The new year is upon us. Following the fireworks, countdowns and parties, we sit in anticipation to what this new chapter can bring for us.
Once again, we have a choice. We can either sit back and see what happens as the year rolls by, or we can roll up our sleeves and make things happen for ourselves. If you’re for the latter, here are 3 questions to think about when you’re setting your ambitions for 2015.
1. What do I want for 2015?
Make your dreams as wild as possible. Aim high. The sky’s no longer the limit because there are footprints on the moon.
What do you want to happen for yourself this year?
It could be something personal, social, financial, career-related, emotional or spiritual.
Put it down in ink, or even better, let others know about it.
2. How do I want to make it/them happen?
Once you have your wild dream, it’s time to nail down the details and find ways to make it happen.
This step is crucial because this differentiates those who actually make things happen from those who merely taking about doing things.
Truth is, nothing happens until you take action.
“An ounce of effort is worth a ton of theory.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’ve spoken to more than enough people who are mere “talkers” – they keep coming up with great plans and ideas on business, making a difference, improving their lives and changing the world.
Nothing wrong with that – but I realised that when I get back to them in a month’s time, they are still pretty much in the same spot – still “planning and thinking about things”.
On the other hand, I have met champions who put their words into action and practice what they preach. Even though they might not be the sharpest tool in the shed or the brightest in the room, they resolve to improve themselves and do whatever it takes to make their dreams a reality.
They might not have the perfect plan in place, but because they executed it, they were able to learn along the way, fine tune their approach and build up momentum as time went by.
Back to you. With regards to the aspirations you have for 2015? How can you break it down into smaller parts?
Want to finish writing a book by the end of 2015? How about writing the synopsis or drafting out the chapters first?
Want to learn Spanish? How about watching your first instructional video online or booking a language class?
Think action and execution, and take baby steps. You’ll reach your goal soon enough.
3. Why do you want to do it?
Of all the 3 questions, this is the most important of them all.
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” – Simon Senek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
The “why” is the thing that keeps you up at night and gets you up in the morning.
It is the reason for you undertaking this grand endeavour.
It is also the thing which will keep you going in the midst of resistance: skepticism, cynicism, disbelief, disappointment, depression, reluctance, tiredness, etc.
In April 2014, I decided to create a careers magazine that targets university students and job seekers.
WHAT: To create the careers magazine.
HOW: To start an online version, post one article per week, and have the print launch by June 2014.
WHY: Because I want to help uni students and job seekers in their career development process. Because from my personal experience, uni prepares us more for the exam hall than for real life, and I truly feel the need to address this gap/problem.
By October 2014, the magazine has managed to reach thousands of students in 6 Victorian universities.
Was it a great journey? Of course it was!
Was it tough? Definitely! I’ve met my fair share of people who didn’t believe that this idea was worth anything or even if it could take off. Also, one of my best friends laughed at me when I told him that I was going to start this magazine.
But what made the difference was that I deliberately chose to stick to my plan, work on it one step at a time and get the advice and inspiration from people who believed in me.
So the ball’s in your court right now.
If you are serious about making your ambitions come true for 2015, then I want to hear from you. Tell me what you are looking forward in 2015 in the comments below.