‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts – Winston Churchill

I just love this season, the pre-Christmas/New Year season, don’t you? It is characterized by a kind of gaiety and joy that no other season dares beat. I know in some parts, it is snowy and cold, but here in Naija, it is windy, cloudy and cold, a season we refer to as harmattan. The shops, streets, offices, and even humans display array of Christmas regalia and decorations.

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It seems fleeting and unreal and you feel like you need to grab it, immerse yourself in it before it flies away. People complain of insufficient funds, yet they spend like there is no next year. There is frenzy in spending and shopping that you just cannot not participate in. Offices and urban centers begin to empty while markets and villages begin to fill up with people and activities. I believe most roads and airports witness the greatest traffic this period, especially roads out of town to the villages. Before long, the frenzy, the hustle, the movement, all begin to die down as the year rushes to an end. Things begin to get back to normal as the New Year strolls in with its austerity and hunger. Back to normalcy with a thud!

Now, how far have you gone with the goals and resolutions you set for yourself at the beginning of 2014? Were you able to accomplish any? Are the yet to be accomplished goals greater than the accomplished ones? Or were you able to accomplish all? If you belong to the middle class like me, I think we can toast to ourselves that we at least tried to achieve some. We cannot afford to let yesterday take up too much of today, the way forward is to press on for as John Di Lemme said, ‘The key of persistence opens all doors closed by resistance’. To those who achieved all the goals and resolutions they set for themselves, I say BRAVO! Do not forget that success is a continuous thing, it lives in a continuum, and otherwise, it ceases to be success. To the ones that are still struggling to achieve one, there is always room for improvement. Tobias Wolff said that, ‘We are made to persist. That is how we find who we are’.

My people say that if one does not know where the rain started beating one from, such a person will not know where the rain will stop. That is why we need to look back, not to lament and regret, but to learn from our past mistakes and then forge ahead from there. Cameron Crowe said that ‘Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around‘. So you see, there is no room for giving up. If you are like me that set few goals for myself and still could not achieve half of that, do not give up. If you did not achieve any at all, keep at it, modify the goals, delete some if you want, add some if you desire to, but, throwing in the towel? Not an option. I think this is the first year I am actually following my resolutions and goals, yet, I could not achieve all. But I am happy that I made an effort, I succeeded at something and so, I encouraged myself by giving me a special gift! Why not?

There is another group where those who have no goals, no resolutions belong. Many of us were in this group one time or the other, sometimes, we relapse again. That is being human too. However, is it not time you made a switch? Goals are like markers on our road to success. They tell us where to go, while plans towards achieving those goals tell us how to get there. It is goal setting that propels you into action and without it, one floats around like a leaf blown anywhere and everywhere by the wind. Goal setting saves you time and money, keeps you focused. I realized that writing down these goals helps a lot because then, I can always go back to take a look from time to time. It also gives it a feeling of permanence and importance. You may want to break them into small bits that you can easily tackle so that it does not overwhelm you. Take it step by step and you will see yourself achieving them and when you do, do not forget to reward yourself.

However, a goal without a plan is just a wish; you must have a plan as to how to arrive at your destination. Then this should be followed by definite and positive action. Beware of that thief of time, PROCRASTINATION.

It is not too early to commence the goal setting process for 2015. A stitch in time saves nine they say.

Despite whatever we passed through in 2014, there is always a reason to be thankful. On this note, I quote Maltbie D. Babcock – “Better to loose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles”

Keep up the fight, things can only get better, look at the brighter side of things, be ready for the opportunities that are bound to come knocking.

See you at the top!

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