Thursday, December 31, 2015

How to Make 2016 Memorable and Impactful


’'A man without a vision for his future, always returns to his past.’’
Happy New Year! How I love beginnings! A wise man (King Solomon) once remarked in the book of Ecclesiastes that ‘’the end of a matter is better than its beginning’’. However, there’s something about a fresh start that never fails to energize me.
You need to begin this year with ‘’fire in your belly’’ – with the conviction that it could very well be your ‘’best year ever.’’ Here are some ideas on how to make 2016 memorable and impactful for you:
Look In
There are limiting beliefs that stop us from achieving our fullest potential. Some of these limiting beliefs are below:
  • Beliefs about yourself: 
    • I have big bones – I can never be slim
    • I love junk food – I could never make healthy eating choices
    • I don’t have an MBA – I can’t start a business
  • Beliefs about others:
    • Women are too emotional – I could never understand them
    • Men are shallow – I can’t share my feelings with them
    • My boss is evil – nothing I do could ever please him/her
  • Beliefs about the world:
    • I’m in the Third World – nothing I do could ever be world-class
    • The world is evil – things just keep getting worse
    • You can’t get a job without the ‘’right’’ connections
You need to identify these limiting beliefs and replace them with positive affirmations:
  • Affirmations about yourself:
    • With the proper exercise, I can attain the body of my dreams
    • With self-discipline and willpower, I can change my diet
    • Even if I don’t have an MBA, I can acquire business knowledge through self-education
  • Affirmations about others
    • I can be patient with women and learn to understand them
    • I can be open with my man and help him become more sensitive
    • I can improve my relationship with my boss – or get a job with a better boss
  • Affirmations about the world
    • Technological advancements are breaking down the barriers between countries – anything is possible
    • There are good people in the world – heroes as well as villains
    • People are getting good jobs every day – so can I
Look Back
You need to ‘’close the books of 2015’’ before you can strategize for 2016. Looking back, identify:
  • Achievements: What happened in 2015 that I am proud of?
  • Failures: What happened in 2015 that I regret?
  • Lessons learned: What critical factors contributed to my achievements and failures and what can I learn from these?
Look Forward
Set goals for the year. For best results, keep the following in mind:
  • Set goals in every area of your life: For a balanced life, you should have goals in every major life domain:
    • Health: Diet, exercise, fitness
    • Relationships: Family, friends, romantic relationships
    • Career: Work, education
    • Spiritual life: Prayer, worship
    • Hobbies: Sports, writing, art, music
    • Finances: Income, expenses, savings, investments
  • Ensure that these are AACTION goals: Michael Hyatt developed the following AACTION framework for goal setting. Your goals should be:
    • Actionable: Begin with a verb
    • Aligned: Fit your season of life, values and other goals
    • Challenging: Set high enough to demand your best effort
    • Time-bound: Have a specific date for achievement
    • Inspiring: Not boring
    • Objective: Include criteria to evaluate progress
    • Narrow: Specific, not broad or general
  • Identify 5-10 motivations for each goal: When you get into the ‘’messy middle’’ of your journey, these motivations will remind you of the reason why these goals are important and will give you the determination to press on.
  • Determine the ‘’Next Action’’ that will move your goal forward: Don’t overthink the process of attaining your goals. Identify the next action that’s required to make your dream a reality. Schedule each action in your calendar.
  • Review your goals every week: Or daily, if possible
  • Pick a theme for the year: 2016 can be your Year of Enlightenment, Prosperity, Peace, Wisdom etc. You can also pick a theme song and play it on the days you need a bit of inspiration.
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