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2011- Your Best Year Yet

I am a true believer. Each Christmas I notice everything printed with Believe or I Believe. Cards, calendars, ornaments, pillows – you’ve probably seen as much as I have or more. Well, I do believe. I believe in positive energy. I believe in persistence and mental toughness. I believe in myself and in others. I believe in YOU.

Each January brings the opportunity for a fresh start. We’ve passed through the gate of the New Year and have the chance to make 2011 YOUR BEST YEAR YET. Grab hold of this chance and run with it. So what if the first day of the year has passed. It’s never too late to start getting better. Whether you’re looking for dramatic change in your life or the chance to get 1% better each day, now is the time to be renewed in the spirit of new beginnings.

Keep reading for my personal list of actions and reminders that pack a potent punch and are sure to make a positive difference for you. Read each one. Implement a few or many. Find your favorites and go deep to discover the secret buried within. Then get ready for your best year yet!

83 Ways to Make 2011 Your Best Year Yet

  • Be the most positive person you know.
  • Get 1% better everyday.
  • Define your “game-changing” move in 2011.  Then get it done!
  • Take more risks.
  • Do something that scares you everyday.
  • Be a team builder, regardless of your title at work.
  • Remember that business is about relationships and connections.
  • People need motivation, accountability, and know how. Deliver it.
  • Write your eulogy and then live your life backwards.
  • Know your Big 5: the 5 most important things that need to happen by the end of the year to make 2011 feel like it truly has been the best year of your life.
  • Read your Big 5 every morning.
  • Post affirmations on your bathroom mirror.
  • Don’t focus on making money – focus on creating value.
  • Lead by executing and getting results. No excuses.
  • Strive to be ‘World Class’ in all you do.
  • Read The 4 Agreements by Dom Miguel Ruiz.
  • Train like a pro athlete – exercise more.
  • Eat higher quality foods.
  • Get a massage once a week.
  • Attend a destination spa vacation each year.
  • Have at least one other “dream” vacation each year.
  • Remember – no one has ever regretted a great workout.
  • Be obsessed with learning.
  • Join a Mastermind Group. It will accelerate your results, improve your mindset, and provide you with fertile soil in which to grow.
  • Be impeccable with your words – don’t complain, gossip, or be negative.
  • Be careful with whom you surround yourself. Just as much as the right people can pull you up, the wrong crowd can bring you down.
  • Plan as if you will live forever but live as if you’ll die tomorrow.
  • Say please, thank you, and I love you more.
  • Give someone a massage.
  • Write love letters like you used to.
  • Call someone you always wanted to talk to but never thought you could.
  • Call an old coach or teacher and thank them for positively impacting your life.
  • If you want to resolve a conflict, use the phone instead of email.
  • Write a hand-written note to a client or customer.
  • When you travel, send letters to your kids on hotel stationary.
  • If you want more, GIVE more.
  • Do or do not – there is no try.
  • The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.
  • Journal. What are you thankful for? What are your intentions for the day? Who is in need of prayer today? Where were you outstanding today?
  • Clarity precedes genius. Find clarity in writing and solitude.
  • Track your success.
  • Slow down in order to speed up.
  • Be willing to fail. It’s the price of greatness.
  • Spend at least 10 minutes every morning in quiet time, prayer time, or meditation time.
  • Listen to inspirational music. Create your favorite play list for chilling out as well as working out.
  • Listen to books on tape and podcasts.
  • Read The IMPACT! Body Plan.
  • Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.
  • Read The Leader Without a Title, The Greatness Guide, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma.
  • Watch a Rocky “marathon” with your kids on a rainy day.
  • Do what you do best and hire the rest.
  • Sometimes good is good enough.  Don’t let “perfectionism” rob you of getting things done.
  • “Color code your life,” says my mentor, Wayne Cotton.  Green machine, blue sky, red tape, and mellow yellow. Visit for more information.
  • Complete a 90-Day Wonder. What have I accomplished in the last 90 days? What are my current challenges? What will I accomplish in the next 90 days?
  • Remember the 10,000-hour Rule. It often takes about 10,000 hours or 10 years to be recognized as an expert.
  • Success takes time. Be patient, but continually invest in yourself.
  • Work on your business, not in your business.
  • Your big ideas typically come when you are sitting on a beach or skiing in the mountains.
  • Hire only “A” players to build a winning business.
  • Replace the bottom 10% of your players each year.
  • Everyone in an organization should be considered a “leader.”
  • Always believe in your dreams, even when they seem impossible or others doubt you.
  • Focus, focus, focus!
  • Water people everyday – lift people up instead of tearing people down.
  • One quick “No” is better than 10 “maybes” or “I don’t knows.”
  • Win the day!
  • Remember what Walt Disney said, “Everything speaks!”
  • Be more spontaneous.
  • Block out the noise and focus on the signal.
  • Develop a hobby.
  • The bigger the dream, the more important the team.
  • Run your own race – be authentic and original.
  • Speak more. Write more. Read more.
  • Turn OFF your TV!
  • Eliminate excuses.
  • Organize your time more effectively.
  • “Eat that Frog,” says Brian Tracy.  Do the things that you don’t like to do or want to do but have to do early in your day.
  • Get your mind right!
  • Do more of what you love to do.
  • Action is like gas in the car. Without it, you will not go.
  • Be humble…be hungry.
  • Create IMPACT everyday.
  • Live by the mantra, “… And then some.”

Implement any single item on this list and you will create change. Combine a few to really rock your world and the world of those around you. Explore, experiment and find your favorites. But remember, there’s more to it than implementing a list of action items. YOUR BEST YEAR YET will require something deep within YOU.

You’ve heard me talk about the power of  “theme-ing” a year. In the days and weeks ahead, spend some time alone with your thoughts to find the theme that’s right for you – the single most meaningful, overarching and powerful pledge you can make to define who you will be and what you will do in 2011. Find it and treat it like an oath. It will deliver.

For weeks now, I’ve been doing this kind of thinking. I searched for and found my theme for 2011. Ironically, when I looked deep enough within and examined my soul, I found it there. 2011 is my year of “S.O.U.L.” I am making a very public pledge to nurture and go deep with my Spiritual development and inner life, to seek Outrageous fun and adventure, to create Unbelievable value and innovation in my work, and to step up and Lead in all areas of my life.

It’s January 11th my friend. We’re through the gate and ready to run. Lace up your shoes and let’s go. After all, 2011 is going to be YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

Peace and love,

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes, including 2010 Super Bowl XLIV Champion and MVP Drew Brees.  He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit.  He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE).  Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new Todd Durkin Mastermind Institute for personal trainers and fitness professionals starts January 15th, 2011.  You can get all the information at  His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance.  You can sign up for Todd’s FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

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