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One of the greatest investments I made in myself in 2011 was throwing down the bucks to work with online marketing and women's lifestyle luminary Marie Forleo - first in her Rich, Happy & Hot B-School program and then in her Rich, Happy & Hot Live event. While Marie's genius is vast, I think my top tweet-sized takeaway from both of these experiences was: direct your focus towards the behaviors that are necessary to be successful. Now, Marie is a Coach U grad like me. And Coach U, and the coaching profession in general, is all about mindset first. If you think it, you actualize it. So, initially I was uncomfortable by the suggestion that I needed to redirect my energy away from my mantra of recycling obstacles into opportunities. But in truth, making opportunities out of obstacles is a behavior. The practice requires us to search within ourselves, recognize our inner knowing, seek out the support of others, forgive… It's a whole lot more than mere positive thinking. So in the year ahead, while creating and sustaining a possibility-centered mindset might be one of the behaviors you work on, I'm going to encourage you to make the other behaviors integral to your career success and life satisfaction your utmost priority. Here are my top five.

Behaviors Necessary For Success In Your Career

1. Go To Zero Limits

The Hawaiian practice of ho'oponopono, which I am a new student to, is the behavior of accepting full responsibility for our experiences. We ask the Divine, whatever that means to us, to clear out the memory or “program" that has manifested as negativity, pain, frustration, or suffering. And, as a result of this “cleaning," we get out of our heads and emotions and return to the zero limits state where clarity and inspiration live. The core practice of ho'oponopono is repeating these four lines, like a meditation. “I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." (If you want a great book on ho'oponopono, check out Dr. Joe Vitale and Dr. Ihaleakela Hew Len's Zero Limits.)

2. Get It Done

Don't let another year go by with the same wish list. Just launch your new career already. Write that book. Apologize to anyone you have wronged. Forgive anyone against whom you are holding a grudge (because most likely, that grudge is also holding you). If something is important to you, you will make it happen. You will find the answers to your questions. Connect with the people you need to connect with. Make the time you need to make. Harness the courage to play in the unknown. Go channel the energy and time you are putting into excuses into getting your results.

3. Add Value

Give people the information they yearn to know. Always have in mind the solutions you can offer. Provide value to your co-workers and clients. To your friends, family, and most of all to your honey. Make people excited to hear from you each time you open your mouth because they know they will grow as a result of their experience with you.

4. Light Up Your Inner Improviser With A “Yes, And... " Mentality

While I wasn't the greatest improviser when I used to train with the Second City, the one improv practice I mastered was backing up the people on stage with me. “You're a whore," I'll never forget one guy said to me as he initiated a scene. “Yes, yes I am" I said, making him right despite my desire to wring his neck. “Now, would you like me to wear the bear costume or the tooth fairy outfit?" While hopefully you don't have to say “yes" to somebody degrading you publicly, one of the chief qualities of being an influencer is making the people you are seeking to influence right. For many of us, it's easier to say “no" and “but" than “yes" and “and." Make phrases such as “I hear where you are coming from" second nature. Then, once you make people feel safe and validated, you can always challenge limiting perspectives with a question such as, “Tell me about how you came to that opinion" or “To play devil's advocate, what might be a totally different way of seeing the situation?"

5. Tell Better Stories

I don't care what you want to do with your life. The better you are at storytelling, the better you will be at your thing. Stories connect us to people. They show an audience how we are different. Where our expertise lies. They make us human. And credible. You can use stories to show how you have solved problems for former employers or clients. Any time I speak to an audience, I always begin with a story that illustrates how I've been in my audience's shoes. Whether it's revealing my journey to make meaning of my sexual abuse, what I learned from stumbling to give a speech with headgear, or how my husband's proposal was the catalyst for me becoming an entrepreneur, I use stories to show that I am vulnerable and resilient. And since I'm a sucker for a bonus, here's one more valuable behavior to make habit in the year ahead. Whenever you find yourself sad, stuck, or sore, ask yourself: If I were the future-oriented, self-evolved, self-assured version of myself, how would I behave? And then, behave that way. When you behave like your better future self, you take her from being a distant vision into a current reality.
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