Image credit: Ariel da Silva Parreira on sxc.hu
Want to look back on 2013 with amazement at all you accomplished? Keep these 3 questions handy. Ask them whenever you feel yourself getting off track. Instead of setting new year's resolutions you know you'll never keep, use this simple approach to become unstoppable.

1. What's the point?

On my most productive days, I ask myself this at least ten times. Develop the habit of stopping what you're doing - often. Ask yourself, "What's the goal of this action? What's this helping me to accomplish? Am I moving forward toward something worthwhile, or am I wasting time?"

The people who'll look back at 2013 as a launching pad to incredible success are the ones who keep their reasons in sight. How's that extra trip to Facebook helping you get to whatever matters most? 

Plus, you'll enjoy your work more. When you feel frustrated or overwhelmed, reminding yourself about what's important fuels you to push through the wall to the other side. 

2. What's the next step?

Forget about planning your goals. That's the quickest way to procrastination. Once you know what you want most, ask, "What's the first thing I need to do?" 

Take that step. You'll probably mess up. You'll probably do it wrong. That's perfect.

Why? Because you'll learn 10 times faster by doing something

Take the next step that occurs to you. Then figure out the next step.

Most people never obtain the success they deserve in their business or personal lives because they "plan" until the clock runs out. 

Decide that this year, you're going to screw up as much as possible. The faster you screw up, the quicker you figure out what you don't know. The sooner you know what questions to ask to get where your business needs to be. 

Ed Gandia, co-founder of the International Freelancers' Academy, gave me an illustration I'll never forget. He said that your journey is like driving across the country at night. 

When you leave California, heading toward North Carolina, you don't see every millimeter of highway. Your headlights illuminate about 20 feet in front of you. 

You clearly see less than 1% of the journey ahead. But your headlights help you see clearly what's immediately in front of you. 

Don't wait until you've got everything figured out. Turn on your headlights and start driving. The rest of the road will come into focus as you drive toward your destination. 

3. Who Can Help Me?

But what if you don't know the next step? If you've got dreams that fuel your passion, but no idea how to get started, this question is for you. 

Who has been down this road? Who has successfully navigated those challenges? 

Successful people often love helping others become successful. Ask someone who has been where you're going for driving directions. What worked? What didn't? What's the most important lesson they've learned? 

No matter what has you stuck, someone has overcome that challenge. Why learn from trial and error, when you can learn from the path others have taken?

If you don't know the next step, then find someone and ask.

2013 can be a special year for your business - but only if you get behind the wheel and start driving. These 3 questions will cut through the darkness, keep your eyes focused on the road, and light the way to what matters most. 

Your turn: What matters most to you? What's your next step? Who can help you get there? Let me know in the comments below.

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01/04/2013 8:30am

Excellent advice Jesse.

One question I ask myself repeatedly throughout the day: "What's the best use of my time right now?" It really helps me stay focused on what's important.

01/04/2013 12:27pm

Hey John,

Thanks for an excellent suggestion. The questions you ask have tremendous power to move you forward, make the journey enjoyable, and keep you headed in the right direction (like yours).

01/12/2013 12:25am

Just had to comment. I found you through Carol's blog, by the way.

These are great advice. Another thing I'd like to add, and as weird as it may sound, is writing down that you'll be happy and productive. I just started doing this with serious intent last month. Whenever I feel like crap and very discouraged, I just write something like "I will be happy" or "I will be productive" and it actually refocuses my mood.

Or maybe it's just me. LOL.

01/12/2013 1:12am

Hi Glori,

Thanks for your comment. I love this idea! I have to admit that I roll my eyes when the "gurus" talk about affirmations. "I am happy. I am happy." My mind just checks out. It says, "Yeah, right...dummy."

But "I will be happy" is different. It tells your brain, "This is going to happen, so get used to the idea." :)

I like asking questions even better. What's bothering me the most? What's the one thing I can do about it, right now, that would make the biggest difference?" That gets your mind thinking of solutions instead of dwelling on the problem.

Great stuff! Give us your $.02 any time. :)


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