It’s that time of year again and already we’re two weeks into 2018.

January’s always an interesting time for me. In just one day we go from reflecting on a year ‘that was’ switching to a year ‘that will be’.

Its a new chapter with blank pages for us to write. How we plan in January will decide (barring the usual curve balls) how the year turns out.

Now I’m going to tell you straight. One thing I invite you to do to speed up your progress is to stop making excuses and blaming others. Taking ownership of your life and understand you’re the sum total of all the choices you’ve made till now, and you can make better choices and decisions to improve your future – like being part of Future Females.

If it’s meant to be it’s up to me” – JT Foxx, Worlds #1 Wealth & Business coach.

The good news is with the right guidance, planning and structure in your life 2018 will be your most phenomenal year yet.

HOT TIP: Read as many articles as you can on goal setting to find out what the best way for you is. There’s no single way, otherwise everybody would be doing it and we’d all be successful. Don’t take anybody’s advice (including mine) as gospel, but instead sit with it and see what resonates with you and use what feels right.

YOUR WHY.

One of the biggest challenges we face is uncovering our ‘why’. Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? Why do we want to run our chosen business?

Having taken 37 years working on mine (and still not 100% definitive that I’ve completely unearthed it) I can offer some advice on what will help you uncover it:

– Understand where you are today by taking stock of everything you’ve already accomplished and enjoy doing.

– Do more things that you love.

– Spend time with people you respect, add value, are positive doers and constantly push themselves to grow.

– Cut out negative and people that complain or constantly blame others, from your life.

– Spend time in nature.

When you do all these things, you’ll be amazed what ideas start to flow connected to who you really are and what you truly desire.

Fulfilment comes from going to bed each night knowing we’ve made a difference; living with purpose. A wise friend once told me “there’s a difference between existing and living – we all exist, but not everybody is living”

I truly believe you should align your work goals with the life you want to live – not the other way round.

Let’s look at how you do that.

1. CREATING YOUR VISION & GOAL

To me, Vision is the overriding objective you would like to achieve with your life and business. Your goal is the shorter target (a year in this case) that will help you get closer to achieving your Vision.

The simpler it is, the more likely you are to achieve it: and by simpler, I mean having one maybe two. Does your goal inspire you to act? Does it adhere to the SMART principles?

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time bound

Example: My goal is to climb Table Mountain every day in 2018 and raise money to empower people by building homes with Habitat for Humanity; teaching children to read with One Heart for kids; and increasing the leukaemia database with The Sunflower Fund.

For me, it satisfies all 5 parameters and I know what I need to do and who I’m doing it with – now I ask ‘is this helping me achieve my goal?’ If no – I bin it.

Think about your goal in terms of travelling. If you don’t have a destination in mind at the beginning, you could literally go in any direction and that would be classified as success. However, if you specifically wanted to go to Iceland to see the northern lights – you’d need to plan how to get there cost effectively; you’d need to see when is the best time of year to see the northern lights; do you have enough money to pay for the trip and who can you bring with you?

Once the goal is in place, you’ll be able to set sign posts along your year to determine whether you’re on track. Catching a plane is the right mode of transport – but if you end up in South America not Iceland you’ve taken the longer way and wasting valuable time.

HOT TIP: Know your numbers. Your goal should be broken down into monthly / weekly / daily targets of what you need to accomplish for your business. This helps you keep track of where you are to achieving your goal and, if need be, react quickly to make adjustments and improve performance.

Goal setting, while crucial to your success, is nothing without the next two key aspects.

2. INVEST IN YOURSELF

If you not prepared to invest in yourself, why would potential customers or business partners? One of your goals should be ‘am I better than I was yesterday?’ Stop comparing yourself to everybody else.

An eagle doesn’t worry that a duck can swim better than she can.

A goal gives you a road map, but do you have the skills to read that map? Do you practice business every day? Do you know exactly what your business/industry requires and who are you benchmarking yourself against?

