Are you doing life or is life doing you?

Personal development icon

One of the easiest things in life is to do nothing. No challenges mean no reward and no fear of failure. It is possible to get by in life without being concerned about the future. Making decisions only when circumstances compel you to and reacting to situations only when you don’t have the choice of staying idle. For a long time in humanity’s history, people were only concerned about being able to feed themselves and surviving. As long as that need was met, they were happy. While that life still remains the norm in many parts of the world, including where I come from, as conditions of living continue to improve, people will seek other ways to find fulfilment.

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Today can be the new beginning

Make today amazing

How are you holding up? If you are still alive and healthy, that’s a lot to be thankful for this year. The pandemic is still ongoing and different places are adapting to it differently. Earlier in the year, you probably had to accept the painful reality that you are no longer on track to achieve your goals. No one was prepared for the pandemic. It was a lot to take in.

Not all people and industries adapted fast enough. Some were able to come up with ways to ensure they continued working. Many teams had to learn to work from home. The transition has not always been easy and some people do not have the luxury of being able to do that. If you have found a way to continue working remotely, that’s great.

A cat meowing at a man working on a laptop
Is this your new normal?
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Are you prepared to pay the price?

Question Mark

Longterm goals often require you acquiring new skills or upgrading your knowledge. In a world where new knowledge is generated at an astounding rate, one can feel overwhelmed. It is no longer a safe option to rely on overburdened HR departments to ensure you get the training you need to stay relevant on the job. You either shape up or ship out.

A notebook that reads "2020 Goals"
Are yours written down?

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Why do you want to achieve that goal?

A big question mark with the word "why" written many times in it

Happy New Year. This is that time when many people create a to-do list for the first two weeks of the year. I have written earlier about why New year’s resolutions are generally a bad idea for most people. Instead of creating a resolution, I advocate writing a personal development plan for the year. It takes longer but is more actionable than resolutions and you will achieve better results.

The question "why?" written four times
Today’s question

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Don’t let end of year burnout distract you

Burnout

Q4 is an interesting time of the year. Most people see the final quarter as a mop up quarter. It’s not one to make new plans but a good time to neatly round up all the work you have been doing across the first three quarters. It is also the time many people face burnout brought about by a pressure to meet deadlines before the end of the year.

Matches burning
Don’t let your light die

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Focus on processes, not events

Abstract image

Many Nigerians want to be rich. Wanting to be rich is not a bad thing. In a Country like Nigeria where infrastructure can be quite poor, having money is the only way to ensure you can cushion yourself against poor power supply, healthcare and expensive food. One could argue that wanting to escape the poverty trap is a very good motivator. A focus on being just rich, however, risks missing the point of personal development. Being rich is an event. What you need to focus on is a process.

An empty process chart
Have you mapped out your process chart?

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What did you achieve in the first half of 2019?

A spiral notebook. A page is open with the words "Review" written on top

We have hit the half year mark for 2019. Thank you for following my blog so far. It’s also a milestone for me. That being said, what have you achieved in the first half of the year? It’s time to carry out a half year review.

Before you get started

  1. Find a quiet spot. You will need as much focus as you can muster for this. You also don’t want to be distracted midway through.
  2. Have your personal development plan (PDP) in front of you. Your PDP provides an overview of what you set out to achieve for the year and how far you have come.
  3. Have something to write with. It can be a notebook, tablet or the note taking app on your phone. Please turn off mobile data if you choose to use an internet enabled device. You don’t need the distractions.
  4. Take your time. Your midyear review is not something you want to rush.

An open notebook. Three different coloured pens are lying on it.
All set to start your review

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Three things you can do to stay on track towards achieving your goals for the year

The word "Goals" handwritten

This post is the second part of the article from last week where I talked about reviewing your personal development plan (PDP) for the year to see how well you did in the first quarter. If you missed that article, you can read it here.

The first Quarter of 2019 is over. That’s 90 days gone. By now, you should have made some progress towards achieving the goals you set for yourself in your PDP. If you wanted to write a novel this year, for example, and had set yourself a target of writing just 300 words per day, you would have written 27,000 words by now. That’s about 1/3 of the average novel. Consistency adds up.

A stacked set of wooden construction blocks
Keep laying bricks everyday

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Let’s review our PDPs

A spiral notebook. A page is open with the words "Review" written on top

The first quarter of 2019 is over. This is a great time for you to conduct your first review of the personal development plan you made at the beginning of the year. A personal development plan is a necessary component for continuous learning and self-improvement. It is advisable that you have a plan for each year and take the time to review the plan a few times every year. Doing a quarterly review is, in my opinion, the best although there are people who support carrying out a review every month.

You want to carry out a personal development plan review in order to:

  1. Confirm you are still on track to achieving your stated goals for 2019.
  2. See how much progress you have made towards achieving your goals.
  3. Verify your stated goals are still important to you.

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Where is your personal development Plan for 2019?

A popular joke goes something like this:

What’s a New Years’ resolution?

A to-do list for the first two weeks of the Year.

While there are many reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail, the simple truth is they are not written in a way to help you succeed. It’s easy to come up with a list promising yourself to eat healthier so you can have the body you want, spend less so you can save more, attend more classes so you can learn more skills and exercise more in the New Year. You feel good about yourself and may even do it for a few days before slowly slipping back into your old habits. You stop working out, you no longer look up those free online classes and you no longer keep track of your expenses.

My Productive Year
2019, A productive year ahead

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