It’s a brand-new year and the road that is 2018 stretches into the distance ahead, 52 weeks of blank canvas waiting for you – the creator – to bring them to life. You have a vast array of choices before you. 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.” You may think you need hours upon hours of experience, a certain level of education, or the right people in your network to get started. You would give anything to have a few years under your belt – to 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’re beyond the point for new ventures. You think building a brand, taking your career to the next level, or starting a business are a young person’s game and your time is over.

Here’s the irony: Both sides of the age/experience continuum have loads of people who wish they were at the opposite end. Older, experienced people wish they were young again, while those in their twenties want the experience and wisdom that comes from a life lived.

Let me share a little secret…

If you’re waiting for the perfect time, when everything in the universe aligns exactly as you’d like it – it ain’t gonna 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 life 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 2018? You have a whole year to do it – we’re just getting started. Maybe you want to:

  • Write a book
  • Begin 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 now.

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

No matter where you begin, there’s an audience ready to learn from you. So what if you don’t know everything? At this moment, you have all the knowledge you need to help someone, somewhere. We move through this life at our own pace and everyone is at their own level. Your experience and knowledge is more valuable 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, 2018.

    1. Where are you?
    2. Who are you with?
    3. Looking back on the year, what have you accomplished?
    4. 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:

    1. I am a successful author
    2. I am a highly effective coach
    3. 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 2017 performance and plot a course for your success in 2018. You can download my 2018 Success Planner to get clear on the following:

    1. Understand what worked and didn’t work in 2017 in key areas of your life
    2. Know your Vision, Mission, and Core Values that you’ll use to succeed in 2018
    3. 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 2018. The way you arrive is up to you – don’t defer 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.

Originally published at