‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’
Linda woke up this week in the morning and stared deeply at the mirror. “Oh my God. Am I really that fat?” she said to her sleepy husband. “Jack, I swear this new year I’m gonna lose this weight! I can feel that 2016 is my year to do this.”
And then she went on to update her Facebook status, bought a copy of a ‘How to Lose Weight Without Effort,’ and goes to the gym three times in January 2016. End of the story!
The same conversation is repeated again end of December 2016. And by the way, poor Jack is fade up with this annual weight lose conversation. As a good husband he has no choice but to support his wife.
Does your new year resolutions end up just like Linda’s?
Each New Year we sent each other best wishes for the year. Many people hope that the New Year will be better than the previous. This year, 2015, in January you also made some New Year resolutions about things you want to stop doing, and things you want to start doing. Some of you even take time to reflect and pray for the New Year. There is absolutely nothing wrong with all this. This is a great attitude.
I always wonder if all this effort produces the desired results on the promises. I wonder if each New Year turns to be a better year. Think about it seriously. Year after year many people do this. Many people religiously make resolutions to do this and that. If these things were really working then each year was going to turn out to be better for each one of them. Isn’t it? Why is it we always come back, I mean 90% of the people, to the same point; ‘a bad year.’ It’s rare to see at the end of the year someone saying ‘What a good year!’
You see, every year is exactly the same, 365 days made of minutes and seconds. If you want to change the year, change what you do. It does not matter whether you have 122 resolutions or if you gold plate them to the wall right at the front door. What you do ‘each minute of the year’ makes the difference, especially the things that depend on your choices. So, do not look up somewhere for a good year, make one! Make 2016 a great year by taking the advice below on ‘How to Make 2016 Resolutions That Actually Work.’
Ladies and gentlemen, make 2016 the best year of your life. You need to make life happen, not life happen to you. First you need to know and believe beyond doubt that you are in charge of your life. The power of life and death, failure and success, to live the lifestyle you want, to have inner fulfilment, to live your dream and conquer, is from within and is within reach. Do not allow other peoples systems to run your life – economic systems, social systems, political systems or financial systems. Do not be a victim. Take over your life and turn these systems to work for you, instead of against you.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe – Abraham Lincoln.
In order to carry out you calling successfully in 2016, you need to manage your life. Life does not just happen. You have to plan your life, organise your life, lead yourself and have monitoring and control measures.
Remember to make balanced resolutions. A good balance includes career or business, family, health, spiritual, finance, networks or friends, fun or holiday, physical, mental, mental or intellectual, training or development, social, and mentors or advisors.
The two most common characters of ‘super-achievers’ are 1) relentless commitment to constant learning and 2) have detailed clear goals, with a plan of action on how to achieve them. No matter how much passion you have, if you do not have a clear plan of action you will end up going in circles. After ten years you will find yourself right where you started, just like Linda.
How to Make 2016 Resolutions That Actually Work
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Here are some critical steps and points on How to Make 2016 Resolutions That Actually Work:
- Have a purpose or vision or aim. Make it quantifiable. Do not just aim to ‘lose weight’ like Linda but aim to ‘lose 10kg by December 2016.’ Be specific!
- Assess your current position. Know where you are and the state of your situation.
- Develop and list the steps or goals that must be taken to reach the vision.
- Setting goals is not about writing a “wish list” in January and stick it on the fridge or wall, and for the rest of the year wait for your life to change. Your plan must be crystal clear. Draw a map of exactly how you are going to get there. Put management and control systems necessary to operationalize your plan, to keep you on track, to measure and monitor performance.
- Identify your resource. What resources; finance, networks, friends, skills, mentors or time does it require? Allocate these to each goal. In most cases you have to spend a lot of effort and time developing a skill that will then take you to your final purpose. Go ahead and do it. Remember this is a life purpose, it won’t happen in a day.
- Do a cost-benefit analysis. As you put up the plan constantly do a cost benefit analysis. Of course choose a route that gives you maximum benefit with minimum effort. But it’s rare to find such a route. Some benefit or efforts are short term others are long term. Identify the risks, things to watch out for and obstacles along the way. Identifying them is not good enough, put in a plan to deal with them. This is called risk management.
- In the same way list the benefits, rewards and advantages that you will harvest along the way. These are important to motivate you in days when things are not good.
- Finally, fit in the ‘motivational pressure.’ Something that will make you not turn back on you goal. If you want to lose weight? Sign up for a marathon like the comrades in 7 months in an exciting foreign country, and book the non-refundable flights and accommodation now. If you want to really go on holiday in future, set the date and pay a non-refundable deposit now.
Don’t jump on Facebook to announce your New Year resolution. It gives you a short term ego buzz now (“Look at me! I’m so awesome!”), but does nothing to change your behaviour. If you want to engage friends, be real. Do not make it a show.
Most of all, wishful words alone will get you there. Nearly everyone fails their new year’s resolutions. Just saying words doesn’t make a thing happen. It is the action that accompanies the words.
Ensure that your support systems are in plan; the right associates, the right advisers and the right mentors. Your environment matters! In short, create the right environment that supports the achievement of your New Year resolutions!
‘For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not first sit down and calculate the cost [to see] whether he has sufficient means to finish it?’ Luke 14:28
I wish you the most awesome and prosperous new year ever!
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