Another year down. So what? A new year shouldn’t make a lick of difference to how you live your life and should not be used as an excuse to start doing all those things you have been meaning to do. If you’ve been lazy and complacent, you have likely not achieved the resolutions you set for 2016. Most of us don’t. If things are shit for you right now, they are shit because you haven’t made positive changes in the right direction. Things will get better if you do. Reality check time… you don’t need a marker like New Year’s Eve to make that change.

Yes, 2016 may have been a busy year for you, but people that complain how busy they are tend to be the same people that claim they don’t have enough time to exercise. It is plain bullshit. There is no truth to that. The real issue is you’re bad at planning and time management, not that you are too busy to make positive change. The biggest failure anyone can have in life is not fulfilling their potential.

I hear a lot of people asking how they can make positive changes. The first step is to have a vision of what you want and immediately working on developing a plan to achieve it. Do not wait for the new year! I use the word ‘vision’ as I dislike the word ‘dream’. ‘Dream’ is a faffy term that implies our objectives are unobtainable. Dreams only exists when we sleep, and we want success when we are awake. So why pursue a dream when you can pursue a reality?

When I was 17 I joined the military and I knew from the first day I saw a wall of Corps logos that I wanted to join Intelligence Corps. That was my objective and it was what I worked towards. After I got there, I wanted to pursue a career in intelligence outside the military and I achieved that. Every step of the way I had a clear vision of what I wanted and how to achieve it. Until I realised that the reality of my choices didn’t make me happy and decided to move in another direction.

Honestly, I implore you to take the time to sit down and have a think. Get out a sheet of paper and really work at deciding what you want. It could be anything from moving into a certain field of work to wing suiting of a cliff in Norway or a threesome with midget strippers. The vision doesn’t matter, but the steps to achieving that outcome do.

Do you think any leader has ever gone into a situation without carefully considering and planning towards his overall vision? I highly doubt Alexander the Great just woke up on New Year’s Day and thought “my resolution this year is to conquer Persia”.  Alexander took small steps towards conquering Greece’s traditional enemy very early on in his reign. Incidentally, Alexander’s greatest victory over the Persian Emperor Darius III is an example of complacency and lacking a plan. Darius was crushed due to thinking he couldn’t possibly lose due to years of success. You shouldn’t be like Darius going into war half-prepared, you should know how you will attempt to succeed first. Be Alexander, not Darius.

The most successful people are those with a clear vision and plan to success. Yes, there are plenty of people that will try and sell you “the five-step plan to success” or the “I’m a millionaire and you could be one too if you listen to me” courses, but this shit starts with you. There are no shortcuts nor gimmicks to finding that vision and building a plan, there is only the need to take steps in the direction you truly want to go.

Level UP was born from my vision to be the change I wanted to see in the world. I realised that the reason people often made these New Year’s resolutions was the fundamental flaw in how we engage in life. Not many people have made or ever make the first step towards achieving what truly makes them happy and in many cases, are doing something that does not make them happy, either professionally and personally. This is all because of a fundamental lack of self-awareness.

If you are considering a life change, why wait for the New Year. Commit to change now and do not deviate. Follow your plan, achieve personal happiness and win. Remember, be like Alexander not Darius.