I always love a new year as it signifies a fresh start, a change in habits and a time for new stretch goals.

It also means a time for reflection on all that I’ve learned in the previous year, what I want to take through into 2010 and what I need to leave behind.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you take time out for yourself to write down what you want your 2010 to look like.

As the experts say, if you don’t know where you’re going how will you know how to get there. The same is true for what you envisage for yourself, if you don’t have a clear mental picture of how you’d like your life to look next year, then how will you know what it should look like?

To ensure your 2010 is truly exceptional, here are the top 10 things you can start doing now:

1. Expect the best for yourself.
There’s nothing selfish in wanting to live the best possible life. Set your sights high, push yourself and always keep the big picture in mind. You’re going to need a fair amount of discipline to stay focused and achieve a life that you love, that you’re passionate about and that makes you happy. You know it’ll be worth it!

2. Love your gorgeous self.
The above can’t be achieved if you don’t appreciate yourself, warts and all. I’m my own toughest critic, but when I let up on myself once and while and pat myself on the back for my achievements I feel pretty damn proud. So congratulate yourself during the year when you’re making great progress. Take time out to treat yourself each time you reach a milestone.

3. Have a grand vision for your business.
Let’s face it 2009 was a tough year for anyone in business. 2010 can only get better so it’s time to envision the success your business will have in the New Year, the growth it will experience and the traction you’ll make through consistent and concerted effort in the right places. Keep that picture in your mind and solidify it on a daily basis through whatever works for you – vision boards, written statements, weekly progress sheets or constructive team meetings.

4. Surround yourself with positivity.
No matter what, stay positive.  Just stick to your company’s vision and think positive. Remember that problems don’t last long and having an optimistic outlook will get you through the toughest times. If you can’t muster it yourself, then turn to your support network of your best friends, mentors and advisors. Learn to let other people help you.

5. Plan ahead.
It is always best to have a clear plan in anything you do in life, especially in business. Better yet you should aim to have a plan A and a plan B for those times when things just aren’t working out. Flexibility and acting decisively on changes in your business landscape are key to success.

6. Bridge the gap.
A new year is also a year to re-connect with contacts and to start afresh with previous business relationships that may have gone sour. Learn to forgive. If you had a client or customer interaction that ended on a bad note then get in touch and ask how they are doing. Conduct business with an open heart and mind. It’s the best way forward for everyone.

7. Socialize more.
Get out and experience the world outside of your comfort zone, known as your office. Meet new people and exchange business cards with them. Who knows, that new acquaintance might be your next loyal client or future business collaboration. It invigorates your soul to meet with like-minded people and to learn from them.

8. Become trendy.
Study the market and visualize what your target market may need or be interested in for the coming year. Read up on daily basis about emerging trends in your business space so you can stay ahead of the game, and prepare for your next move towards making your business more profitable.

9. Share your fortunes.
Become a shining example of corporate social responsibility. Plan an activity where your company can contribute and help the less fortunate members of the community. It doesn’t have to be a grand party that needs to be publicized. A simple act of donating to an organization that’s making a difference is enough to show you care.

10. Relax and enjoy life.
It’s easy to say this when you’re on holiday but it really won’t hurt if let yourself enjoy yourself with mini breaks throughout the year. Yes, as entrepreneurs we tend to love our business and become addicted to it, but taking a break to recharge will do you and your business wonders.