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16 Tips and Strategies to Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever

Why 16?  Fun little fact...16 was my college baseball number at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee & Concordia University Wisconsin.  I had to take 16 because my high school number 19 was taken by a senior and if you flipped the nine upside down it made a six, so I went with it.  Also, 16 was my favorite birthday ever because at 9am that morning, driving my parent’s big ugly white Chevy Lumina, huge stud cubic zirconia earrings in my ears, and wearing a blue popped-collar Abercrombie and Fitch polo, I finally got my license.  What a day!  
Now let’s get to those 16 year-changing tips and strategies: 
  1. Write down your goals:  Write down every single goal you have.  Relationship, business, exercise, work, financial, house, nutrition.  Write it all down.  Don’t say it.  Write it.  Be detailed and don’t hold back.  After all, this is your life we’re talking about.  
  2. Write down a list of your daily habits:  Check the ones that need to be changed in order to reach your goals, and jot down an idea or two on how to change them in order to reach your goals faster.  
  3. Wake up in gratitude:  Every single day when your alarm goes off or you wake up, spend 10 minutes thinking about all the amazing and wonderful people, opportunities, and blessings you have in your life.  This will ensure starting every day with momentum.  
  4. #4) <——Brett Favre’s Number :)  Exceed expectations in all that you do:  Turn in a work project 5 days early.  Hit 10 sets of squats when it only says 3.  Go out to dinner with your boyfriend or girlfriend, set a reservation ahead of time, and dress yourself to the nines…heck, maybe even buy/make them a fun gift. 
  5. Start your morning routine with a tall glass of water and a healthy, protein-packed breakfast:  It will fuel your brain and body and keep your energy high.  
  6. Strength train hard 4 to 5 days per week for 60 minutes:  The studies say 3 days for 30 minutes.  But doing what’s “just necessary”  is never going to get you amazing results.  
  7. Do some sort of conditioning or cardio every single day:  Yes 7 days per week.  It could be a walk for 45 minutes with your dog, friend, parent, sibling, or loved one.  Or it could be 20 sets of prowlers with 4-45# plates stacked on top with 1000 skips on a jump rope and 500 body squats.  Either way, get it done and your body will reflect the consistent work. 
  8. Give without any expectations:  One of my favorite little ones to do is smoothly slide over an extra $20-$50 to the Starbuck’s barista and tell her/him it’s for the next few people and say “shhhhh.”  Or, just listen to someone.  Did you know that everyone’s favorite person to talk about is themselves?   You never know when just the simple act of listening to someone will totally improve their day, week, or maybe even life.  
  9. Find your why:  You may have one or if you’re like me, you may have several.  What will get you out of bed each day.  What will make you sacrifice the immediate gratification.  What will drive you in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond.  As we age, it may change.  As we mature mentally, it may change.  But you have to have a “why” every single day you are alive.  
  10. Eat to live:  No more diets.  It’s time to change the ratio of 75% bad and 25% good.  Flip the script on your nutrition.  It’s time to start eating healthy 75-80% of the time (coupled with training in the gym 4 days with 7 days of conditioning) and enjoying the delicious treats the rest of the time.  Like Amy’s candy apples in Cedarburg or Atlas BBQ smoked chicken wings in Grafton…mmmmm.   
  11. Consider sleep productivity:  The day I learned this my life got much easier.   Sleep is the Dr. Oz number one cure for stress, aging, healing, productivity.  If you get a deep 7-9 hours of sleep (maybe with some melatonin or zma supplement), you will crush the next day and be surprisingly productive.  
  12. Work off a list and I’m not talking about the Evernote app:  Stop winging it.  It’s impossible to get everything done and make efficient use of your time without having a list.  You need to be old school and write it down with pen and paper.  The apps and computer stuff will take too long to open and find when you get a great idea or have a note you need to jot quickly to follow up on. You get extra points if you jot this list down before the next day so that your subconscious mind can feast on it while you sleep, making you even more productive the following day.  Ever seen me walking around the gym during a training session with a yellow note pad?  Aha!  I’m taking my notes on what you all talk to me about, need help with, or mention.  
  13. Read for 60 minutes every day:  This is the x factor.  Read something uplifting, educational, or inspirational every single day. 
  14. Enlist into mobile university:  If reading is the x factor, this is the xx factor.  Every time you are driving for more than 10 minutes, doing laundry, working out, going on a walk, eating breakfast, cooking your meals for the week (you should be doing this), or anything that requires little to no thought, you need to be listening to audio books, motivational videos, you tube videos or podcasts on your iPhone, pod, pad, or if your old school cd’s.  It has to be something uplifting, educational, or inspirational just like the reading.  This is education, not entertainment.  Segway into number 15. 
  15. Change your entertainment to education ratio:  My mentor Brian Tracy said the average person’s ratio is 50/1.  For every 50 minutes of entertainment, they spend 1 minute in education.  If you can reverse this ratio and turn off the tv, twitter, iPhone, radio, water cooler talk at work, football games or any other form of entertainment and start reading, listening, and watching more educational, motivational, or inspirational content, your life will never be the same.  
  16. Deliberately show everyone how much you care and love them:  When it comes to your family, there should never be a question about who is most important.  You can show and prove this to them by turning off your phone, listening to them vent, giving them a phone call randomly, or making some simple sweet gesture.  The same things can be done for co-workers, customers, clients, friends, or random people.  Could you imagine if everyone walked around with this mindset.  That they were going to care and love everyone they met?  Now that’s a world I could live in!
I could keep this list going on and on but I don’t think having your best year ever is about doing 6,000 things.  
It’s about doing 16 things, 6,000 times.  
Try these 16 things in your own life.  Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to try it with you.  And I hope to hear your success story about how this helped you have your best year ever via email, Facebook, or in person.  
Enjoy your day and all the success in 2015 which will be inevitable if you follow these 16 tips and strategies.  
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