Another year has come and gone. Most of us started with so many expectations and as at now, haven’t done as much as we hoped. In order for us to make the most of the New Year, I believe the following will come in handy.
- Plan the year before getting into it
If planning isn’t already embedded as one of your core habits, make it one this season. Come up with goals for yourself, yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals. If you do on Tuesday what you did on Monday and do on Wednesday what you did on Tuesday, you won’t have to worry about how your week or month will look like. However, what you choose to do matters. This takes us to the idea of having a routine; know what you will be doing on Monday and on every other day of the week. Program your day and your time and stick to that plan and before the week or month runs out, you would have accomplished a lot.
- Set Priorities and Focus on them
Priorities are activities whose accomplishment or failure to greatly influences your life’s goal, purpose, mission or divine assignment. It is something that is very important and must be dealt with before other things.
For your plans, goals and daily routine to be effective, they must be based on your core values and aspirations, the things that are important to you and the fulfillment of your life goals – your priorities. If you plan your day around things whose accomplishment don’t propel you further towards your life goals you will end up wasting your day.
Brian Tracy once said the worst way to spend time is to do so well something that needed not to be done in the first place. Having a routine is no guarantee that you will end up having an effective day. If you waste time on activities that are not a priority to you, then you are wasting time. And how do you know when something is a priority? You know something is a priority when its accomplishment greatly influences your life’s mission and assignment. I stress on greatly because core life priorities often will be the 20% of things you do that will generate 80% of your life results.
People around you, including family relations and friends, will want you to spend your time doing things they consider important which may not necessarily be so to you. Avoid such people and defend your time from such engagements. If it is not going to accrue in positive value adding, purpose fulfilling results, do less of it or refrain from spending too much time on it than is needed. Don’t completely abandon such commitments. Just don’t spend too much of your resources in them. Reserve these resources for their highest use.
- Make Focus your priority
As you go into the New Year, make it your aim to focus on minding your own business. Your business is what you are passionate about or what you do and would like to have it grow into something big. Divided attention is the reason for mediocre results. As you go through the year, focus on the things that are really important, on your priorities, on your goals and plans, on your growth; spiritually, intellectually, financially and health wise.
There really are many things to do, but about a handful of them are actually very important and play a determinant role in advancing you toward the course of fulfilling your life’s assignment or purpose. Focus on these. We certainly don’t have enough time to do everything, but sufficient time has been given us to focus on important things. If something doesn’t help build you up or contribute positively to the fulfillment of a predetermined goal, just don’t waste time on it. Focus on the important things in life and give little attention to those that are not.
- Be efficient in the way you manage your resources
Resource management is crucial to success in every work of life. Resources to focus on include; time, money, energy and people. As you go through the year, chose to reserve your resources for their highest use. Don’t spend more time than is required on any given activity. There are certain things you must resolve not to do, certain fights you shouldn’t get involved in, and certain things you shouldn’t spend money on.
Unnecessary and disproportionate spending today will lead to severe lamenting tomorrow. Remember that time is the one resource which when spent can never be retrieved. It is more important than money and should be treated as such. Don’t confuse being busy for being efficient or being mobile for making progress. Always remember that in whatever you do, if you fail to spend your resources on your priorities, you are just wasting them, even if you get busy for an entire day. Schedule you time accordingly giving more time to activities of greater importance in your life.
If, for example, you are a farmer, it would be foolish to spend more time at home relaxing and watching TV than at your farm. If you own a business and would want to see it grow, be there on time and make sure to spend quality time in it. Whatever you need to engage in to get results you desire in any area of life, give more time, energy and finances to it. Get new equipment for your shop if you know it will help boost income. Hire an extra pair of hands if you know it will help grow your business. Reserve your time, energy and finances for its highest use.
There are certain people you will need to limit the time you spend with them in order to make progress this season. It doesn’t mean they are bad or something. They are just “not good” for you. Don’t spend quality time with people who are going nowhere, if you do that, you might end up at the same place with them… nowhere. Bad company indeed corrupts good character. If you hang out with pessimistic people, you sooner than you realize it will begin to see the world the way they do. If you hang out with people who have no dreams, what little dreams you had for yourself will slowly but progressively be annihilated. You owe no one and explanation for leaving them. If you find a relationship has been toxic to you this past year, don’t continue with it. Remember, you alone are responsible for your life and the results you will get this New Year.
Watch your associations, watch what you spend your money on and most importantly, watch what you spend your time doing. Practice efficiency over busyness.
- Be Consistent
True success is making small but regular steps over a long period of time towards a predetermined goal or ideal. So many of us start something new today, are emphatic about it for a couple of days or weeks or months and then all of a sudden, we just stop. If only you knew where you could have been on the course of that pursuit you commenced had it been you were consistent and committed to it, you will be amazed. Whatever your hands find to do, do it committedly and consistently; don’t start a project today and be nowhere to be found tomorrow. Rather than try overwhelming goals, start with what you know you will be able to handle with ease over a reasonable period of time. When you must have developed the habit over small attempts, you can add. But note that the key word is consistency and commitment.
