Happy New Year!

Here’s to a wonderful year filled with love, abundance, and many more top 1% moments for all!

You’re motivated…

You’re excited…

You’re ready to have a great 2013!

Now what? How do you get there? What would a “great” year mean to you?

For those of you who are open to investing in yourselves and doing the work, here’s an empowering and helpful exercise to get you started.

This is when you want to think big rather than settle. If you settle when you dream, you will settle in your life. Have the courage to think big and believe in yourself!

A Few Key Things to Know Before You Jump In:

– Any starting place is a good one. (Whether you had the best year or the most challenging one, just start.)

– Leave the shoulds behind. Forget about what society and your friends think you should do with your life and pursue only what speaks to you on an authentic and heart-based level.

– It’s not a competition. You are striving for YOUR personal Top 1% (and this will mean something different to every mom, CEO, entrepreneur, professional athlete, and college student).

– Align your goals with your values to stay motivated. Your motivation will ebb and flow on your journey; that’s perfectly normal. You have the greatest chance of success when you connect your goals and values.

– Realize that “success” is a process. Oprah, Richard Branson, and Roger Federer didn’t start at the top. They worked very hard and invested time and energy to be where they are today. Starbucks started with one store, and now they have over 15,000 locations. Enjoy the process.

– And, most importantly, leave the negative self-talk behind. Yes, we all have it, but your work is in minimizing the interference factor so you can let your potential walk through the door. Performance = Potential – Interference

Give yourself fifteen minutes to write out answers to the questions below.

1. Define success. What will a successful year mean to you? Is it about connecting with people, inspiring people, making a certain amount of money, reading to your kids every night, changing jobs to do what you enjoy, or believing in yourself?

2. Write down three or more wins for 2012 that you felt good about accomplishing (e.g.: writing your first blog, taking a photography class and showing your work, launching a new product, completing a half-marathon, buying your first home).

3. Write down three core values (e.g.: respect, learning, honesty, adventure).

4. Write down three of your strengths (e.g.: positive outlook, determined, humor).

5. Write down three areas of your life/business that you would like to improve or focus on (e.g.: health, career, finances, relationships, fun/creativity, personal growth, marketing, business development).

6. Write down at least two goals in each area, being as specific as you can (e.g.: when will you complete the goal; does it speak to your heart; why is it important).

7. Put a star next to the three goals that truly speak to your heart.

8. Focus on one goal at a time and write down three small steps you can take today/this week to start the process rolling (perhaps it’s signing up for a class, calling someone to get more information, registering a domain name, etc.).

9. Repeat the process for each area of your life/business with each goal.

These are essential exercises to get your creative juices flowing and open to new possibilities.

Here’s to a “top 1%” 2013!

Please share your thoughts or one of your goals in the comments section. It’s empowering to share!

*For those who want to dive in deeper with one-to-one coaching, email top1@alissafinerman.com. I will also be doing a free conference call on goals later this month and free thirty-minute Skype coaching sessions once a month, just to help you all. Email me to learn more.

Alissa Finerman is a Professional Business/Life Coach, motivational speaker, and author of Living in Your Top 1%. She works with individuals and organizations to help them think bigger, redefine what’s possible, and get results. Alissa has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She has appeared on national radio stations such as CBS and Clear Channel Radio and has worked with the Milken Institute, LA Business Journal, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and NBC Universal. To learn more about coaching with Alissa, please visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.