It’s almost the middle of the year, so it is a good time to revisit the New Year’s resolutions that you made six months ago.
As we live in an era of scorecards, what score are you giving yourself? Look back and embrace hindsight.
A good friend of mine, Muhammad Bodhania, once said to me that the great thing about hindsight is that it is an exact science.
Be brutally honest with yourself because you cannot reach your better self if you do not accept your current real self.
Depending on the mind of the analyst, hindsight can be a paralysing weapon of self-destruction, blame and regret, or it can be an open book from which you can derive the lessons that you will use to swish away mistakes of the future before they happen.
The reason so many of us don’t even come close to meeting our resolutions is because we fail on the fundamentals. We find it hard to change our daily habits, which keeps us at ground zero.
Often, the urge and the haste to reach our goals sees us try to make too many changes at once, which can be overwhelming.
Prune your wish list. Start by cutting out the things that your heart does not desire because they are probably a drag that deflavours the spice of life. If it is your job that you hate, quit.
If you find that you are chained to it by your obligations, start reducing them. You cannot add chains to yourself and still hope for happiness.
Most people work while they’re sitting. We are the only mammals that travel long distances while sitting in cars, taxis, trains or buses.
It is an unnatural and unhealthy artificial evolution, so physical exercise and eating healthy must be non-negotiable because if you fall ill, you’ll be unable to achieve your goals. Fitness, as you know, is not something achieved overnight. Like most things, it takes discipline and patience. So exercise, no matter how difficult it may be.
Patience must also be exercised, except with the things that are unimportant – there is no point in wasting time on them.
Since we are human and we are always trying to please, we think it is impolite to say no to others. We are conditioned to think that it is selfish to be stingy with our time. People say time is money. No, it is not. It is much more valuable than that because, unlike money that can be returned, once time has been wasted, it is gone forever. So spend your time on the things that matter the most to you.
Give yourself all the time you need to prepare. Victory is not in the graduation or in lifting the trophy, that is only a ceremony. Victory is in the preparation.
Make an appointment with your goals by putting them in your diary, and protect them from being disturbed by other screaming matters because the urgent often replaces the important. When that happens, the important gets downgraded over time and then, finally, it falls by the wayside.
Be careful of drive-by visitors. They kill your time. Be polite with them because opportunity does not make appointments, but limit them because boundless idleness yields no fruit. Be aware of other interruptions like social media, messaging, email and other addictions to technology.
It is a good idea to switch off so that you can deal with your goals. Switching off your gadgets is the modern equivalent of closing your door.
It’s only half-time, the game is not over yet. This is an opportunity to reassess and put the drive into your dreams.
* Muzi Kuzwayo is the founder of Ignitive, an advertising agency. Views expressed are his own.
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