Wed | Jan 29, 2020

Seven keys to success in 2017

Published:Sunday | January 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMTrevor E. S. Smith

It's the start of a new year, and many look at it as a 'do over'. A time to right all our past wrongs, not repeating the mistakes of the past year, and achieving bigger and better things in 2017. Here is wishing you a happy and prosperous 2017, and provide you with the keys for success in the new year.


1. Reset


This is not the first time you are going through keys to success. So why would this be different?

Question: What will get you to go to the doctor faster? The wisdom of getting a check-up or a frightening chest pain?

The reason you keep coming back to this same point is a lack of sufficient motivation. It would be nice if you could achieve the goals in your resolution.

However, that is the 'check-up' inspiration.

What you need is to be motivated by the frightening chest pain in your life. You need to mentally experience all the suffering and fear that comes with it. Don't shut it down quickly or get distracted from it. The deeper the suffering, the more urgent the need to get rid of the pain. Imagine the deep suffering until you are committed to taking remedial action.

Start by viewing 2017 as an opportunity to remove the pain. A chance for new beginnings. Regardless of your current status or history, the new year brings with it new possibilities.

Let this year be more than a changing of numbers. Expand your horizons. Dream new dreams. Imagine an alternative future.

Moving beyond your past experience and current reality is not easy. Type 'success from failure examples' into Google and get motivation for your transformation. For example, Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he "lacked imagination and had no good ideas".


2. Collaborate


Sometimes we are limited because we are reluctant to risk losing control, or we take on more than we can effectively manage. Alternatively, we get consumed with the need for privacy.

Give serious thought to getting assistance in some areas of your life. Together we are stronger.

Add a new dimension by forging new alliances. Make the bold step and reach out to engage prospective collaborators. Joint ventures are the fastest growth strategy.

This also applies to revolving issues that you might be having. 'Look outside of yourself' could be the 2017 motto. Forge linkages for success.


3. Forgive


Let go of the baggage in 2017. Start by forgiving yourself. There are limiting thoughts that you are carrying over from the past. You have to move past them in order to make real progress. What benefits are you getting from holding on to the past?

But the grudges also need to go. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness in 2017. Failure to forgive is actually bad for your physical health.


4. Learn


Make a commitment to learning. Add new skills. Deepen your mastery of your area of specialisation. Prepare for a career move.

Focus attention on learning more about your pain. Find out everything you can about the issue that you need have resolved. You are sure to find helpful answers.


5. Persist


Drill deeper where you have been drilling, before abandoning a project. Success might be at hand. Your efforts need not be wasted. The experience you have gained is valuable. Work to extract lessons to drive your future strategy for success.

Note: If your frightening chest pain is the number-one priority, don't be distracted. Focus on priorities.


6. Play fair


Avoid the shortcut or the unethical path. Every action has consequences. Playing by the rules has less fallout in the long term. Don't be swayed by the seeming success of those who bypass rules and practise dishonesty.


7. Reach out


Make a commitment to be a positive influence in somebody's life this year. In keeping with the call to look outside of yourself, identify some unsatisfied need and fill it. It does not have to be major. The intent is for you to be sensitive to the needs of others and to take action to address them.

Don't be surprised if you get more from reaching out than you give. That outward shift in mindset has powerful implications for your readiness to embrace success.

Join the next cohort of the ICF & SHRM accredited Certified Behavioural Coach Award. Make a difference - be a catalyst for behaviour modification. Email: to get on board.

-Trevor E. S. Smith is a behaviour modification coach with the Success with People Academy, Extended DISC/FinxS.