Every year, I like to sit back and reflect on the year that has elapsed. Christmas and the New Year are the ideal time to take stock and do a review, but you can recreate that “New Year feeling” at will: as they say, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Looking back at 2012, this is a list of things I achieved that year. That year, I…
- spoke at some of my biggest conferences ever
- did business in 9 countries
- opened up trade channels to the UK
- completed two books
- attended two overseas weddings
- made tens of trips abroad
- had opportunities for personal growth
- got engaged!
I invite you, too, to list your achievements. They are more numerous than you give yourself credit for. I did not write this list to brag, but to share with you my “secret weapon for success”:
I achieved these things, all thanks to the various systems I have put in place over the years.
I am very grateful for my systems because they give me a structure to fall back on. I continuously strategise to consider how to move forward, but once that’s done and a system is in place, I never wonder what I should do at any given moment, or what’s next, because systems are a “lather, rinse, repeat” cycle.
Once you have decided what you want out of life, and where you are headed, once you have your big vision and your big why, the next big hurdle is to know how to get there – and it is only too easy to forget that it takes incremental progress, that it all adds up, provided you work at it. We know where we are, we know where we want to be, but how do we go from one to the other?! That’s where systems come in.
Indeed, that’s the main difficulty: being confident that all the things you do every day actually take you in the right direction. It’s a difficult balance to strike between the bird’s eye view of your big vision, and the day-to-day minutiae. How can you be sure that your day-to-day activities are not just limited to doing what is urgent, but also have you working on the important?
This is something I talk about at length in my book: The things that are important yet not urgent are often those that do make a difference in our lives, but that come without any deadline attached.
This is when systems come in handy. While you are at the 1,000 feet view of working on your big vision, decide also what concrete steps are going to get you there: put systems in place while you have your “big vision” hat on, so that when you have your “line manager” hat on, or your “(wo)man on the ground” hat on, you know that you are doing the right things to make your dream come true.
I wholeheartedly believe that, by putting the right systems in place, you can reach your dreams. Unfortunately most people are only too aware of the huge gap (did I hear you say “abyss”?!) between their dreams and their daily “grind”, but are at a loss how to close that gap.
This is why I wrote my books, The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Financial Freedom and The Savvy Guide To Making More Money. To show you exactly what systems have helped me achieve many of the goals I set myself.
I am quite successful by certain standards, and very modestly successful by others. This is why I think it’s valuable for me to share my trajectory and my story: because it shows you how an ordinary person (that would be me!), coming from an ordinary background, with an ordinary life, can achieve many of their dreams.
I haven’t achieved all of them yet, but I have achieved a certain number.
And what I have done, others can do. Precisely because I am ordinary. I wasn’t solving differential equations in kindergarten. I never broke a world record. I never spent gruelling hours, days and weeks of training to be selected for an Olympic team. I wasn’t singled out from a tender age as one of “the chosen”. I wasn’t a billionaire at 22.
My success is not the kind that is anywhere close to “overnight”.
Which is exactly why I want you to hear my message: Really, if I was able to do it, so can you.
Do not dismiss my (version of) success as a freak happening, one due to premature talent or extraordinary ability or overwhelming genius.
I am ordinary. It’s just that I work on making my
dreams come true, every day. I take a step, and
then another, and then another.
That’s all. To replicate this, you don’t need otherwordly talent, or a genius IQ. You just need to take action.
I’m looking forward to each new year, because some steps I have taken will bear fruit; and other steps I haven’t taken yet, I will take because the time is right.
Where will you be one year from now? Do you have
any idea at all of the extraordinary things that you,
as an ordinary person, can achieve, by taking
action, 365 days a year?
You don’t need to be anybody else than who you already are. You just need to take steps, however small. You already have all it takes, really.
I invite you to reflect on your untapped powers, and to take one small but decisive step in the direction of your dreams.
You have all it takes. Just do. Just act.
I wish you a tremendously successful year – remember, 365 days from now, your life could be completely different.
To your success!
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