience with. I really liked #19 – not utilising what we already have is such a problem for almost every single one of us. Knowledge is no good if we don’t apply it.

I hope that we can continue to develop our relationship in 2012. Have a great NY and year man, we all know you will.

Robert

P.S. #Dang! Lol

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Adam Toporek December 31, 2011 at

An absolutely awesome list. The smack in the head I needed was #5 Stop Allowing Yourself To Get Pinged to Death. A definite part of the plan for 2012 is to get control of the many digital interruptions that destroy focus and productivity. Multi-tasking is a myth. The science is pretty solid that proves it.

Great stuff Marcus — lots of food for thought! :)

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

You’re a good dude Adam, and I really appreciate your words my friend.

Also, I’m very excited for your direction in 2012 my friend, so keep on pushing buddy.

Marcus

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Jk Allen December 31, 2011 at

Marcus,

Loved this one man. Some many of these things are MUSTS for me.

Just made it back home from vacation with the family and had to give you a quick shout and of course Happy New Years!

To an even more awesome year in 2012!

PS- did you get my note about you being spoken about in Entrepreneur Mag? If you want the copy, I’ll send it your way.

PEACE

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

Hey my man, great to see you as always.

Getting to know you was a huge highlite for me this year JK, and I really do hope that relationship grows in 2012.

Best to you my friend,

Marcus

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Drewry January 1, 2012 at

wonderful blog you have here. I just saw your comments on Darren’s ProBlogger. Hope to have you as a member in my community, momentarily :-)

Happy new years!

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

Thanks for that Drewry, and I’m so glad you’ve come by here to take a look. Just make sure it’s not your last time. ;-)

Best,

Marcus

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Drewry January 2, 2012 at

you’re welcome, Marcus. Always happy to stop by and check on your new blog posts. Keep the good content coming :-)

happy new years!

http://www.drewrynewsnetwork.com/f36/%5Beat-healthy-delaware-szechuan-buffet%5D-your-favorite-hibachi-restaurants-2474.html

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Colleen McKenna January 1, 2012 at

Marcus,

It’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year. Every time I read your posts I can actually hear you speaking, I like that.

All 20 are right on, I particularly appreciate the wanting more information rather than acting. You can do a lot in five or ten minutes if you just get started. Standing still doesn’t get us very far.

Wishing you a, wide-awake, spirit-filled, adventure-packed and beyond your imagination 2012!

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

You are so sweet and kind Colleen, thanks so very much for taking a moment to leave this comment and I do hope your 2012 is an amazing one!

Marcus

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Drewry January 1, 2012 at

but just had to stop by one more time to wish everyone on this wonderful blog a blessed 2012 :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hsHZTcLvLE

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Erik Back January 1, 2012 at

Hi

This is my first visit to your blog and I’m definitely coming back :-) It’s a great list of good habits you made and I just realised a few items that I’m going to implement. I say “I’m tired” too much and it is going to stop from this moment. You are right – people don’t care if I’m tired, the information does not represent any value to any of us.

A few weeks ago I heard an interview about a Shaolin monk who said: “You have to master the basics to be a master.” Sleep is one of the most important things for us to live a good and happy life. If I want success then I have to master my sleep and that is my New Year’s Resolution for 2012.

Thank you for an inspiring post :-)

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

Erik, may I just say I’m thrilled to have you come by my site and even happier to hear you say this post helped you in some way.

What’s funny, of all the items on the list, the one about sleep was far and away the most commented on.

Guess this is something many of us need to work on. ;-)

Have a wonderful 2012 Erik, and make sure you come back again!

Marcus

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Ellie January 1, 2012 at

Great discussion of goals and objectives. You have inspired me to re-dedicate and re-direct my efforts in Internet Marketing. I have been floundering and wasting my time lately.

