My Favorite Year: 7 Swashbuckling Ways To “Attack” 2016

my favorite year

My Favorite Year is a movie where Peter O’Toole played Alan Swann. He is a former matinee idol forced out of retirement to pay his debts. In a pivotal scene, he swaggers out of the dressing room dressed as a musketeer.

He predicts to the rookie writer for the variety show that he will get it done the first time. Although it takes 2 or 3 takes before he warms up, tonight he’ll hit his stride right away.

Mark Linn-Baker, playing Benjy Stone, the writer,  informs him he doesn’t have a choice.  It’s a live television show. Millions will be watching every dashing move as it happens.

Alan Swann then freaks out because he hasn’t acted for 28 years. “I’m not an actor,” he shouts, “I’m a movie star.”

Well, it’s now time to act in the movie of your life in 2016, and here are 7 ways to make this “my favorite year.”

7 Ways to Make 2016 “My Favorite Year”

1. Dare to dream.

“What would you dare to dream if you knew you couldn’t fail?  Brian Tracy often asks his live audiences.

That’s a question that is well worth pondering. Who would you be if there were no constraints of time, money, or talent?

How would you dare show up in the world?

Take time out. Visit a coffee shop with your notebook and answer that single question. Then whittle it down into goals, plans, action steps, and review schedules.

Think of your plans as provisional. They are the best you can come up with right now and you can revise them as you learn more.

2. Declutter your space.

Clutter slows you down, gets in your way, and stops you from performing your best. It impacts your mental health.

  • Declutter your home and office.
  • Declutter your fridge and food closets.
  • Declutter your wardrobe.
  • Declutter the back seat of your car.

While you’re at it, declutter abstract things, too. Jobs, relationships, friendships, obligations, financial records, etc.

Start a clean slate.

Think of all the things that make you grumpy. Keep what you love and find ways to give away, donate, sell, or dump what no longer serves you.

3. Confront lingering problems.

We all have things that we would rather not deal with because we don’t quite know what to do with it.

Now is the time to deal with it because behind the mess is a message.

  • If your back hurts, the message is that you have to stretch your body back into shape.
  • If your gaining weight, the message is to get back to eating right and doing cardiovascular work.
  • If your not earning as much as you like, it means you have to rethink your work or how you handle your money.

Whatever the problem, think of it as an invitation to heal and transform your life.

4. Quit trying to change other people for the better.

Other people are never going to change until they’re ready.

Their problems may be obvious to you. And the solution clear and simple, but it’s their life lesson. They will only change when they’re ready. Sometimes you just have to let people learn from their mistakes.

So allow everyone to be as dysfunctional as they like.

Turn the focus of your zeal to reform toward yourself.

What is it that you could be doing better?

How are you falling short of your own highest ideals?

When you pay attention to your own shortcomings, you will find plenty of things to occupy your time.

5. Boost your IQ

Heard about neuroplasticity? Your brain adapts to stimulus. The more you exercise it, the more you grow new neurons. The more you learn, the more you develop neural pathways to lock in what you’ve learned.

No matter how smart you are, you can get smarter.

  • Create a way to brush up on your 3R skills—Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic.
  • Create a schedule to learn how to learn.
  • Create a plan to develop critical thinking, remember more, and grasp more of what you hear and read.

Here’s a personal story as an example.

In December, I daydreamed about being able to read more books in 2016. I thought about why I didn’t read more, and the issue was time. This made me think about speed reading. At first blush, the idea bordered on the absurd. How could you read fast and comprehend as much?

Out of curiosity, I looked into it. I learned that we read at the speed we learned when we were little. During that time, we learned many bad habits like eye fixation, subvocalization, and regressions. We also tended to daydream and not even pay attention to what we had just read. None of these things helped improve comprehension.

Now, I’m taking a speed reading course.  I’ve gone from 297 words a minute to 663 word per minute.  I set a goal to read at 600 words per minute. I actually didn’t think it was possible, and I expected my comprehension to drop to zero. Now, I’m ready to set a goal of 900 words a minutes.

Why does learning how to learn matter?

It’s because we live in an information age. The rate of knowledge will soon double from every 12 months to every 12 hours.

If you’re not as sharp as you could be, you will be missing out on a lot of new opportunities that come your way.

Worse still, you might start to fall behind.

6. Get Fit for Life

If you want to do, be, or have more, you need to optimize your vehicle. Your body is your way to navigate the physical world. If you don’t look after it, you can’t expect optimum performance. Even your brain and social charisma benefits from a fitness regime.

Think of fitness as layers.

  • The first layer is flexibility. Getting flexible will reduce nagging aches and pains. Think of Hatha yoga as a perfect way for you to tighten, tone, and stretch your muscles. Stretch your ligaments, tendons, and knotted up muscles.
  • The second layer is cardio-vascular health. Never run out of breath going up a flight of stairs again or walking down the street.  Think of jogging, power walking, or rebounding. Exercise your heart and lungs.
  • The fourth layer is vitality. A great life is an active life. Think of things like yoga or chi gong. Restore your nervous system and reignite your subtle energy.
  • The fifth layer is strength. Think of calisthenics or a regular weightlifting routine. Look fabulous and feel awesome.

7. Stay Cool, Calm, and Collected.

Your life is stressful, and you need to create a way to unwind.

This does not mean watching more television or spending more time on the phone talking up a storm.

There are many constructive ways of getting back to equilibrium. Try the classic routines. Meditation. Contemplation. Long walks in nature. Massages. Hot tub baths in mineral salts with candles and soft music.

The calmer you become, the more you will be able to free your mind from the anxieties that slow you down.

You need to be cool, calm, and collected to make this year, “My Favorite Year.”

 A New You 

Every year brings with it renewed hope. When the calendar turns to the first month of the year, we give ourselves permission to dream.

Promise to make this year your favorite year. “I declare 2016 as my favorite year ever!”

Don’t let this year slip away. Don’t fall back into old habits and old ways of living.

It’s time to quit doing what never worked. It’s time to renew your mind, body, and spirit.

It’s time to improve your income and relationships.

It’s time to finally become the person you always wanted to be.

Make it happen.

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