Three ways to prep for a successful 2017

Dr. Carol Parker-Walsh
DR. CAROL PARKER WALSH Evolve Image Consulting

Well, we’ve successfully made it through Thanksgiving and Christmas is right around the corner. Before you know it, New Year’s Day will be here offering its endless promises of new beginnings and great things to come.

Post Thanksgiving is the absolute best time to begin the necessary preparation for the new year. After you’ve spent time reflecting on the events of the current year, assessing both successes and shortcomings, start crafting a concrete plan to up level your business and/or position in the new year. Take this seriously. It’s important for you to take extra time to truly prepare yourself to stop engaging in those limiting and self-defeating activities and behaviors that have held you back from reaching the heights of your dreams; and to create a future in line with your intentions and desires worthy of your time and energy.

Here are three critical ways to prep for success in the new year.

Up your visual game

Your outer appearance is your brand, your reputation, your packaging. Research shows that when you wear cheap, unappealing, or ill-fitted clothing people will react negatively toward you. You’ll be seen as irrelevant and unable to meet the current needs and demands of your clients. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look like the powerful and competent business owner you want people to see, but you do need to put forth some care, effort and thought into your visual appearance. Don’t let your appearance negatively impact your bottom line. It takes individuals a 1/10th of the second to make a determination about you, your skills and abilities, so a little thoughtful intention around your appearance will go a long way. That also goes for those of you who work from home. Discover your authentic style and brand and be sure to dress the part daily.

Keep your eyes on the prize

It’s so easy to get distracted by all of the chatter on social media. As you stroll through Facebook you’ll see others acting on ideas that you had a year ago or competitors filling their workshops when you’ve crossed your fingers hoping for just two attendees. It can be frustrating. Spending time watching other’s progress distracts you from your own goals and wastes your time. It’s clear that if you’re an entrepreneur you need to be present on social media. However, it’s equally important not to lose sight of what’s important to you and your business. If necessary, get clear and write out your goals – both short-term and long-term – for the new year and then create a daily plan that advances your vision forward. And while you’re at it, limit your time on Facebook and maximize your time in your business.

Try new things

As you reassess your hits and misses for 2016, consider what additional information you need to glean to improve in 2017. If you limit yourself to the same knowledge, same routines and even the same people, you’ll find it exceptionally hard to break out of your comfort zone and break through to another level. What was the last book or article you read that advanced, not just your skills, but your worldview? Have you engaged the support or services of a business, image or confidence coach? Are you relying on old knowledge and skills that have gotten you this far but are insufficient to take you further? Successful people add to their knowledge base consistently either through reading, learning or engaging the services of others. List the areas you need to improve in the new year and include a name of a book, class or person that can help you get there. Commit to reading a page, an article or a book daily, weekly or monthly. Discuss your learnings and their potential applications with your accountability partner or coach.

Stop sabotaging and limiting your success. It’s all in your control and there’s nothing stopping you from making 2017 your most successful year yet. If you need support, contact me to learn how my Soul, Style & Success Retreat on January 7, 2017 can position you or a great year.

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, a certified image professional and owner of Camas-based Evolve Image Consulting, is the expert behind the Vancouver Business Journal’s advice column: Dress Code. These columns specialize in strategies for developing a positive and professional self-image. Walsh can be reached at carol@evolvingyourimage.com.

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