I’m the founder and senior managing partner at 365 Ubuntu. I specialize in uplifting communities by empowering those born under challenging circumstances, with sustainability for the future top of mind. What makes me different is I’m prepared to do more than the average person (as demonstrated by my commitment to climb Table Mountain every day in 2018) for our countries future. I’ve never started a business before ,so last year I hired business coaches that have walked the walk. JT Foxx went from being broke to owning 51 companies (my International coach) and Karel’s gone from being broke and scouring the Sea Point Promenade for money, to owning and being part owner in seven businesses. He’s taught himself everything that you need to know in business and being local means I can have face to face interactions.

Between these two I have extensive daily help and being taught business principles to implement and I’m already seeing the value. I’ll share what I’ve accomplished in my second week of 2018 in another piece.

HOT TIP: You don’t have to suffer; you can learn from others that have already done the suffering for you.

ADDED BONUS: Whatever you do, please please pleeeeeeease promise me that you’ll focus on one thing at a time. Too many of us finish a course and we look for the next one before we’ve even spent one day implementing what we’ve learned. Million dollar ideas – just like courses – mean absolute nothing without action being taken.

Which leads me to my next point.

3. JUST. GET. STARTED.

My favourite definition of character, by Prince EA, is ‘the ability to carry out a resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed’

It’s going to take character to keep following through when the initial excitement of what you do dims; unless you’re so diligent that you work every day to keep momentum on your side.

It’s easier to maintain than it is to start again.

Nothings ever perfect. How many versions of the iPhone have there been now? How many times do we have software updates on apps? If you wait until it’s perfect you delay your one key advantage: speed to the market.

One thing my coaches drum into me is the key to success is speed of implementation. How quickly can you execute your ideas? Take an inventory of ideas you’ve had and the time it took to execute. This isn’t to say that you execute ideas too soon that could damage your brand. As an example my t shirts and caps I’m having printed, I ensured the design is simple, easy to spot and fits in with my messaging. While my T shirts may change over the course of the year, my early ones will always be consistent with what my brand stands for. I’m using quality T shirts too that will enhance the brands image to those that buy them.

I want them to be worn in years to come.

HOT TIP: Become critical and pay close attention to the details. If you not 100% happy with something don’t accept it. Keep your vision and your goal in mind and ask ‘is this helping us achieve what we working towards?’

FOCUS

It’s easy to get distracted by a shiny new idea that looks great on the surface and that’s why your strategy and vision is so important to refer back to; it keeps you on track.

My theme for January is ‘Follow Through’. Goals are the top of the mountain. It’s the action that’s going to get you from the bottom to the top. That’s why it’s so important to break your goal down into those chunks because knowing what you have to do daily takes away the overwhelming feeling of what you have to accomplish.

I’m not hiking Table Mountain 365 times in a row. I’m doing it one day at a time.

Last point.

When you’re just starting out, the worst thing you can do is ‘Fake it till you make it’. May I suggest a more real and empowering solution:

Simply act like you belong.

Because you do.

You’ve made the decision that 2018 is going to be your most phenomenal year ahead yet – now go make it happen.

To contribute to Andrew’s challenge go to:

https://www.backabuddy.co.za/365-ubuntuclimbs

We will be having a Future Females day in February where donors will be able to walk up with the FF team and Andrew. Reserve your spot today as it’s limited to 20 people!

Andrew Patterson
Andrew is a big dreamer with an ambitious goal to positively empower 1 million people in 2018. With positivity, passion, purpose and being present, he aims to add value to his surroundings by sharing his challenges and learnings from his adventures past and present. His drive and determination will be pushed to the limit as he hikes up Table Mountain every single day in 2018 in lieu of raising money to empower the 1 million people by building homes with Habitat for humanity; teaching children to read with one Heart and giving people a second chance at life by increasing the leukaemia database with The Sunflower Fund.