Recent Posts

Making Financial Literacy Sexy

Financial literacy is probably one of life’s most valuable skills. In fact, improving financial literacy is seen by governments as critical. It’s so important, that I’ve noticed these ads appearing in the local paper: Which totally inspired me to attend amongst an imaginary room full […]

Always Look Forward

Never mind looking back at the past year and wondering what went wrong, how about a whole period of your life? Have you ever wondered what you were thinking when you spent all your money in your twenties instead of saving and retiring at 30 […]

8 Strategies for a Successful New Year

That time of year is fast approaching. Not the one with a million parties, last minute frantic shopping with everyone else and kisses from rellies you haven’t seen since…well…this time last year. No, I mean it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions, again!

Despite 6,000 years of civilisation (and 20,000 years of humans on the earth) and therefore at least 6,000 New Year’s totalling many resolutions, this year there’s a hot new trend. Actually celebrating the New Year is a fairly recent trend, the earliest recorded being in 2000 BCE. But if you, like me thought that resolution making was symptomatic of our navel gazing western society, you, like me would be wrong. The Babylonians and Romans were already onto it. Obviously there is something irresistible about the promise of a fresh new year.

So, now that we’ve cleared up the history, what’s this hot new trend and how do you get on board? Well, the fact that I’m posting this in early December, not the 31st is a clue. Yup, it’s time to put the Christmas partying and shopping on hold and start planning your New Year now. That’s what the high achievers are doing around this time of year in anticipation of making 2017 their best year ever.

One of the best things about living in this era is having the world’s influencers and thought leaders available at your fingertips. Bloggers in particular are great at sharing and in fact collaboration is one way to get noticed in the blogging world.

The result is tons of fascinating content that can change the way you look at your life. That’s what I got out of Achieve What Matters in 2017 where more than 30 well known influencers share the most important things they do right about now to set themselves up for a stellar year. Compiled by Michael Hyatt, it consists of 8 strategies that super-achievers use each New Year.

The big insight is to take some time *now* in early December to plan for the New Year. Setting goals that you are likely to achieve takes a bit of time and to set yourself up for success, you need to make sure your goals are reasonable.

Naturally enough, reflection is the first principle advocated by the high achievers. Taking some time out to consider the year that was is essential for working out where you want to go in the New Year. But in the context of reflection it’s the second principle that I think is the most insightful – stay positive. How easy is it to slip into negative thinking when reviewing the past year? All the things you didn’t do; the New Year’s resolutions you didn’t keep; and the missed chances and opportunities.

My New Year’s resolutions are usually based on my musings of where I have failed and what I am not, rather than building on my strengths. I rarely look back on the past year and think of the ways in which I have succeeded and how I can build on that success.

Failing is a part of having ambition and trying things. But developing goals from a foundation of failure doesn’t provide a sturdy base. It’s important to acknowledge the areas of your life where you have progressed as well as were you haven’t. And as I said last year, it might not be where you expected or planned depending on what life throws at you.

For example, I had hoped to get further with this blog. Instead I spent many of my waking hours teaching a baby to fall asleep. On 1 January 2016 I didn’t know babies didn’t know how to fall asleep, so I could never have anticipated the amount of time and effort I would devote to this task this year. But getting my baby to be a good napper is one of my greatest successes. It’s also a win I completely failed to acknowledge while reviewing my year through a negative lens.

Thanks to influencers in Achieve What Matters in 2017 I’m making my New Year plan based on my achievements rather than my failures. I’m not trying to change things I don’t like, just improve my life and it’s a revelation.

Do you take a positive or negative view when deciding your New Year’s resolutions?

The Smashed Avocado Debate

One small paragraph towards the end of a weekly column was all it took to ignite a fierce intergenerational debate about avocado, I mean housing. Are the Boomers hoarding the wealth and locking out Generation Y? Or is the current lousy generation more interested in […]