At the start of every year, we are motivated to re-asses and make goals so we can measure up, analyze, assess and compare our performance at the end of the period. New Year gives a sense of hope and inspiration for us to strive and flourish.
Some people call them resolutions, but I prefer to call them projects. I think resolution sounds like I’m making a firm commitment or decision by myself alone, and being haunted if I am not able to do it. Using the word projects, on the other hand, sounds like a given calling, a task, a mission. It gives a sense of purpose and goal.
Here’s a list of resolutions that I find interesting and love to achieve this year. I recommend that you try one or some of them, make short term goals or daily goals to achieve them.
1. Read Books
There’s nothing worth having than a good book. Words shape worlds. Ideas have consequences. Pick a topic and let your mind explore its ideas. Make notes in the margin. The Prince of Preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, wittingly said,
“The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.”
Set a goal to finish it. Divide them into chapters and devote how many chapters you’re gonna read in a day. Decide if it’s worth reading. You goal is to renew your mind by seeking and understanding the truth. To gain understanding to an idea or truth is revolutionary element of life. Assess how long you can read it by seeing the value of its thoughts.
Life is linear. The world is not getting less techie. You stay ahead by educating, growing your skills and value by becoming more updated in technology. You should learn a new program by the next 12 months. The competition in the marketplace is high. I believe the right use of technology enables us to give more value to time. Time is precious that’s why we should learn to integrate technology to our profession so we can give ourselves to people and agendas that matter.
It’s always a good thing to upgrade to our competency. Set aside a time daily or weekly to learn a new programming language, a technical skill or a design program. After learning and mastering Photoshop in the previous years, I can say it’s all worthwhile. I was able to share these skills and became more useful for people around. My goal this year is to deepen my skills in PHP and JQuery. My long-term goal is to learn a higher-end which is Ruby on Rails or Java.
3. Develop a Website/Blog- your website or blog is your business card in the Information Age. Any person who neglects the importance of a blog or website is missing a lot. Blogs are great training ground to write about your niche topic, your expertise and establish your authority in your field. A good site will attract readers and you would wish that your readers will then turn to be your customers.
It’s your outlet and expression of yourself. People know you, your thoughts, interests and calling through your website. You can have a calling card website and a passion website, or both can be merged into one. I plan to develop and devote more time to writing down my thoughts.
If you experienced success, write it up. If you encountered a problem and have overcome it, show us how. If you discovered a good product or service, let us know. The information age is a connection age. The more you become generous, the better. Christ Himself said, “It is better to give that to receive.”
4. Public Speaking- Seek to develop your communication skills or join a local Toastmasters club. There’s no better field to develop than public speaking ability. Conveying important ideas is a tool for a meaningful life. Either through speaking or writing, you would want to transform yourself to be more valuable. If your problem is money, I always believe that “Money flows where value flows.” God created us to “Cultivate and make the earth fruitful.” It is by harnessing our ability to convey ideas, addressing people’s needs that we can be more relevant to our culture.
One way is develop this skills is to donate time to ministries which enables you to teach children or youth. One avenue is Sunday School. If you can capture the attention of small children, you will have no problem capturing the attention of PhD’s.
5. Philanthropy- Identify what advocacy you live for. Get involved with a local charity or ministry this year. Find yourself active in worthy causes. Be a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) and in return, find joy. You can start by devoting one day a week, or if not, every other week.
When you volunteer, be sure that at the end of the day, you capture what you learned. Share to others what you have accomplished. Record what you did or the things that transpired so others may learn and not repeat mistakes. By doing that, you earn the relationship of same-minded people, or may even get the attention of your employer which you work for. This will be another avenue to establish good relationships and connections with other people in your life.
6. Upgrade Vocational Skills- It’s always a good thing to learn new things as a hobby or down time. Yes we are to specialize, yet we also are to work in knowing more about the calling and skills bestowed upon us. Expand your circle of competence. In your downtime or rest time, figure out what things interest you that you can leverage in the future.
Outside software and multimedia, i want to learn cooking and carpentry. Besides learning, I want to learn this so I can learn to be more independent and valuable for other people.
7. Develop Selling skills. Learn to design and sell ads. In the Philippines, try selling on OLX/Craigslist/FB. Learn to turn unused items to cash.You can also learn to develop network and connections with people by joining local events. You want to be a part of a network of people and make a web of connections, and one way is to sell a product or service. There must be a reason to meet people. There must be a reason, and one of that is business- this is the ministry of selling. The redeemed view of business is loving your neighbor. You are a hand of God in the created order, and to understand this concept leads to a better salesman in you.
I think it’s a good way to explore this view of Projects rather than to make promises or resolutions. Promises are good to be made either. We want to make and receive promises. But naming them as projects goes on with my belief that our life is measured by projects as well. We earn happiness when we accomplish something, when we witness how our labors bore fruit and gladness. If we view it this way, we view a certain period of time, and can call the next one as a “level-up.” I think this was adopted by modern companies by naming their software with 1.0, 2.0 and so on at the end of the brand. Of course, there has to be a view of life in a holistic way, and certainly there are advantages for it.
What are your projects for 2016?
This story appears in the Author’s blog- BryanVillarosa.com