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Make it Count: 2018

by Kevin Clarke

As 2016 drew to a close, I made a promise to myself that I was going to make 2017 memorable.


I was going to make myself so proud!


At that point, in December last year, it wasn’t fully clear to me what my mission was but I knew that I had to fill the year with moments I could be proud of.


With just a few days  left in the 2017, I am pumped! There is so much I was able to tick off and accomplish during this year. Even more important, was the foundation I was able to lay for things to come.


I’m at a place in 2017 where I have already started to assemble some of the pieces that I hope will help me to make the most of 2018 and the opportunities that will arise.


Let me share some of the strategies that I have developed to make my new year planning strategic and with achievable goals.



Personal Retreat

Companies, large and small, as well as business units all have one thing in common. They usually host a strategic annual retreat to figure out their plans for the new year. This retreat also gives the organisation the opportunity to look back at the year that was, to review what worked, what didn’t and how to improve in the future.


I’ve been to a number of different types of retreats in my professional life and it’s always interesting how ideas and insights flow when participants are able to take a break from the mundanity of everyday ‘work’ and just do something different.


So, why not stage a retreat for your personal life?


2018 is ahead of you, and you have plans and goals, therefore, why not hold your own retreat and make strategic plans? After all you are the CEO of your life and the most important shareholder, bar none.


I thought about this in 2016 and decided to do it.


I took a day, went to a convenient place, with my laptop and strategised how I was going to make 2017 my year. During my own personal retreat I was conducting research, finding out costs, looking at different goals, setting deadlines and most importantly putting it all in writing.


Throughout the year, I would occasionally go back into that document to keep track of my goals and identify things I’d achieved as opposed to things I hadn’t yet accomplished.


You can enhance this by creating a vision board, based on the results of your personal retreat (if that works for you). Not only is this a deliberate approach to identifying and achieving your goals, but it helps to keep you accountable.


Be Flexible

In outlining the desires of your heart for the new year, be flexible, especially with your route to achieving those goals you have set. Note flexible is not a byword for lackluster or stagnant, instead consider it permission to be gentle with yourself.


Acknowledge and count every move that gets you closer to the final goal. Every bit counts and preparing your mind to be flexible throughout the process, will be important.


Be Realistic

While being flexible, be realistic about your goals. Are all the elements in place to enable you to achieve them? What are you doing now or have done that will bring you a step closer to making that goal possible?


Sometimes the route to the goal may not be immediately clear, but that doesn’t mean the goal is unrealistic. For example, if you plan to start selling baked goods on the side to make extra money during 2018, some of the realistic questions you need to ask are:

1.      Do I have enough baking equipment?

2.      Have I factored in the cost for ingredients?

These are specific questions that are at the heart of a realistic plan to achieve that goal.


Speak it into being

You may hear self-help gurus say “Declare it!” as they encourage you to speak into the being the dreams and goals you want to accomplish.


Guess what? It actually works!


The simple act of vocalising the dream, the vision, the end goal is not only a powerful inducement to get it done, but also allows you to put it out their into the universe.


I never realized how rewarding this was until earlier in 2017, when I was in the development stages of this blog.  I had given myself a deadline, one that I had to meet. While having a conversation with my older brother, Pete and discussing it, I felt so much more confident and ready to achieve the goal.


Putting it in very simple terms, saying it out loud, made the whole thing REAL!


Get Excited

What are plans if you are not excited about them!


Get over-the-top excited about everything you have coming in 2018. Be they small or large goals, they are yours!


Let your excitement and enthusiasm be the propellant that pushes you forward, even during those dull moments when the effort seems pointless.


Share some of the things you are doing to make the new year a go from the jump!


Be inspired, Be informed, Be Glorious!


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