Ellie

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Marcus Sheridan January 1, 2012 at

I love, love hearing words like that Ellie :)

To continued inspiration and dedication in 2012 :)

Marcus

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Loretta January 2, 2012 at

Marcus, what an awesome post! I got it as a link from another site, and will definitely be forwarding your link to some of my friends who are, like me, are into receiving positive messages. Numbers 4 and 12 definitely touched a nerve, but number 13 is the definite winner from the list for me. Spirituality has been the guiding force in my life. If only more people realized the value of spirituality and faith they would find everyday living so much better than what they think it is. This is my first time visiting your site, but you are now in my favorites and I shall return.

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Gabriel Gutierrez January 2, 2012 at

I agree with you Marcus It serve as a guide to me although I doubt if I can follow some of your tips like stop watching news since watching news is my pastime to ease my boredom..Anyway thanks for sharing this interesting post and happy new year..

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donnau1 the weight loss pro January 2, 2012 at

I really enjoy reading your blog post was not only interested but it was also very informative too. I am going to bookmark this page for future reference thanks for sharing.

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Jason Fonceca January 2, 2012 at

So. Hawt. Marcus.

I love success, I love success habits, and I love when they come from people I really resonate with.

My favourites at 13 + 19 :D

I’d like to offer a fresh perspective on #6 though:

“6. Stop Wasting Your Vehicle Time
…the majority of radio we listen to in the car is a complete waste of brain cells. Yes, music can be nice and soothing, but so can an inspirational or educational podcast, so can a book on CD, and so can silent meditation.”

A big part of what I teach, is that inspiration and spirit are all around us, PARTICULARLY in the inspired, powerful, world-moving media and songs people hungrily consume.

I see the ‘radio’ you refer to AS educational podcasts and AS meditation.

I see them as holy.

The people who created the songs have taken years of experiences and stories and struggle and distilled them into something moving.

Take a billboard hit like : “Rihanna- We Found Love”
Lyrical excerpt, repeated over and over like a mantra, with energy and feeling, far more moving than most blog posts I encounter…
“It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny,
But I’ve gotta let it go,
We found love in a hopeless place.
We found love in a hopeless place.
We found love in a hopeless place.”

The point Rihanna is speaking out powerfully, is that love can be found in the deepest failures. Love can always be found, and listening to this in a car before a business meeting could amp me up for a very productive presentation.

It might not be for everyone, but it works for me. Why are all these celebrities so wealthy, famous, and accomplished? Answer: They really believe their powerful choruses and verses, and we could learn a thing or two about emotional repetition from them. It’s a powerful force.

Or take one of my favourite Toronto-natives, Drake.

His almost painfully honest and transparent rhymes were an inspiration to me to share some of my deepest, most personal stories.

“Drake – Headlines”
Lyrical excerpt:
“And they sayin’ I’m back – I’d agree with that
I just take my time with all this sh**, I still believe in that
I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that
And they wanna see me pick back up – well where’d I leave it at?”

Drake’s point?
People were awaiting his awesome music, but he never rushes anything or compromises quality. He delivers excellence, and when he was slipping he had people around him supportively let him know that that was the case.

I aspire to similar. I want people that I can help, who are eager for more creations from me. I want to take my time with it and do things right in a comfortable way. I want to deliver excellence and I want true friends around me to give me honest opinions.

I could listen to Headlines by Drake all day long, and every time I do I feel more alive, more inspired, and more successful.

TL;DR? (too long, didn’t read?)

Summary: There is beautiful, success-focused inspiration to be found everywhere. There is spiritual growth and meditation to be found everywhere. No one can take it away from you. Buddha found meditation in walking, rock-climbers in climbing, musicians in singing.

It’s all in what a person chooses to take from it and see in it.

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Marcus Sheridan January 4, 2012 at

Hahaha, yes, music can be quite inspiring Jason. It can. And poetic.

And I’m also sure some of it may be me.

But I still don’t think it has the same ROI as talks, books, etc. ;-)

Marcus

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Jason Fonceca January 4, 2012 at

You get me, man :) Thank you.

