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Now is the time to make a positive change.

That seems so cliche right? Isn’t now always the time to make a positive change?

Ok. Let’s start again…

This time of year, most people begin to focus on what went wrong over the past year. They vow to change, make resolutions, and commit to a new regimen. The easiest example is the local gym. They’ll never be so full as they are in January.

Commonly, by March, the gyms start clearing out again, we settle into our natural routine, and all of our good intentions give way to reality… we are who we are.

It doesn’t need to be that way. We can make consistent positive change.

We can make this the year that changes our lives.

Here are three things that you can do this year to make sure that happens.

1. Have a clear vision

To get where you want to go, you need to know where you are going. That doesn’t mean you won’t take a detour once in awhile. A plane in flight is off-course 95% of the time. Constant course corrections are how it makes it to its destination. That same holds true for us. But, we can’t course correct if we don’t know the destination.

I like this exercise to evaluate my vision for my life: I imagine I’m going to die. It sounds morbid, I know, but it’s true. We are going to die. So imagine it. You’re on your deathbed… What do you love about your life? What do you regret? What do you know you need to change?

What do you wish you had done differently? What would you want to do for yourself? Others? Would you have the same job? Would you live in the same place? What would you want more of?

Imagine you can make all of the correct decisions to make sure, when that day comes, that you are satisfied with how you lived life. No regret. Only happiness and fulfillment. You lived your best life.

That is the person you should start moving toward becoming today.

2. Take Responsibility

Above I said “We can make this the year that changes our lives.”

It’s up to us. You don’t need permission. This is your life to live and your responsibility to be the best person that you can be.

Once you decide that you can improve your situation for yourself, real change can occur.

So many people want to place blame for their situation on others. And maybe it is someone else’s fault. Even so, it’s your responsibility to deal with it. To handle it in the best, most healthy way so that you can grow.

The world outside you will not change until you do.

Your health, your job, your relationships are your responsibility.

3. Commit and Act

“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions.” -Stephen Covey

We’ve all done it. We intend to do something and don’t. We excuse ourselves in our minds. We didn’t have time. We were sidetracked. Someone else got in the way.

No more!

We want to live life to the fullest. We want to become the ideal version of ourselves that God intended. So do it!

That takes work. Hard work. Daily work.

We cannot reach our destination without making an effort.

You may fail along the way. That’s ok. Growth comes from failing, learning, and persevering.

It doesn’t not need to start with radical change. If you take small actions every day, you will make progress. You will grow. In time, you will see big results.

Begin.

Create your vision of who you want to be on your last day. Take responsibility for that vision and the action needed to get there. Then develop a plan to get there. Take small steps toward that vision every day.

Commit to action. Set a date to begin. Make an actionable plan and execute that plan.