Planning for 2020

‘Small things done consistently, in strategic places, create major impact’-David Allen

2019 is almost over and most of us are now busy reflecting on 2019. Some have taken themselves on a guilt trip because they have not achieved what they desired to achieve in 2019. You see that I said, ‘desired not planned’, there is a big difference between the two. Anyway, there is nothing that we can do about that now and taking yourself on a guilt trip will not do you any good. However, we have 2020 coming. Another beautiful year. I would like to say that 2020 is like any other year. What will make 2020 to be extraordinary is going to be you. The new you that will do things differently. Albert Einstein said, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’

To all those who are thinking of making 2020 resolutions, I would say that is a very good start. Resolutions demonstrate that you have taken time to reflect on your life. You have reflected on who you are and what you want in all areas of your life. You have reflected on what you want to become. Therefore, I am happy when people have mentioned new year resolutions. It is the first step.

But before we go any further, it is important to understand that as humans we are multi-sensory beings and have multiple needs. Achieving your career goals will provide you with a sense of fulfillment in your career lane, but it might not address your needs for relationships, health etc. Having the God-given spouse fulfills your relationship needs but does not automatically address your health and well-being needs. Addressing your wealth needs does not address your spiritual needs. The needs are different and even the feeling you get when you achieve any of these needs is different. Therefore, I find it funny when people say one goal is more important than the other. The truth is all goals are important because they address the multi-sensory and multiple needs that a human being has.

I will then challenge you to look at your desires in the multiple aspects of your life. These questions have guided me in 2019, I believe they might also guide you in 2020.

  • What do you want in your health in 2020?
  • What do you want in your wealth in 2020?
  • What do you want in your relationship with family and friends in 2020?
  • Which hobbies/playtime do you want to explore in 2020?
  • What do you want in your other relationships (business and platonic) in your life in 2020?
  • What do you want in your career/job/business in 2020?
  • What mindset and emotions do you want to have and experience in 2020?
  • What contribution do you want to make to the world in 2020?
  • What do you want spiritually in 2020?

The next step is to turn these wishes into goals. If you are to follow this format, it means you will have about 9 goals. We all know that goals must be SMART. Thereafter, you will have to develop action steps that you will take. You will have to write specific action steps that you will take on each goal. Take your time. For example, for your wealth goals, some of the steps might be: 1) Save 20% of your income every month; 2) develop multiple income streams; 3) budgeting every month…these are specific actions that you have committed to take. And you will have to do the same for all the other 8 goals. It is also important that you must highlight some of the potential challenges (personal and/or external constraints) you are likely going to encounter and what plans do you have to deal with those challenges. What resources do you need? What things are going to help you know that you have achieved that goal? These are just broad questions that introduce you to multiple aspects of your life. And a guide to help you win in all aspects of your life.

But before I continue, I would like you ladies and gentlemen to understand that you can ask these questions when you understand that you are in control of your life. When you understand that ‘I am responsible for my growth in all aspects of my life.’ When you understand that I must do the work. When you understand that the hustle is neither delegated nor outsourced. When you understand that nobody will do the work but me. Most importantly, when you embrace the growing pain. You see, pushing comes with pain. But like John C. Maxwell wrote, ‘You do not stop because it is painful, but we stop because the work is done(paraphrased).’ Therefore, you and I are going to stop when the goal is achieved and not when the pain comes.

The actions will have to be broken down further into daily actions. What you do daily is what defines the achievement of your goals. Robin Sharma said, ‘If you can consistently build better morning, you are going to have consistently better days, weeks, months, quarters and years.’ And this is usually where most of us miss it. Several people have said, ‘all I have to do is just must monitor your routine for a week, and I can predict your future.’

For professionals, pushing for professional goals is very easy. Why? Because we spend the entire day working on those goals. So, working on professional goals is not difficult. We, therefore, must work on the other goals, and you will have to take advantage of two important times, morning and night. Your early morning hours and your night hours are times you can maximise to elevate your game. Let me give you an example. You wake up at 4:00 am. 4:00-4:30 am: praying, reading the word of God and meditating.4:30-5:00 am: physical and mental fitness for health and well-being. 5:00-5:30: reading an inspiration book/listening to an inspirational podcast etc. 5:30-6:00 am planning for the day and getting set. Between 6:00-6:30 pm you put all your Gadgets to sleep. 6:30-8:00 pm you spend time with family to catch up on the day, have dinner etc. 8:00 pm-8:30 pm you reflect on the day, you can journal, or anything that works for you to do a stocktaking of your day. You go to bed at 9:00 pm. If you sleep at 9:00 pm and wake up at 4:00 am you have spent 7 hours of sleep which is recommended for your health and well-being. If you are to do this consistently for one full year, imagine what your life would be like. Someone is already saying that this impossible. Henry Ford said, ‘whether you think you can, or you think you can’t- you are right.’ In short, things are impossible for those who believe that those things are impossible, and the opposite is true as well.

Every time you achieve a milestone, find a way to celebrate your achievement. Why do you need to celebrate your achievements? Because it keeps you going. Also, most of the achievements might not be noticed by anyone, except you. Therefore, it is you who is supposed to celebrate you and not wait for people to notice your changes. You know how far you have come therefore celebrate the progress. What do I do to celebrate? I don’t know, what do you do to celebrate? For those who are making a huge change in their life, they might have to think of new ways to celebrate. For example, ‘I want to stop taking alcohol in 2020’ is a resolution that someone has made. If taking alcohol was something that you used to do to celebrate a milestone, then you will need to think of something new that you will have to do to celebrate your achievements.

As you conclude your planning for 2020, you might want to think about one word that will guide you in 2020. I learned this from Melinda Gates. Melinda Gates picks a word each year that more or less provides a guide for that year. For example, ‘consistency.’ If you pick ‘consistency’ as your word for 2020, it means you want to achieve consistency in every aspect of your life. And when you are not being consistent, this word will remind you. And in a way, it also helps you push for your goals. By the way, consistency was my word for 2019 and It has been a good guide. It might just be my word for 2020 as well.

Remember 2020 is like any other year. What will make 2020 extraordinary for you, is you. I wish you all the best in 2020. Happy hustling.