But if we’re gonna bring up ROI…

http://idolator.com/6128511/rihanna-umbrella-the-dream-15-million

:)

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Tom Ewer January 2, 2012 at

Hey Marcus,

I usually like to pick out a few things that apply to me on lists like this, but in this case, that happens to be about every single one! :)

I am already doing some of the things on your list quite well, but there is a lot of food for thought here. Never is there a better time than the New Year, psychologically speaking, to take positive action.

Cheers,

Tom

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Jason Fonceca January 2, 2012 at

I agree with this, Tom!

On one hand, any given moment is arbitrary, as far as creation goes…

…but on the other hand we’d be foolish not to use the incredible psychological and cultural leverage and energy our collectively understood New Year holds.

Maybe that’s why I launched my new brand and site ( http://ryzeonline.com ) at midnight on New Year’s Eve. The response has been incredible (39% conversion rate!)

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Marcus Sheridan January 4, 2012 at

Hey buddy, I really appreciate that man. Here’s to you having an incredible 2012 my friend. :)

Thanks for all,

Marcus

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Sergio Felix January 2, 2012 at

Hey Marcus,

As this post is so EPIC I just want to add a few things I have already done:

I finally understood I can’t do everything alone even if that feels like I’m not in total control.

I am stopping the “I’m tired” response I always tell my girlfriend when she wants to go out (I’ll think of something else -”busy” doesn’t works anymore either-LOL)

I hate Klout.

I got rid of my TV months ago and I don’t miss it.

I just watched a video from Eben Pagan today and in it, he says there’s a study that shows that multitasking produces the same effect of killing brain cells as smoking marijuana LOL (and yes, he even laughed when he said that too)

And I stopped aiming for perfection.

About talking about dieting and such, I just signed myself to run the NY 2012 marathon so I better step my game up or I’ll die attempting to finish that race.

That’s about it, for the rest I know there’s still a long way to go but I’m not in a hurry anyway.

Thanks for all the insights man, really enjoyed reading your article.

Sergio

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Marcus Sheridan January 3, 2012 at

Sergio, awesome, awesome, awesome my friend. Sounds like you are in for an amazing 2012 my friend :)

And thanks so very much for that comment!

Marcus

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Drewry January 4, 2012 at

hey Marcus,

if you are looking for and wonderful opportunities in building links back to your site, as well as bumping up your page rank and battering your search engine optimization, while reaching a new target audience, please feel free to create a free profile and start a new thread right away with your user generated content. Be sure after you sign up for your account on DrewryNewsNetwork to add links to your profile “forum signature”, so that you get the [search engine effect]. Looking forward to seeing you soon on DrewryNewsNetwork :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlSUmoTSbcw

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ErgoOrgo January 4, 2012 at

Great list – hence the chuck load of comments! You’ve managed to cover personal life, career and personal productivity, and in 20 steps.

Love, listening to constructive things while travelling, and not agreeing with people are my favourites. My 21st one for your list would be “stop” (i.e. take time out, look at the sky, doodle, meditate, walk in a park and chill the hell out).

Next – we should turn those negatives around and have a list 20 things we should all start doing! Let’s be positive in 2012!

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Marcus Sheridan January 5, 2012 at

Love your #21 Ergo, that’s awesome! Yes—-stop, look, listen, and love….that’s what I often times tell myself :)

Have a tremendously positive 2012 Ergo!

Marcus

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Laura Click January 4, 2012 at

Happy New Year, Marcus! I haven’t been by here in awhile and wanted to stop by. Boy, I’m glad I did. This is a great one. And the follow-up about how you wrote it awesome too. Thanks for sharing.

A lot of smart lessons here. I like #19 a lot. In fact, I wrote a whole post about it a few weeks ago – “Stop Reading and Start Doing”. It’s so easy to read blogs, ebooks and other publications looking for the golden ticket or silver bullet that will solve our problems. You’re right – we know the answers, we’re often just too scared to take action on them. I think sometimes we could all do well to have an information consumption diet!

