What I love about the new year is that it gives us all the chance to make a fresh start. It’s a time to set goals, make a plan, and take action to invest in ourselves.

What would you like this year to be about for you?

What does success look like and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?

The “No Regrets” Life

Taking advantage of the new year is crucial because, in real life, there’s no such thing as a “do over”. And that’s why I’m such a fan of living a “no regrets” life.

These days, if there’s something I really want to do but my fear or anxiety or frugal nature are holding me back, I will push myself to do that thing.

Whether it’s learning to do a handstand (yes, I did one the other day!), sending an email request to someone I don’t know (yet), or paying to join one of the top Mastermind groups in my field, I have benefitted greatly from taking the action.

But I haven’t always been this way. Back in the day, I DID let those things hold me back. And it’s those “acts of omission” that can lead to regret.

If I had a chance to do it over, here’s one thing I would change: I would have invested in myself even more.

The Effort is Never Wasted

The fact is, when you invest in yourself, the effort is never wasted. Investing in yourself is completely portable. You carry it with you wherever you go, even if your learning shows up in different, indirect ways.

There may not be a direct line between your history degree and your legal career, but I’ll bet you’re applying the critical thinking skills you picked up in college and benefitting from the connections you made. And the biggest gain from training for a marathon may be the second order effect of building confidence, and not just cardiovascular fitness.

When you invest in yourself, the skills, experiences and connections you make are all yours to keep and assets to build on, leverage and share in an endless variety of ways.

It’s Crucial to Your Ongoing Success

The time, money, and energy you invest to grow your skills, knowledge and experience are crucial to your future success. And it’s not “once and done” but rather an ongoing process of lifetime learning.

And when you reach out and learn from others, it shortens the time it takes to succeed because you’re not reinventing the wheel. I like to find the best in the field and learn from them because it’s the most efficient and effective way.

Now that I’ve gotten my priorities straight and learned to invest in myself, I thought you might like to know where I’m placing some of my investment chips right now.

The Investments I’m Making

Here are some of the things I’ve been investing in to get my new year off to a great start and make 2017 a breakthrough year.

Business Coach:
I’m renewing the contract with a group that helps entrepreneurs put structure and accountability into their businesses. These are experts who provide proven strategies, tools and systems to help me multiply the success of my business tenfold (or 10X, as they like to say).

Mastermind:
I’ve re-upped my membership in one of the top Mastermind groups in my industry. It’s a peer group that provides me with great ideas, advice, and support as I look to make 2017 a breakthrough year for my business.

Presentation Skills:
No matter how good you are as a speaker, it helps to improve and refine. And since I like to learn from the very best, I’ve invested in Victoria Labalme’s Rock the Room® system, which has a virtual training portion and a live event.

Victoria is the consummate professional chosen by top executives from Starbucks, Google, Microsoft and IBM (among many others) when they need to impress others, whether it’s speaking on stage to 10,000 or in a critical meeting one-to-one.

By the way, I’ll be at Victoria’s Rock the Room® Live training event in Los Angeles, March 3-5, and it would be great to see you there!

Reading:
I’ve just committed to reading at least 2 books a month – one related to my field and a second that’s unrelated. That’s because you get the best ideas by connecting ideas from one arena to another. That cross-fertilization is one of the ways that innovative and creative thinking happen.

Fitness:
In addition to going to my CrossFit gym three times a week when I’m at home, I’ve committed to finding a local CrossFit gym when I’m traveling. That way, I can sprinkle in a session or two in between days when I do Fitness Blender's YouTube workout videos and stay fit and strong while I’m away too.

Personal Brand and Style:
A few years ago, I finally threw in the towel and admitted needing help when it comes to clothes, shoes, accessories and so forth. Not only did I lack the time, I just didn't have a knack for it. That’s when I invested in a proper Stylist (Jacqueline Allen, founder of Edit London; and by the way, she works with men too) who helps me “look the part”. If only I had done this much earlier in my career. With a proper wardrobe and style, I would have felt more confident and, therefore, probably gotten ahead sooner as well!

Don’t Be Stingy

When I’m creating my informal investment “budget”, I often have to remind myself that it’s okay to give myself the “royal treatment”, and that this is not the time to be stingy.

This means I make a conscious choice to carve out the time, apply my energies, and set aside some funds. In fact, setting aside these budget items makes it fun to “go shopping” and decide how I’m going to spend that time, energy and money!

Just as I am my most valuable and portable asset, the same is true for you. This means allocating some time, energy and money for investing in yourself.

How Will You Invest in Yourself This Year?

So how about you?

Roll the clock forward to the end of the year.

  • Where do you want to be then?
  • What would have made the year a great success for you?
  • What investments do you need to make now to create those successful outcomes?

Get Things Going with Career Mastery Kickstart 2017 – It’s Free!

One easy way to start investing in yourself is to join me and 13 other experts in Career Mastery™ Kickstart 2017.

This free event will help you get your career off to a great start this year, and provide momentum for you to advance and succeed… while also having fun along the way.

Along with getting actionable Tips for advancing your career and achieving your goals at work, you’ll likely find inspiration for where you’d benefit from investing a little more time and energy this year.

Learn more about Career Mastery™ Kickstart 2017, and I look forward to sharing the collective wisdom of 14 career and leadership experts to help you advance in your career and get the year off to a great start!