Here’s What I’ll be Doing in 2017

2017-roadmap

2017 – An overview

I’ll try to make this as short as I can

I’m a Christian and my life goal is to become like Christ. That means I want to be a loving, accommodating, patient and wise human being. That’s my definition of an awesome human being.

I also believe that’s the highest aspiration of being. I may not look like it yet but I’m definitely going to keep trying till I do.

So in 2017, I want to pray more

Prayer centers me. I don’t know about others but I don’t make major decisions in my life without praying. Prayer works but that’s not really all there is to prayer. It’s not a Joker card. For me, it’s a simple way of leaning on something and someone who has become real to me over the years.

I say this because 2017, I’ll be making a lot of big decisions. Tough ones. And these will have ripple effects on those closest to me. So pray I shall.

In 2017, I’m going to learn French

I’m a communication professional, at least that’s what my certificate says. If that’s the case, it’s good to be able to communicate in different languages. I believe it creates an opportunity for you to interact with a whole different set of people, the ones who have been excluded from my cultural bubble for a long time.

The plan is to be able to speak the language and hold average conversations in 4 months and be able to write fluidly in it in 6 months. I’ll be taking note of my journey to achieving this so if I’m successful, anyone can follow suit and become proficient in the language also, probably in less time.

benefits-of-learning-french

I’ll have French on the brain in a few months

In 2017, I’m going to obsess over teaching techniques and learning behaviour

Let me explain.

If I want to learn about something, I have to obsess over it. That’s the way I got to learn about Fiction and Copywriting, modding the Android OS, video games and computer technology. Obsessing over these things has profited me eventually in life so it’s kinda how I do things.

Why Study techniques? Well, I’ve been teaching teenagers in sunday school for a while and I noticed that a lot of young kids especially the ones who attend public school struggle to keep up with their mates in private schools. That wasn’t a surprise. But I also noticed a lot of the private students still struggle with reading and making proper sentences or even expressing themselves.

This seems to be a general problem especially with kids from lower middle class families and below. And I want to do something about it.

Researching (obsessing over) teaching techniques and learning behaviour is the first step. Once I understand the best way to help these kids, I can start the next step which is to either join initiatives aimed at educating children or start one.

Who knows? The fun will be in the journey.

If you do run into any articles, research papers or real world programs that you think would interest me, please do not hesitate to send them my way. There’s only so much ground I can cover alone. Thanks.

Listen more and talk less

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” ― Dalai Lama

Last year, I made a decision to stuff my mouth, avoid arguments and listen more. This year I’ll be doing it again.

No matter how sure you are about your point, there’s usually another angle to the story. Sometimes, when interacting with people, it’s not about who’s right or wrong, even though they may have wrong beliefs and value systems. It’s more about understanding where the other party is coming from.

It takes understanding to stop yourself from arguing and instead, walk over to the other person’s side of the river and see his point.

I must confess, it was hard. It’s like the universe was waiting for me to make that decision and then decided to punish me. Especially on social media. Lots and lots of opinions, many of them rooted in ignorance, misinformation or just plain stupidity.

But listen I did. I kept myself from engaging even though sometimes I slipped into old habits. On a scale of 100, I’d score myself 90%.

But I noticed something, even my own opinions, some of which I’ve held on to for years have evolved. Because I have another point of view, another side to the story, it’s easier to empathise. A wider frame of reference makes your views and opinions richer and void of myopia. It’s also easier to reason the way the other person is reasoning and help plug holes in their logic.

It’s not foolproof. Some people will still not listen to reason. But at the end of the day, I have grown. It was such a rewarding experience that I am going to do it again in 2017.

all-ears

I’m all ears

Build Buffrspace

I work at a startup called Buffrspace and we facilitate workspace sharing. That’s a fancy way of saying we help people find and book office spaces online. It’s a seamless experience and offices are accessible ondemand. If you’re a freelancer, starting up your own business, run a training program or you just need a place to run your side gigs during the weekends,  Buffrspace has every kind of workspace imaginable. And it’s all available ondemand. It’s pretty cool if I say so myself.

I’ll be building it with a kickass team and my head is already bursting with hundreds of ideas on how to build the brand.

Write more

Goes without saying. If I plan to stay away from hunger and homelessness, I need to get better as a writer. To do that will require writing even more than I already do.

I also need to start committing time weekly to working on my short stories. So, I guess a fitting subtopic to this is:

Get a short story published in an international publication.

Yes I can! lol

Exercise

Sitting and staring at a screen all day isn’t healthy at all. I already have a morning routine which I abandoned for some reason last year. I’m going to revive it, tweak it a bit and get with the program. Which leads to my next point…

Run the marathon

And finish it this time. Read the previous post for context.

