The worst year yet, right?
It has been called many things. Surreal. Unpredictable. Nasty. Deplorable. Farkakte.
You get the point.
At the end of 2016, you may feel like you have nothing to show for it.
But hey, you’re alive… And reading this. That shows you’re likely much better off than you think you are. Being alive is a chance, an opportunity to create a better future. Don’t simply let past experiences and past failures define you. Remember, you just have to redefine and refine yourself.
Through 2016 I have learned a few things so if you want something out of 2017, get ready to resolve to cross your heart and hope to die, stick a needle in your eye.
Maybe not the needles. Those things are scary.
Serious about the dying thing though. Come on, put your life on the line!
1. Resolve to be CONSISTENT
It all starts with a choice.
Before doing anything, make a commitment. Not half heartedly. Jump in!
Once you’ve made your decision, get to work immediately. One overlooked part of goal setting is planning. This includes beginning with the end in mind, getting the things you need in order to avoid any excuses when you start and monitoring your progress to tweak what you may not have been able to foresee.
Don’t worry if you weren’t able to plan your year in December like the exemplary few, (they’re show offs anyway). December and January are pretty demanding times. You can always start to execute your plan when you’re more settled into the year, like in February as the stress of not having money since December would have left your mind. Your esteem will thank you for it.
If you think you lack the motivation to commit to your choice, note well: will is a skill, and like any skill, you can train it and more importantly, develop it. Do some research. There are books to help in the next section like The Compound Effect which is a brilliant example to maintain consistency. It provides solutions for problems people often face being consistent and shows why you should not be discouraged investing seemingly worthless daily efforts over large periods of time. There is a big pay off.
Also note that having a partner to hold you accountable strengthens commitments too.
Entrepreneur understands the difficulties in reaching goals and has designed a thorough programme, The Goal Standard that may benefit you with resources like worksheets and guidance from authorities such as Todd Herman, Ali Schiller and Natalie MacNeir.
Want further advice on making goals stick? Read this article from LifeHack:
2. Resolve to Read
The worst thing is not knowing that you don’t know. Reading helps change that.
Consistently studying and learning about the career and profession that you have or hope to achieve is wise and a given in this information age. Bear in mind though, there are plenty of other kinds of books that may open your mind. By following their direction, you can get not only the job you want, but the life you probably only dreamed of.
Seek The Compound Effect to help you record your actions and become conscious of them. Think and Grow Rich provides examples, steps and foundations for your planning and your resolve. The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People changes your outlook with key habits that empower you with fundamental principles that govern success.
Here are books to build your will, like the opportunely named: This Year I Will…: How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True.
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength seems interesting, exploring factors influencing willpower and its ties to glucose. There’s also What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite by David DiSalvo.
That one is probably a no brainer.
Personally Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is on my list. It was recommended by former president Barack Obama.
Professionally, if you are into marketing, find Guerilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout. For writers, Bird by Bird and Writer’s Mind: Crafting Fiction. Find literature for your own profession be it hard copy, eBook or audio book, which is handy on the move, working or commuting.
3. Resolve to Practice a New Skill
Don’t stick! Grab the bull by the horns and do that thing you’ve wanted to do! You may keep saying there is nothing to do and nothing you can achieve, but we live in the age of the internet. Opportunities to learn are at an all time high. There is more to the internet than cat videos, melee and taybay, people!
Resolve to do something new or learn how to do an old skill properly or better. If not something practical to you, try something that interests you.
Get that licence! Learn to cook, play a drum or even a guitar.
Nothing seems compelling to you? Pick something random! It can reveal a new interest to you and at the very least, forge your mental discipline.
Paying for lessons makes you more inclined to focus, holding you accountable for your actions. When practicing solo, some planning, scheduling and discipline is necessary to build a habit and reach the level of skill you’re aiming for. Mentors when available are always a plus!
Recently, I’ve been getting reacquainted with my keyboard through Typing.com.
I put aside 15 minutes every weekday at 5am and if I mess up, then I have to do it at 9pm. Earlier if possible.
Decide on where your free time is, whether the morning or the evening. If you do it in the morning though, you wouldn’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
So as much as the media seems to cry trouble onto 2016 with words like “hardship” or “impossible” or even “post-truth”, encouraging words have been used like experiential, experimental and transformational. So how 2017 ends up, is all up to you.
Was it a problem or a challenge?
Was it a failure or an opportunity, a call to action?
The world was not conquered in a day. Nor a year. First conquer yourself and 2017 will be yours.
What plans do you have 2017? Let us know, by commenting below.
Cemal A. Copland is the president of The Writers’ Association of Grenada.
A big fan of creative writing and empowerment. Working with Midas Inc, he’s involved in their projects: Greenz Elite and JobBot.gd.