New Year Resolutions Or Maybe Not

The twenty first century upwardly mobile man or woman may be categorised into two; New Year New Me optimist or New Year Resolutions for who cynic. I am not here to tell you who you are, because you already know, neither am I here to outline for you the resolutions you need to make or steer clear of  nor reveal to you some profound truth about life. If I knew that truth, I would be somewhere in the Swiss Alps skiing away blissfully not waking up in the middle of the night with a panic attack because this article was not handed in on time.

We started off wrong, let me try and salvage the situation by making sure you read to the very end, my pay check depends on positive stats. Happy New Year lovely human, hope the New Year has stirred some renewed hope in you. After all, to me all we live on is hope for without it, every hurdle would be that much more insurmountable and every idea would be too intimidating to give it a shot. So if nothing else, this year hold on to hope.

 So what were we writing about again? Business, New Year resolutions, okay, sorry I digressed. As I tried to figure out which side of the divide I wanted to be in the New Year, the optimist or the cynic, mulling over my dilemma was interrupted with more urgent matters like handing in annual reports and presenting New Year departmental plans. As you have guessed, our financial year is aligned to the calendar year.

Why would I look back at the financial year and write roadmaps for the various business departments but was unwilling to do the same with the most important asset, me? It definitely is not an earth shattering discovery not by a long shot but it had me deep in thought. Deep enough for me to want to share with you, whichever side of the divide you lie.

Would you walk into your boss’ office and tell him, “You know what boss, this year we do not have a marketing plan, we are winging it.” I guess not. Then why do you walk into a New Year without a plan for yourself? I choose New Year resolutions because this is the one time that most people take time off for reflection and introspection. This does not in way however mean that you cannot carry out this exercise any other time of the year. Better yet, this should be an on-going exercise where you review your plans periodically to track performance just as you would with your marketing plans.

A simple yet effective tool to use in setting up your resolution is the good old acronym S.M.A.R.T. 

Specific

Make sure your resolutions are broken down to a point that a kindergarten child can explain them back to you.

Example:

Goal 1- I want to increase my income this year

Instead say

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year.

Measurable

Can you quantify your goal? If yes, good job, if not, you need to go back to the drawing board.

Carrying on with our goal:

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

Attainable

The number one cause of failure to achieve resolutions and by extension give up on setting them altogether is, setting unattainable goals. Goals that promise a false start even before you start.

Now we have to ask ourselves, is our goal attainable?

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

We need to ask ourselves, a few key questions:

  • Am I in control of how much I earn; employment or self-employment?
  • What are the steps am taking to attain this goal?

In instance one: Employed

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this goal because, we are due for a raise and the company promised a 20% increase to those who fund higher degrees for themselves in line with their job descriptions. I graduated in December with an MBA in Marketing.

 

 

In instance two: Self-employed

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this goal because I just got a new government tender that guarantees an additional Kshs. 30, 000 after factoring in my expenses.

Realistic

Your goals need to be backed by logic and reason. Yes, you are rearing to go but take a step back and ask yourself, is this sensible?

We can say our example is sensible enough especially having shown their attainability.

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

Time Bound

Do not leave your resolutions open ended as far as time is concerned. That is sure suicide, well, at least as far as your resolutions are concerned. Not having timelines, nullifies the whole point of setting resolutions.

As we conclude on our example:

In instance one: Employed

I want to increase my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income. This will take effect in the second quarter of the year since my review is set for the last month of the first quarter of the year.

  • I will achieve this because, we are due for a raise and the company promised a 20% increase to those who fund higher degrees for themselves in line with their job descriptions. I graduated in December with an MBA in Marketing.

In instance two: Self-employed

I want to move my monthly income from Kshs. 150, 000 to Kshs. 180, 000 this year. This signifies a 20% increase in my income.

  • I will achieve this because I just got a new government tender that guarantees an additional Kshs. 30, 000 after factoring in my expenses. This will take effect in the second half of the year since government payments take a period of 90 days after supply.

Go on, set plans for yourself, if you would not dare wing it with your business; why then wing it with your personal, professional and financial life.

Happy New Year, whenever your year starts.

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