The New Year is just around the corner and you know what that means – it’s almost time for resolutions and reflecting on the good and bad of 2017. But this year, let’s do a little bit more than just talking about how we want to do better. Let’s make a plan instead. A simple one.

You already know that success requires action, but don’t take my word for it. Check out what entrepreneurs are saying about how you can achieve your goals and more in the year to come.

1. Stop with unnecessary jargon

There's no denying that the industry loves buzzwords. Right now, everyone is using terms like disrupt, hack, and leverage when describing their services. But the truth is that these buzzwords are always overused and they rarely really describe what you’re offering to your clients.

According to CEO and co-founder of Distil Networks, Rami Essaid, jargon inhibits your communication and ends up making you sound just like everyone else – which is something you should never be shooting for.

2. Spend more time networking

In my life, it has always been a combination of what you know and who you know.

We’ve all heard something similar to that. And while the saying might sound a bit too nepotistic, there is some truth in it. While hard work and motivation are, without a doubt, important components that lead to success, you also need to play a strong social game as well. Entrepreneur and author of “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss, credits part of his success to networking at an SXSW conference.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go to meet-and-greets in order to become more successful, but you do need to exchange contact details and get to know more people in your field.  Not only will this help but it will also allow you to forge new friendships in your work life. To me, some of my best friends I have today are people I have met while networking.

3. Study your industry

Make sure you’ve learned everything there is to know about the industry you’re working in. Get to know your competitors who can also be who you learn the most from and your clients, and stay on top of trends in your industry. Create buyer personas and pretend that you’re your very own customer.  I found that the more you believe in what you do, as well as knowing why a customer believes,  is how the magic happens.Fashion designer and one Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list, Amber Venz Box, attributes some of her success to being able to understand the needs, expectations, and motivations of people in her industry.  

4. Young professionals: take advantage of internships & mentorships

College students and recent graduates should always take advantage of internships and mentorship programs available in their industry. While many young professionals avoid these programs because the pay is very little (or nonexistent), you can learn a lot from interning. Doing so puts you directly in the middle of a network of like-minded professionals in your industry who have valuable skills and experience to share with you.

Moreover, internships also help you get a good understanding of how the industry works,  and most importantly why you like it. which puts you at an advantage when applying for a full-time position or starting a business of your own.

Finding a great mentor no matter how old you are is also the greatest resource one can have. I still today have them and are constantly seeking out more depending on what I am focused on. It has been one of the most important things I have done to help me succeed.

Feeling excited about 2018? You should be because with these helpful tips, you’ll be able to take your career to new heights!