I wish all my readers a happy and prosperous new year. I hope that you are starting 2016 well rested and well prepared.
If you are starting this year not well rested, you must already plan a few small breaks during the year if one long break is not possible. Start planning that today. We often forget the value of being well rested. It makes you strong and able to face everything. I am one of those who love work and seem to never stop, however, toward the end of last year realised that I was not coping too well.
We started the holiday period by going off to Dullstroom for a week. There was not much to do but eat and sleep. We did that and could feel our strengths return as the week progressed. It set the tone for the holiday and on our return we were so relaxed that we became pretty useless for the next two weeks.
The planned repairs and maintenance ‘had to wait till tomorrow, or the next day’. We did very little but at least started the year rested and rejuvenated.
The painting job that seemed too much during this period got done over this last weekend in just two days, illustrating how much more is possible in less time – the two main benefits from being rested.
We often experience and hear that New Year resolutions do not work. It is true, not because of the intent but the way that we prepare for them. In the example above a resolution that states ‘that we will take more breaks in 2016’ is bound for failure. If, however, the resolution stated that we ‘want to take a break each quarter’ we will probably succeed.
The successful accomplishment of each endeavour will be secure once we prepare well for them.
If we look at preparing for a paint job we will need crack filler, scrapers, brushes, rollers and paint. This will get you prepared and when acquired before the event will get the job done quicker and more effectively.
Being well prepared is often more challenging and we can apply the same process to whatever we plan to do, even starting to save some money this year. Let us look at the steps to make this more than a resolution and rather have a project and plan: rather than resolving to ‘save more in 2016’ is to ‘save for a family holiday; next year’s schooling; new car; old age’.
With this statement made we have merely set an objective, but will not yet be well enough prepared; and, must fulfil several more requirements:
- Determine what will be required to fulfil the objective
- Set goals and targets
- Determine a start date and end date
- Determine the costs/amount to be reserved
- Reserve the cost into your budget
- Write down the steps in a plan
- Get started and complete
We are facing a year full of opportunity with 12 monthly payments that will arrive in our bank accounts each month.
I am inspired by the successes of other people. In this instance it was Steve Jobs (of Apple Mac fame) that inspires me. He talks about connecting the dots, but warns that we cannot see the results of this going forward but looking back. It is up to us and our plans that will determine what it looks like in one year’s time, when we connect all the dots of decisions we now make.
He covers this point as one of his rules for life: Stay hungry and stay foolish. Keep looking and do not settle. Jobs discovered this truth and the value of connecting the dots only after being fired from Apple. He started two more companies in the hunger he had. He took some foolish ideas and started Next and Pixar. Pixar became the maker of the first animated story of its type: Toystory.
The success of the movie motivated Apple Mac to buy the company and suddenly Jobs was back at Apple – dots nicely connected when looking back.
If we combine his with the ideas of Richard Branson: If we design a life for ourselves we may look foolish to some but must to not give up; take on new things; pick up; and, (sometimes) start again. This will determine our success, one more clearly defined when looking back.
As an Americanism saying goes: Do not do ‘nothing’ in the year ahead of you.
Deon Hattingh is a motivated financial planner that looks for opportunities and ideas that will motivate people to design and create a financially secure future.