When we began the year 2019, everyone had it in abundance.
And no, I don’t mean the hot, fragrant spice made from the rhizome of a plant, which may be chopped or powdered for cooking…
I mean that toe-tingling, heart-pumping, the-hour-has-come, I’ve-got-all-the-motivation-I-need feeling that falls upon you once the clock chimes 12:00 on New Year’s Eve.
That’s the ginger I’m talking about!
Whether you wrote them down or not, you entered the new year with some expectations and a healthy dose of ginger to make sure that those resolutions came to life.
This would be the year when you read through your bible, lost that weight, finally asked that girl out. 2019 was supposed to be the year you got married, made your first million or finally got that dream job.
In January, your ginger was in full supply. You took many steps to achieve your goals.
In the Month of February, you still had hope. With eleven months to go, the world was at your fingertips.
Then came March, April and May. And before you knew it, we were five whole months into 2019. Some of your goals were achieved, some others, put on the back burner. You continued the very serious business of going on with your life.
In June and July, you sensed a ray of hope. God created the world in six days, nothing could be impossible to you in six months.
But now you’re reading this in October/November and wondering: where did the year go?
But what if I told you it was still possible to meet up with your new year resolutions this year? Would you believe me?
I’d be honest and say that I wouldn’t advise you to plan a wedding this year if you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend yet. That’s simply Dating Intelligently. To learn more about it, get my book Dating Intelligently here.
But seriously, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your new year resolutions in 2019 don’t have to remain resolutions in 2020.
Respect the process.
I know, I know, you want the tips. You want that hypodermic shot that would suddenly make the next two months of your life the most effective months in 2019. But hear me out for a moment would you?
Sometimes, the goal is not the goal, but what you achieve in the process of achieving the goal.
Sounds deep right? But I want you to understand it. Not just say ‘ummm’ ‘wooord’ but to really understand it.
When I was a journalist, I entered every new year with a desire to win a journalism award. I never did. At least not any of the ones I entered for! But guess what? My quest to do that made me a much better writer. Now, by God’s grace, I have written six books, a couple of them best-sellers, I have also trained hundreds of writers.
I also realised that many of such awards are not really in categories that I am passionate about, like faith, love and life. That’s one of the reasons why I started this blog. I wanted to tell stories that I cared about. Maybe, just maybe if I had won some of those awards, I would still be a journalist by now. Perhaps you would not be reading this if I had achieved my new year resolution.
You may not have set out to achieve all that you planned to this year, but what have you learned? In what areas have you grown? What capabilities have you mastered in the seemingly monotonous motions of your everyday life.
I can’t dance, but dance movies get my attention. One of my favourite is the animated movie Ballerina. The star, whose name I’m too lazy to google at the moment, wants a ballet coach to teach her how to dance. She expects to immediately be taught techniques, swirls and routines, but instead her coach tells her to jump and land into a puddle of water without splashing it.
She is none too happy about this. It is not ground breaking or earth shattering. Doing the same thing over and over again is tiring. But she obeys, regardless.
She does this thousands of times, day after day for several days. When the coach begins to teach her the routines, she realises that she can land on her feet as light as a feather.
Why? Because she had been rehearsing with the puddle of water.
So what if you haven’t reached that goal? Could it be possible that you’ve been building muscle and sharpening your skills for your goal or maybe even something greater?
I think I’ll stop here on this point. My newest book, MirrorMirror will help you discern what season of your life you’re in. You should get it here.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Recently, I listened to the Chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, speak at a conference. It was a short address, but when a wise woman speaks, even for a short time, you better listen. Especially if you’re also a wise listener like me.
She talked about how her father taught her that it wasn’t that difficult to get your own building. “Just buy a piece of land,” she said he said.
So she did just that. She followed her father’s advice again.
“Remember, you don’t have to save for the building all at once. Try saving to build the foundation. Don’t worry about the rest, just build the foundation.”
“Next, fill it with sand, build the cast (the exact terminology is lost on me, but you get my point).”
She said after this, she built the walls, added the roof and that was how she erected the first building on Lekki-Epe expressway, the Sokoya chair factory.
Everyone builds the same way; but when you divide and conquer, it’s easier. With every little achievement, you’re more excited and much closer to reaching your goal.
So let’s say your goal was to write and publish a book in 2019. I wrote my book Selfies With Bible Girls in three and half weeks, so it’s very possible to still write a book this year. But it still looks like a huge task. In my Writing and Self-Publishing courses, I teach my students to demystify the process when they want to write a book. Have a summary of what you want to write, then title the chapters. If this is you, if you really want to write a book, you should take any of my courses from as low as N5,000. Just click here.
So you may not be able to finish your book this year, but you can finish one chapter a week. You can take a writing or self-publishing course and get the necessary skills to become an author. You can’t lose 20kg this year, but if you enrol for a weightloss programme today, you might lose 5kg and lose the remaining in the new year.
Look at your list of new year resolutions again? Pick out a few that have short term deadlines; such as learning to call your parents more often, being more intentional about your friendships.
Pick the ones that are totally dependent on you. Getting a new job is also dependent on an employer, but choosing to volunteer, taking online courses or starting a side hustle is dependent on you. Choosing a more consistent prayer schedule is also dependent on you. Do those things that have you as the only variable. You’ve got no one to blame, motivate, string along or rob you of your extra ginger.
ONE LAST POINT
Call me petty, but I’m going to take advantage of this last, very important point. One of my goals is to get you to watch my YouTube channel, so I’ve embedded this last point in a video on YouTube. Please watch it here! It would mean the world to me. And to you too. In that video, I added a little extra ginger just for you.
Happy New Year! (You’ll get it when you watch the video).