When I start with clients who are in-transition, we meet at my office in Stamford and I cover the Five Behaviors Of Successful People.

I do this to help them focus, get out of a mental ‘rut’, and move forward with enthusiasm, passion, and determination.

In retrospect, I actually cover these five areas with all of my clients, but I do it differently — I’m a bit more subtle:

TRACK & PLAN
You need to know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going at ALL TIMES. This means tracking your time (schedule) minute by minute and accounting for all of your time and energy. You should be sticking to a plan, taking discrete steps each day, and taking it to its natural conclusion.

FAIL: If you’re just winging your calendar or making large swaths of time blocks, you’re not tracking effectively. If you don’t have a plan (try setting up 90-day plans — they’re manageable), you will fail.

BE BOLD
One of the original taglines for my coaching practice was “Be Bold In Life”. I still love it because it embodies the swashbuckler spirit that we all need to be successful in business. You need to take chances, uncover opportunities, and most of all, you need to be BOLD in your thinking.

FAIL: Just keep saying “I can’t do that!”. Or constantly ask for permission to do things instead of just doing them. Or not doing them because you know they’re going to fail.

THINK & ACT
This is the cornerstone of my coaching philosophy — figure out what needs to be done and DO IT. Don’t second guess yourself and get caught up in analysis-paralysis. Look at your options, make a decision, and take action. Worst case, if your wrong, step back, reassess, and take action.

FAIL: Procrastinate, contemplate forever and try to come up with every permutation. Push for perfection.

CHALLENGE
Life is a series of challenges you must overcome to keep moving and stay happy. Work, relationships, kids, etc. are all made up of small and large challenges that we must deal with. Here’s the secret — embrace each challenge with enthusiasm and vigor or you will go through life with a glass half-empty existence.

FAIL: Moan, complain, and run away from your problems. The faster you come up with a plan and deal with your challenge, the faster you will get on with your life.

OPEN UP
You can spend your life closed down and not interacting with anyone or you can open your heart to the world and make a lot of new friends. Try to make a new friend every day — an acquaintance, a connection — take an avid interest in your fellow man. Most of all — SMILE!!!

FAIL: Stay home, watch TV, cocoon, close your office door, keep your head down and let your voicemail/email take over all of your connections. Oh yes — forget to smile.