New Derbyshire captain Luke Sutton believes attitude and workrate will be key if the club are to improve on a season of struggle in 2010.
Derbyshire, who face Gloucestershire in Friday's season opener, finished bottom of the County Championship table.
Sutton told BBC Sport: "One of the non-negotiables for me as captain is the spirit and approach... You have to maximise what you get out of each day.
"We have to be more consistent in our approach, preparation and attitude."
The wicketkeeper batsman added: "I think that sounds easy but when you are travelling a lot then there are times when people don't do that and if we do that then I think we will be significantly better this season."
Derbyshire finished bottom of the Division Two County Championship table last season, winning just three of their 16 fixtures.
Head of cricket John Morris also saw his side struggle in the short forms of the game and things were not much better off the pitch, with the club posting hefty financial losses and chairman Don Amott resigning after a fall-out with fellow board members.
But Sutton is confident of good times ahead after an encouraging pre-season.
"We've had an excellent off-season, a good trip to Barbados and preparations have been excellent," he said.
"It is that that time of year where everyone feels optimistic and positive about everything but quietly in our camp we are in decent shape so we're all looking forward to the start of the season."
Sutton, 34, left Lancashire in the summer and is thrilled to be back at the County Ground, playing for the side he left in 2005.
"The club has always meant a lot to me," said Sutton.
"I played a lot of my real, growing years in my early 20s at the club and the club has always been very good to me.
"I always had half an eye on coming back if possible but those timings don't always work.
"I'm at a good time to come back. I'll probably play for another three years - maybe more - and I feel like I have a lot to contribute to a young squad here.
"It was just the right time, the right for me and the right time for the club."
Derbyshire lost key batsman Chris Rogers to Middlesex over the summer and also saw all-rounder Graham Wagg depart but have strengthened their batting line-up by signing Usman Khawaja and Martin Guptill who will split duties during the season.
Khawaja, who made his Test debut for Australia in the Sydney Ashes match, joined in January and is available from the beginning of the campaign through to the conclusion of the Friends Provident t20 competition.
The 24-year-old told BBC East Midlands Today he is relishing the chance of beginning his career in England.
"I'm very excited," he said. "Like any other batsman I like to score runs and I like to have fun while I'm out there - that's me in a nutshell.
"I want to play as much cricket as I can. Hopefully I can fight off the cold - I'll wear four shifts if I have to but I'm just looking forward to getting out there and playing.
"Hopefully I can embrace the cold weather while I'm out there and have lots of fun."
Tony Palladino, 27, has also joined from Essex on a two-year deal and Morris hopes the new faces and better luck with injuries will ensure a much happier season in 2011.
Morris said: "We are looking forward to working with the younger players we have around us and having a mix between the old and the new.
"Every county coach at this time will say they are ready and we are no different.
"We did struggle last year and we won't hide from the fact we didn't do very well. Hopefully we won't have as many injuries as we incurred last year to our senior players which did have a massive effect.
"We didn't play very well as well at times but we have worked on certain things. And if we stick to our plans, and keep our rotation of our seamers going, we should be okay."