How Has Your Year Been So Far?

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ELEVATING TO THE NEXT LEVEL

At the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, thankfully, I finally decided on what I wanted to do with my life going forward. As you all know, I have shared some of my career trajectory with you. Haven spent 26 years plus working for two great companies, it was time to do my own thing. I decided to become an entrepreneur in the field I had worked in for many years as well as give back by sharing my knowledge to impact the world with what I had to give, which at this time is mainly my knowledge and experience. Very soon it will be financially.

To get started, I identified what I wanted to do, as indicated above, and launched my company. I also set out my goals of where I wanted to serve and how I wanted to be received, as well as how much I hoped to make in monetary terms. I guess the term for this can be called my strategy for the year.
Have I achieved most of what I set out to do in 2017? I would say, yes to a large extent, but as in everything, there is room for improvement.

So, I am also asking YOU, How has Your Year Been? Have you achieved your objectives? If yes, great and if not, what happened? Is it that you did not know what you wanted to achieve in clear terms? Was there no accountability?
As we go into 2018, in order to ensure that at the end year as we approach 2019, you would be able to take stock and clearly enumerate what you have achieved, indicated below are some steps you must take to achieve this objective.

Ensure your goals are not vague – make your goals SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound). Instead of saying I will market my clients more proactively, say “I will keep Thursdays as my marketing day and ensure I visit at least two clients each Thursday to build relationships and keep my business top of mind”.
Make your goals attainable – understand your capabilities and set goals that you know you can achieve. While it is good to set stretch goals in order to push ourselves to some level of discomfort or stress, we should be mindful not to push ourselves too far or completely out of our scope, because, what will end up happening is we give up and not achieve anything.

Focus on both your long term and short term goals – many of us tend to set long term goals, which can sometimes seem daunting because of the time it may take to achieve these objectives. In order not to give up on our long term goals, we should also state the short term goals that will get us to the point of achieving our goals. For example, if we plan to go into agribusiness, we can start with understanding and deciding where we want to play in the value chain, researching best practices in the field, regulation affecting our area of interest, talking to people already playing in the field, etc. The steps listed in the previous sentence are the short term goals that will get us to achieving our long term goal of having an agribusiness venture.

Be positive about what you want to achieve – what you believe is what you achieve. If you do not believe in yourself or what you can achieve, you will not achieve your goals. I remember talking to a friend, Victor Onyenkpa about starting a business and being a bit worried about making it work. Victor told me “Marie, believe in yourself”. I’ve held on to this statement, each time, I have felt discouraged, I have remembered Victor’s words and believed in myself and sometimes I feel I can move mountains with my self-belief.

Write your goals down – make your goals visible, write them down and read them at least once a week. Doing this reminds you of what you have achieved and what is yet to be achieved.

Remember that achieving your goals is incremental value – do something daily to ensure that you achieve your goals. You are not going to do what you plan to do in one day and neither will you achieve lasting results if you do not put in the time to ensure that your achievement is stellar and worthy of your capabilities. Build in the habit and be disciplined about doing something each day to help you achieve your objectives.

Surround yourself with people who will support your goals – ensure you have supporters and people rooting for you to achieve your goals. Share your goals with these people. They serve two purposes. They cheer you on by encouraging you and they keep you accountable. Your accountability toward them is a powerful tool, because it ensures you do not disappoint them which keeps you on track.

Keep motivated, know you will fail sometimes in achieving your goals – don’t get discouraged. There will be days that you will mess things up and not achieve all you have set out to achieve. Accept your mis-steps and reset the next day. The key is not to give up but to continue.
Celebrate your wins – each time you win, celebrate it. Don’t take it for granted. Acknowledging our wins, keep us motivated.
Let me know how you have done this year. Reach out to me, let’s discuss it, also let me know what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve your goals next year. Keep me posted!