As we move into a new year, I’m pausing to reflect on the last 365 days of my life and realizing that they’ve been pretty good. Not only did this year see me reach new heights professionally, but I’ve also conquered many personal demons and found my life partner along the way. This time of year can be a crazy time for a lot of folks… Most of you are out there right now making bullshit resolutions that you’ll half-heartedly stick to for a day or two and then slip right back into your old ways. This year, I encourage you to buck that trend. Make 2012 one for the record books. Hey, if all those prophets out there are correct, what’ve you got to lose, right?

This should be a time of reflection, but also a time of planning. If you’ve ever had an idea or a passion that you’ve wanted to “cash in” on, now is the time to do that. We live in a day and age where anything is possible and anyone with an internet connection can become a success story. No matter where you are in your life, no matter what you’re doing, just take the time to take stock in your own happiness and self-worth. If you’re unhappy about any aspect of your life, now is the time to change that. This year alone, I’ve lost over 200lbs, married the woman of my dreams, and began working with several of my “dream companies” on a regular basis. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t do the same thing.

As I said, this change can’t and won’t come without proper planning. You should be laying the foundation for whatever it is you want to change, right now. Nothing happens over night though, remember that. Most of the payoffs for me this past year have happened in the last 2-3 months… However, it was the 9 months leading up to that which prepared me for the successes I’ve achieved and put me in a position to grab the brass ring when it was put in front of me. I made a conscious effort in 2011 to get back into the Adobe community that had give me so much over the years and start giving back again. I also went out on the speaking circuit for the first time in 3-4 years and began honing my presentation skills and meeting the people that have supported me over the years. Finally I went on the offensive by recording new video tutorials, hosting free podcasts & classes, and diving into social media like a madman. All of this, combined with some friends in high places, got me back to a place that I’ve been longing to be for so very long.

I’ve gone through some truly rough times (personally and professionally) these past few years and I’ve had to claw my way back to where I am today, but I did it. You can do it too, but you have to believe in yourself and your passion, and be willing to take that chance when it comes along. So friends, I leave you with this… I know that the first step is the biggest and the scariest of them all, but if you don’t take that step, you’ll spend the rest of your life wondering “what if” and frankly that’s no way to live at all. Evaluate, plan, and attack… That is our mantra for 2012.


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