- Desire to live a purpose driven life
Most of us wasted the previous year not because we wanted to, but because we spent time doing things that were in no way related to our purposes and life assignments. When you don’t know where you are going in life, anywhere will most likely seem like it. Have a direction and develop clarity about your destination; where you would love to be by the end of this year, what you would love to have accomplished and how you intend to go about it. Clarity is necessary if prioritization is to be maximally implemented. Ask God for what he created you to do and desire to start living it.
If your results must change this year, you must change yourself. You can’t do things the same way you did them in the past and expect to obtain different results. Albert Einstein called this insanity. In order to get different results this season, your perceptions about life, your mindset, your words and most importantly your actions must change. Same stuff, same results, little efforts, little results. Action and reaction will always prove true.
Many have pointed fingers at their family members or at the government for problems they are the cause of. Nature strictly obeys the laws of cause and effect or action and reaction. Effects or results or reactions are the consequences of causes, or actions we inputted or allowed to be over time. If you must change the effect or the result, change the cause or action. If you still sleep as you used to, idle around as you used to, waste resources as you used to and do nothing new as you used to, don’t expect anything to change.
In our world today, those who make things happen, the initiators of change are the ones who stand out and change their approaches. Those who watch things happen, the observers of change, hardly ever get anything more than the privilege of being spectators while those who are not even aware things are changing are often hit hard by the changes. If you don’t change what isn’t working in your life, what isn’t working will soon be your only reality. If you don’t like how much you earn, don’t take it out on your boss or your job. Change or do something. Get creative. Change your association and habits. Be more of a problem solver. If you don’t like that habit, change it. Stop trying to cope with what isn’t working. Change it. And don’t use prayers to replace responsibility either. God promises to help us, not to assume our responsibilities. Remember that grace is out to help us in time of need. It will work when we get to a point where we need the help and not take over for us. Christians today have adopted a form of Christianity that promotes laziness and idleness as opposed to diligent commitment to industry, a doctrine encouraged by Christ himself and the church.
Change that lazy attitude and things will change. If you keep watching TV or attending parties as you used to, don’t expect to get different results from what you used to have – positive results I mean, because the negative will just keep piling up.
- Engage in lifelong learning
If you must stay ahead your mind must think ahead. Read books on your subject matter as well as other diverse topics for mental and intellectual growth. Attend seminars if you can and most importantly; learn new skills as often as you can. Continuous learning is a strong suit of most successful people today. They are the ones who choose to study while others party; to read self-development books while others read fashion magazines; that attend seminars and watch educative and motivational programs while others stay at home gossiping or watching TV unend. Though leisure is vital to health, they entertain leisure when it is necessary while others take it as a way of life, engaging in it as a full time job and in the end they are the ones making the difference. If you must stand out, you must be willing to engage in this vital aspect of development.
- Take Action
No amount of prayers or advice will take the place of action. Many have prayed and not acted and when nothing happened, they blamed the church or said prayers are ineffective. You are the one who is foolish enough to think that you can pray and not work and get a harvest. Remember bible says as long as the earth remains, seed time and harvest shall not cease. (See Gen8:22). Many people have kept the seed time aside and have focused on harvest. But it doesn’t work that way. What that verse is actually saying is that as long as the earth remains, if you sow seed (seed time), you will definitely receive a harvest. Consequently if you don’t sow anything, as in take prompt action, don’t expect anything in return.
Stop amending your goals unend and start taking action. Remember that if you keep telling yourself you are not ready or that you don’t have enough resources or that the time is not right or that conditions are unfavorable, they never will be and you never will do anything. Stop waiting for perfect conditions and step out and do something. Pray like the success of your endeavors depends entirely on it and when the time for action comes, act like the success of your endeavors depends also entirely on it. There can be no substitute for hard work.
Along the course of the pursuit of your goals, you undoubtedly will come across challenging and trying times. When you meet with such road blocks, refuse to give up. Winners never quit and quitters never win. If it is something you believe in, you must be ready to stand and fight for it, to stay up late at night for it, to defend it against the world, to give up food and sleep for it and to work on it till it becomes a success. Always remember that the first runs are always the rough runs, but it gets better with time. No one is saying it is going to be easy. All we are saying is if this is hard, what makes you think the next one you run to will be easier? This largely accounts for the current job prostitution in most nations today. We are not passionate about anything, reason why we attempt everything for the sake of money, give up at the slightest sign of a challenge and at the end follow through with nothing.
For action to yield fruits, it must be faithful and committed both in the good times as well as in the bad ones. Be a person of prompt decisive and consistent action this year and your results will change.