Whether you enjoy setting New Year’s resolutions or not, here are 4 actionable tips to be your best, most authentic and empowered self.  I’ve selected these specifically because, while reflecting on the past year (and previous years), these come to mind as 4 powerful life tips we’d all do well to remember.

4 Concrete Steps To a Better You:

1/ Don’t wait. Many of us learn the hard way that things don’t just happen. Up until recently (gasp), I unconsciously believed that talent rises to the top eventually; it doesn’t.  Believing in your success is essential but it’s only one element.  Action is your best friend and resilience your second best.  Particularly when you’re pursuing something unconventional and that involves a lot of risk, you simply can’t afford to wait.  You also can’t afford to make any decisions coming from a place of fear or self-doubt.  You need to consciously leap into your mother-f*cking discomfort zone and go for it.  And if you fall down, congratulations – because when you get back up, you’ll be stronger than you were before.  We are meant to rise and fall, and rise and fall again – over and over.  This just means you’re truly living with intention and going after what you want.

2/ Speak up. As obvious as it sounds, many of us need a reminder to speak up. Asking questions or voicing your opinion (especially an unpopular one) can cause anxiety in certain situations.   I relate a lot to this personally, especially when I was younger — when I would stay silent at home to avoid tension and refrain from asking questions at school to avoid being the center of attention (it didn’t help that our near-retirement-aged Calculus teacher routinely made dumb blonde jokes).  However, this doesn’t apply only to highly sensitive people or women; most people remain quiet at times to avoid confrontation or the possibility of being viewed negatively.  We need to push through these feelings and speak up even when it makes us uncomfortable – and especially when it’s about a subject we care about (or need to know about).  The less we communicate, the worse things become.  And as uncomfortable as it may feel in the moment, the reward is more than worth it.  (Side note: Tact is also key.)

3/ Know that change is always possible.  Even if you are feeling stuck and emotionally or physically drained in your personal or professional life: know that you absolutely have the ability to shift your life in a positive direction.  Logistics, financial and family-related stress at times weighs so heavily that we can’t see beyond our struggles.  Through hard work, strategic planning and creative thinking, you can and will find a way out.  Trust your journey and be patient and keep pushing forward.  It is during our darkest moments that we develop our greatest strength.  

4/ Hang (only) with positive people.  It’s that simple: avoid those who bring you down and drain your energy.  This can be a challenge, especially when it involves childhood friends or family members with whom unhealthy relationship patterns were developed long ago; however, the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people can not be overestimated.  Our potential expands when we do and decreases when we don’t.  As Jim Rohn famously points out, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time withSo save your energy, be intentional and selective.

* Song For This Moment: “Shed a Light”  (Robin Schulz with David Guetta)