The year 2015 is wrapping to a close and it is time for the year in review. Infact for some people you would say the year is already over with just a few hours left in 2015.
Before we start to talk about the plans, goals and resolutions for the new year. It is important to take stock and review the outgoing year. This includes looking at the wins, the challenges, the mistakes, the areas for improvement and just appreciate how are you feeling at this time of the year.
It might be easy to say “oh I am tired or why should I do a review” after all, next year will come and I can deal with next year – next year. However when you take the time to take stock of the past year’s experiences you will achieve 2 things –
- Ability to count your blessings
- Identify the areas for improvement
This sums it up and this applies to everyone! Everyone has things to be grateful for and everyone has areas that need improvement. If you one of the 8% of the population that was able to achieve all the goals that you set for the year or even the quarter…kudos to you. In all the areas where you were successful I bet if you look closer there have been more doors of opportunity opened. It is likely that you are now spurred on by that fact that you did it and want to do it better, supersize it or repeat it. You become more confident to try more when you have achieved some. Achievement simply makes room for more achievement.
This year was the year that I decided to step out and focus on growing my passion and go out as an entrepreneur. I set a few goals at the beginning of the year, I set timeframes and then I started plodding along. I took the time to write down my goals with plans on how to achieve them and this is the only reason why I was actually able to achieve many of them..along with a whole lot of prayer!! Prior to this year, I always kept all my dreams in my head. To be frank I used to snub the advise that said “a goal is only a goal when it is written down”. I have learnt that this is the truth and a goal written in plain english and backed actions makes it become a reality, anything else is just a dream.
Along the year I would say I had many wins and achieved some of the things I wanted to, admist all the challenges. We know some of the common challenges faced this year, like the uncertainty and slow down in the economy thanks to the elections, the devaluation of the Naira among all other gloomy economic news.
It is as I sit now, doing the same thing I am encouraging you to do that I realize that I actually have a lot to be thankful for. I have many blessings to count. This year I focused on my passion (as risky as that was when you look at the economic conditions all around) and I am thankful for the growth I have seen in my business and brand growth.
So what are some of things I am thankful for –
- Relationships with experts – I made a conscious decision to meet people within my industry and build relationships. If you are selling a product, brand or services you must let people know you, feel you and understand what you offer. Meet experts who have done it before and who you can learn from.
- Continuous Learning – Learning is a life long journey and we learn everyday from people we speak to and what we read. I was deliberate and returned to the classroom to pick up additional skills to enhance what I know and to learn more.
- Networking – I networked more this year than ever before. As I was clearer about what my goals were for the year I was able to meet the right people – people I call “destiny helpers”. As a result of clear goals I was able to identify what resources I have and look for the additional resources I needed.
- Destroyed fear – Fear is really the fear of failure. There is nothing like failure because everything is a learning experience. You learn from the good and guess what you learn from the bad too! I look at everything that did not go well as a learning opportunity. I have learnt to cut myself some slack and laugh at the situation and myself as need be. You see fear is that thing that can limit you from trying or limit you from asking because you do not want to look stupid. Fear is the opposite of faith and there is truly only room for one. So make room for the right thing.
- Boldness – Two of my favourite mottos are “Never say never” and “Ask what is the worst that can happen, you will never know unless you ask”. Now for this you have to be ready for when you hear No! When I hear No I see opportunity to change my approach or my request. When I face a delay I pray for discernment to know when God is saying No because he has a yes for me elsewhere. You see God always has the whole script clearly laid out so it is my job to navigate as he leads. Some amazing doors have opened because I was bold enough to ask.
- Embrace Social Media – I had to throw this one in here. I love social media and keep learning new ways of being on it. I only got onto Instagram recently and before that I complained that I just did not get it. I got the help I needed and with a lot of trial and error am getting the hang of it. I tell anybody that has a cause or a business that they must be on social media, it is the best way to reach the world. One of my biggest wins here was when I met Mrs Oby Ezekwezili who I look up to from a distance. I had the privilege to meet her at the W initiative at Access Bank, I introduced myself to her and she said “oh you are LagosMums! I know you on twitter and I love what you are doing”. I was so thrilled! The world is smaller than you imagine and you can connect with almost anyone. [Read: Making It Happen]
- Disappointments – With all this great stuff going on in the year, I was disappointed when a role I was expecting to commence in the new year faced a setback and would no longer be setting up in Nigeria. I encouraged myself by reminding myself that “when you get not so great news the best comeback is to say “God will make it all work out for my good”. I share this because the truth is that life is a combination of wins, many reasons to count my (your) blessings but there will be areas that you are still waiting for God to perfect.
- Gratitude – Overall in reviewing the year I am totally sold on the principle that “Gratitude is an Attitude”. Learning to be grateful for the small everyday things all the way to the big ones makes life a joy to live. I am thankful and grateful for my children, for my husband, my growth with God, my friends, my network and support system, my parenting partner (aka my domestic staff), for plants, for my puppy that has stopped pooping in the house!! and for so much more than I can write down.
All this said and done, lets remember to do this every year, regularly and frequently. Make your goals plain, write it down, assess how you have done and what you are yet to do…all with the attitude of gratitude.
Get ready for the year 2016…do not carry any baggage over into the new year. Rather carry over optimism and belief that it is your year of upgrade!
Have a Happy New Year and an awesome 2016!