Being ready for the great year ahead

Jan 08, 2023

There’s still time to get your head on straight and do a few things to make the most of the new year.

As the new year is already – but barely – underway, there is still time to get your head on straight and do a few things to make the most of it. As the old guy in the room (that is so strange as I used to be the young guy), I have had plenty of time to learn and reflect. That time has been very valuable.

Here is what I would be thinking and doing if I were you right now:

  1. Be optimistic. It’s easy to be negative, but it’s also not that hard to be positive. Expect things to go well. Expect people to usually do the right thing. Assume good intentions. Look for the silver lining in every single negative thing that happens. You can do it.
  2. Learn to enjoy the present. It’s great to look ahead, but at some point in your life you will figure out if you are always living for tomorrow you will be chronically dissatisfied and you will miss out on a lot. Whatever you are going through, be present for it. Look for the good and don’t focus on the bad.
  3. Don’t allow yourself to fail. Consider your failures experiments that didn’t go well, but if you never give up, YOU will never BE a failure. Keep working at whatever it is you think is worth doing. Seek out new information. Try new approaches to the problem. Don’t give up.
  4. Be the initiator in relationships. You be the one who calls, or writes, or goes to see the other person. Don’t wait for anyone else to do it. You can win over that new client and you can win that old client back. You can improve your relationships with your coworkers, too, if you really want to. Reach out.
  5. Free up your time. Cut back on social media. Take the apps off your phone. Get rid of all other unused apps. Clear out your inboxes. Opt out of emails that you don’t find worthwhile. Cut out meetings. Cut back on the length of meetings. Move closer to the office. Get up earlier. Watch less TV. Opt out of the organizations you belong to that don’t help you. All of these things and more will help free up more of your time. That will make you more relaxed and help keep your head clear and help you get more done.
  6. Keep your emotions in check. When you lose your cool, you lose. You cannot afford to lose, so stay calm. You will think faster and make better decisions. Count to 10 before reacting, practice meditation, visualize yourself somewhere that is low stress, get a prescription from your doctor – do whatever it takes to make sure you are in full control of how you will react to anything. Life will go better.
  7. Set goals for the year. You won’t get there if you don’t know where “there” is. Goals are important. Write them down. Have at least three but no more than 10. Keep these handy and refer back to them during the year. Having goals for what you want to accomplish is essential to getting anything done.

There may be nothing profound in this list. Or maybe there is something you hadn’t really considered. Either way – here is to your continued success and to new achievements in 2023! We are always here to help!  

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

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About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.