I remember the year 2010 like it happened a few seconds ago. It was such an awesome year. The only year that has come close to 2010 thus far is 2016 (yay). A lot of things made 2010 special, and I’ll share a few. I was in my third year in university, and I had a near perfect GPA that session. A 6.96 out of 7 is an impressive grade for any student to achieve, and even more impressive when it is achieved by a law student. Apart from academic success, I had two businesses running simultaneously. I remember I was selling clothes to female students in my school hostel and I also had a tutorial centre where I prepared students for international English examinations (more on that sometime in the future). Apart from all these, I was involved in several student organisations and my fitness game was on point. What about my prayer life? It was blazing. 2010 was really an awesome year, not because I had lofty goals, but because I exhausted every opportunity that the year brought me.
Fast forward to a few years post-2010, and I discovered that I still use 2010 as a “prayer point”, to the extent that it had become some sort of anthem. So at the beginning of each year, I would ask God to give me a year as good as, or better than 2010, but it hasn’t happened, at least not until now. I don’t think I did anything special in 2010. I think it was just a year of amazing opportunities. I was at the right place at the right time, among the right people and that was it.
At the beginning of 2016, I said my prayer anthem again, but I decided to do something different. I wrote a list of several things I wanted to achieve this year, and several things I view as wishes, because it will take divine intervention for them to happen. At the risk of sharing all my secrets, I planned to:
- Revamp my website (Achieved);
- Read the New Testament twice (Dear Lord, have mercy!);
- Start businesses (Well, I have started one – see the services I offer here);
- Read at least one book a month (I’ve not been too successful. See a post inspired by my love for stories here);
- Assist in reviving a blog in honour of a dear friend that passed away (I was part of the process, but I still have work to do. See Law At A Click, a blog in honour of Oluwatosin Famakinwa);
- Stay in shape all year (Oh boy);
- Travel to 5 countries (I haven’t left Nigeria this year, please allow God to use you); and
- Have a mini-conference (By a miracle and through partnership with one of the brightest people I know, this already happened! Read more about the Global Nigerians Workshop here).
I guess I’m not doing so badly in terms of what I planned to achieve this year, but since the beginning of July, I’ve become slightly lethargic. I’m the kind of person that gets upset at the end of January because I feel the year is already coming to an end! I know, a bit weird right? I typically think that since the thirty-one days in January have gone by in the blink of an eye, then it is only logical that the rest of the year will disappear the same way! Talk about the glass being empty. So imagine my shock when we entered the month of July. In my mind, I’m already singing Christmas carols and getting ready to shout “Happy New Year”. 2016 goals are not achieved, the sorry cycle begins again in 2017, and then January 2017 ends too. Oh no!
As I contemplated all the horrors of a speeding year, I had a bout of inspiration. I heard a voice say “Why not come up with half-year goals?” It took a second for me to process this, and then I thought, “Really May, why not come up with half-year goals?” So instead of feeling sorry that my six-packs are not visible yet, I have decided to set myself up for success in the remaining half of the year.
I had a mindset change because I realised that I have as much time to come up with amazing stuff and do amazing things as I already had since the beginning of the year, and if I feel bad for not maximizing the first half of the year, surely the equivalent of that time must be valuable right? There is a depression that we sometimes feel towards the middle of the year when we take stock of our goals and we realise how badly we are doing. Instead of taking this route, I have decided to use the opportunity to conduct a mid-year review. I’m going back to my list, comparing that list with the realities on ground and making half-year goals to make sure that I end 2016 with a bang! I recommend that you do the same and I’m sharing a few tips to help you get started.
1.Review Your New Year Goals (or Resolutions) If You Had Any
Go back to where you wrote those new year goals and edit them. For example, even though I can still read the New Testament twice this year, I may edit that goal, such that I have to read it once and listen to it once using an app like the Daily Audio Bible. If you did not set any new year goals, this is a good time to set some for the remaining part of the year.
2.Dream of New Things
I am not the same person that started 2016. I have grown because I constantly evolve. I am sure you constantly evolve too, and it is possible that your priorities have changed. If your priorities have changed, then that change should be reflected in your goals. You should create a version 2.0 of your goals using learnings from the first half of the year.
3. Get Ahead of Next Year
You heard me! I have started to think about 2017 and the things I will start in 2016 that will be completed in 2017. You save yourself the stress of just figuring out the direction of your life every new year because you have a plan that you can assess periodically.
4. Get Collaborators
It’s great to do things all by yourself (because superman/superwoman), but many times, you go farther faster when you are running with someone who shares your vision.
5. Help Someone Else Achieve Their Goals
I don’t know how this works for you guys, but it gives me immense pleasure when I help someone achieve their goals. Gosh, I feel so amazing when it happens, and it inspires me to work harder on mine as well.
So these are my thoughts this fine day. Grab the pen and paper from the picture up top (if you can) and get to it.
If you missed the romantic love note I wrote to 2016, you really should check it out here.
What are your thoughts on setting goals? Is it necessary to set goals or do they restrict you from grabbing unexpected opportunities that come along the way? Don’t hesitate to share what your goals for the rest of 2016 are. If you are too shy to comment, send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment on the website.
Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to share so others can benefit from this too.