Thinking about your New Year’s resolution may be the first thing that challenges you. Setting a goal tries to keep you abreast of your current capability and capacity. Sharing your plans to your friends excites you. What really happens is that you think and write the resolutions and goals, then forget about them after a month, or maybe earlier. Why? It’s because you have no total control of your environment – that includes your work or school. When you talk about growth, challenges must be in the front line. To be challenged, you have to change. Change begins when you listen.
I’m sure you have heard a lot of advices. Some are positively exaggerated. Some are negatively emotional as if it’s the end of the world. Some will tell you good to hear stories that will motivate you. Some may come from good speakers who never really experienced what they told you. In case you want to listen to someone who has already done and will do impart the courage to change and what may motivate you to push and pursue, I thought of practical advices you might want to consider for this year. The factors of time and environment are to be considered. But they do not have to be excuses to unintentionally repeat your previous year. Instead, include them as your summons to fulfill.
- Don’t plan for the whole year right away. Plan for the 1st 6 months. Adjust. Then plan for the next 6 months. You thought that when you start working on your goal in January goes along the way up to the end of the year. The battle of the forces will pull you up and push you down. We have made a lot of pitches to clients in the first 2 months. But which of them will push through? What will be awarded and declined? Your strategy in the 1st quarter of the year may need a lot of adjustments because of unexpected directions from your clients and surprised package from your competitors. Expect that you’re not coursing through the same road. The traffic light is not always green and go.
- Travel not only once. Try to travel twice. A week after I welcomed the New Year with our family, I travelled to Australia to watch the Australian Open 2013 live in Melbourne with my Sydney-based friend Reymund Rillera and his family. We took a long drive from Seven Hills, New South Wales to Melbourne. This trip is the most awesome! With the unforgettable activities, I was surprised it’s never been such an enjoyable trip. Firstly, I didn’t know that it’s more fun to be in the Australian Open than in the NBA All-Star with its side events, beautiful people and the excitement of the audience that’s different from what you see on TV. I have also tried driving a go-kart in the replica of the Phillip Island F1 circuit that accelerated my adrenaline and hit 54.19 seconds in 1 of the 8 laps. I enjoyed walking in the streets of Melbourne, the free tram ride, the galleries, the beer burger, and a lot more. It was also my second time in Sydney. Surfing in Manly beach and people watching will simply make your day win. Sydney is my kind of place. It is where I can also find my collaborative interests and personality.
- Change your behavior. Your intellect doesn’t always guarantee an opportunity. It may give you a confidence to think you have an advantage. But the reality is, social relationship also rules. No matter how good you think you are, what you build inside and outside your workspace speaks about the difference. In these days, it is predictably given that human behavior changes. However, opportunities unpredictably come regardless of your skills and intelligence. And the secret may come from the personal branding you impressed to the relationship you have developed with others.
- Be a breadwinner for a year. Commit to help your parents or your sibling financially. Support a niece or a nephew in schooling. Sharing your blessing gives you more motivation to pray and ask for more. The goal is not supposedly for your own personal fulfillment only. The more you bless, the more you will be blessed. Try it this year and you will see that you are not only making difference about the life of others. You will also feel the difference in yourself in a more generous way.
- Be a living testimony. Prove your haters wrong by being a living testimony. You often read people’s comments about their workmates, schoolmates, best friends and enemies. Some people don’t admit they’re wrong. Some question other people’s progress in life. Some are pessimistic. Some are being bullied. Haters and critics exist because someone is more beautiful and/or sexier than them. Just do what is right. Influence them instead. Be beautiful…always. Share your testimony. Make them witnesses until they realize that they have to mind their own business.
- Brave into a new adventure. What will thrill you will challenge your intrepidity. I am not only talking about doing the outdoor activities like the sky or bungee jump. A little recourse to yourself to do simple but different decisions and actions can help you find a new outlet. When I joined Sector 9 “Push, Don’t Pollute” skateboard race 5 years ago, I had no idea what I got into. I had a sleepless night before the race. But I was plucky to have finished it. Why don’t you try to change the color of your room? Somehow it may open a new idea to brave into a new adventure.
- Forget the diet. Get back to your normal routine. Just increase your physical activity, eat the right food, and get more sleep. Is it flagrant to say that nobody can escape from being fat unless you are sick? Oh I just did. Too much reading of health magazines will surely slenderize you because your hard-earned money will only go to your gym fees, beauty clinics, and diet pills.
- Join a club or a new group of hobby. Buying a car these days is not only about functionality. It is also about the buyer’s personality. When I joined the MINI Car Club Philippines last January 2012, my first objective was to meet and to get to know the owners of MINI cars. It has been a wonderful, colorful and MINIngful fellowship with these new friends of all ages. The very memorable fun runs to Sierra Madre and Quezon (and the Tagaytay experience after the MINImazing) have taken me to discover what my car wanted. The S-Mile race in the Subic International Airport runway was such a different experience. Imagine beating BMW M3 twice?
- Help a foundation or give to your church. Share. Be unselfish. Life must not revolve in your own family only. I’m not saying that you stop selling off your baby by posting her or his photos to different social media sites. Your contribution to a foundation will give a meaning to someone else’s life. You may not need to shout it out but The One who blesses you sees you. If you cannot fly for a church mission, send someone to fly for a mission. In the next 25 months, I commit a very little amount to help in our new church building.
- Keep yourself a journal. People are dependent on technology. I have all the mobile devices that I need loaded with mobile apps like Evernote and Cloud. But nothing beats a personal handwriting. I collect leather journals I buy from Barnes and Noble in California. It is where I write my thoughts and crazy imaginations. It serves as a document of both personal and business ideas. Buy an expensive notebook or journal and you will surely buy an expensive pen to write on it.