Before you read this through, you must first figure out what success means to you. In your own life, heart, and mind, what do you define as a success? It is probably different for everyone and can be anything from money to good health to setting a Guinness Book of World Records record. The following tips are only some guidelines that I feel are interesting and worth sharing. They are all little nuggets that I have picked up through the many podcasts, online articles, documentaries, books, and people that I have come across in life. These ideas have helped me shape what I believe success to be and are tips on how to start your journey towards it in 2017. Enjoy.

1. Set your goals - Everyone has probably heard this before, but the more thought I put into it, the more important I believe it to be. Goals give you something to aim for, something to try and achieve, something to move towards. I love games of all kinds - board-games, card-games, sports, etc - and one of the reasons beyond the competition is that they have clearly defined goals. Get 5 chips in a row, be the first to call nerts, make the little white ball into the cup. The thing with games is that they are so short and compact time-wise that your goal is either achieved or failed within a few hours. This is why it is so difficult to set and achieve real life goals - they are usually on a much longer timeline and are much more difficult to achieve than getting 5 chips in a row in a game of Sequence. So, write your goals down, be specific, and set points along the way to reevaluate where you stand. The main objective of the goal is to accomplish what you have set out to do, but with most everything in life, it is okay to fail. Either way, the goal will motivate you. Here is a good, short article that relates to goals and success - How do high achievers really think?

2. Get out of debt - Man-o-man, wouldn't that be nice? Most everyone is in some kind of debt, whether it be a mortgage, some credit cards, or a student loan. Some types of debt are easier to get out of than others, but for me personally, those payments that constantly have to be taken care of month after month after month suck. The simple way to stay out of this rotating door of borrowing money is to pay cash for everything. If you don't have the cash, don't buy the product. Easier said than done, but try it out for a month. Start in baby steps. Pay off a credit card and then maybe another. I have been in a bit of debt in the past with a car loan and a few credit cards significantly run up. I worked slowly but surely and paid everything off, dollar by dollar. The day that I owed $0 was fantastic - it was a feeling of AHHHHH. Since then, I have jumped back into the debt pool, with a mortgage and a car payment, but the goal is to have all that paid off by the end of 2020. Only time will tell if I get this accomplished. If you need some help budgeting and such, check out this link. I have not personally taken any of Dave Ramsey's classes, but some of my colleagues have and I have heard good things.

3. Find your why - What does that even mean? This tip has manifested itself to me in the realm of business, but it may help your personal life as well. You be the judge. Your why is your purpose, why you do what you do. For business purposes, many people don't buy what you do but rather why you do it. I have put a lot of thought into this question of why. Why am I in the real estate business? Why do I do what I do? I still don't know that I have found a complete answer, but I have at least started sailing the course of why. You don't need only one why, either. One reason I do this is for the money. One of my goals is paying off my mortgage and the only way to do that is with moola. Another reason is that I like to get out in the city and explore the areas, the neighborhoods, the houses, and meet the people. My why is still a work in progress. What's yours?  Do a quick google search on "find my why" and you can get a bit more in depth on the search for your why. Check out this video by Simon Sinek on Starting with the Why. 

4. Hang out more with family and friends - I am super lucky to have an awesome family who lives locally and we get to see each other quite a bit. So, going into 2017, I would like to keep this up. Maybe a few more calls could be in the cards to touch base here and there and see how my loved ones' lives are unfolding. For me, one of the times when I am most at ease and comfortable is when I get to spend time with my fam. Maybe that is the same for you. My friends are mighty important, too, and I have found that with everybody and their busy lives, it takes some concerted effort to set up a hang. As with many of us, life gets in the way, some friendships are neglected, and everyone blows their separate ways through the storm of life. One thing that I have learned in my short tenure as a Realtor is the importance of relationships. People need people and a good friend is great for the heart, soul, and mental health. In my current gig, I have been trying slowly but surely to reconnect with some friends of the past and hopefully grow a meaningful relationship once again. Reach out to someone you enjoy but from whom you may have grown apart. They would love to hear from you.

5. Be Good, Do Good - Take a step back from everything and evaluate you. Give a heartfelt look into some of the negative things you do and try to change them. Look at all the positive things you do and continue with more of that. Spread the love. Give back. Try to stay positive. Bad things will happen, but take them in stride. Reflect. Have fun. Respect yourself and others. Don't take yourself too seriously, but do take your relationships seriously. Set your goals. Achieve your goals. Encourage others to do the same. Give a hug and don't forget to get one back. Be charitable. Be you. Set some time aside for you. Drink a lot of water. Enjoy a beer or two. Recycle. Build something. Surf. Be nice. We all have bad moments - try not to let them grow into bad days and beyond. Keep on keepin' on. 

These "tips" are merely some thoughts and reflections from my little melon. Read them, use them, and share them if you'd like. More than likely, you have already pondered much of this yourself, but hopefully you can find a new small tidbit from this and grow. As I am a Realtor and not a writer, take what you will from this and hopefully we can all enjoy a successful 2017. 

A closing quote from Joe Rogan  - "We are these finite lifeforms, clinging to a spinning orb, hurling through infiniti."