As I move into 2015, I don’t believe that a change in the date will transform anything but I do believe in leaving behind the challenges and taking forward the lessons from them. Here are the lessons I am taking into 2015:
1. Invest in myself
I am going to be more disciplined in participating in regular exercise, healthy eating and reading books that will educate and empower me.
2. Set rules of engagement upfront
So that I can perform to my optimum and deliver what I have committed to, I am going to set the rules of engagement with people that I am dealing with. I am going to manage their expectations and assist them in managing mine so that we have the same outlook going forward.
3. Have a unmistakable mission
I will define my mission clearly and precisely so that I know exactly why I am doing what I do and can make sure that all the activities and relationships I am part of will assist me in achieving this mission.
I will listen. Not to have the answer, or to finish the other person’s sentence. Not to second-guess them or so that I can tell my “bigger or better” story. I will just listen.
5. I will value my time
I will review whether the activity I am going to take on benefits me, and whether it is the best utilisation of the time I have.
6. Stick to a budget
I will develop a budget and stick to it by creating simple, small habits to assist me in managing the budget and incentivising myself for my successes.
7. Surround myself with “better” people
I will be discerning about whom my inner circle is. I will create a sphere of excellence around me. Jim Rohn, whom many consider to be America’s foremost business philosopher, had it right when he stated “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.
8. Deepen relationships
I will actively work on deepening relationships with people that I associate with. No matter if it is at work, socially or family.
9. I will say no
If it doesn’t assist me in achieving my mission, I will say no.
10. I will market my personal brand always
I will market my brand always. I will always carry business cards. I will network even if I am uncomfortable. I will ask for referrals.
11. I will be conscious of my words
I will be mindful of how I speak and what I say about my activities, my associates, colleagues and my future as well as myself.
12. I will not procrastinate
I will not put off conversations or activities for a better time.
These are my lessons that I am taking into 2015. They are not goals or milestones for the year that are going to be loud and groundbreaking. They are habits that I am constantly and continuously implementing in my life to try and be better at what I do and who I am.
What is your 2015 going to look like?
About the author: Stephen Read is the founder and CEO of FIELD an incubator programme working in rural and under-resourced areas including Katlehong, Vosloorus and Thokoza. Stephen is also a life-long entrepreneur and now a teacher.