A light bulb doesn’t light up slowly. It’s either on or off. There’s no grey area or doubt about whether the light is on or off. We set new year resolutions just like we did last year and those before. The problem is we slip into the New Year with the same habits. They tiptoe in with us on the first, second and third of January and before we know it the month is over and we are back to the same old. Then shortly the year is over. We existed in the grey area. Our agenda never quite seeing the light. This year having been quite lethargic, we need to alter course quickly or we will end up in the same place. Let’s put on the light and jump start ourselves from the beginning. Start the year like this.
- Tomorrow (December 31st, 2017) do not touch anything or speak to anyone before take time to think. With what you know draft some sort of a plan. If you followed the advice, I gave last week you may have already started this. Take a blank piece of paper and paint the picture for this next year . Company’s set aside time to do annual strategies. Do your individual strategy. It’s a working document so it doesn’t have to be perfect. You just need to have a foundation to start with.
- Make clear cut decisions about what December 31st 2018 will look like. Don’t just declare you are going to save more, state what will be in your savings account on that day. Don’t say you are going to get out of debt? What will be your loan balance? What does growing your business exactly mean? Are you hiring more people or targeting higher revenues? Declaring you will invest more is too vague. Will you buy more shares, property, unit trusts etc.? By how much? Close your eyes and visualize your circumstances as they will look on the last day of 2018. Write them down.
- Share these decisions with somebody. This is somebody you can trust and who will keep you accountable. It’s easy to keep setting the same resolutions over and over again when there is no one to keep you corrected. Let’s stop lying to ourselves that it is OK to keep running around in circles on the same spot. This should be somebody you respect and who will not let you off lightly. Your best friend who may empathize with your excuses and tell you that they understand the economy is bad is not the right person. You should literally be ‘scared’ of letting this accountability partner down.
- Find a different conversation. Having come up with your draft plan, find out who can give you some sort of insight or inspiration. We come back to redo the same resolutions because during the year, we met the same people (over and over) and therefore had the same conversations. If you are not changing your conversations, you are not changing your mind. If you’re not changing your mind you are not changing your destiny. Meet somebody completely different from your normal circle. This is not the person who keeps you accountable but rather somebody, whose own experience will shed some light on the plans you have for the year. Have this conversation as soon as possible before normal life gets in the way.
- Do ten continuous days of action. There’s a yoga studio that offers ten continuous classes practically free for beginners. They have caught on to something. After ten days the routine has been instilled and people will tend to continue. Take ten actions related to your plan in ten days. Don’t over think it. It can be simple things like the different conversation, writing an email, making a phone call, setting up a standing order etc. It can also be moving money around or having a chama meeting. Even key decisions don’t always need intensive planning. Just do it. The first action starts January 1st and continue this until the tenth. Share this article and get a friend to do this with.
- Wake up earlier and plan your day. Take time alone before the day to day hits you. You focus only on survival and you will end up with survival. If you don’t set your daily agenda everybody else is perfectly happy to make you their agenda. It can even be fifteen minutes earlier. Pray, reflect and decide what you want the end of the day to look like.
You end the year differently only by starting it differently. Do write to me with your experiences with this challenge.