“This is life. Things get taken away. You will learn to start over many times — or you will be useless.”
― Mitch Albom,
2016 is upon us and just like the previous years, this is usually the time when we hear words like “new year’s resolution” or “goal-setting” to name a few. Everyone is excited to share their goals for the new year so it won’t come as a surprise if you see people starving themselves to death or spending countless hours in the gym just so they can lose weight and be able to fit into those body-hugging, tight clothes they bought from the toddler section.
This is nothing new. Every year, we always set our new year’s resolutions. We promise ourselves to change and improve on the things we believe we failed at or neglected but how many if us really become successful? How many of us actually get to see it through and how many of us quit in the middle of the year?
This article is not about new year’s resolutions or how to successfully fulfill them. I am here today to tell you which things you need to focus on this 2016 so you can have a fresh start, a new beginning so to speak.
1. Taking care of your health
Yeah I know, health is wealth and all that, and even though you may have heard this a hundred times already, I would still stress it out because this is the most important thing to focus on. You can’t begin to focus on the other things if you’re dead right?
Kidding aside, health is very important because you can’t achieve success or the fulfillment of your goals if you’re always sick or if you don’t have the energy.
My wife would always scold me every time I eat chicken skin because I love it so much (and yeah, I know about the negative effect it has in terms of cholesterol but sometimes I tend to forget the meaning of the word DISCIPLINE. Sorry, I’m just human!). I asked her one time if she loved me because she was taking away something that made me happy and her short but simple answer that totally shut me out was:
“I love you which is why I want you to live longer.”
“You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life” – Joel Osteen
This is one of the first things I learned from listening to Joel Osteen and it totally makes sense. We become the people we spend the most of our time with which is why we need to pick the right kind of people to be our friends. If you want to live a positive, abundant life, be with people who prioritize personal development, people who practice good personal habits.
If you think your friends are dragging you down and not being a good influence, drop them from your life. You don’t need them and it will benefit you more to get them out of your life than keeping them. Be with people who gets the best out of you.
No matter how we look at it, our best assets would always be ourselves so it only makes sense to invest on it just like we do in business. So how exactly do we do that?
There are actually a couple of ways. You can start by reading self-help books or by attending workshops or seminars about a subject that you are interested in. Make yourself an expert in something you are passionate about instead of wasting your time binge-watching your favorite TV show on Netflx or having movie marathons regularly because doing so would not get you anywhere.
Get yourself a mentor or a coach, attend conferences. No matter what you choose, yourself will always be a worthy investment.
If you really want to achieve happiness and success, you need to go back to the basics. You need to go back to your daily habits because this is where it all starts. This will probably cover some of your new year’s resolutions.
You may be planning to quit smoking, start exercising, or begin coming to work on time this year and that is all good. The first step to starting over is to recognize the accept the things you need to improve on. Once you have determined these things, the next step is to replace these bad habits with good ones.
Good things start from small beginnings. That’s the compound effect working for you. These changes, little as they may seem, will eventually produce bigger results. Sometimes better that you ever expected as long as you stay consistent.
Happiness seems to be this big mystery that everyone has difficulty achieving but really, it isn’t that big of a deal. When we say happiness, what we’re pertaining to is not the temporary joy that a new smart phone or car brings but rather, that kind of happiness that lasts and remains with you all throughout.
As the tag line of this website goes, happiness is a choice which simply means that it is up to you. Happiness should never be conditional. It should never be the result of a condition that you’ve set for yourself.
“I will be happy if…”
“I will be happy when…”
It doesn’t work that way. Happiness should always be your default state. You should always choose to be happy no matter what your circumstances are and you can only get it through gratitude and positive mindset.
Finding happiness should never be a treasure hunt. Choose to be happy and find ways to maintain that happiness.
One of the things I learned from my personal development journey is that when we say NO to something, we are technically saying yes to other things so we must practice good judgment on deciding which opportunities and people we say “yes” and “no” to.
I’ve studied the habits of highly successful people and one thing they have in common is that they know when to say NO.
It may be difficult for most of us to do this because we don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings or we don’t want to be judged but there will be times when you need to sacrifice these things so you can achieve more for yourself and no, doing so doesn’t mean you’re greedy. It’s never a bad thing to put your interest in front of others especially if it concerns your happiness and success.
The best example I can give you is about this story I read about Sir Richard Branson. Being a person of his stature, Branson gets invited to speaking engagements all the time so he can share the secrets of his success and there was this company who once invited him for one but it couldn’t have come at a better time because Branson already had priorities.
To make the long story short, this company tried to put a price on his attendance going up to as much as $500,000 for an hour of his time but Branson was so focused on his priorities that he had to turn them down.
Would you have turned down an opportunity to earn $500,000 for an hour? Probably not. And neither would I but that’s what separates Richard Branson from the rest of us. That’s what made him successful.
I spent the last two weeks with my family on vacation and staycation. We stayed in my sister-in-law’s place in the province binge watching movies, eating, sleeping, and frequenting the nearby mall. That was our daily routine.
On Christmas day, we all went to Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines, and stayed there for 2 days, enjoying all the tourist spots we can visit. This was probably the best vacation I’ve spent so far because my family and I were together all the time.
It was awesome to be able to spend some quality time especially since my work demands long hours and the kids really enjoyed it which makes it all worth it.
Life is short and time is a valuable commodity. Income you lost can be recovered but time wasted cannot so make the most out of it.
Though everything’s not about the money, you and I can’t deny that it is very important. It may not be the key to happiness but it definitely plays a big part. Having money gives us a sense of security and having less, if not none of it, can make us feel miserable.
To avoid the misery, you have to be smart and practical. Only spend money with things you need. Save first and spend what’s left instead of the other way around and do not spend money you don’t have or have yet. Practice discipline when it comes to our expenditures and stay out of debt as much as you can so you can lessen the things that gives you worries and sleepless nights.
Over to You
The best thing about life is that we can always push the reset button and start over. We can always correct our past mistakes and start with a clean slate. 2015 has passed so it’s time to look ahead.
What are the things you are looking to change this 2016?
I would love to hear from you so feel free to leave a comment or share your stories below. Let’s talk!
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