Education & Career

You have to invest before you can reap: How to (re)start your year!

May 29, 2017

 

I’m a bullet journal junkie and the start of each week, I pick a quote to put at the top of my new page where my daily entries begin.
In addition, at the beginning of each month, I also put a quote that can inspire and guide me through the month.
I have some go to’s (Your dreams don’t work unless you do, is by far #1).

“Your dreams don’t work unless you do.”

As May rounds out and June looms on the horizon (half way through the year…where did it GOOO?!), it’s that time that we all start reassessing how new year’s goals (personally, I make yearly goals <link>, not resolutions), and doing the half year check in.

This week, I went with a quote I got from a homily back in January. (The homily is the sermon during a Catholic Mass):

“You have to invest before you can reap.”

This simple message really touched all the right notes for me, because as we reached the end of January, it was important for me to make a commitment to the things I plan to reap in 2017. And even now, as the 5th month ends, I find myself needing to recommit to that sowing, in order to reap.

The priest talked extensively about how you can’t just trip over success; you achieve it through hard work and investing your time and energy into the endeavor. Praying alone won’t get you where you need to be. You also need to roll up your sleeves and do the work. God helps those who help themselves, right?

Think of your goals like the harvest at the end of a farming season. You can’t sit in the shade all day, then expect to go out and harvest in the fall. You can’t even just plant and forget about the seeds. Instead, gather your seeds, plant them, water, weed and work hard in your field so that the harvest is bountiful.

In this scenario, the farming season is this whole year. January/February was the period of planting the seeds for growth. This means planning your move. Doing the research so you can accurately envision your goals and create your plan of attack. This is because before you can start investing you need to know two things:

  1.  Knowledge of what you are investing in.
  2. An idea of what the end result looks like.

One point I really liked about the homily was when the priest said “God, bless me,” is not a prayer. Instead you need to tell God HOW to bless you. Your vision and goals is like the business plan that you present to God for blessing. Even if you’re not a religious person, think about it in terms of ‘speaking things into existence.’ You can say ‘I want to succeed,’ all you want, but until you have an idea of what that success looks like and invest in the end result, you’re just speaking to yourself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t have the time or energy to invest in EVERYTHING. Pick the most important things and then prioritize those as well. Is it your education, your business, your health, your relationship or something else that you need to work on tirelessly? What does success look like in these categories.

As if the universe was conspiring to kick my butt into high gear, after that homily, I also saw a sign on the road (a nescafe ad, no less). It said “How you end your year depends on how you start it.” Did you start with a bang? But most importantly, are we putting in the daily practices needed to ensure that your year will also end with a bang? Because you have to make investments daily or weekly – whatever needs to be done.


Don’t stress if the beginning wasn’t the sprint you had planned it to be! It’s never too late to (re)start. 

This almost mid-year season, we should begin to see the sprouts that we planted. It’s time to start weeding, keeping away the crows that will pluck our goals before they are ripe, and general toiling in the hot summer sun. If you feel like you aren’t quite at this stage yet and are still planning and scheming, that’s ok too. One step at a time. And remember, another one of my favorite quotes:

“You don’t have to be great to start. But you do have to start to be great.”

So just start where you are and work your butt off.

Last year I talked about what meticulous planning can do for your year<link again…> and this year, I helped create a goal crushing email course for She Leads Africa.  I believe that all of these things are quite possible, even necessary, in the middle of the year. You need to see how far along you are with the goals from the beginning on the year: which are working, which need to go, and which ones need redirecting. Try it out as you revamp your 2017 for success in just 7 months time.
So happy Monday & Happy Almost June. Go work on your farm!

For more motivational advice and inspiration, stay subscribed to the blog. And let me know what you do to restart your year!
Always,

Omolayo Nkem

 

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