I know the year is not over yet, for all we know the best thing in 2017 is yet to happen but I think some reflection is in order. It’s always good to take time to reflect on the past year to see what worked so you can maximize on it and what didn’t work so you can change or eliminate it. It’s also an opportunity to look at what challenges arose and how they can be avoided next time or worked around or prepared for.
Because gratitude is one way of ensuring you get more of what you are grateful for, I’m going to do my reflection by giving you the highlights of my year. I’m hoping it will show you what relying on God and continuously working on my self-development has resulted in.
At the beginning of the year a friend sent me this picture:
I didn’t waste time, I got my own jar and now I can’t wait to go through everything in it on New year’s eve.
The following are highlights of the things in the jar:
1. I started this blog in June this year and have been running it for the past 6 months. It’s opened me to a lot of things. Not only have I met different people from different countries, it also helped jumpstart the next highlight.
2. Not only did I write and publish my first book, I now have 3 published books. All self-published. When I wrote “I inspire people through the books I write” in a vision letter I wrote in January of this year, I saw it happening in the distant future. I didn’t think the year would end with me being a writer, something I’ve always dreamed of doing one day.
3. I got nominated for an Intombie Young Women In Business award under the category ‘Women in Law.’ I’ve never been nominated for anything so this was such an honor.
4. I became a motivational speaker. Since discovering my passion to inspire and motivate people to follow their dreams, I’m always challenging myself to find ways to do this. Motivational speaking is now one of those ways.
5. I found a mastermind group. In the middle of the year I read ‘Think and grow rich’ by Napoleon Hill. In it he mentions the necessity of a mastermind, a group of people to share ideas with and get feedback from, basically a group where you build each other up. I asked God for one of my own and He sent me a group of amazing women through an ‘Innovation Training Track’ training that I’m a part of. It’s hosted by an organization called ‘Innovation for Africa’.
As you can see it doesn’t always have to be about big things that happen but continuous improvement. Moving from point A to point B, then C and D, when you want to reach Z. You don’t always go from A straight to Z. You shouldn’t discount the small wins in between. Celebrate those.
Working on your development is important. It changes your life. I know what I advocate for here works because I’m seeing the results in my own life. I don’t know what will work for you but it’s important to find out and do something about it before you have a wasted year. I’ve had a lot of those but after the year I’ve had, I’m not turning back. I know if I can dream it, write it down and believe it, I’ll see it come to pass. With God on my side I know I can achieve anything I put my mind to so you better watch this space lol.
The above doesn’t mean I got everything I went for this year. Some things I applied for and didn’t get or are things that are part of my vision but haven’t happened yet. I know for a fact they’ve already happened but just haven’t been manifested. I’m excited because 2018 is going to be my best year yet. It could be yours too. Do that vision board, vision letter and vision obituary or even just one of those. Work on your personal development and keep perfecting your craft. Be ready for when opportunity meets preparation.
All the highlights I mention here were in one way or another on my vision board, vision letter and vision obituary. If you’re wondering what those are, here’s an extract from my book Letters to my daughter to be:
A vision letter is a letter that you write to someone and date it 5 or 10 years from now, or however long you wish. You tell this person you’re writing to what your life is like, where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re with. You would have to be as descriptive as possible.
Let me give you an example. In my future I see myself being a bestselling author, founding an organization that reduces the number of orphans in the world, being married with 2 children and being able to go on holiday wherever and whenever we wish. My letter would start something like this:
[Date: 17 October 2022
I know we haven’t seen each other in a while, I was reading something online and came across an article talking about what great things you’re doing. I’m so proud of you. Your dreams have indeed come true. So have mine. Let me tell you a bit about what’s happening in my life.
In 2018 I finally met the man of my dreams and we got married and now have two lovely children Timothy and Nomzamo. They are such a blessing, we feel privileged to be their parents. You would love them. We actually just came back from a trip we’d taken to Zanzibar, Tanzania and we loved it there. We’ve decided we’re going to have to go back there at some point.
I am financially free, which is why I get to stay home with the kids whilst I pursue my passions. I inspire, motivate and empower people all over the world through the talks I give and through my writing. Through the different forms of media, I reach millions and millions of people. I also founded Faith Heals Foundation which helps children without homes and parents to get homes and parents.]
That’s just a snippet of what my vision letter looks like.
For your own vision letter, think about what you want to see in your future and go for it. Dream big. They are your dreams; there is no need to limit yourself. What is needed from you is belief. If you believe, anything is possible. Even if it takes 5 years, 10 years or 20 years, it will happen.
The second way is what is known as a vision board. This is a board where you put pictures, drawings or words of things you want to see in your future. You can use any board as a base. I used an old calendar for mine. You can use cardboard. You can get pictures from old magazines or print them from pictures online. Again don’t limit yourself, go crazy on that board.
For every picture or words you put on that board, know what they represent so that every time you look at them you think of that thing. For instance I have a picture of Oprah Winfrey on mine and I put it there because of the influence I would like to have. Every time I see that picture, that’s what it reminds me, that I will have the kind of influence on the world that I dream of.
The third way is what I call a vision obituary. This is where you write your obituary detailing your life’s work. You write what you want people to say about you at your funeral. You write it as though you have lived out your life. This will help you to see what you want to have done in your life before you die. If you want to see what mine looks like, you can do so at inspirationbysibo.com under the section “vision sharing.” (End of extract)
Let me leave you with some questions:
What were the highlights of your year?
Did you achieve what you wanted? Did you come close? Did you try?
What worked that you’re going to keep doing?
What are you going to do differently next year?
I hope my year has shown you that if you believe, anything is possible. At the end of next year you shouldn’t be exactly where you are right now. ‘2018 YOU’ should be able to say to ‘2017 YOU’ “You think you did good, wait till you see what I did!”
Enjoy the remainder of your year and may all your dreams come true in 2018. See you on the other side:-)