Time to reflect on New Year goals


How time flies! We are in December, the 12th month in the calendar year. Not so long ago we celebrated the dawn of the New Year 2017 on January 1.

With each New Year come plans and resolutions individuals and corporate bodies set to achieve.

Many people set targets to achieve in both their personal and professional life. For entrepreneurs, the goals mostly revolve around growing their businesses and making profits. Working professionals aspire for promotion and set goals such as upgrading their qualifications or indeed working harder than before to impress their superiors to go a notch up the corporate ladder.

In personal lives, some households set goals to build houses, buy plots, move into their own houses, have more children or indeed send their children and dependents to good schools.

I will not ask you how many of the New Year resolutions you have fulfilled. But, at the end of the day, each one of us should do an honest reflection and assessment of the plans set at the start of 2017 and what worked or what did not work. Do not discard the plans that did not work, see where things went wrong and improve. In Chichewa they say pendapenda sikugwa (Fall seven times, stand up eight times; Don’t give up).

It is worth appreciating that planning is good and achieving the objectives of the plans is an icing on the cake.

Nearly a decade ago, I read the personal finance management best-seller Rich Dad Poor Dad by one Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. It is a simple, but inspiring book on how one can attain financial independence.

The book is widely touted to have challenged and changed people’s perception of money and how to spend the same.

Since publication of the book, Kiyosaki became one of the popular investment and financial advisers for individuals. Today, he runs a series of Rich Dad coaching sessions online, of course at a fee.

In under 25 days, the world will bid bye to 2017 forever and usher in yet another New Year, 2018.

In our daily lives we mostly strive to attain financial independence. It is important and gives us the peace of mind. In that regard, it is important to get good financial or investment advice as bad financial advice and decisions can cost us more than just money.

In one of the Rich Dad coaching series, Kiyosaki wrote: “When someone offers you financial advice, you need to ask yourself:

‘Is this person giving me advice to make me rich, or giving me advice to make themselves rich.

“My rich dad said: ‘Most people struggle financially because they take advice from salespeople, not rich people. They take financial advice from salespeople such as stockbrokers and real estate brokers. As my rich dad said: ‘The reason they are called brokers is because they are broker than you are.”

To have a peace of mind and move towards financial independence you need to start investing today, not tomorrow. You do not need to accumulate millions or billions to invest. Make it a habit to save for a rainy day a portion of your earnings.

In whatever endeavour you undertake, learn to never depend on single income sources and avoid buying things you do not need.

We plan, but God fulfills. Things may not always work out according to our plans. In such situations, when bad things happen in your life, you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you.

Take stock of the passing year and refine your goals and strategies to achieve them. When it comes to investment, do not put all your eggs in one basket. Spread the risk!

The countdown continues… n

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