I don't know about you, but my year started fairly ordinary. I had the worse New Years' Eve I can remember for some years, and then the next few days followed suit. It just kept on going on. I was in unfamiliar terriority so I couldn't really vent my frustration or the fact that I had a strong distaste for the continual negative elements that kept creeping into what had been a 'perfect' life.  In fact, I cannot say whether or not I have had a worse start to a year before and given that I tend to put so much hope in starting a new year - it was a tad disappointing. Actually, it felt quite soul destroying and as a fairly positive person, that's saying something.

We all have expectations and big occasions like New Years' Eve don't help. Isn't that the date for the most suicides and I am sure it is the same date that sends people to Xanax or whatever their choice of anti-depression drugs might be? To me, it is suppose to be about a fresh start to the year and full of positivity. Unfortunately it wasn't the case and as much as I willed for good fortune and happiness to surround me, it did not occur quite like I would have wanted it to. I had such high expectations that fell apart fairly fast and furious over the new year but to sit here and continually complain would not be conducive to anyone or anything. After all, there are people starving in the world and I am worried about my expectations not being met on an occasion which is just a great excuse to drink too much champagne and surround yourself with people that you may not ever see again or may only see again next year.

Instead of having a 'fresh start to 2012', I was bombarded with a failing in circumstances and my expectations of what life should be and how others should behave fell down quick smart.

Then of course, when I hit the road running back in the office, things didn't get much better. The whole sediment for 2012 had been ruined. Completely trashed, stomped upon and buried so that the hole became so deep, it would be hard for even the hardiest of achievers to get themselves out.

Now what?

If January wasn't what you expected, pretend that the start to the new year is in February. I know that I am going to.

Dust off your jacket, put a big smile on your face and take on the world and your business endeavours with all the gusto you can muster. Perhaps have your own celebration with the most special people in your life.

Some great tips to starting fresh in February 2012 are:

1.  Write a personal and business plan that is for 11 months - not 12.
2.  Think positively. Forget about anything that has happened in January that has your start to the year in a position that isn't ideal and pretend it didn't happen. Smile all day long, think happy thoughts, surround yourself with happy people, and get rid of anyone or anything that is not working in your life.
3.  Start communicating. Talk to clients, prospects, suppliers and your team. Tell them what you are thinking about where your small business should be heading and how you intend on getting it there.
4.  Start a blog. It's great therapy and a huge motivator.
5.  Listen. It's an art that most successful people have. They listen to what others say. They don't talk over people and they engage at a level that makes them memorable.
6. Be thoughtful. I am sure this is my 2012 word. I am surrounded by thoughtful people and people that are not thoughtful make me feel sad that their own selfishness may be in fact ruining their chances of success.
7.  Use your brain. If it's not working the way you would like it to work, think long and hard on what is the best solution for your business.
8.  Collaborate. Two heads are better than one. 10 heads is extraordinary. If you can collaborate, then set some ground rules and make it happen.
9.  Read books from people you aspire to be like. You never know what 'pearlers' of information may click with your psyche and change your state of mind.
10. Be kind to every single person that touches your life, whether its for a brief moment or for a lifetime.
11. Have a fresh start. Get rid of things and people that are not going to be in your future. Start afresh and invest time in people that count and who mean something to you whether it is in business or in life.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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