Here’s to a stellar 2012 (especially if folks follow this list)!!!!

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Marcus Sheridan January 5, 2012 at

So great to see you Laura :-)

Yes, #19 is easily one of the biggest issues with the information age in my opinion. Although having all this at our fingertips is amazing, it can lead to so very little actually getting done.

I think back 200 years ago when the early settlers/pioneers had almost books on gardening, building, etc… yet everyone just ‘figured it out’ with time. In fact, the examples go on and on, and I think we all need to have a bit of that pioneer mentality in all of us.

Hope your 2012 is an amazing one Laura!

Marcus

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Jonathan January 5, 2012 at

Jonathan,
I stopped smoking on Oct. 17. It was going to be a New Years resolution. I thought to my self why wait just do it like Nike. So i did, i must say that was one of the most important choices in my life thus far. My friends ask how i did it. Its all mental i did it cold turkey. For those that might not know what that means. It with no treatment no gum no nothing just woke up and tossed my pack of cigs away. I love these 20 life changing habits because if you just apply it you will see and feel a change! My change made me feel more healthy and younger!! JUST GO OUT THERE AND DO IT!! YOU CANT DO ANYTHING YOU WANT.
Sincerely,
Jonathan

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Marcus Sheridan January 5, 2012 at

Love your passion Jonathan, that’s really, really awesome. :)

Marcus

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Jonathan January 5, 2012 at

Thanks Marcus i will most definitely fallow you 20 habits this year and tell all my friends and family about this thanks again
kind regards,
Jonathan

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Jason Fonceca January 6, 2012 at

Agreed, Jonathan, that story shines man.

Go hard or go home, superstar :)

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nanci January 5, 2012 at

here are some to add:

1. Stop worrying – fears about all the bad things that may happen or may go wrong are wasted energy. If things do go wrong, you will deal with them in the moment. Worrying is draining and defeatist.

2. Stop judging – variation on a theme here. Judging is also a huge waste of energy and feels awful in your body (pay attention to how your body feels physically when you judge others and you will see). Usually we have no clue about someone anyway and are way off. Acceptance is the way yo go.

3. last one….Stop reacting. Take in what happened, breathe, sit with it, digest, make some space and then take action. This will diffuse the raw emotion and enable a clear, relaxed response.

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Marcus Sheridan January 5, 2012 at

Love your list of 3 Nanci, these are really great!

Gee, when I think about all the folks I know that have never been able to enjoy the moment simply due to a worry over something they literally can do nothing about….well it’s sad.

Thanks so much for your comment Nancy,

Marcus

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Drewry January 5, 2012 at

that’s a wonderful thing the gentleman above mentioned in “quitting smoking”. We can all do great things we put our minds to, which are for the good of ourselves, as well as inspiring others to follow our positive lead :-)

http://www.drewrynewsnetwork.com/f6/honoring-amazing-accomplishments-tom-terwilliger-2433.html

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Drewry January 6, 2012 at

Marcus,

I admire your blog site here. How long did it take you to get visible in the search engines, and to get quality search traffic ? :-)

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Marcus Sheridan January 7, 2012 at

Some articles did well with SEO very early on Drewry. But the community feel and comments came much, much later.

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Drewry January 7, 2012 at

thank you for the reply, Marcus. How many articles did you write and get published, in order to rank 100,000 and less in the United States on Alexa.com? And, how long did it take you between the time you launched your blog, and the time it to look to reach the 100,000 mark on Alexa? Was it six months, or close to one year, or past one year? :-)

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Marcus Sheridan January 8, 2012 at

Well, interesting question Drewry, and I’ll answer it like this:

It took about 13 months to get to sub 100k on Alexa.

But I really don’t think Alexa means a dang thing to tell you the truth. My swimming pool website, which generates sales in the millions, gets wayyy more traffic then this site, but it’s Alexa is 230k, whereas this site is 39k.

That’s why I couldn’t care less about Alexa, and suggest the same for others.