Fall in love

Finally, I have a feeling 2017 is when I’ll finally find love. And this time, love will stay. Hallelujah! Can’t say more than that cos I don’t want to jinx it but I sure got that feeling.

Who knows what this new year holds for us? Whatever curveballs it throws, I’m ready. Are you?

Onward!

LIFEHACK: YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTION IS KEEPING YOU FROM ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS

Procrastination

I know you are familiar with the scenario – January 1, you’re pumped full of energy. You blast through your to-do list during the first few days of the new year. You’re running and gaining speed. It seems like you’re going to achieve your goals this year.

But then things change.

The days start coming prepackaged to discourage you. The money you’re expecting doesn’t come, your family stops being supportive, your workload skyrockets at the office, blah blah blah. In short, real life shows up. Before you can say déjà vu,  it’s the 5th week of the new year and you’ve broken every new resolution you made on January 1.

And …you’re back to square one.

Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong. Let’s say you could have started that dream project in the first week of December. But you don’t. You put it off till January 1. What you’re doing is you’re perfecting the art of procrastination. And suddenly, you want to change on January 1. Can you see the “logic” behind that reasoning?

Listen to me – there’s no such thing as a New Year resolution. January 1 isn’t a mystical day that allows people make decisions that would change their lives forever. No day holds that power. Rather, important decisions are made – listen to this – at the point of need.  Simple.

This means that if you need to break your addiction to sugar, for goodness sake, just stop now. Don’t put it off till January 1. That’s procrastination.

You want to write a book? Start now. Right now (after you’re done with this post of course). Don’t wait till January 1. That’s laziness.

Boxers train and train before their big fight. You should do the same. You should start whatever it is you want to do RIGHT NOW. If you’re going to screw up, it’s better you screw up this year. In fact, statistics show that a measly 8% of people who make new year resolutions achieve them. 8 percent! That’s discouraging.

So put yourself on the clock this year. Tell yourself, before January 31, I will …. This way, you hit the ground on January 1st running.

That’s my second lifehack – ditch the new year resolution this time ‘round. Just get to it already. Don’t procrastinate.

P.S. I liked this picture so much, I had to paste it.

procrastination6

Happy Holidays!

LIFEHACK: HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE IN 2014 THAN YOU DID IN 2013

lifehack goals

It’s been a long day.

Right now, it’s Christmas evening and the guests have come and gone. Bellies are overstuffed and a lot of poultry lost their lives today. Family’s watching TV which is something that rarely occurs in my house. All is calm but for me. I’m nervous. Finally, the hour I’ve dreaded all year long is here.

It’s time to do a little time travel through 2013 in the Machine of Retrospect.

To be honest, reviewing the year usually leaves me feeling disappointed, weak and ashamed. I usually don’t have any solid accomplishments. But this year, for the first time, I’m reeling from the euphoria of accomplished goals.

This year, I finished Grad school, started 2 blogs, launched a business as a freelance editor and ghostwriter, read 27 books and started writing 2 books of my own.

The reason why I call this a life hack is because I’m trying to decipher what exactly I did right to achieve all these. I mean, let me put things in perspective.

In a year where I had Grad school, a full research dissertation, a 3 month grueling internship program and a ton of volunteer work with an NGO, I still found time to start 2 blogs, launch a business, start 2 books (a novel and a big idea book) and plough through 27 books, many of which have been on my reading list for years. This is a personal best.

Hacking my Success

One of my personal demons is my perfectionist personality. I somehow always convince myself that if I couldn’t do a perfect work, I’d rather not begin. Or I’d say something like, it will take too much time and money to do the necessary research to do a “good enough” job. So I’ll wait”. That’s just another way of defining laziness and procrastination.

But this year, I got  some serious help in this area from a friend– Victor. He gave me life changing advice:

If you’re going to do something, just do it. It won’t be the best but it definitely won’t be the worst. And when you do it, you can always improve it. But you just have to do it first.

This advice coincided with my discovery of Justin Jackson’s site, particularly these posts – JFDI, and My First Kiss.

See how similar both Victor and Justin sound? Needless to say, I took the hint. And here I am.

So my first lifehack is this – I figured out what was holding me back, and I got rid of it. For most of us, that thing is fear. The fear of failing, of getting laughed at, of getting criticized, blah blah blah. Look, I get it. Nobody likes falling flat on their face before their peers. But if you love yourself, as I’m sure you do, you’ll strive for your dreams, especially in the new year.

You have to realize that, 2014 is going to be like every other year before it. It will come at you one day at a time. And days will turn into weeks and weeks into months. By this time next year, do you want to be congratulating yourself, basking in the exhilaration of fulfilled goals? Or do you want to be angry at yourself for another wasted year?

Guess you have a choice to make.

Click here for my second life hack which I’m using  again for 2014.

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