Wow. It’s a fresh new page, a wonderful beginning and who doesn’t love or want the possibilities that come with that?
I begin this beautiful year, which is unfolding with possibility, reminiscing about the past and deciding how I would like to move forward. Here are the lessons that made the most impact on me:
1. You simply cannot move forward positively if you are held back by fear, hopelessness or anxiety.
There are times when you don’t succeed or when you fail. And perhaps fail spectacularly as I have done myself. You take a knock to your confidence level. And yet you make plans and move forward. But a plan of action does not materialise when its pegged down by negativity, in any form. It’s as if every step forward also involves two steps back. How can you move ahead like that? Your most effective decision – convince yourself that you should let go of the outcomes, pick the road you will travel on and then start afresh, positive.
2. Embrace failure.
I have a healthy respect for failure. It’s a sign that you are really living, experimenting and trying. There’s very little chance for failure when you do the same old thing every day. And very little chance for growth too.
You are not embracing failure. What you are doing is embracing risk and all that entails.
Know that you do not need to get everything right the first time around. That’s a lot of pressure but when you see failure as a stepping stone, helping you evaluate your choices and circumstances, it’s not too bad after all.
3. Constantly refresh.
Always be looking for new ways to do, see, react, view something. It will enlighten you and your path.
4. Remind yourself of the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
Other people, other issues, other perspectives will creep in and make themselves a priority in your life only if you do not have your own priorities clearly identified yourself. And one of the biggest life lessons for me is really understanding the difference between the urgent and the important.
If you want to see the mud, it will be right there before your eyes. And so too, the blessings, the possibilities, the light and love in your life. If you want to see your stresses and problems go away, simply count your blessings to get a renewed perspective.
6. Accept responsibility, you are in the driver’s seat.
This sounds harsh because the focus is on accepting that whatever happens, you are in control. But you are not in control of everything – you are simply in control of the only thing you can master – yourself. And when you really begin to live this truth, you realise that it doesn’t matter what happens to you or what others say and do. You can and will be able to make what you so desire happen for yourself.
7. Start the day with exercise.
It clears your mind, gives you a tremendous energy boost and it’s what your body needs.
8. End your day with a plan.
When you end the day with a plan of what you are going to focus on the next day, you simply get up and get at it. The truth is that planning your life, your day to day areas of focus is hard because there are many distractions, much that you want to accomplish and this is the new urban pace of life. Starting your day thinking about what you will focus on is still better than not doing so but doing it the night before, just gets you revving early, feeling great and starting with such a strong sense of purpose.
My areas of focus for last year were :
1. Systems and processes
Developing systems and processes in what I did, in order not to have to think afresh everytime I approached something new. Thinking afresh takes a lot of time and mental space and it’s energy sapping to keep doing this over and over. Doing this helped me because the gains in one area could be applied in another.
Results : I managed to start this process which was tough because you don’t see the gains immediately. When things get hazy or lack immediate results, it can easily be pushed aside.
Building on growth, one habit at a time.
Results : I didn’t try to work on too many habits – that tends to fail. I picked two areas : I wanted to be more mindful in how I disciplined or taught my kids and I I wanted to give up eating rice. I failed repeatedly at the first but having set that goal, I did not let the failure get me down. I was motivated to still keep going because the process here helped me build a greater sense of mindfulness in the moment, which I lacked before. So, baby steps. With the second, my greatest fear was that I was simply not capable of achieving this. So I set a 21 day goal to do this and succeeded. It was a huge boost to my confidence as I didnt think it was possible and it set a valuable marker in my mind, which I refer to, from time to time.
Being mindful of how I spent my time, my choices and the choices of those around me.
Results : Time is our biggest asset now, more than anything else. This focus of mine is what led me to develop the “How I Ensure I Respect Your Time” blog series. I still face hard choices about managing my time, especially with my work commitments, the fact that I have a young growing family and the fact that I do want to be very mindful about how I grow this family. I can’t say that I have got it all figured out or that it always works. It is a series of ebbs and flows and you find balance when you do what you feel works best for you.
Best posts of 2014
Looking back on the year, these are some of my best posts, in no particular order :
What do I look forward to this year?
Seeing the plans I’ve been putting in place for the business begin to take shape. Growth. Writing more blog posts!
Thanks for being on this journey with me – I would love to hear from you.
Here’s to a wonderful 2015!