Excellent advice for coming year is found at John Maxwell’s leadership blog.  These strategies can provide improved techniques to help take on the challenges for coming year:

http://www.johnmaxwell.com/blog/5-surefire-ways-to-sharpen-your-skills

QUOTE: Recently, another leader asked me about how he should go about sharpening his skills in the areas where he was naturally gifted. Here are the thoughts I shared with him that day. To sharpen our skills in a strength area, we should seek to…

1. Gain Experience – Once you get some experience under your belt, it gives you both confidence and examples of what works and what doesn’t. Having dealt with a similar situation before really makes you confident that you can handle it this time.

2. Get Feedback – feedback from any number of people can be really valuable.

3. Write Down YOur Thoughts – I’ve discovered that when I write a thought on paper and then examine it, I can think of all sorts of ways to improve it.

4. Participate in a Small Group of People – Sitting in a group discussing ideas is huge because it allows us to flesh out great thinking. That’s because as a group, we can all contribute to improving an idea.

5. Study Available Resources – if you will spend one hour a day every day on a certain subject, within five years you will become an expert on that subject.

SUMMARY: I’ve always said that we should focus on growing in our areas of strength, more than in areas of weakness. Once you’ve figured out which way you’re naturally wired, work on gaining experience, getting feedback, participating in groups, and studying great resources. Your efforts in these areas will yield great dividends in your personal growth.