The start of a new year is a time to reflect and consider your full potential. I’m sure I’m not alone in being excited for this year to start strong every day and every week. Here are 3 ways to overcome your top-of-the-year to-do list and use your time to your best advantage.

     Planning the Day. I have certainly mentioned more than once this tried-and-tested formula - planning your day the night before allows you to be more focused on “the day” as it occurs.  When you start your day knowing what’s on the plan – when you’re tackling which tasks between appointments - you’re less likely to be riddled with anxiety and thrown by distractions.  I’ll add a reminder to also plan a little buffer time for the inevitable distractions as well as the unknown opportunities that may be too good to postpone.  It’s also wise to schedule “Get-Back-To-You” time following every block of focused time – so you can truly stay focused and avoid the e-mails, phone-calls and unwanted interruptions that would otherwise tempt you to procrastinate.  Listen to this recording for more detail about this technique

     Planning the Week. Those of you who start your work week with my Monday Morning Mini Motivation Meetings (M5) have already started your week in the right mind-set. I always invite you to start your week with the intention of creating a full week of focused accomplishments. As always, plan your week in advance and don’t forget to coordinate your schedule with your loved ones, like my wife and I do every Sunday night.  Spouse, kids and pets are as important (if not more important) than your next great business contact! 

     Planning the Year. With the right mind-set, you can make any year your most  successful and balanced.  Write down your most important goals for the year – stating clearly your ideal victory in measurable terms. Then break down measures for each month. For some useful tools, go to and use the Game Plan Worksheet for managing a project-oriented goal, and the Goal Tracking Scoreboard for mapping your annual goal into monthly targets. These “Game-Changing Resources” will help you stay focused and motivated for 2011 and beyond.

     Feel free to share your goals, questions or comments here!  I love exciting news.  Thank you and Happy New Year!

Author's Bio: 

Jonathan Flaks, M.C.C., Business Success Coach - Since 1998, Jonathan has been helping entrepreneurs, business owners and professionals focus on and reach ambitious goals, maintain continuous confidence and motivation, and achieve balanced success. Jonathan maintains a Master Certified Coach distinction from the International Coach Federation. He earned a dual degree from Cornell University and was Adjunct Professor in Business Leadership and Coaching Skills for New York University. Clients have come from BMG Entertainment, Morgan-Stanley-Smith-Barney, KPMG, Disney, Deloitte, Honeywell, Goldman Sachs, and many entrepreneurial and professional service firms. If you want to start every week with a positive, confident attitude, visit Monday Morning Mini-Motivation Meetings.