The only thing that matters is leads, sales, and profits. (assuming it’s a business)

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Drewry January 9, 2012 at

I heard that, brother. What would you say you are swimming pool website ranks around on Alexa in the United States at this time, traffic rank wise ?

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John @ Married (with Debt) January 7, 2012 at

It’s nice to see someone talking about things people should stop doing. Good to have a different perspective. It’s not always about what MORE I can do, but what can I do better.

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Marcus Sheridan January 8, 2012 at

I appreciate your thoughts on that John. I debated the best approach to this post but upon looking around and seeing so many habits, that we can so easily change, I felt this was the right approach.

Wishing you an incredible 2012 John!

Marcus

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Beth January 7, 2012 at

Just read Jonathan’s comment about quitting smoking in October.
Great decision! I quit smoking (cold turkey) on May 10, 1992. Best decision I ever made, and haven’t picked up a cigarette since. I simply psyched myself that if I smoked I would get physically sick; and that’s how I feel whenever I even smell smoke.
Keep on just doin’ it, and you will feel so much better!

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Marcus Sheridan January 8, 2012 at

Awesome Beth, well done!!:-)

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kittypunkz January 7, 2012 at

Awersome Quote of 2012!!

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Michael Aagaard January 8, 2012 at

Beautiful post buddy! I’ll surely take up some of these habits myself – have been meaning to do sp for a while now ;-)

Like most self-employed guys out there, I have a tendency to beat myself up over the tasks I didn’t have time for, instead of giving myself credit for all the tasks I solved. Needless to say, this is a negative cirkle that brings about unnecessary stress and guilty conscience. In 2012, I’m gonna break this habit. I’m not trying to legitimize laziness – by no means – just trying to give myself a little bit less of a hard time ;-)

Also I found a little trick that helps: I’ve started writing down all the tasks I complete during the day – especially all the unexpected tasks (the real time stealers). That way, I end the day with a list that reminds me that I haven’t wasted my time, even though there are a few uncompleted tasks that I didn’t get around to.

- Michael

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Marcus Sheridan January 8, 2012 at

Michael, love the list idea man. It’s amazing when we journal what we do vs what we think we do.

I know you’re a producer bud, which is why you’re hard on yourself. But I also know you’re going to have an incredible 2012…and am hoping big time we’ll catch up again this year.

Thanks for all,

Marcus

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Michael Aagaard January 9, 2012 at

Thanks bro – one of my highest hopes for 2012 is getting to hang out with again!

- Michael

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Beth January 9, 2012 at

That’s a great idea, Michael! Sometimes the only one that can give you an “atta boy” is yourself (sad as it may seem); but it is definitely a great way to stay positive and reflect on a job well done.
I am in business for myself (for 23 years) in preschool/childcare. Sometimes I run all day long, and never feel like I accomplish a thing. Your idea is one I’m going to use. Thanks for the tip!

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Jennifer Donald January 9, 2012 at

Oh I am such a “big break” kind of gal! BUT…. you’re absolutely right. Each “break” is an opportunity I create, another step forward instead of waiting for someone/someTHING to step toward me.

I found out months ago that those numbers (in website traffic) really don’t amount to a hill of beans without sales to back them up. Lots of research later, I’ve learned a thing or two- the #1 thing (and yes you told me this a LONG time ago) was having that call to action. Well placed and effective beats not offending anyone any day!

All the best to you in 2012, Marc.
Jen

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Marcus Sheridan January 9, 2012 at

I’m so proud of your growth and efforts Jen…Keep pushing it my friend, I believe in you!! :)

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Drewry January 9, 2012 at

keep up the good work with your blog too, Marcus :-)

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Kent @ Make Extra Money Online January 12, 2012 at

I’m glad that I didn’t miss this post, Marcus. I picked this #6. Stop Wasting Your Vehicle Time

I have listened to a few Online Business podcast these couple days while I was driving to and after work.

I have been thinking and learning a lot during that time. Thanks for your great tips!

