January 1st is one of my favorite days every year. I know it doesn’t make sense at a rational level – it’s just another day, right? Yes and no. There is something quite powerful about a fresh start. A new year provides that chance.

When I was a kid, I had a toy called an Etch a Sketch. I know that was a long time ago, but here’s how it worked. You could draw anything you wanted by turning the knobs on the front of the device. And, here’s the best part – whenever you wanted to start over, all you had to do was shake the device and magically, the screen would clear. That’s still the image that comes to mind when I think about a New Year. We get to start over and create anything we’d like going forward!

As you think back on 2013, I hope you have few regrets. Even if that’s true, I’m guessing you could use a fresh start in some facet of your life. Here are a few areas to consider….

Physically – How did you do in 2013 with your personal fitness? Are you in the best shape of your life? 2014 could be the year. What do you need to do differently to be better fit to lead? You can start today!

Emotionally – Are you carrying any baggage you should drop off before the new year kicks in? Are there people in your life you need to forgive for something? It’s not about what they deserve – forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. Only then, can real healing begin. This could be the year you regain your emotional health.

Financially – Have you made bad decisions regarding your personal finances in the past year? Maybe, you need to make some lifestyle changes. Maybe you need to cut up a credit card or two. Financial bondage may be keeping you from accomplishing what you were meant to achieve.

Career – Are you working in your sweet spot? Are you living out your calling? Are you in the right job? If the answer to any of these questions is no, perhaps you can sort that out in 2014. Life is too short to invest it on the wrong things.

Time – Did you accomplish the important things in your life over the last 12 months? Were you in control of your calendar? Have you set your priorities for the New Year? Have you blocked important activities on your 2014 calendar?  For me, the list includes time with family, a half-marathon, a new book project, and several conferences. What are your big rocks for 2014?

Leadership – Do you have a compelling picture of the future you are trying to create? If it’s not clear to you, it will never be clear to those you’re attempting to lead. Did you lead at your highest level in 2013? What needs to change for you to lead at the next level in 2014?

2013 is OVER!

We get a fresh start – just like magic – beginning today! My encouragement for you is to learn from the past – but don’t live there.

I’m going to do all I can to make 2014 the best year of my life… thus far. I hope you will too.[GLS_Shield]

Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.