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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