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Colleen Wainwright started out as a commercial copywriter, transitioned into being a commercial actor, and then transitioned again into being someone who writes about those things for your benefit. She’s like a self-help/self-empowerment guru who seems like she’s your good friend and has been writing for CNI’s blog for longer than it’s been called a blog. You know, back in the days when there were newsletters.

The topic she brought to this month’s seminar was “12 Ways to Make 2016 Your Best Year Yet.” Now, you’d think I’d just give you the 12 things, but you know what? Maybe this will teach you to actually come to the seminar. You’re still only getting five takeaways. Deal with it. (Also, just kidding, she wrote them all up here.)

To Move Forward, You Have to Know Where You Are


Taking stock of your previous year is important if you want to make changes. How will you know what needs to be different if you don’t take an honest look at what you did wrong. Or, maybe not wrong, but what can serve as a lesson. If you’re saying to yourself, “Why aren’t I making more headway in ____?” Then examine what you did to make that headway and fine tune. If you’re anything like me, the problem is probably just that you did nothing at all. So why didn’t you do anything? Were you scared? Are you vague in your goal, so you didn’t know where to start? Then ignore your fear, get more clarity. You get it.

Say Yes to What Feeds You, No to What Doesn’t


This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Even if it’s a choice between watching a season of television in a night or going out with friends, question which will enrich you. Maybe watching Real Housewives of Wherever isn’t what you need, much as you love to hate those women. Call up a couple friends you haven’t seen for a while and have a good laugh to recharge. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe a group of snarky friends whose negative energy actually drains you isn’t the way to go, cool Instagram pics of the night be damned. Maybe what you really need is to watch Peep Show to inspire your comedy. The point is, don’t give away your energy to things that don’t give back.

Minimize Clutter


A messy house is a messy brain. That’s just good horse sense.

Measure What Matters


Be it money or time, if you don’t know how much you’re spending, it’s much harder to budget both. And truly, they both need budgeting. Write down everything you spend and journal what you do in a day. When you’re actually recording these things, it snaps your responsibility over them into focus. For example, maybe I wouldn’t watch as much TV if when I looked back on a journal, it just said, “Watched TV today,” over and over and over and over and over. God, that’s horrifying. I guess I’m saying shame yourself? I’m pretty sure Colleen phrased this one better.

What Wouldn’t You Still Do If Your Life Were Perfect?


Follow up question: what habits must you surrender to be successful? Okay, so, there it is. You just gave yourself your assignments. Reconcile the two, buddy. Create your perfect life.

There. Wasn’t that easy?

Happy new year!

Lindsay Katai is a writer/performer/debtor in Los Angeles and serves as Casting Networks’ Marketing Communications Specialist. She enjoys smooth music and knows that her type is best described as “socially awkward Wednesday Addams.” She’s worked at Casting Networks since 2010.