Happy New Year 2012!Happy New Year!

I don't know about you, but as much as I loved the holidays, I'm ready to get back into it full throttle for 2012. I have a good feeling about this year.

As I did in 2011, I've chosen three words to guide me through this year:

1. Partner

Team up with other vendors to develop new lines of business, make new connections and take advantage of bigger opportunities. I dabbled in this last year with some good results. I want to be more deliberate about it in 2012. I'll tell you about my newest partnership later this week.

2. Leverage

Use opportunities (particularly via volunteer work) to field test or adapt business ideas, develop new relationships and support goals. For instance, I began my first term on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors this week, and I'm looking forward to making the most of that opportunity.

3. Create

Tap back into fun non-work projects to work to spark creativity. I let last year's economic realities take me away from some of the more creative pursuits I used to engage in, like photography, making stuff and listening to a lot of music (live and recorded, old and new). These activities are a great break from the work-a-day world, but they also help me stay innovative and creative. I want more of that and this year I'm going to make getting it a priority. My first attempt was fashioning a standing desk, which I'll show off later this week. [UPDATE: See the trial run at the desk here]

Recommit

I'm also recommitting to some things I started last year that have had a noticeable impact in both my professional and personal lives: mindfulness and Big Project Friday. The mindfulness has helped me be more focused, more decisive and more energetic, all of which made me more effective. (Read more about that here)

And Big Project Friday was a boon to my productivity, giving me the space and time to build out business development initiatives, create presentations and other non-client projects. Keeping one day a week free of meetings and other distractions was challenging at first, but I made it happen and got such great results that it's staying on the program.

What are you doing to set yourself up for a great 2012? How can I help?

Here's to a health, prosperous and fun New Year!