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Emeka Nwonu: Step into the New Year with Purpose

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A new year is finally here. It’s time to make new resolutions and set new targets. For many, it is also a time to take stock of the past year and note the achievements made. To those who hit their targets, congratulations. To those who didn’t, congratulations too – this is an opportunity to give it another go.

You are not a failure; you have just learned how not to do things next time around. Those who have not failed at something have never tried doing anything and they are the real failures.

Whether things worked out for you or not, the truth is that you have to keep pushing. Success is not given, you have to keep working and improving yourself. The things that worked the previous year(s) may not work in the coming year.

Focus on the things you can control and give it your best shot. You cannot always see the end from the beginning, so worrying about the things you cannot control is nothing short of a distraction. Conserve your energy and use it wisely.

As we start the new year, it is important to get ourselves prepared for the months and years ahead. This is another start of the rest of your life, what mindset have you taken into the new year?

These tips will help you get prepared for the year:

Clear Your Cache

Most people have caches. When we browse through the internet and visit different sites, our browsers save several contents and data in temporary storage. The main reason cache exists is to make data loading faster. Therefore, to get rid of the fluffs from the previous year, we have to clear the cache.
It is good to assess our past year and make notes of things that worked and those that didn’t. More importantly, make notes of why they worked and why they did not.

Learning and improvement is a lifelong process. Once you have taken notes of things, meditate on them and set a clear course of action for improvements this year. After that, clear your cache. Do not carry any unnecessary mental and emotional baggage into 2020. Those who travel with excess baggage bear more stress and expend more energy than those who travel with just the necessary things they need. Save yourself the hassle. Wipe your slate clean from time to time and give yourself the opportunity to start again.

Be Intentional about Everything 

Start with the end state in mind. Do everything with purpose and on purpose. How things turn out may be out of your control but you have to seek clarity in everything you do. Ask yourselves the necessary questions and be truthful to yourself. Who, what and where do you want to be? How and what do you need to do to get there? I would suggest you ask questions and get answers rather than rely on assumptions. You may be a mind reader but not many other people have that gift. Ensure, you are clear. Do not waste your time, energy or money on something without clarity. Money and material things can be replaced but not time. Time is one thing we do not have enough of but rarely care about.

Find Your Tribe

It is important that you surround yourself with people that can bring out the best in you. Mentors are important, but you need to identify what you want in a mentor and how you think someone can help you through mentoring. It is fine if you do not have a clear picture of who or what you want to become yet, but do not start the year without knowing who or what you do not want to become. When you are clear about who and what you do not want to become, avoid people that are like that – they are part of the excess baggage you do not need.

How are the people in your circle helping you to become who and what you want to be? Time is the only thing you cannot get back when you lose it, so choose how and who you spend your time with wisely.

Prepare for a Marathon, not Sprints 

Patience and perseverance are very important traits for going the long haul. Are you preparing for another twelve months or for the next twelve months of the rest of your life? If you have no clarity around how the next twelve months will propel the next years of your life, please pause and give it some thought. There is no shortcut that does not leave you short. This is not another year in your life, but another year in the rest of your life. Constantly review your notes and double down on the things that you do well. Focus on your strengths and don’t dwell on your weaknesses. Be constantly open to learning and unlearning – no one has a monopoly of knowledge. Stay humble and be real. Every success has its own story and it is ‘different strokes for different folks’. Focus on your own race and be prepared for the long straights.

Identify your Competition and Focus on the Goals

Your main competition is the best version of you. There is no path. As a matter of fact, you are the path. No one has earned the right to set a path or chose what future they want you to lead. You should be the architect of your future. If you can dream and/or conceive a thought, you can achieve it. Do not waste your time competing with anyone else. Compete with yourself and achieve your full potentials. Before you cry about the things others have that you do not have, have you taken out time to make a gratitude list? Development and growth are processes, therefore, appreciate where you are or what you have today and take appropriate steps to move forward. What works or worked for your friends may not work for you. We are not all cut from the same cloth neither do we have the same strengths or competencies.

Focus on being the best version of you.

Be Critical and Truthful to Yourself, but Also be Kind to You 

Never be economical with the truth in assessing yourself. Be critical and honest with personal appraisals. You cannot truly solve a problem until you admit and define the problem. However, be kind and gentle with yourself. Seek happiness from within. Be content with who you are but that does not mean you should be lazy and settle for less. Take out time for self-care. If you do not love yourself, it will be a struggle to love and care for other people – even those you truly love. You cannot give what you do not have. Learn to spend time with yourself and get into the right headspace to make those changes that will enhance your personal development and growth.

Meditation and exercise are good ways to get your body and mind in sync. Learn to unwind and read books that tickle your fancy – it helps with imaginations. Write and chronicle your growth – it will help you monitor and measure your progress. Appreciate the small wins and little progress you make. Even if you don’t achieve all your goals this year, what matters the most is the progress you will make. It is not speed but velocity that makes the meaningful difference – be mindful of being desperate over time. Make sure you give it your all – that is pretty much what you can do – and hope nature rewards your hard work in good time.

This is not an exhaustive list but it is some of the hacks I have used in the course of my life’s journey. What other life and personal growth hack has worked for you?

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