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Friday 1 January 2021

New Year Resolutions: 10 Goals for 2021


The start of a new year for many is an opportunity to set new goals or resolutions. Though wise and useful, some have lost hope in this activity as they tend to give up on their new year goals by the first quarter of the year. Sometimes, this is because they do not set monthly, weekly or daily targets to achieve their goals. So these resolutions never materialise. Research shows that those that set goals achieve more than those who do not. So here are 10 examples of goals to set for the new year.

10 goals to aspire to in the year 2021

1. Make or keep more money
It is said that money answers all things. Little wonder it makes the top of the list for most people. What if you also made contentment your goal for 2021? A man's life is more than the abundance of his possessions. Another goal could be to reduce expenses. What's the use of making more money if you are going to put them in leaking purses? You could target to keep an account of your daily expenses, review this account every month to see where your money is going, stop any unnecessary expenses and budget for each month. In addition, find ways to increase your income e.g. apply for tax rebates where applicable or work extra hours if you can. 

2. Explore more talents / potentials
Compete with yourself and not others. Always strive to be a better version of you. Research has shown that the best of humans use only up to 10% of their potential while the majority actually live out far less than this. The older you get, the harder it is to explore new things because of worries, cares and responsibilities. Hence, now is the time to discover and explore new sides to you, find new hobbies, and learn new skills. To achieve this, you could target to spend less time on TV, social media or idle talk and channel that time to activities that build you up. You can decide to try one new area of interest every quarter. Use every spare time to study about it and practice, and then decide at the end whether to carry on or not. If it doesn't work out, well then you know your area of weakness. It is better to have tried something new and failed at it than live life wishing you did.

3. Build new relationships / enrich current ones / kill toxic relationships
As a child I heard this saying a lot - show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. Now an adult, I also hear that you are the average of the top 5 people you spend the most time with. The relationships you keep influence your behaviours and actions. So if you want a better life in 2021, you should terminate friendships that do you no good and cultivate inspiring ones. Keep in touch with good friends weekly or monthly depending on the practicality. Remember their birthdays.

4. Expand your network / Expand your worldview.
The pandemic may limit physical gatherings but with online video platforms you can now connect with people from across countries and continents. Find people of like passion, mission, profession or vocation and connect with them by attending (virtual) conferences, joining online support groups, following  blogs/vlogs, listening to podcasts, etc. See how people in other parts of the world tackle issues in your area of interest. 

5. Find purpose and live purposefully
People often get to a point in life where they ask, "what is all my toiling for?" Solomon got there. He worked, studied and jollied hard but at the end of it all, he noted that "there is nothing better than for a man to eat and drink and be happy in his work." The Japanese call this Ikigai which literally translates to "life's worth". This is the meeting point between what you enjoy, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be rewarded for. The happiest people are those whose daily lives reflect these four.

6. Be more generous, more loving and helpful
When people die, they are not remembered for the number of cars, houses, or degrees they acquired, but the number of lives they touched. Similarly what counts in eternity (life after death) is the service you gave for others while on earth. Hence, this should be a daily goal. Look for opportunities to show love, be selfless, give, honour, build and help others.

7. Spend quality time with family 
Plan to spend time with your parents, siblingsspouse, children and other loved ones. Inculcate in your kids the values you want them to have. This assignment cannot be left to the society as the outcome can be regrettable. There are many platforms nowadays that make it possible to connect with loved ones who live far away. Personally, I have found that scheduling weekly calls with my family abroad works.

8. Add value to yourself, grow your mental capacity
You are today, the knowledge and experiences you gained yesterday. In order to be a better human being tomorrow, you must continue to add value to yourself today by reading books, listening to role models and exposing yourself to opportunities beyond your comfort zone. Don't rest on your laurels. If you are not growing, you're diminishing. You cannot be stagnant. A practical target can be to read one book every month. E-books now make it easy to carry books wherever you go. In stead of wiling away time on the bus or train, read a book.

9. Prepare for the future
What better time to prepare for uncertainties than with the current pandemic. If you are in a country that lacks  universal healthcare, you could get private health insurance. Nobody prays for a loss of livelihood, but many saw that in 2020. You can plan to keep an emergency fund (i.e. savings of up to 6 months of your expenses) or buy Bill Protector insurance. Also, you can prepare for the future by building your wealth through investments.

10. Rest, review and replenish 
Your body would wear out on you if you work without rest. Plan vacations or staycations, but make sure you rest. Rest helps you to re-energise or refuel. It affords you a pause in daily business to review progress, correct errors and re-align with goals in case you've drifted. It helps you to recuperate and keeps you healthy. Remember, only the living can work.

Other goals depending on unique circumstances could be to buy a house, buy a car, pass an exam, pay off debt, relocate, get a degree, get married, birth children or adopt, attain spiritual growth, etc. To fail to plan is to plan to fail. Be intentional with your expectations for 2021. 

Happy new year.

Please leave a comment below.

Radiant ~ January 2021

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Unknown said...

Nice read

Ikenna Okpala said...

Incisive, thoughtful and crucial.