We've looked at three steps to prepare for success in 2017 so far:

  1. Evaluate your biggest life areas
  2. Prioritise, and evaluate your thoughts and rituals
  3. Prepare your mind: give yourself permission to be yourself, including accepting your past, and acknowledge what you can and can't change

Today, we're going to look at a really important fourth step, which I'll call ownership.

Own your roles

You hold many roles in life - looking at the different arenas I play in, I'm a husband, a dad, a technical specialist, a boss, an employee, a musician...some of those are more important to me than others. Which of your roles are most important to you?

Now, here's the challenge. Each of those roles belongs to you - you own them. That means that they're yours to do what you'd like with, and if you're not actively owning them, the chances are that things have started to go wrong.

It's easy to come up with excuses for not doing well in a particular role:

I'm sorry honey, I know I'm late home again, but I've got no choice but to stay in the office.

Sometimes (quite often, actually!) an excuse like that is a symptom of a lack of ownership. You're very rarely in a situation where you genuinely have no choice. You could choose to leave the office on time, and perhaps it would cost you a promotion, but which role is more important to you?

Let me tell you from experience: once you've decided up-front what your most important roles are, the tough calls become less tough, and you start to own them a whole lot more.

Own your goals

Now we get onto the exciting bits. Do you really want to see success this year? Set some big goals. Where do you want to be by 31 December 2017? How about by 2020?

Now, let's reverse engineer those, laying them over the rituals we talked about two weeks ago. What new rituals could you put in place that would point you in the direction of those goals? What would you have to do every day, every week and every month to achieve them?

And here's the secret:

Put them in your calendar.

Let's be silly for a moment. Perhaps you're single, but would like to be married. If you went on a date every night for the next six months, do you think you'd be closer, or further away from getting married? Of course you'd be closer! Of those dates, some of them may have been awful, you may miss a couple, and some you may have ended up going out with people you'd never normally choose to go out with, but who knows?

Give it a go. Set some big goals, with hard deadlines, and create some rituals today.

You can do it.