I don't know about you, but my year started fairly ordinary. I had the worse New Years' Eve I can remember for some years, and then the next few days followed suit. It just kept on going on. I was in unfamiliar terriority so I couldn't really vent my frustration or the fact that I had a strong distaste for the continual negative elements that kept creeping into what had been a 'perfect' life.  In fact, I cannot say whether or not I have had a worse start to a year before and given that I tend to put so much hope in starting a new year - it was a tad disappointing. Actually, it felt quite soul destroying and as a fairly positive person, that's saying something.

We all have expectations and big occasions like New Years' Eve don't help. Isn't that the date for the most suicides and I am sure it is the same date that sends people to Xanax or whatever their choice of anti-depression drugs might be? To me, it is suppose to be about a fresh start to the year and full of positivity. Unfortunately it wasn't the case and as much as I willed for good fortune and happiness to surround me, it did not occur quite like I would have wanted it to. I had such high expectations that fell apart fairly fast and furious over the new year but to sit here and continually complain would not be conducive to anyone or anything. After all, there are people starving in the world and I am worried about my expectations not being met on an occasion which is just a great excuse to drink too much champagne and surround yourself with people that you may not ever see again or may only see again next year.

Instead of having a 'fresh start to 2012', I was bombarded with a failing in circumstances and my expectations of what life should be and how others should behave fell down quick smart.

Then of course, when I hit the road running back in the office, things didn't get much better. The whole sediment for 2012 had been ruined. Completely trashed, stomped upon and buried so that the hole became so deep, it would be hard for even the hardiest of achievers to get themselves out.

Now what?

If January wasn't what you expected, pretend that the start to the new year is in February. I know that I am going to.

Dust off your jacket, put a big smile on your face and take on the world and your business endeavours with all the gusto you can muster. Perhaps have your own celebration with the most special people in your life.

Some great tips to starting fresh in February 2012 are:

1.  Write a personal and business plan that is for 11 months - not 12.
2.  Think positively. Forget about anything that has happened in January that has your start to the year in a position that isn't ideal and pretend it didn't happen. Smile all day long, think happy thoughts, surround yourself with happy people, and get rid of anyone or anything that is not working in your life.
3.  Start communicating. Talk to clients, prospects, suppliers and your team. Tell them what you are thinking about where your small business should be heading and how you intend on getting it there.
4.  Start a blog. It's great therapy and a huge motivator.
5.  Listen. It's an art that most successful people have. They listen to what others say. They don't talk over people and they engage at a level that makes them memorable.
6. Be thoughtful. I am sure this is my 2012 word. I am surrounded by thoughtful people and people that are not thoughtful make me feel sad that their own selfishness may be in fact ruining their chances of success.
7.  Use your brain. If it's not working the way you would like it to work, think long and hard on what is the best solution for your business.
8.  Collaborate. Two heads are better than one. 10 heads is extraordinary. If you can collaborate, then set some ground rules and make it happen.
9.  Read books from people you aspire to be like. You never know what 'pearlers' of information may click with your psyche and change your state of mind.
10. Be kind to every single person that touches your life, whether its for a brief moment or for a lifetime.
11. Have a fresh start. Get rid of things and people that are not going to be in your future. Start afresh and invest time in people that count and who mean something to you whether it is in business or in life.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye


  • Ren

    Interesting article! I love how you draw a comparison between 'people starving in the world' and your quest to meet 'new year's eve ideals.' That is funny! :)
    We all have our good days and our bad days, and it so happens that one of your less enjoyable days occurred on NYE. Fortunately for you you have a backup plan, being your list of tips for FEB 2012.

    Your pointers are very relevant, i really valued the pointers listed below.
    Pointer number 1: is great (Set your own goals)! Everyone should follow this personal and business, it is certainly a must if you wish to understand your priorities and strive to achieve them.

    I also love number 7: Use your brain. Sometimes we switch off for too long and its important that we keep using our brain to learn new things.

    Its these kind of pointers that we don't usually think about, but we should always follow.

    Thanks for the tips Mellissah!!

  • Paula

    I think it is so important to remain positive in these situations. If things don't work out you can't move forward unless you draw a line under the negatives and start to think positively. I agree that it is so important to listen to people too. It is a skill that everyone thinks they have but not many people do and is something that I personally, am trying to improve on!

  • Sophie

    When I'm feel sad, I force myself to look at life positively and I forget quickly what it makes me like this. Your advices are interesting and I will try to remember. Surround yourself with happy people is a good way to see the bright side of life because we know that laughter is contagious, isn't it ? I'll add to wish list 12: Laugh. This is the best way to feel good for me.

  • Axel Tracy
    Axel Tracy

    I'm doing 2, 3 and 5 right now, woohoo!

    Thanks for the article, my start to the year wasn't the best either, my 2012 plan had to be totally readjusted by the 20th Jan.

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