Today is the Wednesday 15th of December 2010 and the count down to the end of the year has begun in its earnest. Usually most people prefer to wait till after Christmas to start planning towards the New Year i.e. making New Year resolutions and strategizing for the first quarter of the year. Personally, I think it should take more than a week to close down on the year and to plan effectively towards the New Year.
The year 2010 went by quickly. In fact I can still remember January 1st like it was yesterday. Calling all my friends and loved ones to wish them happy New Year and asking God to make the coming year more successful than previous ones. Now the year 2010 is almost over and its time to sit down and reflect on what went wrong and why and what went right. I have come to realize that ‘luck’ can only take you so far in life, but proper planning and preparation are the necessary tools for success. But how can you effectively plan for the New Year? What methods are available to help strategize your way into a successful New Year? The answer is quite simple: ORDER
There is nothing like having an orderly life. Everything in its place and events happening according to properly scheduled times. However, having an orderly life does not happen by accident, it takes work, determination and focus. Here are a few steps to ensure an ‘orderly’ 2011!
O: Optimism! What ever negativity, mistakes or hardship 2010 may have brought, come December 31st, its time to let it all go. You must be optimistic about 2011. You must dream big about the coming year! Get out your pen and paper and write down all the things you want to accomplish. But be realistic. 2011 should be the year of big dreams and achievements! What kind of life do you want to live in 2011? What are the things that would make you happy? What are your goals and how will you achieve them? Write them down and prayerfully plan how to achieve these things. Something that might be helpful, is to stick this paper to the top of your bed, so that you see it ever day in 2011. This will serve as a very useful reminder!
R: Reevaluate! Think about the mistakes you made and the things that didn’t go your way in 2010, why did these things happen? Is there anything you could have done differently? It’s no good being optimistic if you haven’t learnt valid lessons from your mistakes. This is however not a time to beat yourself up about the past, it is simply a time for reevaluation, reflection and progression.
It is also important that you continue to reevaluate yourself throughout the coming year. Unforeseen circumstances may arise which cause you to change or alter certain goals or plans, don’t be worried or disheartened when this occurs. Rather try and reevaluate your circumstances and re-strategize accordingly.
D: Define! It is very necessary to set out a ‘defined’ set of goals for 2011. This will help you to evaluate your level of success during the year. For example, just saying I want to become a fashion mogul or a top executive is very vague. Instead you should set out the parameters for becoming any one of these things. So, a defined set of goals for an aspiring fashion entrepreneur could be something like
a) I want to have a collection with x amount of cloths
b) I want to show case my collection in 10 different avenues (i.e. fashion weeks or other fashion shows) (Please note that this is just an example).
The point here is to show the importance of having a clearly defined set of measurable goals.
It is also important to define certain boundaries you may choose to set in your life. Whether they may be moral, friendship, family or work boundaries. As the year changes, we all grow as individuals and we slowly begin to realize the things and people that mean more to us. So for some it may mean that we need to follow a certain moral code, while for others it may mean that we want to leave certain types of friendships or behavioral patterns behind. What ever the case maybe, make sure you define it clearly.
E: Equip! It would be pointless to have clearly defined goals if you aren’t equipped to follow through. Equipping yourself is vital to ensure you are properly positioned for success. Equipping yourself may mean different things depending on what you are trying to achieve. It may mean reading more books about your chosen field, doing a Masters, going for more networking events, expanding your contacts, attending seminars, training courses and conferences, the list is endless. But you must determine what works well for you and your chosen field of endeavor.
Another way to equip yourself is to have a mentor. I realize now that choosing a mentor is essential. A mentor should be someone who has already achieved what you are trying to achieve. They do not have to be a friend but must be someone who has your best interest at heart and someone you can trust. They must also be someone who is recognized in your chosen field and is able to point you in the right direction.
R: Remain Focused! Now that you have written out your goals, defined them and equipped yourself, focus is the next step. There will always be distractions. Whether it’s in your personal or business life, it is important that you press forward and remain steadfast to your cause. My father once told me that focus was what separated the men from boys in the arena of life. Any time I felt like giving up on something I was pursuing, he would say to me in his soft fatherly voice “my darling daughter, just keep focused. Let nothing and no one distract you from what you have set out to do. In a little while you will have achieved so much more than you ever imagined”. And just like all his previous advice. He was right!
So remember guys, be optimistic, reevaluate, define, equip yourself and remain focused. 2011 is almost here and we are wishing you all a happy and ‘orderly’ 2011 in advance!!!
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