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develop a unique form of confidence because you know that, 100 per cent, you’ve done the work yourself. It’s another means of learning to trust and honour yourself on a greater level.

Learn to earn

One of the fastest ways to upgrade in any area is to find people who have already done what you want to do and learn from them. If you are starting a business, find a coach or a mentor. If you want to run a marathon, find people who have done it before. If you want a great relationship, read books or have conversations with people who have the same. Tey say that experience is the

greatest teacher, but how about looking to the experience of people who have already conquered what you are working towards? Learn from their wins, losses, ups and downs. Don’t be afraid to invest in books, courses, coaches, support groups or mentors. If they can fast track your results, it’s worth every penny. When I first got into business,

I began reading books from people who’d seen success in my specific niche of fitness, as well as books on marketing and running a small business. I applied everything I read. Tat is key. So often we get addicted to consuming more and more information, but we don’t apply. Upon application, I started earning more money which allowed me to further invest in myself and my business by hiring coaches and mentors who were able to help me learn from their decades of experiences. Constantly re-investing in the right people has allowed me to get ten times the results I would have achieved alone. Who are the people that can help you fast track your success in the areas you wish to improve?

Focus on progress not perfection

One of the biggest things that keeps people stuck is the illusion of perfection. We see fitness cover models and want to look like them or a smitten couple and want the ‘perfect’ relationship. Te problem with perfection is it’s a lie and it will keep you stuck. Te illusion of perfection stops people from getting started, and that’s the most important step.

Focus on a one per cent ❝

improvement every day. Progress, not perfection, in whatever area you are working on. Te secret to happiness in life is working consistently toward a goal that means something to you. It’s not about standing on top of the mountain, it’s about the person you become on the climb. In 2017 think of the compound effect, the accumulative difference a few small steps every day will make to how your life looks overall. Consistency is key. I always tell people that rather than having a to-do list as long as your arm, if you list

on the roads as reasons to give up and stop, or as opportunities to learn and grow? Gratitude is a fast way of changing your perspective to the goodness in your life. You can’t be in a state of dissatisfaction and gratitude at the same time.

Give back

Life is about what we give and not what we get. Many people want to give back in some way to their com- munity or to a cause that means some- thing to them, but have convinced themselves that they’ll do it ‘someday’. We can often downplay the potential impact we can have on other people and think that we aren't ‘enough’. Don’t wait until you’re wealthier,

In 2017, entertain the idea that maybe you are selling yourself short and are capable of much more

your three highest priority tasks for the next day before going to bed and focus on completing those first thing in the day, you’ve then completed close to 100 high priority tasks each month and 1,000 per year. Tat’s how you change your body, your relationship, your business or your life.

Practice gratitude

It’s easy to focus on the areas of life where we are miserable or what’s lacking in our life, but when you shift your focus to gratitude for what you have, everything changes. Rather than complaining or obsessing over what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Te only way to bring more into your life is to be appreciative of what you’ve got already. Write down three things you are

grateful for every day in a gratitude journal. If it’s been a bad day, double up on the gratitude and list six things. A few years ago, I think I would have seen this practice as airy-fairy, but so many successful people I followed were doing it, it only made sense to me to give it a go. It’s had a profound impact on

my life. Te quality of your life will largely come down to your perspective. Do you see the bumps

more well-known, more successful or more ‘ready’, just get out there and start sharing your gifts, your time and your energy with the world. No doubt you’ll get a huge amount from it. Much like gratitude it’s easy to dismiss giving back and say, “I’ll do that when I’m successful”, or “it’s easy for celebrities or wealthy people to be grateful or giving”. My belief is that people become successful because they are giving and grateful, not the other way around. How likely are you to donate a small percentage of your time or money when you are extremely successful if you won’t do the same when you’re just starting out and have a modest income and a good amount of time off? Te irony of living in the infor-

mation age is that we have everything we could ever need to know at our fingertips but we can often become stuck in ‘paralysis by analysis’ and not take any step forward. Information be- comes another form of distraction and another year passes by without any true change. I invite you to make 2017 the year when application becomes your standard and not just acquiring infor- mation. Based on this article, what’s one thing you could apply now?

Pat Divilly is a bestselling author, motivational speaker and entrepre- neur from the West Coast of Ireland. This article is based on Upgrade Your Life: How to Take Back Control

and Achieve Your Goals (Wiley, 2016). For more information, visit

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