2019 is here, and so is the opportunity to make the next year a truly extraordinary one.

So, what do you want to experience? What would make it extraordinary? Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but have never taken the time? Maybe you want a career change, or a creative lifestyle. Maybe you want to find new friends, reconnect with old ones, or finally lose those extra pounds you’ve been holding onto all these years?

2019 could be the year you actually make it happen. Following these 4 steps can help lead the way.

#1: Certainty Of Your Outcome

Before you make a list of what you want to ‘do in 2019’, start by being very clear on how you want ‘to feel in 2019’.

Gaining clarity about the actual experience can give you a greater sense of purpose and a tangible way to envision it.

For example, just losing weight for the sake of it doesn’t create much of an incentive to stay away from that extra piece of dessert, but if you know you want to feel confident, alive, vibrant and energized—all of a sudden, there’s a much greater reason to choose a healthier option when it is aligned with who you want to become.

As an exercise, take a notepad and pen somewhere quiet, maybe out in nature, for example, with no phones or technology, just you and your notepad.

Ask yourself, ‘What do I want to experience in 2019?’

Then, understand how it would feel to experience that—whether it be courage, flexibility, confidence. I know for me it’s all about having a sense of adventure, making a difference, feeling creative and energized, and challenging what’s possible.

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What is it for you? What will have you feeling fulfilled when you experience it?

 Once you have a clear outline, then you can go about determining what you will ‘do in 2019’ on the next page.

What I love about this is that you are strategically designing a life. Actions, on their own, don’t necessarily get you through the long haul, but actions that are aligned with your greater sense of purpose do.

#2: Flexibility In Your Approach

Unless you plan on living in a science lab this year where everything is controlled, there are going to be things that happen in 2019 that are unexpected. That’s life.

There will be things that challenge you, mistakes will be made, things won’t always go your way, and multiple aspects of your life will be vying for your attention—so having the ability to adapt to your ever-changing environment is absolutely vital.

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The moment you need everything to turn out in a specific way is the moment you’re striving for perfection, which is unrealistic and an unnatural goal.

I remember being on a beach in Northern Colombia last year, filming the waves rolling in using my aerial drone. I thought to myself, every wave is completely different. I looked at the beautiful rainforest covering the mountains behind me. Every tree was different. Every cloud was different.

I realized that if people were to criticize nature, just like they judge themselves, it would constantly be ‘that tree isn’t tall enough’, ’that mountain isn’t in the right place’ and ‘that wave wasn’t long enough or tall enough’. Take a look at the whole picture, the perfection is in the imperfection.

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Like nature, be flexible in your approach, be adaptable to change. That way, it doesn’t matter what comes your way, you know deep down that you can handle it, grow, and evolve.

#3: Recognize Your Progress

As you work on a specific area in 2019, it’s vital that you specifically recognize your progress, especially if it’s in an area that you’ve found challenging in the past.

Not only does it feel good to know that you’re moving forward, it also helps establish a new version of yourself, a new identity for whom you are upgrading the operating system.

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Think of it as a bridge going from one island to another. The first island is where you are living right now and the other is where you want to relocate to.

Consciously recognizing your progress is what builds a strong bridge that allows you to make it across without falling off the wagon.

Your new actions are currently what you are ‘doing’, but they haven’t yet necessarily become ‘who you are’. If you haven’t built up enough reference points for how you can achieve success in a specific area, it will be difficult to withstand inevitable challenges, and you may fall back in line with your old self again.

Recognizing even small amounts of progress every single day is what helps you build a bridge that stays strong no matter the challenges that come your way, allowing you to make it across the chasm to live those experiences you had visualized earlier.

#4: Lock In Your New Identity

At this stage, you are moving beyond simply doing steps. The actions you have taken are becoming locked into the whole of your new identity, part of who you are.

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It would feel weird for me not to go to the gym first thing in the morning, to go back to an old career, to eat unhealthy, processed food.

That’s because I have reshaped and transformed my priorities and values. I recognized which corresponding actions I’d need to do to finally experience the newer version of myself.

Eventually you will create habits that feel natural, so remember to celebrate that fact: Rather than just hoping it would happen, celebrate how you strategically took the action required to make it happen every step of the way.

You now have a resource that you can call upon to improve yourself, no matter what comes your way.

Cameron Brown loves bringing out the best in people. He is founder of The Thriving Collective and delivers multi-sensory talks to audiences around the world on how to thrive in today’s modern age.

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