Yay we made it to 2018. HAPPY NEW YEAR! With 2017 behind us, I finally had a sit down to reflect on the events that transpired in my life in 2017 vis-a-vis my goals and resolutions set at the beginning of the year. As I began to count my blessings as well as assess where I fell short of my targets, I began to shape my resolutions for 2018. Mid way through the exercise, I counted a dozen resolutions already and as I took a step back to really assess these dozen resolutions, it brought to light one common recurring theme:THE CONCEPT OF TIME!!!. The popular phrase ‘TIME IS MONEY’ cuts across all races, sects, ethnicity and orientation. Everyone can relate to the phrase. However, I think it is misleading i.e. makes it sound like all there is to life is the pursuit of material possessions. I believe that a more appropriate phenomenon should be ‘TIME IS GROWTH‘. In other words, do not fritter away precious time that could be spent becoming a better person and ennobling one’s environment. Allow me to illustrate this concept of ‘TIME IS GROWTH‘ with the below 9 resolutions we can all relate to (in no particular order of priority):
- Nurture meaningful relationships: Everyone is fair game here: work colleagues, friends, family. Basically, take stock of the relationships in your life and if you find that a particular person always makes you lack confidence in your abilities and comes across as negative i.e. this person never has anything nice to say to you or about your ideas, then my friend, now is the time to put such relationships to the furthest back-burner. Better yet, sever such ties. Oprah puts it aptly: ‘Sometimes you have to divorce family and friends if they suck out the time and energy from you’. If you take the time to nurture meaningful relationships, then the other party had better be someone to bring out the best in you and support you otherwise don’t waste a single minute more nurturing such ‘toxic’ relationship. Granted, sometimes, it could prove difficult as in the case of a toxic manager at work. In such a situation, maybe best to seek a role in another department and if it is utterly unbearable, then start to look for another job. Another spin on nurturing meaningful relationships is to let your actions speak louder than your words e.g. if your entrepreneurial friend has a new venture, say manufacturing and selling exotic hair products, be actionable and actually patronize some of her products; give her that sales boost and show you believe in her. Subscribe to your friend’s blog and share the blog link with your contacts. I could go on and on but you get the point.
- Invest in yourself: Do you have an interest in programming, ballroom dancing, sewing etc? then go for it; learn that new skill. Same goes for the ardent wish to learn a new language, get that MBA, basically any investment in self that will make you more marketable, if anything, to keep the left brain active. Step outside your comfort zone. Do you have an interest in stock market investing (including any of its derivatives i.e. options trading, futures trading, forex trading)? Then go for it. Enrol in online courses that explain the market, read books and newsletters and educate yourself, open up a brokerage account and start trading once confident. Surround yourself with like minded people, have a support system and encourage one another. Know what you want then make it happen.
- Delve deeper into your spirituality: If all you do is the pursuit of material things, then my friend, this is a one-sided discourse that is bound to lead to emptiness. Strive to be a balanced human being, take time to delve into your spirituality (if you are not already) and if you are, delve deeper into it. Be thankful for the goodness and graciousness of The Lord, in the air we breathe, in things and everyday life we take for granted. Take the time to be active at your Place of worship, participate in activities, take part in cleaning of the Place, pay your contributions to keep the Place running (I mean, if the adherents don’t give monetary contributions to keep the Place running, then who will?) etc. Dig deeper into understanding the Will of The Lord in creation and how to live accordingly. We should strive for purity of thoughts and to go through creation without causing harm to our neighbors. Trust me, this is easier said than done but if we continually strive towards this goal, our lives will be enriched.
- Start that side gig: I cannot stress this enough. Take the time to earn a second stream of income by starting a side gig. This can be linked to resolution #2 i.e. after spending time investing in yourself e.g. maybe you now have programming skills, then use such skills to earn a second income as a freelancer. Spend the time to identify potential clients, market your services on freelance platforms. Are you a Tax CPA by day? then offer tax preparation services in your local community this upcoming tax season. Do you have gourmet cooking skills? then get a gig as a personal chef. Starting a side gig takes time and effort and can be hugely rewarding. Let me give you some inspiration: I once read about a food blogger who earned $200,000 in 2016 and is poised to earn $250,000 in 2017. Talk about a side gig becoming a main gig, getting paid for doing what you love. Isn’t that something? This is my goal for this platform and I claim it.
- Discard activities that add zero-value to your life: We all can identify zero-value add activities, however, I will name some: a) spending endless hours binge watching Netflix, TV, youtube etc.; b) spending endless hours on phone calls, chats or texts with friends and family where you basically gossiped the entire time; c) spending endless hours on social media of any form or fashion; d) spending endless hours playing video games or phone games; e) spending time nurturing toxic relationships etc. (the operative word here is ‘endless hours’, no harm spending an hour or two catching up on favorite shows or social media). You get the drift. Zero value-added activities are such that add no value whatsoever to one’s life or prosperity. Not only is gossiping a bad habit, it is a colossal waste of precious time. Instead, channel such time towards productive activities. Get to know your children, spend time with them doing their homework, play out in the yard with them, invest in yourself, invest in meaningful relationships, connect with real friends instead of virtual ones. Be present!
- Engage in some form of physical activity: Can’t find solid time to go to the gym or for a home video workout? then improvise with simple daily regimen e.g. take the stairs instead of the elevator; park furthest away in the parking lot and walk to the building; take walks during lunch breaks. Going to the nearby grocery store or market? take a walk literally. It’s the small things that count and they all add up.
- Adopt healthy / clean eating: You are literally jeopardizing your efforts if you engage in physical activity without watching your diet. Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Well, keeping fit and healthy is 20% physical activity and 80% dieting. Kill 2 birds with one stone: cook healthy home meals more often, avoid eating out regularly, save your waistline and your money. Doesn’t get any better than that. If you can’t go it alone, seek out a support group with common weight loss / control goals and keep one another motivated. Rope in the family, you do not have to do this alone; make it fun while at it.
- Seek out volunteer activities: Volunteer at your local food bank, homeless shelter, donate your time to such charity organizations. Besides the feel good factor, it makes one appreciate all the blessings bestowed on one and a reminder not to fritter away time. Be a mentor to a young lady or guy or school age children, be there for them, guide them towards becoming useful citizens.
- Stop and smell the tulips: In this rat race called life, we often forget to stop and smell the roses, oops tulips. Don’t forget that the body needs adequate rest and recuperation. Take time for this. Go on vacation, disconnect from social media / smart phone and simply relax. I don’t want to see your vacation photos or videos on social media. Simply do it the old fashioned way, sit back, relax and forget about having the world keep up with you on vacation.
Are the above achievable or am I crazy? You decide for yourself but as for me, my sole goal for 2018 is to apply the concept of ‘TIME IS GROWTH‘. Who is with me on this path in 2018? Are there any resolutions I left out broadly speaking? Drop me comments, I read them all.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! May 2018 bring out the very best in us all as we SLAY our goals and resolutions.