Succeed Beyond 2017



J Thomas Smith, Contributing Writer

Reflect on the beginning of 2016. If you are like most people, you began the New Year with many goals. What goals did you set?  Perhaps 2016 was the year you were going to slim down, get a better job, earn more money, meet the perfect mate or stop smoking.

How Did That Work Out?

2016 is over. Did you accomplish all of your goals? It is alright to admit that you did not accomplish what you hoped that you would or worse, what you knew you could have. Recognition is step one toward creating positive changes in your life.

New Year after New Year, you have reflected on the past and you promised yourself that this New Year would be different. You set goals and you made resolutions that you would accomplish what you had failed to accomplish the year before, and yet, you repeated the same behavior and failed to accomplish your goals.

Are You Practicing Insanity?

Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” Why do you expect changes if you keep setting goals in the same way as before? Are you really expecting to accomplish your goals? It is time to take an approach that is different. You will be ending 2017 the same way you have ended 2016 unless you are willing to change your approach.

The start of a new year is not necessary for setting and achieving a goal. However, the start of a new year does have a psychological effect on us. You feel like you are given the opportunity to wipe the slate and start fresh. The reason you want to wipe the slate is because of what you did not achieve. Those who achieve their goals don’t want a fresh start. Those individuals want to remember and continue to build upon their past success.

Resolve to Produce Results

As successful individuals achieve their goals, they are constantly setting new goals and they move forward. Maintaining that momentum produces results that never end. You do not need a new year to get into action. What you need is to be resolved to produce results in your life.   This is certainly what making a resolution means; to be resolved to improve or change behavior.

You didn’t achieve your goals in the past because you wanted to get the envisioned results without modifying your behavior and following the steps to success. Well, I believe that Einstein said it right; it is crazy to think that the same old patterns of behavior will get new results.

Seven Steps to Success

Let’s have a new beginning.  Let’s begin this New Year with start forward motion by achieving goals continually. Here are the action steps to achieve your goals and produce the success you desire in your life:

1)         Start with baby steps, by avoiding huge sweeping changes. Pick small goals that you can accomplish within the next 30 to 60 days.

2)         Become committed to your goals by writing them down and signing your name to them.

3)         Read your goals out loud daily and ask yourself what behavior and actions are needed today to achieve them. In the past you made goals, became busy with life, and soon your goals were quickly forgotten. Remind yourself daily.

4)         Take action based on your decisions each day. A little progress each day will bring you closer to your goal.

5)         At the end of your day, read your goals again out loud and ask yourself if you put forth every possible effort to achieve them. Make necessary adjustments in your action plan the following day when reading your goals again.

6)         Achieve your goals within 30 to 60 days.

7)         After you have achieved your goals, make new 30 to 60 day goals right away and repeat the process.

If you commit to following these seven steps to success, at the end of 2017 you will be celebrating new beginnings.  This successful pattern of behavior will move you forward from success to success for years to come.

J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on “The Real Sound of Htown” KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 cst). He is an attorney, author, keynote speaker, and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome at or Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102 on and


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