8 Steps to Achieving Your Loftiest Goals in 2016 Evaluate what worked and what didn't in 2015, then make your plan to do more of what works in 2016.

By Sherrie Campbell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As 2015 comes to a close and we approach the beginning of a new year, it is time to get proactive in developing an expansion plan for your life and business for 2016. There is much wisdom to be gleaned from 2015. Reflect back both where you thrived and where gaps in your systems undermined your growth. To grow your businesses in 2016, you must grow yourself. Think bigger, confident that you can always do better if you set active goals.

1. Set an intention to grow.

Never assume you or your business will automatically grow. Just because time goes by, it doesn't mean you are getting better in time. You do not grow through the simple act living and doing your job. To expand yourself and the success of your career be purposeful and deliberate about growing. Seek a career or personal development coach and get advised on how to take your life and business to the next level. Be willing to stretch yourself and think about who it is you want to be and examine the ways to expand your success.

When you are intentional in your actions you stop waiting to become the person want to become and you start being the person you have always wanted to be. No person or business will expand by luck or accident. In any given moment in life you have two options: To step forward into growth or step back into safety. True success doesn't happen by waiting or staying safe.

Related: 5 Everyday Actions That Help Leaders Grow

2. Create an expansion plan.

Whenever you start something new, you never really know how you are going to accomplish what you want to accomplish. This is when confusion and doubt step in. Creating an expansion plan helps to ward off these two emotional predators. When you are clear in what you want, the world responds back to you with clarity and opportunity. Directions fall into place when you make your plan clear.

Plan your growth deliberately. It is up to you to decide where you need or want to grow. Choose what you want to learn and how you want to expand. Set your achievement pace and follow through at all cost. In 2016 become someone capable of accomplishing the big life and business goals you set. Write your goals down, make them real, repeat them out loud morning and night, stay on pace and go forward with an unwavering determination to take your business to the next level.

3. Now is the time.

In 2016 push fearful thoughts such as "It's not the right time" to the side. When fear cows you into complacency and begin to talk you out of a great idea, step forward by doing what you intend to do, do it now and every single day. For authentic and measureable expansion to take place you must work for it with relentless fervor. Stay in front of the eight-ball. Act as quickly on things as you should. Do not allow your intentions or passions diminish with the passage of time. The longer you wait to do something what should be done now, the greater the odds are you will not do it.

Do it now, do not wait until you think you are "ready." Ready never comes and you lose opportunities waiting to act.

4. Expect mistakes.

Every expansion plan has flaws. Expect to make mistakes along the way. Do not let your fear of making mistakes stop your desires for growth. To get the kind of expansion you are reaching for it will require discovering the flaws in your expansion plan. These flaws help you to know exactly what in your plan or in yourself needs fine tuning. These mishaps are your greatest gifts.

Push through any fears you have of messing up. Expect mistakes to be made every day. Get used to making them. Allow them to guide you in a more successful direction. Mistakes are a welcome sign that you are moving in the right direction. Learn to fail forward.

5. Enjoy the mystery.

Plans for expansion bring up insecurity. Any time you venture into the unfamiliar you may feel you need to have to have the perfect plan to start. This is a false belief that will hold you back from starting. Part of expanding is dealing with the unknown. Expansion doesn't happen because you've developed the perfect plan.

You cannot perfectly plan the unknown. The best way to find your way is to start expanding and see where the journey takes you. It is like driving on an unfamiliar road in the dark. As you continue driving a little more of the road is revealed a bit at a time giving you the direction you need. To see more of the road you have to keep driving.

Related: 5 Fears You'll Need to Conquer Before Starting a Business

6. Stay motivated.

As you plan for personal and professional expansion it may feel overwhelming, not worth it or not possible. Do not allow feelings of overwhelm to decrease motivation. Procrastination is a poor coping skill. Goals cannot be reached if you allow your plans to be stifled. Just start.

Motivation is not something you have it is something you do. When you are actively engaged in expanding the potential of your business, motivation naturally builds upon itself in each successful step forward. You have to stick with things to see their benefit. Stick with your plan for one year. It is a process of gestation to birth. You will fall in love with the process as you see the gains you have made when you look back

7. Focus on your growth.

Make the decision to expand your business and do not let fear of failure or comparison dissuade you from implementing your plan. There are undoubtedly "better" and more successful businesses out there. There are stronger, more successful people. Instead of fearing comparison with these people, do all you can to spend time around them. Take inventory on what they did to succeed at the higher levels. True leaders are willing to share their experiences and ideas. Learn from the best how to create your best.

Getting out of your comfort zone is always a challenging and difficult transition, but always well worth it.

8. Expect challenge.

Expansion is just that. It is stretching, bursting, hurting, growing and accelerating. Never get into the idea your expansion plans should be easier than they are. Expect them to be arduous. Success doesn't come easily or quickly. Climbing to the top has to be intentional. It doesn't just happen. You have to create your own luck and opportunities.

Preparation, a great attitude and action are essential to fulfilling any expansion plan. Preparation takes time but leads to success. Growth builds upon itself and accelerates when you remain intentional. Find your direction, ask thoughtful questions, start now, face your fears and have the faith that you can do it. Decide which emotion will lead you, faith or fear. Make your growth calculated, not accidental. Just getting by is not a life well lived.

In 2016 make it your goal to become the person and the success you were created to be. Do not simply experience life and hope you learn what you need to learn along the way. Go out of your way to seize growth opportunities. Your future depends upon it.

Related: 4 Big Challenges That Startups Face

Wavy Line
Sherrie Campbell

Psychologist, Author, Speaker

Sherrie Campbell is a psychologist in Yorba Linda, Calif., with two decades of clinical training and experience in providing counseling and psychotherapy services. She is the author of Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person. Her new book, Success Equations: A Path to an Emotionally Wealthy Life, is available for pre-order.

Editor's Pick

'Catastrophic': Here's What You Should Know About the Debt Ceiling Crisis — And How a Default Could Impact Your Business
I Helped Grow 4 Unicorns Over 10 Years That Generated $18 Billion in Online Revenues. Here's What I've Learned.
Want to Break Bad Habits and Supercharge Your Business? Use This Technique.
Don't Have Any Clients But Need Customer Testimonials? Follow These 3 Tricks To Boost Your Rep.
Why Are Some Wines More Expensive Than Others? A Top Winemaker Gives a Full-Bodied Explanation.

Related Topics

Business News

'All Hell Is Going to Break Loose': Barbara Corcoran Issues Warning About Real Estate Market, Interest Rates

The "Shark Tank" star appeared on FOX Business' "The Clayman Countdown" this week.

Money & Finance

3 Ways to Create Multiple (Big) Streams of Income

Here are three ways to create multiple streams of income. These strategies require effort and resources but offer significant financial potential.


The Real Reason Why The Return to Office Movement is Failing is Revealed in New Study

There is a vivid sign of the disconnect between employees and their workplace, a glaring indication that companies need to revise their scripts to improve their hybrid and remote work policies.

Business Solutions

Enjoy All the Adobe Creative Cloud Apps for Just $29.99 for Three Months

Master Photoshop and all of Adobe's other Creative Cloud apps for a record low price.


Stop Lying to Your Team — And Yourself. Try Radical Honesty Instead.

We often lie to ourselves and others thinking we're doing everyone a favor or that it doesn't really matter. That couldn't be further from the truth.

Science & Technology

How to Make a QR Code in 5 Simple Steps

Need to know how to make a QR code for your business but not sure where to start? Check out this step-by-step breakdown for more info.