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Kent @ Make Extra Money Online January 12, 2012 at

One more take-away for me #19. Stop Consuming So Much Information without Doing Anything

I used to read a lot of blog about how to do blogging or making money online. I bought hundred dollars of training and WSOs last year. I found that I am a pretty good executor and just need to focus on finishing tasks – to lead me where I wanna be.

Now, I stop reading your post and working on my tasks. Indeed, this is a nice break refreshing my mind, dude!

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shirley January 16, 2012 at

Sound advice…. there I go agreeing lol! Hey… but it is! I kept nodding frantically at some of them. 2012 is going to rock my friend!

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Marcus Sheridan January 16, 2012 at

So glad you enjoyed it Shirley, good luck!! :-)

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Tess Wittler January 20, 2012 at

Okay, I admit it. I used to very much be #19. Glad I broke that habit. As Nike says, “Just Do It” :) Thanks for the great post, Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan January 21, 2012 at

Awesome Tess!!

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Denise Smith January 23, 2012 at

That’s a very comprehensive list loaded with sage advise. I can’t say that I agree with everything on your list but my hat is off to you for putting it out there. I really appreciate the “can-do attitude” as evidenced by #15, Stop Telling Yourself Why It Won’t Work. Also, I really liked #12, Stop Trying to Be on Every Social Media Platform. Too much social media is huge time waster and that can get stymie our best efforts to get ahead.

I think that we would all be better off if we could take one or two items from your list and work on them. Personally, I’m going to tackle #19…and Stop Consuming So Much Information without Doing Anything. I’m guilty and I’m willing to reform!

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Marcus Sheridan January 24, 2012 at

Hi Denise!! So glad to hear this helped you a little and it’s my hope that you have an amazing 2012!!

Marcus

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Denise Smith January 27, 2012 at

Here are some more New Year’s resolutions that may help your readers.

1. Resolve to take better care of myself.
2. Resolve to ask for help when needed.
3. Resolve to accept help when offered.
4. Resolve not to be afraid to ask questions.
5. Resolve to seek out and attend online seminars and conferences, and the like.
6. Resolve to learn everything I can about online marketing.
7. Resolve to seek out and use third party services, including knowledgeable consultants when appropriate.

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Marcus Sheridan January 31, 2012 at

I’m thinking if you are able to do stick close to this Denise 2012 is going to be one heck of a year for you!!! :)

Thanks so much!

Marcus

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Teresa Parker February 13, 2012 at

No. 15 made my day. I had been going through all the reasons why I can’t launch an online Christian magazine. Then I read your post (after listening to your webinar on Small Biz Summit). I realized it doesn’t matter why I shouldn’t. It only matters why I should.

Thanks for putting me back on track.

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Marcus Sheridan February 14, 2012 at

There will certainly always be reasons Teresa, so good for you! :-)

Continued success!

Marcus

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Robert@HImalayan Encounter April 16, 2012 at

I have many resolution for this year and i want them to be accomplished successfully and this post is certainly motivating me a lot.

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Glenn Davey May 25, 2012 at

What does “return to source” mean for an atheist? Or should I just stop reading your blog posts because I can’t apply this point?

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Marcus Sheridan May 27, 2012 at

Yep, if a comment like that offends you Glenn, you should certainly stop reading my blog posts.

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Henry May 25, 2012 at

One word for human: “Stop being a f*#king zombie”

If you become more self aware and “wake up”, then these habits will all come just naturally. It may take years, but it will be so much worth it, to really start living your life and loosing that autopilot mode. It’s like being born again.

The best thing was when I did not only quit watching news or reading them, but when I unplugged my TV about 5 years ago. I really don’t understand those couch potatoes anymore, why waste your life like this, when there’s so much to explore.
I now rather watch a spider on my wall, than some MTV. Starting to see those small things around, that I did not notice before. No TV show can give that experience.

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Marcus Sheridan May 27, 2012 at

Props to you Henry for realizing this and quitting TV sooner. Looks like you’re really getting some tremendous results.

