HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PRODUCTIVE TWENTY SEVENTEEN

I’m almost hanging my head in shame posting this blog entry. This was meant to be uploaded yesterday and once again it’s a day late. I am actually trying so hard to make sure everything is on point but clearly I’m not organised enough – which is one of the reasons why I decided to go all out and do this blog in the first place. Over the years I’ve realised that although things have changed in my life, it’s not ACTUALLY progressing the way I expected. Everyone’s idea of progress and success is is different and some people will look at my life and say “Of course you’re progressing. You’re married with two kids,” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful or down playing the significance of those changes but I feel those are things that anybody can really do. 

What about the success of my marriage?

What about the welfare and success in raising my children?

Not only that but for me I think the focus of this blog entry has been more on efficiency than anything else. 

I want to be able to make the very most of my time during the day. I want to be able organise myself in such a way that all the goals that I’ve set for myself next year are actually achieved instead of missed. 

I want to grow spiritually as well as in wisdom and knowledge that I can use for everyday life. 

What are some of the goals that you have for next year and how have you set out to achieve them?

I know sometimes alot of the things we plan to do are alot easier said than done, but as the famous saying goes: 

If you fail to prepare – prepare to fail. 

Below I’ve curated a list of ten points that I’ve used to plan and add structure to my life for next year. I’ll explain briefly why I chose these points and give examples where necessary. I’ve also created a video on the same thing on my youtube channel if you’re more of a visual person than a reader. You’ll find it below 

1. SETTING GOALS
I guess this one is quite simple, but it is important to set goals so you know what direction you’re headed in and where you’re going. For next year one of my goals are to ensure that the blog and youtube channel is completely efficient and consistent. Meaning the days I choose to post blog entries or videos are adhered to including the times. I’m also working on a business plan which I am uber excited about but the way I live my life now will in no way get me to that point let alone beyond it. Which leads me on to the next point…

2. GETTING ORGANISED
I am so disorganised [hangs head]

Honestly I do try, but I feel the reason I drop off so easily is because it’s easier to just go with the flow – but the reality is very little will be achieved that way. To help organise myself for next year, I bought two 2017 diaries. One is a day to a page diary and the other is a week to view. This will enable me to plan my days with precision ensuring that everything I need for the next day is also planned from the night before. 

In terms of my channel, I already have videos planned all the way up until March which I’m really glad I’ve been able to do, and doing that has also helped me to realise the direction I want the channel to go in, as well as little things here and there that need to change that will make the blog and channel cohesive. If I didn’t do that I don’t think I would have had that vision. What things can you write down to help you plan your year more efficiently?

3. BEING PUNCTUAL
This one is quite self explanatory but the importance is paramount. I’ve realised how being late and being slack with being on time transcends into every area, and not only that but it says alot about a person’s character. I don’t want to have that testimony anymore and I also have to think ahead. If the blog is successful and I am able to implement the business plans I have, I’ll have to start meeting people – and woe is me if I’m late to all those meetings. Who will take me seriously? For my sake and also out of respect for other people’s time this is definately something I want to improve by 100% next year. So much so that the people closest to me will notice straight away

4. RECOGNISING SELF DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOUR
Again self explanatory but very important. The last couple of weeks I’ve had to come face-to-face with some truths about myself that maybe only I could have noticed. I think all of us have habits and behaviours that are detrimental to us but the fact is they are habits, so they’re not easily noticed or easy to change. Some of my self destructive behaviours are related to my marriage and children but more often than not my personal growth. I have done some deep soul searching these past few weeks and the areas I have managed to realise are destructive, I’ve made active efforts to change. 

5. CREATING NEW HABITS
This is a kind of follow on from all of the above where when you realise destructive behaviour patterns you have to begin creating new ones. 
It’s like a domino effect. Once you fix one thing, it rolls on to something else but the opposite is also true that when we slack in one thing it rolls into everything else. 

One of the habits I have decided to re-create is to get up earlier in the morning to pray. Since having my newest addition I’ve found this extremely difficult as I usually go to bed late or wake up multiple times in the night – so when morning comes I’m completely exhausted. I usually pray at other times of the day but I don’t feel it’s the same as there’s always so much going on by then and I just feel rushed off my feet. I know it will still be difficult but once some of the above slots into place it will make doing this so much easier. 

6. READING BOOKS
Reading books is one of the simplest and easiest ways to aquire knowledge about something you may not have had any idea about. I absolutely love to read but again – because of life and responsibilities I’ve had less and less time to do this. I may not be able to read my books as quickly as I used to but reading a book slowly is better than reading no books at all. I’ve bought four books altogether in the past few weeks. Two in relation to the blog and my goals. One for personal growth and the other for leisure. If you’re interested in any of these books I’ve added the links for them below but if they’re not for you, think about areas that you need to grow in and buy books accordingly that can help you get to wherever you want to go.

7. LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF
This one is in relation to health. In the earlier stages of me starting the blog, I wrote a post on healthy eating and what it means to me. You can read that here

The concept is that our health is one of the most important things because without it we are unable to really do anything. Do whatever you can to improve your own health, whether it’s going jogging or to the gym every week, eating or drinking fresh and non-processed foods or even boosting your immune system with vitamins. Every little helps and as you begin to take steps to living a healthier life, it’s only bound to improve your efficiency. 

8. SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
Somehow I think this one is difficult for some of us to do. I used to be under the impression that it didn’t really matter who I was around me as long as I didn’t copy the negative things they did – but the reality is your surroundings whether consciously or unconsciously will affect who you are and who you become. Who’s heard the saying:

‘show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are’

It is important to identify people in your life that support you, encourage you, rebuke you and love you because these are the people who will encourage you to success. Those that don’t fall into that category just give less of your time to. As a christian I don’t believe that people need be completely cut off. I believe that you should continue to genuinely love and serve them and even though they may not have met the criteria of ‘positive people’ in your life – through your testimony of love – they could become those people, either to you or to someone else.

9. WILLINGNESS TO ACCEPT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM
Again this is a follow-on from the above. Where the people you identify as being positive in your life can also speak into it and point out areas that you may be failing in so you can correct it. That said, we have to be a people that will be willing to accept it without taking offence. Criticism is painful but if it is applied properly, in the long run it is beneficial to you. There are times in life where people that have no idea who you are or where you’re going will say negative things that have no substance, but that’s where we need the wisdom to filter what criticism is honest and where others are just plain spiteful.

10. KEEP LOOKING BACK
Lastly, every once in a while look back! After the new year hype and momentum has died down, look back at your goals and the things you’ve put in place to see if you’re actually moving forward and if you’re reaching the mental and physical targets that you planned to. 

Whatever you do don’t look back and wallow in self pity if you realise you’re not, but re-organise yourself and keep going

I hope this blog post was helpful to some or most of you. Let me know your thoughts and what changes you may apply from this list to make your 2017 a productive year for you

Joanne RH

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