12 lessons I have learned in 2016

Good cheers and good advice for a more joyous 2017.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

2016 has been a crazy year to say the least. From one of the wackiest presidential elections of all time, to the Chicago Cubs breaking a 108-year curse to claim the World Series title, to everything in between, there have been ups and downs galore.

We have ups and downs on a personal level, as well. After reflecting on my personal and professional experiences in 2016, I’ve come up with 12 lessons to carry forward into next year to help me grow and improve as a wife, friend, business owner, and much more. Hopefully, sharing this list will inspire you to take some time to reflect on your past year and ponder ways you can use what you’ve experienced to propel you toward your goals even faster in 2017.

  1. Remember what’s important. It’s easy to get caught up in all the craziness going on in the world and that can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Take time to focus on the things that matter.
  2. Focus is critical to success. I learned a new acronym that has been extremely valuable in many areas of my life. In order to reach high levels of success in any area you need to FOCUS — Follow One Course Until Success.
  3. Show gratitude daily. Not only does it improve your mood, it helps put things in perspective. Think of all the people that would give anything to have what you already do, and be thankful.
  4. “Luck” is proportionate to hard work. Unless they have won the lottery, most successful people didn’t get there by luck. Even a lotto winner had to take action and buy a ticket. If you want to be at the top you better be prepared for the climb.
  5. Without a clear vision you’re going to get lost. It’s so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day routines that we don’t notice the path we’ve created for ourselves. Look at the big picture, determine where you want to go, and create an action plan to get there.
  6. Think bigger. As Napoleon Hill says in his famous book, Think and Grow Rich, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Big thoughts lead to big actions, which lead to big results.
  7. Do things that scare you. Nothing great ever happens inside your comfort zone. Take a risk, jump off that cliff, and be willing to be embarrassed.
  8. You will never make everyone happy. And that is okay. As a matter of fact, if you are making everyone happy you probably aren’t making that big of an impact.
  9. Learn new things. The best investment you can make is in yourself. Look for ways to constantly learn new things and engage in self-enrichment. Read books, listen to podcasts or audiobooks, or watch a TED Talk. There is an unlimited amount of valuable content at your fingertips.
  10. Make your health a priority. You only have one body so treat it accordingly. If you want to be productive, effective, and efficient, you need to make sure your physical health is in a place where you can operate at optimal levels consistently.
  11. Everything is “figure out-able.” There are now over 7.4 billion people in the world. Whatever you are going through you are not alone. Find other people to learn from and lean on.
  12. Breathe and smile. When things get stressful take a minute to shut your eyes, take a deep breath, and smile. This small action can have an incredible effect.

What are the top lessons you’ve learned in 2016? Shoot me an email at Jenna@JennaAtkinsonConsulting.com.

Jenna Atkinson is the president of CONNECT Madison, a young professionals group offering development, community engagement, and relationship-building opportunities to local business leaders.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.