“Begin with the end in mind.” 
 
Happy new year! 
 
Welcome new year, new decade. 
 
The new year is always a time of reflection and goal planning as we embark on new beginnings. 
 
What are your goals for the new year? New decade? 
 
Where do you see yourself at the end of 2020? At the end of 2029? 
 
Think of where you want to be and start planning backwards. Small steps. 
 
I loved what Her Majesty the Queen said in her Christmas message - “As we all look forward to the start of a new decade, it is worth remembering that it’s often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.” So apt. In line with my thinking that change is a process, not a one-time event. Baby steps. 
 
Another reason why I no longer set new year’s resolutions. I choose instead to set goals which will lead to sustainable results. 
 
Over the past few years I have been very intentional about cultivating a positive mindset and setting achievable goals. 
 
I believe that I am a work in progress. Failures or mistakes are lessons learnt. Once I get over the disappointment and process the hurt, it’s time to see that as a learning experience and move on. 
 
One way to ensure that we make progress is to plan ahead, put things in the diary, use your smartphone or the various apps available to get organised. You don’t have to do it on your own. It is also key to engage in self-reflection and evaluation on a regular basis. 
 
I always used to say I wasn’t a morning person, but now I see the benefit of an early start to the day, setting daily to-do lists, because they provide focus. It is not always possible to complete everything on your to-do list, but at least you can tick some off and roll the rest over until the following day.  
 
Now on to social media. I delivered a talk entitled “Social media, the good, the bad and the ugly” in June 2019. The audience was young people and their parents who were concerned about the effect of social media on their children’s wellbeing. 
 
We have to accept that we live in a digital world now and there is no running away from social media. It is powerful and despite its ills there are major benefits to be gained from it. Balance is key. Use the internet and social media to your advantage. As an advocate of lifelong learning, I learn something new every day from the many podcasts, YouTube clips and articles I come across. I have also connected with and developed fantastic relationships with like-minded folk and professionals in my circle. 
 
The future is digital so go forth and grab every opportunity to learn and grow. People are now organisation’s only competitive advantage so by staying ahead of the curve you will be able to benefit from what the world has to offer even if you are not an employee. Your knowledge will be an asset to your family, your friends and your community. 
 
All the best for a successful new decade! 
 
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