Continued success and happiness,

Marcus

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James Holt May 27, 2012 at

I really enjoyed this and agreed with a lot of your comments.

RE: 1. I moved to the other side of the world from everyone/thing I know recently. My reason for this, I thought and maybe still think, was/is to try and achieve some clarity in my identity, which seemed an impossible task living in London, with the vast milieu of powerful influences/distractions.

I’m a musician and I try to express my identity through music, something which I am finding to become increasingly hard, for, amongst other reasons, the sheer volume of music that is out there. Anyway to cut a long story short, I wanted to be on my own and do everything I wanted to do on my own. I’ve always been comfortable spending large periods of time on my own, but now I feel it’s gone too far. The point is I need people. I need to share my thoughts/ideas as well as my music. I am now taking steps to get my social life back and hopefully I will continue!

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Marcus Sheridan May 27, 2012 at

James, this was really cool of you bud to open up and share your thoughts. It sounds like you’re seeking hard, and I applaud that greatly.

Just keep pushing, and I’m sure the clarity you’re looking for will fall into place soon.

Best,

Marcus

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Glenn May 28, 2012 at

I just think its sad you only know how to talk to people who share your superstitious delusions of imaginary friends living in the sky! Dude, aren’t u embarrassed to be a bible thumper who has no respect for atheists (who are smarter than you and pay more attention to science, and you know, REALITY)

Wake up. You’re going to die. There’s no god. No heaven. Life is worth living without all that kiddy nonsense. And your weakness is that you couldn’t possibly live without that crutch.

And here you are giving people advice …. !

Offended? Nope. Just wondered if you had an answer to my question. But you turned me away. Interesting…

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Anton June 4, 2012 at

Whoa, very impressing reading. The only thing that I haven’t understood – are you ok with all this stuff or you sometimes fail to follow them?

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ms..lala September 17, 2012 at

Hi Marcus,
this is the first time i read your article and i really was amazed, because I was at a place in my life that I was tying to get on the right path. I needed some answer to questions I just couldn’t answer, so I google about how can I stop talking about my personal life to people not just anybody close people to me and you was the first option that I clicked on to for advise. You had so many good points. It is crazy because when you mention about people really don’t care about you being tired because that can bring negative energy. It made me think of my situation because everyone has issues and now days people will love to hear nothing but good things and how you mention about there are people out here to listen just pick the right ones especially ones that are positive and you are one of them.

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Arina November 1, 2012 at

Stop watching the news is really a big one. If you’re addicted to TV, try to substitute it with educational seminars or TED talks. Just watching one TED talk a day can increase your IQ :) I wrote the post on this habit – http://arinanikitina.com/insiders/little-20-minutes-habit-that-can-change-your-life/

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Marcus Sheridan November 1, 2012 at

Agreed Arina, I LOVE TED, and always find myself so much more inspired when I’m done with those presentations. :-)

Marcus

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Anonymous December 22, 2012 at

* Wonderful in the eyes of the Lord * Christ is between all,to let us to see and experience how much we are wonderful in His eyes,living by the will of the God * Praise the Lord * Let the God bless,heals and protect him * Amen *

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Reem April 10, 2014 at

I really admire your up front nature and brutal honesty and I can tell you’ve done a great deal to move the information age forward. It’s awesome that you’ve used your skills to sky rocket your personal business and create an entire new one. I feel driven to tell you though, that I think some of your ideas would be better applied to a site devoted to awakening the intuitive side of people and inspiring their inner selves. Some of what you say, being placed under a ‘sales’ umbrella, really gets cheapened. I’m not suggesting you put yourself under another limiting umbrella, such as spiritualism or self-help (because any compartments marginalize in my opinion), but I do believe there is a better vehicle to drive some of what you have to say since so much of it would do such wonderful things reaching those unconcerned with ‘sales’ necessarily.

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online trading for dummies July 3, 2014 at

It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people in this particular subject,
however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks

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