Facing the cold hard truth in 2012 may require some dramatic changes. Here's the list.

It’s an amazingly cool time RIGHT NOW as we enter into 2012, wouldn’t you say?

Think about all the awesome things that happened last year — to you and your business — and in your world in general. Nice!

Yes, think about the positive, good things that made you take new turns, make new choices and how they impacted you. Take just a moment and highlight these in your mind. Smile… and say thanks. The Christmas holiday is not about the gifts. It’s about gratitude and reflection.

Everybody, “from 1 to 92”.

Yes, that is a phrase from The Christmas Song created in 1944 – Mel Torme’s classic. That holiday ballad is heard often on many channels now.

The song and many renditions of it makes you feel good. It brings back memories, inspires you for the future. It creates good vibrations all around.

Now, think about how your TOP 5 is doing? (1) your health, 2) your finances, 3) your relationships, 4) your career/work and 5) your spiritual life? )

How do you feel now?

Yes, there is one thing that is still lurking right outside your door of opportunity. Do you know what it is? Do you know how you can take the reins yourself versus running yourself into the ditch?

I’m talking about that thing that controls you, that runs you… YOUR MIND. It’s the power that spins 24×7, when you’re sleeping and awake. Without it, you’d be dead. It’s your ultimate partner in life – your own “recorded tape”.

Sorry to be so melodramatic, but I’m fed up with the “think positive” messages of today.  They make you feel good for the moment. They compel you to do something, but yet — we do not. Say “you can do it” in the mirror every day for 30 days, and you’ll be a success. No, that’s not it.

A recent video I was watching asked the big question: “how come so many buy training programs online, but only few do anything about it?”  In other words, it seems that folks think it’s better to buy that shiny object than actually taking action on it.

This is what my post is about today:

…what will you do DIFFERENTLY in 2012 than in the last year, or last few years? Think back 5 years. Where are you now compared to then when reflecting on the TOP 5 mentioned above? How much money, time and energy have you spent? What are the returns?

Let’s change that.

You know the INSANITY CLAUSE right? “Doing  the  same thing  over and over again and  expecting different results”. Is that how you feel? If so, here are my recommendations for DRASTICALLY making a change in 2012!

1. Get some new blood
Hanging around the same people? Are these people helping or hindering you? Think about what they are saying to you, what messages and conversations you engage in with them. What’s your own language or words? What do YOU sound like? And, are they lifting you up, or taking you down? Don’t listen to people who are more broke than you, fatter than you or generally “less” in everything.

2. Change your scenery
Changing your environment, from where you work, how/where you drive to work each day, even your office. When you go on vacations, are you always going to the same place? Force yourself towards a new direction.

3. 100% responsibility
This can be hard, but nobody else is going to do it for you (talking about adults here). A way to start on this path is to take one week to start. For each and every day (no break, no whining about this)  – take 100% responsibility for  absolutely EVERYTHING that you encounter. This can very hard for some – but you’ll see the results in terms of accountability, which will change the results.

4. Realistic Goals
They must be recorded. Without them, you are nothing. But, set realistic goals. The reason why so many fail on reaching them, is that the goals were not realistic.  And, they were just made up.

5. Stop for a second.
Stop and recognize where you are. In each of the TOP 5 – record where you are. Be honest. If you are behind in your relationship or your finances, for example – write down where there are gaps. Are you living beyond your means? Get real – document it and prepare for change.

6. Winners WORK
More than anybody else, the real successful folks work harder (not just smarter). I love the “plan, do, review” model. If you plan out your days, weeks and months and match them to your goals that’s step 1. Then work them, complete them, while you review and modify. You’ll feel better, it works on your psyche too.

7. Focus vs. Perfection
This one is pretty simple, but not always easy. We all know that focus is key to getting things done. Perfection can kill it. A mindset of ‘ready, fire, aim’ may be exactly what you need to change as you move forward. Think about it.

8. S & M
Sales and Marketing, folks. And, this is not just uttering the words, but actually doing it. Set a plan, stick to it (with flexibility to change as roadblocks show up), a schedule and measuring, tracking deliverables – each day, each week, each month. Do something to fill the pipeline each day, even Christmas.

9. Consistency
Realize that things are not fun all the time, and consistency and action will be the criteria under which you’ll have the toughest time. Being excited about a new goal, a New Year’s resolution, for example is good, but realize that you have to inspire yourself to reach it, every day. This is why having a coach or mentor can/will help you.

10. Self-Discipline
This is the all about kicking your own butt. A good way to look at this is… what are the things you don’t want to do … and, what are the things that others don’t want to do… and, make this a top priority each day.

Realize that you, and you alone will need to address ALL THE ISSUES first, and figure out how to change them to a higher success. It’s not the economy, it’s not your friends, your government, your spouse, your girlfriend, boyfriend or your boss, or employees. It’s you. It’s all you.

Look around you. The results in the TOP 5 are yours. If you are broke, it’s yours. If you’re rich, it’s yours. You are responsible for all of it.

So, in this time of reflection – ask yourself: Are you proud of what you have accomplished?   If not, it’s time to get uncomfortable. Then, and only then will you take action. Failure is not an option.

Uncomfortably yours,

Jon Rognerud

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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.