It’s a brand-new year and a fresh decade to boot. The road that is 2020 stretches into the distance ahead. You have 52 weeks of blank canvas just waiting for you, the creator, to bring them to life. An incredible variety of choices lie ahead. What shape will your life take in the year to come?

Will you paint in bold striking splashes of color, vibrant with confidence and certainty in the life you want? Or will your brush strokes be tentative, hesitant attempts held back by the need for perfection on the first try?

For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”

~ Walter Scott

What’s Stopping You?

“I’m not ready,” you say to yourself, “I’m too young to have credibility.” Maybe you’re thinking you need hours upon hours of experience, a college degree, or the right people in your network to get started. You would give anything to have a few more years under your belt so you can feel confident enough to begin.

At the other end of the spectrum, I hear “I’m too old to start something new,” and “I should have done it ten years ago.” There’s an overwhelming belief that once you reach ‘a certain age’ you’ve moved beyond the trailhead for new adventures. You think building a brand, taking your career to the next level, or starting a business are a young person’s game and opportunity has passed you by.

The truth is that both sides of the age/experience continuum have loads of people who wish they were on the opposite end. Older people often wish they were young again, while those in their twenties want the experience and wisdom that comes from a life lived.

Here’s the secret…

If you’re waiting for the perfect time, when everything in the universe aligns exactly as you’d like it – it’s probably not going to happen. There will always (and I mean always) be a reason, why now isn’t your time. Your dog is sick, the kids are too young, your job is too demanding, you’ve got to binge watch the newest season of Whateveritis.

The timing will never be perfect. So, when should you start?

The Time Is Now

What do you want to do in 2020? You have a whole year to do it and we’re just getting started. Maybe you want to:

  • Write a book
  • Start a blog
  • Move up in your company
  • Grow your network
  • Start a YouTube channel

The possibilities are endless and only you know what you want. The key is that no matter how old or how young you are there’s only one thing that you must do…

And that is to start.

Start where you are, with the knowledge you’ve got at this moment, and the experience you have today. There will always be someone who knows more than you, who has more experience, or a bigger network. There will always be people who have youthful exuberance or the wisdom of age. Be a light to those you can serve from where you stand today.

“Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.”

~ Napoleon Hill

No matter where you begin, there’s someone ready to learn from you. So what, if you don’t know everything? Right now, you have all the knowledge you need to help someone, somewhere. We move through life at our own pace and everyone is working at their own level. Your experience and knowledge has much more to offer than you realize.

Maybe you will use what you know to mentor a co-worker or to give insight to your customers. If you dream of a bigger stage like building your own brand as a coach, consultant, or author, the options are only limited by the limits you place on yourself.

Take the First Step

If you don’t know where to start, try using the following steps to help you kick-start the year:

  1. Understand your goals: What do you want to do in the next 52 weeks? Visualize your future self on the evening of December 31, 2020.
    • Where are you?
    • Who are you with?
    • Looking back on the year, what have you accomplished?
    • What steps did you take to get there?
  2. Put your dream goal into writing: I love Post-It Notes. Write your goals and stick them where you can see them throughout the day. In the car, on your bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, by your bedside.
  3. Use positive affirmations to anchor your vision for the year. Use “I Am” statements as if you have already achieved your goal. Speak with confidence:
    • I am a successful author
    • I am a highly effective coach
    • I am a leader in my company
  4. Use the first days of the new year to take an inventory of your goals and accomplishments. Review your 2019 performance and plot a course for your success in 2020 with the following steps:
    • Understand what worked and didn’t work in 2019 in key areas of your life
    • Know the Vision, Mission, and Core Values that you’ll use to succeed in 2020
    • Create a quarterly plan
  5. Be accountable. Share your goals for the year with friends and family who can help you stay on track. Put yourself on the hook to reach your goals and don’t back down.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

~ Arthur Ashe

The Brutal Truth:

  • The new year is here – No matter what happens in the next 12 months, you will still be 12 months older than you are today.
  • The time is now – Time marches relentlessly on – it doesn’t care if you act on your goals or not.
  • Begin where you are – Start now with what you have today. Perfection is not a requirement – You are good enough – right here, right now.

In the blink of an eye, you will arrive at the end of 2020. The way you arrive is up to you – don’t give away your power to anyone, and don’t count on fate to deliver you.

It’s a new year.

You are enough.

Now go out and make things happen.

~ Author’s note: This is an update to a piece that originally posted to The Salesgirl Blog and Thrive Global in 2018 ~