1. Pause, look back and be thankful. 
For some of us, 2012 has been a great year, while for others it has been a challenge. One thing is common though, there's always something that we can be thankful for. 

That may be a good thought, but to see its real value, get a piece of paper and list down what you're thankful for. You'll be surprised how much there is to thank God for.  

2. Get over the holidays!
I'm sure you had a great feast or celebration, but you can't keep on eating (and spending) the same way. Get over it and move on. Begin to shift your focus to the brighter days ahead. 

3. Set your action plan for the first quarter.
Why first quarter? Why not for the whole year? It's because there's a big possibility that your plans for the rest of the year may still change.

Last January 2012, I had something else in mind for our business. But something (an unexpected breakthrough) happened last April that has changed our priorities and direction. Sticking to the old plan didn't make sense anymore. 

Plan for the doable, but always leave room in case you need to change course. 

4. Think (and work) long-term. 
Your goals won't get done overnight. While working on it, you will experience laziness, resistance or set backs. Acknowledge these challenges before you start. Then "commit to finish" whatever it is that you want to achieve.

Don't quit too early. Give yourself enough time to succeed.

5. Say NO to old activities that waste your time. 
Instead of watching TV or Facebooking for three hours, (ouch) cut it to an hour. Make use of the two hours that you've shaved doing that "something" you want to do. Stop putting it off!

You can write the book that has been in your mind for the longest time. 

You can pursue your art and learn how to showcase it. 

You can jumpstart the business that you've been thinking about.

6. If you want to change something, change where you spend your time. 

You won't lose weight if you're always in front of the TV. 

You won't be able to save money if you're always in the mall.

You won't be able to start a business if you're always with negatrons. (negative people)

A big part of changing your habits is changing where you spend your time. 

7. Update your "Operating System"
What worked for you yesterday, may not work tomorrow. In fact, whatever didn't work last year may be caused by the same reason.

Just like your iPhone, you'll need to update your 'operating system' regularly. Though you may not see it, we're driven by the systems that we've designed for ourselves. It's the reason why the first thing that you do when you wake up in the morning is brush your teeth. 

A simple change in your 'systems' can help influence your behavior. 

By leaving your credit card at home, you're not able to swipe it easily. You avoid debt, without even struggling for self-control. 

Or maybe you've been wanting to read your bible at night but haven't been able to. You go home 'too tired' at night or (insert excuse here). What to do? You can wake up earlier than usual. Read it in the morning instead. In this way, you'll get wisdom that you can use for the day.

By changing your systems, you're able to do the things that you want to do, and avoid the things that you shouldn't do. 

8. Nurture your relationships. 
At the end of the day, it's your relationships that matter. The best reason to get better at what you do is to be able to make a difference in your community or the people you care about. But don't let your 'busyness' affect your time with them.

Plan for a one to one time with your kid.

Schedule a regular date with your wife or husband.

Host occasional dinners in your home with good friends.

If you want to be successful, wealthy or influential. (in a good way) You don't need to look far. The best place to start is in your own roof or circle. 

Have a Productive New Year!

To start the year right, get a copy of The PRODUCTIVE PINOY book at any National Bookstore, Powerbooks or Fullybooked. See the reviews HERE.